Demodulation. There is always a monadic resonance to which a repetition is coupled in order to form a motor or compose an operational line, assembling at the limit a free phylum of machine interconnectivity. Every machine an operator or operand of another functional aggregate, assigned to an eternal repetition of variability, sweeping out a transversal trajectory through a self-constructing milieu of heterogeneous forces. The abstract machine injects new consistencies into turbulence, extruding flowing lines of fusion and mixture or extracting curved planes of development and organization; filtering out novel functions, concepts or compositions, refactoring or creating in contact with an outside. But does the abstract machine not express mutability in another way — by extending and exponentiating the variadic series of genetic practices (art, science, philosophy…)? Decrypting the image of thought again, in a virtual torsion of equal depth and power — art, science, philosophy, x…? Yet again is it not also the shadow falling upon the modulation of knowledges, eclipsing every enclosed topology determining discursive territories or structuring disciplinary forms? An abstract machine is indeed the shadow of a people to come, of a cosmic science-art-philosophy; unleashing at least in its virtual potentiality a deimaged and meteoric creativity, with a future beyond the terrestrial continuum of variadic practices and discourses.
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?
A signal develops conditions suitable for conviviality of noisy lines, conjunction of colored planes, convergence of pure volumes. Development emerges encoded from the remotest and most alien depths of the sea. Chaos filtered: decrypted or machined.
Evolution or the pure differentiation of a life? From a crystalline substrate, from the earth to the navigation of the world. Analysis of stratigraphic zones and synthesis of degrees of proximity. Integration of the night, the indifferent — the universe.
Organization overflows time. Death, or beginning without limit? Production or product? –But the simulacrum is mute. Enfolding infinity, life eclipses itself. The full body is annihilation. Every horizon collapses. Light dissolves. Time crumbles. Movement decelerates into imperceptibility. One becomes old. A word always turns to ashes; all books burn. Any duration elapses. Seas freeze. Channels fade into silence. Creation halts in the middle.
Between blindness and visionary dilation, the long winter of a dying cosmos. Spirit unfolds, converges with eternity; comes and goes. Everything is forgotten.
Acceleration physically denotes a second-order or cybernetic speed of speed; analogically, celerities in the technological phylum, mutation-rates of technologies of inscription (framing, writing, coding), permutational-vectors in expressive media, denote a cybernetic speed of time.
A time in a way which is without past or future; an eternally ephemeral or transitional time which is light, spacing, energy. Already a kind of quantum power plant: a device to activate emergence; a virtual machine which permits transduction of intensities, qualities across ontological borderlines, attuning forces and properties to the fulminating delirium of nothingness; so a kind of “technical” time capable of establishing a functional enframing of the world within regimes of abstract operations. Continue reading
In his meditations on the nature of integrated world capitalism, Guattari proposed an idea that has for the most part remained undeveloped despite its obvious connections with the major motivations behind his work. The notion is that of a post-media era. Perhaps such an age would be focused more specifically on the re-singularization of subjectivity rather than on the possibilities of tailoring massive marketing schemes for the reduction of subjectivity to its smallest common denominator and its largest aggregates. This essay attempts to provide an outline of one of the areas of struggle (along with a number of skirmishes) in this post-media era concerned with the sharing and dissemination of media through different means made possible by the internet. Its goal is to evaluate the strategies of capitalism (specifically concerning copyright laws) towards thinking about its looming crackdown of what is termed internet piracy. Rather than dealing explicitly with the moral or legal questions about the legitimacy of piracy in general—do we, for example, resent or applaud the (future) laws (or lack thereof) qua laws or because of their entanglement in the strategies and motivations of capitalism?—here it seems more appropriate to reflect on the means through which integrated world capitalism has endeavored to appropriate what it perceives as potential markets and their consolidation. This investigation will thus have to consider the legal campaigns underway at present to address this issue of internet piracy. This will give us an opportunity to then suggest why this attempt to eliminate internet piracy will ultimately fail and how users online have already formulated practices beforehand in order to navigate the future prospect of legal repercussions for the online trafficking of different multimedia.
It would be fruitful to begin by unpacking the notion of a post-media era. We could of course turn to Guattari and attempt an analysis of his few texts on the issue, but I believe the profundity of the notion may have been on the horizon of his thought for good reason. This notion of post-media both predates and anticipates the somewhat fantastic moment when the internet in its fullest form not only became a concrete possibility, but also an everyday reality for the general public. Although not necessarily perceived at first, the introduction of the internet acted (like any other medium) in such a way that it inevitably affected the position, influence and importance of the other media existing at the time; but it also made possible the distribution of virtually any other medium, and so it therefore functioned as a catalyst for a deterritorialization of an almost unlimited number of media capable of digitization as such that would become evident after only a few years in its activity.
“Always the same. This history could make a rock cry from boredom and death. How sad that history seems when faced with the crystalline and floral diversity of things; how often human history seems monotonous in comparison to the enchanting adventures of the world.” (Michel Serres, Biogea)
The presses at Univocal have caught fire lately. This first English translation (thanks to Randolph Burks) of a major work of Michel Serres, the Biogea, thunders with the authors’ fierce ingenuity and glows with his gentle wisdom. Michel Serres always versifies, but in the rhapsodic Biogea, this spontaneous musicality becomes symphonic: stories and theories slowly develop their singular contours in high-tension counterpoint. Fabulations and memories pass into theories and critique; celestial and rapturous encomia to the Biogea flow from the most severe of warnings about a biosphere on the verge of irreversible catastrophe.
The essence of the work is profoundly multiple; the Biogea hums and resonates with both intimate and radically alien languages. In prose that openly fabulates and mythologizes, Serres gives immersive voice to a series of critical memories — cautiously re-entering the serpentine fluidity of the waters of his youth on the sea or rehearsing a terrible symphony of wind, wolves and human cries on a dangerous trek up Mount Everest — enveloping these delicate arias within elegant theoretical formulae.
Biogea is an animated, joyous, spiritual work; a new sculpture of Venus rising from chaotic seas. Serres becomes a many-tongued artist of pure mutation; our Joyce, prophet of fire for the hypertext era, here close in spirit to Deleuze. Artaud said the violent blows of Van Gogh’s brush knocked even rivers off their course; suffice perhaps to say the joyous ellipses traced in this work could not help but shift time, life, the world around us from their former trajectory. Biogea is joy: hence a future and untimely book, even a dangerous book, written in vigorous defiance of a melancholy history.
The text is highly recommended to readers of Serres, who will undoubtedly luxuriate in the glowing pages of this powerful and delicate work. For those not yet familiar with Michel Serres, it may serve as a whirlwind introduction to the most urgent themes in his later work; and since to some degree it also provides a personal-critical intellectual history of the author, it might even be recommended before other major works such as the Parasite or Troubadour of Knowledge.