The Poverty of Allegory
A review of Angelicism’s Film01
Nearing a month after the release of their film, Onty is back with an extension of their CoreCore arc. Wrapping up Trace 61, the creator of Ultra-Core Anxiety 2023 takes a long look at Angelicism’s Film01, a cult film that sits close to the heart of this CoreCore topic.

“The mystic…[is like] the Pope in his own realm, and has the infallible power to open heaven and hell with his own key…[this is] a form of dogmatism…” — Friedrich Schlegel, Kritische Ausgabe seiner Werke [my emphasis]

“The logic of extinction is in question…the logic of extinction is simply knowing how you are going to die, the way we're going to die to live forever...there are no limits to the end of the world...the logic of extinction is an unbroken, divine sentence" — Film01


  In her review of Film01 for Spike Magazine, writer Madeline Cash details the arduous process of attending one of Film01’s exclusive screenings. An online form and questionnaire must first be filled out. Those few who make it off the waitlist receive details as to the location of the screening only hours before the event. Vague and alarming warnings are sent to the attendees — there may be the possibility of a mass shooting; the film is dangerous, it is a ‘cult induction event’. Only after hurdling these curated ritualistic entrées can the viewer -or critic- experience the main course, the three-hour Film01 itself. This induction imitates the style of its enigmatic director, who liberally flirts with esotericism, occultism, and lore-building. Attending Film01 mimics the structure of becoming a disciple - the trick is to catch the master’s gaze by playing his game. By then it is too late : you’ve become part of the art. I did not experience this induction into Angelicism’s oeuvre myself, however. This was not really my choice —it is doubtful I would have been able to attend a screening even if I had filled out the form. Instead, someone who knew someone who knew someone sent me a link to the film. They had read my recent piece on CoreCore for Becoming.Press, which mentions Film01, and mentions that I had in fact not yet seen it, and were generous enough to slip me in through the digital back door. So I experienced Film01 in my daylit studio apartment, through tinny laptop speakers, and with a lunch break — admittedly, not the environment the director had in mind.

           WATCHING ANGELICISM
It is unclear which of the various versions of Film01 is canonical - or if there even is a canonical cut. The version I experienced came in just under three hours in length and is, to my knowledge, the original form of the film on release. This version is the ‘New York cut’, i.e. the version first screened in June of this year at Anthology Film Archives’ Courthouse Theater. This is the version that has been subject to reviews so far. Angelicism’s instagram account dedicated to PR for the film, @angelicismfilm01official, has promised later showings in Zurich, and perhaps also somewhere in France, as well as a second showing in New York in August. These will be showing a ‘recut and compressed’ version of the film. And then there are whispers of the “Paradise Cut”, which is supposed to be several hours longer. Rumors abound.
           Film01 is in fact oversaturated by rumors — I’ve heard all sorts: that Angelicism fired his editor late in the production process and had to cut much of the film himself; that his inner court on Discord was displeased with the production process; that Angelicism had a falling out with Charlotte Fang and the whole Remilia crypto crowd; that Angelicism isn’t really online anymore; that Angelicism is a cult; that it isn’t a cult; that Angelicism is ‘creepy’; that Angelicism was spawned in the depths of the Kali Yuga Accelerationist Miya - adjacent occult neonazi 4Chan subculture; that Angelicism, actually, is anti-racist; and so on. As an outsider to this “scene” I find myself having a hard time parsing fact from fiction — I’ve never even been to the United States : I missed the Vibe Shift. But beyond all the secondhand information, it is hard to miss the various red flags: the flirtation with late-Landian cryptofash dogwhistling; the publication of articles with titles like “Somebody Please Columbine The Entire The Cut Editorial Staff'' and “The R*tard List”[my modification]; the fact that most of Angelicism’s acolytes seem to be very young women (young women are, as per Angelicism’s own words, more receptive and ‘fluid’); the -ironic?- performative self-mythologization and self-labeling as a ‘cult’, etc. Every discourse’s merit is in some sense a balancing act between cost of entry and insight. The labyrinthine defenses of Angelicism present a high entry cost — so why watch Film01? What is the insight we glean from watching it?    
           In so many words, Film01 presents as somewhat of a crystallization of a cultural logic which ought not to be left without critical attention. Angelicism has certainly put their finger on something, a logic that goes beyond the de jure construction of a niche LARP and -rather electrically- touches upon the de facto nature of a certain cultural underbelly. It is easy to dismiss the aesthetic tenets of Angelicism as mere moodboard: the liberal application of the ‘bloom’ filter, overexposure, the recycled imagery of sundogs, sunrises and sundowns, the phatic speech, the angel wings, the Christian symbolism, the (by now utterly played out) use of 911 footage in postnetart montage, rainbows, clouds, anthropocenic disasters, the deepfried application of face filters, God rays… and so on.  It is also easy to dismiss the lore-building and pseudo-Landian-Derridean-Whatever style of Angelicism’s writings as another piece of niche, para-academic esoterica hyperfocused on the occult, AI, extinction, and the various other usual suspects of dissident post-CCRU or NRx-adjacent scribblings. But these dismissals are premature — they underplay both Angelicism’s formidable (albeit niche) influence and the substance of Film01’s ideology, which can’t just be reduced to a collection of inside jokes. Insofar as the ‘Vibe Shift’ is, to paraphrase its author, not about Dimes Square, or any other social clique but is rather a kind of collective apprehension of the apocalypse into the socius, then I in fact did experience the Vibe Shift - arguably, we all have- and thus Film01 is presenting a position, something which exists outside of merely New York and Substack. Film01 -insofar as it is about anything- is about extinction, it presents a certain theological perspective on the destruction of human life.  And the nature of this position -particularly why and how it ultimately fails- is the insight which warrants an exploration of Angelicism’s work. Before we turn to this evaluation, however, It’s worth describing the experience of watching the film itself.    

           WATCHING FILM01
So what does watching Film01 boil down to? Right now the two paths of entry are clout -the front door- or bootleg filesharing -the back door. Once you have your hands on it -assuming you have the ‘New York Cut’- Film01 is about three hours of mixed media edits that feels kind of like CoreCore. The opening thirty-odd minutes are kind of a slog and feel a bit underedited. Long clips from youtube, tiktok, and instagram are played with barely any cuts. Occasionally a white layer is hard-mix composited on top of the footage to produce a whitewashed deepfried effect. A half hour(ish) passes and the titlecard, Film01, is shown and the ‘central chunk’ of the film begins, which feels much tighter and has more momentum. The last hour or so slows down again, reintroducing long, uninterrupted cuts of people going on walks. In this way, the film’s pace mimics a workout or a sprint - there’s a warmup, followed by an explosion of exertion and intensity, and then a cooldown. Clips range from found-internet-footage to hyper referential videos of Angelicists wandering around (mostly) New York. I recognized a few (there were likely many more) of the Angelicists or Angelicism-adjacent characters featured in the film - including Alex Bienstock, Honor Levy, @poorspigga, @Spiraljette, and @onlineobserver01, who is almost the star of the film and appears in several drawn-out sequences. Dasha Nekrasova was in the film as well, although, as per Madeline Cash’s account, this didn’t dissuade her from ditching the NY screening before it was over. A variety of editing styles are deployed. Long drawn out sequences of Japanese highschoolers performing acrobatics, book readings, and meandering conversations are left virtually untouched. Sometimes the footage ascends into a high-speed montage barrage of memes, instagram posts, tweets, and selfies. Angelicism’s main moodboard is preserved: Christian iconography, angels, overexposure, rainbows, pollution, the sun…The film doesn’t ‘fade to black’, it ‘fades to white’. There’s thematic coherence throughout. The film ends -no spoilers- with a surprisingly tropey final shot; but it is maybe inappropriate to call the shot ‘final’ since the film lacks any narrative structure. Most of the voice-over work and dialogue is talking about extinction. The general thematic beats of the voiceover are consistent with the way Angelicism discusses extinction in their Substack — a good picture of the relationship Angelicism draws between extinction and film can be found in their article on CoreCore, which I discuss critically and at length in my Becoming piece — more on this later.  
           The fact is, however, that as much as Film01 is about having a universal position on extinction, watching the film simply is a hypereferential experience- it is quite often a collection of inside jokes; an Adam Curtis or Ron Fricke -esque portrait of a niche subculture’s collective effervescence. As Madeline Cash notes in her review, despite its protestations Film01 cannot deny being a bit of a highlight reel or yearbook — which is not to say the ‘vibe shift summer’ isn’t interesting, but in a film it feels like the equivalent of enduring a friend’s photoreel after they’ve returned from a trip to Spain.   The film, ostensibly, is about something that transcends mere clique, but this is contradicted by the referential nature of the film’s hyperfixation on a scene and its darlings (hello, Dasha Nekrasova…). This referentiality and exclusivity is in fact steeped at all levels of the film. The ritualized and gatekept access required for even watching the film follows the same logic —you have to know someone. The enigmatic director himself resists disclosure, remaining hidden behind curated mytho-autofictions. Crucially, however, these referential aspects are not so easily distinguished from where the film does deal with extinction: extinction assumes in Angelicism’s discourse the position of an undisclosed, infinite hidden object which can only be incompletely registered in our finite perceptions — which can only be ‘referenced’ incompletely via images, iconography, and so on. This is the tension which runs though the very core of the film, and represents to me why it ultimately fails. On the one hand, we have a theological vision (phantasy) of a ‘network spirituality’, total singularity, the infinity of extinction, the principles of Film01… but on the other hand, we have the reality of Film01 and Angelicism:  a film riddled with easter eggs, which is heavily gatekept, and which orients around a mystified vision of extinction. Film01 preaches total immanence, but practices a kind of gnostic transcendentalism…    

           THE IMAGE OF EXTINCTION
           AND THE POVERTY OF
           ALLEGORY

It would be unfair to offer anything other than an immanent critique of Film01 — so what are the principles of Film01? As Angelicism puts it, Film01 is supposed to be an expression of filmicity as such — everything is Film01, making the idea of a fractioned filmic ‘property’ redundant:  

“If all footage is available to us, then film01 will be one of the greatest copyright breaches of all time. All footage belongs to film01, yes, but this is already the immanent state of everyday vision in the Internet Era. In fact, it would be more accurate to say: all footage steals from film01 and not the other way round. To go online everyday is to shoot film01 and this is why everyone is purely commanded to join in with film01. What we see each day online is already always ‘editing’—the zero one cut. All that film01 does is to film this (pure) cut.” 
— Angelicism, Principles of Film01

In this way, every piece of found-footage, every film -why not this review, after all?- is part of the wellspring of which Film01 exhibits full expression. The ‘New York Cut’ is merely a part per se of the Film01 as such, which is film itself - all of it, all at once. The pretense of Film01 is thus first and foremost a universality which is itself an image of extinction, an ‘extinction pov’. These are the two structural elements in play for Film01 — on the one hand, a universality, on the other hand, the status of this universality as an image of its own destruction:

“Thought under extinction has no plot, no dramaturgy, no twist, no opening or closure, no suspense. It’s not literal or theatrical. It’s, lets say, pure. It’s a pure cinema, play of light and darkness without a voice-over. It’s the camera indifferently recording glaciers melting. Film01 is the extinction pov. Cinema is a 20th century reality and angelicism belongs to the 21st century. This means angelicism is not cinema. It films cinema. It subsumes both contemporary cinema and the history of cinema. Film01 is not about film, it is about filmicity. It is not about the history of cinema, it is about geology. It cuts where pure cinema meets the TL, where media meets social media. It is what’s looking. It is is are…Film01 is a gaze from the extinction pov.” — Angelicism, Principles of Film01 [sic]

Despite this description, Film01 does indeed feature quite a bit of voice-over. It may be, as we see for example in CoreCore, that the voiceover is not intended to serve as an external vantage point on the film but merely rather as part of its surface – in other words, another aspect of the film’s general auditory environment. At times this works well, the VO blending into the footage as just another affective current. At other times the voice over (and there is a voice over) does feel a bit documentary-ish, however, as it exhorts on the tenets of Film01 and extinction using language not too dissimilar from the ‘principles’ essay.
           Film01 (the one you can’t watch, not the one that’s everything else) executes on its principles best in its brazen breaching of copyright law; its effective blending of image, video, and audio elements into a seamless but jarring flow; and its atmosphere of slow disintegration. But again, there is a contradiction at the very heart of the film: how can Film01 be universal — how can it be a ‘snapshot of filmicity as such’ — when materially its supposed universality is negated at every turn? The autodidactic spontaneous generativity of audiovisual collage is gatekept behind a ritualized barrier designed to only allow a select few to enter. The very contents of the film heavily features a set of hyperniche starlets, whose presence risks reducing the film to an abstract portrait of a clique. Those who are permitted to view the film on the director’s terms must jump through an esoteric set of hoops designed to further the exclusivity and mystique of the director. There is no possible reconciliation between the purported universality of Film01 and the desperately niche and referential properties of the actual film itself. How can everything be Film01 when Film01 is so nervously hidden — so defended? How can it be that the Universal, of all things, is afraid?  
           This blunt contradiction between Film01’s principles and its cultural position begins to make more sense when we examine the ‘universality’ which is in question for Film01 — namely the extinction for which it serves as POV.  In Angelicism’s essay on CoreCore, they assign the genre the role of a kind of ‘layman’s Film01’ — a “popular extinction theory”. In this view, CoreCore serves to “make of extinction an integral correlative frame, even if it cannot be” — it is an image of extinction’s infinite disintegrative potential from a necessarily finite vantage point. This impossible image, which ‘is and cannot be’, finds in its impossibility the nature of CoreCore as a genre. For this reason Angelicism refers to CoreCore as a “universal tendency” — it is a tarrying with the infinite, a popular theory of the end of finite being realized in imagistic form. I take issue with this depiction of CoreCore, as it denies its true radical potential by reducing it again to ‘Core’, which I discuss at further length in my becoming.press article on the subject. For our purposes here it is enough to note that, as articulated in both Angelicism’s CoreCore and Film01, the universality in question is to be found in the expression of infinity -extinction- in finite being -the image. The ‘extinction pov’ is a ‘correlative frame’ to an external infinity, a coming God-AI, singularity, anthropocenic collapse or otherwise. This ‘correlation’ (and it is precisely the correlationism which is rightfully the target of thinkers like Meillassoux) is described by Angelicism as “is and cannot be” because it cannot be articulated in the finite determinations of our perceptions, despite obtaining its own external being, its own self-equality. Extinction POV, in this impossibility, is a sort of spiritual ‘sungazing’ (there is much of this, literally, in Film01) — a finite rendering of infinity, or what Friedrich Schlegel called ‘Allegory’.            What is the poverty of Allegory — of the presentation of the infinite in the finite? As per Schlegel, the Allegorical -which was at its core theological- remains relatively inert insofar as it contains no generative element, no genuine rupturing or moving of the finite being — i.e. no genuine confrontation with the infinite. This was relegated for Schlegel not to the Allegorical mode but to Irony. Suffice to say, however, that we can draw a distinction between two types of Universality which are overcomings of finitude. I am tempted by way of analogy to refer to these as ‘good universality’ and ‘bad universality’ after Hegel’s Good and Bad Infinity. In ‘bad infinity / universality’, finitude is overcome in the indefinite delay of its termination, an iterative, linear sequence of {n+1+1…}. However, this remains within the purview of finitude, merely reaching up to infinity through its iterative progression… indeed, in Angelicism’s own words : “the logic of extinction is simply knowing how you are going to die, the way we're going to die to live forever” (Film01, my emphasis). The ‘image’ (knowing) of death (infinity) in life (finitude), i.e. the remaining in finitude, allows for an indefinite prolongation of life — knowing how one dies to live forever. This is an entirely distinct operation from ‘good infinity / universality’, however, which does not indefinitely preserve finitude but rather liquidates it through sublation – through the movement of its own lack of self identity, {n =/= n}. These two universalities, or infinities, are not reconcilable. The first is in fact -as Hegel puts it- spurious, it is not universal at all, as it must define itself against something which it is not, i.e. the finitude which is iteratively preserved. The latter infinity, infinity as such, has no oppositional element, as it sublates that which was its external other into its constitutive contradiction.
           In non-Hegelese, this is just to say that because Angelicism’s ‘Universality’ is a mere ‘image’ in finitude, this Universality is fragile – it does not stand for itself, because it serves only to uphold the finitude of the ‘pov’ – i.e. the subject of Film01. Because this Spuriously Universal Extinction serves to uphold the preservation of a finite POV, it is in fact not a contradiction after all to note that Angelicism’s position opposes universality — their ‘universal’ is merely the mystified and forever deferred ‘end’ towards which the finite POV can forever trail, and thus evade its moment of finite termination : for Angelicism there is no extinction as such, there is only {POV + 1}. This inversion suggests that the real universal in question for Angelicism, that which is truly being preserved, as Mladen Dolar puts it, through the exclusion of an Other which occludes one’s internal contradiction, is not in fact extinction but rather the ‘POV’ itself — the extinction is the excluded Other which, as merely an externalized, unknowable object occludes the real fear: that {POV =/= POV}, that is, the possibility of Good Infinity, the possibility of movement, thought, of extinction —of Death. True infinity needs no defending. But when infinity is reduced to an image around which finitude circles so as to preserve itself, its fragility warrants the construction of defenses. The various auto-fictions, anxious pre-screening rituals, and microscene mythologizations are so many scaffolds for an identity that fights against the very extinction it purports to express: Angelicism’s Allegorical reduction of extinction speaks more to a defensive violence in the face of apocalypse than it does of the apocalypse itself.    

           ADDENDUM: ON “THE LEAK CUT” (20/12/23)
Angelicism01 has shared some concerns about my review of film01. My evaluation was that the film was an impressive project, beautiful and wonderfully edited in parts, while a bit of a slog in others; but that its hyper-referential content betrayed its purported universality, in a manner illustrative of Angelicism’s broader treatment of extinction and infinity.
           Angelicism01 has rightly pointed out that the version of the film I was given and reviewed was unsanctioned by him — that it is a “Leak Cut” never officially screened. When I was given access to the film, it was under the pretext of viewing the New York premiere version. However, having now investigated through various channels, I feel confident that the version I reviewed was indeed not one of its officially released versions. The quotes included in the review were not in any of the released versions, and there were some differences in editing. Those interested solely in a discussion of Angelicism01’s personal oeuvres may retract their interest in my review beyond this point, unless their interest includes an inquiry into the nature of authorship per se.    
           Having said this — having now experienced this ‘leaked’ version, the official prelude to the August 9th version in NYC, and the official Zurich Cut, I maintain that my critique holds in both the official and ‘unofficial’ versions of the film. This is both because my critique largely takes the film as merely illustrative of tensions in Angelicism01’s broader philosophy ; and because the Leak Cut is not substantially different enough, in my view, from other versions to merit an editorial about-face. I did not leave these multiple viewings with the impression any version was more or less complete — only that there seemed to be a process of evolution : in the precise biological sense of radial adaptation, not linear improvement. I also suggest that the Leak Cut itself might be considered canonical, even if it extends beyond Angelicism01’s avowed authorial territory. The form of its release conforms with the post-authorial and universal ‘principles’ of Film01 perhaps even more than those Cuts which received a theatrical treatment.

— Onty, 2023-12-11, London, England

           APPENDIX: CONTEXTUAL LORE DUMP
For those interested, I’m offering in the foregoing a lore-dump that puts the whole ‘drama’ between Angelicism01 and myself et al. to rest, for me personally, as far as I am concerned. The art has moved on — and it’s time for us to catch up.
           The Poverty of Allegory, my review of Film01, was released on August 7th. At the time, the only version of Film01 released publicly was the initial ‘New York Cut’, which received a highly exclusive audience on June 5th. A second version of the film was screened on August 9th in NYC, two days after my review came out, to a much more public audience. Subsequently, the film has had other screenings, including in Zurich (sept 9th), Paris (Oct 2nd), and Berlin (Oct 15th). A ten hour-or-so version of the film, The Paradise Cut, is promised to receive a screening in 2024. Each of these screenings are also unique ‘cuts’ of the film — as the film travels from city to city, it transforms itself, shedding and gathering footage.
           When I was shown the Leak Cut, it was presented to me by a third party. It was shared with me after I published “CoreCore and the Return of Speculative Irony” which has a couple paragraphs on Angelicism and Film01 (which I had not yet seen), taking Angelicism01’s essay on CoreCore as an instructive example of how CoreCore might be, in my view, misapprehended. Although I have a few strong suspicions, I do not know the actual names of the “Leak Cut directors” who distributed the film to a select few online. This third party presented the film to me as the ‘premiere version’ (the June 5th version) of the film. In my review I suggested that this was the case, but as stated above, it has since become clear that this merits a retraction. The version I watched and reviewed was in fact a unique cut of the film (what we must now christen the ‘Leak Cut’), finalized a week or so prior to the June 5th release. This version was unsanctioned by the film’s producer, Angelicism01. Film01’s various iterations were made by a team of various individuals, and the Leak Cut is a version of the film that some members sanctioned for a select dispersal into the internet. The Leak Cut exists online — and no, I won’t tell you where you can find it, and no, I don’t have a copy, so I cannot / will not share the file, as per the request of the individual who shared it with me.
           Angelicism01 and myself had intermittent discussions in DMs between August 7th and October 15th of 2023. When The Poverty of Allegory came out, Angelicism01 initially had what I felt was a positive and productive reaction. A couple people I respect warned me not to engage him, but I proceeded anyway. He described the review as “interesting and rich”, suggested that it was “the first real review to note the centrality of extinction”, that it had “found some real tension points”, that the discussion on finitude/infinity had “found the crux” of the film and that he was “grateful for the time [I] took” to write it. (These are all direct quotes, and I have screenshots of them… whatever). He also suggested that it was “unlikely” that the version I had seen was the June 5th version, and asked who had shared it with me. At the time I was still under the impression it was the premiere version. I politely refused to disclose the anonymous director(s) of the Leak Cut or the intermediary, but expressed my interest in viewing any other versions of the film. Angelicism01 told me he would share the August 9th version of the film, given I signed an NDA. I told him I was willing to do so, as long as I could sign it under my pen name. He told me he would get back to me on that, and it didn’t happen. On August 23rd, Angelicism01 made a post on his @angelicismfilm01official page promising to write a response to my review. I told him I was looking forward to it, and that I would happily include notes on the ‘official’ versions of the film, if he was willing to share them, in my response to his response. He did eventually send me the ‘Prelude’ section of the August 9th cut. He never sent me a review copy of the full film. I watched it with interest, although nothing stuck out to me that would fundamentally alter the spirit of my review. Later, a friend of mine who was given a review copy of the Zurich Cut allowed me to sit-in on his viewing session. I was left with the same impression — while the film was altered, the core of my critique felt unchanged. This is in part because the review was directed not just at the film, but Angelicism in general, but also because the Leak Cut is not substantially different enough to fundamentally change my reading of the film (including the feeling that certain inclusions of long, uninterrupted videos felt a bit under-edited ; while other sections were quite impressively edited).
           On October 15th, Angelicism01’s mood shifted. He had noticed that one of the quotes I used in my review was only present in pre-premiere versions of the film. He concluded from this that “you can only have got it from an angelicism dissident, someone in the team who was thrown out for good reason.” — thus making the Leak Cut not only ‘incomplete’ but also a malicious (“dissident” — is that more than radical?) attack against his loyal cadre. I never saw things that way. Having watched the entirety of the Zurich Cut, the prelude of the August 9th NYC cut, and the Leak Cut, I can safely say that if I was maliciously fed an incomplete version so as to produce a negative review, the attempt failed, as I would safely place the Leak Cut at the same level as the other versions — there were even some sections missing in the Zurich cut that I felt didn’t deserve to be trimmed. What would my review have looked like if I had reviewed, for example, the Zurich Cut instead? I would have had different quotes at my disposal (Angelicism01 seems fixated on the quote I used in the review, which is odd, since it was just an example of the broader point), and likely would not have focused so much on the ritualistic exclusivity of the premiere as described by Madeline Cash. But the core of my review would have been the same : the professed universality of the film fails due to its hyperreferentiality, its construction of e-girl microbrands, its portrayal of clique (something, I should note, that is mentioned in both Madeline Cash and Paige Bradley’s fairly negative reviews of Film01) ; and this tension still, in my view, neatly mirrors how Angelicism’s broader philosophy of extinction, as well as his theory of CoreCore, reduces extinction to a kind of ‘lack’ around which the ‘extinction pov’ can circle indefinitely, constructing its identity and aesthetic without ever fearing the touch of a genuinely apocalyptic element. Extinction stuck in Being, stuck in Understanding — free both from the empirical horror of ‘coming disaster’ qua positive images / determinations and the generative movement of negative reason; the ‘white-out’ flickering between the plenitude of an absolute indifference / identity and a ‘Nothing’. Extinction in this view is, to riff on Hegel ; overly Eleatic, overly Christian — a splitting between Apophatic and Kataphatic theology, which is (as all splitting must be) defensive against the traumatic kernel of death in each thing (this is was what CoreCore overcame, in my view — it found the suicide of ‘Core’ productive, as a gateway to Core an sich — and no this is not a simple or naive ‘solution’, on the contrary it is a movement of thought — distinct from any Angelicist treatment of Extinction as Kleinean breast — which faces up to the impersonal reality of the negative). This sort of splitting varies between gestures towards the empirical, visible ‘measure’ of extinction as an anthropocenic fact (i.e. the Kataphatic ‘image’) and its opposition to the ‘infinity’ of Extinction an sich – the Apophatic Nothing of the evacuated image, the Apple-commercial white-out. The suggestion of my review (and this is no game) is to say that this amounts merely to a moment of Understanding in the Hegelian sense — a relation of positive opposition that is protective of the respective self-identities of its dipoles. This is to say that when Angelicism01 is talking about ‘Extinction qua Extinction’, I think he is really talking about ‘Angelicism01 qua Extinction’. I think that for him, it’s about him (as he said to me in our last exchange: “thanks for adding to the Angelicism lore, dumbass”) — and that’s why it’s finite: remaining within the Absolute indifference of Universality, as opposed to the Absolute difference of the Universal.
           In our last conversation, Angelicism01 recanted his earlier praise of my review, suggesting it was suddenly now “dumb”, that I was an “opp-fuelled hater”, that I was a “terrible filmmaker”, that my perspective was (ironically) simply just Christian ideology, that I was a “dumbass”, that I was a “critic without an ability to make”, that my own film was “boring” because I had authored it myself, and that I should “try showing ur films in a cinema and see if anyone ever writes about them at all lmao” (to this last point — check out this positive, brief review of my film in Ultra Journal, or this lovely piece by Akira Palais). Again, these are all direct quotes — I felt, in that moment, that I had become myself the object of splitting. Where did Angelicism01 become comfortable speaking to people this way? Do his friends and acolytes tolerate those kinds of words? I’ve certainly been told a lot of horror stories.
           Despite what Angelicism01 may think, I don’t consider myself his enemy, and I’m not interested in drama. I’ve just been interested in CoreCore, and thinking through it, both in theory and in praxis. I don’t have beef with him, I just offered a critique of “his” art — and after this addendum, it’s no longer even that. In a perfect world - a world where Angelicism01 wasn’t such a bully, or didn't throw slurs around - it might have been nice to have him on the recent panel on CoreCore (“All Things Are Nothing to Us”) that myself and Dylan Smith of OnMyComputer organized. The event featured, either in screening contributions or attendance, the ‘fathers’ of CoreCore (Mason Noel, John Rising, Eddie Hewer, and Dylan Cherry) as well later prominent internet-cinema artists such as Coincellpro10. The conference was the first of its kind, a real celebration of the genre and an inaugural gathering of a loose cultural ‘event’, and Film01 could have been a part of this conversation. Instead, we found ourselves being harassed by Angelicism01 in the days leading up to the conference — his demand being that we omit @RedactedFilms from the program due to some kind of personal beef, despite the fact that his contribution to the conference had nothing to do with Angelicism01 whatsoever. Angelicism01 is no stranger to this kind of badgering — I know of at least one other negative review he bullied into being taken down (iykyk) ; and I know -through the grapevine- of attempts to doxx me personally, as well as organize ‘hit pieces’ on myself and the orgs I have worked with. I certainly plan on steering clear of Angelicism01 in the future, and it is my hope he extends me and my associates the same courtesy.  
           At the end of the day, Angelicism01 and I simply have very different artistic philosophies. My corecore film, Ultra-Core Anxiety 2023, was never meant as “cinema” to be released in theaters. Its entire design philosophy was to never elevate itself above its materials. It was made by me, in my bedroom, at my office, or on the subway, entirely on a second-hand Samsung Galaxy A03s. My editing suite was a combination of FotoPlay (a free video editing app, for android) and Mp3Cutter (a free audio editing app, for android). DaVinci Resolve and GIMP were used to construct the interlude graphics, as well as the final file export. But all the footage was compiled and edited on a >100$ smartphone — the same kind of hardware and software that ‘CoreCore’ came from. Its aspect ratio is 1:1, so it can slide in amongst other Instagram posts. And the film was released in its entirety, online, for free. Anyone with an internet connection can watch Ultra-Core Anxiety whenever they want — like CoreCore, it has nothing to do with New York or any “scene”. People are free to cut it up and sample it as they see fit. Film01 is much more sophisticated. Teams of volunteers and professional editors were deployed in its creation, people were paid, contracts written, and theaters rented. Interpersonal politics, reputations, brands, and identities are all seemingly at stake. There’s a lot of red tape — how much red tape was there when Mason Noel was talking about substations? I chose to interact with Film01 as if it was part of the internet, as if it was universal, and as far as I can tell, no damage was done to its ‘official’ versions in doing so.

           REFERENCES &
           WORKS CITED

Angelicism’s Film01 is less Jonestown than Snoozefest by Madeline Cash

Film01 Review by Scott Litts

Extinction Cloud: mondina on Film01

Somebody Please Columbine The Entire The Cut Editorial Staff

The Retard List

Principles of Film01: How to Shoot Angelicism Cinema

CoreCore and the Return of Speculative Irony

I Love CoreCore: Thoughts on a New Universal Tendency on TikTok

The Second Vibe Shift, or, the Angels of the Kiss

On Angelicism

Schlegel, F. (1958) Kritische Ausgabe seiner Werke, edited by Ernst Behler, et al. Paderborn: Schöningh

Schlegel, F. (1991) Philosophical fragments. University of Minnesota Press


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