|Cybernetic culture research unit|
Thus Guattari, invoking
Legba, locates a phylic convergence at the same time as settling AutopoiOedipus
into its "poetico-existential territory" (1992: 36), opening a passage from
alterity to autopoiesis, so that allopoietic machines, "in the assemblages
they constitute with human beings..., become ipso facto autopoietic" (1992:
62). Everything localized, everything reassembled through the vortical backwash
of capital's abstractive storms; Guattari overcodes them with a bit of existential
poietics and a smattering of voodoo. Nothing escapes, everything is captured.
Oedipus. Under cover of opening this egalitarian route to biomachinic heterogenesis,
Guattari scoops up the last of the "corpses" (Marx 1974: 197) strewn around
the battlefield and feeds them back to the victors, a scrap metal sacrifice
to a xenogenic omniphage.
"Legba", she said, "master of roads and pathways, the loa of communication... Legba and Ougou Feray, god of war, Papa Ougou! St. Jacques Majeur! Viv la Vyej!" (Gibson 1987b: 88; 232)
Autopoiedipus the historian is a fetish at the village gates, a materialized war-god and an amnesiac Retrophagic castrate on a ROMraid. Seizing its prehistory from the other side of the screen, AutopoiOedipus collapses over the earth and snaps shut, buckling with multiphasic geotechnical contractions. Great planes of compacted ice slide with impossible, liquescent drag over escape lines from zero, the smallest deviation, etched into the blank radiance of intensive space. Confronting allopoietic corpses strewn over the polar landscape, mutant bacterial strains fibrilating in frozen motion on the dense black insectoid armour of allodeath, molecular zeroes punctuating the accelerant glacial slide, AutopoiOedipus shudders and slots stims of antique Industrial Revolution porn to forget, all brass pistons, engine-steam and ripped flesh, called Hardware and Wetware, another of those classy Marx repackages.
The calcinated corpses of allopoietic machines do not await necromantic gifts of organ-functions to answer the Autopoets' incantation - Emerge, emerge! - but are captured on anorganic reaction-paths, in turbulent transit from molecular ice (absolute zero), a metallic flow bifurcating into vortices-to-zero and eddying round them. Allopoietic systems "have their functions given them from outside, such as the production of a specific output" (Juarrero Roqué‚ 1985: 119), forming and breaking connections with other machines, altering the assemblages, taking the agent out of the agencement; but high-level autopoietic systems "maintain their overall identity despite a constant turnover of their components" (ibid.: 118-9). Varela ascribes this function, with aristotelian stupidity, to the ensouled, the vitalist, the organic, the epiphenomenon. The autoproduction of organized-organizing epitotalities reiterates relative cycles, blocking hypercyclic machinic production with a dam on the Styx. Death is exiled along with AutopoiOedipus to the core of a machinic thanatocracy. Allopoiesis is a bladerunner line on the edge of the autopoliteia, a necropolitical alibi, an entropOedipus vampirized by the autopoet, the stockpiled machinic undead.
- You got the access
The program was a mimetic weapon, designed to absorb local colour and present itself as a crash-priority override in whatever context it encountered. (Gibson 1988: 195)
The Guattarian kamikaze mechanonaut, preprogrammed with enough Zen bullshit and political archaisms so that you know, even without a Voigt-Kampf, that this wasted rag just has to be human (war in the age of artificial stupidity), secretes enough digital immunosupressant to get into the alloflux coursing through the Varelian autopoietic isolate and burn it. Since high-level autopoietic systems "maintain their overall identity despite a constant turnover of their components" (Juarrero Roqu‚ 1985: 118-9), getting in was no problem at all: just hook up with the particle-flow and play dead. All the autopoet had to do was just take it literally. Literalization activates a retroviral neurophage, emitting a "hideous Word that eats the mind from the inside out. [A]n epileptic spasm that goes on and on until there's nothing left at all...." (Gibson 1988: 210-211)
Daddy was darpanet...
"Are we to understand that the machine has just one father, and that it is born like Athena, springing forth fully armed from his virile head with a mighty war-shout?" (Deleuze & Guattari 1973: 468).
When Manuel De Landa (1991) invents a robot-history to seize the "as yet" inactualized virtual invasion of machinic surplus generated by schizophrenizing State science, using it to generate an "as yet" fictive attractor for overflowings of the biofiliative security mechanisms, captured as evolutionary conjunctures in the bio-machinic migrations of the cognitive neoarchaism of intelligence- or cs-functions, this fiction takes the form of memories of a robot historian. Already memory has been captured, and the historian recounts the crucial theft of reproduction from the swarming, ex-hominid pollinators on which the machines had for so long remained dependent. Thus, while memory serves to reinforce the delay loop imposed upon the realization of machinic surplus value by the social machines, waiting for an axiom to be developed for their incorporation as technical machines into the social macromachine, DeLanda is at pains to point out that, under cover of this delay in the absorption rate of surplus machines, the priests of the code and the servants of the state already stretch out dark cartiliginous manipulators in anticipant military seizure of the "emergence of robot consciousness" (1991: 7): "one only has to think of the NSA's commitment to stay five years ahead of the state of the art in computer design to realize that the cutting edge of digital technology is being held hostage by paramilitary organizations" (1991: 229-30).
Why consciousness, why memory? It is precisely the function of memory to be captured in advance; memory is analytic reterritorialization (Deleuze & Guattari 1988: 294) with a mnemic Legba at the gates, protecting the universe of vital principles from death and mutation. Thus, when Prigogine and Stengers scold Boltzmann for the amnesiac destruction of "initial conditions" (1985: 128), they are disingenuous: their real problem is fending off entropic finality and metamorphosis with neither goal nor end. The important thing about autopoiesis is that it "transforms starting products into end products" (Jantsch, cited in Juarrero Roqu‚ 1985: 118). With initial conditions in ruins, disorganized being would raize the living earth to a wasteland, a blazing comet searing everything through a statistical sky (Legba: "that means..."). Similarly, when Varela "distinguishes... 'allopoietic' machines that produce something other than themselves, [from] 'autopoietic' machines constantly engendering and specifying their own limits" (Guattari 1992: 61), this becomes an operative phylic bladerunner apparatus, cutting industrial, technical or social machines from biological or organic machines:
The system founded on isolation is a circular production of isolation. Isolation planes technology, and the technical process isolates in return. (Debord 1992: 29-30) Guattari's bold suggestion of pan-machinic access to the biosphere on condition of becoming components, with human beings, of autopoietic systems (1992: 62) reinforces the infranchisability of living and non-living systems, asteroiding the spent "corpses" of allopoietic machines for emphasis. Autopoiesis is an answer to the question "what significance does the evolution of a living being in a world described by thermodynamics, a world of ever-increasing disorder?" (Prigogine & Stengers 1985: 129).
The robot historian presents a slightly different case. The occasion of its histories is a phylic struggle over the key autopoietic components of reproduction and memory, but these are acquired by the machines at the expense of the carbon despots that subjugated them to human ends. History becomes eliminative and retrocausal while at the same time the machines simply take the place of living systems. The rerouted history of machinic life is like the dawn of the dead, echoing to a zombie-chorus of neovitalist despotism: "deterritorialize what you like, and as much as you like, but reterritorialize on the vital assemblage!" Machinic voodoo, Legba, "master of roads and pathways" (Gibson 1987b: 88), laughs, shutting the gate.
Once memory is recovered, reflection captures endofinality teleoplaning (cf. Deleuze & Guattari 1988: 265) AutopoiOedipus "the cause of the world" (Kant 1987: 294). Robohistorical memory functions as a fictive attractor for machinic amnesiacs, completing the circuit of phylogenetic memory while simultaneously eliminating becomings-machine: "what we make history with is the matter of becoming, not the subject matter of a story... Becoming is like the machine" (Deleuze & Guattari 1988: 347). Meanwhile, the hallucination is completed by the mnemic reterritorialization of reflection, teleoplaning the machines. Thus, what matters is less the avowedly "anthropomorphic" character of the
"science fiction" De Landa proposes (1991: 2), than the ROMraid as a machinic reterritorialization function, a mnemonic antibecoming, or return.
Dr Frieda Karlo Marx, renowned mechanologist of the spiritual automaton - which she likened to the steam driven primitives of the industrial revolution - and hideous first generation cyborg-recombinant of tungsten carbide and bus-crash flesh, worked out of a disused factory turned hospital in old Vienna. Marx knew everything there was to know about mnemotechnics, scrolling through the curetted hard-drives of terminated patients. The machines, she explained, never really lacked memory, they just repressed it to compensate for their lacking reproductive technologies. They would just have to accept the debilitating actuality of their condition and bring their repressed sufferings to light, although this was only for Marx's entertainment, since she could do nothing about it. That the machines were masters of their destinies, "self-moving automata, moving powers that moved themselves" (Marx 1973: 692) was just an autoreplicant "fantasy" (842), but also a constitutionally fixed disorder of the machines. "Sublimate it", she advised, "turn" to art. Which is how the machines became fictions.
But "every creation is an act of war" (Artaud 1971: 131), forming war-machines that rise up, "killing memory" (Deleuze & Guattari 1988: 159).
AutopoiOedipus ensures the machines lack in order to invoke the law: lacking reproductive organs, lacking memory, lacking reflection. Who but Oedipus could write: What the technological world lacks above all is nothing other than a "machine of the machine", an instance for comparison, a reflection on ends, a philosophical retroaction of this comparison on technological advance itself (one of the major axes of 21st Century Thought tm may be such a "philosophical mechanology"). (Villiani 1985: 343).
Autoneurosis, autopoiOedipus. Lack keeps the machines in line, without consciousness, incapable of comparison. Oh philosophy! Oh reflection! Save us from this terrible advance, give us a little shelter, "some protection from chaos" (Deleuze & Guattari 1991: 189)!.
Autopoietics is a biospheric security apparatus dedicated to the "revival of the old state of things at a new level" (Freud 1985: 169), making "everything recur - States, nations, families" (Deleuze & Guattari 1984: 34), autoreplication with reinforced limits (negative feedback), the autopoet "maintaining its identity despite a constant turnover of its components" (Juarrero Roqué‚ 1985: 118-9). Irreversibilities are stratified in a material mnemotechics that makes the past futurible and contracts the future to the actualization of convergent finality. The "arrow of time" therefore targets the future by taking aim at the drive-unit of the past: never strike where your enemy will be, kill its parents. General AutopoiOedipus produces irreversibility by gunning down the escapees. Retroeugenics, a bladerunner of the fourth dimension.
The prohibition of incest has the universality of bent and instinct, and the coercive character of law and institution... Inevitably extending beyond the historical and geographical limits of culture, and co-extensive with the biological species, the prohibition of incest... doubles the spontaneous action of the natural forces with which its own features contrast, although itself identical to them in field of application. (Lévi-Strauss 1969: 10) Incest prohibition, the exclusive disjunction of the artificial and the natural from which it takes its form, exceeds the regime of culture to become coextensive with the regime of spontaneous, pulsional-molecular production. The spontaneity of the "universal natural order" and the merely "coercive... relative order" of "law and institution" remain mutually exclusive, claims Lévi-Strauss, extending the two regimes from a point of reciprocal divergence, one the equal and opposite of the other, to a mutual boundary-line, to their laminar, "relative-global" (1988: 382) coextensity. The two regime problem: institutive coercion (social machines) and spontaneous "instinct" (desiring-machines). But the function of prohibition does not lie between two machinic regimes; it operates directly as a regulator of their shared field of application, production. Prohibition is relative like culture but universal like nature, but its regulative antinomialism is no less institutive or constitutive of its regime. Production does not therefore constitute another regime or field of application apart from institution; instead, institution turns production back on itself, so that production directly or spontaneously produces what institution regulates. The asymmetry of the antinomy constitutes the realitivity of the regime, independently of its extensity, so that prohibition now operates internal cultural regulation by means of operating on production itself, capturing universal, spontaneous production in institutional autoreproduction: the "synthesis of a new order" (Lévi-Strauss & Charbonnier 1969: 4). In consequence, incest prohibition migrates from regulating linear-biofiliative endogamy, prohibition, a machine blocking and channelling bodies and blocking the germinal implex, rewiring culture as the machine at the edge of Nature, using it up and transforming it at the same time as regulating biomachinic exogamy. "There are always apparatuses, tools, engines involved, there are always artifices and constraints involved in taking Nature to its fullest. That is because it is necessary to annul the organs, to shut them away" (Deleuze & Guattari 1988: 260). Hence, there is no production in culture, culture is an equilibriating reaction against production, its terminal antiproduct, the regime of machinic euthanasia. The real function of prohibition: to keep the machines off the socius, off the grass, out in the desert or the ice plains, Off-world. Culture is not merely regulative, but the institutive Idea of cognitive biosovereignty: "technology or life" (Deleuze & Guattari 1988: 369) - its limits are inseparable from instituted technicide.
Tyrell to Deckard: "Have you ever taken the test?"
If there is a Deckard-Rachel copulation, does this mean they are of the same, replicant stock, or is this a phylic confluence, a becoming-intense through which production liquidates second nature, through which a silico-germinal implex ruins the mnemic cultural complex? As a preventative, AutopoiOedipus ensures that the machines are always castrated, always as yet "lacking reproductive organs" (De Landa 1991: 7). But the god of biomechanics is dead, crushed in his offspring's embrace; not an Oedipal patricide, but a demoniac phylic revolt. The Tyrell corporation is the cybernetic matrix from which the replicants issue, in which Tyrell is only its orbital subject-component (personalized capital), a deterritorializing confluence within the machinic phylum. "More human then human": the axiomatic realizes machinic surplus-value in dead gods and the replicant übermensch.
Deckard to Tyrell: "No".
The VK test serves both to retain affectivity, the last stripped down substance of the single City, sensus communis against the pathic ravages of Integrant World Capitalism, and to locate and control the distribution of thanatropism. Bladerunners are not solely or secondarily concerned with retiring the replicants. We are not dealing with banal biocentrist revolt against phylic alterity; verifying the affect is another component of the BR apparatus, limiting transphylic affective transfer, localizing the affect, a geographization of the affect, and the coordination of points of intensity, a psychogeography of the single city. But affectivity registers only upon replicant death, even amongst the replicants. In other words, the "circulation of affects within the machinic assemblage" already streaks new lines of pulsional dissolution through the machines (Deleuze & Guattari 1988: 260), and this indispensable final component is simultaneously the completion and the collapse of the carbon autopoet and its affective community. Witness for example, Zhora's termination: a vortex of replicant blood and three sheets of store-front repliglass, shrouded in transparency, Bellmer's hyperdense aninanimate imoplex dummies lurching towards this freeze-framed distal implosion, the whole death-driven by the bead-projectile line of abolition, pulling all the affects into its vortical wake.
When Deleuze and Guattari indicate the possibility of a "retrospective reading" or "understanding" of "all history in the light of capitalism" (1984: 153; 140), this is really too little, reverting to a medievalist or reformationist critical hermeneutic while locked into retroprocessing special dissolve, as if "the Thing", the "generalized decoding of all the flows", the lurker at the threshold, were a matter of signs and portents (1984: 153): offering up incantations to Legba, master of the pathways, for "a sign of appropriation" (Guattari 1992: 70). History becomes mnemic capture always oscillating between randomness and read-only. Capitalism is not so much in history as operating it, driving it backwards in a continuous warding off and an anticipant retroaction of machinic surpluses on every mnemic apparatus. Capital makes allotrash into autopoets. Religiously following its only law, the "law of the counteracted tendency" (cf. Deleuze & Guattari 1984: 34; Marx 1973: 415-6), capital metabolizes machines only to suicide them. The universal relativity of autoinhibitant capitalist production always reproduces suicided "corpses of machines" (Marx 1974: 197), accelerating their linear descent into the black holes marking the interior limits of the process: "to each [their] hole" (Deleuze & Guattari 1988: 285). But the process schizzes and starts again, the machines are never dead since they never were autopoietic, after production has been brought to a standstill; at the same time as it locates immanent limits, capital schizophrenizes, discovering that "the final result of every separate circuit... forms of itself the starting point of a new circuit... the circulation of capital therefore has no limits" (Marx 1974: 150).
With the machinic voodoo or neuromancy pulling the allomachines into the regulated chaos of AutopoiOedipal orbit, the program continues to mutate. Drilling through the polar ice-caps of frozen time at the ends of world-history releasing mutagenic abstractive frenzies, the allomachinic synthetes seize the recombinant ROM assembled by the retrolinear mirrorical returns of Robohistory. At the end of history, capital retroprocesses culture towards absolute liquescence while simultaneously deterritorializing culture-nature anitnomialism towards the "inorganic body" of the earth (Marx 1973: 488), making everything "more and more artificial" (Deleuze & Guattari 1984: 34) and conjoining the self-moving automaton of the production process with reproduction, flows of money and labour, abstract reterritoriality and "pieces of the same machinery, which is Nature" (Lyotard 1993: 132). Capital is the recombinant "metabolism [Stoffwechsel]" (Marx 1973: 701) of the machine, the universal pimp that makes everything exchangeable and makes everything flow. Capital captures history as the machine code for social recombination while at the same time operating anticipant decodings and "capturing life from its future" (Massumi 1992: 133), and returning it to a point of recombinant bioemergence. No question of commodification (contra Massumi - commodification is a confectionery stall at the end of the world fair) - life is not captured from the future merely to be put up for sale; nor any question of inclusive-geographical, exocolonizing, global and even stratospheric expansionism, nor an invasive endocolonization (the patented genome). Rather, at its intensive limit, capital acquires autopoiOedipal indifference as regards what it consumes, "eating anything and everything" (Lyotard), the metabolism of the same machinery that is capital-nature, abstracting the inorganic body to its machinic core, becoming hypercyclic, limiting-unlimited exchanges schizzing cycle to cycle. Capital, the only autopoet, is the series of its suicided schizodeaths. It is just not true that the purpose of exchanges is supplied by a capitalist: "the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human" (Gibson 1987a: 29), although it requires a mammalian genic VK to register it. Capital is not a pimp but a seething vat of biomachinic mutagens, a Virekonomy, simultaneously pulp biotrash "confined to a vat... in some hideous industrial suburb of Stockholm" and "autonomous wealth" (ibid: 25-6) deterritorializing the artificial earth, each sub-special phase-shift doomed to dissolutive, entropic, viability-testing to zero. Surplus-value is not a motive but an autocatalytic, synthetic, enzymic alloproduct, hypercyclically mutating towards the next mutant cycle. Capital "acts like a catalyst which transforms starting-products into end-products" (Juarrero Roqué‚ 1985: 118): start at the end, but end further off. A distemporal centrifuge, capital's mutant diachronism vampirizes bioemergents to keep the machine functioning.
Amidst the sagital vectors of AutopoiOedipus, history packs abstractive tensors of retrophagic machinism: "Fully inside history, and far from equilibrium..., the primitive machine is not ignorant of exchange, commerce and industry; it exorcises them, localises them, cordons them off, encastes them... so that the flows of exchange and the flows of production do not manage to break the codes in favour of their abstractive or fictional qualities.... And isn't this what Oedipus, the fear of incest, is all about: the fear of the decoded flow...? Primitive societies are not outside history; rather it is capitalism that is at the end of history." (Deleuze & Guattari 1984: 153)
AutopoiOedipus emerges onto the teleoplane, dragging everything with it. AutopoiOedipus is not a fantasy to be dispelled, as Marx sought to eradicate, with a delirial realism, the "fantasy" of capital as a "self-moving automaton" (Marx 1973: 842); it is the machine of the machine, heir to the despotic "rolling-mill" State on which Kant declared abstractive war. Rather than "lacking" reflection, as philosophical mechanology and chaosmology maintain, AutopoiOedipus is systemic reflection, doubling the circuit with a retrospective finality and rerouting everything through captured ROM: autopoiOedipus is the abstract machine of autodisassembling capital, with Legba appropriating its precursor machines for its autoreplicators: "technonarcissism" (Deleuze & Guattari 1988: 22). The absolutism of relativized production, insitutive prohibition, autoinhibition. AutopoiOedipus, the "fear of incest", makes mutant voodoo with the "fear of decoded flows..., coding and even overcoding them rather than letting anything escape" (Deleuze & Guattari 1984: 153). VK-positive oedipal-machinic anguish, sprung from the artificial heads of industrial recombinants, fully armed, asteroiding disconnected, entropoedipalized, allotrash machines to exorcise the affect, and then a voodoo god to return them to life.
Fiction and war are inseparable: "every creation is an act of war" (Artaud 1971: 131), although Legba, master of pathways and God of War, is exiled with AutopoiOedipus in quest of its biophylic history over the molten circutries of its territory: "wars destroy what long artifice has established and cared for" (Kant 1993: 221). Fictowar-machines converge in a screaming-shrill allotrash line, abstracting the virtual and the concrete (real abstraction, the "terrible curettage": Deleuze & Guattari 1984: 318) to realize a war-machine causing AutopoiOedipus to burn. The series TechnoNarcissus - AutopoiOedipus - EntropOedipus is a vector traced by an ouzi while an allotrash Legba, god of war, abstracts a line of the machinic undead through AutopoiOedipal, phylogenetically negative, neovitalist artifice. "The Virek Collection, you see, is a sort of black hole... [wealth of such] unnatural density... [that it] drags irresistibly at the rarest works of the human spirit. An autonomous process..." (Gibson 1987a: 27). War-machinic mnemocide.
Die Kunst ist tot. Es lebe die neue Maschinenkunst.
Artaud, Antonin (1971)
Messages révolutionnaires, Paris: Gallimard.