Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tropic Farming

We mustn't believe we are living the realization of some evil utopia -- we are living the realization of utopia, period. That is to say, its collapse into the real (Baudrillard, Fatal Strategies).

Instructions for the tale of our CATTt come from Rob Kovitz, Pig City Model Farm.  Kovitz exemplifies appropriation, collage composition to produce a trope.  The elements collected in the composition include documentation (text and image) of the following domains:  1) Model farming in general, and pig farming in Canada in particular.  The documents express scientific best practices for humane and efficient production of meat for market; 2) Utopian theory in general and Charles Fourier in particular:  principles for improving and perfecting human social and cultural life through regulation of all conduct; 3) Citations from a library of literature, serving as a commentary on the urge or drive for perfection and its disappointment; 4) Some autobiographical statements, alluding to employment in a meat-packing plant; 5) Citations and references to vanguard arts practices, Dali's Paranoid-Critical Activity, and Marcel Duchamp's Large Glass.

Demonstrating what Deleuze called the logic of sense, Kovitz's brings two semantic domains together, two chains of signs sharing one property:  the shape of a particular architectural design used in farm buildings (the original disciplinary context for the work is architecture).  Placed roughly at  the center of  the composition, the famous image of the train entrance to Auschwitz-Birkenau triggers the turn, producing the metaleptic leap back, reconfiguring the previous documentation on model farming as commentary on national socialist ideology of perfecting the race.  Preparing pigs for market transfers to concentration camps, with the aura of butchering meat evoking human genocide.

Kovitz's structure is that of a basic figure:  pig farming is the vehicle; utopian socialism is the tenor.  The instruction is to treat documents of our accident event as the vehicle, as a trope, to exploit its aura for commentary on some tenor.  There are several candidates for tenor in our scenes, but whichever one we choose, the instruction is to enter it as documentation, juxtaposed and intercut (montage editing) with the vehicle.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Be Still

Further instructions from 'Pataphysics (Bok):  use a Surrationalist strategy, to compose from the object position.  The relay OULIPO suggests ours is an experiment in potential consulting.  Pine tar is produced by means of distillation.  It is distilled. The Superfund is still here.

still 1 |stil|
not moving or making a sound : the still body of the young man.
• (of air or water) undisturbed by wind, sound, or current; calm and tranquil : her voice carried on the still air | a still autumn day.
• (of a drink such as wine) not effervescent; compare with sparkle .
1 deep silence and calm; stillness : the still of the night.
2 an ordinary static photograph as opposed to a motion picture, esp. a single shot from a movie.
1 without moving : the sheriff commanded him to stand still and drop the gun.
2 up to and including the present or the time mentioned; even now (or then) as formerly : he still lives with his mother | it was still raining.
• referring to something that will or may happen in the future : we could still win.
3 nevertheless; all the same : I'm afraid he's crazy. Still, he's harmless.
4 even (used with comparatives for emphasis) : write, or better still, type, captions for the pictures | Hank, already sweltering, began to sweat still more profusely.
make or become still; quieten : [ trans. ] she raised her hand, stilling Erica's protests | [ intrans. ] the din in the hall stilled.
still and all informal nevertheless; even so.
still small voice the voice of one's conscience (with reference to 1 Kings 19:12).
still waters run deep proverb a quiet or placid manner may conceal a more passionate nature.
stillness noun
ORIGIN Old English stille (adjective and adverb), stillan (verb), from a base meaning ‘be fixed, stand.’
still 2
an apparatus for distilling alcoholic drinks such as whiskey.
ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from the rare verb still [extract by distillation,] shortening of distill .

1 the parrot lay still motionless, unmoving, not moving a muscle, stock-still, immobile, inanimate, like a statue, as if turned to stone, rooted to the spot, transfixed, static, stationary. antonym moving, active.
2 a still night quiet, silent, hushed, soundless, noiseless, undisturbed; calm, peaceful, serene, windless; literary stilly. antonym noisy.
3 the lake was still calm, flat, even, smooth, placid, tranquil, pacific, waveless, glassy, like a millpond, unruffled, stagnant. antonym rough, turbulent.
the still of the night quietness, quiet, quietude, silence, stillness, hush, soundlessness; calm, tranquility, peace, serenity. antonym noise, disturbance, hubbub.
1 she's still running in circles up to this time, up to the present time, until now, even now, yet.
2 He's crazy. Still, he's good for dinner conversation nevertheless, nonetheless, regardless, all the same, just the same, anyway, anyhow, even so, yet, but, however, notwithstanding, despite that, in spite of that, for all that, be that as it may, in any event, at any rate; informal still and all, anyhoo.
1 she stilled the crowd quiet, silence, hush; calm, settle, pacify, soothe, lull, allay, subdue. antonym stir up.
2 the wind stilled abate, die down, lessen, subside, ease up/off, let up, moderate, slacken, weaken. antonym get stronger.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Figuring Exception

Part 2 is devoted to developing the insight from Part 1:  the Accident is a sign.  Further instructions indicated that the sign is a trope, and the terms of the figure are set by the event itself.  Bok's 'Pataphysics makes the instruction more precise.  The lesson is found in the breakout of Surrationalist 'Pataphysics into three "declensions":  Anomalos (principle of variance); Syzygy (principle of alliance); Clinamen (principle of deviance).  A difficulty of heuretics is its heuristic nature:  how should we respond to this appearance of three figures in our Analogy source?  We could simply accept Bok's terms, and apply one of them as the figure with which to design the Prezi exhibit.  But then we consider the invented nature of Bok's figures.  Syzygy is borrowed from astronomy, for example, naming one or the other of two points in the orbit of a celestial body either in opposition to or conjunction with the sun.  The term is generalized to refer to any unity achieved through coordination of alignment.  Bok's creative move guides our option:  identify in the technical discourse of your event a process that may be generalized into a trope or figure of thought. 

Bok refers to Harold Bloom's Anxiety of Influence at one point, suggesting its relevance to 'Pataphysics.  This insight reinforces the above instruction, since Bloom constructed a set of six tropes to name the process belated poets perform to create a place for themselves in literary tradition, in competition with their predecessors.  Bloom clarified the practical value of the fact that Freud's vocabulary describing ego defense mechanisms is a direct appropriation of tropology from the history of rhetoric.  Bloom's first trope (move or compositional strategy) is "Clinamen" also.  Second is "Tessera" (term taken not from mosaics but ancient mystery cults, where it meant a token of recognition); third is "Kenosis" (from St. Paul, the humbling or emptying out of Jesus), and so forth.  The relay suggests the productivity of troping the terms of some knowledge discourse for use as a rhetorical figure more generally.  A worthy experiment for some future CATTt could be to compose a different tropology, to replace Bloom's Agon version of poets in competition, with an Ilynx version, of poets dancing (or some related form of spin).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


A relay for composing an EmerAgency egents report, to exhibit in the Museum of Accidents, is the movement of concrete and visual poetries in general, and Apollinaire in particular.  Apollinaire is one of the inventors of the poetics of the Paris vanguard, being responsible for naming and defining some of the most important inventions, thus contributing importantly to electrate image metaphysics.  The visual poem "Lettre-Ocean" (referring to a type of post, the overseas letter) prepared the way for his Calligrammes.  This use of layout, replacing textual syntax with schema and diagram, is suggestive for our experiment with Prezi figures.

Manuscript version

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Commodity Taste


Retracing the path of event (return to sender), passage and coming to pass.  Why were the trading ships entering warmer waters, where they encountered teredo navalis?  Look around from this moment to notice the current, the economy:  we are in the spice trade.  Pepper plants are native to India, and pepper has been used in Indian cuisine since ancient times.  Pepper was so valuable that it was used as money.  In its decline Rome paid "protection" to the Visigoths in the form of tons of black pepper.  The "spice" trade was in fact primarily the "pepper" trade.  Competition over control of the trade pushed the Portuguese to find a water route (alternative to the sea and land routes controlled by Venice).  The story is familiar from there.

The lesson of this history for fatal strategy is to trace the accident as Nemesis, but not so much in the ancient sense of retribution, but in the more immanent sense of "tribute." We reached for spice, and got dioxin. The accident records our gesture, creating a field of action around Flesh, that is, human embodiment.  People developed a passion for the pungency of pepper.  The account of pepper as a preservative apparently is not accurate.  It was rather flavor that sent the accident, precisely:  taste.  This particular event is exemplary in part because of its association with Kant's Critique of Judgment, and the foundation of electracy on the sense of taste, the sensorium oriented by pleasure-pain.  Check your event for its bit of Flesh (Merleau-Ponty's alternative to "substance").  Here is the passage of pleasure to which wisdom devoted most of its attention.  What is the wisdom of pepper?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Teredo Navalis


The soil in and around the Koppers Superfund site in Gainesville, Florida, is contaminated with dioxin, a byproduct of the wood treatment process performed here beginning in 1911.  The contamination is an accident, not deliberate (not a decision, not a deliberation), an unforeseen consequence following from an historical series of happenings.  It is fatal in the sense of predestined, a gift/poison out of the past, monumental, archival, and also in the sense of lethal, deadly, undermining well-being, assuming that its natural movement down into the acquifer is irreversible.   It so happens that the fetish detail of this event (Ereignis) emerges within the documentary television series, Connections, by James Burke, a series that anticipates and contributes to the discussion of technics.
It was this concern for ships' hulls that was to  lead, within a hundred years, to an invention that is present in almost every modern home.  As the ships sailed more often into tropical waters, their wooden hulls were attacked by a tiny mollusc called teredo navalis, which lived in those waters, and which bored into the hulls with devastating results.  The only protection against the mollusc was a thick layer of a mixture of tar and pitch smeared over the bottom of the ship.  At the beginning of the eighteenth century most of this material came from Scandinavia and the Baltic, from the unit of Sweden and Finland joined under the Swedish crown.  Over the previous two hundred years most of Europe had become increasingly dependent on northern timber, as the forests of England, France, Spain and Portugal had become more and more depleted.  The timber was used to build ships and to produce the tar and pitch.  The best kind of wood for making tar and pitch was pine, which was cooked slowly in pits until the tarry substance ran out of the charring wood, to be collected and distilled and then shipped in barrels. In 1700 the Russians, whose northern ports froze over in winter, decided they needed a warm-water port on the Baltic, and moved against Sweden-Finland.  The war that followed totally disrupted supplies. Fortunately for the English, there was one other source of supply--which  they owned--in the new American colonies (James Burke, Connections).
 Here is a candidate for the fetish detail (in my case) from our Theory instructions, since it was the encounter of wooden ships with the mollusc that caused the swerve (clinamen), the turn (-vert, trope), sending the manufacture of pine tar and pitch to America, and ultimately to Florida.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Seduced's Epiphany

Jeanne Duval

Our game is not "Prisoner's Dilemma," but "Seduced's Epiphany." To receive the accident we occupy the position of object, within the field of event.  The relay comes from Modernism in general, Baudelaire in particular, and his strategy of becoming commodity (see Walter Benjamin's reading).  As alternative to the calculation of Game Theory, with its grid of all rational options, fatal strategy "feels lucky" in recognizing that what seduces is the fetish (the object cause of desire).  In place of expanding into a narrative scenario, the consultation locates the sender of event.
No longer to explain things and to set their value in objective criteria and in an unbounded system of references, but, on the contrary, to implicate the whole world in a single one of its details, an entire event in a single one of its features, all the energy of nature in a single one of its objects, dead or alive--to find the esoteric ellipsis, the perfect shortcut toward the pure object, the one which is not involved in the division of meaning, and which shares its secret and power with no other (FS, 146).
Strategy learned from the poets in Paris, adapting to the shocks of industrial cities.  The trauma of alienation, of objectification, separates from the experience of agency.  Agency in any case moves elsewhere, outside, neither spirit nor self, but into the collective order, as operant subject.  It returns (the uncanny) in the form of event, accident, and this effect is what fascinates, since the accident is us (Problems B Us, slogan of the EmerAgency).  The extimacy of communication requires poetic method:  Baudelaire's correspondences first of all, followed by all the variations (Eliot's objective correlative, Rilke's Weltinnenraum, Joyce's epiphany, Benjamin's dialectical image, Freud's Unheimlich).  The allegory has become immanent, the commodity is anagogical.  The lyrical image registers the shock in the microcosm of the disaster in the macrocosm.  Baudrillard learns from Baudelaire how to receive the intimations of the real, by treating phenomena of public policy as miniaturizations (mise-en-abyme).  Our pain poses the question of Befindlichkeit (Heidegger, how do things stand, for me, for my situation in the world?).  The disaster answers:  obesity, cancer, terror.  These are the mirrors that fascinate.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


A tactic for tracking the emerging poetics of the CATTt is to put into table form the relationships between (in this case) Contrast and Theory.  The table categories itemize the topics shared by the sources, and the generative procedure is to name the contraries of the contrast.  The list is provisional and subject to revision.  The table is not intended to be self-explanatory, but it should make sense in the context of the readings.

The list is expandable.  For example:
                      Deception:          Bluff                                                        Promise

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Accident Replies

Gift Economy

Target instruction is to receive the Accident as a sign.  Theory now refines this instruction.  These specs begin with one of the primary moments of Theory's response to Target's call:
This liquidation of metaphor, this precipitation of the sign into brute, senseless matter, is a thing of murderous efficacy.  It is of the same order as the meaningless event, the catastrophe, which is also a blind reply, without metaphor, of the world as object to man as subject.  It's always like this that destiny becomes specific:  at a given moment, at a given point, signs become objects, impossible to turn into metaphors, cruel, without appeal.They cut short any decipherment, become confused with things (which is why fate is a dreamer, with the unintelligible instantaneity signs and words have in dreams).  The strategy of the object, like that of the woman in the story [she sent her suitor one of the eyeballs he claimed to admire], is to be confused with the thing desired (FS, 153).
Some terminology is clarified in this statement.  "Fatal" as adjective in French means "predestined" before it means "lethal." A "fatal strategy" is one that maps this default trajectory, this entropy, this passage of the world.  Hypertely is our version of "entelechy".  The other point is to note the challenge posed to electracy by the dromosphere or dimension collapse.  The reason why "scene" disappears is because media (information) and event have merged:  information and world coincide.  What the Greek language singing Homeric epics was to literacy, the ubiquitous broadcasting of pop entertainment (including all journalism, databases and the like) is to electracy.  Philosophy (literate metaphysics) was created out of written Greek culture (mythos into logos).  Electrate metaphysics must be created out of the signifying materials of pop information.

Baudrillard's qualification of the catastrophe as "pure" (p. 36) alludes to his instruction for us, to be found in his discussion of Baudelaire and the inception of "pure art" in Bohemian Paris (about which more later).  Meanwhile, the blind reply in the Real is the end of literate metaphysics (the excrescence overrunning all literate categories), not the end of signification.  It is the point of transfer into electracy (in progress).  We need to apprehend the attributes of the accident-sign, in order to outline the language which emerges with it as a whole, even if existing in our moment only synchronically, with its diachrony coming from the future.
If the waves of meaning, if the waves of memory and historical time are receding, if the waves of causality around the effect are fading (and the event today comes at us like a wave; it doesn't travel only "over the waves" -- it is a wave indecipherable in terms of language and meaning, decipherable only and instantly in terms of color, tactility, ambiance, in terms of sensory effects), it is because light is slowing down, because somewhere a gravitational effect is forcing the light from the event, the light which carries the event's meaning beyond itself bearing messages, to slow to a standstill, and the same is true of political and historical light, which we no longer perceive but feebly, and for the light from bodies of which we receive only faint simulacra (FS, 36-7).
Part of the implication concerns the apparatus:  that cinematography (the optical unconscious) is required to make these effects of the dromosphere (so far in excess of human faculties) legible.  The Museum of the Accident as tale requested an exhibitable event, and we agreed that the graphics of abstract art afforded appropriate means to register the forces manifested in the material break-up.  The instruction is: learn to read and write "accident."

Thursday, February 10, 2011



The effect of working through the sources of the CATTt  is the emergence of a conversation (intertext) between and among the readings.  The specifications of instructions in one text call out correspondences in subsequent texts.  For example, the instruction from Contrast is to appropriate some popular narrative (Hollywood movie) as a probe to identify relative to your disaster an operative mythology (Russell's "Chicken" relating Rebel Without A Cause to Dulles's brinksmanship, subsequently applied to the Cuban Missile Crisis).  This instruction is further motivated by the context of matching and replacing the role of Game Theory in public policy formation.  An important feature of this Contrast is the use of scenario form, narrative structure, to represent strategy alternatives.

There are many studies of this practice, and some of the basic principles include the goal of identifying and changing the mental models of decision makers, in order to envision possibilities for actions anticipating tendencies, trends, propensities of events in the future.  In short, scenarios are formulations of deliberative reason, or collective or organizational prudence.  It is common to propose three or four alternatives, between the poles of best and worst case.  Peter Schwartz in The Art of the Long View identified a collection of plot templates:  winners and losers, challenge and response, evolution, revolution, cycles, the lone ranger, "my generation".  It goes without saying that the narrative form itself supplies a set of assumptions:  a model of human agency, the role of action in transformation situations, the whole actantial structure familiar to students of literature. 

There are two key points for our instructions.  First is the central argument of our Theory regarding Figures of the Transpolitical, which declares the end of scene as such.
The transpolitical is the transparency and obscenity of all structures in a destructured universe, the transparency and obscenity of change in a dehistoricized universe, the transparency and obscenity of information in a universe emptied of event, the transparency and obscenity of space in the promiscuity of networks, transparency and obscenity of the social in the masses, of the political in terror, of the body in obesity and genetic cloning.... The end of the scene of the historical, the end of the scene of the political, then of the scene of fantasy, the end of the scene of the body--the irruption of the obscene.  The end of the secret--the irruption of transparency (Baudrillard, 45).
 The second point is that a goal of our project is to do for obscene what scenario did for scene:  obscenario.  Our strategy must perform the function fulfilled by Contrast, using our own means for guiding policy planning, to assist decision makers with collective prudence, that draws upon the ecstacy of communication in the same way that Game Theory drew upon the theatrics of alienation.  We need to learn from Theory the formal resources of the obscenario.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Instant Policy

The relationship between the policy of brinksmanship and the film Rebel Without A Cause noted by Bertrand Russell in his essay proposing the variation on Prisoner's Dilemma known as "Chicken," recalls a more general observation made by Richard Slotkin.  Slotkin observed that US policy planners and Hollywood scriptwriters drew upon the same "mythologies" in the formulation of their scenarios.
Rio Grande thus appears to be in some sort of dialogue with history.  Film and event "speak" to each other--event lending political resonance to the fiction, the fiction providing mythological justification for particular scenarios of real-world action.  They did so in the first instance (1950) not because one necessarily caused or influenced the other, but because the conceptual categories which shaped the scenarios developed by both movie-makers and policy-makers were drawn from the same cultural lexicon, the same set of mythological models.  But once the "cult of the cavalry" was established as a major division of American mythic space and was seen to be responsive to the course of political events, its fictive rationales and heroic styles of action (especially as embodied in the symbolic persona of John Wayne) became functional terms in public discourse and symbols of the correct or heroic response to the challenges of the Cold War (Slotkin, Gunfighter Nation).
Slotkin adds that an entire complex history is condensed into an emblem consisting of John Wayne in his cowboy persona associated with a motto (the right man with a gun).  The emblem communicates in a flash (flash reason) US counterinsurgency strategy from Vietnam to the present. The fact of this conjunction suggests a heuristic device:  to use popular narratives as probes to locate the fundamental values (the common scenarios) motivating decision-making in individual and collective situations.   The instruction is to explore such a connection with our Target disaster, keeping in mind that we are documenting an aspect of Contrast.

Friday, February 4, 2011



William Poundstone's Prisoner's Dilemma is the source for our CATTt Contrast.  This account of the passage from pure research (Von Neumann's invention of "game theory") to public policy formation (American foreign policy, specifically US nuclear strategy) during the Cold War, establishes that part of the problem for which fatal strategy is the alternative.  We retain public policy formation, choosing a specific disaster (accident) and its related policy options, while updating strategy for international relations and nuclear weapons in the new conditions of terrorism.  The first step in filling the Contrast slot is to inventory primary attributes of the source example.  We need to understand how Game Theory evolved into public policy, in order to locate opportunities for Fatal Games.  In keeping with the heuretic method, we identify one primary feature of the source to translate into an instruction for our CATTt.  That feature is the example of the variation on Prisoner's Dilemma known as Chicken.

Bertrand Russell is credited with identifying this model of human conflict in his book Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare (1959).  The relevant instruction comes from Russell's use of the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause (starring James Dean) as a metaphor for nuclear stalement.  "In the movie, spoiled Los Angeles teenagers drive stolen cars to a cliff and play a game they call a 'chicken run.' The game consists of two boys simultaneously driving their cars off the edge of the cliff, jumping out at the last possible moment. The boy who jumps out first is 'chicken' and loses" (Poundstone, 197).  Russell saw this game as an emblem for "brinksmanship."  The metaphor was picked up in subsequent discussion, and contributed to the discourse surrounding the Cuban Missile

Instruction:  select a pop film narrative to use as a metaphor or emblem for articulating or expressing the fatal strategy relevant to your disaster/accident.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Torino Scale

The Torino Scale is a "Richter Scale" for categorizing the [Earth](Event) impact hazard associated with [newly discovered asteroids and comets](Accidents). It is intended to serve as a communication tool for [astronomers](Egents) and the public to assess the seriousness of predictions of close encounters by [asteroids and comets] (Accidents)during the 21st century.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tar Story

Natural Pine Tar Pitch

The disaster is an inheritance, a (mis)trust fund supplied through tradition.  Event (Ereignis) refers to this received decision, what is given as gift, a duty to be paid by receiver.  In the event of the Cabot Koppers site in Gainesville, the activity resulting in pollution began in 1911, and the pitch pine tar was used to treat utility poles.  "Pine tar is a byproduct formed as the result of distilling pine wood at high temperatures, forcing it to decompose. Once the wood breaks down, it results in the formation of charcoal and a gum-like substance, tar. When the tar is further distilled, oils are removed from it, creating the byproduct pine tar pitch." The history of this product goes back six centuries, with the original use being the treatment of ship hulls.  Pine tar is an important link in the story of invention tracked in episode seven ("The Long Chain") of Connections (James Burke), and is a good example of technics, referring to the autonomous, interdependent ontologies of technology and humans.  The original source of pine tar (Scandinavian forests) used by the British and other European fleets was cut off due to war, replaced by the colonies as primary supplier, primarily the Southern states.  The evolution of inventions, passing through a series of accidents, mistakes, chance connections traced by Burke passes on from pine tar through coal tar eventually on to plastics.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Unknown Quantity

Deepwater Horizon

Paul Virilio's Museum of the Accident constitutes the Target for Routine's second CATTt.  The immediate passage between the seminar inventing an Internet Concept (Routine) and the present project to invent a fatal strategy is the condition of surprise.  "Turning around the threat of the unexpected in this way, surprise becomes a subject for research and major risks a subject for exposure and for exhibition, within the framework of instantaneous telecommunications" (Virilio, Unknown Quantity, "Foreword").  In Routine we used as a point of departure for an image concept the conductive logic of the joke form, with its power to register exact cultural locations of expectations and their violation.  Now this system is extended into strategy as a mode of thought.  An initial statement of our Target, then, (that is, of the problem addressed by our project), comes from Virilio:  
If, in fact, invention is just a way of seeing, of grasping accidents as signs, as opportunities, it is high time to open up our galleries to the impromptu, to that “indirect production” of science and the techno-sciences that is the disaster, the (industrial or other) catastrophe. If, according to Aristotle, “the accident reveals the substance,” the invention of the substance is also the invention of the “accident.” Seen this way, the shipwreck is indeed the “futuristic” invention of the ship, the air crash the invention of the supersonic plane, and the Chernobyl meltdown, the invention of the nuclear power station.
Instruction:  The accident (+ policies) you select as the Target for fatal strategy is framed as a "sign."

Friday, January 7, 2011

Metaphysical Disaster

Baudrillard says of Pompeii, that "everything is metaphysical in this city."
The tactile presence of these ruins is magnificent for the psyche, with their suspense, their twisting shadows, their sheer matter-of-factness.  A conjunction of the banality of a promenade and the immanence of another time, another moment, unique, that of catastrophe. . . . Few places leave such an impression of worrisome uncanniness (it is no surprise that Jansen and Freud set the psychic action of Gradiva there).  Here one feels all the heat of death, rendered all the more vivid by the fossilized and fugitive signs of daily life (FS, 42).
Perhaps a sign of the timeliness of our inquiry into the metaphysics of accident is the recent collapse of the ruins of Pompeii, the second death of which philosophers speak (since we are learning the semiotics of immanence)?