All posts filed under: time


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depth / disorder / dream / language / Plato / space / story / surface / theory / time

  Between science’s eternal youth, forever sprouting green shoots, and the crumbling timelessness of art’s old age, there may yet emerge a new, a third kind of time, a crossing between the unique and universal which could bestow a new measure.  The dream is young, the awakening ancient.  Between the transformation and the formula, in the middle of the two shores of language, a glittering goal which shifts along with us, a nearly-invisible position which […]


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art / becoming / dimension / encounter / experiment / force / molecule / resonance / time / variable / vortex

The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different. (Aldous Huxley) Through saturation an artist brings all the diverse elements of experience into a real interfusion, an affirmative disjunction. The artist opens passageways, a vessel for engendering a pure becoming. An encounter with an outside, presenting a pure force which art can only express — art as transistor, as […]

Hegel and Universality

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awareness / Hegel / justice / language / law / levinas / objectivity / ontology / Politics / reason / society / teaching / time / tyranny

[Photograph by Will Godfrey] In an essay Hoffmeister suggests was written in 1808 or 1809, Hegel — certainly not without some irony — identifies an important ethical connection between abstract thought and power: Who thinks abstractly? The uneducated, not the educated. Good society does not think abstractly because it is too easy, because it is too lowly (not referring to the external status) — not from an empty affectation of nobility that would place itself […]

Wandering Shadows: Reflections on Morality and Madness

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architecture / banquet / language / machine / metaphysics / Nietzsche / ontology / Politics / time / unconscious / violence / wisdom

In the disparity between the awareness of unreason and the awareness of madness, we have, at the end of the eighteenth century, the point of departure for a decisive movement: that by which the experience of unreason will continue, with Holderlin, Nerval, and Nietzsche, to proceed ever deeper towards the roots of time — unreason thus becoming, par excellence, the world’s contratempo — and the knowledge of madness seeking on the contrary to situate it […]

The Language Mechanism: Notes on de Saussure

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continuity / diachrony / evolution / institution / language / linearity / linguistics / logic / sign / synchrony / time

A language thus has this curious and striking feature. It has no immediately perceptible entities. And yet one cannot doubt that they exist, or that the interplay of these units is what constitutes linguistic structure. That is undoubtedly a characteristic which distinguishes languages from all other semiological institutions. Ferdinand de Saussure (Course in General Linguistics, 105) After having investigated the physiological mechanisms of speech, Saussure turns to consider the nature of linguistic signs. In his […]

The Thought of Language

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alterity / being / difference / expression / harmonics / history / language / memory / post-modern / radiation / science / time / transcendence / writing

The human being is in the most literal sense a political animal, not merely a gregarious animal, but an animal which can individuate itself only in the midst of society. (Karl Marx, from the introduction to Grundrisse) Between being and language there is an interval, a purified difference articulated through individuation, a difference in time or development: language is in such a way that it always is yet to be as a being. Language becomes […]

Temporality and Power: The Politics of Absence

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

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 […]

On the Origin of Duration

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becoming / bergson / break / depth / diachrony / divergence / event / experience / flow / fracture / intensity / invention / irreversibility / memory / phenomenology / rhythm / science / sensation / time / victor hugo

Caspar David Friedrich, Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon (1824) On The Origin of Duration (Notes towards a “Genealogy” of Time) Time is invention, or it is nothing. Henri Bergson Time is a stutter, a clue, a signal from beyond which comes from within. The concept “temporality” breaks itself, already expresses divergence, it forever escapes our control. The flow of time outruns itself, it is always diachronous, bringing thought straight back to its origin, to […]

Science and Parasites: Michel Serres and the Unification of Human and Natural Sciences

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banquet / communication / epistemology / fractal / history / humanities / information / interruption / logic / matter / michel serres / narcissism / ontology / parasite / physics / power / relation / Science / Mathematics / Technology / Serres / symmetry / time / topology / turbulence

Theorem: the history of science obeys the law of diminishing returns. The first attack on the narcissism of science… Second: if we examine the set made of the problem and of the actions that transform it, there is no doubt that it is, at the beginning, more complex than the thing itself or the process. Clearer perhaps, yet more complicated. The question can then be reexamined in order to try to illuminate this new complexity […]

Symmetry within Chaos: On Science and Difference

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certainty / chaos / complexity / creative / decay / ontology / Science / Mathematics / Technology / space / structure / symmetry / theory / time / universe

Symmetric Relations A scientific theory classifies phenomena based on a universal set of structural relationships. Experiments and theories which deserve the name scientific thus share a coherent set of properties. First, they are systematic, meaning that phenomena as presented possess certain structural or virtual unities despite actual or potential diversities. A fully systematic theory is also complete in that nothing is arbitrarily left out of the universe of discourse. Events, spaces and processes are presented […]

Time and the Cultural Unconscious: Nietzsche and the Future

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chaos / culture / freud / materiality / metaphysics / Nietzsche / resistance / society / subject-group / time / unconscious / value

Woman at the Window Salvador Dalí, oil on board (1925) What do we understand to be the boundaries of our neighbor: I mean that which he as it were engraves and impresses himself into and upon us? We understand nothing of him except the change in us of which he is cause — our knowledge of him is like the hollow space which has been shaped. (Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak 118) Stripped of its social connotations, […]

Nietzsche and Sexual Politics: Energy and Difference in Power Relations

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bodies / culture / difference / Foucault / freud / identity / Marx / Nietzsche / overman / Politics / posthuman / sexuality / time

Dionysos and Ariadne We do not generally recognize how temporary our concepts and customs are. Foucault has argued our modern concept of sexuality is rooted inextricably in the specific marriage rituals in late Western society. His genealogical-historical method is reminiscent in many ways to Nietzsche’s. Both will explain by turns how this or that concept has its true origin in a (relatively) quite recent conceptual matrix, as opposed to some ancient transcendent intervention. Both show […]

What Can We Create?

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chaos / dialectic / dialogue / difference / family / God / multiplicity / nomad / Politics / state / time / war machine

If there were an exact center to the current political impasse, the short circuit of process, it would be this fact: that free discourse first demands a difference. It could be said that truth is always in conflict with destiny. An illegality, more universal than the universe, breaking the symmetry spontaneously and opening the way onto a new reality. In other words, beyond non-identity, there is yet a non-equality which goes deeper than a face-to-face […]

Bakhtin’s Chronotopic Events: Notes on Novelistic Space-Time

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aesthetics / Bakhtin / chronotope / dialogic imagination / event / genre / literary theory / novel / other / space / time / Todorov

Bakhtin, Mikhail. “Form of Time and Chronotope in the Novel.” The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Austin: UTP, 1981. 84-258. I apologize ahead of time for the informality of this post, but “Form of Time and Chronotope in the Novel” is an incredible piece of theory, and it’s a shame that it’s size will prevent many readers from engaging with it fully. Thus the need for some hardcore notes. Bakhtin’s chronotope is all […]

Bergsonism, or Philosophy of Sub- and Superhuman Durations

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assemblage / Bachelard / becoming / bergson / Deleuze / difference / duration / image / intuition / memory / metaphysics / metapsychology / ontology / problematics / time / virtual / Whitehead

Deleuze, Gilles. Bergsonism. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. New York: Zone, 1991. Bergson on several occassions compares the approach of philosophy to the procedure of infinitesimal calculus: When we have benefited in experience from a little light which shows us a line of articulation, all that remains is to extend it beyond experience—just as mathematicians reconstitute, with the infinitely small elements that they perceive of the real curve, ‘the curve itself stretching out into […]

Space and Time

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dimensionality / fractal space / motion / self-organization / time

‘A universe comes into being when a space is severed into two.’ Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela (Spacetime ripples from a binary star) Consider an observer in regular space. The observer induces a coordinate plane (or metric) to be imposed, as though from the exterior of the system in question. As soon as this coordinate plane is imposed, a regular geometry of space can be developed. Space can be distinguished from motion abstractly and precisely. […]

Anaximander and the Infinite

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anaximander / ethics / infinity / time

‘The principle and beginning … of beings is the limitless … where beings have their beginning, therein also have their end according to necessity; for they pay penalty and retribution to each other for their injustice in accordance with the arrangement of time. [The limitless is] immortal […] and imperishable.’ ἀρχὴ … τῶν ὄντων τὸ ἄπειρον … ἐξ ὧν δὲ ἡ γένεσίς ἐστι τοῖς οὖσι͵ καὶ τὴν φθορὰν εἰς ταῦτα γίνεσθαι κατὰ τὸ χρεών· διδόναι […]