Upon the evening of May 6th: A Review by B. Skylax
Quentin Meillassoux flew first-class, accompanied by a respectable translator, and arrived in the mecca of philosophical scandals and aesthetic determinations made without external funding: New York City. Miguel Abreu Gallery was deemed the site of such an unbridled speculation. Pamela Rosenkranz's conceptual apparatus lays dormant, only to have its transfinite potentiality unleashed 'accidentally' via bookshelf, abstract nominalist declarations by a French contemporary Speculative Materialist. Who is this French boy? Is he a disciple? Does he own a guitar? How many translators were present, simultaneously conditioning—or providing the already unstable(?) conditions for—a readership but also slyly amplifying their own ideological, crypto-discursive position? Many attendees were running late, only to further solidify a Derridean critique of Kantian/Hegelian teleology ... intentionally. Many graduate students knew they were running late, and it was a free event, and there may be many signatures dispersed, both virtually and actually (albeit defying representation, of course). Upon arrival, an autobiography was revealed. Several friends, who had just been hanging out in order to reify a synthesis of political activity, Stella Artois, black clothes, and Modernism (later to be given a nomenclature and bid on by several fellow anonymous conference participants in New York City), were wearing black clothes. They also had large black bags filled with other collections of black clothes. It may have been an ambivalent allegorical model, phenomenologically stratified, for the dark slime of vitalism and horror. Or the geotraumatic waves of discomfort during a chronotopically decaying thought. But was this thought possessing a numerical a priori? And did it have a limit? We would like to think, no. Any position attempting to counter the ineffable mathemes produced from Nature (without labor) is dialectically debilitated anyway.
Black Metal Theory arrives under the guise of a pre-conceptual gnosis (forthcoming publication 2013). This difference exceeds empirical verification, but is of course speculated from a withdrawn velvet chair, dripping with local unposited axioms and culture. Each putrid essence of the three maggots in attendance was in the last instance, with flecks of putrid nihilism added. But we will touch upon this later.
The materiality of an invisible, aesthetic syntax was delayed by the installation of a Gatorade bottle in the corner of an arid gallery, yet without temporality (we may say this is non-Newtonian?). As we know, Rosenkranz’s works struggle to ground and undermine an idea of art that purports to transcend its immediate materiality. Mass-market consumer brands abound, rendering explicit the complicity between the artwork and its subsumption into an increasingly mystified field of corporate identities. Soft drinks, for instance point to the metabolic currency that underlies the conception, production, and perception of the artwork. The brain requires energy, she affirms, and therefore needs sugar to burn. In other words, glucose must be burned in order to generate, develop and view the work. An intuition that certain architects (like Stan Allen) have been attempting to unpack for decades in relation to their practice becomes generalized: space as the condition of aesthetic autonomy is not homogenous, empty, neutral, and isomorphic. Instead, it’s defined by forces, by site conditions, by intensifications and densifications. Space is not something to be filled, but something that is defined by investments and retrievals of energy. And so, spaces become atmospherically singular, and our bodies, even as they answer the injunction to disperse themselves into digital networks, are incessantly phenomenologically engaged. Maybe not engaged in the same way as before, when the world was structured by industry and cinema and trench warfare, since bodies are now swept into currents and passed through transmissions, swayed by ungraspable forces and rendered productively flexible by new regimes of labor. Bodies are now engaged in such an unprecedented way that even as we speak of diffused and disembodied experiences we know this isn’t enough to describe the multilateral stimuli that assail us and recode us incessantly. We can’t escape the awareness of our corporeality—its dissolutions and condensations—or of the atmospheric qualities that stick to it, the ambient modulations that constantly perturb it, even if we are still learning how to describe these new exchanges.
Meillassoux takes the stage. Urbanomic/Sequence briefly interpellate 'their' bookshelf, which is radically withdrawn and appropriates a discursive Nothingness without a Standing-Reserve or empty set, except pre-ontologically. However, this Standing-Reserve's pre-ontological Nature is the foundation or limit point of an ontological presentation. Meillassoux knew this and extrapolated on it via the genre of a decaying Dan Brown covered in the decrepit noise of contingency. The audience members immanently raged with jargon and bids. Prices started at $3, but we all knew it was worth at least 20. Robin Mackay quietly shushed the creeping, unorthodox bids and his twin, Miguel Abex, wandered about in the background without a care, and this was synthesis. Black clothes emanating from the One-in-One. The replicative acceleration of the generic translator reveals the underside of the mathematical sublime: a kind of phantasmagoria or remnant dream-image of a massive dimension of potential and past landscapes that have been choked out by repetition. It’s the magnitude of the world that has been eradicated that is unfathomable.
Any-space-whatevers, once brimming with potential for unalloyed invention from the unamplified voice of a 2-hour synthesis of Modernism and contemporary academic swarms of multiplicitous polemics and new foundations, are now the generic modules that proliferate in order to lubricate the movement of resources, to reconfigure the activity of extracting labor-power from bodies, and to maximize the profitability of space by erecting buildings in relation to the metrics of larger networks of circulation. And while these spaces can grow specific “internal” atmospheres, like mold following individualized patterns determined by micro-conditions, they are indistinguishable in the way they robotically give form to number crunching and remain forever disconnected from one another—a landscape of perfect little paradigmatic specimens of pure instrumentalization. Recurrence in lieu of architectural syntax, which was merely immanent to the Q & A.
An Object-Oriented Band Member wearing a black turtleneck over a cryptic Instagram filter started postulating a theory of post-Leninist liberatory praxis. It was neither human nor inhuman. Meillassoux began pontificating in the genre of an Edgar Allan Poe novel, only no one had read it. The aforementioned three maggots subsumed the sufficiency of Meillassoux's speculative decipherment, by merely demonstrating the concept of a Cantorian limit cardinal, much to Meillassoux's protestations. Nothing was to be done. The night was a Hyperobject ready to blow. Someone had to stop this. Just when Meillassoux thought he couldn't take it anymore, the secular theology of the bookshelf whispered an axiom regarding Methodological Naturalism, as an appeal to the interesting new advancements in neuroscience and history. Others gasped with regard to the statement's irreducible qualities. Who knew that a statement regarding the collapse of #contingency in favor of a New Non-Metaphysical Speculation could be so elegantly referred to by a bookshelf containing every Straub-Huillet film (not for purchase)? The night still rages, and dinner was modestly priced. R.I.P.