Laruellean events are thus a kind of static preemption. they are static because the agency of the event is not predicated on the execution of the event; static realities are “known in advance” of any actualisation. Likewise, Laruellean events are a preemption because of the attractive gravity of the prevent, which acts in advance of ethical event and prevents it. In this sense, static preemption is simply a synonym for destiny.
Black Monads, smooth globes of an almost infinite flimsiness, irresistibly dense and stubbornly opaque. Laruellean objects might best be understood as ‘ actual inexistent’ for as they span the advent they move into realm of the actual, but in so much as they are immanently real they cannot ’exist’ (in the sense of ekstasis). Laruellean objects are labeled black because they ‘have no windows’ and are thus absolutely opaque. and because they have no relation they may be said to ‘withdraw completely”. They are labeled monads because they represent the entire universe of the one within them, and hence are structurally metastable or incontienent.
A.R.Galloway (Laruelle, Against the Digital, 2014:p.69)
FLORENSKY ON PERSPECTIVE
Florensky reverse perspective: the term implies that the place from which the icon is seen is inside it rather than outside (where it would be imposed by the viewer)
The viewer has the impression of being watched by the inhabitants of another reality; that is he or she is the subject of the gaze. Moreover the icon is frequently multicentric (Florensky names it ‘polycentredness’ - the same object may be present simultaneously from several different perspectives. The spectator’s sensual space, therefore, does not impose its perspective. We can discern the same truth from any given place.
In Florensky’s view, the greater the master who painted the icon, the more deformed the icon is. The icon is a revelation and embodiment ‘in the sensual and through the sensual of true reality, of that which is absolutely precious and eternal’ ( Form of the image affecting the spectator )
V. Buchkov, The Aesthetic Face of Being, Art in the Theology of Pavel Florensky (1993)
Deep digitally results from the reproductive multiplexing of the subject. Instead of a single point of view scanning a multiplicity of image feeds, deep digitally is a question of multiplicity, nay an infinity, of points of view flanking and flooding the world viewed. These are not so much matrices of screens but matrices of vision. They are the CCTV meshes deployed across cities; the multiple data points involved in data mining; the virtual camera or ‘fly -through mode’ in CAD software, or crowd-sourcing swarms that converge on a target.
Again it is the image that has suffered. These are all no longer images in any traditional sense. Not the collage of flat digitally, deep digitally is para-photographic, more sculpture or theatre than anything else. Or like music, perhaps, with its penchant for multiple voices. The prison is now reversed, a reversed panopticon in which a multiplicity of watchers all collaborate to convene upon a singular point. On this score, anyone who says the contemporary world is a vast panopticon has the facts of the matter exactly backward. The cybernetic world may be a control society, but it is a reverse panopticon, not a panopticon as classically conceived. The condition of cellularity is now subjective not objective. In other words, within deep digitally the subject is cellular (the watcher), whereas within flat digitality the object is cellular (the watched). The object is now a Euclidean point, while the “subjective” points of view have metastasised into multiplicity. What this produces is a curvature of space. Space bends and recedes. Space grows deep as the subject metastasises and engulfs it. Deep digitally reintegrates the world into a rendered universe, viewable from all sides, modelled from all angles, predictable under all variable conditions.
A.R.Galloway (Laruelle, Against the Digital, 2014:p.69)
What does Spinoza mean when he invites us to take the body as a model? Art is a matter of showing that the body surpasses the knowledge we have of it. There are no fewer things in the mind that exceed our consciousness than there are things in the body that exceed our knowledge.
A YEARNING FOR ACTUALISATION
From event (decision) to givens (exist): downward movement is the movement of reality: a realism driven by an unexplicable yearning for brute physicality (actualisation/ neutralisation).
A.R.Galloway, Laruelle, Against the Digital, 2014:p.80.
Deleuze, refers to the three kinds of knowledge as three individualities that co-exist as if superimposed on one another. Th individuality of the first kind of knowledge is the body of ‘parts’ that has an existence within a certain space-time and thus has a certain duration in that world, a duration that constitutes that individual’s very world. We can note Spinoza’s mind-body parallelism; the ideas we have in this first kind of knowledge are determined by this body parts, just as our body of parts is, in a sense, determined by the ideas we have about our body.
Simon O’Sullivan, On the Production of Subjectivity: Five Diagrams of the Finite - Infinite Relation, 2014: p18
A MIRROR HELD TO THE FLOWER
The great master of No theater, and esoteric thinker, Zeami Motokiyo, in his text, Kakyo (“A Mirror Held to the Flower”), while explaining the training of performance skills in No, Zeami deliniates “the Five Skills of Dancing”.
- “the Skill of Self Conscious Movement”, which involves an explicitly conscious attention to the body in technique, “ placing the various elements of the body into motion, moving the hands in appropriate gestures, controlling the performance so that it will fall into the proper structure of jo, ha, and kyu” (rhythms of movement).
- “the Skill of Movement beyond Consciousness”, which is not a matter of at the particular movements the actor makes but rather “the creation of an atmosphere” the eyes look ahead and the spirit looks behind (his inner concentration must be directed to the appearance of his movements from behind).
“An actor must come to have an ability to see himself as the spectators do, grasp the logic of the fact that the eyes cannot see themselves, and find the skill to grasp the whole - left and right, ahead and behind. If an actor can achieve this, his peerless appearance will be as elegant as that of a flower or a jewel and will serve as a living proof of his understanding.”
Quinn, Shelley Fenno, Developing Zeami: the Noh actor's Attunement in Practice, 2005.
Proprioception and vision are linked through the visuomotor neuron system. These mirror neurons discharge both when an individual performs a particular action of motor movement and when the individual simply sees such action done by others (Vittorio Gallese).
Multimodal integration is a pervasive functional feature of our brain.
Visualisation reciprocal with proprioception ...
Training acute proprioceptive self awareness: ie visualising yourself from all sides, immediately grasping and representing to consciousness the visual effect of body.
Richard Shusterman, Somaesthetics, Thinking Through The Body: Essays on Somaesthetics , 2012 p: 210.
SPACE AS A SPHERE
With no space between dancers to consider, attention is instead tuned to listening to the nuance of the shifting touch and weight of the partner. the space around the duette is backgrounded in consciousness - to be called on when necessary - less vital information than the immediate dialogue of the touch and kinaesthetic receptors taking place through the enveloping skin and soft tissues. Peripheral vision takes over. Having redefined gravity by including another body in the equation, Contacters build a sense of space from a focus on the centre of gravity to the outer reach of the limbs, a sphere of potential movement, and gather information about the surrounding space by peripherally using the senses.
“The result of so many changes in spatial and kinaesthetic orientation in a short time has caused me to perceive space as spherical. The sphere is an accumulated image gathered from several senses - vision being one. As if quickly looking in all directions gives me an image of what it might be like to have a visual surface all over my body, instead of skin. The skin is best source for the image, because it works in all directions at once…. in Contact Improvisation I find I am hanging by my skin. And relying on its information to protect me, to warn me, to feed back to me the data to which i am responding.” Steve Paxton, Soundtrack, video Chute.
Melinda Buckwalter, Composing While Dancing, An Improviser’s Companion, 2010:p.79
THE BODY WITHOUT ORGANS: BoW
The term originates from Antonin Artaud's radio play To Have Done with the Judgment of God (1947):
When you will have made him a body without organs,
then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions
and restored him to his true freedom.
Deleuze first mentions the phrase in a chapter of The Logic of Sense called "The Schizophrenic and the Little Girl", which contrasts two distinct and peripheral ways of encountering the world. The Little Girl (whose exemplar is Alice), explores a world of 'surfaces': the shifting realm of social appearances and nonsense words which nevertheless seem to function. The Schizophrenic (whose exemplar is Artaud) is by contrast an explorer of 'depths', one who rejects the surface entirely and returns instead to the body.
For the Schizophrenic, words collapse, not into nonsense, but into the bodies that produce and hear them. Deleuze refers to "a new dimension of the schizophrenic body, an organism without parts which operates entirely by insufflation, respiration, evaporation and fluid transmission (the superior body or body without organs of Antonin Artaud)." This body is also described as "howling", speaking a "language without articulation" that has more to do with the primal act of making sound than it does with communicating specific words.
The collection of potentials is what Deleuze calls the BwO.
The full body without organs is "schizophrenia as a clinical entity" (Anti-Oedipus, p. 310). This drop in intensity is a means of blocking all investments of reality: "the unproductive, the sterile, the unengendered, the unconsumable" (Anti-Oedipus, p. 9). Unlike other social machines such as the Body of the Earth, the Body of the Despot or the Body of Capital, the full body without organs cannot inscribe other bodies. The body without organs is "not an original primordial entity" (proof of an original nothingness) nor what is remains of a lost totality but is the "ultimate residue of a deterritorialized socius" (Anti-Oedipus, p. 309). To "make oneself a body without organs," then, is to actively experiment with oneself to draw out and activate these virtual potentials. These potentials are mostly activated (or "actualized") through conjunctions with other bodies (or BwOs) that Deleuze calls "becomings".
Deleuze and Guattari use the term BwO in an extended sense, to refer to the virtual dimension of reality in general (which they more often call "plane of consistency" or "plane of immanence"). In this sense, they speak of a BwO of "the earth". "The Earth," they write, "is a body without organs. This body without organs is permeated by unformed, unstable matters, by flows in all directions, by free intensities or nomadic singularities, by mad or transitory particles" (A Thousand Plateaus, p. 40). That is, we usually think of the world as composed of relatively stable entities ("bodies," beings). But these bodies are really composed of sets of flows moving at various speeds (rocks and mountains as very slow-moving flows; living things as flows of biological material through developmental systems; language as flows of information, words, etc.). This fluid substratum is what Deleuze calls the BwO in a general sense.
Roughly, the empty BwO is the BwO of Anti-Oedipus. This BwO is also described as "catatonic" because it is completely de-organ-ized; all flows pass through it freely, with no stopping, and no directing. Even though any form of desire can be produced on it, the empty BwO is non-productive. The full BwO is the healthy BwO; it is productive, but not petrified in its organ-ization. The cancerous BwO is caught in a pattern of endless reproduction of the self-same pattern. They give a rough recipe for building yourself a healthy BwO:
This is how it should be done. Lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flow conjunctions here and there, try out continua of intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times. It is through a meticulous relation with the strata that one succeeds in freeing lines of flight, causing conjugated flows to pass and escape and bringing forth continuous intensities for a BwO. (Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 1980/1987, p. 161)
Deleuze and Guattari suggest restraint here, writing that drug addicts and masochists may come closer to truly possessing bodies without organs—and die as a result. The 'healthy BwO' thus envisions the actual body without organs as a horizon, not a goal.
DESIRE, AFFECT, DE-SUBJECTIFICATION
The body without organs is for these philosophers a metaphor for desubjectification, the breaking of the ‘i’ thats results from the intensity of desire. They call this process deterritorialisation. The body Without the organs is defined by indetermination, while an organism is defined by determination.
The dualism plays out in a typical Deleuze's discussion of art. The affect of art is no longer a feeling originating from individual persons. Rather, the affect is free floating intensity; a Spinozan position.
On the other hand, "it is part of the virtual intensities out of which bodies emerge through the actualization".
The "body without organs" is the term for a dynamically adjusting social desire. If desire manifests into various forms because there are many different people, then desire develops new ways to actualize itself. Hence "organs without bodies" comes from the other logic found in Deleuze's early monograph writings such as Difference and Repetition or The Logic of Sense. The ontology here is that of the virtual as the "sterility of the incorporeal of the Sense-Event", the affect taken away from the subject.
Using what he calls the theory of points...Badiou bemoans the planning and preemption endemic to contemporary atonal worlds. Given that everything is organized and guaranteed, no tension may appear, no unforeseen events, indeed no events whatsoever. Bidiou’s term for such world is “democratic materialism”. These worlds have no life. They contain nothing but bodies and languages, nothing but objects and relations, nothing but matter and form. They are atonal in that they have no musical pitch, no features to their political landscape. Badiou’s ‘point’ is similar to Heidegger’s “project’; human experience projects forward, Heidegger says, and a human being should have a project in order to realise its special mode of being. Likewise, for Bidiou, life must have points. life seeks taut anchors on which to moor itself, like a ship in harbour that pulls on its moorage points, or when the ship sets to sea and navigates according to celestial points.
Through these points and projects, formerly lifeless relations are reinvigorated with value. When something is at stake, the atonal graph becomes a directed graph, bound by vectors of ethics-moral force. …
Every point is point within a vector of forces. thus to exist in the world means to be located along a force differential, like a ball placed at the top of an inclined plane.
A.R.Galloway, Laruelle, Against the Digital, 2014:p.183-188.
As far as variable terms are concerned, monads are what enter into the relation as ‘objects’, even if for brief moments. They can exist without the relation, and the relation can exist without them. The relation is exterior to variables, as it is the outside of the constant. It is especially complex since it acquires an infinity of variables. The later are said to be dominated, specifically insofar as they enter into the relation attached to the dominant or constant. When they cease being submitted to this relation, they enter under another, into another vinculum attached to another dominant (unless they are freed from every vinculum).
Deleuze, 1993, p112.
ALL LINES ARE ERASED BY THE WINDS
If the political is to roll the dice, the ethical is to shack the dice perpetually without rolling. to shake the dice means to suspend them in a state of indecision. While the mid-shake, dice express all their numbers at once; they may be one of any possible combinations. And as one of any, they are, in effect, all the numbers at the same time. Dice in mid-shake are, in Deleuzian language, the virtual, for they express the complete number space of the dice all at once. No discrete numbers have yet appeared; the numbers have not yet been digitised. Laurelle’s word for this is superposition, the term he borrows from quantum theory. While in the state of superposition, discrete states superimpose and virtualise into each other, obviating their relative distinction. But once the dice land, a particular number is actualised from out of the virtuality of the number space.
To be ethical means to metastasise the real. As metastasis, the ethical means to think and act in terms of the total possibility space of the real. Never a question of deciding, dividing, or demonstating one’s allegiances, the ethical requires a recognition of the total, finite space of being as it pertains simultaneously in parallel. The ethical is never a question of position, never a question of drawing a line in the sand, never digitisation. Rather, the threshold of the ethical is transgressed precisely at the moment when all positions merge into equality with themselves, and all lines are erased by the rising winds.
A.R.Galloway, Laruelle, Against the Digital, 2014:p.183-188.
DIALECTICS WITHOUT SYNTHESIS
Describes the workings of a dream, which is an open set of elements that can simultaneously symbolise a thing and its opposite.
D. Semenowicz, The Theatre of Romeo Castellucchi (2016)
SOLIDIFIED DREAM & THE HEAVENLY SPHERES
In considering the individual ascent of the soul to the invisible world, Florensky points to dreams that wander somewhere on the border which simultaneously joins and separates the two worlds. He distinguishes between two kinds of dreams, those of the evening and of the dawn. The first have a mainly psychological character, reflecting the impressions accumulated in the soul during the day; the second are mystical, “for the soul is filled with night consciousness”, the experience of visiting the heavenly spheres. The first emerge as the soul ascends from the world below to the world it has just left; the second are symbols of heavenly visions.
This process accompanies any transition from Sphere to Sphere, creative art in particular, when the soul “is taken up from the world below and ascends to the world above. There, without images, it is nourished by contemplation of the essence of this world above, touches the eternal noumena of things, and having been nourished, laden with knowledge, it descends again to the world below.” here it’s spiritual experience is clothed in symbolic images which represent the work of art. In all but full correspondence with the theory of Sigmund Freud, which was popular at the beginning of this century, yet basing himself on opposite premises, Florensky concludes that “art is a solidified dream”.
Viktor Buchkov, The Aesthetic Face of Being, Art in the Theology of Pavel Florensky, 1993: p41-42.
IN AUTISTIC MODE. MONOMANIA ABOUT ITS OWN MOMENT OF BEING
The analogical dissolves the relation in favour of fusion, while the digital splinters being into so many standardised atoms that any relation formed between them would claim no real binding significance.
The analogical dissolves relation in favour of fused immanence, but does this mean that relation is lost tout court? In the strict sense relation is indeed lost, relation as a connection between two discrete entities or states. Therefore immanence, in which matter “remains within” itself and has no cause to go outside itself, prohibits relation. Yet, at the same time, by remaining within, immanence demonstrates a more simple and elemental relation. This is the relation of the same. By remaining within itself, immanent matter demonstrates a relation with itself. This “auto relation” is, of course, only a pseudo-relation. If it were a real relation it would revert back to the transcendental: an entity’s essential relationship with itself as it persists through the permutations of time and space. Immanence, by contrast, has nothing to do with an entity’s essential relationship with itself, because immanence has nothing to do with essence and all the metaphysical freight that goes along with it. This pseudo-relation or auto-relation is what we call “parallelism”.
A parallelism is a condition of twoness in which the two is ultimately overcome by the one. The two of the parallelism is really only a quasi-two. So obsessed with itself, so locked together, so bound by parallel nature of its own coupling, the parallelism is monomaniacal about its own moment of being….like clones would constitute a duality, a twoness, bound together by a relationship of identity, a sameness.
Immanence therefore, defined as “a remains within a” , is nothing but an adolescent form of pure immanence. Pure immanence would eschew the language of equation together, simply uttering ‘a’ alone, an utterance that is both senseless and ruthless but nevertheless purely immanent.
A.R.Galloway, Laruelle, Against the Digital, 2014:p.61-63.
MONADOLOGY continued (Leibniz)
(II) God is also said to be a simple substance but it is the only one necessary and without a body attached. Monads perceive others "with varying degrees of clarity, except for God, who perceives all monads with utter clarity". God could take any and all perspectives, knowing of both potentiality and actuality. As well as that God in all his power would know the universe from each of the infinite perspectives at the same time, and so his perspectives—his thoughts—"simply are monads". Creation is a permanent state, thus "[monads] are generated, so to speak, by continual fulgurations of the Divinity". Any perfection comes from being created while imperfection is a limitation of nature. The monads are unaffected by each other, but each have a unique way of expressing themselves in the universe, in accordance with God's infinite will.
(III) Composite substances or matter are "actually sub-divided without end" and have the properties of their infinitesimal parts. A notorious passage explains that "each portion of matter can be conceived as like a garden full of plants, or like a pond full of fish. But each branch of a plant, each organ of an animal, each drop of its bodily fluids is also a similar garden or a similar pond". There are no interactions between different monads nor between entelechies and their bodies but everything is regulated by the pre-established harmony. Much like how one clock may be in synchronicity with another, but the first clock is not caused by the second (or vice versa), rather they are only keeping the same time because the last person to wind them set them to the same time. So it is with monads; they may seem to cause each other, but rather they are, in a sense, "wound" by God's pre-established harmony, and thus appear to be in synchronicity. Leibniz concludes that "if we could understand the order of the universe well enough, we would find that it surpasses all the wishes of the wisest people, and that it is impossible to make it better than it is—not merely in respect of the whole in general, but also in respect of ourselves in particular".
In his day, atoms were proposed to be the smallest division of matter. Within Leibniz's theory, however, substances are not technically real, so monads are not the smallest part of matter, rather they are the only things which are, in fact, real. To Leibniz, space and time were an illusion, and likewise substance itself. The only things that could be called real were utterly simple beings of psychic activity "endowed with perception and appetite." The other objects, which we call matter, are merely phenomena of these simple perceivers. "Leibniz says, 'I don't really eliminate body, but reduce [revoco] it to what it is. For I show that corporeal mass [massa], which is thought to have something over and above simple substances, is not a substance, but a phenomenon resulting from simple substances, which alone have unity and absolute reality.' (G II 275/AG 181)" Leibniz's philosophy is sometimes called "'panpsychic idealism' because these substances are psychic rather than material". That is to say, they are mind-like substances, not possessing spatial reality. "In other words, in the Leibnizian monadology, simple substances are mind-like entities that do not, strictly speaking, exist in space but that represent the universe from a unique perspective." It is the harmony between the perceptions of the monads which creates what we call substances, but that does not mean the substances are real in and of themselves.
(I) As far as Leibniz allows just one type of element in the building of the universe his system is monistic. The unique element has been 'given the general name monad or entelechy' and described as 'a simple substance' (§§1, 19). When Leibniz says that monads are 'simple,' he means that "which is one, has no parts and is therefore indivisible". Relying on the Greek etymology of the word entelechie (§18), Leibniz posits quantitative differences in perfection between monads which leads to a hierarchical ordering. The basic order is three-tiered: (1) entelechies or created monads (§48), (2) souls or entelechies with perception and memory (§19), and (3) spirits or rational souls (§82). Whatever is said about the lower ones (entelechies) is valid for the higher (souls and spirits) but not vice versa. As none of them is without a body (§72), there is a corresponding hierarchy of (1) living beings and animals (2), the latter being either (2) non-reasonable or (3) reasonable. The degree of perfection in each case corresponds to cognitive abilities and only spirits or reasonable animals are able to grasp the ideas of both the world and its creator. Some monads have power over others because they can perceive with greater clarity, but primarily, one monad is said to dominate another if it contains the reasons for the actions of other(s). Leibniz believed that any body, such as the body of an animal or man, has one dominant monad which controls the others within it. This dominant monad is often referred to as the soul.