A New Year

A Friend:

Was just … filing away … for the first time the notes you gave me from badiou on the onto-logy of appearing. After all these years. Wow. I also retain a series of coffee stained notes on the back of a napkin (looking like fluid maps) from us discussing it in a cafe.

Funny to rediscover them. I had been collating a series of writing particularly relating to my focus over the years on semblance / similitude/ self referentiality/ simulacral writing/ mimicry (tarde included) / autonomy / autology and badiou’s text made it I to the dossier through an unresolvable problem between appearing and communication. Also I thought to let you know – caillois’ classic – mimicry and legendary psychaesthenia made it as neighbour to badiou.

Thought I’d also show you two volumes of obliques ( in which you are never far from my mind whilst reading) that arrived as gifts for me in the last week. It’s hard to show the beauty of the stained grey / pink temperature of the cover from the bellmer … but next to a book I made in violent magma marbled hardback it feels just unsettling enough to catch my eye. That rotten image of the child’s coquettish skull with its excess fluids subtracted from the pink onto the next cover … vascular, tissue like….

Yes happy new year mon ami.


And I:

I believe that was the cafe around the corner from my office. What year was that?

It is good to hear from you – like a ghost from the past. There in Europe it appears you have time and space to think. Hear I feel as though the shape of our experience is changing now so fast, so harshly, that I cannot even stop it.

Even here in the mountains when I spend some days not seeing anyone there is a lack of intimacy provided by the internet’s infinite exchange – a saturation of the false ego – communication commerce functionality.

Punk is gone and grunge too – everything that smacked of creative destruction. The younger generation does not understand and those that were there seem to have forgotten or have disappeared.

Watching Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” strikes me with the simple democratic communism that made it even into mainstream Hollywood – simple in that true communism is derived from Christ – a celebration of the “generic” as Badiou calls it – the autonomous nature of everyman reflecting one another – trans-individuation rather than intersubjectivity. Taking advantage of the “laws of imitation” (Tarde) the internet hijacked by social media seeks again to return us to a mass – a moral cynical mass of animal reactivity.

Parallel to FDR’s America portrayed by Capra, European oblique Surrealism created revolutions of everyday life and resistance to a Fascism that now I dare to say has returned victorious through the back door. The triumph of Bernays over Freud is to target the drives – at the expense of sublimation. We took for granted the discipline and structure that held the drives captive but now they drift – toward immediate gratification by false recognition.

Where is the “long desire” – a sustained drive in which the subject is birthed through trans-individuation. The autonomy and sovereignty seized by eradicating the Other in its delusional superegoic sense is achieved through performing in the presence of the other – the actual other in front of you. You will make this other and make him sovereign through this act. The self individuates only in the moment that the other is recognized in his autonomous being. All individuation is trans-individuation.

I did not mean for this epistle to be negative but only by seizing hold of this truth that I feel do I have the possibility of turning it around toward something else. Hope? It’s always been the same. The “struggle.” Last night I happened upon Rossellini’s “Era Notte a Roma” (Escape by Night) in which three allied soldiers ( Russian, American, British) are secreted out of Rome against the Fascists. Are they communists? Yes. But this is a matter of the soul not of political parties.

It does not need to be this way. The work of the slave and the fight of the warrior need not continue in the most obvious of ways. The more difficult struggle is against ourselves. When there appears to be nothing to struggle for. As in the 70’s? Or perhaps again and again since Hegel’s time. The reinvention of the master/slave dialectic by external means is tiring for those of us who seek another labor – that of play. Idiot dystopian futures projecting it outward forever. Bataille knew better. Sitting with it. Nothing to do. Unemployed negativity. Ecstasy scarcely differs from any other state.

Yes. Bonne annee mon ami. I was looking for these notes to go on.