Monday, October 29, 2007

No Thought for a Concept

The creation of a concept is not the act of a mentality.

It is also not an intellectual accomplishment.

It is not an intellectual pursuit to create a concept, and I go one step further: to make it be an intellectual pursuit is to thwart concept creation, it is to collapse concept creation down into something literary.

(I don’t mean to belittle the literary – but if the intention is concept creation and what’s achieved is instead something literary, that’s failure.)

I think concept creation may be harshly anti-intellectual and maybe that’s a reason it hasn’t gained any traction…Intellectuals are the only ones who are going to be interested in it, but the very nature of their interest is going to thwart it happening…

One cannot thumb through Deleuze and Guattari or anywhere else to pick up helpful hints on concept creation which can then be pasted together or somehow otherwise formulated in order to make a concept-creation guidebook. (A guidebook called, Concept Creation for Beginners.)

A concept does not order or stabilize.

It is not a firm plank upon which perceptions could be verified, validated, recognized, communicated. The concept would get things moving – would be very distinct from that which offers the prospects of a sedentary gaze-- and it would wipe away that peculiar cast of the mind where everything seems perfectly explained, with all the answers in, as if what’s OUT THERE is the normal, the natural, perfect way for the world to be.

Image: A Secret Place, by Heather Nevay.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

No Sign of a Concept

I can’t start making a concept and I can’t set myself to the task of starting to make a concept.

I can take it into my head to make a concept, but this gets me no closer to making a concept.

I can think about making concepts, but this also gets me no closer to making a concept.

I can’t figure out how to make a concept – in what sense can I still hope to make a concept?

Can I hope to do anything worthwhile when I don’t know what I am doing?

To push forward confusedly—blindly, even-- is rarely a way to succeed.

But this may be an indication it is the way to proceed in concept creation.

To not know, to not be able to “figure it out”, especially to not be able to conjure it up as a completed figure or image of any sort --I think these may be necessary conditions of concept creation.

A concept can’t “make sense” when it’s being created. How could it?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Machining a Difference

I peruse the comments posted by the other participants in the desiring machine, and rather than reacting to them, I seek a way to act with them.

In this, there is no spirit of acquiescence or agreeing in order to be pleasant or to maintain an appearance of tolerance. I also do not think that this is a matter of taking the easy way out – I think that finding this way to act with them is extremely difficult. I don’t think we’ve yet to catch on to it in our year and a half of blogging agencement.

I choose this recent comment by Orla,

“Humans, as speaking beings, are no longer the sites for desire.”

I don’t know if this is an example which interests anyone else. The specific example may not matter much. I am not planning to use this example to begin a thematization on the nature of language or to start moving in a new direction on the nature of desire.

I happen to disagree with this statement. I think that in other circumstances and with intentions other than making a desiring machine, I would express this disagreement and then try to find a way to bare the truth value, or the lack thereof. This might or might not help me to learn something, spark a lively discussion here at the blog (which would be better than what we’ve had for the most part, so far), perhaps help us to generate a bit of enthusiasm for the inquiries we’re dribbling away at so far, we might come to understand each other better, etc. -- but though these would be positive developments, this is not what I want to do.

It’s not that true statements and clear thinking or reasoning are worthless, and that spouting nonsense is the way to go. I really do think, though, that there is some sense in which moving toward a clarification of “the truth” in a statement such as the one above is a way of shutting down the making of a desiring machine, and must be avoided. I hope to become more clear about how and why this is so, if it is so. That’s one of my goals for here in the Underground.

I think that what I want to do – and this is very tentatively expressed at this point, in a way I don’t “have a clue”—is to push back and push onward unto its finest, most extreme and intense form whatever it is in Orla which has prompted this from him.

Do the following questions help or hurt?

What must be true about speaking beings that they can’t be sites of desire? How does representation thwart desire? Why are desire and representation opposed? If representation thwarted desire but in some cases one had to choose between the two, how would one make that choice? (In other words, is representation ever necessary and not merely optional, more desirable than desire itself?) Can there be a desire for representation? What does a representation of desire do?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Inverted Commas: The Gruesome Obituary

The master-signifier digs down with his crooked two-fingered hands,
Crushing in his evil embrace the Is and Wes and Uses,
Like frightened children we freeze – before escaping
Into the prison of the organless body.

The lines of flight cry out for fellow travelers. Assemble!

Gasping in the foaming ocean of desire we multiply, rebel.

WANTED: Nomads itching to stay, craving soil and muddy rivers,
Nimble-footed and heavy-handed, rambling.

Tucked between inverted commas concepts wither,
Without struggle, without song, locked in archeology.

De-terra incognita.


Personal pronouns of the world, unite. Stream the code.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Blog as a Desiring Machine

"This book is a drama whose first character is the Infinite.

The second is man.

This being the case, since a convent happened to be on our path, we had to go in. Why? Because the convent, which is common to the East as well as to the West, to ancient as well as modern times, to Paganism as well as to Buddhism, to Islam as well as Christianity, is one of the optical appliances man turns on the Infinite.

This is not the place for an inordinate development of certain ideas [plagiarist’s comment: ha!ha!]; however, while absolutely maintaining our reservations, our restrictions, and even our indignation, we must admit, whenever we meet the Infinite in man, whether well or poorly understood, we react with respect. There is in the synagogue, in the mosque, in the pagoda, and in the wigwam, a hideous side we detest and a sublime aspect we adore. What a subject of meditation, and what a limitless source of reverie is this reflection of God upon the human wall!” -Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, The Convent as Abstract Idea.

“I” “think” “we” “had” “originally” “thought” of this blog as an “opportunity” “for” collaboration; “I” “would” “like” to amend that “notion” —this blog is better understood as a desiring machine “we” "are" “making.”

How does this blog produce desire?

"We" "conceive" of production as an assemblage of differences.

With the blog,"we" CAN assemble differences.

Desire flows between the uncrushed differences.

Where do the differences come from?

"I" "believe" this "is" evident: "we" "are" "multitudes" of differences and these manifest- to some extent-- each time any "one" of "us" posts. “We” hold this “truth” to "be" “self-evident”!!!

The blog as an optical, acoustical, and sensorial appliance-- an appliance "we" "make" and which “we” turn on the Infinite…The blog as a limitless source of reverie this reflection of God upon the human wall!

It goes without saying ( and that’s why I am taking the particular trouble to say it!) that whatever this Infinite, and whatever this God, they be not master-signifiers!

If "we" "are" to succeed in making a desiring machine,“we” must not allow “ourselves” to be overtaken by a master-signifier, either. By ourselves, by certified master-signifiers who come our way, or any of those aspirants to master-signifier who fool us with their gentle discussions, collaborations, persuasions, spoofings or carings about "the truth."