Saturday, March 8, 2014

Designing a Metaphysics for Electracy

Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? (Paul Gauguin, 1897).
Gauguin's masterpiece, whose title alludes to a catechism Gauguin learned during his school days, introduces our heuretics of metaphysics.  In the first part of the semester we used Internet Invention as guide for composing an Image of Wide Scope. In the second project the goal is to develop a theoretical framework situating the wide image in an electrate metaphysics.  In fact, the claim is that a wide image is a mystorical metaphysics.  The electrate metaphysics is generated using the CATTt heuristic:  Contrast = Jullien, Propensity of Things; Analogy = Cinematics; Theory = Lacan, Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis; Target = the Internet; tale = blog.  One purpose of the seminar is to gain some experience operating the CATTt, which was derived from a pattern emerging withing the genre of discourse on method (see Ulmer, Heuretics: The  Logic of Invention). A rule of thumb is: any hermeneutics may become heuretics: it happens through a certain style of reading:  description becomes guide to prescription -- look for instructions.

The CATTt slots function like a spread in Tarot reading (or in any template): the slot itself is active and inflects any resource it receives.  The syntax of CATTt begins with the articulation of a problem: Contrast repels; Target attracts.  Contrast: the extant metaphysics of literacy are fine as far as they go, but are relative to their apparatus. Target: The Internet requires a native metaphysics.  The C & T are kenotic, emptying out, opening a site for invention.  The procedure is to inventory the respective resources to understand the terms of the problem, both what is being rejected, that for which an alternative is sought, and the affordances of the new condition.  Solution is generated from an inventory of Analogy and Theory.  Analogy is an extant related practice suggesting possibilities of the new discourse; Theory identifies the principles structuring the invention as a whole (the What of the enterprise).  The heuretic produces four inventories, four lists, each list inflected by its slot.  A pattern of correspondences emerges in the intertext created by the juxtaposition of lists.  This pattern is configured into a poetics, a forumla or recipe of instructions for composing (in our case) an electrate metaphysics.  The blog medium supports and organizes this process of collection, inventory, and correlation.

In our project, this poetics is immediately tried, correlated with the first project, the Wide Image.

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