becoming, Deleuze, guattari, horizon, machine

Abstract for DeleuzeConf

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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Has an outdated mode of science-fiction overtaken speculation about the future?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.

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

Clouds

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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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acceleration, becoming, machine, ontology

Surf

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Soaring above the waves, the surf line finds or creates a means of encrypted communication with the conjoint or conjugal striation of the surface and the disjunct or disastrous perplexity of the depths. A nomad geometer, the navigator of singular and extraordinary waves, the surfer of the pure multiple of the sea, journeys in place to remain in place. The surfer occupies a finely balanced territory, between infinitesimal inclination and infinite extension; an absolute survey becomes possible.

An occupation replete with indeterminations, bristling with events and pure qualities; which can perhaps be defined in terms of the flowing athletic de-situation of centrality, non-motion rather than the catastrophe of activation or spatiality, of extraordinary or disruptive points or segments or the epidemiology of too rigidly fixed positions or too fluidly supple segments. The telepathic geometer or temporal metallurgist, the surfer of future waves, oscillates internally then between two very different kinds of axioms or principles; apparently in real and irresolvable contradiction.

Between restrained or disjunctive materiality (the wave function, if you like) and generalized or conjunctive aesthetics, the depths of the sea or its xeno-crystalline temporality, characterized by chaotic and lawless interventions across streams, between ontologically foreign regimes of development and organization; expressing itself perhaps as future light, infinite glare of machinic resonance from the hard-right edge of time…

A hyperlink is determined dimensionally by planar waves and volumetric surf. It is politics itself, solidary with the delirium at the heart of our highest reason (all too anthropoid, neurotic, regional, drifting…) Conjunction and disjunction; but there is always a ductile and cybernetic surf line. What is the relation between the surf line and the smooth space, or between the line of creative extension and intensive striation? How does surfing make machines rhizome, become a line of flight capable of possibly, if it survives many risks, surveying from hyperborean heights of intensity the haunted depths that separate and link us? –At infinite speed, “all at once”; rather than falling back onto furious mechanical redundantly-parallel recursive analysis? Nevertheless, one must be careful with all these intensities, one must be ready. Hyperlinear conjunction accelerates too rapidly to control, maximizing trauma and bliss at once. But after all the link is a connection, an arrow cast into a void. Whereas conjunction and disjunction are primarily traits of relations produced in tactical route analysis; in which case there is a geographical problem of establishment of points that determine pathways for striating vessels, or smooth transmission, etc. –Rather than the geological or ethological problem of the relay itself or pure logistics, which converts striated positions into smooth spaces, invents or discovers means of oscillating between, a higher-order calculus of acceleration, speeds and slownesses (convalescence.)

The other lines — the subaqueous assemblage of supple lines of the sea; the rigidly delineated striations of oscillatory forces — are no better or worse than the surf line, which wouldn’t exist without them, even though it does not relate to movement in the same way they do. Rather than extend traits the link activates relays or actualizes virtuality, proliferates pure becomings and stationary journeys. The political infrastructure of the hyperlink dominates resonance; this machinery is the accelerating index of redundancy. The surf line is operated by a plane of virtual judgment; hungry for resonance and singularization. They are the teeth of the vampire.

Conjunction occurs precisely because bodies are not yet connected. Because judgment has decreed gravity, ideas are voidic compositions… And the surf of course always overflows itself into death; risking along the way any danger imaginable: and of course the surf line itself emanates a strange melancholy melody. The unsegmentary secretes authorities and pieties and fascisms of its own unique type. The surf is no better than the sea or the waves.

The surf line itself is not the secret, though it may seem to be inventing and discovering a strategy or machine by which the sea and waves may communicate. But even though it is between the supple political segments of biology and the rigid macropolitical lines configuring abstract machines, it is still only a memory-machine; victories are rare. Between inter-involution of a multiplicity of imbricated and mutating rhythms, overflowing organized ontologies, the surf line faces infinite risks, worse perhaps than madness and death; but nevertheless can sometimes navigate an escape into survey, resonating with a wild becoming and expressing the movement of the actualization of the virtual (a world into a city…)

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actualization

Flattening Multiplicity: Deleuze and Guattari’s Rhizome

Taylor Adkins

Deleuze and Guattari—Plateau 1

7 April 2008

In their first plateau, Deleuze and Guattari focus on the concept of the rhizome. In establishing a difference between the arborescent image of thought and the rhizomatic, Deleuze and Guattari claim that the rhizome is an anti-genealogy (11) while at the same time arguing that it is the tree which imposes its genealogy: “A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo. The tree is filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, uniquely alliance” (25). Filiation proceeds through binary logic around a centralized point (the despot, the philosopher-king, the father), while the alliance extends lines which are not stratified or gridded on root pivot/focal-points. In particular, the fascination with trees and filiation stems from a symptom of our specifically European disease of transcendence (18). What is difficult to remember is that the tree and the rhizome are not necessarily opposed to one another; the first acts like a transcendent tracing and model while the second draws a map through an immanent process that overturns the model (20). But the smooth space of the rhizome is always under constant threat of hierarchization and stratification while the tree can proliferate into a-centered systems given changes in local conditions, thresholds of intensity, coefficients of transversality, etc. Hence both the tree and the rhizome face the strata and the body without organs (4). Yet it is precisely their relation to these two sides which simultaneously indicates the mode of their processes of crossing between the actual and the virtual. Although the two authors do not speak of these two registers, this “dualism” seems completely necessary in order to confront all the principles which they stipulate for understanding the rhizome—in effect, its connectivity, heterogeneity, multiplicity, cartography and decalcomania.

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