aesthetics, becoming, difference, disaster, laughter, machine


Paul Klee, “Insula Dulcamara” (1938); Oil on newsprint, mounted on burlap

I began writing this before disaster struck very close to home; and so I finish it without finishing it. A disaster never really ends; it strikes and strikes continuously — and so even silence is insufficient. But yet there is also no expression of concern, no response which could address comprehensively the immense and widespread suffering of bodies and minds and spirits. I would want to emphasize my plea below upon the responsibility of thinkers and artists and writers to create new ways of thinking the disaster; if only to mitigate the possibility of their recurrence. (Is it not the case that the disaster increasingly has the characteristics of the accident; that the Earth and global techno-science are increasingly co-extensive Powers?) And yet despite these necessary new ways of thinking and feeling, I fear it will remain the case that nothing can be said about a disaster, if only because nothing can ultimately be thought about the disaster. But it cannot be simply passed over in silence; if nothing can be said, then perhaps everything may be said.

Inherent to the notion of risk is the multiple, or multiplicity. The distance between the many and the multiple is nearly infinite; every problem of the one and the many resolves to the perspective of the one, while multiplicity always singularizes, takes a line of pure variation or difference to its highest power. A multiplicity is already a life, the sea, time: a cosmos or style in terms of powers and forces; a melody or refrain in its fractured infinity.

The multiple is clear in its “being” only transitorily — as the survey of a fleet or swarm or network; the thought which grasps it climbs mountains, ascends vertiginously towards that infinite height which would finally reveal the substrate of the plane, the “truth” of its shadowy depths, the mysterious origins of its nomadic populations.

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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?


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.