Saturday, June 12, 2010

Openning Comments

     It is time that I begin writing again. Neither sports journalism nor (worse yet) substitute teaching reports. I must begin writing again those exploratory fragments, those brief flashes into the rhizomatic fabric of an otherwise and seemingly invisible “world.” By which I mean: clean the clutter of post-it notes off my desk and windowsills, if possible translating them all from disparate trifles to disparate prose. After all, the good god resides in the details (or so our “detective” epistemic paradigm tells us).
     I have tentatively title this project “Fractal Paradigm.” It is a title in large part influenced by the opening pages of Deleuze’s The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, in which a vision of a de-centered mathematics opens the space for a new metaphysics – a new discourse providing the basis for a working understanding of the “archive” in which we find ourselves. A world of infinite finite foldings stretching from the micro to the macro such that their onetime stable binary shatters, leaving open a porous labyrinth (sorry Kim, Deleuze’s term, not mine) traversed with continuous caverns, caverns within caverns, all without emptiness. Such is the fractal half of my blog’s title: the minute curvature/folding (read: meaning) remains identical to the expanded/proliferated curvature. A fractal is that which remains consistent no matter its scale (in fact, in such a way that scale ceases to have its once proper meaning).
     "Paradigm" is, simply, my supreme technical term (as Luken Weaver cannot attest to without, I am sure, some eye rolling). I use the term here not to denote a set defining what is/is not “true” or “expressible” within a specific discipline, nor entirely a “core” or implicit ordering principle inducing adherence to a defining set of proper knowledge within a discipline. Not even something of the two (which is Foucault’s sense of paradigm). Rather, I owe the initial formulation of my technical term “paradigm” to Agamben. The paradigm is, rather, a discourse’s expressibility; it is expressibility as expressiblilty. A motor of sorts. It does not “order” discourses around “proper” utterances. It lacks content of its own (or even content lodged upon it from outside). Neither a means nor an end, but something in between. It is an element lurking (I will use throughout this blog the language of detective fiction and film noir, for reason I hope to slowly tease out) in the shadows of every speech act and discourse, revealing an unseen yet richly intimate affinity, a genealogy between seemingly disparate series. Sort of like Agamben’s use of the signature, his delineating its genealogy from Medieval astrology to Aby Warburg’s Pathosformeln, from the good god in the detail of the stars to the good god in the detail of the nymph (or, a more curious, yet implied, genealogy: from astrology’s signature to the detective’s clue).
      Now something of a working definition of my title can be expressed: the fractal paradigm is an infinitely proliferating series of “clues” in which their meaning remains (scandalously) constant from one manifestation to the next. And this is the really exciting part: in their consistency (here I mean both stability and disposition) they explode into intelligibility an entirely new understanding of the Western world as it convulses and spasms within the labyrinth of that for which we yet have a name (hypercapitalism? biopolitical state of exception? society of the spectacle?). This blog is one lengthy attempt to find a proper name for that in which we find ourselves.
     A note on Fractal Paradigm’s organization. I will try to set up a dual structure in which I have a “normal,” running thread of observations etc, and a “glossary” devoted to not only defining terms (other’s and mine) but also to exploring terminological implications and problems that inevitably arise with this kind of project. With such a bifurcated structure, I hope to provide as comprehensive and comprehensible a blog as possible.