theatrum philosophicum

a statement on the Simulacrum & the Sensorium, of all things, inspired by & two unrelated sources gleaned from the discussion this month in <> soft_skinned_space

Brian Holmes’s “Three proposals for a real democracy – Information-Sharing to a Different Tune” [here]

Michel Bauwens’s “Scope, not scale: What do medieval monks, Cuban socialists and Wikipedia have in common?” [here]

The following was solicited by Johannes Birringer’s (of Alien Nation [here])question, a question in turn prompted by previous correspondence through the listserv but I hope worth presenting out of context:

Can you speak more about how this sensorium is politically effective to counterbalance the very symptoms of simulacrum hype (affective intensities of the commodity fetishisms and market imperatives to sell ourselves out)?

… a short speculative role play. It won’t be to
everybody’s tastes, for which I apologise in advance.

The Simulacrum can strike terror into our hearts, an original terror, in which some say the actions of terrorists insist, from which they emanate, as if playing out the drama of postlatecapitalism or the American way of life, arising from an inner tension. The Simulacrum is a monolithic trick, a symbolic joke or the joke of the Symbolic itself, being its Being, universal, irreversible, incurable, inescapable, but also immovable, unplayable, apolitical and yet somehow representational, implicated in representation for the multiplication beyond measure of its superfices, the extension beyond limit of its singular surface.

It offers the terrifying prospect of never again coming up against the real and remaining forever immobile in its circular logic. All action is futile and both resistance and resilience and indeed every participation becomes a mere accommodation and imbrication. To act is complicity. Folded into its surface we are then stretched out, all our good intentions betrayed, all secrets out like lights.

By contrast to this actionable futility the Sensorium offers the prospect of passive productivity: it provides a place to watch the Simulacrum from, in either isolation or alienation, floating, now unable to act. And yet embodying – by bodily affection, through the senses – an essential power, to desire, which we are reminded in so far as it is productive is a political act. There is a paradox here, but it has more to do with the relation between the Sensorium and the Simulacrum than the former alone.

This relation involves the putting into movement or play of what happens in place in the Sensorium when it hits the Simulacrum. Desire and act start to drift and for what they lose in emplacement they gain from playability, from being able to be reconfigured, transfigured – an interactivity and a compossibility. Sensorial capital is made pure data: it is put into play.

The eternity of the Simulacrum; the temporisation of the Sensorium; the depth as intensive spatium of the Sensorium; the pure surface extent of the Simulacrum; the organisation in depth of the Sensorium, its anatomy; and the inorganic fetishisation and inhumanity of the Simulacrum, its anatomisation. Organic, anorganic. Capitalist, capital: the capitalist experiences even as spectacle the speed and interconnectivity of markets. She experiences it as it registers on a surface which is the Simulacrum or the death drive.

The Sensorium connects or synthesises and organises and produces and what it is and what it produces is over time consumable. It wants. It gathers up the little objects of love and constitutes its partial subjects. It participates by participating in itself. It is able to act in networks.

The Sensorium is where what takes place takes place, the focus of a spectacle as much as of the Netopticon. But it is the Simulacrum which facilitates the sliding of this amateur theatrics, the migration of place by setting networks sliding where no point de capiton or place to hook is. Hooked in, you might say, we are set to slide, to join a universal elision.


How move the immovable which only ends up moving us? Because if the Simulacrum is the death drive it is also the spectacle of history. In which we participate passively in sympathy and actively in the desire which constitutes nothing less than the will to inscribe ourselves into history.

The question is wrong. How does the flow produced at the level of the Sensorium enter or alter the Simulacrum?

Production in the Sensorium is not recorded in or on the Simulacrum in the same way that it is produced. The relation is one of inscribability, recording of the Sensorium onto the Simulacrum. This amounts to an accommodation, of the former to the latter, but it is also an inscription of power.


Therefore it is to the Simulacrum that we look for the registration of the Sensorium in terms of political effect, the results of the political acts of the Sensorium, its political effectiveness and effectuality. Registration is the political act, the effect whereby protocols are no sooner written than they are performed.

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not so much that perception proceeds from resemblance as that resemblance precedes perception – but the force exerted by perception possesses all the attraction of the Idea

the perceived resembles something

that it forces us to reflect on

– Deleuze on Leibniz

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and then perhaps I should start writing about what I am doing, begin a conceptual staging of my web project, let me know if you would like to read about it here. Until I hear from you, dear visitor, some gleanings, scratchings, fork&plate

‘Style,’ said Evelyn Waugh, ‘is not just avoiding the cliché. It’s avoiding the place where you can feel the cliché is being avoided.’

– in David Hare, Obedience, Struggle & Revolt, Faber and Faber, London, 2005, p. 140

By engagement, I mean not so much an exposition, or a critique, or both, but a path that cuts across these texts, a thought that attempts to find its way through them. Needless to say, this approach might be seen as involving a certain degree of violence. Yet this may well amount to nothing other than the irreducible degree of violence involved in the work of interpretation, which remains the sole form of fidelity toward what is most thought provoking.

– Miguel de Beistegui, Truth and genesis : philosophy as differential ontology, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2004, p. 16

I once with, with Howard Brenton, wrote a play called Pravda, about a mad South African newspaper owner played by Anthony Hopkins as a kind of maquette for his subsequent Hannibal Lecter. Anxious lest our fictional proprietor be confused with a conspicuous real-life Australian, the Board of the nervous National Theatre insisted that we consult a QC. ‘Well,’ said this highly intelligent man, ‘as far as I can see, your play portrays a megalomaniac psychopath who drags his newspapers downmarket, who has no concern for editorial standards, who has no sexual pleasure except in public humiliation and violent dismissal of his staff, and whose only real interest is in the accumulation of a massive, unscrupulous and anti-social fortune for himself. If Rupert Murdoch really wants to step forward and identify himself as the hero of the play, then my advice would be: let him.’

In fact, Murdoch’s response to the play was characteristic. In Pravda, our Lambert le Roux adopts British citizenship specifically in order to be able to own British newspapers. Please not, six months after our opening night Murdoch decided to become an American, protesting that, like Lambert, he went through ‘the normal channels, albeit at unusual speed.’ Murdoch effectively treated our play not as a work of art, but as an inspirational business plan. Is Murdoch the only man on earth who could actually asset-strip a satire?

David Hare, Obedience, Struggle & Revolt, Faber and Faber, London, 2005, pp. 127-8

if metaphysics, as a metaphysics of the ground, and of subjectivity – of subjectivity as constituting the very ground for the objectivity of objectal nature – is no longer possible, if philosophy can no longer turn to subjectivity as the transcendental site revealing the conditions of possibility of experience, and of beings as such and as a whole as a realm of objects, can it not undergo a transformation and reinvent itself, precisely out of this “crisis” of foundation? Can we not think the future of metaphysics, and the possibility of ontology, out of this very event, the event of un-grounding? And so, before proceeding with the rites of burial of philosophy, before declaring its death irreversible, and its new life as science – and, once again, that which, in the current institutional, professional, and cultural landscape, seems to testify to the good health of philosophy, in my mind only confirms the diagnosis I have just formulated – let us at least consider the possibility of a philosophy which, neither metaphysics in the sense of grounding, nor philosophy of science, nonetheless remains in relation to science, at once absolutely different from it and coextensive with it. What sort of relation would that be?

It is a relation born of this “crisis” of foundation. Yet because it is a relation, it does not coincide simply with a collapsing, whether understood as total collapse, or as a collapsing of the one (philosophy) into the other (science). Neither grounding (fondement) nor collapsing (effondrement), it is a relation of what, following Deleuze, we shall call an un-grounding (effondement). This concept is indicative of a twofold gesture, of a double possibility: the possibility of situating philosophy in relation to science anew, first of all; and, in close connection with this first possibility, the possibility of reasserting philosophy as ontology on the basis of a distinction in being between the actual, or the empirical (and the science it enables), and the virtual or transcendental horizon (which philosophy brings out) from which the former unfolds.

the transcendental no longer refers back to a transcendental subjectivity, but to the real as such. In effect, the transcendental no longer designates the conditions of possibility of (subjective) experience, nor the conditions of possibility of phenomena themselves. It now designates their real conditions of existence and is concerned with their actual generation and production.

The transcendental is therefore a dimension of the real itself.

– Miguel de Beistegui, Truth and genesis : philosophy as differential ontology, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2004, pp. 21-2

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there you see I would go so far as to say that the web project I am engaged with reads with love, reads you, read …

“There are, you see, two ways of reading a book: you either see it as a box with something inside and start looking for what it signifies, and then if you’re even more perverse or depraved you set off after signifiers. And you treat the next book like a box contained in the first or containing it. And you annotate and interpret and question, and write a book about the book, and so on and on. Or there’s the other way: you see the book as a little non-signifying machine, and the only question is “Does it work, and how does it work?” How does it work for you? If it doesn’t work, if nothing comes through, you try another book. This second way of reading’s intensive: something comes through or it doesn’t. There’s nothing to explain, nothing to understand, nothing to interpret. It’s like plugging in to an electric circuit…This second way of reading’s quite different from the first, because it relates a book directly to what’s Outside. A book is a little cog in much more complicated external machinery… This intensive way of reading, in contact with what’s outside the book, as a flow meeting other flows, one machine among others, as a series of experiments for each reader in the midst of events that have nothing to do with books, as tearing the book into pieces, getting it to interact with other things, absolutely anything. . . is reading with love.”

– Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations, quoted here

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ideas of novelty & privacy – which I cite because they speak to my web project which I have not really spoken of here about which feel free to contact me, yours affectionately

“First you have to know how to admire; you have to rediscover the problems he poses, his particular machinery. It is through admiration that you will come to genuine critique… You have to work your way back to those problems which an author of genius has posed, all the way back to that which he does not say in what he says, in order to extract something that still belongs to him, though you also turn it against him. You have to be inspired, visited by the geniuses you denounce… In every modernity and every novelty, you find conformity and creativity; an insipid conformity, but also “a little new music”; something in conformity with the time, but also something untimely —separating the one from the other is the task of those who know how to love, the real destroyers and creators of our day. Good destruction requires love… You have to be able to love the insignificant, to love what goes beyond persons and individuals; you have to open yourself to encounters and find a language in the singularities that exceed individuals, a language in the individuations that exceed persons” (DI, 139-140).

– Gilles Deleuze, Desert Islands, quoted here

“We are uncovering a world of pre-individual, impersonal singularities. They are not reducible to individuals or persons, nor to a sea without difference. These singularities are mobile, they break in, thieving and stealing away, alternating back and forth, like anarchy crowned, inhabiting a nomad space. There is a big difference between partitioning a fixed space among sedentary individuals according to boundaries or enclosures, and distributing singularities in an open space without enclosures or properties. The poet Ferlinghetti talks about the fourth person singular: it is that to which we try to give voice… Philosophers often have a difficult time with the history of philosophy; it’s horrible, it’s not easy to put behind you. Perhaps a good way of dealing with the problem is to substitute a kind of staging for it. Staging means that the written text is going to be illuminated by other values, non-textual values (at least in the ordinary sense): it is indeed possible to substitute for the history of philosophy a theatre of philosophy… Precisely, by virtue of those criteria of staging or collage, it seems admissible to extract from a philosophy considered conservative as a whole those singularities which are not really conservative: that is what I did for Bergsonism and its image of life, its image of liberty or mental illness.” (DI, 142-144).

– Gilles Deleuze, Desert Islands, quoted here

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lynching, piracy, decapitation, abject media = subjection … and excerpts from Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84

this is an ad for lynching

:

 

occupy lynching?

while nearby: piracy –

while art means action now

and action means decapitation

– the ritual slaying of Ronald McDonald

 

this is an ad

for

Rachel Lee’s

article at CTheory

advertising AFFECT

FEELING

EMOTION

intensely &

“ahead of the game”

which could be the following:

is at least what the following wants needs likes follows shares and

adverts to in a culture of “distracted tactility” [Rachel Lee after Michael Taussig, 1991]

“This reminded Tengo of a certain event, something from the distant past that he would recall now and then. Something he could never forget. But he decided not to mention it. It would have been a long story. And it was the kind of thing that loses the most important nuances when reduced to words.”

– Haruki Murakami, 1Q84, trans. Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 72

The concepts of time, space, and possibility.

“Tengo knew that time could become deformed as it moved forward. Time itself was uniform in composition, but once consumed, it took on a deformed shape. One period of fime might be terribly heavy and long, while another could be light and short. Occasionally, the order of things could be reversed, and in the worst cases order itself could vanish entirely. Sometimes things that should not be there at all might be added onto time. By adjusting time this way to suit their own purposes, people probably adjusted the meaning of their existences. In other words, by adding such operations to time, they were able – but just barely – to preserve their own sanity. Surely, if a person had to accept the time through which he had just passed uniformly in the given order, his nerves could not bear the strain. Such a life, Tengo felt, would be sheer torture.

“Through the expansion of the brain, people had acquired the concept of temporality, but they simultaneously learned ways in which to change and adjust time. In parallel with their ceaseless consumption of time, people would ceaselessly reproduce time that they had mentally adjusted. This was no ordinary feat. No wonder the brain was said to consume forty percent of the body’s total energy!”

– Ibid., p. 275

my bookmark reads: strike!

TRIPLE DIP – STRIKE

“They’re both policemen now. Not too long ago, my uncle even received official commendation as an outstanding officer – thirty years of continuous service, major contributions to public safety in the district and to improvement of the environment. He was featured in the paper once for saving a stupid dog and her pup that wandered into a rail crossing.”

“The ones who did it can always rationalise their actions and even forget what they did. They can turn away from things they don’t want to see. But the surviving victims can never forget. They can’t turn away. Their memories are passed on from parent to child. That’s what the world is, after all: an endless battle of contrasting memories.”

– Ibid., pp. 292-293

I am a part of this world, and this world is a part of me.”

– Ibid., p. 855

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the cure is worse than the disease

going to the theatre is like visiting a good friend who is very ill. I am always afraid of what I will find when I get there.

What new ritual of humiliation will she have been subjected to in the name of making her better?

And usually there he is, good old friend, sitting up in bed, the room too warm, the view non-existent, the decor ugly, a grisly smile on his face as he says hello, hello to us all, and the face itself, now I look, what have they done to it?

Is there a mirror?

I immediately want to rush up and show her.

Was it always a question of make-up – too much make-up – to hide the facts, the cracks?

Was he always dying?

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tyranny of light

tyranny of light wherein hallucinations are clearly and distinctly seen, and being seen are recognised, and recognised are understood, and understood are taken as held in common; and in this light all individual consciousness corresponds, as if the clear part of every monad coincided, and to this tyranny each individual consciousness defers and by it is coopted.

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series natural, temporal, gastronomic, cosmetic






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to placard: sufficient conditioning; a call to raise expectations of and from conditions considered sufficient

[-with minor alterations, the following was sent to the Listserv Unlike Us: Understanding Social Media Monopolies and their Alternatives-]

Dear Un-Alike,
I’m intrigued by the support here for decentralization as a condition for a desirable network. Decentralization is what the social graph aspires to, lighting up the dark zones of the net, growing virally, accumulating capital from a closed circuit of service – P2P, yes, and emphasising personalization alongside offering software as a service. A network as I understand it leans towards a hub and feeder model before either a centripetally hierarchical, an egalitarian, or a random distribution.

The problem of social media is the many and the one and the various non-processual practices to which we, one, they are submitted. The box/circle/cutter of normalisation and presumptive (profiling) generalisation (based on a consumption-use dictatorship – i.e. what a majority will commit to, with a click – and what the power to sell will prescribe) strikes me, in other words, the constraint of expression of the individual and the reciprocal constraint of articulation of the societies, strike me as being more critical, and more problematic, in existing online social-individual arrangements.

Time, it seems to me, is of the essence in what is at stake for social networks to work: processual, non-presumptive – and non-patronising (!), constructive of both individual and social identities, multiple and whole – by turns, in time -, further, relational in so far as difference enters between and before the one and the many, you, me, one them …us.

I am working in the field of this problematic, this critical milieu, in order to build a poly-lingual dialogical commons, an online social processual and differential simulacrum, and am seeking collaborators in many fields, pre-eminently – where the need is greatest – in code-writing. Please contact me if you are interested. [here]

I feel I should add that I agree neither that entrepreneurial activity has a natural proclivity towards promoting unethical behaviour, nor that the commercial can somehow be separated from the constructive, creative and artistic – and socially responsible – spheres. In fact, it seems to me that a lot of art is exploitative and static, non-progressive, cynical, repressive, however enjoyable it may be; and a lot of commercial activity is affirmative, creative, constructive and ethical – despite erring on the side of lack of imagination, vision… often. I am interested in building an apparatus for online interaction with the support of entrepreneurs and expect this project to be artistically and commercially viable, adequate and effective: in fact, the standards that I am applying are those of both artistic and commercial efficacy – real-world intervention – for this constructivist undertaking.

…further, you can show your support for this project by signing in here – yes, it’s legit and safe, not a scam, and it is a help.

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