November 2007

4 b 4 b 4 (x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4)

Imagine the frame physically squashed and collapsed into a line. It’s barely visible, like the leading edge of a mirror, except that at its end only a point is visible.

The frame was never a limit or constraint. It was, in a way, an incitement. It asked: What do we want to put in the frame? What do we want to show? The information revolution has been about putting trillions of frames together but collapsed onto themselves and stacked so the only visible part of them is that point of light or dark at its end.

Each frame has, however, become endless, in the sense of a line, having neither beginning nor end. But the beauty in this schema derives from the fact that none of the lines can cross. The design is contrived in such a way as to completely rule out cross-contaminations of force.

Once a frame collapses into an infinite line, it properly envelopes a totality. What we choose to put in the frame and show is a whole world. In other words, each frame is an attempt to totalise and essentialise. Force is about what we put through. The collapsed frame becomes a line of force.

Deleuze writes about Nietzsche’s aphorisms in this way, as confluences of force: What is it necessary to put through them in order to make them work? The type of work Deleuze has in mind for them is liberatory and revolutionary. So the demand for readers of the aphorisms is to make the connection with an outside of thought. A connection with the outside is already part of the construction of the aphorisms, part of the way they work, but readers are necessary to the process as a kind of raw material or as willing subjects. Readers of the aphorisms are, in this reading, subjected to a becoming-revolutionary so long as they will and are willing but regardless of what they will.

A forced cross-contamination of totalities, a crossing of lines, and the putting of disparate things in apposition: isn’t this just another squashing of the frame? Opening a window, letting in a new light, under the tyranny of which, new things will be exposed? And with the will of the reader channeled by the lines of force (or line of forces) and subjected to their pre-existing tyranny can we really say the possibility of escape arises? From the law, the contract or the institution?

The black humour, the irony might lie in pointing out that resistance is futile and that no one can escape the future. Because the future will have been collapsed, a channel stacked, archived, amongst other channels … frame on frame, frame of reference of frame of mind, collapsed … the machine in the ghost, line of force beside line, and line after line … a reading machine as much as a writing machine, a war machine as much as any machine, framing its material, forcing the material according to the frame, and making of the process fact.


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the gifted professor walks up and down the room, like a goldfish in its bowl, trying to find the word and, unable to find it, he says, It’s not good enough!

Do you not think people would rather choose the law than their own demons? that the choice would be a real one and that it would necessarily be followed by a period not of indecision but of circling the question, a period of inability to deal with having finally made the choice – and having made it without in fact having been under any duress?

It’s a stark choice, a desert choice. You might even call it a Nietzschean choice: to be eaten or to eat. Of course, unless you are a sociopath, you choose subjection.

Even in order to face one’s demons, as a proof or prerequisite, one loses one’s identity and any notion of the coherence of the “I” is truly pulled apart. One has no face to turn and face them. But this would not yet be death.

Death intervenes after the decision to follow on the path of righteousness, regardless of the impossibility of any other course. Indeed, the impossibility that there is any other way than submission, the very impossibility, draws the circle, in which you walk up and down, and puts up the walls where you see doubles and where you bang your head imagining impossible escapes. The only thing here sustaining the illusion of an architecture, abyssal though it is, constructed of mirrors and circles, and that sustains the idea of a passage of time, is representation. Death as representation is the endless return to the law.

Once there is no other option than the law, then, the choice is as good as made: no matter how long you spend on grief, the sort of grief that has denials in it, tantrums and sulks, petty real emotions, you have answered the question and will now be experiencing something like guilt: punish me so that I can justify choosing the law over facing the monstrous real. One is damned to choose and damned by choice, damned in the middle, spinning in a wheel, and damned at the end, whether it is with acceptance or defiance that one meets one’s end.


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make no connections

The whole destiny of irony is linked to representation, irony ensures the individuation of the represented or the subjectivation of the representer. Classical irony, in fact, consists in showing that what is most universal in representation is the same as the extreme individuality of the represented which serves as its principle (classical irony culminates in the theological affirmation according to which ‘the whole of the possible’ is at the same time the reality of God as a singular being). Romantic irony, for its part, discovers the subjectivity of the principle of all possible representation. … Irony contains an insufferable claim: that of belonging to a superior race… … Humour, on the other hand, claims kinship with a minority… … (there is not a single play on words in Lewis Carroll)…

– Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet, Dialogues II, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, Continuum, London, 2006, pp. 51-2


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I think the key might be to make no connections at all. But there is always something dull about chastity. Say I was going to write about the Colossus and I thought to bring in Ramses according to Moloko, what dies is that sense of purpose: it’s like a liver in your hand when you’re trying to write in spirits.

This image show the keyboard of the Enigma encryption machine.

The other risible apercu I was subjected to today concerned the quantity of the same it is necessary to have with speed.

Consider witches’ hats, how many for a kilometre of road?

Or, consider the notion of stretch, the road measured by stretch: for a stretch of road, how many of the same before the code of the real reaches a threshold of visibility for the driver? how many cones? how many signs?

Over the same stretch, how many of the same, at a higher speed?

The unconscious law here is that once always equals the law. It suffices for the law to have been stated once for it to prevail regardless of the location’s obscurity or the people’s ignorance. A particular law’s existence in a citable, locatable archive – in the past, the location and citation have rested with the authority – calls up against the law of speed and its law of many, the Law of the singular and its privileged power, invested symbolically in the Father.

It would be interesting to note when the archive of the story-telling mother became the archive of the law-giving father. (These have been called oral versus written history.) Is the third category here that of the multiplying child?

I simply think you need to repeat yourself that many more times to compensate for the speed of the bodies past you. In fact, once Gilles Deleuze meets Felix Guattari, speed makes its impression (ha! the poverty of the analogy) felt and the repetitions start. And they quickly become tedious.

But. Blue Peter. Here. On street. Is the analogy from the speed on the street to the speed from person to person or the other way round? And is reaching through the net person after person somehow reducible to reaching car after car?

At what speed is that person traveling, surfing? I confess, she looked like she needed one thousand multiples to notice me.


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14 years well spent to live to see return of friendly giant

This is the Colossus, rebuilt after its valves and bones were burnt, popped and scattered, post-WWII, so as not to fall into the wrong hands – even in peacetime – on Mr. Churchill’s orders. In its day, it was the fastest.

The size of a truck, truly colossal, it reduced the length of time it took to decode German messages, encrypted in Enigma, from six days to six hours. Boffins at Bletchley spent 14 years reconstructing Colossus. Let loose on an encrypted radio signal for the first time in over 60 years, said boffins were disappointed at what they thought was a failure. Several valves refused to fire. However, just as they’d given up hope, Colossus’s wheels hummed and whirred with the good news.

We now know what the Germans are up to and it’s all thanks to Colossus, the giant brought back from the brink of oblivion.


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