becoming, Deleuze, guattari, horizon, machine

Abstract for DeleuzeConf


Alexi K, Cognitive Polygraph (Woman Disrobing), 2013 (Pen & Ink)

This is the abstract for the paper I will be presenting at DeleuzeConf 2014, “Technoscience and Expressionism: On Deleuze and Computability”.

Deleuze, in his 1992 essay Postscript on Control Societies, describes technology as concretely expressing forms of social consistency. Technoscientific machines are collective assemblages “easily matched” with modes of consciousness and styles of composing realities.

A technological stratum relates to conceptual, referential or compositional capacities and tendencies. Yet technologies are neither causes nor effects of social transformations. Technologies do not engender new folds; rather societies continuously discover capabilities for specific machine components to be made use of or constructed, or to be related in new ways. Technologies at all scales, degrees of materiality and visibility are swept up and reshaped by abstract machines which dynamize new styles of thinking, feeling, living.

In Chaosmosis Guattari outlines the operation of the abstract machine which extracts singular possibilities from the components of technical and social machines. An abstract machine is installed transversally to every other machine component and stratum, capable of relating the heterogeneous levels of materiality, cognition, affection and sociality. The abstract machine effectuates, donates existence to components or withdraws it, assembling functional ensembles of virtual and constituted elements.

In contrast with structuralist theories which indicate signification and hence semiological microtechnologies as the vectors unifying expressive economies, Guattari differentiates protomachines (simple instruments or ‘least-structured pieces’) from the ensembles out of which effects and sense actually emerge. Even sophisticated machines such as robots (“which will soon be engendered by other robots”) are nothing without these complexes, machinic assemblages to which they belong.

Artificial intelligences and expert systems, despite all the negativity, totalization and servitude to which they are inevitably linked, do not simply subtract from human thinking: they also “relieve thought of inert schema”. Computer-aided forms of thinking are mutant, capable of relating to “other musics, other Universes of reference.”

Has an outdated mode of science-fiction overtaken speculation about the future? Opposite metaphysical and religious objections to increasingly-extreme technoscience, singularitarianism indicates the dramatic extent to which it is possible to internalize an indifferent love for oppressive machines, while accelerationists frame their centrist interventions under the curious aegis of remembering the future.

I would argue that beyond these intense positions the emergence of artificial general intelligence (machines decoding expression) is in turn expressive in Deleuze’s sense. Which consistencies do they effract, what new folds do they effectuate? Planetary culture is in the throes of becoming-computable, marked in part by an extremization of technoscience — on the one hand stripped of purity and degraded to mere invention; on the other newly devoted to reverse-engineering noetics and genetics (at the limit, to a bifurcated ‘transcendence’ of the biosphere and noosphere.) D+G’s machinic philosophy offers a critical alternative to singularitarian and accelerationist images of the future. Their emphasis on abstract machines illuminates the expressive potential of the virtual assemblages actualized in general purpose computing.

Nietzsche once asked after the meaning of science. Today this question points beyond the involution of the technical within globally-integrated capitalism. I will indicate in what way software may be considered a humanity or people-to-come.

difference, information, language, sign

Machine Fusion

Simona Pries, "black heart" (2011)

Simona Pries, “black heart” (2011)

You can simulate transparency, but behind your back an overheated network will condition your component lines. It is remarkable indeed the degree of encryption, not to mention extreme speeds and slowness, which a signal may be made to endure. Gentle decelerations, frenzied accelerations, stationary null journeys: real movements which the machine or a part undergoes — or else sudden breaks, unforeseen shutdowns, severed lines. The differential logic of the signal system mutates continuously according to the functioning of a semiological machine which does not resemble what it creates, crystallizes, shatters or sets into flight. Expression, insofar as it frames or signs itself, is always-already conditioned and operated by a grammatical field of semiological dynamisms redoubling encounters-affects into visions and auditions, possible worlds. The receiver is symmetrically encrypted, a recursive and resonating labyrinth: translating wild variations of rhythms, interpolating approximately-decrypted sub-signals, differentiating referential opacity where it is not constitutive. A signal is always-already composed of instructions, an actively-encrypted network of orders: a volumetric control field radiating from multiple command cores, enmeshed with the transmissive and receptive apparatus. The virtual line is incorporated into the machine; actual resonating devices become attuned to the most subtle or rarefied waves. Desire, dreams, delirium are signals as real production: a construction of new senses or problems, new distributions of the interesting and uninteresting, the surprising and unsurprising, the tolerable and the intolerable. Reattributing the cosmos, dreams create problems… What nourishes the bad dream, that the void should dominate? What distributes scarcities, interpolates lack, interposes this alien and monstrous ontology of interrogation-judgment-punishment? Who wishes this interrogation of delirium, this interpretation of desire and dreams according to need, wish-fulfillment? It is astonishing that reactionary madness should have had such wild success; that low truths, base dreams, sick desires should be able to appear high, noble, affirming; that entire discourses of these broken and enslaved truths should attain cultural hegemony. How is it that it could occur, what happened? How can it be that this slow suicide, this disinterested love for whatever is fucking you, can masquerade as life? Capital Tyrannus, or Oedipus Rex: the self-immolation of desire, the diminution of dreams, the toxification of the sky. The signal communicates with a virtual substrate organizing deeply-nested or encrypted signs, conditions expressive lines which are also lived forces or affects: sadnesses or joys. The dream is open to becoming a nightmare as a condition of its possibility; desire goes all the way. The delirious and wandering line of decoding, of the adventure of decryption, does not only face certain disaster or death; but also sings seductively, in minor keys; it is melancholy, and itself a risk. But while it is easy to botch their construction, only cartographies of the virtual, planes of consistency at the limit of consciousness or the common, can emancipate new images of the collective, mobilize and restructure conditions of possibility…

acceleration, becoming, inhumanity, language, machine, ontology, radiation



Richard Long, “Walking a circle in mist” (Scotland, 1986)

Beyond telepathy. At long last, after centuries if not millennia, and perhaps only if conditions will have it such that the voice may reach its fullest expression and height, we may foresee it finally passing; into the imperceptible. In this future beyond the future, the noontide of vocal expressivity; the death, or at least becoming invisible, through an unrecognizable transformation, of speech. At the outer limit of writing, beyond telepathy, an opening onto new luminous substrates of expressivity.

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becoming, metaphysics, ontology


Metropolis Series | Aluminium Wall Tiles by David Umemoto

Metropolis Series | Aluminium Wall Tiles by David Umemoto

Negativity. I want to think the movement of thought, movement within stillness; the movement of nothing within the negative. To think the immediacy of this active movement or flow; to think in the very middle of what is unthought within thinking. An impossible or recursive landscape. The psychic architecture underlying cognition is not contingently but necessarily in blindness and without-vision; alien, obscure and encrypted. This labor, of thinking itself; the first work of thought which is necessarily in darkness but radically pluripotent expresses an encrypted germinal flux of perceptions, affects, intellections. Thought begins in decrypting the architecture of the image on behalf of a concept-to-come. What is unleashed in the confluence of simple, dark and contingent affects at the birth of thinking (feelings, notions, and ephemeral images) are forces, powers, lives, blisses — that after long gestation may give birth to new ways of thinking and feeling, new creative disciplines or discourses. These contingent noogenetic involutions precede all that has come to be known as thought.

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becoming, freedom, machine, metaphysics, noise, secret, variation


2012-09-21 20.06.43

A sky englobes and illuminates a terraqueous sphere in the same way a biosphere recollects the scattered spirit of an earth. The sky breathes, soul of the world. Exposing nature and history to free and limitless dynamism, to an open field of differences distributed in depth. The outer limit of vision or terrestrial abstraction. The sky opens onto a virtual whole, exposing a cosmic membrane to continuous creation. How to begin with aerial roots? What would be required to constitute a joyful science of radical permutation: an oneirogenetics, or a chronopolitics? What is the becoming-imageless of the model or the law or thinking? How is it possible to arrive without returning — as though finally — at the lightest: dreams, the future, atmosphere? How might one become otherwise, through this ellipsis, in the non-image of the outside? How might these depths, aglow with inexhaustible heat, be at long last enveloped?

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Laruelle, non-philosophy, translation

Non-Philosophy in Translation

I wanted to let everyone know that two of Laruelle’s books (Dictionary of Non-Philosophy) (Philosophy and Non-Philosophy) are now in print and available to order.  Univocal has done a great job in getting both of these books out in rapid succession, and the mirror fractal images of the covers just makes the pair the ultimate accessory :).

The Dictionary has been fully revised, and there’s a new introduction by the author included, along with his essay on the non-philosophical dictionary. All in all, it’s infinitely better than the PDF dictionary, which is outmoded and incomparably inferior.

I also wanted to link to a number of translations of F. Laruelle’s that I have posted in the past year or so, just to cross-wire the translation interests along with Fractal Ontology, my original conduit and channel for my translation-inspirations.

Intro to Textual Machines

The Transcendental Computer: A Non-philosophical Utopia

Badiou and Non-Philosophy: a Parallel

The Concept of an Ordinary Ethics or Ethics Founded in Man

The Concept of Generalized Analysis or of ‘Non-Analysis’

Who Are Minorities and How To Think Them?

[UPDATE] Toward an Active Linguistics

becoming, distance, language, machine, negation, territory


Zoya Gregory, “Endurance”

Hard right. Eternity and history do not enter into the pure multiple without an absolute translation or relative transfiguration, an intensive traversal of the code against the code. The decryption of time and an encryption of the future, or connective activation of infinite resonance. Remembering or becoming every property, trait, characteristic; everyone; everything. Traversal of the open virtual whole. Glare beyond which it is unendurable to go.

Binding. A crowd networks without distance or depth, in-divides a multiplicity. A crowd even perhaps opposes a multiplicity; faces the turbulence and variability of the meteorological or the demonological, yet just as much opposes the one, the infinity and in-differenciation of the bacteriological or cosmological. Between the one and the many, a calculated subtraction of the middle. –The multitude of the crowd? But a crowd is not a multiple for itself, does not participate in an infinite multiplicity in itself. A crowd is a restricted or relativized multiplicity; barred or fractional multiplication or differentiation-without-division. The obscure or unspecified etiology of the crowd, the pack, reflects that of the abstract band, pure zones of proximal potentialities. Crowding is after all perhaps the characteristic operation of the territory itself, the process of making a territory and binding it, opposed to poesis or peopling; negation though tracing and reproduction. –Yet a crowd is nevertheless a micro-poetry in its way: the crowd dramatizes itself without representation, enveloping and amplifying affective diagrams to infinite speeds of conjunction and disjunction, concentrating differences of intensity, distributing gradients, conditioning dynamisms. The secret future or encrypted essence of the crowd is generalized itinerancy, generating spaces, populations. The crowd manifests itself in disappearing; a battle or a disaster. The crowd enters into a becoming-imperceptible; the present is detached from within its own eventuality. A crowd, what but a vicious binding of alienation to xenophobia, of association to vengeance? A binding which unbinds in binding, even extrudes a hallucinatory ego from an intensive depth, an idiotic signal from an infinite blindness; binding the psyche to a god, consciousness, truth; the socius to capital, signification, schizophrenia. No, a crowd is not a multiplicity. It has not yet become space-creative; it has refused the boundaries binding it to the severing of bonds, it has avoided experimental mutation. It is the refuge of the arboreal in the mycelium.

Floating above. Everything about the minor artist turns towards or into the one, revolves around an absent center; every word is a politics, every act an ethics. The affective content of minor literature reflects this unity without identity of a minority; identified only via domination, immunological suppression, paralysis. A broken-down machine; and a breaking-down atmosphere. Everything minor is always-already in migratory or itinerant motion, or in wild flight… –Breaking-down as a side-effect of breaking-through.