day 29, 30 & 31

I knew that the promise of this crisis, that it didn’t make any; least of all did it promise through the slippages entailed in the political management of the crisis any reevaluation of the principles by which that political management is in government informed.

What is meant here by political management is shutting down economies; what is meant by principles are those on which the business-as-usual of economies is based. Then by reevaluation is meant the power of a political will, of government, to change those principles on which the business-as-usual of economies is based.

At best what we have had over the period of economic shutdown–which can be taken quite literally in the lockdown of the public realm to the private and domestic realm–is a vague period. It has been one of not knowing how it will come out, of not knowing if any political strategy is going to work, and of not knowing, or of having inadequate knowledge, of what is really going on.

On one side we have felt the state flexing its muscles, sometimes behind the vanity screen of voluntary adherence to social rules, and out in the open, the enforcement of an almost arbitrary authoritarianism, then through the complicity of private agents jamming police lines dobbing other citizens in for breaches, Stasi-like. On the other side we have experienced what has felt almost like an over-reaction. Although to say so is to fistpump with the types of people whose opinions Trump mainlines, so we won’t be saying that.

The enigma continues in the prospect of many workplaces becoming filled once more, but by people doing very little; the businesses themselves propped up by subsidy and returning to work workers who will have little work to do. This has been, will have been, another of those embarrassing moments when that light negligee of economic dogma has shifted–showing, unsurprisingly, but nonetheless still shockingly, no body, nobody!, underneath.

Others have been a universal living wage having been coughed out to millions without any government whining about if you don’t work for it, just die, you just die! (As it happened this was what a Russian friend said to a Chinese friend, then both laughed and said: And we both had revolutions!) And if we take into account that the pretext for this coughing up is not say so bad as some global pandemics (but we won’t say that), then has it been too easily sidelined, the economic orthodoxy of neoliberalism? Has it given up without a fight? (The enemy COVID-19 is… evil evil evil, but hardly lifethreatening to the world economy! or globalism!)

But some of the explanation can be found in the price-mechanism of Hayek-inspired (who said so? Mirowski said so!) neoliberal thinking. That is, the machine is supposed to run independently of government actions, government being relegated to irrelevance, otherwise known as governance.

Then what happens? State governments shut down the mechanisms of the market, almost as if they no longer know what they are; almost as if they have forgotten that these levers and stop buttons used to have big signs on them saying use by political prerogative IN EMERGENCY ONLY!

The market is the market’s to shut down!

What to say about the promise–some commentators have evoked the work of Mark Fisher, who talks of the present as haunted by the possible futures which have never come to pass, and now never can. Why haunted? because of the hope, because of the promise … even if it’s simply one of a technological utopia. (I recall undergoing training at primary school in how to deal with all the leisure time I was going to have to endure as an adult, when technological progress was going to have, was supposed to have, coincided with enlightened social policy.) Now the future’s here and it’s hardly what we expected. … But then the future gets here again, with COVID-19, and it’s really not what we expected!

And again it returns, the future, bearing the φάρμακον, the pharmakon, that Greek gift–think Troy as well as Austerity–Derrida so well interprets.

And with the promises of returns to work looming, for me and some young people I know, as if this were the promise, I picked up Kundera’s book Encounter. It reminded me about the role of kitsch in hiding human cruelty.

And in view of the certitudes of work, as opposed to the enigmas we have suffered through, and suffered from, I read: “The existential enigma has disappeared behind political certitude, and certitudes don’t give a damn about enigmas. This is why, despite the wealth of their lived experiences, people emerge from a historic ordeal still just as stupid as they were when they went into it.”

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enjoy your resurrection, day 17, into day 18

Once resurrected then what?

And what bits will be and which won’t?

What will society lose? the weakest and most vulnerable?

…or the sense that they are… having lost the sense of their welfare being our responsibility and of our meaning society.

There may never have been any society in general. But it is just as true to say there may never have been any body in general.

Of course there is the external society.

Of course there is the external body.

But neither the body nor society are relations to true externalities–until they include the experience of a society-of-others and a body-as-other.

Just this, or that which Lingis calls in his eponymous work the community of those who have nothing in common, is what is meant by bearing responsibility for the weakest and most vulnerable. And we might say making accountable the strongest and most powerful.

When do we experience the otherness of the body? When we are deprived of the touch of the other. Our own limbs start to feel eerily bereft as if they have lost touch with the sense they made before. Why did I have this hand if not to caress? Was it always meant to tap tap tap at the keyboard, to turn the pages, to work the remote, to slice and dice, to be endlessly scrubbed?

When do we experience the otherness of the body? When part of it is infected. Or afflicted. It is the opposite of a phantom limb. A dead limb. An arm in a cast. A dismembered member. A face, even, swollen and strange, only the eyes recognisable as our own.

When do we experience the otherness of society? When every other person we meet might be the potential carrier of a disease.

When part of it is infected. Or afflicted. …Perhaps even when part of society is afflicted with being weak, or poor, or vulnerable, we experience its otherness.

When we feel power over a part of society we are haunted by the feeling that we are the same as them. We want to deny it. Sometimes we can. Sometimes we cannot.

Levinas writes that this is the response to the address the other makes, the imperative she places on us to respond, and as Lingis takes on this thought, it is the stranger, the diseased one in the street, who reaches out his hand to us… making us responsible. Sometimes we can deny it. We might turn around to make sure we are not being seen turning away. Sometimes we cannot. We are haunted by that sick face… haunted by our own powerlessness to help. But what really were we being called on to do?

All we are being asked to do in order to get through the absence of treatment for COVID-19 is to treat society as infected.

We are not asked to deny those parts of society infected exist.

We are asked to cut them off.

resurrected, what will that do?

Fisher wrote that we are haunted by futures, our futures sometimes imagined glorious, sometimes perfidious, the possibility of which actually occurring is absent.

They are the phantom limbs of our current society, of our current social organisation. And they itch. And we scratch. A literary scratch there. A cinematic one here. Utopian here. Dystopian there.

At least we can take refuge in the thought we were not responsible and are not accountable for the not-coming-to-pass of futures, global, environmental or social.

We can take refuge in the thought we are responsible and accountable only for our individual ones. That we did not put away savings for a son or daughter; that we did not buy health insurance… that our private dream was never realised …

But this presence of those present who are cut off because infected…

can we take refuge in the thought we were forced to

cut them off?

(Thank you Gloria Chan-Sook Kim whose phrase ‘phantom touch’ in a post to the <<empyre>> listserv gave occasion to think these thoughts.)

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what does Rona (thanks M.) tell us about mor(t)ality? days 14, 15, 16

I just read that Hal Willner–genius of collaboration–died of symptoms consistent with C-19 (as M. relates, Rona, in Oz). See this, since we are in one:

And this:


It is also shocking to read that named celebrities are being COVID-ed, coveted, and their deaths converted to the virus’s … dominion. For Rona will have dominion: and this is easy, in the isolation of lockdown, to neglect.

That there are deaths unobserved. Funerals unattended. Obsequies undelivered; or given by digital token attendance; by priests and others holding holy office in bulk to caskets waiting to be interred.

That the dying are dying without human touch. (Alphonso Lingis writes so well on this.) They are dying without contact; that those dear to them cannot come near. They are dying uninstructed in the patter of commonplaces attendant on those dying delivered by the ones who don’t know what to say. Say anything! the parents say. Say anything, we tell ourselves–the contact, the touch of a hand is enough, the brush of a hand against a cheek, or a cheek caressed.

That some of us are living as the others are dying, without a body other than our own to keep us company.

But is it worse for those who cannot be at the bedside? And for the medical staff who stop them, for the nurse who bars the way; and for the doctor who knows his gloved hand, or her medical patter not to be enough. To be in fact insulting, an insult to the life; whose interest now is in passing through this latest trial and not in why or how it is occurring.

It must be worse for the mothers and fathers, for the children, for the brother, sister and the lover of those who are now sequestered awaiting the final prognosis.

And this must be the worst.

And then it is not so bad many are revelling in self-congratulation that their institutions recently made the switch to digital. That books are available through the token of a digital presence.

Courses are provided online. The outsourcing to digital providers is vindicated! The outlay on IT and digital infrastructure is justified!

Just wait for augmented reality and haptic feedback! It will all be suited so well to the next pandemic! think of the apps!

And then, think of the numbers.

But I had had no intention of making these token comments.

My mind had still been on the political where there is no pulse.

I had had an enlightening conversation with my family–but tonight my family have been using the outdoor bath I had been building as I had had in mind the politics–and in that enlightening conversation I had entirely failed to enlighten them and they had had to be dragged kicking and screaming all the way there … and all the way back … for my trouble: well if it was my trouble let me bathe in my own trouble! marinate in that polluted water!

But now… we are neglectful. Even though I had been wanting, waiting and wanting, to say how governments have not wrested powers away from those to whom they gave them–for whatever good reason, because I’m sure the reasons for government must be good.

Governments have not wrested powers, even as these powers are their own, of legislature, back: there is only talk of rules; laws are much harder to come by, especially those limiting the powers of economic and market players.

Disaster economics. The point is not that there will be profiteers in this situation. The point is it will neither be to the political profit of government nor to good reason. And it is not the point that economics can claim the prerogative of running most of the business of being human. The point is governments have not taken back what they gave away and that they will not, even as extreme as, in some cases, even as authoritarian, in some, it has been.

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Deleuze|Guattari studies conference Tokyo 2019


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from EF who wrote a book on LR’s TRANSFORMER LP to JC & an alternative FEAR from the one on that LP

0:30 Love You So Bad 4:15 Evening Prayer 7:13 Interview 14:18 Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone 16:44 Psalm 151
thanks noah

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evening prayer aka justice

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for Raymond Boyce, 19 May 1928 – 1 August 2019, presented at the tribute held 10 August 2019, Hannah Playhouse, Wellington, NZ


some links:

“this building”

“is a masterpiece”

“of theatre” “design”

see also,

under the lefthand margin heading


which is of course


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21 June 2019: Akasaka – Komaba Campus Tokyo University – first day of Deleuze/Guattari Studies in Asia 7th International Conference

Today is the first day of the conference. The camp ended. J. arrived. I moved from staying at Yoyogi Memorial Olympic Youth Hostel to Akasaka, land of many reasonably priced eatingplaces and the old red light district, and Hotel Felice.

I reckoned on taking the Chiyoda line, since it seemed the more direct route than changing the local line at Shibuya, and arriving, albeit directly, at Komaba Campus Tokyo University. Together we planned my walking route from Yoyogi-Koen to Komaba. On the right would be a Doutor coffeeshop. I would walk 50 metres. At the end of the road, I would turn left, and, after 145 metres, I would turn right. At the twolane expressway, after 85 metres, turn left, for 25 metres, then right. Another 145 metress—left onto Yamate-Dori Ave. 515 metres down the avenue. Right at Tokyo University. 20 metres, then left, back onto Yamate-Dori—are you kidding? After 70 metres, right: there it is, see? University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus.

I saw no Doutor coffeeshop. Leaving the station, I headed into Shibuya, grazing the side of the area I’d been in when first I arrived. This meant I knew to turn right. Straight, let’s say is South. Komaba, is West. Is it?

I asked at a Family Mart. There is always a Family Mart. The people who work there are very helpful and friendly. They never know where you are going or how to get there.

I headed west. Young people, couples, I asked one. They looked studenty. He knew the way. And gestured vaguely nor-west. I entered an interior of two-bedroom dwellings, a residential zone. These always have curving narrow streets. They rarely have streetsigns. One remembers Barthes’s Empire of Signs.

I reach a park. There is a well-dressed young businessman—in a thin dark suit—with a tablet, not even smoking, which would have been more usual. He is standing under a tree. Is he watching TV?

He has little English, but understands my pronunciation of Komaba and Tokyo University. He searches in the browser of the tablet, without any luck. He opens a new window. Perhaps it is Google Earth, because on the screen I see, thanks to him allowing me to, the earth. With two fingers splaying on the screen he zooms in: there is Japan. Zooming in closer, we both see Tokyo. We share the joke that we can’t find out where we are without visiting the planet as extraterrestrials might, from space—to Shoto Park, Shibuya. You might even expect to see us both under this tree, if we zoom in close enough. But of course, there are many steps to go.

There is Shibuya. Far to the left of the screen is greenery, the New Zealand embassy, strangely, and appearing now, below it, to the south, one might say, is Komaba Campus. It looks to be several hours walk away. I have half an hour. As for the route, it is perfectly incomprehensible. At most I can see to reach the tip of Shoto Park and to head off in this orientation. (What is orientation if its westward? Occidentation?)

I thank him doomo arigato! Soon I reach a wide expressway with tall chimneys from the median strip, providing ventilation for the underground. A fence along the road seems to be a construction site but behind it there are trees, and where it ends a lane leads to a metal gate held ajar like a turnstile to stop vehicular access and warning signs, from which I infer only those on legitimate business should enter. Behind the gate there are areas going to weed and wide concrete paths. A young woman approaches and I ask her if this is Komaba. She extracts her cordless earphones and looks surprised I know where I am.

I have a campus map and it shows the building I should find, Bldg 18. This back entrance leads past an athletic field and a baseball park. The grounds in general, around the modernist blocks, look like they are left to grow wants to grow; and there is a central pedestrian avenue lined with northern-hemisphere trees. They could be plane trees, and must turn in the autumn. There are cyclists but no throng of students.

Finding myself in the back in an unkempt area of wild grasses and weeds a block behind the avenue, I hear in the distance a HEY! And Over here! I can’t see anyone and turn completely around. In the distance a small figure in the shadow of an entrance waves its hands. I look around to see whether I am the intended recipient of this signaling. HEY! Rings out again. Seems like it.

The figure disappears indoors. I reach the entrance to building 18, so it must be. The distances collapse—like that I saw on the map in Shoto Park intervening between there and here—and soon I am in crowded foyer. Alphonso Lingis is standing in the middle of it talking to a dancer and theorist I recognise from the camp. I hang around, but am rather swept up in the registration process, receiving a bag branded with Deleuze and Guattari’s names in Japanese, and in it a reprint of the programme, another journal, white with silver graphics, matching a T-shirt, also white and silver.

We filter through into the hall where Koichiro-san will deliver Opening Remarks. Al Lingis has come into the hall. I approach and introduce myself and we end up sitting together, the Australian dancer theorist on his left. I say, You are surrounded by antipodeans.

Koichiro-san talks on the theme of the conference: war machine conflict coexistence.

In the name of the field in which we gather the most famous conflict is that over the Continental Analytic divide. But then there is also that of Deleuze and Guattari studies with the Derrideans: “I do not like to avert my eyes from these conflicts,” says Koichiro-san. (I almost wrote ‘bravely.’)

He notes during the recent Deleuze|Guattari Studies conference in Brazil the protests against Deleuzian studies.

Here we are, speaking in English about a very French philosopher, in Japan.

This itself speaks to the third theme coexistence—over representation exists a complete injunction.

Ian Buchanan’s opening address is entitled “Society of Control (Revisited)” and of course he trespasses on that injunction I have just name making representative application of the philosophy we are set here to discuss. Perhaps we were better to conclude this no conference but an inference?

Deleuze/Guattari Studies Asia began 7 years ago in Taiwan. I forget the context, but Buchanan quotes Twain—perhaps it is an orthographical association with Taiwan?—“I didn’t have time to write you a short letter so I wrote a long letter instead.”

“Many young people,” he says, “have a strange craving to be motivated.”

(In light of the storming of Hong Kong’s Legislative Chambers today, this is more or less ironic?)

Buchanan cites the book, The Tyranny of Metrics, then Deleuze: “We are in the middle of a general breakdown of sites of confinement.” That is the prisons, schools, houses of legislation and government, places—this is really an architectural theme—where disciplinarity is demonstrated and its authority is now being contested, or, rather deposed.

The theme of the talk is open capture—in the global algorithmic field of data. So Surveillance Capitalism is also cited—one of my ‘lolly-scramble’ of capitalisms in the appendix to the presentation I will give later today.

David Harvey: “The best way to get rich is to sell something you didn’t pay for.”

Frederic Jameson: culture can be sold like nature—to exploit culture in the way we exploited nature.

(This too may be more or less ironic given the deforestation of the Amazon, that proceeds today at the rate of one ‘football field’—the source is BBC—a minute, under Bolsanaro.)

Compared to Google the surveillance of the Stasi in now nonexistent East Germany, where one in five were reputed to be informers, is “child’s play.”

On average, every time you agree, ticking the ‘agree to terms and conditions’ box to gain access to some digital and online service, you are agreeing on average to 1000 contracts: you data is being shared with, on average, 1000 services-businesses, other than the one for which you are signing up.

I successfully recall the term agnotology: the willful, not to say strategic, production of ignorance—in the consumer population.

A change is noted from central out circulation of ‘news’ to point to point distribution.

“In the open air, fake news can be debated and exposed,” but not on Facebook, where you are the product.

What Deleuze is doing in talking about score-cards in the “Postscript on Control Society” is evoking the situation we have today, for example, in education, with outcomes and metrics designed to represent them, and autoveillance designed to self-assess one’s efficacy in securing, or producing, them: score-cards are the best way of turning education into a business.

Services are sold now; and the general field of activities bought.

Deleuze says, machines don’t explain anything by themselves.

Cybernetics connects, as Adam Curtis maintains, to Control Society.

In Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari write that the flow of capital is always accompanied by an equal flow of stupidity.

In knowledge workers and service-information, or informatics, labour stupidity is axiomatised, meaning the self-authorising, the law-making, of axiomatics. (If the law don’t fit the rule, change it to make it, or make a new law.)

The media machine no longer needs us for it to function. (But doesn’t this already hold and isn’t this already entailed in cinema? And there theorised? Not to speak of the machines of the unconscious: they don’t need us, or what we call ‘us,’ to function.)

Facebook—here the new form of capitalism is being adduced—has approximately 4000 workers. But it makes USD500 billion.

This is because 2 billion people work for Facebook for free.

Our response? We should be looking for new weapons.

Question: how do we respond to the speed of modulation?

Buchanan: “We have lost the aesthetic capacity to respond to our times.”

This last well-rehearsed phrase warrants discussion. It does so not over the question Have we? Have we lost blahblahblah… There have been, and there will be more, too many grandstanding WE HAVE’s and WE ARE’s. As Greg and Anne pointed out earlier: this is exactly the eternal return of ontology, of the ontological: this is how we are now; I am justified in my observation for its timeliness—it is after all, after all, NOW we are talking about and now we are talking. Or, as I supposed, now about which we confer at this conference.

Does ‘conference’ always presuppose the inference of the now of the timeliness of our participation in discussion? … From which various diverse positions can be elaborated, before, in fact, they elaborate themselves in whatever consensus or dissensus is at stake.

The young man from the Philippines with the elaborate name, Elijah Joshua Benjamin D.F. Aban, was the most politically radical speaker—for which I admired him. We shared the next session, because the third presenter, Mikkel Astrup, didn’t show.

He read at breakneck speed volumethreeofCapitalisusedbyDeleuze&Guattari lack&desireaddressedinthatbook CapitaltheonlybookpublishedduringMarx’slifetime …

Revolution is still being conducted in the Philippines in the form of a protracted people’s war. It is mentioned in The Communist Necessity. Negri also cites Philippino radical movements.

I deliver my paper. (This is the link to the paper I presented.)

More—I deliver my presentation; and, strangely, although it is written, lineated, to fit as a reading within the 25 minute limit we would have if there were three presenters, it sits nicely in the allocated 35 or so.

Joff P.N. Bradley, one of the convener’s and running this session, asks the first question: Why this form? (You will see, if you follow the link, what he means.) Is it a collage?

It is written as a presentation, to be presented—and the time for these presentations is short. It is not a representation. It is not written to represent themes, ideas, concepts or illustrate them, with examples, but to present them.

Deleuze—and I have in mind his lack of good will, his being, as Joe Hughes has it, a surly interlocutor, a phrase I already used in my question to Jae a few days ago—is nonpropositional. He does not represent, or, in philosophical exposition, offer a one to one correspondence between terms and concepts: he is nonrepresentational. Multiplying voices presents another way in which his books do not represent, say, the views of their author—or of an author.

This idea is in Deleuze as indirect discourse. It takes the place here of any kind of literary criticism or interpretative approach or hermeneutics.

Rather than a collage, there were three themes I wanted to present. So there are three bins. I was tempted, upon hearing Kuniichi Uno’s presentation at the Camp, where he spoke about the figure, to rename them figures for the damage they do—a damage Deleuze ascribes to the movement of thought: fig. 1, fig. 2, and so on. But… As the writing progressed, relations among the themes developed in a reciprocal contagion, forging connections in mutual imbrication.

Why Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem? I am asked.

Because I like it, I say. …and because of its insolubility. The three-body problem is not, cannot be, solved in the novel. It is insoluble. The movement of three celestial bodies, three suns in this case, cannot be predicted.

In the novel the attempt is made in a virtual reality game, played by characters on earth. So it sets up a plane of the problematic—where the three themes can each consist in a nonpredetermined way.

There is a special poignancy about this, since, given the insolubility of the problem, earth is subsequently threatened by invasion, an invasion which it is unlikely humanity will survive. There is this movement from virtual reality to reality—from a game to the reality of the end of humans.

Also, I found echoes for neoliberal tactics—of autoveillance, of constant controls, reductive metrics, outcome-based, where price is the only organ of sense the thought collective offers to perceive the problem and in its determinations of the individual, social, the political, as well as the economic—in the depiction, at the beginning of the novel, of conditions at the height of the Cultural Revolution in China, 50 years ago. These echoes amount to a technology of the self—of selves—governed by technocracy and presided over, in China by the Party, and, for us today, by corpocracy. (I recalled that Elijah Joshua Benjamin D.F. Aban in his presentation used the name Mark Fisher, saying Rest in peace, Brother.)

Before I began I saw a figure I recognised from Stockholm, the Deleuze|Guattari Conference there: Dan W. Smith, the superb commentator and translator of Deleuze, currently working on his lectures. He approaches and says, That was really great.

If anyone was going to pull me up on points of contention, I thought it’s going to be you, I say.

Why would I? He says. It all worked together and was great.

Al Lingis attended this session, sitting next to Ruth Irwin, who liked it. Al is also all smiles. We have lunch together.

Al maintains a curiosity about people, asking each one he meets their name and what they do.

At lunch, he speaks of his birds, his aviaries, the two acres he has at home—and how Muhammad Ali used to look after rooftop pigeonhouses for dimes when a kid.

A boy he knew once went up there and killed the pigeons. Ali confronted him and, although he was bigger, took him on, and severely beat him. After this is when Ali began to train as a boxer: he knew he could not control his anger; and this was the only time, he said, he ever lost control.

Muhammad Ali kept and cared for pigeons all his life. He had several thousand pigeons.

Felicity Coleman is the next keynote speaker: “Becoming Algorithmic: Modalities of “collective interactivity” in the post-media era.”

Coleman maps the modal onto the physical where it engages an ethics. From the modal and modality I hear something of Spinoza, the mode being individual, or individuating—an individual, sufficiently individuated to interact in the post-media era.

Guattari’s notion of ‘post-media’ points forward to an algorithmic becoming of the world.

The relation of code to what it encrypts is entirely arbitrary. Guattari’s molecular revolution indicates a modal ethics, as both a future condition and a hope—for post-media.

Guattari starts to worry about International World Capitalism on the threshold of its integration through algorithms. He asks, How can the singularity of mediatic expression be recovered? When there is a paradox: it is mediatic, not singular. Yet it is necessary that it is at once mediatic and singular.

Modal logics belong to philosophical logics. Karen Barad is cited for the materialism that distinguishes matter from materialisation—that is how it comes to be and is used. Here are apparent epistemological and discursive interests: an interest in the users.

70.8 million people today are displaced—the highest number of displaced since WWII.

Coleman shows a slide of the refugee boat installed at this year’s Venice Biennale. 1000 people lost their lives on it. It had sunk and the artist salvaged it to be a monument to refugees.

Helen Storey’s work at the camp Za’atari is representative of algorithmic becoming.

Camp registration shows the number of people in the camp and their status. These are “Human Capital Data.”

Za’atari is about to achieve city status. Humans here are the assets.

The UN funds (what I note at the time under the acronyms GIS and ICT) the self-mapping of refugees for the sake of camp administrators and ‘stake-holders.’ This is a measurement of “axes of value” (Guattari).

In how the suffering mode (of “human data points”) is lived and played out, one must guard against all mechanistic automatic thought.

Coleman asks, What is the point of the human species?

What is the point of the human species—as it undergoes an algorithmic revolution that is equal to the industrial revolution.

This question consists in asking after the modes of life—of an algorithmic humanity.

“Becoming algorithmic” is “to be completely subsumed in the dataset.”

For Coleman, Guattari’s notion of minor is over. The minor is over.

The molecular revolution didn’t happen.

“I think desire has been completely obliterated in this global moment.”

Asked about AI, she respond, “I don’t think AI is what the media would have us believe it is.”

code is neutral (should this have a question mark?) – algorithm is not.

The minor is over, therefore a new scale of organisation of subjectivities is called for (Coleman makes clear she does not see this happening at the scale it would need to—to produce results).

Elijah Joshua Benjamin D.F. Aban asks, What can be done to recapture the potentialities for revolution, given that algorithm is in utero? (That is, the totalisation of the field of humanity as data assets or data points is not yet fully effected.) He invokes a “capitalist mindset” and it is unclear whether Coleman’s presentation is part of it.

“I can’t possibly answer that question because it’s 2019 and I’m a feminist,” she says.

She namechecks at the end Barad, Claire Colebrook, and another whose name I don’t get, whom she calls—although I might have misheard—an abolitionist. This is a thinker, or these are thinkers, whose belief is that the earth should be and presumably will be better off without humans. It’s not a nihilism. Then again presumably it is a feminism adequate to 2019.

I am reminded of The Three-Body Problem. Once it is established the Trisolarans are on their way to earth, there are those who work with the master species to hasten the demise of humanity.

Is a feminist thought adequate to 2019 one that works with the earth to abolish humanity? Of necessity?

I also think about Deleuze’s “open a window, to let in a little air.”

As I’m leaving the hall, I say to Elijah Joshua Benjamin D.F. Aban that I liked his presentation and that I thought he should be asking about possibility in the light of algorithmic becoming.

Torsten Jenkel is presenting in the next session—three are running concurrently.

Torsten’s work is on Macunaíma, a novel written in 1938 by Mario de Andrade. He is writing his PhD on it. On the way to the National Noh Theatre we talked about it. He is unnecessarily self-deprecating.

Mario de Andrade is also the author of the Anthropophagic Manifesto, in which we read: “Only cannibalism unites us! Socially Economically Philosophically.”

The specific cannibalism in question is that of the Tupi tribes, in Brazil. “Tupi or not tupi, that is the question,” he also writes.

Torsten’s presentation is a philological excavation of bibliographical sources.

He speaks of the St. Thomas legend—which is how the Portuguese on their arrival interpreted the legend of the indigenes about a white man who preached peace many years before their arrival. He left footprints in the rock and had a cross as his emblem.

Theodor Koch-Grünberg illustrates the telling of this tale by an indigene. In it the white man is well-dressed and placed above the indigenous informant, who is silent, semi-nude, and listens to the white man rather than telling his story. Koch-Grünberg’s written description completely belies this pictorial depiction. The indigenous informant is well-dressed, the white man listens.

I think of Cabeza de Vaca, his journey, how it mirrors that of this St. Thomas.

Torsten talks of the whitening policy—through intermarriage, an active policy to whiten the indigenous population through miscegenation.

In Macunaíma the capitalist is a mythological cannibal giant.

Torsten talks of Macunaíma as a schizo movement, a picaresque, its logic “not being logical” as Mario de Andrade says.

James Martell’s presentation deals with Beckett as diagnostician of these Trumpian clown-times.

Trump: “I know words. I have the best words.”

Beckett’s diagnosis gives us a war machine—“absolute mindlessness” as the ground of thinking or where thinking cannot quite be, yet be or any longer be—this definition of the virtual—distinguished from the ground, Schelling’s Ungrund. … “bottom of thought rises to the surface where an individuation cannot give it form.”

“Wreck it, like Beckett”—sing Scottish band Therapy.

… “the sound of the surface being broken”—Beckett.

Deleuze: Beckett’s l’épuissé—being the emblem of the exhaustion of possibilities. (But this is quite unlike Coleman’s absence of possibilities and foreclosure. Again the problem and therefore the distinction devolves on this (or that) being the case, on a grounding, as is the focus of Christian Kerslake’s book, Immanence and the Vertigo of Philosophy, taken from the title of an early series of lectures (1956?) delivered by Deleuze, “What is Grounding,” itself recalling of course Heidegger. That is this distinction between knowledge and being, or the problem of sense, as Deleuze puts it, after Hyppolite.)

Tingting Hui speaks on Lewis Carroll’s Alice. (What is it about Logic of Sense that has so captured attention at this time?)

Or, as Tingting puts it, “what is more serious, to eat or to speak a word?”

All three presentations deal with different kinds of mirrors:

– Torsten: the mirror of history or mythology that is literalised in history.

– James: mirror of Fallon and Trump; again something literal here in the repetitions of Trump, in portraits on the walls, and the interview of Trump in a dressing-room mirror by Fallon as Trump.

– Tingting: mirror of the looking-glass.

Logic of Sense comprises 34 series of paradoxes.

Question of oral regress, regression intrinsic to the mouth where what is said and the edible switch places, ingestion and expression.

Agamben et al. pair language and silence, and depth.

Louis Wolfson called himself a schizophrenic working in language—he feels as guilty after eating as after hearing his mother’s voice. He is unprepared for the division of interiority and exteriority.

Again, it is interesting to note that Wolfson, Carroll and Artaud all appear together in Logic of Sense, where literal language is that of surface and schizophrenic language is that of depth, speaking food, devouring words, by Artaud, leaving only skeletons.

The questions for this session, for each of the presenters, are taken together.

I am interested in the idea that it is the indigenous and mythological component of Macunaíma for Torsten that perverts its logic. There seems to be here an impulse that wants to ground the transgression of logic, the trans-sense, of indigenous mythology, as it is taken up in Macunaíma,in a kind of ‘indigenism’ diagnosed by Mexican philosopher Emilio Uranga as being a cultural nostalgia for an historically ‘more native’ understanding that never was, was never absolute, but could only appear relative to a later cultural formation.

Tropicalísmo by contrast works by way of the smallest difference, by calculating a cultural differential, a shift in rhythm, that is all the more disruptive (although this word has been cheapened).

Esposito might also read cannibalism into immunity? A morsel of the other is taken into oneself.

Macunaíma‘s transgressive force is the rupture of laughter? That is to say, its immanence?

Coffee. Then it’s all happening again: I choose the session with Dan Smith, not just because he said nice things about my presentation.

Janell Watson is with Kenneth Surin. Were they both then in Stockholm?

Michel Serres, reports Watson, attributes his work to the problem of violence: all his writing is about Hiroshima.

Were Deleuze and Guattari, as Badiou says, just a couple of desiring anarchists?

Is axiomatic commodification more cruel, as they say, in Anti-Oedipus, than acts of barbarism and savagery? Really? (I hear Watson’s singular intonation on that emphasis.)

There is a fathomless abyss between the flow of capital and wages and purchasing power. Capital increases exponentially, while money in the pocket is a trickle.

Capitalism is “no longer the age of cruelty or the age of terror but of cynicism, accompanied by a strange piety.” Piety spiritualises capital extraction of surplus value.

The state is always barbarism … capitalism requires reterritorialisation.

Jason Read—must be the same as the would-be translator of Simondon—writes on the capitalist split subject—split over: a cynical capitalist intention; with a pious state requiring the subject’s belief.

There are two pieties:

1) Obama—metropolitan globalist piety

2) Trump—ethno-majoritarian piety

Despotic residues haunt the capitalist state.

Deleuze and Guattari: “the state desire, the most fantastic machine for repressing is still desire.”

This fantastic desiring machine is Lacan’s objet petit a—a little machine driving all desire.

Tauel Harper works his Habermas virtuous communication bubble sociological positivist nice guy schtick. (All the good will Deleuze’s surly interlocution abjures, for all its affirmation.)

He sounds like High Performance through High Engagement—the course the PSA has foisted on council employees… that nods to Interest-based Problem-solving, only because it is a repackaged course bought some five years ago: all that Habermas virtuous communication bubble sociologically positivistic view of society schtick, that ended when Thatcher said “There is no such thing as society.”

Tauel Harper says, “Brexit is the biggest thumbing of the nose to international capitalism I have seen in my lifetime.” Trump with Brexit he coins as Truxit, not Trumpit or Brexump.

In his presentation I hear this word repeated “represent” again and again.

Dan Smith takes the desk, presenting.

Deleuze says explicitly, “powers of the false—come from time”…

  1. form of the true contrasts with the power of the false—the universal and necessary universality of right
  2. form of time—what could possibly undermine the form of the true? Deleuze’s answer is time. Truth changes in time, but – this is just a change in contention – it doesn’t change the form of the truth Error is only an effect of the true. The form of time is independent of its contents, puts the form of truth in question. The form of time is nonchronological.
  3. What is it that the primary form of time is is coexistence – if it is true that a naval battle may take place tomorrow: then, two paradoxes. The paradox of possible propositions, each become necessary. 2nd logically impossible cannot be derived from the possible. This is the paradox of contingent futures.
  4. The falsifier—his master argument allows Deleuze to paint a picture of the falsifier, as he who “imposes a power of the false adequate to time.” (Deleuze) – allows falsifier to give direct appearance of time: incompossible present. – Borges’s “Garden of Forking Paths” in which all possibilities occur at once. Pure form of time frees form of false from subordination to time: False is no longer not true – but raises the false to the power of metamorphosis – stands opposed to the eternal and the true.

Philosophy – creates concepts in time

– concepts don’t have an identity but a becoming in time;

put time into concept—intensity changes AND so the form of time is introduced into Deleuze’s concepts.

False no longer means not true because form of the false has been freed by the form



One still requires immanence.

The truthful person is the first falsifier.

The concept is an invention.

Art: 3 great texts

– Melville’s The Confidence Man

– Fourth Book of Zarathustra

F for Fake, Welles

… “The forger does know how to change. The forger relies on the expert who recognises the true Vermeer.” All the forger has to do is to study the criteria of the expert. The expert always has a forger in him. Both forger and expert engage judgement.”

Science: is not dogmatic, willfully fallible—a theological notion

– asymptotic progress towards the form of the true.

Kant – God expresses the ideal of absolute knowledge that is the goal of science.

Mononaturalism: precisely because of its fallibility most of the propositions of science will be shown in the future to be false

– progress of science equals that of falsity to falsity

– the movement of science embodies the power of the false as a power of metamorphosis—and of the multiple.

Through Popper’s falsifiability science becomes a patchwork of ceteras parabas—all things being equal

from Deleuze we have an autonomous power of the false freed as the not untrue

Nietzsche’s critique must be borne in mind: “What if we want untruth?”

– Deleuze shows true is in fact secondary to the truth subject to the pure form of time.


Anne: where time is no longer eternity, the form of time is also metamorphic. The form of time is itself not ontological.

Dan: Deleuze says reality, time—it’s all a problem. That problem is a pure variability. It is continuous variation.

Greg: You are looking for a true form of the false.

Greg (to Janell Watson): the reference to piety is also a reference to Nietzsche.

Dan: belief is the relationship to a proposition. This is most readily seen in the question, Do you believe in God? – as where we are asked about a relation, our relation, to the proposition.

3 modes of time—




—get rid of a developmental idea of evolution

coexistence in Anti-Oedipus of capitalist state form with barbarism and savage states (or nonstates): between them there is neither evolution nor progress; not a succession but they are coexistent.

– static genesis

– dynamic genesis

pure form of what is not eternal (a Platonic and non-Platonic form): the pure form of things that change.

Language of dynamic genesis is within the static genesis. It is dynamic because of a mobility of language. (And appears, again, in The Logic of Sense.)

Kenneth Surin: Does the power of the false operate on the conditions of the proposition?

– the proposition requires representation.

Deleuze means to have done with judgement—of Kant: so Deleuze will have done with propositions. Because of the truth and the false. Heidegger says we need to take questions as the model for propositions. We should have done with propositions as the model for thinking.

Dan: We need to get to a nonpropositional level of sense. Carroll on surface. Artaud’s screams and breaths can’t even … too hard … to get to sense.

Underneath sense lie the depths of bodies.

Logic of sense comes from the depths of bodies.

The question is How do you get sense out of that?

Gregory Flaxman’s keynote: “The Screen is a Brain: On the Techno-Genetic Evolution of Images”

This rests on the problem of the monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

3 million years in the past a clan of hominids scavenge at the tail end of a drought that has been going on for tens of thousands of years.

An alignment of the planets always accompanies the appearance of the monolith.

Organisms constantly instrumentalise their bodies but nothing prepares the relationship of the hand with the hammer. A secondary technicity is required.

3 million years of technogenesis in a single cut: the bone-hammer leaves the hand of the human ancestor. A space station floats in orbit around the earth.

Artificial life was always going to be the most likely way extraterrestrial makes contact with terrestrial life—given cosmogeological timeframes.

1. obelisk manifests intelligence and intention

2. radio signal suggests the monolith was hidden to be found. Its planned discovery indicates the triggering is by evolution

3. sign of evolution—Kubrick precedes the triggering, from the moonbased monolith, its second appearance, of the radio signal, with the appearance of a camera. This triggers the sign.

There is no more profound sign of the evolution of our development than the capability of envisioning technosemiotic awakening in moving images.

The point is made that in 2001 there is reflexivity and a self-consciousness—of a film positing the development of this capability of the technosemiotic. The film-making knows itself to be about and stages itself upon and as this technical, genetic—because evolutionary, although not necessarily human, because technical—and semiotic threshold.

If you look at the scene in 2001set in the excavation in which the monolith stands centrally, you witness what seems to be an insignificant moment in which the scientists are lined up, are making smalltalk, that the camera is there to record: the camera operator turning it, as if resetting it—is it clear that it is a moving-image in question? It is at least clear that this specifically unmomentous moment triggers the monolith to emit a highpitched signal, which the headsets in the suits worn by the scientists pick up—initiating the chain of events that the rest of the film will follow: the long journey of the long ship with HAL, the AI, onboard to the next giant monolith, the one to which that on the moon was sending its signal—in a chain of technosemiotic events.

Of this threshold being reached, the idea of conspiracy, of faking in film, attests to the same one.

What does it mean to have conceived a film as history of the universe? To have reimagined the cosmos as a moving image?

Greg mentions once again Matter and Memory.

Cinema creates a cosmology with which we go can go beyond nature and the human—the immanent plane extending to unfolding of the cosmos itself.

Deleuze understands cinema as cosmogenetic or cosmocinematographic.

As in 2001 so too in Terence Malick’s Tree of Life.

The power of cinema is to provide an automatic movement and nonhuman perception.

Husserl: all consciousness is consciousness of something.

Bergson want to (condemns) cinema to mimicking (mimicry). Deleuze celebrates it because it does. (Cinema gains a power of the false as well as that of a spiritual automaticity.) (This is also the reason Deleuze takes Bergson to the movies—in Cinema 1 and 2.)

Cinema is capable of “going up the paths that natural perception goes down.”

There is the absence of anchorage and postural level.

Bergson: the image is a road by which we pass in every direction … modification … and uncover the universal undulation of matter: the movement image dwells on chaos.

– through to axes

– subjective centres

to—in Cinema 2—the body without organs.

Matter coagulates into molar aggregates, refers to a living being.

Each image is afforded a double image by its registration.

…another system, in which all the images vary. Plane of immanence. Plane of light. From a system of anchorage and relative deterritorialisation—the passage of the evolution of cinema becomes the instrument of envisioning evolution itself—autonomous, automated evolution—and a new kind of brain.

Here, once more, as in Greg and Anne’s keynote at Chiyoda, Spinoza’s spiritual automaton enters. And Leroi-Gourhan’s Speech and Gesture: “the symbol and its contents are merged into one.”

That the spectator cannot intervene entails a new stage of human development—of reflective thought, before which the human is powerless, in which “individual interpretation is drastically reduced.”

“Cinema puts movement inside of thinking.”

Each stage of evolution, for Leroi-Gourhan, “creates a brain on top of the brain.”

– the potentially revelatory nature of a brain on the brain.

Questioned as to what the monolith means, Greg: we need to resist, he thinks, allegorising it. Far from being answered within the film, this is answered by the film itself. (The film is this thought.) It creates its own conditions of possibility.

Leroi-Gourhan: the body can be instrumentalised but it is not (yet) a tool (note the echo of Heidegger’s not yet thinking). Asked what is a tool? Leroi-Gourhan hesistates.

Question: Does agency in VR take away from the spiritual automaton?

The face of a frame and thereby an off-frame, this is what interests me about cinema.

I think about the regression of the brainscreen that Damasio repeats as the image of what is called thinking, and the essence of human cognition, of the neuroscientific understanding of cognition—this regression states the impossibility of an interior spectator on thought looking at the screen—the perceptual field—while this spectator is in turn observed by another… so there is a succession of little subjects, each one looking on what the brainscreen shows of the one before. But it states the view as necessary of a series of two—which is all the sense regression needs to gain its impetus, its direction—it is still going inside… This off-frame Greg Flaxman mentions as being what interests him about cinema, it seems to be is the possible direction, sense and movement of thought: to an outside.

Let me give you an example of this outside—off-frame, I am sitting at a table in a house on Waiheke Island, writing this. Another example is presented in the snaps above: the students with plywood flats belong to a music department; the sounds of applause, and stabs of music from a jazz orchestra, as well as the unison chanting of an audience, reach us through the windows over the three days of the conference. These sounds and the cawing of crows—are neither in the text or the snaps. The windows are open.

luz es tiempo
on tour
point to point
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

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19 June 2019: Anne Sauvagnargues & Gregory Flaxman, Kondo Kazunori, Uno Kuniichi at Chiyoda – Akasaka, Hotel Felice

Anne Sauvagnargues and Gregory Flaxman (two whose separately written books I greatly admire, and now get to meet, now working together) present “Techno-Genetic Semiotics”:

…which concerns the status of images, no longer seen as representation, but a new form of individuation.

In 1989’s Schizoanalytic Cartographies Guattari shows production of subjectivity is with machinic assemblages (agencements—but as here the emphasis is on the machinic assemblages is not entirely misleading).

Guattari’s 1969 “Machine et Structure” review of Deleuze: structure is not only an ideal structure in the mind but it has an affectivity in machinic systems, involving technical social agents and human agents (i.e. assemblage-agencements), for example—the smartphone.

In Deleuze’s Cinema 1 sensory-motoric image involves technical and biological production of subjectivity—to achieve a “geology of morals” as the plateau of that name in A Thousand Plateaus puts it.

Leroi-Gourhan’s Gesture and Speech is read closely by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus.

—tools made by hand feedback to the human:

moving forward into dimensions of images—cinemas is a threshold for technology.

Cinema no longer produces an image we can call human.

In cinema a spiritual agent or mind (Anne uses the English “spiritual” when I think she means d’esprit which rather means of mind than the French spirituel. In fact, Massumi makes this mistranslation in A Thousand Plateaus where he translates Plato’s republic of free minds as republic of free spirits.) … in cinema, spiritual [I just left the ‘p’ out of that word and got siri-tual, is this the source of virtual spirit, Siri?] or mind is not trying to master an agency in the film camera.

The scandal of cinema is that it is no longer possible to attribute to the human the film-making: film/camera has its own agency/agencement.

Image of thought is how thought represents itself to itself.

Cinematic image is not related or relatable by way of representation. It has no image or model. The cinematic image appears as an apparition in itself. It is itself the actualisation of a perception (the camera’s/film’s). It therefore involves an individuation. (The image is not part of representation because it itself individuates.)

The cinematic image, the image in cinema, shows that it is possible for the image to have perception and motoricity. So the cellphone has agency.

Signs are no longer just to be understood under human language.

Semiology passes—outside of human language—to semiotics.

Image or sign does not have a specificity to the cinema because of the same feedback loop of tool and hand.

Technik—in Greek—does not separate out literature from technology and science.

A Western metaphysics is needed to perform this split between higher ‘spiritual’ (mental) production and the applied arts of the technical or technical arts (that is any art that has a technical aspect which can then be separated from it, and separated from it have its own pedagogy). This split does not obtain in Japan at all.

There are symbioses between living agencies and technical agencies.

Noo – image of thought in cinema as in la noologie.

Mechanism + software:

Greg: we do not see the camera in the image. Its agency is invisible.

(Again I was taken to the thought of Merleau-Ponty, because of this distinction between visible and invisible and flesh: so that in a certain way, in a sense, the camera, the mechanism, is visible in the flesh. … like code and computerthere is a self-consciousness of agency and to separate the viewer in this way is to play into the notion of a separable perceptual field, which presupposes an abstract and disembodied viewpoint that can that partition some of itself off, and say this to you is the portion we call perceptible and visible. In fact, Greg and Anne’s argument is towards the relative viewpoint of the film and camera as a subject distinct from the human subject—a technical subject. But then there are technical, biotic and symbiotic subjects—and are they not anorganic?)

… breaking out of this parenthesis, it is not a subjectivity of image, the image not subjective, if this is thought only as being human subjectivity.

What is an image in Deleuze?

Deleuze says, It is time.

The subjective production of science is cited as one “no longer reserved to human subjectivity.”

Cinema is neither a [human] language nor language system. Semiotics refers then to a “system of images independent of language in general.”

aesthetic – system of sensibility

Image and perception (and perhaps even the entire perceptual field) are the same thing. This is speaking from the point of view of Cinema 1 and 2.

Subtractive model of subjectivity: whole field of perceptual images—as immanent—is that, a whole field or plane of immanence—without “everything that does not interest my perception.”

Anne: “Subjectivity comes to be the problem of the earth. … Culture is something that happens to our planet earth.”

It is not simply an ecology of subjectivity, but an ecotechnological transformation, or in ecotechnological transformation.

Geology of morals—again in A Thousand Plateaus—means the elision of culture and nature. The problem of the earth understands or comprehends as problematic this elision.

Deleuze does not turn to Bergson’s Creative Evolution but rather to his 1896 book Matter and Memory, particularly in view of taking Bergson to the cinema in the two cinema books.

For evolution, for evolution following this subtractive model of subjectivity, all phenomena are included except that which does not interest the perceiving, as the thinking, the conscious subject.

Greg spoke of an “acentred universe” (quite a good phrase, I think) meaning the “englobing or an image around a particular centre of indetermination.”

Centring on “indetermination” ours is a provisional centring that obscures the subjective field rather than revealing it—obscuring this other dimension of images.

What does the concept allow us to do?

Provisional acentring—englobing an image of indetermination …

“There are no other aesthetics not pragmatic” – Anne.

Habit – is both habituation and habitation. Habit is the only way to exist as a subject. (This is Deleuze’s first synthesis, in Difference and Repetition.)

No longer ego cogito but ego habitus—the habitus of rhythmicity and periodicity defines the subject, or its subject.


Matter-life-spirit: if we don’t want ontology so split, we need to open up subjectivity. (This also resonates strongly with the work I have been doing independently—this and the acentring of the subject of and by indetermination. For me, this means the torroidal space of the durational event of subjectivity.)

The sign is both nonsyntactic and asygnifying, writes Deleuze: “even human language has always been asignifying.”

Anne on Deleuze citing Jacobson and Sausurrean structuralist (formalist) linguistics: “There is no inner signification.” (The division between signifier and signified is nonspatial, nontemporal—nondimensional.)

Anne also cites—as a beautiful book—Howard Cohen’s How Does the Forest Think.

Greg: What is a sign?

What makes a sign?

The cut is arbitrary—if we think about it—as to where we say a sign begins and ends. Is it phonemic? Orthographical?

The image in cinema makes explicit this implicit practical problem of what is a sign.

Benveniste’s 5 pages on Saussure are some of the most revealing.

Greg: the “relationship of sign, signifier and signified, AND the real therefore cannot be simply parsed.”

Irony is that of Derrida’s favourite trope of catachresis—meaning a misuse, of the sign, that becomes habitual, creating a new meaning, from misuse—when deconstruction itself is subject to catachresis. That is deconstruction is rolled out as a sign for everything from the demolition of a building to the most banal of interpretative strategies of analysis.

Anne—in somewhat pedagogical mode—and here we can see she is a very good teacher, but perhaps does not need to make everything polemical: So, 2 series, continua, one signifying, and one signified (easier to imagine in French, in the gerundive form of signifiant). The sign comprises these two continua. But it is not a meeting point and inside the sign there is no signification. We cannot plumb its depths or uncover its secrets. It is bare of depth, empty, because purely formally differential.

Anne: for Lacan the question of signifier and signified leads to a new theory of subjectivity. — to endure symbolic means to endure the cut. (Cf. castration as it is presented by Deleuze in Difference and Repetition.)

flows of series – cut between – where one ends another begins

“Language is a virtual system existing in each of our heads simultaneously,” says Saussure. – says Greg.

Language is an automatism (a MACHINE IN THE ESPRIT or GHOST – says I).

Bergson’s – line on language and signs – language is a structure that is not given by my own invention. It is a mode of subjectivation that is unconscious and productive of subjectivity.

Phenomenology is not produced by an act of consciousness. Phenomenology relies on the vécu.

But I cannot access language in self-consciousness.

The Sartrean ego cannot any longer obtain when you are interested in collective modes of subjectivation.

(Deely’s Poinsot—I want to add to the genealogy of semiotics being unfolded.)

I am informed, intelligenced. Consciousness results from a social and political construction.

Saussure—Beneniste—Jacobson— the shifter, the deictic I you he she one …

You have to have a consciousness outside of consciousness to say I.

Discourse is language in action.

Anne overstates her non-hospitality to human language.

What is the tense of the moving image?

It is an existential dimension, the clause “there is …” (Cf. Blanchot and Bataille and Levinas, I think, all three concerned with the there is.)

Cinema is not privileged because its subjectivity is avowable: say, this is me again, in Dziga Vertov’s I am camera.

Marxist analysis of Deleuze and Guattari: the person comes after the Middle Ages at the entry of the capitalist subject.

Simondon’s metaphysics mean also differenciation of sytheses of time:

1. – habituation, actualisation, territorialisation;

2. – territorialisation as deterritorialisation – “a machinic assemblage, a collective assemblage of enunciation and assemblage of machinic bodies. Deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation. So in Simondon, deindividuation and individuation.

These, de- and re- are in mutual presupposition.

Territory is an act, a gesture.

Every territorialisation begins with a deterritorialisation.

Greg: territory begins in a hunting ground. But now, in societies of control, we live in an open field in which we are being surveilled and tracked. (We are no longer the hunter, but hunted within a specific dispositif.)

Decoding in this open field is difficult.

The relationship between presignifying image and prelinguistic signs is difficulted – vantage, POV.

Greg: Bonitzar [?]: “every image is a moral” – a valence. Every sign is a perspective. (Now we are getting close to semiotics again.)

A sign presupposes a valence, a vantage, an evaluation. The object it creates is but an evaluative disposition. (And we are leaving the perceptual field.)

Deleuze writes that cinema is not a universal or primitive language system.

Rancière “stupidly” says Anne says Deleuze uses cinema to provide theological insight into matter itself. This is because cinema is more capable than human consciousness to delve into matter itself. You cannot distinguish degrees – for cinema, matter equals acentred images. There is no ontological hierarchy of the three levels, only the relationship between uncentred and centred.

Cinema presents a type of image that is not humanly produced.

Nietzsche gives a metabolic as well as symbolic interpretation. (Metabolic is a good way of addressing the symbolic against the physical framework of bodies and proxemics.)

Anne: Habit – external relationship.

Greg: Whitehead says “life is robbery.” All life lives off other living forms.

Greg: psychomechanics and Spinoza’s “spiritual automaton.” Spinoza uses the spiritual automaton in The Treatise on the Intellect. Leibniz takes up this term.

Cinema is a material automaton: the image, says Greg, exists as




(Is this, I asked later, not the definition of the neoliberal market? (i.e. its vantagepoint, exactly, as the conceptual mechanism giving rise to it.)

– the brain on top of the previous brain,

an animation and autonomous, an automatism in thinking.

What brings together mots and choses is the spiritual automaton (singularity) – a little divine thing.

Deleuze: the cinema is a cinema of the world—is a meta-cinema.

Thinking in relationship to an image.

Anne: Conception of world – Spinoza and Descartes – “removed a closed world to an infinite existence.” This means infinite extension – the problem of the spiritual automaton connects matter and mind.

The modal idea is then where there is thought, where there is body.

Anne: “when you read Spinoza under God you can understand necessity and you can understand chance.”

God? Anne: it is writing. (This again links to the work I have been doing on writing and AI, as the late working-out of a dispositif present in writing from the first: the Word, God, the Law.)

God today is automatic automatism.

I ask my question, thinking also, why Norbert Wiener and cybernetics in the feedback from the tool to the hand? Isn’t the automatism of the marketplace as conceived and promoted by the neoliberal thought collective here in play? Like a projection of the projection transferred to the projector—cinema.

Greg asks for clarification. He doesn’t get the leap to market neoliberalism. But we talk later … and tend to agree. Particularly when it comes to cinema’s intrication in the market. That is that the market does not exist.

After this, Koichiro-san announces that the sponsors of the event will be presenting their product for trial and for sale: JT.

JT is of course Japanese Tobacco.

The product is e-cigarettes, using small capsules, englobing the drug / flavour of choice.

Christoff comes up and says, I like that your last question was followed by the introduction of … the market.

That there is nothing ironic and not even critical in the Japanese attitude to an academic event being sponsored by a tobacco company seems to me to be quintessentially Japanese. It acts as a reflector to all those oddly proxy attitudes of censure built on ressentiment—an American later declared, on finding out that the sponsor was JT, that maybe he oughta leave right now.

The catering as usual was great for lunch. Was it bento today? I think it was Katsu chicken bento. If it was, it came from a nearby restaurant that Koichiro-san had approached. Again, this opposing movement to abstraction of localising and terroir—eating from the territory. It is opposed in its intention.

Kondo Kazunori:

It is 1300km to Kondo … Kazunori-san has written on Cavaillès—mathematician and Victor Delbos—his two books on Spinoza.

He offers a textual survey, which he calls an archeology, of Deleuze’s notion of immanence. It’s difficult and unrelenting stuff, and he quotes extensively in French and then subsequently in English from his sources. It’s also admirable, but sometimes seems to suffer from the presumption of scientism that comes from the accumulation of proofs, as well as an accent that is reading rather than speaking from a pre-prepared text in English.

Léon Brunschvig 1869-1944 – the first pairing cited, immanence and transcendence distinguished between as the difference between the “directions of the two beliefs towards God.”

André Laland 1867-1964 – Kant’s “transcendent principle” distinguished from the “immanent principle” in Kant.

Deleuze uses ‘immanence’ on its own in regard to Spinoza’s “immanent cause” in the Ethics.

‘Univocity’ is retained throughout Deleuze’s oeuvre. But the first time it is in regard to Spinoza that Deleuze brings univocity thought together with immanence. It is his invention, because univocity is a concept of Duns Scotus.

In Logic of Sense there is immanence of the ‘quasi-cause.’

Deleuze does not originate use of immanence in relation to transcendence (and Kant). But what is original in Deleuze is linking univocity to Spinoza and immanence with univocity.

In Anti-Oedipus “champ d’immanence” appears in association with capitalism.

According to Kazunori-san the second major threshold in the use of ‘immanence’ is its association with Hjemslev.

“Champ d’immanence” is entirely original to Deleuze and Guattari.

Relative immanence is distinguished from pure immanence: relative immanence occurs in relation to transcendence.

1977 marks another threshold in the definition of immanence.

– “Désir et Plaisir” in Two Regimes of Madness;

Spinoza and Us: Spinoza’s Practical Philosophy;

Dialogues with Claire Parnet.

Here “champ d’immanence” changes to “plan d’immanence” (usually translated as plane of immanence. But as you can see, there is elision in the French between plan and plane with important consequences.)

In Dialogues with Parnet, there appears the optional clause: either plane of consistency or plane of immanence. They may not be the same thing but they are presented together.

It is ‘plane of consistency’ again in Spinoza and Us. Here it could also be a ‘plane of immanence’ as well.

Anne asks whether the cut of a threshold in the use of these notions begins a new continuity, as in a rhizome, where the cut of a threshold is a new beginning.

Kazonori-san answers that the plane is folded with the singularity. He draws a picture of a wavy line on the curve crossed by a straight line, which is the singularity of a threshold cutting across the wave but also at the fold.

I ask whether Deleuze gives reliable or adequate representation of his concepts. Is there a correspondence between terms and concepts in Deleuze? Joe Hughes calls Deleuze a “surly interlocutor.” Perhaps he is an unreliable narrator, unreliably narrating, and initiating a mobility of terms, which do not necessarily cleave—at least not at all rigorously, as has been presented—to their concepts?

Kondo Kazonori-san’s answer is that there are patterns. There are in fact three.

Uno Kuniichi-sensei has arrived at lunch. He is wellknown to many of the professors, including Anne, who introduces him to Greg.

The theme of his presentation is that Deleuze and Guattari—either unfortunately or fortunately—contrast the Eastern sagesse of thinking with figures with the Western philosophy of thinking with concepts. The figure is inadequate to the concept; Eastern wisdom does not arrive at philosophy, identified with the creation of concepts—autochthonous in Greece, @5th century BCE.

Western ego is contrasted with Eastern figure. Do they hold a notion of the soul in common?

The soul sees war as struggle in combat. While the East flows.

Figure in East and concept in West: a rhizome of flow.

Hegel provides an image of the sensible, that is a symbol: only spirit can grasp the concept.

Kuniichi-sensei makes the point of Hegel’s symbol being almost like a figure.

He cites the translation by Andrew Cole of vorstellen as “picture-thinking.”

For some reason I note: first there is externalisation of relation, then internalisation of relation, in subjectivation(production of a subject).

And: making a thought in the encounter with cinema’s non-feedback in non-cybernetic imagery. (The inclusion of Norbert Wiener in Greg’s presentation is still worrying me, thanks to Adam Curtis’s All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.)

The figure is a disaster.

“We see the damage the figure has done.”

“What is the figure of the Orient? And then the figure of the Orient in relation to the immanence of Deleuze and Guattari?”

The sense here is that the figure does not and perhaps cannot reach immanence.

Izutsu’s book [sic?] on Eastern religions is cited.

Zen immaculates beings from the all. (Compare this with the obscenity of the tree root in Sartre’s novel Nausea.) Zen launches the all into chaos.

“The concept belongs to the philosophy of the West and the figure to the wisdom of the East.”

Perhaps, from excessive use or misuse of the figure, a singular translation has been elaborated in the East.

For Hegel the Figure blocks the East from forming concepts.

However, there is another type of the figure in Deleuze’s Logic of Sensation, which differs from that of Deleuze and Guattari in What is Philosophy?

The figure found in Francis Bacon’s painting bears no relation to the wisdom of the East invoked by Deleuze and Guattari.

Kuniichi-sensei elaborates Bacon’s disfigurement and distortion and damage to the figure in his figuration on a coloured plane.

Isolation deformation dispersion modulation – captured: to make visible the invisible forces in a

matter of fact

all that is on the plane of sensation

Bacon’s figure has the same name as what is observed as the opposite of the concept.

The haptic, the manual or tactile aspects of Bacon’s painting, is distinct from the optical or purely optical.

“In the spatial zone of closeness, the sense of sight behaves just like the sense of touch, experiencing the presence of the form and ground at the same place.” – Maldiney.

Deleuze discovers his own East and deterritorialises the figure—it has become a sign of the outside.

Bergson: the figure is like fabulation. Its sensory surplus enters into the supersensory.

Figure appears in the encounter of the finite with the infinite.

In Difference and Repetition thought without image is figured by Antonin Artaud.

Artaud says to himself, I cannot think. His is a thought that constantly turns about a point of pain and impossibility.

The Artaudian thinking machine seems to lose all image.

Figures appear in Artaud’s poems (the poems are articulated in and by figures): 1921 stones become figures.

Artaud lost the image but he did not lose the figure—not reserved to the theatrical figure and to a theatre of cruelty.

The thinking body and the theatre of a body in crisis defines the theatre of cruelty.

Artaud, in being done with the judgement of God, puts an end to the institution of thought. (The institution of thought might be identified with the concept.)

The “figure works the thought—more real than an image; less abstract than a form.” And: “less visible than an image.”

The immanent and intensive use of the figure of Artaud’s invention does not contradict that of Bacon. It is another figure than that invoked in relation to the wisdom of the East.

He suffers from the transcendence.

– there is certainly a transcendence of the figure;

– from the beginning of Buddhism there has been a strong immanentism in combat with Hindu transcendentalism: a place of immanence of oneself—emptiness and nothingness;

– a betrayal of immanence.

Nietzsche and Spinoza arrive at immanence by introducing an intense seduction of life. In Artaud, it is by thinking the unthinkable, by figures, that a singular body, a body without organs puts an end to the judgement of God.

Matter, genesis, sincerity, haptics, fragile, fluctuating, harmony of sorts …

… it is possible the figure is crucial for immanence.

Kuniichi-sensei’s presents a poetics—could it be anything else?—of the figure, reticulated around the physical and mental alienation to thought suffered by the body in pain, the mind in pain of Artaud.

I try to form a question: I start by saying that I am a fan of the damage done by the figure. Although without the context of Minus Theatre, and its method of decomposition, this statement on its own does nothing.

Immanence seems to be articulated as an agonism in Artaud.

Is immanence which can be said of the immanentist aspects of (Zen) Buddhism, equally agonistic?

Before Kuniichi-sensei can answer, Anne, who is now sitting opposite me, repeats agonism? Qu’est-que ça veut dire? Agonisme?

Oui, ç’est agonisme. Someone confirms.

She does not seem happy with the question.

Kuniichi-sensei’s translator, assisting him, repeats the question in Japanese to him. It is the same person who translated for the students presenting their work in the exhibition associated with the Camp and Conference.

I back up the question with the background of Western agonism—the tradition of trials and struggle—supposed to fit the spiritual hero for enlightenment. This also extends to the mortification of the flesh and austerities of all sorts which are still visited on Western peoples. (I am aware of a variation of this tradition in so-called Eastern wisdom: and I am thinking also of Zhuang-zi and traditions of rupture through laughter, through dancing, which is again Nietzschean, music and trance—all of which Japan participates in.)

Kuniichi-sensei answers that there are also trials in Buddhism.

I ask more generally about Hijikata Tatsumi, inventor of Ankoku Butoh.

Kuniichi-sensei answers he spoke many times and at length with Hijikata about Artaud. Neither one of them shared the almost religious mythologised view of Artaud that was common in Japan at the time. Hijikata’s book is an exploration of immanence, Kuniichi-sensei said.

Immanence can change into transcendence.

“I have to see exactly what happens: when something happens to reverse”… immanence to transcendence, transcendence to immanence.

Two associated questions arise: is enlightenment—in the only sense of reaching a plane of consistency or immanence—singularity, a threshold at which the plane is folded? Or, rhizomatic, a cut commencing a new series?

Is immanence—moreover, in this sense—“spiritual” or in thought? i.e. might not the whole confusion over spirituel and d’esprit, between mind and spirit, devolve on this point?

I made a note here on Ainu being the indigenous people of North Japan. There is a picture in the park fronting Chiyoda Arts Centre of the aristocrat whose residence it had been. He is wearing a long atavistic kind of necklace, threaded with stones.

Koichiro-san asks, By what do we receive the figure?

Form, answers Kuniichi-sensei, by the intellectual eye. By the image of sensation.

The haptic is key for understanding the figure. So, I noted, a proxemics is in play, an imperceptible relation between that which was seen… a relational perception.

The link of misosophy, about which Jae asks, with violence: we can only think with some sort of violence. That is in the encounter.

Violence on a more physical dimension detects some undetectable perception—a relation between violence and impossibility.

For Artaud it is the impossibility of thinking, this violence. The unthinkable became some sort of figure very concretely—the stone, the Stone.

A background appears on the screen where Kuniichi-sensei has been showing quotations. Anne: Dürer’s mother. No, says Koichiro-san: Spinoza, the hypotenuse.

I approach Kuniichi-sensei after the presentation. I tell him of our friend in common. He says, You are from Brazil? No, I say. Not a good time for Brazil, he says.

After this Koichiro-san addresses me as Simon-sensei. I treasure this moment.

I leave for Akasaka, to which Chiyoda Line provides a direct route. J. flies in today. We meet at Hotel Felice, the corridor above. And pictured also is our first meal two doors down from the hotel.

on tour
point to point
thigein & conatus

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