Genesis

comments 12
capitalism / death / difference / disaster / expressivity / future / health / humanity / language / machine / metaphysics / modernity / nihilism / Politics

Genesis. Enormous psychosocial and political transformations were necessary in order to put into place the global transhistorical capitalist institutions we take for granted. Capitalism is different, genetically as it were, from all previous ways of organizing human society. It dissolves society in favor of the decoded flows of pre-individual traits and elements which will form abstract labor and commodities. This dissolution is what previous forms of society had attempted to prevent. They had precisely developed various auto-immunities against this total subversion of traditional sense and value engendered by the radical deterritorialization attending the development of capital.

Modernity is this insane and universal cosmopolitan social order which encircles everything within its technocratic grasp; degeneration, death, disaster and apocalypse are both its legacy and sense. What remains for subjectivity but the twin messiahs of nothingness — the state and the market? A timeless celestial burrowing-machine and a timely sociopolitical ungrounding-device — messenger and channel, rex and flamen.

"Cosmic Ovulation" by Claude McCoy

"Cosmic Ovulation", Claude McCoy

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Statement

comments 6
assemblage / becoming / code / differentiation / disorder / escape / grammar / heresy / language / Nietzsche / structure / virus

Hypermediation. What is a statement? But the problem is already determining the singular projection of the statement onto life: both to identify the variously formed matters contained within it, with each of their constituent speeds and trajectories; but also the strata which capture and isolate (or ramify and merge) these intensities through one another. A statement is attached to productive networks which run throughout society; it is an auto-projection of the truth of society onto itself, which is perhaps to say the power of the false characteristic of a time.

Power induces, but also overflows and overdetermines the statement. The formations of power are composed of segmented, modular processes resembling and indeed modeled on the ‘rational ordered liberty’ which statements engender. The  statement surveys power itself as the structuring concept for philosophy, science and politics. Yet the productive networks negotiate the statement via a complex assemblage of enunciations in an asignifying and seamless process to which no subject may be attributed. The revolutionary potential of a statement can never be said to have been completely annihilated. Furthermore, this constituent impossibility of attribution which characterizes the statement can also be seen in the way it forms a projection of the social landscape as if from any position whatsoever — or from no position at all.

New Translation of Laruelle’s ‘Biography of the Eye’

comments 7
night / other / speculation / vision-in-one / world

Biography of the Eye by François Laruelle

Originally published as “Biographie de l’oeil,” La Decision philosophique 9 (1989): 93-104.

for Adolfo Fernandez Zoila

“Man is this night, this empty nothingness that contains everything in its undivided simplicity…he is this night that one sees if one looks a man in the eyes.”

Hegel

Supplement to Hegel’s judgment concerning man

A philosopher has never looked a man directly in the eyes. The philosopher is the man who turns his eyes away to look man in the eyes: he is a man with a distorted gaze. The philosopher misrecognizes the immediate for he himself is not immediate.

To look in the eyes: a maxim of philosophical curiosity, of its oblique indiscretion.
The philosopher is the man with an oblique gaze who lacks the straightforwardness of man.

To look in the eyes: this multiple sounds like a singular, like the penetration into the unique depths of the soul, if it isn’t simply a possibility of untruthfulness or contradiction between the eyes, quickly effaced.

The philosopher looks at man from outside: in the eyes, and he can only see the void and the night, a haze that thickens into nothingness or dissipates in the light of day.

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Irreal

comments 5
noise / subjectivity / truth / violence

Irrealism. Modernity can be seen as a kind of victory for realism, but this victory was always already betrayed by capitalism, disseminated to death. Despite all appearances, the masks and pseudonymity of the postmodern era indicate not an abandonment of the war against cynicism and superstition, but rather a renewed undertaking of this same battle with a greater degree of caution, pragmatism and assiduity than the modern age could have imagined necessary.

Will to think. Philosophy at its very best is saddening, a cautious disenchantment: a deciphering of the hidden resentment with which we have crafted our values, the nihilism behind the idealities humanity has raised above itself. Yet how could philosophy ever have taken hold and prospered without a certain artistry in masking its true purpose from us; how could it not begin by seducing us to another reality — seducing us to reject this life and this reality? Consider that the will to think must partially close the “field” of thought, in this way allowing it to acquire definite shape and form: the force of thought severs thought from becoming, reducing the chaos of becoming into an organized noise. In this sense, the force of thought disjoins not only a given thought from what it can do but transforms the very categories of thought in order to render existence inert, harmless and ready for transmission. The innate becoming reactive of thinking is what philosophy opposes in all ages and throughout all its disguises.

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Event

comments 7
change / creation / rupture / turbulence

Events are decentered and non-relational, and always a kind of creation (the event is the very introduction of novelty into existence.) As the substance of history events amount to  chasms splitting the world in two, and sometimes sweeping it away, or even shattering it to pieces. The event insofar as it is always already the production of revolution, is the very becoming of becoming.

Now, an ontologist naturally grasps the event precisely through its diaphanous non-identity, in its differential externality, and especially as a kind of infinite multiplicity. The event is understood then as a kind of hyper-being, a without-being which enters into being through –what, precisely? The void — which is to say, it must create itself through a bizarre repetition, but whence? An infinite dissemination is demanded. And what of the turbulence of the Event, its volcanic or cyclonic roaring?

CMS_Higgs-event

Emancipation can be understood as the liberation of forces necessary to produce the will to resistance. This event is indeed “eternally recurring”: strained ears may catch the distant footfalls of daybreak, and the dangerous voice of a love without a history and without hierarchies — which is, after all, not a signifier to be interpreted, not a “meaning,” but an asignifying rupture, already an act of creation.

Quiet

comments 6
counter-linguistics / derrida / resistance / schizophrenia / silence

white-mountain-top-wallpapers_11371_1280x1024

Silence, that shadow of language in which everything is nevertheless said, is today almost always but a lapse, the momentary oversight of an animal which acts as though in speech it found its very reality, its absolute and primary function. The distinction between language and noise dwindles, and yet is taken all the more seriously. Too often our silence seems but a desire to escape noise; it is so rarely to evade our enslavement.

And so one but barely and insubstantially glimpses that Silence which is both resistance and elevation, even a kind of victory against a terrible foe, which is not without its spoils. To discover language is in fact to be without a language, a radical immediacy which at once shatters every moral or political claim, and every shred of symbolism; and at this point many things are possible, indeed, too many things: a violent regression to the prelinguistic, a wispy and premature transcendence to the postlinguistic, or finally the immanent resistance and spontaneity of the counterlinguistic.

The necessity of silence in the transformation of the soul cannot be overstated. That indeterminate silence in which sublime meditation, the uncanny intermediation of thinking, takes place — is a warlike silence. For language as such does not think but merely tyrannizes, blindly suturing truth to meaning, a neuroticized “schizophrenia” whose experiments lead inevitably into a cavernous abyss.

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Soul

comments 5
aesthetics / beauty / escape / God / kant / psychoanalysis
World War I, Wasily Kandinsky

World War I, Wasily Kandinsky

A man like Kant can explain the beautiful in terms of a pure disinterested pleasure — such a knotted definition is not in itself surprising, nor is the kind of cynicism about the potential and limitations of life which is quite effectively communicated thereby. What is curious is that he in fact means to enhance the importance of artistic creation by converting the unsettling power of the artist into a kind of channel to a familiar universality. Is the beautiful not, then, grasped – but grasped in precisely at its most narrow and isolated state, through a transcendental enframing, even as an annihilation of life itself: as a kind of dazzling infinition which nonetheless does not interact with our conscious interest but with our immaterial, intangible “soul”?

There is even almost a kind of foundational axiom of psychoanalysis embedded in Kant’s definition (of course a paradox): there is no pleasure except in losing the possibility for pleasure — the glare of infinite Being when one has finally completely lost one’s identity, and dissolved oneself into the universal (father-mother)… The deep pessimism expressed in this kind of escape, this resentment of life which is by no means peculiar to Kant, is nevertheless quite clearly the pulsing thread underlying his patchwork labor in his “critiques” of the mournful becoming of things. We find in psychoanalysis as well such a stoic willingness to defend the infinite ‘metaphysical’ essence which refuses to escapes its container: and always he leaves open the possibility that human beings are indeed the receptacles of divine messages, channels of pure truth. Frames…

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Return

comments 2
becoming / difference / flow / recurence / structure / transversality / truth

Rene Magritte, "The Lovers" (1928)

Will. The question of the will is not whether to emphasize cycles or fluxes (identities or events, structures or processes, concepts and percepts or acts and effects); still less how to conduct a grand unifying synthesis of the two — events and processes as differing stages or aspects of what is ultimately some overly ideal dialectical Unity; the question is rather, first and foremost, to determine how we can possibly proceed (vis a vis the unconscious) given the radical discontinuity between the two accounts of thought and existence. A theory of the will (a diagnostics of the sick will and a genealogy of the healthy, that is to say the real analysis of the unconscious) must affirm the divergence of a purely ‘immanent’ theory of flows and a purely ‘ideal’ theory of machines. Yet the very difficulty in convincingly theorizing the will is precisely the fact that these two modes of interpretation beg one another and are ultimately cut from the same cloth; a successful account of the will cannot disguise the deadlocks which have hitherto almost completely blocked the progress of understanding the unconscious. (It was owing to the sterile dogmatism wherein both accounts decayed for centuries, each thinking itself “complete,” that their kinship and even mutual implication had been able to go so long unnoticed.)

Resemblances. The event has an excess over existence, as a surplus; must this intimate some radical intervention of Truth or more simply, an intangible and virtual dimension of immanence — that the event happens to return, perhaps without limit, breaking with the continuity of resemblances, linking up with a pre-individual and differential flux?

Ground. Becoming can also be understood as a terrible guest: a noisy, ill-mannered, and parasitic inhabitant of beings. Both noise and parasites (and bad manners for that matter) indicate pathways to grasping becoming — these transversal or transevental vectors each affirm a dangerous divergence from the smooth severity of the host or background. Becoming fractures (a) being into a prism: it is precisely the assemblages of parasitic flows of matter and of life which collectively constitute “becoming,” the eruption and eviction of Being; and yet, in another sense, the singular, material and sufficient cause of existence.

Degeneration. Growth (whether cosmic or vital) is never simply a question of similarity, it is not a matter of the general but rather precisely of the repeated: not of convergent series but “degenerate” planes and lines which expand only through a rigorous fragmentation, a limitless mechanism of tortuous recurrence. What is ontologically primary are these infested and “aware” surfaces, the resurgence of certain parasitic elements within the event, the systematic degeneration on the part of the surface of being, the positive knowledge of our incapability to maintain the stability of the surface against the rising ground.

Differently

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certainty / disorder / history / intensity / number / rigor / rupture / system / value

fractal_t_web03

This creature Life, beyond all evaluations, remains an uninterpretable difference — a kind of difference which is primary with respect to a differential identity, a difference which directly induces individuation, and thereby also seduces us to imitation, to the law of identity, and the shackles of representation. Difference for itself becomes the enemy and not a single word is possible on the value of life; how can we interpret this chaosmogenetic reality, arrive at by subtraction this very truth which endlessly ruptures with the signifying systems we use to interpret the world to another? It seems to verge on a kind of heresy, a prediction of apocalypse with respect to philosophy as such: can a mathematization, an axiomatization of the real take place?

The enormous suffering which has gone into everything beautiful is a misery which not only fails to become sensible in the light of Being, but which forcibly undermines the notion that all descends from pure forms (existence from Idea; God as pure and liberating Force of truth) rather than through the violent admixture and interpenetration of wildly heterogeneous forces and bodies (existence from cruelty; God as the tortuously circular Process of differentiation.) A metaphysics from the absolute will to tragedy is an anti-moral, materialist, atheist metaphysic: the singular vision of the real in which our decisions could be dangerous (need I mention also the only one in which knowledge necessarily involves suffering and self-deception?)

Thinking is precisely this adventure which connects its desires not to an identical reality or a primary nullity, but precisely to the an-identical, the differentiality of existence. Not a kind of compromise between two poles of the idea but a war with the arbitrary division of the idea into isolated components, the body of Life into organs without bodies. “We have to learn to think differently — in order at last, perhaps very late on, to attain even more: to feel differently.” Nietzsche (Daybreak, II.103)

Firestorm

comments 16
automation / capitalism / control / desire / exchange / immanence
Bomberg, The Mud Bath

Bomberg, The Mud Bath

Twins. Capitalism is nihilism, an endless betrayal of production in favor of an infinite — imaginary — debt or Void, which implies the transcendental equivalence of all processes, their essential or characteristic meaninglessness. Indeed the hostility towards life evinced in the machinations of capitalism are strictly correlate to the heterogeneous means by which nihilism achieves its destructive victory: through a generalized deterritorialization which can barely halt before its radically external, schizophrenic limit.

Firestorm. Heidegger reminds us that despite our apparent control over the machines we create, that in fact we do not even control the desire within us which causes us to create, to use them, or to extend our control over the world through the conception and production of new machines. To this problem, indeed, there is no solution, and very likely there will never be any solutions. The mystery, the secret truth of desire, lies within the machine.

Woman

comments 4
Eternal Return / Nietzsche / women

Valentin Bazarov, Flowers

I mean to say that the world is full of beautiful things but nevertheless poor, very poor when it comes to beautiful moments and unveilings of these things. But perhaps this is the powerful magic of life: it is covered by a veil interwoven with gold, a veil of beautiful possibilities, sparkling with promise, resistance, bashfulness, mockery, pity, and seduction. Yes, life is a woman.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Pathways

comments 2
desire / existence / history / idealism / micro-politics / morality / reality / truth
Joel Isaacson, James Joyce (1998)
Joel Isaacson, James Joyce (1998)

War on Information. Idealism begins with the proposition that life is futurity, yet attempts to halt before the inevitable futility this produces, the cancerous desires which follow, not from “particular” notions, but precisely from the incorporation of Truth into life, that is, the incorporation of a point of ideality into the social diagrammatics of thought. A bad conscience, alienation, a nullity or ‘nihilism,’ is the necessary counterpart to this process of internalization of the infinite (or at least a “point at infinity”) into the collective machines through which the world is enunciated. Existence as the stability of identity is the absolutely firm foundation upon which all idealism has hitherto constructed its watchtowers and fortresses.

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Ipseity and Illeity, or Thinking Ethics without the Other of the Other

comments 4
ethics / learning / levinas / other

Faceless Care

In conversation three of Ethics and Infinity, Levinas recounts the philosophical and existential implications of the il y a, the ‘there is’ or what he calls the “phenomenon of impersonal being” (48). The “there is” is many things at the same time: it is a belief, a feeling, an experience and even an affect (the source of the Judaic affect proper to one of philosophy’s “turns” in the 20th century) on one side and an ontological claim, an objective state of affairs, and even the (proto-)origin of Being and Nothingness on the other.

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Break

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machine / Nietzsche / ontology / philosophy / truth

Nietzsche. That joy and vision should be brought to bear even in the darkest corner of the human soul — and especially upon that within it which surges upwards and beyond the human species entirely; above the world, and so finally able to see, from a vision born of flight. –To “survey” reality as though from an impossible distance, an incommensurate height.

291702

Joyful wisdom. Science is such that it can only truly be said to exist once many powerful and warring social and psychic desires have been tamed, coerced into accord, allowed to achieve their fragile pact. (A difficult enough thing; and, indeed, the conditions for a joyful science are still far from ripe!) The result being that a scientist, insofar as he or she is a scientist, is precisely the one who is unconcerned about whether another agrees to the “truth” of this or that proposition; in every instance it is rather the force or real function which counts, which is to say: the manner in which a given idea alters, amplifies, and re-assembles already existing systems of ideas. The production of a new semiotic system is always coupled to a wide variety of psychic and social machines, together forming a new regime of ideas along with an appropriate “pragmatics” of desire. This “image of thought,” for our purposes here, can be considered simply as a series of collective practices interwoven with a multiplicity of signifying systems, the coupling of productive processes with anti-productive processes, a conjoining of systems of pure affects with order-words. A pragmatic then is precisely a ‘process’ which can be said to function ‘structurally’ only in a heuristic and reductive sense. Indeed, the reality of thought is not a stasis or immanent emptiness but rather (or more fundamentally) a transfinite process of conception, first and fundamentally a flight into new pragmatic regimes. This a conceiving of new practices  may be realized or constituted in any particular case, but only insofar as it tends to produce novel and singular functions. It is not true that the repetition of a similar effect is the origin of thinking; rather it is precisely a difference, in the last instance a shift in perspective, sometimes infinitesimal, which is required.

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Novelty

comments 2
alterity / eventfulness / incommensurable / language / philosophy / polyvocity

Permutation. An idea, an axiom, and especially a supposedly universal system, cannot help but attach to what is readily available. A finite stock; an endless and chaotic assemblage of variations, as Levi-Strauss’ famous bricoleurs: scientists, artists, philosophers, revolutionaries — what but psychosocial handy-men, making use of what is both close by and useful, what is already and what can be quickly assembled? How could we create new machines, except by utilizing the stock which remains from previous constructions (and deconstructions)?

Michale Brun, A Moment of Silence (1/3)

Michale Brun, A Moment of Silence (1/3)

Novel. The event is rare — is this not an inherently tragic proposition? Would not the souls to witness it  discover the event branded upon them indelibly, or else lost forever? For the new can indeed induce joy; yet under different conditions it is capable of producing a strain under which a break is nearly unavoidable. –Is there breakthrough, novelty, only in extraordinary cases? Deleuze reminds us that Spinoza kept for years the coat he wore the day a young man attempted to take his life, in order to remind himself that human beings do not always love thought. That the event is rare seems a platitude; yet it can be an opening for gloomy passions, for a creeping cynicism and an uncanny piety: in short the belief that there are few beings in the world capable of the creation of new capacities — new concepts, new passions, new perceptions… But we do not know the thresholds, we are groping in the dark: the event is an event, they come in bursts, and their frequency depends on the associated rates of flow. An event is indeed infinite, but to seek a living, transcendent meaning in the pure rate of innovation is to fall prey to one of the most dangerous lures for thought today. –An infinite number of effects is not a cause; nonetheless we believe in extracting the cause from ‘within’ the effect, thinking we are ‘objective’ by thus subtracting the true cause from the field of the question, all the while we are actually subtracting the thought itself from the consciousness of thought.

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New Post on Gabriel Catren’s Critique of Meillassoux via Speculative Physics

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Uncategorized

Over at Stellar Cartographies there is a new post (called: Speculative realism, stamp collecting, and the question of Science) that goes into great detail about Gabriel Catren’s critique of Meillassoux on the basis of theoretical physics and quantum mechanics (lovingly dubbed by the former as “speculative physics”). The majority of the post (in reality almost already essay-length) focuses on Catren’s extensive essay that appeared in Collapse vol. 5 just recently. There are also at least 5 or 6 essays by Catren that can be found online, some more mathematical than others, but all on theoretical physics and the question of objectivity. I even have the chance and honor to translate one of Gabriel Catren’s essays for the upcoming anthology The Speculative Turn, which will feature many of the big names in the “field” of speculative realism (or transcendental realism, as Laruelle has dubbed his approach, thus reviving an older nomination that could, for example, at one time have labeled Spinoza’s approach…although he was usually considered just a dogmatist by Fichte et al.). Definitely go check this out if you have an interest in the current debates about speculative realism.

For catren’s online essays, check out “On Classical and Quantum Objectivity” and “Can Classical Descriptions of Reality Be Considered Complete?” and “Geometric Foundations of Classical Yangs-Mill Theory” and “Notes on Dilaton Quantum Cosmology” with Claudio Simeone, and “Time asymmetries in quantum cosmology and the searching for boundary conditions to the Wheeler-DeWitt equation” with Mario Castagnino and Rafael Ferraro, and finally “Quantization of the Taub cosmological model with extrinsic time” with Rafael Ferraro.

Full Translation of the Dictionary of Non-Philosophy

comments 10
Laruelle / non-philosophy

I have recently finished translating Francois Laruelle’s (with his collectif) Dictionary of Non-Philosophy. Kime: Paris (1998). Please feel free to spread the knowledge far and wide, because I intend this to help encourage people to start engaging with non-philosophical concepts and their inevitable entry into all facets of thinking, including the philosophical.

I also want to thank Sid Littlefield and Anthony Paul Smith for their work on some of the definitions. It makes it all the more fitting that the translation would also be a collaborative effort. In that sense, I also want to thank Joe Weissman and Chris Eby for their intellectual support, as well as Ben Woodward and Nick Srnicek for their efforts in editing the work. Lastly, I want to thank Sid again for his constant efforts towards enriching my own intellectual development and those of many others who have the veritable luck to learn from him.

Also, last but first and foremost, let me extend my thanks to Laruelle and his collaborators (A.-F. Schmid, S. Valdinoci, T. Brachet, G. Kieffer, L. Leroy, and D. Nicolet) for their endeavors to make an economy of philosophical vocabularies, i.e. a non-philosophical dictionary, possible.

Here’s a link to the pdf. Enjoy!

Noises

comments 9
capitalism / concept / desire / difference / event / language / parasite / problem

 

Mark Rothko

 

Non-expression. Speaking is a donation of words; but in this donation is dramatized an idea of alterity, an uncanny and infinite Power mysteriously unleashed, and this by a seemingly peaceful sharing of signs. 

Is it possible? Ten thousand years of speaking, and still we are waiting for a sign.

Problems. We owe to Deleuze the discovery that the difficulty of a problem is not simply the number of differential elements it assembles within a single ideal situation, but rather the process of problematization of an element or elements which somehow causes the contents of the problem to problematize the very situation itself. This marks  a radical becoming-social of problematics — or if you like, the becoming-event of the concept (becoming-problem.) Yet does it not seem as though this method is still profoundly Lacanian somehow, as though the real is being implicitly understood as a strange hyper-real gap between Difference and itself — mysteriously and paradoxically allowing a differentiation to differenciate itself infinitely, suspending both the emotional-organic ontology of desiring-repression as well as the mechanical logic that underlies materialism, allowing thought to move at infinite speed on a hyperplane of immanence — ripping a hole through the symbolic networks, allowing the transpiercing and reprogramming of the assemblage by the outside? The difficulty remains even if we understand the practice of militant problematization or counter-actualization to be a process of differentiating problematic or ‘insurgent’ elements of the situational social assemblage with respect to their capacity for transformation.

A certain noise is all it takes. Parasites can indeed be shaken off and immediately so; but they are chased out only by a greater noise, by the willing invitation of still more powerful parasites. –So at least there are specific cries which are anathema to a given variety of parasite: the roaring of their host-cum-predators. Of collective liberation.

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Supplements

comments 2
decision / Deleuze / mathematics / Nietzsche / nihilism / non-philosophy

 

Philosopher (Dali)

 

Is mathematics discovered or invented? But what if we have misplaced the scent from the start; in other words what if this clear distinction elides the process itself, if the particular and immanent relation between invention and discovery forms the basis of the ‘singularizing’ expression involved in a new mathematical proof? But a rigorous diagram of novelty itself, of the Event, seems to escape the boundaries of mathematical thought. Ontology is not the royal road to reality, any more than dreams are a singular road the unconscious. In a way, it does not even seem to get us very far at all; at least in terms of understanding “truth,” that exceptional ontogenesis of knowledge and/or being, which after all constitutes what philosophers have so far approached as the ideal “problem” according to which all others are to be modeled, and to which the creation of any new concepts must invariably be induced to correspond.

Risk. The utter annihilation of the soul is an unavoidable stage of becoming human. The human soul is restless, without certainties — at least until it has finally inoculated itself to the world, jamming any channels still open to the outside.

Nihil. Philosophy is a whirlwind from which very little can escape; the breaks are not always where they appear to be! A pure negation of philosophy remains pure philosophy; it is coded in the same semiotic, an inverse. Even suspending this decision (to separate essence from appearance) is still a philosophical position. Finally, even if we manage to truly escape philosophy and found a new science which could in turn truly take the “human” science of philosophy and grasp it as raw experimental material, the risks of a new asceticism corresponding to this “higher” rigor are nearly unavoidable. All these risks are not unlike those Nietzsche or Deleuze are continually warning us about. The worst consequence of nihilism is not necessarily that of forgetting our philosophy in our despair; rather there is a stranger, more uncanny possibility — that the pious suspension of philosophy would be capable of sweeping reality away along with it, abandoning us in some non-human plane of transcendent nullity, enslaved to transparent emptiness and arcane jargon. Nonetheless, a positive “nihilism” undoubtedly constitutes an ideal space for the creation of a new kind of science capable of grasping in turn any human science, and even philosophy itself.

 

Supplements. What is true cannot change; what changes cannot be truth — is this not the miserable dream in which too many have diffused their cleverness?

Dream

comments 14
coding / Deleuze and Guattari / dream / freud / joyce / production / psychoanalysis / unconscious / writing

 

appiadominique-legniedelalibert-coc

 

“When I’m dreaming back like that I begins to see we’re only all telescopes.”

Joyce, Finnegans Wake

 

 

Dream-analysis does not necessitate an affirmation of the existence of universal structures of expression; it need not amount to the tiresome interpretation of the same hidden message over and over again, wherein the forms of thinking and speaking and finally reality itself are rendered identical, cruelly reduced to a single and all-encompassing formula. It suffices to mention that the good doctor Freud would have us believe the dream-work is essentially uncreative, that it amounts in the end to an organic process of coding, one of unsteady translation between the sleeping consciousness and the passive unconscious, producing a kind of dense hieroglyphic writing which must then be interpreted through an analytic exchange. 

The dream understood as writing (even schizowriting) becomes poisoned; the dream taken as representation leaves us only with a kind of mindless condensation and confusion of many distinct memories. Even so, the messages are too free; Freud always seems to lose sight here, missing the material process of decoding unfolding before his eyes. We miss the dream-work entirely, we find only translation instead of production. Freud is neither the last nor first scientist to seek relentlessly to crush singularity in favor the universal — a strange moment where it seems reason itself has gone mad, engaging itself in an infinite and searching analysis “beneath” for some powerful and profoundly-hidden writing. It is this desire for some universal “meaning” disseminating itself through the dream in a distorted form which necessitates the uncreativity, the non-productive character Freud ascribes of the dreamwork. And thus the dream has already frozen, and becomes a little analysis in itself.

The interminability of the analysis corresponds precisely with this frozen process, this hideous arresting of the infinite circulation of the dream. It is only possible to open psychoanalysis to the outside by arresting its own process of continuous interpretation: “No longer are there acts to explain, dreams or phantasies to interpret, childhood memories to recall, words to make signify; there are colors and sounds, becomings and intensities… There is no longer a Self that feels, acts and recalls; there is a ‘glowing fog, a dark yellow mist’ that has affects and experiences movements, speeds.” (ATP 180) It is clear enough a non-productive unconscious could not produce a cure; such an unconscious could only accept one imposed from without, a cure intended to code and crush desire — to normalize our unconscious, not to assist its process of production. 

Words

comment 1
channel / Deleuze / desire / difference / habit / language / machine / memory / ontology

 

 

Jargon. A word decodes by assembling: a mobile army, a mob or mass of “blocks,” segments extruded from heterogeneous flows: flows with and without codes, flows of energy and of waste, flows of debt and of money, flows of food and of goods, flows of women and children, flows of pulsing affects and flows of intricate concepts. Speaking assembles together, connects and conjoins or pervades and envelops as many radically divergent elements as possible. Language is at once unifying and fluid, both normalizing and improvised, both static and evolutionary — a system of rules neither abstract nor essentially syntactical but rather constituting a radically material and pragmatic collective assemblage.

Deleuze and Guattari argue as much in A Thousand Plateaus, suggesting the reason for the coextensivity of collective assemblages with language systems, and even with “language as a whole,” is this very fact that these assemblages express a complex pragmatic — a group of transformations which produce the very condition of possibility of language:

“… if the collective assemblage is in each instance coexistensive with the linguistic system considered, and to language as a whole, it is because it expresses the set of incorporeal transformations that effectuate the condition of possibility of language and utilize the elements of the linguistic system…The language-function thus defined is neither information nor communicational; it has to do neither with signifying information nor with intersubjective communication. And it is useless to abstract a significance outside information, or a subjectivity outside communication. For the subjectification proceedings and movement of significance relate to regimes of signs, or collective assemblages. The language-function is the transmission of order-words, and order-words relate to assemblages, just as assemblages relate to the incorporeal transformations constituting the variables of the function. Linguistics is nothing without a pragmatics (semiotic or political) to define the effectuation of the condition of possibility of language and the usage of linguistic elements.”  (Deleuze and Guattari)

 Not language’s “essence” but language’s praxis involves the complex syntactical disjunction of these wildly-varying elements; speaking is not (effectively) tracing-enunciating an ideal form by rote or metempsychotic memory. Pascal notes in Pensées 556: “Languages are ciphers in which letters are not changed into letters, but words into words, so that an unknown language may be deciphered.” It is true that speaking not only defers to but deciphers an ancient and mysterious writing. 

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Guattari

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desire / flux / globalism / guattari / machine / materialism / Politics

 

guattari1981_3

 

On Guattari. The first ecosopher has arisen — but how to read his writings? There is not a single answer, everyone disagrees. To read Guattari without Deleuze seems like violence to the polyphonous fury of their mutually-authored works; yet to read Deleuze and Guattari seems like according primacy to the philosopher, to the authority of philosophy over psychoanalysis — asserting the traditional prerogative of philosophy over science, with the usual absent-minded condescension, a perverse kind of triumphant naivete. Our new ecosopher shrinks into the background of the literary uproar he is unleashing.

 

The strange power of Guattari’s writings is such that his works are less collections than whirlwinds, less toolboxes than roaring vortexes one is apt to be drawn violently towards: to study Guattari is neither a coincidence nor an accident (for an English academic) but rather a symptom, even a political symptom. Perhaps simply an indication of the self-destructive desire inherent to global capitalism in which the dissemination  of essentially “anti-capitalist” literature is not simply allowed but in fact widely promoted — the faint glimmer of global Renaissance. But I think Guattari might remind us of something else.

 

Political struggle is more than a linguistic struggle, a struggle with texts and pure concepts. It is of course involved with these things, but even more than these signifying systems, political resistance connects with the a-signifying as well, an order of reality more primordial than human meaning, where the distinctions imposed upon reality by our signifying regimes are rendered irrelevant and secondary. Where the cosmos as a process of production becomes perceptible, where the inhuman asignifying order of reality emerges, we may perhaps catch a glimpse of the future dreamed by our first ecosopher.

 

To have to emphasize that the asignifying isn’t the insignificant, but the non-signifying, we realize that already, we have hit the white wall. Misunderstanding is a symptom both of the origin and the impossibility of meaning. The gap between us here is not simply an aspect of the mobile wall of obstacles Guattari has prepared for his students, but already of the even more intransigent obstacles of history, society, economy — in short, the entire political “problem” of desire. A history of desire is difficult yet not impossible, but it does not begin by asking what desire is, pretending some kind of perfect and external objective viewpoint.

 

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Cyclone

comments 8
abyss / birth / cycle / disorder / erasure / learning / multiplicity / parasite / trace / transcendence / universal / zero

vortex-street-1

 

A properly ontological investigation is a ceaseless circulation around the notions of emptiness and presence, a rigorous attempt to discern the peculiar concepts of existence and nothingness, always and once again a faithful commitment to seeking out ones and zeroes. Patching up holes; but precisely in such a way that the reality grasped by ontology (like theology) is always-already as a shadow of reality, like the phantasm of another life. Cantor thought transfinite series a pure and untouchable trace of Difference. A proof of transcendence, disguised as a proof of immanence. But how else could a universal theory of events be constructed?

The critique of ontology encounters yet another surprise when it allows its gaze to move beyond the event itself. The patient observer discovers within the folds of interleaving processes an uncanny kind of hidden writing, whose nature is exceptionally difficult to grasp, for the nature of this half-erased or subtle writing ceaselessly shifts its ground as quickly as the question is posed, and can just as easily turn out to have been nothing at all. –A coincidence, upon which ontology has always made a strange decision: that being and nothing are One, existence is non-existence. God may or may not exist, but this subtle writing can be exhumed from the essences of things. It has affirmed this strange paradox precisely in order to allow a meta-philosophical plane of thought to be constructed. 

Being is the first focus of the elliptical orbit traced by ontological thinking. The basic ontological statement is made by Lucretius: all things have within them the seeds of their becoming. Even the void, absolute nothingness, can be seen as a positive emptiness capable of infinite becomings. Being can thus be seen as a kind of positive nothingness, the radically empty pure essence of reality. Hence to be is to become everything — to communicate with infinite becomings, with forces radically exceeding our “individual” structural limitations: the earth, the cosmos; animals, plants, molecules, stars, etc. Thus nothingness is the second focus of the elliptical orbit traced out by ontology, for the reason that to become capable of becoming is the event itself — the paradox which ontology affirms as its rigorous essence: to diagram being. 

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Infrastructure

comments 11
channel / communication / flux / idea / knowledge / machine / network / system

ocean-storm-clouds

 

 

The essence of a channel is to transmit, to disseminate, to yield a flux. The problem of knowledge is correlative to constructing an adequate channel for the reception of an idea, the “proper medium” for a thoughts’ proliferation. Expressed in this way the “idea” is only an ideal problem, which in reality takes on an unsettling and radical complexity. The pure and implacable universality of the idea gives way to the realization of the innumerable fissures and leaks comprising the real — and quite organic — larval origin of thought. 

A kind of thought which, to be sure, still does not issue from myself, and which is neither memory nor imagination, but is rather a thought which breaks through, which traverses me. Hence the universal is always shot through with contingency, a pure implacability which rests precisely upon history, upon the conquering, the decimation of nomad flows indecently refusing to conform. The drive to systematically master desire, for a generalized and radical constructivism, the subtle and uncanny “inner” dynamism of our age, is bent upon a wholesale transformation of the fundamental essence of humanity. 

The breakdown of this machine, this doom upon the universal, is perhaps capable of reproducing itself virally — even as a snapshot of an image of thought in the very process of decomposing (and in relation to which all philosophical gestures seem but supplications, and — so much more rarely — vindications.)

A new medium always is, it must be, painstaking crafted: for once forged, a channel exists only the precondition of a flow, and even upon the continuity of the flux. 

I want to think the concrete peculiarity, the absolute singularity of any channel as such. The continuous flow of water through the machinery of a dam, of a pipe; the unending drift of signals across our always-on global information networks. 

The channel faces every military risk imaginable: takeover, subversion, blockade. But it also faces every theoretical risk imaginable: hyper-specialization, perversion, madness.

Yet the truth is that a channel is only and always a meta-channel, an assemblage, a channeling machine blending very different channels together, and which itself forms a channel in relation to even greater such channels. Whether of water, cement, metal pipe, twisted cable or realized in the very trembling of air molecules, the channel compels us to turn towards what remains, what is not swept away by the flows. 

Machinic Unconscious Complete

comments 16
Uncategorized

I just wanted to throw out there that I have finished the bulk of translating Guattari’s The Machinic Unconscious: Essays in Schizoanalysis. Now begins the revision stage of my project, and a few interpolations of quotes from Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (I’m using the new Penguin editions, which are fabulous translations btw).

I hope this excites some people (I know Joe has been impatient for this…). I, too, am pretty thrilled about this work appearing in English. It has been a difficult work for me to translate, let alone read, but I feel that it is infinitely more valuable to me for all the efforts I have put into it. This book wasn’t necessarily received well in France (one of his interviewers mentions the obscurity and difficulty of this work specifically), perhaps because it is so closely tied to A Thousand Plateaus in scope and timeframe (it was published about 6 months before the latter, being a sort of work book for A Thousand Plateaus, as Gary Genosko puts it). But I hope that this is different for the English, especially with all the work that has gone into translating much of Guattari’s work already, and the Deleuze phenomenon, etc.

Let me just note in passing that this work has helped me overcome one of my own crises. As an English graduate student-dropout, I sort of rebelled against literary criticism, rebaptizing my field of research as philosophy. I gave up on its uses to evoke radical political change, and I felt like it played with the binary oppositions of established culture, not to truly dismantle the phenomena, but to reify them and sediment them more thoroughly.

I can only note with great fervor that the second part of the Machinic Unconscious, which is dedicated to a reading of Proust’s novel, is really something extraordinary, because it takes the obscure theoretical conceptualizations of the first half and propels them into concrete situations, deducing the abstract relations from this reading. But it goes further because it is not just an intellectual exercise: Guattari’s thought, if anything, is so radically enrooted in the outside that every phrase has a rhetorical-micropolitical bent to it.  He proves the validity of literary criticism to really illuminate the inner machinisms of reality, bearing out its political potential in a systematic and pragmatic way.

This book has changed my life. I hope you get a chance to read it.

Transparency

comments 2
activity / alterity / birth / break / darkness / event / evolution / individuation / matter / network / neurosis / sexuality / speech / transformation / world

mandel_zoom_14_satellite_julia_island

 

 

 

The world is hollow. In-itself anything is precisely nothing. 

A thing exists positively only in the precise sense that it exhibits certain forces, that it forms connections or disjunctions with other things, or assemblages of things, in such and such a way. 

Moreover, is it not necessary that at some point in the process of any machine, there is something that may and must become reduced to a generic and redundant unit? 

It may indeed be said that the machine presents us with the most spectacular and dangerous breakthrough in all of history, a breakthrough written into our desires themselves.

Love is not a question of signals, but of production. Not words but noise. The word is hollow: in itself everything means precisely nothing. Yet no thought is ever without its heretical dimension, its strange and apocalyptic promise — the dangerous promise of possible knowledge. 

Not only does nothing “exist,” but it is the essence of existence itself, and so all knowledge is a kind of nothingness: a rigorous silence, a selective and critical passivity, a dangerous and misunderstood weakness. 

Truth is a parasite, we are infected: knowledge is never without this vertigo dimension of being self-imposed, like a sickness which you acquire simply by imagining it. 

I emphasize this point precisely because it is all too clearly understood by the creature within. and is it not so that when its roaring becomes imperceptible, we encounter an ancient silence, without limits? 

Yet everything begins in noise.

Trajectory

comments 7
consciousness / disaster / event / fantasy / intensity / power / recognition / wager

800px-vincent_van_gogh_1853-1890_-_wheat_field_with_crows_1890

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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Other

comments 6
badiou / becoming / difference / force / function / metaphysics / ontology / virus

immortal-technique

A science of being is not enough. This subtraction which purifies, this selection and division which makes holy, which ‘invents’ and ‘discovers’ truth — how could ontology do anything but give us theories of the One, of the Law, of the Real, of the existing-as-such? How could it do anything but carefully induce multiplicity to subtract itself into unified theory, divide itself into functions and axioms; endlessly seduce differences into homogeneity, and minorities into conformity; plumb the depths only in order to reproduce an absolute height for an absolute voice?

Ontology is always the political ontology of Power, taken to the absolute point of dispersion where nothing remains, everything is subtracted, except for forces and matter — only functions, pure functions, and even concepts are now only seen in terms of effects, the site they create, “their” ontology. Ontology as both lens and situation, a regime where truths are always the same, is insufficient as long as it remains without a phenomenology of becoming, the concept as event, coming from outside of being which throws existence into doubt.

Multiplicity is first apprehended as risk, as danger; this much seems to be always already understood. The ontological question is how much can we take, what can be subtracted — from the situation, in short from life. Life as subtraction and transubstantiation. The holiness of being should not be misunderstood, for we encounter the most peculiar bifurcation precisely here, the curvature of space itself, the uncanny pull of the invisible — the Other, a zone which implies another reality — where being merges with non-being. The fold between us.

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Involve

comments 4
becoming / language / metaphysics / ontology

 

fractal43-karaka

 

Transiency hurls itself everywhere into a deep state of being. And therefore all forms of this our world are not only to be used in a time-specific sense, but should be included into those phenomena of superior significance in which we partake, and of which we are a part.

 

Rilke

 

 

Ideas arrest and extrude contents from a flux and thus illuminate forms from chaos. An inversion or involution, not the simple highlighting of a pattern or introducing a context — but rather through a constant, asymmetrical, positive communication with the flux, and so in a sense a commingling with the essence of form itself. Yet a bifurcation defers any discernment of the origin of ideas, they are not a memory

 

They do not come from you. (A code has an inventor, to be sure; but like a strand of DNA, these codes are always secondary, indirect, relative — a map with moving parts, not the tracing of a blueprint.) Codes ensure the maintenance of a form only to an approximate degree; in this sense they mimic the behavior of soap bubbles which appear spherical — the question is whether an ideal form exists, or whether we are interpreting patterns from the turbulent interaction of forces. 

 

Does matter dramatize ideas into reality, or do ideas awaken things into being? A code documents a becoming, hence it is not a relationship as such, though it may be connected or disjoined from other codes. What is coded does not necessarily resemble the code which is applied: in fact these cases constitute rather singular exceptions, which have formed the morphological substructure of the concept itself. 

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On the Misery of the Unbeliever

comments 8
Uncategorized


The Bhagavad Gita, like any text or doctrine rigorously indebted to the religious genre of literature, presents the (post)modern or skeptical reader with all the things that Krishna attributes to “cynical people:” perhaps nothing but misery or frustration (83.3). In the same sense, it is an awesome text due to its absoluteness. The word “metaphysics” in philosophy has recently come to designate a form of thought which perpetuates the belief in the necessary or absolute existence of any entity. Like every promotion of faith, the Bhagavad Gita formulates a clear-cut metaphysics that attempts to evaluate existence, nature, the universe, human life, etc. and asserts a pre-established sense to reality. The most obvious way to begin to ground a pre-given sense of reality is to assert an other-world concealed behind our everyday world. To respect its complexity, let’s assemble some of the axioms to Krishna’s metaphysical claims:

  1. The Atma (True Self), Brahman (God or Godhead) and Purusha (life force) necessarily exist (43.12).
  2. All beings are contingent upon God, who is absolute, and so if a being exists, it exists necessarily through God (53.18-19).
  3. Similarly, God splits into nature and spirit (Divinity), one being non-real, the other real, and God is not dependent upon nature (the non-real), but nature is dependent on God (70.12).
  4. Although God looks over nature, the latter operates by itself and is contingent upon karma (action), whereas God is divorced from all worldly action or karma itself.
  5. Therefore, God, Atma, and the Life Force are not natural, they are divine, or we could say that nature is God’s lower (non-real) nature, and divinity is its higher nature (16.26-27).
  6. All desire is worldly and linked to pleasure and pain. Therefore, the world does not guarantee any pleasure that is not overwhelmed by pain, or since the world does not offer a permanent feeling of pleasure (i.e. bliss) because of the prospect of death, then the belief in a realm beyond death and life becomes the most important goal (73.29). Read More

Pre-eminence and the Status of Politics

comment 1
Uncategorized

“…all superior men who were irresistibly drawn to throw off the yoke of any kind of morality and to frame new laws had, if they were not actually mad, no alternative but to make themselves or pretend to be mad—and this indeed applies to innovators in every domain and not only in the domain of priestly and political dogma…” (Daybreak, 14).

In contrast to some of the shrewder commentary on Nietzsche’s politically charged philosophy, I would like to try and sketch out my case that Nietzsche’s middle works (Human, All Too Human and Daybreak) do not constitute anomalous representatives of the whole, but a much more thoroughly nuanced discussion of politics than Nietzsche grants his other books. It would be facile to say that Nietzsche is only concerned with morality in these works, and that his true political ruminations will come later. Even if the tone of these works does not immediately resemble that of the later works, there is no viable reason to avoid theorizing some of the most provocative statements I have come in contact with in reading Nietzsche’s oeuvre. Understanding how morality brings about the political conditions of its overcoming will help us to posit a vision of the world and community that does not at all lead to the “great politics”: instead of the latter, in these two books it is always a question of law, history and transformative universalism.

Nevertheless, the importance placed on the middle works is only relevant here to me as a secondary interest (read: they are being used as material or as a foil) insofar as they promote a general (problematic) reciprocity between the political theorization of Nietzsche and Aristotle; it is above all in Human All Too Human’s infamous section “A Glance at the State” where we see Nietzsche coming close to a classical description of the different forms of government which were relevant for his time (hence the critiques of socialism, utilitarianism, and above all democracy).

In fact, a quick skim of Aristotle’s Politics against this section may give some the impression that Nietzsche slept with a copy of the Politics under his pillow during this time. Yet, as I intend to show, the methodology with which these two thinkers approach the subject of politics are almost diametrically opposed: we could say that Nietzsche’s politics here is “open,” whereas Aristotle formulates a “closed” view. This is the same as arguing that Nietzsche, in the middle works, operates according to a logic of transformational politics, and Aristotle is mainly concerned with a generative outlook.

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Diagram

comments 2
becoming / Deleuze / machine / ontology

 

modulledyn

 

“We define the abstract machine as the aspect or moment at which nothing but functions and matters remain. A diagram has neither substance nor form, neither content nor expression. Substance is a formed matter, and matter is a substance that is unformed either physically or semiotically. Whereas expression and content have distinct forms, are really distinct from each other, function has only ‘traits’ of content and expression between which it establishes a connection: it is no longer even possible to tell whether it is a particle or a sign. A matter-content having only degrees of intensity, resistance, conductivity, heating, stretching, speed or tardiness; and a function expression having only ‘tensors,’ as in a system of mathematical, or musical, writing. Writing now functions on the same level as the real, and the real materially writes. The diagram retains the most deterritorialized content and the most deterritorialized expression, in order to conjugate them. Maximum deterritorialization sometimes starts from a trait of content and sometimes from a trait of expression; that trait is said to be ‘deterritorializing’ in relation to the other precisely because it diagrams it, carries it off, raises it to its own power. The most deterritorialized element causes the other element to cross a threshold enabling a conjunction of their respective deterritorializations, a shared acceleration. This is the abstract machine’s absolute, positive deterritorialization…


klee-remembrance-of-a-garden

 

“Defined diagrammatically in this way, an abstract machine is neither an infrastructure that is determining in the last instance nor a transcendental Idea that is determining in the supreme instance. Rather, it plays a piloting role. The diagrammatic or abstract machine does not function to represent, even something real, but rather constructs a real that is yet to come, a new type of reality. Thus when it constitutes points of creation or potentiality it does not stand outside history but is instead always ‘prior to’ history. Everything escapes, everything creates — never alone, but through an abstract machine that produces continuums of intensity, effects conjunctions of deterritorialization, and extracts expressions and contents. This Real-Abstract is totally different from the fictitious abstract of a supposedly pure machine of expression. It is an Absolute, but one that is neither undifferentiated nor transcendent. Abstract machines thus have proper names (as well as dates) which of course designate not persons or subjects, but matters and functions. The name of a musician or scientist is used in the same way as a painter’s name designates a color, nuance, tone, or intensity: it is always a question of a conjunction of a Matter and Function. The double deterritorialization of the voice and the instrument is marked by a Wagner abstract machine, a Webern abstract machine, etc. In physics and mathematics, we may speak of a Riemann abstract machine, and in algebra of a Galois abstract machine… There is a diagram whenever a singular abstract machine functions directly in a matter.”

 

(Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, “587 B.C – A.D. 70: On Several Regimes of Signs”)

The Transformation of Psychoanalysis

comment 1
guattari / machine / machinic unconscious / ontology / Politics

couv-inconscient

From the back cover of Guattari’s L’Inconscient machinique (1979):

The transformation of psychoanalysis into an essential component of the social order does not justify the renunciation of every analysis of the unconscious; no more than the deadends of revolutionary movements imply the generalized desertion of politics.

Finishing with the tyranny of the cogito, accepting that material, biological, social assemblages are capable of “engineering” (machiner) their own kind and creating heterogenous complex universes: such are the conditions which would make it possible to understand how the most intimate desire can communicate with the social field.

In order to give the reader a little bit more of a taste, I have excerpted from pages 180-182.

No logical or topological category, no axiomatic can subsume all the different types of machinic consistency. Because abstract machines are non-decomposable on an intensional plane, they cannot be inserted into an extensional class. Since no abstract machine can rise above history or be the “subject” of history and machinic multiplicities traverse the strata of different “provisionally dominant” realities on a diachronic and synchronic plane at the same time, it cannot be said of the general movement of their line of deterritorialization that it demonstrates a universal and homogenous tendency, for it is interrupted at every level by reterritorializations upon which microcosmic generations of deterritorialization are grafted once again. The cartography of abstract machinisms makes history by dismantling dominant realities and significations: they constitute the navel, the point of emergence and creationism of the machinic phylum.

            Here again we find the problematic of the alternative between subject-groups/subjugated groups which can never be taken as an absolute opposition. The relations of alienation between fields of competence always suppose a certain margin which pragmatics has to locate and exploit: in other words, within any situation whatsoever, a diagrammatic politics can always be “calculated,” which refuses any idea of fatalism, whichever name it may take on: divine, historical, economic, structural, hereditary, or syntagmatic, a politics which thus implies, in the first place, an active refusal of any conception of the unconscious as a genetic stage or structural destiny. A group requires an ongoing localization of the investments of desire capable of thwarting bureaucratic reifications, leaderships, etc. “Working on” the group’s map would consist in proceeding to the new uses and transformations of the group’s body without organs. One could only do his or her part in such a pragmatics: it can do nothing but challenge every status of the hegemony of linguistics, psychoanalysis, social psychology, and the entirety of the human, social, juridical, economic sciences, etc…Studying the unconscious, for example in the case of Little Hans, would consist in establishing, by taking account of the entirety of his semiotic productions, in which tree or rhizome type his libido has come to invest. At such a moment, it is a question of how the neighbors’ branch is trimmed, following which maneuvers the Oedipal tree is reduced, what roles Professor Freud’s branch and his activity of detteritorialization have played, why the libido has been constrained to find shelter in the semiotization of a becoming horse, etc…Thus phobia would no longer be considered as a psychopathological result, but as the libidinal pragmatics of a child who has not been able to find other micropolitical solutions so as to escape from the familialist and psychoanalytic transformations.

 

 

New wikipage devoted to Capitalism and Schizophrenia

comment 1
capitalism and schizophrenia / Deleuze / guattari

Today I’ve just found out that an entire wikipage has been devoted to the works of Deleuze and Guattari here. The site is still in construction, but they have already amassed at least several dozens definition “attempts” (since these are left open for others to add/change, etc.). What I found so interesting about the page was the ability to join the site and add your own bit of commentary, engaging in an intriguing chorus of scholars and voices.  I believe they have also begun reading groups on Deleuze and Guattari, so that is something else to look forward to. I intend on adding a lot of material to the site, especially in order to really engage with some of Guattari’s theoretical developments in L’Inconscient machinique.  I’ve already begun on his Proust section in the book, and so I’m eager to finish and start talking about it with everyone! (75 pages left, and counting).

So go join in and add your bit of knowledge to this incredible project!

Overcome

comments 5
continuity / modernity / noise / ontology / Politics / question / reality / signal / silence / state / subtraction

 

A situation tends to bring about the specific conditions of its overcoming. Thus advances in transportation and telecommunication technologies are slowly bringing about not only the collapse of the classical temporal and spatial interval as such, the annihilation of the discrete; but also a simultaneous collapse of classical distribution or dissemination as such, a self-destruction of the sign through optimal transmissivity, and hence finally the death of the voice along with the signal, the annihilation of the continuous. –Twin paradoxes which define and isolate our historical moment: to build channels without yet having anything meaningful to transmit, and to transmit without having any channels or destinations, or any hope of being received. A question disrupts the essence of the situation, its reality; but a greater noise can always drown it out. It may not even be heard the first time. But after long enough, there is another question, or another questioner, and then another to question him, and so on. Repetition and revolution. –Modernity is hatred of the modern. The state itself becomes noise, and hence is drowned in noise. Finally, there is only glare, pure positivity, a non-spectacle: a signal without a sign. What is it to be in excess of the state?