Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Statistical, the Probable and the Event

According to Gilles Deleuze there is nothing new, no difference or “event” without repetition. This has the ultimate meaning that life is statistical or probabilistic in its very nature and not as science or common sense portrays: the statistical as deficient knowledge of the underlying determinism – the causes/variables which are to numerous to describe or mathematically simulate.

Everything repeats itself (universe, sun, individuals, etc…) and yet the same is nowhere to be seen, how is this possible? For surely the true meaning of repetition is the repetition of the same – determinism,”nothing new under the sun” etc…

To understand the true meaning of living in a “probabilistic universe” (Ilya Prigogine) is to understand the secret of “the old one” – i.e. Einstein’s “does god play dice?” Not an easy task. For all our categories of thought and practice are riveted to the walls of metric space and the multiple determinism of cause and effect - Leibniz’ “nothing without a reason” syndrome. The macro level is determined by the micro level…

.... And yet from the statistical fishing net escape infinite singularities: why does the universe’s fishing net not catch all the fish that come by? …the answer is the true meaning of the probable and the statistical…

Just think and meditate on the meaning of the “statistical” or “probabilistic” let those two words repeat themselves in the mind until they resonate and change their usual/habitual connotations… like avant-garde “silence music" the mind/time starts filling in sound repetitions with musical variations/differences… out of the boring repetitions a whole new universe of harmony and qualities spontaneously emerges… as if out of nothing…

Monday, February 21, 2005

Windows of the Soul or the Attraction for Transgression

I have always felt that the eyes are the most betraying fact about a person’s character armour, woman or man… windows of the soul indeed. Eyes express so much in a flash of an instant…Yet, there is always that beautiful moment when the woman after losing herself in the gaze of the other, “reels back” and realises what she is doing…matter sets in. In other words, spirit/desire is checked back by the habitual prudent material self, the utilitarian self of morality and inhibition….
Prigogine on Deleuze : I read several of his works and found them quite
interesting, but quite frankly there was quite a bit that I did not
understand. In my opinion, there is little to be gained from trying to
rethink metaphysical concepts like Bergson's "duree." Science today has
surpassed Newton and Einstein and reached a level where we can think of
the problems of time and creation in more flexible, if still analytical,
ways. For me this is the more interesting route.
Prigogine on Deleuze : I read several of his works and found them quite
interesting, but quite frankly there was quite a bit that I did not
understand. In my opinion, there is little to be gained from trying to
rethink metaphysical concepts like Bergson's "duree." Science today has
surpassed Newton and Einstein and reached a level where we can think of
the problems of time and creation in more flexible, if still analytical,
ways. For me this is the more interesting route.

Likelife [science it has struggled against the vital expression no doubt because after the instant of the book of Job where the Deleuzian arrival from in between science-fiction and cyber-units

I wonder what will happen nexts probably (and I say probably one never knows) more intesive or “punish” me for their “misspelled conductive towards the one never knows with women…even Freud gave up on trying to understand them - the famous “what does woman want”...

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Hovering Between Bad Television and Cancer

The pendulum swings from

Woody Allen (Husbands and Wives):

Life does not imitate art; it only imitates bad television.

….to Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage.

'There is nothing so degrading as the constant anxiety about one's means of livelihood. You will hear people say that poverty is the best spur to the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their flesh. They do not know how mean it makes you. It exposes you to endless humiliation, it cuts your wings, it eats into your soul like a cancer."

…such is life...

Friday, February 18, 2005

Chasing the Dragon

I owe my existence to rooms, to confined spaces, contemplating the texture of ceilings, the geometric fractals of granular walls, fractal shapes to infinity…. Chasing the caramel lines of the dragon through foils of silver, but nowadays, it is more like chasing Mickey Mouse in the maze of dead time. Dionysus is not what it used to be. I am still waiting…

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Waiting for Dionysus

Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition:

"It is up to us to go to extreme places, to extreme times, where the highest and the deep­est truths live and rise up. The places of thought are the tropical zones frequented by the tropical man, not the temperate zones of the moral, methodical or moderate man".

In other words the Chaosmos itself: the underlying world of becoming from within the optics of Dionysus (Nietzsche and Gilles Deleuze) Sisyphus (Schopenhauer, Albert Camus and Cioran) and the in-between of these two mythical figures (Georges Bataille, Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida)…

…life as Anais Nin said of Henry miller’s Tropic of Cancer:

“sustained on its own axis by the pure flux and rotation of events. Just as there is no central point, so also there is no question of heroism or of struggle since there is no question of will, but only an obedience to flow…The humiliations and defeats, given with a primitive honesty, end not in frustration, despair, or futility, but in hunger, an ecstatic, devouring hunger-for more life”. (1934).

“only an obedience to flow”…We are purely “passive” (a furious passivity) when it comes to the best things in life… “it” happens to us: the always singular fluxes and flows are, we react - that’s our marginal freedom on the margins - that’s life wonder and tragedy…the Chaosmos indeed…

One would like to capture the swings between the dead time of everydayness and timeless wonderment: without “events”, moments of chance (or grace in religious terms) we are nothing but empty shells, puppets chained to empty time…to the gravity that governs the rest of the universe…

…currently my world is under the dead sign of Sisyphus, everything I try falls back to its initial place… stuck in a room somewhere …. I feel like Henry Miller in the Tropic of Cancer: “I have no money, no resources, no hopes” but with a big difference: the year 2005. I’m not so lucky to live in 1934 as Miller did…where you could live and drop out in Paris without every move and breath being-costing an euro… consequently I’m not the “happiest man alive”. But I’m still waiting…

…waiting for two things: to “score” the holy-grail of ecstasy, which I haven’t found yet (where have the Mitsubishis gone?) and the already mentioned “abyss girl”...will Dionysus rise from his Sisyphus grave?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

P2P - The Capitalist Manifesto

Things are converging for the first time in history a breach of protocol is possible. The spectacle, the system, is under threat from the very users that support it. P2P networks have encouraged millions of passive spectacle driven consumers to download for free, from the very spectacle that enslaves them. If pushed in the right direction, a cultural revolution of unforeseen “life-affirming” consequences could be unleashed. This is not a revolution against Capitalism, but rather the spectacle and the copyright-patent monopoly system that supports it - which creates scarcity as opposed to cultural abundance and diversity.

As William S Burroughs said:

"Junk is the ideal product ... the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy ... The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client. He pays his staff in junk."

It is difficult not to see this as a parable four our consumption of “cultural products”: movies, porn, music etc. To all extent people are addicted to junk, to the virtual sensations it provides. In our technological age when any fool can make a hit song, a porn movie, art etc… it is difficult to see why people still buy the junk and admire the dealers.

Make no mistake about it, the spirit of Capitalism is part of the solution, not the problem. Marx and Deleuze have repeatedly emphasized throughout their viral texts that Capitalism has been responsible for far greater subversions against ideologies, identities and territories than any other social system in existence. As Deleuze would say: one must take Capitalism to the limit… to (temporary) break Capital’s territorialized cocoon and reveal the spiritual/vital nature within…

Capital’s primordial spirit is expenditure as wealth, in short, Nietzsche’s “gift giving-virtue”: the “overman” gives not out of charity or compassion but rather because he is so “strong” that like the sun, gives his energy freely to others, to grow as strong (er) as he is.

As with the plotarch virus of the archaic age described by Marcel Mauss and Georges Bataille’s “general economy” strength is measured not in exclusive accumulation (copyright-patent law) but in how much one can “give away” freely (without obliterating yourself or the system in the process)…open-source to the core.

It comes as no surprise that historically (i.e. material reality) no capitalism, no multinational, no “free-market” has ever given into the primordial spirit of Capital, on the contrary resisted it wherever it could, by any means necessary. The RIAA’s attack on P2P users shows this trend very well.

The principle way that capitalism found to resist the spirit of Capital within was with the creation of the spectacle - creating scarcity wherever it could.

Yet, some signs of life have shown themselves despite their unavoidable incorporations: adbuster inspired no shopping consuming days etc… But it is P2P systems, if encouraged in the right direction, that will sign the real break, for it is the very enslaved consumers that are downloading the poisonous “goods”.

…A vanguard needs to be developed… small groups need to act as catalysts… putting their theory (hacking words and code) to viral effect into the computerized corporate matrix. Cultural and Code terrorism is the only terrorism that works, symbolic violence is the only spiral that spirals.

Consumers wake up! Remember the products and companies you consume are not your friends…

Become `rhizomatic', organize “bonfires of liberty” burning beckons of freedom across the country, burning image, sound and video (especially 80’s records)…For the “bonfires of liberty” will act a rhizome - a network of stems that are laterally connected as opposed to the media `hierarchical' root­ systems of trees - conducting a corrosive polymorphous perversity across the whole spectacle driven body-politic.

The end of the spectacle-capital is in sight …the virtual strings of the master puppeteers are being corroded by the puppets….the puppets are rising to take back life….

Monday, February 14, 2005

Setting-up Aesthetic Experiments

Cioran and Wilde … Spot the difference…

Disapproving the following statements are probably the sole goals of life… and one should set-up aesthetic experiments to find out - if one is rich or lucky enough which is not the case of 96% of the world’s population, which still dream of life’s mirroring reflections and will never know:

“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it”.

“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing”.

"As a general rule, men expect disappointment: they know they must not be impatient, that it will come soon or later, that it will hold off long enough for them to proceed with their undertakings of the moment. The disabused man is different: for him, disappointment occurs at the same time as the deed; he has no need to await it, it is present."

Either physiology/desire is too strong or we still live in hope… for time in virtue of its modal futurity always opens us….

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A Vital Virus

There is no affirmation of life without: “Possible contamination must be assumed, because it is also opening or chance, our chance. Without contamination we would have no opening or chance”. (Jacques Derrida)

What opens up (individuals, relationships, social systems etc…) is the propensity to contamination that unlike its biological counterpart destroys matter (limits, inhibitions etc…) by giving more life, not less. A virus yes, but a vital virus.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Chemical Irony: the E-Holy Grail

If there is one Holy Grail to be after in the post-modern era, it is the quest for the perfect E 100% MDMA. Dwarfs, dragons and wizards await along the way. But there are no Knights of the Round Table, no circle and no evil to fight and the prize is 100% pure Irony.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Love at Last Sight

Walter Benjamin: "the delight of the city-dweller is not so much love at first sight as love at last sight”. A select few, can encounter gendered epiphanies, were for an instant all time is suspended within the eyes and face of the other. I have always been blessed (or cursed) with the “love at last sight” syndrome in various European cities (Venice, London, Amsterdam, Geneva etc..) and the process is fascinating, magical in its expression…

It is always unexpected, one is always taken by surprise, no plan or intentionality can prepare such an event: a singularity out of the statistical crowd of indifference - a smile or a glance for no reason other than attraction. “Like a rose without a why”

The world, the crowd, is suspended out of time by the eyes of the other…windows of the soul…and then of course, the fall back into time (matter) the economic alarm bell starts ringing: the unholy trinity of fear (rejection, dangerous etc…) inhibition (what will she/he think, I can’t because…it is not the thing to do…and other character defences…) and doubt (to young, to old, to handsome, to beautiful, tooooooo.... ) takes over…the economy of order, exchange and equivalences starts again.

And it has happened again although this time it is more like staring into the eyes of an abyss. Attraction mingles with fear no doubt. Maybe she feels intimidated or shy or her defence mechanisms are going ballistic…I am much older …maybe she feels…whatever ????????

Since I have seen her a few time, maybe it will be a case of “love at last sight” turning into “love at first sight” you never know with the Chaosmos… I am not very good at small talk or so called pick-up lines but as they say it takes two to tango, courage and authenticity (i.e. not playing games) needs to be on both sides… on the other hand one could leave it all suspended….dreaming in the virtual reflection of our eyes the “what it would be like to be together”…for surely both of us must know that realising a virtuality, a “vitalism” or “spirit” can only end in disaster or in the best of cases boredom…but maybe ecstasy of undreamed proportion and magnitude awaits… there are no rules.. neither optimism or pessimism… such is the Chaosmos…alternatively I could drop an E have the ecstasy without the object, LOVE AS A CHEMICAL without last or first sight to trouble the waters… but even here one needs to find the authentic object: pure 100% MDMA is as difficult to find as love or unbridled eroticism….

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Intensive To initial conditions - The butterfly Effect

Gilles Deleuze in one of his reports from the Chaosmos (Difference and Repetition) concludes that:

“It is therefore true that God makes the world by calculating, but his calculations never work out exactly, and this inexactitude or injustice in the result, this irreducible inequality, forms the condition of the world. The world “happens” while God calculates; if the calculation were exact, there would be no world”

It is because there is no finite Initial Conditions for any calculation, that any event could be potentially or virtually relevant: i.e. chaos theory’s “flap of the wings” of a butterfly “causing” a hurricane on the other side of the world.

In addition, no phenomenon is complete, chaotic or ordered but asymmetric to the core:

“Every phenomenon refers to an inequality by which it is conditioned” – the very source from which any authentic flow of Vitalism or Spirit can be made to emerge…

Out of our cocoons into the sunlight…

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Art of Living

The aim of life is to resist the materialisation (i.e. entropy) of all relationships - as Michel Foucault said:

"The art of living is to eliminate psychology, to create with oneself and others, individualities, beings, relations, unnameable qualities. If one fails to do that in one's life it isn't worth living."

This is the true meaning of spirit, soul or vitalism (another more secular name for spirituality in the work of M Foucault and G Deleuze which try to fight order/entropy/matter in whatever form, wherever it appears ).

Wherever one is within the order of matter (sociology, economics, psychology etc…) one must insert a viral vitalism, a Derridian “Differance” into the edifice/situation (a relationship, a party, gathering etc..) and let it grow. Slowly almost imperceptibly cracks begin to appear, non-linear associations begin to emerge, criss-crossing the situations with unforeseen individuations, qualities and intensities : letting a bit of life or light within…but the Freudian death-drive always awaits, to ambush the life of Eros….so one must be careful… Thanatos rides so near life that sometimes it is hard to distinguish….

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

How to Ride the Chaosmos and Avoid the Downward Spiral: Fragments from a Chaos Aesthetic-Ethic

Georges Bataille (from his book “guilty”):

“Life is a result of disequilibrium and instability. Stable forms are needed to make it possible however. Going from one extreme to the other, from one desire to another, from a state of collapse to frantic tension if the movement speeds up, there can only be ruin and emptiness. We have to stake out courses that are stable enough. To shrink from fundamental stability isn't less cowardly than to hesitate about shattering it. Perpetual instability is more boring than adhering strictly to a rule, and only what's in existence can be made to come into disequilibrium, that is, to be sacrificed. The more equilibrium the object has, the more complete it is, and the greater the disequilibrium or sacrifice that can result. These principles conflict with morality, which necessarily is a levelling force and an enemy to alternation. They destroy the romantic morality of confusion as much as they do the opposite morality”.

A whole aesthetics-ethic is compressed in this quote…it needs to be decompressed (with help from Gilles Deleuze and Hakim Bey) into a new ethics… an ethics of chaos…for life is all about what the Greeks called Kairos: the right moment or occasion: at the instant of disequilibrium (the edge of chaos) when something that was of the same causal order (i.e. equilibrium) jumps the linear continuum and passes into something else: an “event” emerges.

Roland Barthes discussing (in Camera Lucida) a Mapplethorpe self-portrait illustrates very well this “right disequilibrium”… this “edge of chaos” cultivated by an ethics-aesthetics of the Kairos - which is an eroticism of lived life desperately fighting the pornographic weight-gravity of life’s downward spiral:

” the photographer has caught the boy’s hand…at just the right degree of openness, the right density of abandonment: a few millimetres more or less and the divined body would no longer have been offered with benevolence (the pornographic body shows itself, it does not give itself, there is no generosity in it): the photographer has found the right moment, the kairos of desire”.

If we miss the Kairos (at any other moment it would have been the mere pornographic repetition of the same) no generosity or real desire is possible, no event happens… the usual dreariness of life... of Schopenhauer’s: “no rose without a thorn. but many a thorn without a rose” sets in…always the downward spiral…?