The Landian Method

“For me, a signal frustration in trying to read Kafka with college students is that it is next to impossible to get them to see that Kafka is funny”

Wallace, 1998

If there is any candidate for a contemporary inheritor of the Kafkesque tradition in philosophy it would almost certainly be Nick Land. It is no surprise that Anglophones troubled by reading the signs of Kafka’s humor cannot recognize Land’s writing as an absurdist parody. But Kafka at least had the advantage of readers knowingly approaching a work of fiction, whereas for the Anglo-Germanic tradition a philosophical text must culminate in seriousness otherwise it is not recognizable under the genre in search of wisdom. Certainly, one can make jokes, but even then the author has to tread fine lines around critical points. Certainly there exist a bevy of expressions in English such as “tongue in cheek” or “read between the lines”, but all such expressions are explicit instructions on where to look; that is, they are consistent with a protestant oath to textual clarity, where a clear sign always exists denoting what the author intends even if it is the opposite of what she is saying. The author must say what she means and mean what she says, or otherwise risk exuberant Catholic interpretations. It certainly does not help that in addition to the seriousness of the subject matter at hand, the dark demeanour of Land’s neo-gothic style induces an even more serious inflection at the level of danger. The conclusion is thus prima-facie primal fear, that is; horror taken at face value.

We thus pose the question: “Does Land really mean what he says?” This is not merely to ask if his cryptic nature hides the exact opposite of what he intends to portray as his position, rather we want to ask: “is the subject matter which is posed as the core of the discussion, or the contentious matter at hand, really what is being discussed?”. We can even take this one step further and ask “does Land even mean anything at all?”. If what he is writing truly is much ado about nothing, a whirlwind of something which cannot exactly be given the postmodern status of meaninglessness but does not exactly mean anything linked to the prefacial signs of the text (its context, its interlocuters, its subject matter,etc), then what is he talking about? Speaking of meaning is surely to entangle us in all sorts of traps, which have already played in the history of philosophy and played out in its recent iterations. Our suggestion is that a cryptic pattern can be traced in the way Land selects and maneuvers within a collection of subject matters, and which strikes us as a kind of Landian method.

As far as we know, this has rarely if ever at all been revealed as such, and is indicative of the overwhelming framing of Nick Land as a crypto-something or other, rather than what should be obvious: that he is a formidable author of a special kind of philosophical absurdist parody which is neither absurd, nor a parody.

It cannot be called Hypersition. It is a fiction that does not need to make itself real, because it was probably already happening, but perhaps not fast enough.

By posing the question of how to “read” Nick Land, we propose to examine how the CCRU rewires the entire notion of Reading, and in particular of how Reading has been compressed by the whole of Anglo-germanic tradition, singularizing the CCRU aesthetic into a selection of aesthetic tropes bound to the grit of the industrial age. Otherwise the notion of Reading has been subsumed by French entanglement with Writing. This is far too ambitious of a task to have a complete retrospective here and thus our focus will be more of an aperitif; examining three articles by Land in hopes of opening up a new way of re-reading notions such as Acceleration at a far deeper level, or perhaps even better, more contorted, twisted or weaved into its meaning than the facile surface notion that is often associated with speed and the singular aesthetic of gothic horror.

To decrypt this cybernetic reading where Acceleration plays with different intensive levels, and expose the Landian method we examine two articles Lure of the Void , Kinds of Killing , and briefly reference a section in a highly complex and cryptic text: Flatlines.

Nothing is at the stake
Lure of the Void

Despite a careful laying out of the pertinent argument points, and a thorough examination of their implications, Land does not synthesize, balance or provide some perspective that breaks through all opinions to establish the dominant solution to the problem. Rather Land ratchets up the complexity of the argument’s interplays which works perfectly well to both layout a well argued, well traversed plane of discourse on the subject and to distract as much as possible from what is about to come. Just as in any study of philosophical texts, the reader is often overwhelmed with the cacophony of opinions argued at their highest degree of astuteness, and will often try to coordinate their own opinions around the magnetic dipoles of these peculiarly classical philosophies.

All the while Land uses this momentum to drive at something almost wholly different and yet so completely materialized by, so absolutely causally inferred from these opinion poles. A kind of mystical absurdity or a profoundly futuristic insight so far removed from any present understanding or the down to earth foundations regarding what to do with the concept at hand, that it both confounds and causes fear. Land’s skill can be likened to creating something completely parallel and never intersecting with the problem at hand, except perhaps at some point at infinity. It is this point at infinity where the absurdity of potential resolution mixes comedy and tragic horror.

Lure of the Void is a perfect example to start the analysis. In Lure of the Void, Land sets about tackling the idea of Space colonization. On the one hand, nay sayers working against the idea of spacefaring are exemplified by Professor Tom Murphy, a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego. Murphy shows in excruciating detail how both the energy calculations to space travel, the costs associated with mining the energy necessary to successfully complete such projects and the preconceptions on our proximity to these limits are not only fundamentally flawed but even in contrast to the full cosmic colonial aspirations impossible due to cosmological limits.

“The inner solar-system is abundant in “stranded resources” that cannot conceivably be extracted at a cost lower than their value.”

Land, 2012

In the other corner are a collection of spacefaring enthusiasts supporting views of technocratic progressivism:

“The United States should become a spacefaring nation, and the leader of a spacefaring civilization.”

Land, 2012

What is posed as a dialectic between Entropy and Enthusiasm: personal ambition against the practical nature of large scale projects, doubles on itself in classical Kantian fashion into a quadrature between pragmatist and idealist versions of the Nay and Yay sayers. In the naysayer camp, a second opinion arises which agrees on the impossiblity of the task but wishes it wasn’t true : aspirational science fiction writers lament the loss of the dream of outerspace progress to fuel the imagination of youth. In the supporters of space colonies, right wing progressives which concede to mixing technocratic proposals of the big State with private enterprise since a project of space colonialism is seen as a global affair which cannot be stilted by retractive competition, are countered by
a kind of Libertarian purity which sees no reason for spacefaring projects whose intent is to provide everyone with new potentials and resources if the result is a renewed authoritarian ownership of space resources to the benefit of State upperclasses and the detriment of the space entrepeneur. Philosophical enthusiasts should be reminded of the Kantian apriori analytic/ aposteriori synthetic distinction. The summation of all the attitudes is collected into an explicit expression of where all these options are tending toward, a kind of culmination of spacefaring Spirit, an End of History, where it seems like the determinations have all been worked out and all that is left is a decision to be made amongst the quadrature of options:

“There are two related questions posed by human exploration. First, is there anything economically useful to do out there, that pays your way? And second, can you live off the land, and use local resources to survive, or will we always be tied to support from earth? If the answer to both is yes, then you get space colonies, self-sustainable life off-planet. If the answer to both is no, then space is like Mt. Everest. Tourists might go to Mt. Everest, sherpas might make a living off of it, but no one really lives there. If the answer is that you can live off the land, but it’s not economically useful, it’s like Antarctica. It was 40 years between the last time we were there, when Shackleton reached Antarctica, and when the U.S. Navy went back in 1912. There’s a similar lapse between going to the Moon the first time and, hopefully, when we’ll return. In that case, you can form an outpost and live there, but you’re sustained by constant funding, since engineering doesn’t pay for itself. If the answer is that there are economically useful things to do, such as mining Helium-3 on the Moon, but we’re always reliant on Earth for basic necessities, then space becomes a North Sea oil platform. You can make money there, but it will always be a hostile environment.”

Land, 2012

Already something fantastic can be gleaned here, and which is central to the Landian method: the repetition of the entire philosophical history in a condensed local form. Secondly, as soon as the article resolves into a pedantic reiteration of bureaucratic pragmatism all of the options are stuck and it seems that one must remain silent. Then comes Land’s interjection, his own voice kicking into hyperdrive:

“Most tellingly, it exposes how deeply planets suck, so that merely not being on one is worth almost anything. That’s the end game, the final strategy, ultimately arranging everything, with anti-gravity as the key. Once gravity is perceived as the natural archetype of imprisonment, keeping you somewhere, whether you want to be there or not, the terrestrial-economic motivations for off-planet expansion are revealed in their fundamental spuriousness. The reason to be in space is to be in space, freed from planetary suckitude, and any benefits to Earth-dwellers that accrue on the way are mere stepping stones.”

Land, 2012

How did we get here? We are indeed far away from any down-to-earth reasoning, and yet the arrival is completely reasonable: bound by the contract that follows a causal narrative chain of reasoning until it arouses suspicion of where we landed following the outespace crumbs. What began as a practical means toward investigating the next step in social civility explodes into a diatribe against gravity itself, the core mystical notion that bounds all space faring aspirations to the desire for exploding or dead planetary bodies. Land traces a perfectly sound arc from planetary attraction to spacio-temporal fluidity.

“Smear into fast-forward until the process of extraterrestrial escape has been substantially accomplished, then freeze the screens. Fleeing gravity can now be seen as no more than the first step in a more thorough, antagonistic contestation with gravity and its works. Asteroids and comets are being pulverized, quarried, or bored into sponges, leaving moons, planets, and the sun itself as the local problems of interest. Such bodies are ‘problems’ because they deform space with gravity wells, which trap resources, but their status as development obstacles can be abstracted further.”

Land, 2012

It is easy to rely on some very trite notion that hearken’s to a retrograde Star Trekking mythology, with human bodies resisting land for the space ocean, perpetuating the Norse mythology that is the comfort zone of anglo-germanic lore. Ships are however merely moving planets, and Land’s proposition is cryptically much more profound. It concerns not merely the relocation of the entire human race at once, but can be further “molecularized”(relative to the entire molar mass of humanity) to each body itself. The issue of gravity isn’t one merely between body and planet, but of the body to itself, to its own formation via gravity and the stresses induced on its traumatic unconscious. It is exactly this problem of ‘bodies’ in space ( in any space) that is the inherent ambition to be rid of. Could we not re-read the Landian edict like this:

“Most tellingly, it exposes how deeply bodies suck, so that merely not being in one is worth almost anything. That’s the end game, the final strategy, ultimately arranging everything, with non-corporeality as the key. Once corporeality is perceived as the natural archetype of imprisonment, identifying you somewhere, whether you want to be there or not, the -economic motivations for identity politics are revealed in their fundamental spuriousness. The reason to be a free form in space is to be in space, freed from gravitational suckitude and any of its socio-political extensions. ”

Reading gravity as Body is precisely the philosophical gesture that moves away from the pragmatic entanglement of escaping the gravitational force to the philosophical Gravity (with a capital G). This is not as unfounded as it may seem, for Land himself had already gestured at this when speaking of the effect of Geotrauma via Spinal Catastrophism.

Land suggests in Spinal Catastrophism that the human spine induces a kind of arche trauma: a memory of losing the mobility it once had as a sea creature, now relegated to the constraints of spinal curtailing by the effects and pressures of gravity.

Human desire in the last instance is exposed as turning the flesh into a pure radiating matrix of quantum information riding an eternal electromagnetic pulse into the accelerating edge of the expanding universe, unhindered by the forces of gravity or that celestial state apparatus known as the sun, known for its massive wastage in electromagnetic energy and forcible attacks on the surface of terrestrial bodies. It is the sun that is the ultimate gravitational influencer of our local condition. Just take a look at Land lifting the Batallian absurdity itself:

“Lift-off, then, is merely a precursor to the first serious plateau of anti-gravity technology, which is oriented towards the more profoundly productive task of pulling things apart, in order to convert comparatively inert mass-spheres into volatile clouds of cultural substance. Assuming a fusion-phase energy infrastructure, this initial stage of off-world development culminates in the dismantling of the sun, terminating the absurdly wasteful main-sequence nuclear process, salvaging its fuel reserves, and thus making the awakened solar-system’s contribution to the techno-industrial darkening of the galaxy. (Quit squandering hydrogen, and the lights dim.) ”

Land, 2012

To call the Landian point an absurdity is not meant as a derision, rather exactly the opposite: it is a fantastic (and fantastical) conclusion whose textual lead up does not deserve it, and probably could have been written without it. One can imagine that if Land was a Heideggerean he would be arguing for Being and Gravity, invoking the need to let go of all ontic conditions from which Gravity is understood in order to argue from a kind of philosophical first principles about the effect of a philosophical concept that itself subsumes Time. That he does not do that but in fact argues from a particular onticity of the American present, is key to understanding the difference between German and Anglophone protestantism itself, and is beyond the scope of this article. All that we need to mention is that the CCRU in general does not distract itself with an argument on how to begin. It accelerates past all these stepping stones, understanding that where it will land is something beyond them. How any reader could have missed the grand theatrics for a “down-to-earth” practical politics is beyond me.

Kinds of Killing

Molecular DIagonalization

This is a much more difficult article to decipher as parody. It lacks the intermediate third position of Land as narrator looking neutrally upon or past the absurdity of discourse around unattainable goals, and a clear radical conclusion that strays away from any of the precedents carving its path. Yet the article maintains many of the features of Land’s method. First, re-iterate the entire history of philosophy (or at least its core modernist or Cartesian character) in some local domain. Start with a binary opposition, ramp it up to a Kantian-like quadrature. Follow it up with a bounty of reasonable conjectures that follow naturally to instantiate or undermine the quadrature options, but which end up being distractions, diversions, red-herrings, rabbit holes and dead ends. Proposals claim to resolve the issue at hand only to be revealed later as falling under the spell of the original problem or a parochial formulation that cannot be universalized. The astute reader is challenged to see past these distractions, ending finally with a magical leap. In this article Land poses the following question regarding the post 1948 UN resolution 260 on genocide with the following question:

“Is genocide really worse than killing a lot of people?”

Land, 2011

Since no one has ever argued either for or against this notion, Land fills in the contrarian position as a generality contrasted to the particular. Land is completing the binary by filling in a secondary position to an unquestionably autocratic ideal, even though it seems that he is vying for the general or universal. This is perfectly consistent with a Platonic resonance. Land goes on to dig deeper by defining the difference between a feature group and a unit group, or the difference between a logical classification that can be given to persons of a particular social, ethnic, national or religious groups and a functional assemblage of non-consistent identities that function to create something like the modern cosmopolis. Most readers will take Land’s final words in the article at face value, seeing this as a question of individuation at the level of the social:

“Orthodox conceptions of ‘genocide’ assume that ethnic identity simply and unquestionably means more than active citizenship, or participation in the life of a city.”

Land, 2011

Amy Ireland in her excellent “Scrap Metal and Fabric: Weaving as Temporal Technology 2, re-examines Land’s argument and puts an emphasis on the issue of space-time via Deleuze and Guattari:

“What smooth and striated declensions of space-time ultimately furnish us with are two distinct ways of thinking identity. The former always places a specific, pre-formed conception of identity first, and draws an extended configuration of difference in which every separate part necessarily refers back to this primary anchor in conceptual sameness; while the latter is a shifting, complex, intensive ‘identity’ premised on the molecular, secret machinations of primary difference. To this should be added the proposition that striated space subordinates time to space, while smooth space sutures the two together so that space is ultimately articulated by its position in—and though—time. Put another way, an intensity is a difference in time that manifests, for us, spatially.”

Ireland 2022

The issue of space-time is indeed core to understanding what Land might be really talking about, if anything at all. One can however go further, by first withdrawing from the concept of individuation, and accentuate the spatiotemporal with Information as the penultimate paradigm shift underlying the whole notion of space time, a realization of modern day physics in the ADS/CFT correspondence. First let’s deconstruct the whole notion of individuation. A smart skeptic might pose , “what if this is not an issue of individuation rather isn’t it one of Justice?” That is, even if we agree with Land that the UN seems to be nothing else but a bloated bureaucratic mechanism generating frivolous legal definitions that are already subsumed within a larger smooth space of individual rights to life, wouldn’t the resolution down to specific group genocide be non-the-less a mode of informational insurance that still guarantees Justice over and beyond what it already guarantees as War Crimes? Wouldn’t any punishment for genocidal regimes be merely a relatively small differentiation in legal proceedings or punishment, which will none-the-less be substantial in both cases? What the UN would be doing is harmless from a juridical, if not a philosophical, perspective: a form of lossless encoding, over and above the most informationally robust or entropic point of the system. It assures security measures for some particularity not instead of but over and above the freest entropic notion of individuation. This renders the core philosophical merit of the text as simple unconcerned with individuation. The cynical point might also serve as a perfectly reasonable proposal; that is, this formulation by the UN is poised to grant an artificial moral position in which preferred nations such as the United States can engage in warfare at the cost of massive civilian casualties but cannot be treated as committing war crimes because nothing in its injunction to war fits the UN definition, a translation of “author’s intentionality” in the philosophical realm. This grants the UN and its allies an asymmetric power preference, but is perfectly reasonable or expected function of how Power works. In that case, the discourse on individuation is moot, given that Power functions to contort individuation under its own auspices. A myriad of such reasoning is readily available both to the support and detriment of the global bureaucratic gesture. The Nanjing massacre is already labelled as a War Crime by every popular opinion in the west (just look up any youtube video). That it is not elevated to any status of a mass genocide owes to a variety of difficulties around the retroactive dealings with a mass of such contestations between nations and yes even perhaps owing to the status of Japan within the current UN. And yet none of this has anything to do with what we want to untangle. Neither philosopher nor citizen has any impact on changing these conventions. We merely are pointing out the process by which to get away from the argument around individuation to a far more progressive insight.

What if Land is aware that the convention that sets up the article is not worth arguing either for or against? After all, he does not emphatically declare the generic which he spent the entire article outlining a clear winner as the last lines of the article indicate:

“Orthodox conceptions of ‘genocide’ assume that ethnic identity simply and unquestionably means more than active citizenship, or participation in the life of a city. Perhaps this assumption is even arguable [emphasis mine]. But has it been argued?”

Land 2011

Then what is all the spilt ink about?

In order to reveal the Landian method once again, we are forced to look somewhere else. To look for a peculiarity that lies in the text that could undo the momentum of the author’s explicit statements. What we are looking for is not to either eliminate individuation in preference for Justice or vice-versa, but to find a discourse that diagonalizes across the two. In order to successfully attain a diagonalized analysis, we have to be able to not only “deconstruct” but to “molecularize” the concept of thinking these philosophical Universals. We propose that the strangest area in the article is when Land use the non-anthropormphic example of cells to define feature and unit groups. There is an assumption that by being non-anthropomorphic Land maintains the generic and neutralized position of stating examples that can function in any argument and without incurring the wrath of a defensive humanism.

The strangeness however is why use a non-anthropomorphic example, when the definition of feature and unit group is perfectly adept to the anthropomorphic instances without much quarrel ? No one will argue for or against the idea that some people are grouped by some logical definition and others by functional status. By shifting the discourse down to the cellular level individuation is foreshadowed as concomitant with cellular tracking. Genocide marrs the social diversity which is likewise directly related to the very genetic material that weaves the social through time and space as much as it is conditioned by this very deterritoriality. First, this bio-technical formation preserves all the antiquated or molar notions of individuals and citizenship. It is backwards compatible and thus not what is exclusive to cells.

Second, a complexity in the argument is reintroduced wherein something like “genocide” or absolute killing of a particular feature group re-introduces itself, since there is a type of cellular structure which is both feature and unit grouped to which the anthropomorphic arguments of preservation would be extremely difficult to vouch for, that is cancer cells. But since this invocation will arouse recalcitrant suspicions at the molar level of political argument, there is no sense going down that path. The real diagonalization that we are inferring is between biotechnic tracking that functions as both the legal condition for preservation of life and a health monitoring system for genetic or cellular augmentation, substitution for the promotion of diversity of the biosphere on a global scale. Second by second global monitoring of cellular, molecular or genetic coding provides a far smoother and more complex plane of the preservation and diversity of the biosphere. It exists as a level of resolution that is down past each individual and to their constituents, providing hitherto unfathomed legalities of the exact group of cellular bodies acting either for the betterment or detriment to another, and the possible explorations of what else cellular diversity can do on the basis of the definitions inscribed in the system for a healthy global database.

It locates the exact individuals responsible for the eradication of a cellular body and the smooth space of all the causal links that lead to it.

The objections to the reduction of the humanist values to the biological do not effect the argument. There is no reasonable way in which such a system would have a biological profile without having the non-biological characteristics attached and updates alongside its input into the system. Concerns of this kind are merely culturally localized, alongside a history of technoparanoia that subsides once the overwhelming propaganda either for or against such systems at their inception gives way to the mundane co-habitation of the new. None-the-less, and as with the spacefaring ambitions, this space will be kept open to scrutiny as issues of security, assurances, power, and others abound, but all of those are at the molar level. Neither Land nor myself are advocating for such a system, that would be as preposterous in the serious sense as the advocates of spacefaring. The point is not of an actual support for a solution to the philosophical conundrum between feature and unit group rather, that Land’s philosophical texts use the bleading edge of horror realism for the creation of a far off futuristic fantasy that although materializable and realizable is nowhere to be seen.


POst Oedipal Numbers

“But has it been argued?”

Land 2011

To give a response to Land’s question would be to fall into the trap of the sphinx that puzzles Oedipus. In their article FLATLINES the CCRU utilize this very paranoia of interpretation as a differentiating line of cryptographic reading. FLATLINES is a short but profound philosophical project that serves as one of the most groundbreaking works in their oeuvre, if not the whole of philosophy. The article deserves its own protracted and prolonged investigation, which I will set about to do in a future time, but for our current purposes it contains this very form of Reading that we have been gesturing toward through our previous examples. FLATLINES is an article in which the notion of Acceleration is truly bound to the notion of depth as in a calculus. Reading the article quickly will not save you. The first trouble with Flatlines is that unlike the straight prose in all the aforementioned articles, it is a deeply poetic or cryptographic text, that uses a mixture of CCRU specific jargon, references and historical events not necessarily known to a general audience. Secondly, even after decoding what the poetic text is saying into a cohesive narrative whose purpose and meaning can be communicated to someone else, there lies yet another cryptic text that weaves through the narrative and is extremely difficult if not impossible, without a key to unlock it. This key can be found in the injunction of the CCRU to take up the sphinx riddle to Oedipus which goes as follows:

“When Sphinx asks: What walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 at midday, and 3 in the evening?, of course Oedipus answers: Man.”


In the original Greek story, upon giving this answer Oedipus is said to have bested the sphinx and goes on to the rest of his journey. Yet, as many commentators have pointed out, what would be the point of answering the sphinx riddle correctly if Oedipus would only go on to even more disastrous consequences than having been killed on site? This intuition has led various interpreters to hypothesize that in fact Oedipus did not answer the question correctly, and that the ensuing narrative was a dive into the hell dreamscape created by the Sphinx as the actual punishment. A variety of alternative answers have been proffered through History to examine where Oedipus may have gone wrong, and what can be learned from this error. First, is the philosophical answer that proposes the indistinction from the specificity and generality in the answer Man. Oedipus after all is an example of someone who does not easily fit the walking on 2 legs since he is known to be clubbed foot. Then there is the psychoanalytic examination that sees an obvious phallic connotation in the three-legged night creature. Finally, the Athenian sphinx itself is a perfect candidate for the answer as an historico-optical illusion. It is a creature that begins as a lion in couched position in its canonical Egyptian representation, stands on its forelegs to address Oedipus as a woman from a frontal perspective, and in its most canonical greek representation pictured on a drawing surface it is a figure represented in side portraiture with its two hind legs perfectly overlapping each other so as to seem as one3. All of these are distractions: perfectly reasonable alternatives which might harbour their own exceptions anywhere for the sphinx to devour you. But what if the most exorbitant interpretation of the sphinx riddle is that there is no answer to it at all, and that the second one had encountered the sphinx would spell immediate doom just as one meets a hungry lion in the open field. It involves a legal or contractual agreement which is non-binding because there is no accounting for the result except on the Sphinx’s word itself. This is exactly what the CCRU uses to infold a secret key in order to unlock the mysteries woven within Flatlines.

To make the CCRU’s gesture clearer consider the following scenario:
You and a friend are involved in some illicit activity. One day you visit your friend at their house, only to find that there is a police officer inside. Your friend greets you by saying: “hey friend, I think the laundry is dry, shouldn’t you go pick it up?”. This question strikes you as extremely odd, since you have never done laundry with your friend, nor were you doing so just now. You would be an idiot to answer your friend’s question as if it is an injunction to respond to it. Clearly something is being communicated to you, but it has nothing to do with the contents of the question itself. Perhaps you should leave and get rid of the stuff immediately. This is the very kind of trick that the CCRU uses by replaying the whole of the sphinx riddle. Something is being communicated to you, but it has nothing to do with the creature that satisfies these conditions. Rather, the CCRU seems to be pointing to the strangeness of the numbers 4,2 and 3 used in the question. Why this question after all of all the puzzles that the sphinx could levy against Oedipus, and why these numbers? The CCRU makes clear the focus on 423 in several places through out the article explicitly, with the penultimate lines that end the story being:

“So what is 423, you ask…”


423 acts as a kind of public key in a cryptographic encryption mechanism, and to discover the significance of 423 in FLATLINES is to open up a completely new and rich narrative that is hidden deep within its lines. I leave this openness to the Outside to another time.


Reading in-the-Last-instance

Reading practices with a Catholic personality gave an advantage to French philosophy through out the last century. Fluidity and continuity were foregrounded as both subject matters and procedures whereas Anglo-rigidity by contrast levelled philosophizing to the superficial level implicating the scope of informational exchange to matters of fact. All this to avoid the fall into the excesses of the Catholic Cathedral. In English, each word matters, but in one and only one way, as a one-to-one correspondence with truth which is ascribed of course superficially, that is normatively. It is why philosophy and politics have become synonymous, with philosophy steadily losing its own fictional exuberance to the Principle of Sufficient Politics. This is not only a classical philosophical gesture par excellence but in the global dominance of the American/British empire one which takes on a peculiar protestant steadfastness.

The CCRU were not shy of the peculiarity of their Anglophonism: their stories are down-to-earth, full of familiar tropes, their prose direct and comprehensible, even if fictitious and creative, without the contortions around the double entendre of jargon. One need neither accentuate the phenomenological senses of a Heideggerean text nor circulate in perpetual double doubt those very senses in a Derridean manner. Instead the CCRU employ a radical combinatoric explosion of the anglo-franco diagonalization, from William Burroughs and Bataille, from William Gibson and Deleuze, from Blade Runner and La Jetée , and mix it all into their own mythological universe. Kantianism is not avoided, rather inflated to the point of bursting: past the count of the four, to the anthropophilic ten, and all the way up to familiar numbers with unimaginable consequences. This is a robust digitization, a sampling rate whose resolution catches up to the continuity so favoured by the (post)n-modern lineage.

This provides a particular difficulty to say how or where one should read the underlying text of the CCRU? Depth does not faithfully describe the mystical gems to mine, for true to their protestant nature nothing is hiding except in plain sight, at the very surface of the text. The spatiotemporal contortion gives way to the informational complexity spread out over the infinite surface after the combinatorial bomb. If depth still applies it is as a matter of deep learning. One needs to read concurrently in between all the lines and yet the most efficient algorithm is somehow the one that abandons most of them. Watching films is perhaps the other Reading form where Anglophones have overtaken their French counterparts, with an increased form of screen literacy that learns to abandon frame by frame protestation , and suspends judgement of the ridiculous to re-read again in the last instance. Ireland is truly prophetic in highlight weaving, as not mere metaphor but procedure, beyond space and time.

1- We are using the notion of Decision as described by Francois Laruelle.

2- First, we make liberal use of the notion of weaving at various points in this article owing much to Ireland’s own insight. Second, there is an inversion in Ireland’s text regarding majoritarian and minoritarian space time , where minoritarian does not stand for a minority and thus a feature group, rather of a previlaged definition that harkens to the hierarchically induced exclusivity. It follows that majoritarian is thus not just the majority, but the special privelaged in such a system that subjugates all others. Minoritarian politics is thus the generic of unit groups, to the Majoritarian Law of feature logics.

3- see Sphinx at Kerameikos as an example.