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48574post-existential theory

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  • mary.josie59
    Jun 30, 2009
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      This, Alan Sondheim's "essay," is an excellent melange of technology and philosophy. I grasp it intuitively more than intellectually. Such is my absurd reasoning. Enjoy, Mary

      My Hubris in Writing Itselves

      A description of a talk for the Subtle Technologies gathering (Toronto),
      unpacking the following short abstract:

      'The world, the body, the existent, have information in common; informa-
      tion is always already inscribed. The real and the virtual commingle; they
      appear separated only by virtue of a phenomenology of technology that
      emphasizes prosthetics and cyberspace as "additional" fields of research
      and perception. My work in the virtual world of Second Life describes
      space, sexuality, and body as problematic inscriptions which require
      negotiation within and without the Second Life environment. Inscriptions
      have no beginning and no end; they're holographic in a holographic
      universe. I'll explain, we'll look about.'

      Information is a way of looking at the world; in-formation characterizes
      the world. The body looks at the world which is of and not of the body;
      the world is therefore abject, debris - almost, but not quite escaping.
      What escapes is articulated by mathesis; mathesis is our window on the
      existent. Mathesis grasps everything and nothing; an equation cannot
      _directly_ move an object, but describes its structure to the extent that
      its structure is nothing. Mathesis is what lies beyond the reach of the
      _gesture._

      The _existent_ is almost entirely unobservable, process at a distance;
      beyond the imminent, the existent and mathesis coalesce. Neither copula
      nor protocol statement apply, and the verb 'to be' devolves, itself
      abject, inconceivable. (In fact, what is abject is inconceivable; what is
      conceivable is potentially parameterized.)

      Information is always already inscribed: The world as imminent totality
      (which for us is a broken totality, broken immanence) possesses an onto-
      logy of inscriptions and an collocation of nearly decomposable epistemolo-
      gies. The ontology of inscriptions devolves as well to collocations of the
      ordinary.

      The real and the virtual commingle, since there is no split, only a
      dividing-up of ontologies of the ordinary. Inscription is always virtual,
      always real; inscription is _neti neti,_ Sheffer-stroke and its dual
      fundamental. Don't mistake this for an ontology based on propositional
      logic - that, too, falls by the wayside.

      'The real and the virtual commingle; they appear separated only by virtue
      of a phenomenology of technology that emphasizes prosthetics and cyber-
      space as "additional" fields of research and perception.' Let us think
      this through together. Technology implies progress, procedures, split,
      free and bound variables, mathesis, 'materiality'; phenomenology implies a
      deep and potentially fundamental structuration of 'world' in the broadest
      sense possible. We can define _broken phenomenology_ as a combination of
      phenomenology and heuristics of the imminent. Broken phenomenology _cannot
      be extrapolated._ Prosthetics is what engenders from exteriority; what
      might be diacritical, addendum; what bridges world-body and body-world;
      what in-forms body, forming-body. Prosthetics is sited, gestural - as
      usual in this thought, prosthetics is imminent.

      All space is cyberspace, helmed, to the extent that space is _thought,_
      related to the thinking-of space. All space is steerage in this sense. But
      what is at stake in the quote above is that of '"additional" fields of
      research and perception.' Research is not necessarily perception and
      perception is not necessarily research. Fields in the sense used here are
      ideological-cultural constructs, discursive formations, loosely defined
      domains. Now I am questioning through this '"additional"' separations that
      are explicate, not implicate (in the sense of Bohm's implicate order),
      and whose entanglements can ultimately, theoretically, be separated. Let
      us replace 'additional' with 'mess,' with 'more of the same,' with 'rasa'
      or 'tenor' and let us think through fields or fielding as wide and wild
      indefinite domains (wildernesses) of inscriptions, fields, particulations,
      intensifications, strange and other attractors. Let us think of the world
      as inherently _lossy,_ and by world I refer to potential 10^500 universes.

      Here is the rest of the quote, which is fluff, descriptive of one project/
      ing among many by many, and which doesn't necessarily map into the above:
      'My work in the virtual world of Second Life describes space, sexuality,
      and body as problematic inscriptions which require negotiation within and
      without the Second Life environment. Inscriptions have no beginning and no
      end; they're holographic in a holographic universe. I'll explain, we'll
      look about.' And what 'about' this? Second Life is a 'virtual world' in a
      technical sense that is a world which has a broken imminent ontology in
      relation to the avatar operator organism; it's a projection based on
      fundamental protocols and matheses. Within the server++ domain, SL is a
      totalization, total institution, and in this sense a _seriality_ (Sartre)
      as well. In a very classical sense, it is always already inscribed,
      channels of information constructed from binary encoding within deep
      potential wells. So my 'work' in SL is addenda, supplement - my 'work' in
      SL is the appearance of installations-within-the-virtual of SL, bending
      the local fabric of SL into patternings which are fundamentally the usual.
      Nothing new here at all. The installation then 'deals with' - is 'about' -
      inheres within the sememe - of body, space, sexuality, and deals with
      these in the in-forming of abject fields of indexicalities, negotiations
      of process and movement, crude effects of avatar presence or absence, and
      so forth. There's nothing more than the narratology implied, which, if it
      is a form of research at all, is a form depending on the psycho-analytics
      of inscription and inscriptive processes anywhere at all. But there's
      more: I argue that inscriptions and inscriptive processes are 'problem-
      atic,' problematized, by which I mean, there are no problems and no
      solutions, only the inhering _mess_ of entanglement and imminent domains.
      Now the negotiations of the subject organism (not object/avatar) are
      within and without the SL environment, by which I mean they are flux-
      states that are basically irresolute as well, and that tend to corrode law
      and justice (as well as subject and object) _everywhere,_ just as
      intellectual property is corroded among reals and virtuals, duplications
      and instantiations, variora and holograph editions, everywhen and
      everywhere. Think of such property as extended inscriptions and remember
      the old adage that there are no authors (bad paraphrase); one might see
      everything inhering, and in that sense might read Dufrenne's phenomenology
      of literary worlds as not only indefinite and imminent, but gesturing
      towards an inauthentic immanence, and in this gesturing, corroding
      everything: Literature, then, is a corrosion, not construction, of worlds
      (in the sense of worlds as habitus, inhabitations).

      Again, 'Inscriptions have no beginning and no end; they're holographic in
      a holographic universe. I'll explain, we'll look about.' 'Holographic'
      references Susskind's theory, of which I have nothing to say (not being-
      physicist, string or otherwise), but it also references a modeling of
      entangling in such a manner as perception (read 'theory' as well) is
      blurred, domainless, holography modeling itselves within itselves. Sooner
      or later these 'quick' broken epistemologies and ontologies will replace
      the older classical models; sooner or later the universe (world, cosmos)
      will be recognized as fast-forward fast-backward slow-forward slow-back-
      ward among inconceivable (broken) orders of magnitude; psychoanalysis
      pales as domains fall into alien abjections which are deeply unknowable.
      The hall of mirrors requires quick-depth disorderings.

      I say 'I'll explain' but there is no explanation, not on this level any-
      way, nothing of the physics or mathesis of it, embedded almost as if in
      defiance of the 'real.' Or the explanation is without concept of origins,
      neither punctum nor 'turtles all the way down' nor mutual creating and
      recursion. Or the anecdotal is all that's left.

      I say 'we'll look about' this is nothing but a reference to the particu-
      lar installation, 'about' the usual confine. And of course in looking, am
      I not your prosthesis, to the extent that I am not?