The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

July 21, 2009

Notes on the Aetiology and Phenomenology of Magic

(for a course at School of Visual Arts this fall.)

EARLY outline, then a few LATE statements -

Jung: Synchronicity
  Bell's Theorem - action at a distance

Empathetic Magic:
  Inhabiting the fetish
   subject inhabiting (user)
   fetish inhabiting the subject
   object/subject inhabiting (animal/spirit)

  Parallel structures
   Physical parallelism (parameters)
   Memory parallelism (punctum) (not sure what I meant here)
   Personal parallelism (introjection/projection)

Semiotics of Magic:

  Immersive/definable hierarchies: hierarchies of data, of experience:
   analog and digital hierarchies

   Antiparallelism: dual - i.e. becomes the same through difference,
    perhaps becomes different through the same (vampire, the uncanny)

  Creation/Annihilation (to and from zero / virtual particles)

  Transitive/Intransitive actions - A done to B by virtue of C,
   i.e. _through_ C. C = channel; incantation = parasitic communication.

  Resonances and recursions
   A _signal_ as a resonant _symbol_: no time to stand for anything!

         k8% date
         Fri Jul 10 21:38:59 EDT 2009
   action _at a distance_
         sleep command -
   action at a _temporal distance_ (interval)
    think of field phenomena
    wave/particle dualities
   computer programming:
    what is the ontology of information?
    how is information transformed within the machine?
     machine states / entropy
    - in opposition to a materialist approach

    the phenomenology of magic: (not sure what I meant here)
    the operations of the fetish: the fetish through the fetish



Start over. Some operations:

Empathy - inhabitation of the other / dwelling.

Sympathy - exteriority and identification with the other / living

Correspondence: metaphoricity, metonymy.

And let's think about the _symptom,_ the _trope,_ while we're at it.
Doesn't the trope and symptom depend on regularization? What constitutes
the system from which they devolve?
With the symptom: Already a _standard_ is at work: symptoms deviate.

See below:

Some formal operations:


Think of the following characteristics of operators:

  Reflexivity - X can resemble itself; all magic is reflexive, resonates.
Think of the reflexivity of magic in terms of cybernetics with positive or
negative feedback loops. Combine positive feedback loops with a fold
catastrophe; pass a threshold and the thing is done.

  Transitivity - if X resembles Y, and Y, Z, X need not resemble Z:
a kind of fuzzy logic dominates, things are always already lost along the
way. Attributes disappear.

  Commutativity: if X resembles Y, need Y resemble X? Think -
   If a mandrake resembles a man, does a man resemble a mandrake?
    - not necessarily, there's an economic of surplus at work here
    (think Bataille). (This is slightly different, in any case, from
    formal commutativity.)

Think of resemblance as _broken equivalence_ - therefore within and
  without the _abject._

Is there a difference between resemblance and correspondence?

If A corresponds to B, does A resemble B, B resemble A?
  Think of corresponds as co-responds, therefore to a kind of _call._

In terms of an overarching structure, one might argue that if and only if
A is called, B is called, and vice versa, then the resemblance becomes an
equivalence 'under' the overarching structure.

How do markov chains fit in? Typifications, type mathematics, standardiza-
tions, dimensional analysis?

Think of onomatopoeia, mimickry - how, if at all, do these tally with
'action at a distance'? Neither empathy nor sympathy, but formal equival-
ence within bounds.

Think of interjections and the use of phonemes not ordinarily found in the
spoken language: non-equivalence, performativity simultaneously within and
without language. (See Roazen, Echolalia.)

Then religion - what sort of interiority, susceptibility, is required?
The necessary entanglement of 'spirituality' and 'magic.'

One signifier out of place and science either expands or collapses.
Popular press: "Scientists astounded!"

Perils of Pauline: The Powers of 2 and Integers

1.5*1.5 2.2 2.2*1.5 3.3 3.3*1.5 4.9 4.9*1.5 7.3 7.3*1.5 10.9 10.9*1.5
16.3 16.3*1.5 24.4 24.4*1.5 36.6 36.6*1.5 54.9 54.9*1.5 82.3 82.3*1.5
123.4 123.4*1.5 185.1 185.1*1.5 277.6 277.6*1.5 416.4 416.4*1.5 624.6
624.6*1.5 936.9 936.9*1.5 1405.3 1405.3*1.5 2107.9 2107.9*1.5 3161.8
3161.8*1.5 4742.7 4742.7*1.5 7114.0

Therefore powers of 2 = integer, 7114.0, after sufficient steps.

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