All 4 entries tagged Body-Without-Organs

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August 08, 2005

Research Notes: co–evolution and the limits of explanation

Follow-up to Research Notes: Multiplicity, co–involution, Being abstract but not generalized from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

By Chapter 5 of Being There, Clark has reviewed the relevant work in robotics, cognitive science and developmental psychology. The slightly understated conclusion seems to be that a vital ingredient is missing: reality, messy, complex, non-linear reality.

This is a key paragraph:

This approach ignores one of the factors that most strongly differentiate real evolutionary adaption from other forms of learning: the ability to coevolve problems and solutions. p.93

The question is, as I read on, will he propose some kind of mechanism for introducing this factor into simulations, and thus quantifying its likely effects and patterns? Or perhaps he will explore the non-linearity of co-evolution further, with the conclusion that it renders a science of embedded cognition to be of limited explanative power?

My bet would be on coming up with toolkit for identifying the situations in which co-evolution occurs within lmits, as distinct from cases when its non-linearity renders problems obsolete faster than the emergence of solutions: a set of systems co-involuting through a shared Body without Organs, with degrees of stability and relative velocities.

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July 13, 2005

Research Notes: Multiplicity, co–involution, Being abstract but not generalized

Follow-up to Research Notes: Singularity/continuum, a multiplicitous event from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

More clarification of Deleuze's post-Kantian theory of multiplicitous singularities.

"They say: look at chaos, death and by implication life, right in the eyes, get to know each individual chaos, each death and each life on its own terms."

There's no need for a generalized chaos or passage into chaos (death) in this theory. Every passage into chaos is singular, belonging to an individual or perspective, but the specific chaosmos into which it moves (and from which it is generated) is shared by individuals, deteritorializing together with relative degrees of seperation and involution. The singularity, the perspective, is therefore multiple.

In The Fold Deleuze is concerned with a second dimension (level) to these sensii communis. A superfold that traverses across the individual passages into a shared chaos, formed by the non-linear inter-relations between individuals passing into and out of a shared chaosmos. Or to be more precise, there is an iterative series of levels, from pre-individual singularities, connected up transversally by individuals, and the individuals connected up in other ways such as a socius and capitalist axiomatics.

It could be said that an abstracted Being is shared by each level, and between the levels. This being the plane of consistency or immanence. Is this just their virtuality, their shared principle or movement?


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July 11, 2005

Research Notes: Artaud, the theatre and its Body without Organs

As a break from Deleuze and Guattari, and as input for a proposed research network on virtuality and performance, i've been reading the collection of essays by Antonin Artaud, The Theatre and its Double. This contains some fascinating schizoanalysis of theatre and its Body without Organs, biological life. Here's some killer lines from the essay on Theatre and the Plague:

Above all we must agree that stage acting is a delirium like the plague, and is communicable. p.18
…conditions must be found to give birth to a spectacle that can fascinate the mind. It is not just art. p.18
The plague takes dormant images, latent disorder and suddenly carries them to the point of the most extereme gestures. Theatre also takes gestures and develops them to the limit. Just like the plague, it reforges the links between what does and does not exist in material nature. p.18
For theatre can only happen the moment the inconcievable really begins, where poetry taking place on stage, nourishes and superheats created symbols. p.18
Like the plague, theatre is a crisis resolved either by death or cure. The plague is a superior disease because it is an absolute crisis after which there is nothing left except death or drastic putrification. In the same way, theatre is a disease because it is the final balance that cannot be obtained without destruction. It urges the mind to delirium which intensifies its energy. p.22

July 04, 2005

Research Notes: Naive Deleuzianisms, the war on terror, the valorization of self–organizing systems

Follow-up to Research Notes: Fascism within networks: China and the internet from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

My reading of Germinal Life has reached the third chapter, with Keith's call for a temporary and critical 'suspension' of Deleuze and Guattari's attempted equation 'ethics = ethology'. This suspension opens them up to an awkward but necessary critique.

And at the same time, I have been thinking more in the style of Manuel De Landa, applying his method of 'non-linear' history to the analysis of extremist and terrorist bodies. I am considering their emergence from pre-individual singularities on the machinic phylum to individuated and efficient learning machines. This raises some interesting issues concerning naive readings of the schizoanalytic project.

Consider this: are the various armed groups in Iraq benefiting from the continued presence of the US in a way that a naive schizoanalysis would praise? There were clearly many disparate splinters formed from the explosion of the Sadam Hussein regime of hierarchies, each itself a pre-individual singularity. And in response to the crudely striated tactics of the US military, are these otherwise unconnected singularities finding common currency, points of convergence, catalysts for the creation of their own internal consistency? As with the Nazis, I would say this is likely.

It would seem that the ethology leads to an ethics in which al-Qaeda might be valorized. Clearly there is something wrong, something out-of-order with this. Perhaps it is the same imprecision and confusion of differences that leads to the problem described by Keith in Germinal Life:

the various 'becomings' that characterize 'evolution', and serve to make it nongenealogical and nonfiliative, cannot be treated as if they were all the same, so that, for example, we could move simply but far too quickly, from talking about the transversal movement of the 'C' virus that is connected to both baboon DNA and the DNA of certain domestic cats, so talking about the 'becoming-baboon in the cat', to talking about the becoming molecular-dog of a human being, as if they were of an equivalent order. p.188-189

De Landa's free use of 'abstract machines' made me nervous. But what principle can there be to guide us as to the required level of detail, of specificity?

The answer from Deleuze and Guattari, and which I think Keith is about to give in the next section, is that understanding each deterritorialization's relationship to its own specific Body without Organs, and its passage into the possible constitution of an abstract machine, is the way to understand the appropriateness of that abstract machine to the specific case.


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