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."

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