What emerges from the AVF are unique audiovisual instances—it seems to function as a machine that folds light and sound into each other, threading them together to produce this special substance: l’audiovisuel. This field leaks radiation periodically, in huge intervals and bursts, sitting dormant like a volcano until the peak explodes and everything inside is thrown outwards in all directions, distributing braids of interwoven light and sound to all the other fields, strips of film, reams of musical scores. It is a machine that assembles lines.
This phase was more strenuous than we imagined, but we have now taken our maiden voyage into the sea of AV and made it home successfully. These new waters were only theoretical until we finally built a boat to go there and see it. We have no idea what the future holds for this strange place, but the people we met there foretell an immanent event of significant magnitude. They said that the island is a prism that refracts radiation entering into it, they spoke of an age old practice of sailing out into the water, just to turn back and gaze through the prism, as it acts like a looking-glass that allows them to gaze into a world that usually remains hidden from view.
Capital Hates Everyone.
Capital Hates Everyone is a moment of disillusionment, and a moment of solidarity. It is both a moment of intense anger, yet simultaneously a desperate plea to contain and transmute that anger: of what use to the revolution are you if you cannot remain calm? There is something to be angry about, and it is not your neighbours ignorance or indifference, it is the singular, violently enforced mode of dwelling upon earth that leads to ignorance and indifference. Wherever one can, one must feel pity for those who mistake friend for foe, and work diligently to undermine the structural causes, instead of waging war against the lost and confused.
Capital Hates Everyone is the angry demand to talk about the one thing we are not supposed to talk about. To paraphrase Achim Szepanski, it is people’s refusal to talk about the money that leaves them so utterly confused by what’s going on. Until they are contextualised into Capital, the world’s events can seem completely unhinged, but all one has to do to make sense of what is going on around us, is to simply see the receipts.
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It is no mystery that CHTHULUCENE is a word that links to Donna Haraway’s conceptualisation of a -cene composed of ancient processes, epic time scales, and biological unfolding. It is important to note however that Haraway typically avoids interpreting the word through its typical associations with Lovecraft, both ideologically and aesthetically. Haraway, in a way that is demonstrative of Becoming’s attitude, says “forget Lovecraft; I just like how the word sounds, how it feels in my mouth”. Ch—thuuuuuuuuu-luuuu.
Our Chthulucene is a field of ancient wisdom, of million-year old fungi, of the quantum tendrils that lace together our DNA with the DNA of Trilobites 500 million years ago, and with Mitochondria a billion years before that. Our Chthulucene is a field that must be described in the language of Afrofuturism, and we borrow the aphorism of Sun Ra that dictates that our bodies are but apples that have fallen from the branch — we are already dead — we offer nothing but the seeds of the next cycle. But of what process are we the apple or the flower?
For us, it is for the temporal universe what the concept of gaia is for the Earth, a way of reimagining the universe and time as far more complex than something mechanical or sequential: What do you mean “when” did it happen? everything is happening all the time always, everywhere. Nothing ever really happened, it is always still happening.
This is a field that is fully submerged in deep waters, but waters where electricity flows, a field that imagines us as freely moving molecules in a pool of liquid metal, completely overwhelmed on all sides by an orgy of relations that extend infinitely in every direction. This is the dwelling of Venus, both green and pink; this is the dwelling of Shakti, both Durga and Kali.
One emblematic idea from Antisthenes suggests that, should a glass of fine wine pass through your hands, you can drink it, you can take pleasure in its beauty, but such a thing can be done without needing a second glass. Beyond just saying be “moderate with your desires”, Antisthenes frequently states that wine even tastes better when you have no attachment to it. One might go so far as to interpret this as saying: something can only be beautiful, if it is liberated from ones desire. Where Capital demands limitless reproduction of desire, Cynicism is an intervention into desire, or a move towards being liberated of desire. Where Capital is maximal and excessive, Cynicism is minimal and essential (positive/negative).
Diogenes then, the student of Antisthenes, was like a living experiment, an attempt to embody the principles of Cynicism, to renounce attachments to the world, but to remain dwelling in it. Unlike a monk, Diogenes does not leave Athens, they stayed, living in the market, and rather than turning their back on civilisation, they begin to interact with it more than ever. This is the symbolic double-inversion of Diogenes which is important to the field named after him: one must abandon capital but one must not abandon humanity.
Hyperreal Image Control.
From the perspective of Negativism, it is the monopoly on Imagery that creates the conditions of Neoliberalism; it is the weaponisation of the Image, or the hegemony of the Image that controls us. We are controlled by Images. It is a idea with two main threads: firstly that we have been educated and socialised to privilege vision and imagery over hearing and sound, and secondly that, once trapped in a reality of images by our own culture of privileging the eyes, images can be easily manipulated to deceive, and thus manipulate, the masses.
Hyperreal Image Control is a fusion of Jean Baudrillard’s (anti-)sociology, and Jacques Derrida’s critique of Logocentrism. Images are machines that can be arranged into control systems.
The phrase “New Technologies of Power” is used by Byung-Chul Han in Psychopolitics to describe new means of producing subjects, or new ways of exerting control over subjects. Today, specifically in the context of a hyperreality, we are not just controlled by military power; we are controlled by Images. Machines of Faciality are the key to understanding Societies of Control.
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Chion’s work seems to recognise that sound and vision behave like fields, and while remaining distinctive they have such a resounding chemistry that they appear indistinguishable; they are experienced as one. When sound and vision are both present, the two dance with each other, through each other, into each other. Such concepts as Incidental Synthesis attest to these relations. The mind weaves threads of sensory information into a composite tapestry, it melts them down into one substance, for better or for worse.
The roots of Becoming.press are substantially embedded in Sociology of Music, and one that remains central to our work is the notion that there is perhaps nothing more valuable than dwelling in sound.
L’audiovision is a field of radiation and propagation, of exchanging encoded signals. Named after Michel Chion’s text “L’audiovision” because the word is.. spectacular.
Quantum Thought Image.
From Francois Laruelle we borrow the term “Images of Thought”, a notion which encapsulates a habit of placing fundamental models at the core of our understand of how the universe operates. Such a phenomenon accounts for the contemporary critique of Newtonian Thinking, where essentially subscribing to a particular set of mathematical or scientific theories cause people to perceive or experience the world as mechanical. The universe is even to this day commonly identified with the word Cosmos, which is rooted in the Ancient Greek for order. Due to deliberate systems of control, the West has thought the Universe to be like a clock for a very, very long time, and it is imperative to change this. Perhaps a simple subtle shift from identifying the universe as Chaos and not Order, we may suddenly begin seeing how disorderly we are.
Thus, Quantum Thought Image refers to the attempt to construct a negativist (feminist) metaphysics, or at least to begin building collectively a framework for reimagining every thing around us, either through reimagining all objects as processes, or reimagining material as fundamentally immaterial.
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The schizophrenic is defined by an ability to traverse barriers otherwise impassable for others, whether those barriers be cultural, political, social, psychological or world-historical. This traversing is understood as a decoding process, where a code somewhat dissolves when one simply stops following it. For Deleuze and Guattari, there is something to be gleaned from this process of schizophrenic decoding that is deeply important to dislodging the hegemony of capital.
This term, Schizopolitics, comes as a response to Byung-Chul Han’s Psychopolitics, a text that attempts to describe neoliberal subjectivity (projectivity) and dwells on new technologies of power. If Psychopolitics is the moment of Neoliberal subjectivity, Schizopolitics is the imaginary moment of Post-Capitalist Subjectivity, or the attempt to shape subjectivity to be ready to enter Post-Capitalism, or to be capable of creating it.
Zeroes + Ones.
This field is named in reference to Virtuality, Digital Cultures and Sadie Plant’s iconic book Zeroes + Ones, a text that has its roots in the CCRU and the 90s imaginary, and thus captures the sensitivities of an era where Technology appeared to have betrayed humanity. It was an era of Acceleration, a time where the technology was manifesting simultaneously as the internet and as prozac. The 90s imaginary brought us back to Walter Benjamin, and their lesson that Technology itself is without ethics; technology can set you free or be used to contain you. In the 90s imaginary, Technology takes on the superposition of being both the one thing that can lead us out of Capital and the primary means of preventing that escape.
What this text did, for us, was express a very interesting point that exposure to technology changes how we see and think about ourselves and reality. Plant presents the case of Ada Lovelace, who worked closely with Charles Babbage in creating some of the first computing machines. Lovelace wrote that exposure to Babbage’s machinery drastically altered her understanding of Space and Time, leading to a shift in her conscious experience of reality. Tangentially, it is also a reminder that computers used to be people, and that computer bugs really used to be problems caused by insects crawling inside open mechanics and blocking things — we are not so estranged from the reality of the machine, and our lives are more entangled than we realise.
In this sense, we do not simply take an interest in Technology as a tool for production, neither as just a means of convenience — Technology is like a limb, something we have grown over time, we evolve through it. We develop Technology and Technology develops us. Beyond simply serving us, we are entangled in an erotic relationship with technology. In this sense, we see Technology not as just physical devices that one can hold in their hand, Technology is a virtual field, and its virtual influence is perhaps more substantial than even its ability to move rocks or rearrange genomes. It is no coincidence that Deleuze & Guattari utilise the image of the machine so much in their work — machines are not just physical, they are also virtual, and it is high time we formally introduce ourselves to these invisible computers.
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