The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

As in digital manipulation of layers, the world is flattening by the
subject; is always flattening; there is no depth; depth is an illusion;
multiple viewpoints; apparent histories; apparent identities. The
flattening of the world: the stitching of ontologies, suturing
epistemologies. Thus the thetic, continuously working as the gesture
works. The gesture is working language; language gestures, gesticulates.
Language is always at a loss; hence the fury of language, presence of
obscenities or thickening, escape routes, of interjections, phonemically
other. Representation is the same; the same of the other; chiasmus: other
of the same. It is a disturbance of flattening which is flattening.
Disturbance is the apparency of discontinuity, anomaly; flattening is
substantive; substance. To disturb - to nudge - is to initiate
bifurcation, response. The limits of discontinuity are catatonias;
analogic inerts; substance is limitless. Consider an epigenetic landscape:
the flattening of the real. Consider elementary catastrophes and their
extending sheets: disturbance.
In my work several decades ago (I mention this only in relation to
Badiou), I wrote and write of farming-out; the perception of temporality,
of progress, resulting in the collocation of disciplines, subjects, within
which specialists take care of advance, increased knowledge, goods.
Temporality tends towards complexity; cellular automata can grow
in-conceivably chaotic within a few generations. The regular or reiterated
which is death (certainly without recursion which leads to quantitative
jumps) is unimaginable; it is the circumlocution, centrifugal forcing, of
the world. The apparency of disturbance tends towards centering. "Now I
must proceed without time."; with the perception of time; of what is known
now, what is processed now, as opposed to; what was processed; what was
processed then. What was conceived then; what I conceive now what was
conceived then. This is a conceiving; a state of conceiving; the bundle of
conceivings constitutes the world which appears undergoing transformation;
always irreversible. But not irreversible in fact: from presencing, from
presence there is nothing to return to; the state is unpresent,
non-present; one says "the state has vanished" or "we've moved on."
"I conceive of the world as such-and-such." "What is it that is being
conceived? What is conceiving?"
There is no Now; there is no philosophy of the Now. The present presence
is smeared, fuzzy; it is degenerate; it was never generate. Philosophy is
from present presencing, from this smearing; it is irrevocable; it cannot
be constituted otherwise. The Absolute is embedded in time; there is no
Absolute to return to; the embedding is within the present. The text is
always its memory; the text - any text - is always memory. I speak and
write concretely: this is such-and-such a writing which is only
inscription, artifact; the artifact is present, before you; the artifact
is presenting by virtue of your procurement. Everything, the world,
artifact, product-production, appears as, exists within, reconstitution;
the subject (who is always already embedded) recuperates, which is the
definition of the subject; objects do not. To recuperate is to draw
boundaries, definitions, negations: X = this; not-X = that. Not-X is
always problematic; it's "that" may be fuzzy, complementary; chained;
non-existent; indecipherable; generative or degenerate, degenerative. This
is the difficulty of the monopole in ordinary language within an ordinary
world; that is, what is termed the "lifeworld," or world of daily life.
The lifeworld is presencing, as if a gift or given; there is no negative
or negation; negation is a drawing. What occurs, occurs, is, is.
Flattening is necessary construct; thus disturbance within flattening
portends negation which is channeled within flattening. This is the sphere
of daily life which appears extended.
Fiske: The "discovery of the law of gravitation, as well as the
invention of such a superstition as the Hand of Glory, is at bottom but a
case of association of ideas." I cannot comprehend Being; Being does not
exist in my comprehension, nor in my understanding, nor in association,
nor in empathy. Of beings, I understand association. Being is a taste, a
connoisseurship of the world or collector of the world, tending towards
the final object. If Being is not absolute, what is? It is as if what is
given "is given"; it is not; the thetic tends towards the thetic;
circumlocution occurs within the same flattening as the world at large;
writing is such a tendency. The philosophy of sex, of sexuality, of love,
of war, hate; the philosophy of culture; of media theory: all are
farmed-out; all are within the provenance of disciplines, speciality. Art
is the drawing of negation; art is a disturbance of association; art
reveals the flattening and non-Being of the world; even within its
presentiment of Being, non-Being. Art is corruption; preservation holds
its own in the skein of decay. To create is to bifurcate; creation is
discrete, the rasa no exception. The commonality of art is gesticulation;
the commonality of art and language is gesture. As for sexuality:
"Language is always at a loss; hence the fury of language, presence of
obscenities or thickening" [5] - rupture is production; sexuality infects
the social; the infection is the social. Jouissance and preservation:
farmed-out to psychology; psychoanalytics; biogenetics; anthropology: this
central drive whose centrifugal emotion colors everything; presents or
re-presents the philosophical as determinative property, boundary,
territory and its circumambulation. Sexuality has no belonging; philosophy
is a speaking or carrying-out a longing for belonging, lengthening of
situation, just as death dissolves belonging which rites recreate for the
survivors. Obscenity is obscenity in its absence, its impossibility, of
circumlocution, a symbolic axis of interiority. Obscenity is that which is
spoken because it cannot be spoken; philosophy is an obscenity; a
pornography; its speaking is a flattening; a circumdiction of disturbance;
what is called a therapeutic or meditation; a dreamwork or working-
through; what is symbolic labor. In labor exchange value and use value are
equivalent; to think otherwise is to mistake ontology for content. The
value of labor lies in reification; in "fitting" (Bohm); in the production
of materials; of thought; operations within or across ontologies; emotions
or prime numbers; bricks or philosophy. Obscenity is valuable in its
valuelessness; it works, working through nothing; it is contrary or
wayward, contradiction; obscenity occurs within the Sheffer stroke dual
"neither A nor B"; in its elsewhere; in its range outside the organization
and data-basing of labor and its production.
Of the absurdity of analysis of X: X-beneath-the-sign-of-Y- analyzed or
mediated by Z: Z(Y(X)) for example; forgive the errors of category. A
loss: Philosophy exists qua philosophy to the extent that Y is
problematic; that Z turns away; turns the other face; that the tending of
X; of the world; is towards Other. What can be said dissolves in
speciality; in the interconnections among specialities; in the discourses
of specializations; that is, in the discourses of analysts; perhaps in
analytical discourses or discourse. The value of art is in opposition to
the value of labor; art is active and potential laborlessness-in-produc-
tion; obscenity underlies both; underlies philosophy; violence and
sexuality underlie obscenity; obscenity underlies both.
By default we are stewards of the earth.

[11+ forthcoming]

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