Monday, 23 September 2013

S t u d i e s f o r a G e n e r a l E c l i p s e


That which   refuses    figuration,   has the  allos—agora: the   non-site   of
assembly.  Place holding as technique. Balks at the   deliverance of   some
meaning as   it would the   any    other witch-hunt.   And in good   faith, I
cannot be clearer.  We waited for the moment in which our     conception
of time was changed.   Because the  messianic is passed us for    now,  we
are apostolic.


realizing it's time to move on

a series of copyright acts, starting in 1839,  were introduced to protect ‘ornamental designs’ – the decorative elements of an object rather than its function, which could be patented.

Sunday, 22 September 2013


 Spoliation entails a forcible transfer of ownership. The spoliated object [animal, person, monument or culture] is denuded of its portable assests [skin, wealth, ornament, artistic patrimony] and the assets - the spolia - are taken as booty or salvaged. Spolia are survivors of violence, about which they might be mute [if they bear no visible signs] or eloquent.

kinney / reuse value

The fact is that history and prehistory, united in origin, at a certain point separate irrevocably:
In the history of every organism there comes the time in which the boundaries which separate it from the world are not any longer subject to change. In this moment, prehistory and emergence-history (Entstehungsgeschichte) separate from history. Thence the similarity that likens this moment to death, and the ease with which we can identify, in any history in the usual sense of the term, the signs of a history of decadence (Verfallsgeschichte). Verfallsgeschichte dissolves the bonds that prehistory had created between elements ... If, therefore, in the realm of things that have a life and a historical efficacy, one has to distinguish between their pre-historical epoch and the historical one, it is prehistory which lays the foundations of their historical efficacy (ibid., p. 53).
Not only prehistory and history are distinct and nonetheless connected: the historical efficacy of a phenomenon itself is inseparably linked to this distinction.

agamben / philosophical archaeology / 2009 / overbeck

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Emblem 93 /// Against parasites

Take these river-crabs we give to you; these gifts suit your character. They have watchful eyes, many a row of claws armed with pincer, a vast belly. Thus your gut, with its fat stomach, hangs down; you have agile feet, and stings are fitted to them. As you go about in the cross-roads, you wander by the chairs and tables, and, bitter, hurl sharp taunts at others.

Monday, 9 September 2013


In the theoretical domain as in the ethical domain, technics are concerned with the element. In the sciences the contribution of technics consisted in making possible a representation of phenomena one by one by breaking them down into simple elementary processes similar to the operations of technical objects; such is the role of the mechanistic hypothesis that enabled Descartes to represent the rainbow as an overall result of the point by point trajectory taken by each luminous corpuscle in each drop of rain in a cloud; and it was also according to the same method that Descartes describes the functioning of the heart by breaking down a complete cycle into simple successive operations and showing that the functioning of the whole is the result of the play of elements necessitated by their particular disposition (for example, that of each valve). Descartes does not ask himself why the heart is made in this way, with valves and cavities, but how it works given how it is made. The application of schemas drawn from technics does not account for the existence of the totality, taken as a unity, but does account for the point by point and instant by instant functioning of that totality.

422    Gilbert Simondon  On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects

Saturday, 7 September 2013


The limiting factor in the art of IMINT is resolution. Technically speaking, resolution refers to the representation of spatial units as image units; thus in a one-meter resolution, one meter is rep- resented by one pixel. Anything smaller does not show up, for it can- not be imaged. Resolutions as high as ten centimeters are possible today but not commercially viable, and with these one can already distinguish different makes of automobile. But with the increasing perfection of seamless photo reconnaissance, which can see under clouds and beneath the earth, defenses against it are being perfected too. An increasingly important field of military research and development is the techniques of camouflage and image disruption against reconnaissance from space. The total view of the earth has intrinsic gaps, both small and large, which could become a determining factor of blindness. The gap that today is probably the most important, besides resolution, is the window of time between the recording of an image and its analysis. In a crisis, only brand new images immediately analyzed by experts are of any use, and the most high-powered research today is devoted to closing this window through improved reproduction technologies and more effi- cient organization.31 Just as resolution places a limit on the visualiza- tion of space, transmission is the limit for the timeliness of intelligence; its “military usefulness” fades quickly until highly relevant material becomes merely historical.

Knowing the Enemy: The Epistemology of Secret Intelligence EVA HORN

Friday, 6 September 2013

search engines

[The engine] learns about subject categories from the bottom up, instead of imposing an order from the top down. It is a self-organizing system.... To come up with subject categories, Architext makes only one assumption: words that fre- quently occur together are somehow related. As the corpus changes—as new connections emerge between, say O. J. Simpson and murder—the classification scheme automatically adjusts. The subject categories reflect the text itself”; “this eliminates two of the biggest criticisms of library classification: that every scheme has a point of view, and that every scheme will be constantly struggling against obsolescence. 
Search Engines Hartmut Winkler

 In a model of the world created by Robert Fludd, an English encyclopedist of the Renaissance, God had already abandoned the center position (“Integrae Naturae speculum artisque imago” [1617], British Library). Retained has been a system of strictly concentric rings that contains the things of the world, encompassing a range from minerals to the plants and animals of nature up to the human arts and finally the planetary spheres. The center is occupied by a schematic diagram of the earth, a forerunner of that blue ball the astronauts radio-relayed to earth. The representation looks like a man- dala in which viewers can absorb themselves in order to take up contact with a cosmic whole. The new, secularized solution becomes even more distinct in the memory theater of the Italian Camillo, which, frequently discussed in the meantime, itself belongs to the history of technical media.  At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Camillo built a wooden construction resem- bling a small, round theater (see, for example, F. A. Yates, Gedächtnis und Erinnern, Weinheim 1991, 123ff.). Those who ventured inside were con- fronted by a panel of 7 x 7 pictures Camillo had commissioned from highly respected painters of the period. The horizontal division corresponded to the seven planetary spheres, the vertical division to seven stages of develop- ment from the first principles up to the elements, to the natural world, to the human being, to the arts and, finally, the sciences. In this way, every field in the matrix represented a certain aspect of the cosmos. The images were merely there to convey the general picture, whereas behind them were com- partments with the texts written by the great writers and philosophers. It was in these compartments, then, that the user looked for sources, concepts and further information. To this extent, the whole thing was a system of access, and the analogy with search engines becomes evident in the clear separation between the access to the texts and the texts themselves.
Camillo’s theater has finally brought the human being, the viewer, into the center of the construction. The surface of the images is oriented to his view, and solely the beholder’s perspective joins up the forty-nine fields in the matrix.

raster : a scan pattern (as of the electron beam in a cathode-ray tube) in which an area is scanned from side to side in lines from top to bottom; also : a pattern of closely spaced rows of dots that form an image (as on the cathode-ray tube of a television or computer display)

Monday, 2 September 2013

Nupta contagioso.

black box // last words

 the black box functions as a perfect synecdoche: one surviving part that at a human and material level, can reassemble the disintegrated whole

Eric Partridge suggests that it is in use from 1945 in RAF slang to signify any mysterious, clever piece of equipment on board a plane (interestingly, he says it was first applied to a device that allowed bomb aimers to see through clouds or darkness). Presumably the term gets transferred to one specific device, the flight recorder, not because the insides of such a thing are particularly intricate or mysterious (it’s just a sound recorder), but because they are made to be inaccessible. But, in either case, the ‘black box’ seems to point to a new phase of machinery, one in which machines, traditionally things which can be made fully explicit, and opened up to show their workings, start to have the same magical inaccessibility as selves, persons or souls.

Definition of the Composite

 Definition of the Composite
Any body, assumed under a determined name, is divisible, as we consider it act of the body.

Definition of the Whole and the Part
In the whole the part is identified by any thing you individuate as smaller than the whole; the whole is that which results as a composite of all the parts.

Definition of the Figure
The figure is that which is limited by a curved line or by more than two straight lines, that is, a determined proportion of body and plane.

De Minimo IV, vii, 284-287


To this end, the process of bringing the materials together (orchestration) in the minimum is not of composition but is determined by squeezing, wrapping endlessly, creasing within and over creases, compressing into each other, shoving upward and downward, pressing out from the sides, staging all processes that bring together through the dynamics of forces risen between materials and masses, yield and stress, nonlinear elasticity and flow plasticity: an architectural forge-press.

Reza Negarestani


 digital dark ages
A famous real example is with NASA, whose early space records have suffered from a Dark Age issue more than once. For over a decade, magnetic tapes from the 1976 Viking Mars landing were unprocessed. When later analyzed, the data was unreadable as it was in an unknown format and the original programmers had either died or left NASA. The images were eventually extracted following many months of puzzling through the data and examining how the recording machines functioned

Sunday, 1 September 2013

builder's language

Calm block fallen here from some dark disaster

Calme bloc ici-bas chu d’un désastre obscur


--> The language is meant to serve for communication between a builder A and an assistant B. A is building with building-stones: there are blocks, pillars, slabs and beams. B has to pass the stones, in the order in which A needs them. For this purpose they use a language consisting of the words "block", "pillar" "slab", "beam". A calls them out; — B brings the stone which he has learnt to bring at such-and-such a call. Conceive this as a complete primitive language. (PI 2.)

Later "this" and "there" are added (with functions analogous to the function these words have in natural language), and "a, b, c, d" as numerals. An example of its use: builder A says "d — slab — there" and points, and builder B counts four slabs, "a, b, c, d..." and moves them to the place pointed to by A. The builder's language is an activity into which is woven something we would recognize as language, but in a simpler form. This language-game resembles the simple forms of language taught to children, and Wittgenstein asks that we conceive of it as "a complete primitive language" for a tribe of builders.


{5}Here, above all, is the basis of the profound affinity between the adventurer and the artist, and also, perhaps, of the artist's attraction by adventure. For the essence of a work of art is, after all, that it cuts out a piece of the endlessly continuous sequences of perceived experience, detaching it from all connections with one side or the other, giving it a self-sufficient form as though defined and held together by an inner core. A part of existence, interwoven with uninterruptedness of that existence, yet nevertheless felt as a whole, as an integrated unit - this is the form common to both the work of art and the adventure. Indeed, it is an attribute of this form to make us feel that in both the work of art and the adventure the whole of life is somehow comprehended and consummated - and this irrespective of the particular theme either of them may have. Moreover we feel this, not although, but because, the work of art exists entirely beyond life as a reality; the adventure, entirely beyond life as an uninterrupted course which intelligibly connects every element with its neighbors. It is because the work of art and the adventure stand over against life (even though in very different senses of the phrase) that both are analogous to the totality of life itself, even as this totality presents itself in the brief summary and crowdedness of a dream experience.

Georg Simmel The Adventure