culture, machine, ontology, Politics, work


“untitled (structure)”, 2007. Jim Kazanjian

Markets effect the generalized dispersion and annihilation of collective power.  Along with the material inputs to industrial production, labor is brutally dismantled by the process, decrypted, dissolved; we sink into the soil or melt into the sky (to become plague-vector of planetary toxicity.) Creation disappears beneath commerce, enfolded within the commodity, its tiny molecular flux occluded by continuous and irruptive exchange. Work in every sense today is turned by the market against itself, against people, psychically, socially, physiologically, and especially and urgently ecologically, against the future of the world.

When knowledge-work predominates, this violent dynamic becomes vertical: ideas themselves weaken and dissolve in the madness of generalized commerciality, they lose their way in the darkness, or are simply reprogrammed. Infected by the plague-core of the commodity. Integrated world capitalism is equivalent with the annihilation of the Ideas; the dismemberment of production; the deliberate dispersion of thinking and feeling; the universalization of a certain narrowly-scoped image of thought.

Continue reading

creation, dialectic, intellectual, madness, music, philosophy, play, production, rationalization, reason, science, sickness, Uncategorized, waste, work

Abolishing Distinction: Adorno and Sense

I should account as the foremost musician one who knew only the sadness of the most profound happiness, and no other sadness at all; but such a musician has never existed yet.
Nietzsche (The Gay Science 183)

The dialectic cannot stop short before the concepts of health and sickness, nor indeed before their siblings reason and unreason. Once it has recognized the ruling universal order and its proportions as sick — and marked in the most literal sense with paranoia, with ‘pathic projection’ — then it can see as healing cells only what appears, by the standards of that order, as itself sick, eccentric, paranoia — indeed, ‘mad’; and it is true today as in the Middle Ages that only fools tell their masters the truth. The dialectician’s duty is thus to help this fool’s truth to attain to its own reasons, without which it will certainly succumb to the abyss of the sickness implacably dictated by the healthy common sense of the rest.
Adorno (Minimal Moralia 73)

For Adorno, dialectical thought is a studied, passionate opposition to reification in several important senses. A fair bit of Minima Moralia is dedicated to analyzing the social regulation leading to the gradual alienation of academic philosophy from positive materialism. Adorno decries the blindness, the manic fixity of professional intellectuals, their degeneration from paragons of reason to the producers of a mass rationalizations.

Continue reading

becoming-animal, borges, infinity, jorge luis borges, labyrinth, literature, madness, maze, minotaur, multiplicity, pride, sacrifice, salvation, transmutation, work

On Borges: Labyrinths


I deny, with the arguments of idealism, the vast temporal series which idealism admits. Hume denied the existence of an absolute space, in which all things have their place; I deny the existence of one single time, in whcih all things are linked as in a chain. The denial of coexistence is no less arduruous than the denial of succession. (Jorge Luis Borges)

The maze is (a) work, mazes are always at work within work. The maze is the very object of work itself. The subject is always labyrinthine: a largely unknown interconnected field of instances, spaces, engagements — whose convoluted and intricate structure as such must be actually explored. Enclosing a journey, a work is a maze: the subject becomes a convoluted space by becoming a wanderer of these forking paths which continuously converge and diverge, cyclically multiplying spaces, ever forwards to infinity.

The fabled maze which confines a minotaur, labyrinth already contains the Lydian labrus, the double-headed axe of Minos. A sacred dual-weapon to rend the folded beast, to slay the man with the monstrous head of a bull. The labyrinth itself is monstrous and harbors monsters; within its folded space, amidst tunnels and promenades, somewhere a terrible half-man, half-beast is wandering alone, on the borderline between infinite spaces, waiting within the imbrications of fractured infinity, waiting for his death, for his redemption. Salvation is a question of transmutation, and like all metamorphic fables, a mysterious secret is contained, an answer to the question: what to do with the hybrids, these half-men, half-x…?
Continue reading