becoming, black holes, capitalism, creation, difference, language, metaphysics, ontology, power

Living

Francis Bacon, Tryptych (Inspired by Oresteia)

What is modern? It can perhaps be discerned in the radical questioning of the status of piety, a questioning which slowly infects every discipline and discourse — a questioning, in other words, coextensive with a generalized instrumentalization, experienced at the psychic level as a new asceticism. Modernity in this sense includes souls no longer living; it embodies achromatically the spirits of wildly disparate eras. In this way we may perhaps be permitted to speak of the modern both as a regime of forms and as a series of powers — a question of celestial purity and terrestial madness. Thus every people participates in an eternal modernity, or perhaps it is that the modern is always arriving or yet to arrive.

The stable conception of identity is the central problem and “utopian” promise of modernity. Very early on, relatively speaking, the problem was decisively proved to be undecidable. It perhaps took longer to realize that the promise could not be kept; that the modern enacts the irreversible rending of the identical from individuation, that it will not (and perhaps cannot) be halted. The modern is then not irreversible in the sense that a regression is not possible, but rather irreversible in the sense that once intiated we cannot determine when the involution, the deferral, the sickness will stop.

The modern is a health and a sickness of cosmic proportions; a dream of infinitely-deferred waking, which is perhaps to say a nightmare. The modern assembles war machines, and the uncanny and passionate hunger of modernity is the thirst of virtual incorporealities for actualization. This hunger perhaps accounts for a certain globalizing impulse; for the modern at its best populates or resingularizes, it directly engages processes of subjectivity; yet at its worst this same tendency perhaps accounts for the propensity of the modern to provoke the shocking encouragement of complicity with horror and the cynical dissolution of the subject in a transcendent universality.

The symptoms of modernity are radical involution, future shock, motion sickness and infinite deferral. The modern is then perhaps a variety of dreamsicknesses; the dangerous problem of a daybreak eternally deferred. Yet is this very eternity not suspiciously excessive, the deferral not strangely disjointed? Are we, fractured group-subject of modernity, not untimely, not continuously on the verge of actualizing and thereby exceeding  it?

Francis Bacon, “Fragment of a Crucifixion”

Living. The intolerable ignominy of possibilities of life under capital should not be permitted to cause us to forget the reality of infinite becoming. Evolution and genesis, or the development of contiguous spacetimes and automorphisms, are powers of the infinite; and a life is always already this infinity. It is never simply a question of an organism but rather a problem of pure variation: infinite movements compose and condition living; infinite speeds permeate a life. Inorganic life lives exclusively at these speeds, in a hyperaesthetic eternity that traverses history. It moves across a slice of a time, through a supple segment of a world; yet a life is not merely the traversal of a spacetime or a form (territories and landscapes, organisms and faces) but it is also the direct reality of flows and forces: rhythms and speeds, signifying regimens and variable frameworks of production. It is not individual or collective but infinite, neither alter nor ego but singularis. We do not know the limits of what it can do or will become — in fine: what living, thinking, feeling could be. Though the risks of an errant involution are grave and even incalculable; yet any life, any feeling, any thought whatsoever is destined to find itself at some longitude or latitude on the plane of immanence — that is to say, always already in flight, swept up by a line of continuous variation, facing infinite risks with limitless potential.

Mapmakers. Desire becomes perceptible to a schizoanalytic cartography only because such a mapping undertakes anew in each case the cautious assembly of a map of the unconscious with everything included: experimentally activating and quantifying virtual lines of flight, calculating the gravitational acceleration of semiotic black holes — and determining the structural characteristics of white walls.

Geosophy. Geology and geometry both initate absolute surveys; and in their own ways they are each aerial formal analytics, turned inward and outward in a reciprocal relation; at infinite speeds might they not fuse? The earth may be both speculated stratigraphically, or evaluated strategically in terms of virtual movements; and so a geometer offers unknowingly a dangerous secret to a geologist, and vice versa. In both there is the unnoticed presence of an unexplored sense of or practice within the discipline, which when fully articulated would make it possible to organize both evaluative and speculative faculties otherwise. In any case, of course, an enormous divergence has already occurred from their common origin and destiny — the earth and theory each as a life in communication with the other: not the philosophy of genesis but philosophy as genesis. The vertiginous collapse and interfusion of the hard and soft precede the gentle birth of a geosophy, joyous science of the (maladies afflicting the) body of the Earth — perhaps at the end of an arc traced by the flight of a golden ball…

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consciousness, disaster, event, fantasy, intensity, power, recognition, wager

Trajectory

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A series of imminent and necessary breakdowns are inherent to the production of desire: first, because desires connect up to an outside, with something which is always unrecognized, which is totally foreign; next, because desire is brought to turn upon itself, it is seduced into betrayal (by resentment, fear, hate, etc.); finally, because desires are always collective, but the individual makes these collective desire their own, digests and reintegrates them. In each case, there is a kind of fundamental deadlock to any investigation of the unconscious which reflects the essential paradox of psychoanalysis.

We risk not only our feelings and thoughts but even ourselves as beings entirely: the risk of losing not just our habits, our beliefs and our identities, but the very significance, the subjectivity, of our reality. Everything becomes a trajectory, a cosmic machine, a universal process of production. A becoming-nothing which is the essence of consciousness: and in the end will we know which it is — a disease or an experiment? –But what do we matter? For alienation is becoming a stranger; not trading places with a double, nor a diagnosis, but rather this mis-recognition of an alien consciousness always already present within enjoyment, within our desire itself.

 

The Disaster, the Event, Difference — this is what is always recognized but never known; or rather, you don’t know, you will never know whether this alterity is truly radical or not. We must make a certain wager in order to discover the real, to know our desire, to learn anything at all about ourselves. It is not a question of imitation, but of pure intensities, of movements and singularities and flows. There is always a risk involved in a becoming, a risk which is always recognized and never known to us — a displacement of essence internal to becoming, an infinite capacity which transfigures reality.

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death, ecology, exchange, flight, flux, force, machine, message, motion, possibility, power

Warning

 

 

 

The evolution of an ecology expresses itself through both gradual and violent transformations. An ecological system is indeed a continuous system of exchanges, where functions actively extract themselves from an open horizon, producing a conjunction or interface, an active occupation of space.

 

We exist as these spatial and energetic languages, as regular translations between them, continuously enriching the ecological circuits upon which both they and we depend. Thus we realize the impossible equality of nothing and all things, perpetual motion, the flux, the seafire at the impossible origin of motion: one in, one out.

 

Energy amplifies the field, weaves separate forces together. There is no cooperation, there is no war, the channel is neutral. We are messengers, a signal from within.

 

 

 

Is there not an angelology of energy itself? A theory of traces which finally erases itself, leaving only the land and the sky and the sea. A beach with stars. What is this signal from beyond with paradoxical demands?

 

 

 

Light is only a hint, a map of time, a confirmation of possibility. The perversity of desire mirrors the perversity of God, the supreme irony — the sardonic lightness which we cannot help but associate with the beyond.

 

A messenger, a confirmation. A third who works, better than we could have hoped — summoning from without that which could never have been, perhaps should never be: the machine, the forge, that image which burns through the lace tracings of flesh without flinching or fatigue, opening the way onto another sense of being completely: time-as-vortex, turbulent and eternal.

 

Already a clarity, a power, a disgust which carry their own unique dangers.

 

Remember this: the cautious, steady, clear path leads into stagnation. It is the cut, the line of flight veering into the wild vortex.

 

Corruption eating away within. Death is not even as terrifying as these openings, these hooks dripping from every surface, every letter, every face.

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aristocracy, Christianity, evaluation, evil, good, human, judgment, life, morality, nobility, origin of language, power, psychoanalysis, question, reality, subject, the future, utility, value

Evaluating Value

Under what conditions did men invent for themselves these value judgments good and evil? And what inherent value do they have? Have they hindered or fostered human well-being up to now? Are they a sign of some emergency, of impoverishment, of an atrophying life?

Or is it the other way around—do they indicate fullness, power, a will for living, courage, confidence, the future?

Friedrich Nietzsche, Preface to the Genealogy of Morals

Why is this work a genealogy of morals? Nietzsche does not ask for the origins of good and evil as essences. Nor even does he ask for the conditions of possibility for good and evil as judgments. In fact, he proposes a third and entirely more subtle question, concerning the “conditions” under which these value judgments (“good” and “evil”) were first invented — he presumes that they were invented by human beings — and perhaps owing to this assumption, he immediately turns to question the inherent value of these value judgments themselves. To be precise, he asks what inherent value they possess — whether, for instance, they have so far hindered or fostered human beings.

We already grasp here in rough outline a critique of the metaphysics of morality — what we may perhaps call an extrusion of the irrational “core” or “substrate” of moral valuations — which seeks to question the value of morality itself. To put it briefly, this “question mark so black” asks about the worth of the “unegoistic,” the value of the pity-instinct — in short, it questions the value of ascetic values. The problem of pity is not an isolated question mark, but in fact demands a critique of moral values whose first object is to question the very value of these values. In other words, we need “a knowledge of the conditions and circumstance out of which these values grew, under which they have developed and changed” — the kind of knowledge which not only has not been available until now, but has not even been wished for.

The value of moral values has been taken as given, self-evident, beyond dispute — i.e., that “good” men are more valuable than “evil” men — but Nietzsche asks us to pause before common sense, and consider the possibility that the opposite were true: “What if in the ‘good’ there lay a symptom of regression, something like a danger, a seduction, a poison, a narcotic, something which makes the present live at the cost of the future?”

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being, control, energy, essence, flux, function, ground, heidegger, machine, order, power, revolution, technology

Who’s in Control?

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Who’s in Control?

Heidegger and Technology

We have for a very long time presumed to be in control of machines. We have claimed to be the masters, and pretended to “govern” technology. So Heidegger is more poignant than usual when he reminds us (in the 1969 Der Spiegel interview) that we do not even control that within us which drives us towards technicity. We are not masters of the secret desire which compels us to encircle more and more of the world within our productive networks.

For better or for worse, Heidegger is one of the first to honestly assess the strangeness of this phenomena — the machinic turn in our relationship to the earth and to being. In the ’69 interview, he was asked what the problem with technology was — after all, aren’t we better off than ever? Heidegger declared it was precisely the pure functionality of the machine which terrified him. The machine is problematic as such; but even more so is the static regime of inhuman operativity which the development of modern technology inaugurates.

In this absolute functioning of the machine we discover a surprising, pure and uncanny kind of nothingness. Heidegger reminds us of this in order to pose a challenge about our relation to the earth. Is it possibility that behind the beneficent face of advanced technology is the same noise and turbulence revealed and concealed at once by the ancients as pure ideas — a nonsensical self-annihilation co-extensive with an absolute determination of beings — a “reality” where all life, all possibility, all energy is merely (or finally) standing-reserve for “our” use? But who are we? Continue reading

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becoming, celerity, confinement, control, history, humanity, intensity, multiplicity, nature, Politics, power, production, spirit, swarm

Outline for a Philosophy of History

If we listen closely to the breath of the spirit as well as to the word of being, an entirely new kind of history may become possible.

Disclosing a lethal truth (into) power, organization trembles before the disorganized generativity of decentralized multiplicity.

Are we transmitting history backwards through time? Are languages transforming themselves through us?

Is it by nature that we are socially-oriented creatures? Or does “humanity” on the contrary mark with precision a moment of originary disarticulation of (biological) organization — is a “human” a swarm?

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alterity, concept, critique, ethics, infinity, language, metaphysics, morality, ontology, Politics, power, production, theory, time

Temporality and Power: The Politics of Absence

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In the relation of the human being to language, a process is reflected that extends to the relation of the human being to beings in general: The scientific knowledge has become the standard knowledge! The other: thinking, spirit of language, history, culture is still there, yet dragged along into a certain indeterminateness.

It is decisive that the consciousness was lost as to where this other belongs and of what kind must the reflection be in order to still experience it essentially.

Martin Heidegger, On the Essence of Language

One is substituted for another. The Other is already a replacement: stood in front of, signified for, stereotyped, “represented.” Always already excluded. Alterity is secrecy, criminal, “terrorist.” The other is an unsurface, continuously fragmenting, always already a mute revelation of presence-within-absence, an irruption of pure expressivity conveying without mediation the disunity constitutive of production. A signal which effaces itself, fracturing identity and imploding the non-position at the heart or essence of expression.

The degradation of the other in (through) writing, even through speaking itself and in what is before speaking, in the materiality of the saying and in the voice, already in the other’s cry of pain or even the internal distance wherein I myself become alien, become other before my own suffering and “involuntary” reactions — all these complicate an analysis into alterity, into the other nature of space. The politics of alterity, of absence, the comprehension of the place of the other, takes place outside of our dialogical place-together, outside the infinity of our interconnection. Politics operates not in but as a finite emptiness, a literal or material void which is applied to society like the one-sided edge of a surgical knife.

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