The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

December 4, 2001


911: phenomenology, premonition

Derrida, Faith and Knowledge, 1994, p 24 -

Like others before, the new 'wars of religion' are unleashed over the
human earth (which is not the world) and struggle even today to control
the sky _with finger and eye_: digital systems and virtually immediate
panoptical visualization, 'air space', telecommunications satellites,
information highways, concentration of capitalistic-mediatic power - in
three words, _digital culture, jet_ and _TV_ without which there could be
no religious manifestation today, for example no voyage or discourse of
the Pope, no organized emanation _<rayonnement>_ of Jewish, Christian, or
Muslim cults, whether 'fundamentalist' or not.

Sondheim, Disorders of the Real, 1988, 103 -

What the Engine Does, of the Anorectic Airliner

The Engine swallows the air; it is the point at which the movement of air
and its dispersion begins. This is an act of devouring, gorging, the
bulimic cycle which collapses as the world is absorbed. It is a
transformation into substance as the Engine appropriates the foundations
of the signifier for itself. What an appropriation! The Engine inscribes
the absorbed world in an exhaust trail. The Engine parallels the photon;
it refuses position as the tokenization of existence; it exists as
movement and collapse. Thus it flies and desires the air. Thus it
appropriates and seduces the air, through an act of violence which retains
its position of flight. For that which would escape it, Engine, cruise
missile, bomb, what is being said but the "I" of the engine, within a
dialectic of seduction?  Seduction in which the Origin is proclaimed, and
that is the metric established as Origin, the location of the phallus. The
cruise missile cocks its head, gives it to the world. It is semen which is
disorganized;  the world burns into paste through an atmosphere of paste,
through an Engine of paste. The world burns, the Engine burns, swells,
disgorges; it is the world returned to vomit.The anorectic airliner
shudders (therefore shudders); the line of flight is re-established. Such
an establishment with markings in the sky! Such a sky that establishes
itself as a graph with mobile coordinates, exhaust that indicates while it
dissipates, is absorbed in the clutter of the air. The tiny Engine! The
presence of Flight! The erection in the sky and the charred earth! It is
the appearance of the microtechnological once again, the bacteriophage
with its consonant and identical units. It is an empty circle. It is the
exhaustion of repetitive expansion.


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