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Creation and the Function of Art: Technē, Poiesis and the Problem of Aesthetics
 9781350010765, 9781350010796, 9781350010789

Table of contents :
Cover
Half-title
Title
Copyright
Contents
List of Figures
Acknowledgements
Introduction: Re-Problematizing the Greek Topos
1. Functions and Models: Art and Knowledge
1.1 Functions and problems
1.2 Mathematical functions
1.3 Functions in art
1.4 The inaugural Greek topos: Art, creation and nature
1.5 Meaning and creation
1.6 The overwhelming excess of insuperable indigence
2. The Re-Problematization of Technē: Subjects and Praxis
2.1 Techne I: Immanence, praxis and intelligibility
2.2 Technē II: Functional properties
2.3 Technē and the function of subjectivity
2.4 Freud, Lacan and the re-orientation of epistēmē
2.5 Technē and the agency of art
3. Deviant Technē: Phusis and –jet
3.1 Technē and technology: Agency and artifice
3.2 Technē III: General functional schematic
3.3 Deviation and evolution
3.4 Technē IV: Schema for human subjects
3.5 Technē and deviation
4. The Function of Art: Creation and Poiesis
4.1 Poiesis I: Making and creating
4.2 The disciplinary structure of the field of art
4.3 Poiesis II: Creative and productive poiesis in the work of art
4.4 Technē to technē
Conclusion: Art and Nature
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

Creation and the Function of Art

ii

Also available from Bloomsbury Aesthetic Theory, Theodor W. Adorno Being and Event, Alain Badiou The Bloomsbury Companion to Aesthetics, edited by Anna Christina Ribeiro The Cultural Promise of the Aesthetic, Monique Roelofs Deleuze and the History of Mathematics, Simon B. Duffy Difference and Repetition, Gilles Deleuze In the Beginning, She Was, Luce Irigaray Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy, Manuel DeLanda Techne in Aristotle’s Ethics, Tom Angier

Creation and the Function of Art Technē, Poiesis and the Problem of Aesthetics Jason Tuckwell

BLOOMSBURY ACADEMIC Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP, UK 1385 Broadway, New York, NY 10018, USA BLOOMSBURY, BLOOMSBURY ACADEMIC and the Diana logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published 2018 Paperback edition first published 2019 Copyright © Jason Tuckwell, 2018 Jason Tuckwell has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Author of this work. For legal purposes the Acknowledgements on p. viii constitute an extension of this copyright page. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc does not have any control over, or responsibility for, any third-party websites referred to or in this book. All internet addresses given in this book were correct at the time of going to press. The author and publisher regret any inconvenience caused if addresses have changed or sites have ceased to exist, but can accept no responsibility for any such changes. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Tuckwell, Jason, author. Title: Creation and the function of art : technâe, poiesis, and the problem of aesthetics / Jason Tuckwell. Description: New York : Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017032772 (print) | LCCN 2017039057 (ebook) | ISBN 9781350010789 (PDF eBook) | ISBN 9781350010772 (ePUB eBook) | ISBN 9781350010765 (hardback : alk. paper) Subjects: LCSH: Techne (Philosophy) | Creation (Literary, artistic, etc.) | Aesthetics. | Art–Philosophy. Classification: LCC B105.T43 (ebook) | LCC B105.T43 T83 2017 (print) | DDC 111/.85–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017032772 ISBN: HB: 978-1-3500-1076-5 PB: 978-1-3501-1260-5 ePDF: 978-1-3500-1078-9 ePub: 978-1-3500-1077-2 Typeset by Newgen KnowledgeWorks Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, India To find out more about our authors and books visit www.bloomsbury.com and sign up for our newsletters.

Contents List of Figures Acknowledgements

vii viii

Introduction: Re-Problematizing the Greek Topos

1

1

5

2

3

4

Functions and Models: Art and Knowledge 1.1 Functions and problems 1.2 Mathematical functions 1.3 Functions in art 1.4 The inaugural Greek topos: Art, creation and nature 1.5 Meaning and creation 1.6 The overwhelming excess of insuperable indigence

5 9 24 32 40 48

The Re-Problematization of Technē: Subjects and Praxis 2.1 Technē I: Immanence, praxis and intelligibility 2.2 Technē II: Functional properties 2.3 Technē and the function of subjectivity 2.4 Freud, Lacan and the re-orientation of epistēmē 2.5 Technē and the agency of art

53

Deviant Technē: Phusis and –jet 3.1 Technē and technology: Agency and artifice 3.2 Technē III: General functional schematic 3.3 Deviation and evolution 3.4 Technē IV: Schema for human subjects 3.5 Technē and deviation

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The Function of Art: Creation and Poiesis 4.1 Poiesis I: Making and creating 4.2 The disciplinary structure of the field of art

53 57 63 67 74

81 95 99 114 123 129 129 139

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Contents

4.3 Poiesis II: Creative and productive poiesis in the work of art 4.4 Technē to technē

148 165

Conclusion: Art and Nature

171

Notes

177

Bibliography

211

Index

219

Figures 1.1 1.2 1.3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7

Function ‘black-box’ 1/x = y x3 = y Function ‘black-box’ Complex functional schema of technē Deviation by technē: degree Deviation by technē: recursion Technē in parallel and hierarchical structures Functional schema of technē specific to subjective formation Technē specific to subjective formation, emerging from the living body 3.8 Technē throws itself in the inauguration of the mirror stage 3.9 Technē, thrown into epistēmē, sets into operation the process of thinking 3.10 The work of art begins where technē projects out of subjective formation

10 11 11 96 97 103 104 108 114 115 118 120 121

vi

Acknowledgements The completion of this book is a testament to the kind support of many people. First and foremost an inexpressible gratitude to Anthony Uhlmann, without whose unwavering support, knowledge, generosity and encouragement this project would not have been possible. I am also particularly indebted to Ann Finnegan for early mentorship of the project. Many thanks to Diego Bubbio and Alex Ling who provided particular expertise and incisive criticism. I  am also indebted to both Gregg Lambert for his early and generous support of the manuscript and Simon Duffy for his thoughtful feedback and suggestions. I  thank Richard Garner for his patient and generous sharing of mathematical expertise. To my comrades James Gourley and Ben Denham, I owe particular thanks for friendship, encouragement and intellectual stimulation. I must also acknowledge my indebtedness to the experimental programme at UWS School of Fine Arts, where I forged a predilection for the problematic. I thank my family, Karen, Fred and Nicole, for their interest, generous support and unwavering encouragement. I also owe much gratitude to many other friends and colleagues whose varied and invaluable contributions are too numerous to list. I would additionally like to thank Andrew Wardell at Bloomsbury for his patience and professionalism in bringing the manuscript to publication, as well as James Tupper and the rest of the editorial staff. I would finally like to thank Christopher Connell for his incredible friendship and support in addition to a prolonged and stimulating exchange about the vagaries of artistic praxis.

Introduction: Re-Problematizing the Greek Topos

In our contemporary moment, the orthodox understanding of art arguably comes to us via Platonism and a critique of its metaphysical assumptions. For art, this is to primarily address the poet’s exile from The Republic by challenging the authority of representation. This is to begin again upon the overturned judgement of mimesis, where art was degraded against the assumption of truths. Yet, this does not assure a liberation of the power or function of art by a levelling of transcendence onto an immanent or abstract plane. While art variously acquires here new significance, this does not ensure it has been approached as a problem in its own right. More commonly, this is to amplify the uncertainty about art so that it exemplifies the degraded reality of the ideal and the simulated nature of being. The following work pursues another approach, away from Platonism and the strategy of its overturning. This is to return to Aristotle in order to examine his alternative proposal for mimesis. For Aristotle, art is not a second order imitation, nor a wilful distortion of truths. Art is rather the power of the particular, the power most proximate to nature. Yet what this power imitates is no longer a form – it is the action of phusis and the process bringing all to being. Arguably, Aristotle does not simply propose an alternate mimetic theory, but a very different problematic approach to art. For Aristotle, art  – technē  – apprehends a complex problem or topos in which art, nature and creation were thought, together. Let us define the terms of this topos; it is the power to deviate cause from the self-propagating automaticity of phusis. This deviation is marked technē, which serves to indicate art and the distinction of human difference, together. More specifically, technē signals intelligence if not the broader capacity to sense. But that is not all – for to deviate or change the direction of phusis requires a capacity to act. Technē is thus a kind of intelligence coupled to action, and the work thereby produced is art or poiesis. Yet, for our contemporary understanding the terms of this topos are both very broad and specified in a way that has largely lost meaning – arguably, this

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is because the problematic status of technē has become reduced to the series of solutions historically proposed to account for it. We speak of the ‘work of art’, but rarely does this evoke a specific accounting of praxis. As such, the problem of work seems largely reducible to what it produces; namely, the finished product or ‘art object’, prepared for its commercial or intellectual consumption. However, returning to technē and art’s inaugural apprehension is to take up again those problems that have become delegitimized or otherwise abandoned. What is art? What is its relation to the decisive difference of human subjects from other natural beings? And do these broad, generic problems retain any relation to the field of art in its specific disciplinary contexts? Let us address the fatigue with which this type of questioning is contemporaneously regarded. For this melding of the general and the particular evokes orthodox limits about the very nature of problems. We are told that where problems generate arrays of solutions with largely incompatible or incommensurable results, that this indicates the problem is poorly composed. Let us draw out the implicit principle here: problems are thought to be inherently tied to solutions, and so much so, that the value of a problem often concerns how well it anticipates its own resolution. Yet, there is another way to think of problems: the problem remains irreducible to the series of solutions it produces. As such, there is no one-to-one correspondence between a problem and a solution. Rather problems are approached via their inherently productive and generative properties – they create and disgorge differences. From this perspective there would be no corresponding solution to the problem of technē; to return to it as the problematic would rather constitute the attempt to comprehend its irreducibly creative power. This is not to reassert the rather glib platitude that art must be anything whatsoever – it is to inquire whether it is an irreducibly generative activity that resists a definitive resolution, be it ontological, sensible, material or theoretical. And because technē problematizes art and human difference together, this questions whether the process of particularization constitutes a resolution into subjective being. That is to say, if technē concerns an irresolvable, generative activity, this calls into question whether any determinations about subjective beings also determines what kind of work they can perform. In order to encounter the work of art on its own terms, the following discussion opens upon the nature of the problematic. This is to begin with Deleuze’s characterization of two kinds of problems in philosophical inquiry. The first is the general form with which we are very familiar, in which all problems are coupled to solutions. But from this dominant form, Deleuze distinguishes a

Introduction

3

difference in kind:  a separate sense of the problematic as an irresolvable and creative generator of difference. The discussion then turns to the emergence of pure mathematics, which establishes itself through a definitive account of such an irreducibly, problematic element – the function. It is the manner in which pure mathematics revolutionizes what is understood by ‘function’ that provides for us another way to conceive of the nature of problems, with far-reaching implications for art. Specifically, this will provide a revitalization for the concept of creation, no longer conflated with origins, but as something irreducible, emergent and belonging to the particular. The second chapter returns with Aristotle to the complex nature of the problem that art – technē – presents to thought. In this inaugural encounter technē will be found in the closest proximity to ergon  – the production or function necessary for its particular work. It is argued that this concerns a capacity to sense coupled to an ability to act upon this sense. And because these properties together distinguish human difference, this conjugation of sense coupled to action indicates the emergence of agency. Moreover, it will be found that this complex conjugation remains recorded in the etymological structure of the term subject. But this will be to diverge from Aristotle for whom technē is a rational faculty, because contemporary theorization (in particular, psychoanalysis) indicates that sense conjugated with action is already present in living bodies. This will be a crucial finding, because the problem of art is particularly obscured where subjective theory divides the body’s actions from thinking subjects. As such, the functional re-problematization of technē offers not only a new approach to art but also a kind of agency capable of traversing the breadth of artistic praxis from the depths of bodies to abstract ideas. The third chapter returns to what remains of Aristotle’s apprehension about technē, where art announces itself by its deviation of nature (phusis). This will encounter what remains an under-theorized implication with the problem of subjectivity  – namely, the problem of technology. However, where Aristotle’s technē diminished art and thus technology in the order of affective powers, it will be argued that Gilbert Simondon revolutionizes our understanding of technology, through his elaboration of a machinic evolution. This will be to challenge Aristotle’s metaphysics of the formal and final into a circulation between material and efficient causes. Yet, where Simondon revolutionizes our understanding of technology, it will be additionally shown that technē must be broadly at work in evolutionary processes. This is to arguably revive a new kind of metaphysical function for art. That is to say, that the creative work culminating in art has an evolutionary

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precedence that belongs to all particular beings. Thus technē’s distinction of deviating nature is not an ancillary power belonging to human subjects, but effects the evolutionary processes through which bodies become progressively differentiated. That is to say, Simondon’s evolutionary precedent must be recalibrated with Aristotelian telos  – a contest of material and efficient causes whose task is to ‘shape’ what comes into being. Moreover, this returns to human subjects and the emergence of art as a completely different kind of problem. Art is no longer the somewhat degraded, derivative power to reassemble existing elements into different forms or contents, but the culmination of a creative workflow through which particular beings intentionally deviate the living world. The final chapter explores how this functional problem re-characterizes art in both its general and specific disciplinary senses. This will first be to refute that poiesis is a singular process, making or creating, through which epistemological sense-making continues to secure its dominion over the work of art. Rather, it will assert that the creative power emergent with technē deviates the primary process to constitute a secondary, efficient workflow – creative poiesis. Upon this evolutionary precedent and across this deviant flow, the work of art propagates. This will be to differentiate art from all processes of production. This enables a new differentiation for art, so that it will be distinguished from all the various modes of production that have come to dominate our thinking about being: sense-making and the production of knowledge; subjective formation; material fabrication; and so on. Rather the work of art, propagating across a ‘rival’ creative workflow, will be the work to deviate these processes of production in their becoming, resulting in new kinds of beings. This difference in workflow will distinguish between art and craft, art and technology, but also art and knowledge – in particular, those epistemological disciplines under the designation of ‘aesthetics’ that concern themselves specifically with art. Finally, this will return to the problematic itself, where art concerns the work of deviating phusis. This fundamental proximity to nature is not a return to an ideal accord or Romanticism, but a mode of counter-orientation or a contest of forces. Moreover, this is not a confrontation with the origin or the cause of primary processes; it is a return to our own nature, in which the workflow of the material and the efficient is decided. It is to confront particular beings with their power to choose between a general resolution of the material into a constituted being or to deviate into a transformative process. That is to say, the function of art potentiates an intensification of the power emergent with the particular to intentionally shape processes in their becoming.

1

Functions and Models Art and Knowledge

1.1 Functions and problems 1.1.1 The general form of problems The following chapter takes up the broad question of thinking about art by inquiring into what concerns and animates it as a function. This functional aspect needs to be thought of as being distinct from the method and materials of artistic production and from the various procedures which attempt to make sense of art: those aspects which open up to reading or interpretation and are thought to be something essentially semiotic or meaningful. This necessarily involves a move beyond certain representational modes of thinking about art in order to rethink art’s relation to aesthetics and the broad categories of formalism. Although a richness of meaning is produced through the systematic interrogation of singular bodies of work, the mechanisms that constitute the work – the operations of artistic praxis – cannot be meaningly derived through these interpretative procedures. However, this inquiry into ‘function’ no longer pertains to a general or common sense that addresses the purpose art is thought to perform. Rather it will require a more searching interrogation into the very nature of problems. If such an interrogation is necessary, it is because the default or general nature of problems already privileges a certain domination of art that obscures what it works to do. That a critical assumption about the nature of problems pervades models of thought has its locus in Deleuze:  ‘We are led to believe that problems are given ready-made, and that they disappear in the responses or the solution’ (2001: 158).1 For Deleuze, this dominion of solutions is evident in the form and

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structure of representational philosophy: namely, the assumption that a fundamental unity lies at the heart of things in accordance with which everything is allotted a relative veracity. The model is constructed by enveloping the problematic into various theoretical propositions, but it presents the series of immanent entities and effects it describes as the inevitable solution to the synthetic unity it produces. This opens a dissonance between the world of ideas and the experiential world in which we find ourselves, a theme that will become encoded into the form of the model itself; ‘Platonism thus founds the entire domain that philosophy will later recognize as its own: the domain of representation filled by copiesicons, and defined not by an extrinsic relation to an object, but by an intrinsic relation to the model or foundation’ (Deleuze, 2004b: 296). It is by making the generative problem singular and predictable that the order of being is modelled, from the infinitesimal to the infinite. Moreover, that is why the fragment, difference, partiality and heterogeneity have long been assumed to be local effects or, more pessimistically, errors, produced by our limited capacity to apprehend this larger pattern.2 The model is thus the intelligible matrix by which the particular tries to think a universal and represents the attempt at positing a unifying substratum capable of determining in an ordered, sensible series, everything that comes to be. Although the model has served as the default for organized thought, it is Deleuze’s characterization of it in the Platonic simulacrum that is of particular interest for the problem of art. It is the concept of the model that leads Plato to famously denounce the value of art in The Republic. As the often-cited example demonstrates, the pure form or idea of the bed only finds a partial representation in the craftsmen’s fashioning of a material object. This demonstrates the first order representation from the ideal model to the material copy (icônes). From this, a second representation (mimesis) characterizes artistic praxis – a second copy (phantasmes) of the material, an image or simulacrum. But, because the artist, like the craftsperson, has an intrinsic relation to the forms but defers this in favour of taking the material as a model, Plato emphasizes this as an intentional movement against the natural revelation of the real and the true; artists lie. As such, the artist is the enemy of the good because there is a wilful reversal of the ordering set out by the model:  rather than moving toward uncovering the true essence from which the object emanates, artistic praxis moves the copy away from the essence degrading it further into the world of appearances. There is another dimension to the procedure Plato puts into effect that should be emphasized. Following Nietzsche, Deleuze demonstrates that a moral judgement lies at the foundation of the Platonic procedure, which in a

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pre-philosophical way determines what this representational model rationalizes. Rather than asking after veracity – how ‘true’ the model is, or how accurately it measures real experience – Deleuze inquires after the model’s intentionality; that is to say, Deleuze asks what function it performs.

1.1.2 The function of Platonism and the resolution of philosophical models Deleuze begins with the observation that the model-copy relation involves the illegitimate institution of a transcendent perspective into the immanent. This moment is formalized in the logic of Essentialism and predicates, among other things, the division between phusis and nous, upon which the subject will long after be split. Nevertheless, Deleuze argues this is a consequence of the model, insofar as it does not locate the intentional basis of representational thought: the true Platonic distinction lies elsewhere: it is of another nature, not between the original and the image but between two kinds of images [idoles], of which copies [icônes] are only the first kind, the other being simulacra [phantasmes]. The model-copy distinction is there only in order to found and apply the copysimulacra distinction, since the copies are selected, justified and saved in the name of the identity of the model and owing to their internal resemblance to this ideal model. The function of the notion of the model is not to oppose the world of images in its entirety but to select the good images, the icons which resemble from within, and eliminate the bad images or simulacra . . . What appears then, in its purest state, before the logic of representation could be deployed, is a moral vision of the world. (2001: 127)

The copy-simulacrum distinction is subordinate to that of the model-copy, and – as a consequence or effect – sets up the conditions for the philosophy of representation. This in turn relies upon the establishment of a ‘pre-philosophical image of thought’ and refers to the importation of an idea into the ‘original spatium’ in which thought arises (Deleuze, 2001: 131–2). This idea is not tied to reason, logic or sense, but rather to a moral judgement, a doxa, in the form of an essentially ‘good and clear’ nature.3 In short, Deleuze argues that rather than encounter the immanent problems of empirical forms and phenomena, Platonism addresses itself to an ideal conception of the world predicated upon a moral judgement of the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. What is significant in this reading is that the measure of veracity that the representational model puts into effect

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is thereby traced to a proposition, rather than an encounter with immanent problems. This finding has immediate implications for artistic praxis, which the model measures to be the furthest distance from the truth. Arguably, it does not simply call into question the way the model values artistic praxis, but rather its ability to determine the kind of problem that art presents. For what Deleuze is at pains to show is that the problematic legacy of Platonic thought is not overcome by simply de-theologizing philosophy and ridding it of the transcendent fixation of its axioms, but more significantly persists in the structural and epistemological paradigms through which Platonism underpins philosophical sense-making. Thus, the function of the doxa or judgement insofar as it governs the model’s founding principles brings to light a kind of loop or closure that the model performs. That is, the ideal unity the model produces is reflected back upon the immanent, prephilosophical encounter, as though it were already there in operation. In short, representational philosophy predetermines a general form of the problem, an identical relation between two reciprocal terms (problem-solution), and this situation has far-reaching consequences for art. It must be argued that to approach the problem of artistic praxis requires encountering its immanent affective operations rather than an ideal unity thought to sufficiently represent it. Unless artistic praxis is problematized as it is encountered, there is no way to determine how it relates to a particular ideal model  – that is, before statements about art from the perspective of ideal models can be reliably produced. This need is exemplified in the way that aesthetic theory, predicated upon the representational model, tends to conflate process with produced, such that it is quite difficult to see that art objects and the work of art (what art works to do) are not at all the same. Aesthetics treats the work of art as a ready-made for thought – that is, something that has already been resolved for the purposes of ideal contemplation. But for the work of art, aesthetic properties are a particular product or effect of the process, an outcome that does not reflect the nature of the work. And without a method to encounter what constitutes praxis – the affective workflow – there is no way to approach the question of art’s function, which is the broad task that has been undertaken. Let us commence this task by highlighting first those functions that become subsumed in the production of the model. Deleuze’s argument can be approached in a different way, by inquiring into the function that animates the representational model itself. Before representation is a proposition about the kind of reality art evidences, it is the functional operation (ergon) that is used to model art in The Republic. That is to say, Plato’s dialogues do not begin at the zenith,

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where the procedure culminates (the proposition or judgement the model develops), but rather from the apprehension that art is differentiated by the function it performs.4 What must be emphasized is that this functional productivity is put to work to produce the ideal representation – the transformation of immanent experience into an abstract relation – for only then can it be presented as a ready-made in thought. The progression of the dialectic in which the model is systematically made sensible might then be contrasted with the immediacy with which the function may be grasped. And in this first encounter with the function, what should be emphasized is the immediacy of its apprehension together with the immediacy in which it is put to work, evident in both the construction and the contemplation of the ideal model. It might then be argued that Deleuze’s analysis shows not only that the model is predicated upon a pre-philosophical judgement but also that the doxa operates by immediately overlaying or claiming the function. Thus the Socratic method, which considers the function enveloped within an ideal series, might already illuminate a very peculiar property: it is exceedingly difficult to identify what a function is, precisely because one may only do so by considering its effects – what it does or how it transforms or changes that upon which it operates. Of course, this difficulty does not begin and end with Plato; it remains in effect whenever the function is carried over into the ‘image of thought’, in which problems default to the general ‘problem-solution’ form. And if, as Deleuze argues, this difficulty is ramified in the task that philosophy thereafter takes as its own, it marks an impediment for philosophical sense-making to approach the function of art (2004b: 296). As such, these issues concerning the function must be clarified through the specialized field that attempts to deal with them: pure mathematics.

1.2 Mathematical functions 1.2.1 The function is a different kind of problem To begin, an observation: functions are not essentially captured in either of the series upon which they operate; neither in the series of inputs that they work upon nor within the series or set of effects they generate. This is adequately expressed in the general mathematical definition of a function f: it is a ‘black box’ through which a series of inputs x is transformed into a series of outputs f(x) or y (Figure 1.1). Ontologically speaking, a function would belong to the

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Figure 1.1 Function ‘black-box’

order of becoming as a transformation, irreducible to the series of inputs upon which it operates and the set of outputs it produces. It thus operates in a kind of ontological indetermination between two series of beings; an extant set and another it brings forth as a series of effects. This is not analogous to the classical model of causality that persists with the assumption that problems are of the general form.5 The domain of inputs (x) does not directly produce a codomain of outputs (y or f(x)); rather the intervention of the function (f) introduces a third mediating element into the direct relation between cause and effect. If this unsettles models predicated upon ontological deduction, it is because while the codomain (y) can be taken as a series of solutions, this does not ensure that the causal element – the generative problem – necessarily belongs to what it proposes as the original series (x). Even in mathematical notation, the fact that functions are often represented or communicated by graphs, mapped upon a plane of (x, y) coordinates, specifically illustrates that the function itself remains strictly inexpressible; what is rather demonstrated is its effect, the transformation of a domain, into another series (codomain). In such a manner, the function can be grasped, its uniqueness and its kind of transformational properties may be apprehended, but it nowhere appears in the system, even if the process could be infinitely computed.6 That is to say, the dynamism of the function cannot be reduced to the sets of relations between which it operates (domain, codomain), making the power of predictive modelling always contingent upon computation. There may be regions where infinitesimal proximities (asymptotes) rupture into two or more regions of radical discontinuity (Figure  1.2). There may be a singularity in which the direction of curvature suddenly reverses (Figure  1.3). And these

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Figure 1.2 1/x = y

Figure 1.3 x3 = y

are the simplest of cases. What is of interest here is that although the graph may map or model the function to various resolutions, this modelling can never exhaust the generative potentiality of the function itself. It is perhaps worth pointing out that the treatment of the function in ideal models has more

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in common with these limitations of geometric graphing than is commonly acknowledged. Nevertheless, no matter how implicit, and even necessary, functions might be argued to be, they have only very recently been studied in earnest; an orthodox history of science does not reveal this inherent privilege or taste for the function, over and against the elaboration of the model.7 From its antiquity, Aristotle clearly defines science (epistēmē) as the faculty of constructive contemplation tasked with discovering the eternal, unchanging principles of nature. In this image, functions remain obscure because they are thought to inhere within the cause that determines their transformative properties (whether this is a formal essence or an abstract universal). Thus, the history of mathematics records its subsumption within a dominating epistēmē: that is, dominated by an end outside of the mathematical, in which it was rather a tool to be applied. That is to say, whether first by philosophy or in the subsequent emergence of specific scientific paradigms, mathematics remained dominated from without by the general form of the problem. Arguably, this obscurity of the function has an analogue expression in the history of art. And indeed, it will be argued that the same forces of revolutionary modernity in which the function becomes the central problem for pure mathematics has an artistic parallel in aesthetic innovation. In both cases, what characterizes the transition to modernity was the refusal to reject certain functions that were paradoxical to or radically undermined the orthodox consensus of the model – the doxa, of the ‘clear and distinct’, the ‘good’ and the ‘beautiful’. For mathematics, this involved challenging the principal vocation of science transmitted to it via the philosophical model: that it be charged with discovering the universal, unchanging process or founding relation, upon which a model could be made adequate to the cause of all beings.

1.2.2 Pure mathematics and monstrous functions Pure mathematics establishes itself by prioritizing the function so that it is no longer indentured to the dictates of ideal models. This is to reject the role of the doxa in predetermining what are properly functional problems. What distinguishes pure mathematics from applied mathematics, and what determines it as abstract, is a change in emphasis from something essentially utilitarian to a distinct field in its own right. This implies that mathematics is no longer simply the tool through which the labour of scientific knowledge proceeds. What then emerges is an opportunity for the central interrogation of the

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function as a thing in itself, rather than as a medial relation between an extramathematical problem and its solution. If pure mathematics challenges the broader scientific epistēmē in this regard, it is because this focus upon functions no longer necessitates the discovery or synthesis of eternal, unchanging ‘truths’. In the introduction to The Fractal Geometry of Nature, Benoit Mandelbrot argues that pure mathematics emerges disparately in a number of latenineteenth- and early-twentieth-century mathematicians, each independently pursuing problems that challenged the paradigm of the classical model: Cantor, Peano, Lebesgue and Hausdorff. These works had one common denominator – they focused on mathematical sets that were irregular and/or fragmented – nondifferentiable equations that were considered anomalous, even obscene, from the classical perspective. ‘These new structures were regarded . . . as “pathological,”. . . as a “gallery of monsters”, kin to the cubist painting and atonal music that were upsetting established standards of taste in the arts about the same time’ (Mandelbrot, 1983: 12). Although their contemporaries dismissed the work as absurd curiosities, these mathematical practitioners believed they had crossed a crucial threshold – an opening upon a purely abstract plane which ‘transcended completely the limitations imposed by its natural origins’ (ibid.: 13). That is to say, pure mathematics was born of a break with that particular domination of the doxa, in which the investigation of functions was constrained to discovering what was eternal and unchanging about phusis. As we will see, this is the liberation from the task of discovering the ‘always, already’ fundament, to an entirely new and creative vocation.

1.2.3 The aestheticism of the doxa: Mathematics and elegance Let us examine more closely the nature of the doxa, or rather the particular form which pure mathematics rejects. This doxa is not only moral as Deleuze has shown – it is also aesthetic. What here is ‘extra-mathematical’ (that is, metaphysical or more broadly ontological) is the expectation that the general form of the problem-solution coupling will conform to the qualities of the elegant, simple and beautiful. These demands do not emerge from the experimentation with functions – they are ‘extra-mathematical’ brackets that put mathematical work to the service of other ends. This aestheticization is evident in an early and decisive example: Euclidian geometry ‘discovers’ the essential axioms of space, the pure dimensional abscissas that order the material world.8 In a series of elegant propositions, Euclidian geometry postulates the essential basis of space and all spatial relationships.

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Yet the veracity of these theorems are not established by the elegance of their synthetic unity, but in the demonstration of effects the theory makes possible: Euclidian geometry, if nothing else, testifies to the powerful application of Platonic ideals as a means of ordering the material world, insofar as they permit a profound reshaping of the natural chaotic landscape into ordered divisions of the polis. That is, it gives to technē (art, in the broad sense of craft or manufacturing) not the fundamental idea, but the power to establish material foundations; the ‘squaring’ of the earth, the strength and rigidity of right angles and parallels, the city grid and the constructive principles for the temple. Euclidian geometry thus arguably demonstrates that the ideal bequeaths order and civility upon the material world. But Euclidian geometry does not simply demonstrate the affective power of theoretical premises. It is rather turned to demonstrate two critical assumptions of the model. First, that ideal, unified and eternal principles can be used to dominate material beings by apprehending their causal nature. It is the unity of the abstract, spatial theorems that empower a superior formal domination over the acts of shaping clay, wood or bronze alike. And although it is the immanent application of the functional operations themselves at work, this power is attributed to the elegance and beauty of the theoretical determinations, whose interior conformation to the model is presented as a demonstration of its apprehension of universal causes. Secondly, once this arrogation of the function’s powers to the model has been carried out, there is an immediate consequence; where the problem has been equated to the proposition, it is a simple matter of turning it about so that the ideal model is now said to be the adequate cause of processes of becoming. That is, the affective power generated by the model is thought to confirm its ideal assumptions, so that its judgements flow across the nature of immanent experience. That the Euclidian perfection of parallels never finds an actual equivalence in papyrus stalks, in date palm trunks or in the tessellation of rocks simply expresses the general degradation of the natural from the ideal and reinforces the model’s requirement to bring more perfect forms to being. And if this judgement long inhibits the interrogation of functions beyond their classical presentation, it is because when the mathematician throws up disjunctive equations – functions which run to nonsensible, incalculable or incommensurable results, or which otherwise radically confront the underlying unity and order of the ideal model – this is thought evidence of the relative degree of degradation in which the human mind is steeped, which only the realization of a mathematical perfection, of a pure elevation into the ideal, can overcome.

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This aesthetic expectation brackets mathematical investigation by giving a predetermined form to its problem-solution coupling. This is no longer just an extra-mathematical expectation but also works to limit its immanent experimentations. Moreover, it further brackets mathematical praxis by determining what kind of experimental activity it performs. That is, it proposes that praxis proceeds from a confused appearance in immanent beings to a perfect ordering of axioms and theorems. Along this ascending line of clarification, what counts as real is encountered ever more decisively as the axioms discover their perfect convergence as ideal essences. All this flows from the demands of the model, in whose name functions remain relative operations and upon whose authority they are judged and selected, appropriated or abandoned.

1.2.4 Liberation of the function What we must remain attentive to is that this exemplifies how the prephilosophical doxa – the judgement of the ‘good’ (the simple, the elegant, the beautiful) has historically conditioned the emergent, experimental activity upon which mathematical praxis is based. For it is the positing of the autonomy of the abstract that allows this veracity between the degraded material world and the perfection of mathematical ideas to be disrupted sufficiently to challenge the authority of the model. Thus, when pure mathematics establishes itself through the positing of an abstract, projective horizon, it has a powerful effect: it liberates the function. The positing of the abstract projective horizon is explicitly designed to defer or ward off the selective demands of the model, and more specifically, the criteria of judgement that makes mathematics something always applied, something arrogated within an adjacent scientific epistēmē. This foregrounding of functional experimentations, with its emergent irruptions of surprising, category defying, even paradoxical results, leads it to confront the model again, but on a more implicit, occulted or subversive level. For if the criteria of judgement are suspended in favour of the proliferation and emergence of functions per se, wherever these functions do not conform to the image predicted by the model, the model itself becomes the subject of doubt. In order to approach this more subversive level, it must first be noticed that a general property of models is revealed in this tracing of mathematics’ relativity to the scientific field that subsumes it; that is to say, the model acquires its affective capabilities through the functions it arrogates. This is because functions are already at work in the general form of the problem, mediating between extant series, be they ideal and material, theory and praxis, mind and body, and

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so on. Yet for the model, this functional dynamism is reduced to an identical relation between two series of terms: the domain upon which it operates and the codomain which it produces. As such, the model does not address anything about the function because the function remains independent of both series, in such a way as to never determine in advance the process of becoming produced. Let us assemble these emergent properties from the mathematical elaboration of the function. Functions do not inhere within any given series (domain), differentiating them from determinable causes. Moreover, the function cannot be assigned an ontological certitude, because its presence is only expressed in the transformation it effects between series. Insofar as the purpose of the model remains to make thought adequate to the nature of cause, this independence of the function places limitations upon the model’s predictive capabilities. Thus, functions cannot be adequately captured by the model, because functions generate the abstract relations through which models relate to immanent events. Together, these properties imply that functions can never be bracketed into the form of the problem-solution type. Functions are rather another kind of problematization. The consequences of this are significant, and will be taken up in later chapters, but what must be highlighted here is something very pressing in the move pure mathematics makes. It is calling into question the fundamental assumption of what knowledge is doing, and moreover, what science’s radical efficacy seemed to prove: that knowledge is fundamentally revelatory, a process of discovering the existent but hidden rules and mechanisms ordering the appearance of all beings. However, this labouring, this digging into the heart of things, for truth and certainty, is precisely what is abandoned when pure mathematics turns toward the abstract plane as its projective horizon, no longer concerning itself with the search for eternal, immutable principles. Pure mathematics does not simply anticipate or echo the trajectory of secular philosophy and science, which might be argued after Deleuze, to have dethroned transcendence only to strengthen the old orthodox poiesis (the general form of the problem whose task remains to resolve how all comes to being). For what differentiates pure mathematics is that it has abandoned the task of discovery, in favour of creation. For once the domination of the model in determining the nature of problems is abandoned, mathematics undertakes an entirely new project – the experimentation and creation of new functional operations. Thus, what links the abstract creation of functions within pure mathematics to the more undecidable activity of the function within various ontological series is this power of differential emergence, of something new entering an existing

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body or entity, or emerging in its own right  – something not traceable to its original, formal conditions. Whether they produce purely abstract values that describe geometric curves or the dynamic interplay between mass and movement to describe gravity, functions are found where a process brings that into being that was not in being before.

1.2.5 Mathematical and natural functions It has been argued that pure mathematics is distinguished by the experimental praxis of creating functions, thereby liberating itself from the demands of an extra-mathematical model. But this liberation from the task of discovering what is eternal or already existent raises other problems about the nature of creation, per se. For if the function is not given to thought as a ready-made donation nor as some act ex nihilo, how are we to think about what might constitute this creative activity? Let us proceed first with a critical distinction we have yet to clarify about functions:  there is a dynamic sense which concerns the function’s immanent, transformative activity and there is a static sense which concerns the abstraction of this dynamic activity into a symbolic representation. Much confusion about functions derives from a conflation between these distinctions, or more precisely, when the dynamism of the immanent functional process is thought reducible to its symbolic referent or relation. That is to say, the encounter with a ‘naturally’ occurring process, which gives rise to a symbolic relation, is thought to be exhausted within it, such that experience gives way to the idea, or the sensation of a body resolves into a sense perception and so on. But this is not at all the case. For if the function remains a different kind of problem to the general form, it is first because the function is a dynamism irreducible to the relation that persists within the abstract dimension or strata. As we will see, the creativity of mathematical praxis will not be endemic to abstraction (a priori, foundational or ex nihilo), but will be carried over by the dynamism of the function from the world of living bodies. It was Brouwer’s radical mathematical project, Intuitionism, which clarified the irreducibility between the function (dynamic) and the relation (static). Moreover, it must be argued that Brouwer thereby establishes an entirely new way to think about creation.9 Intuitionism unsettled the orthodox foundations of mathematics by bringing a resolute scepticism to bear upon universal propositions or axioms, which were deduced from dynamic or particular functional operations. Consider the simple

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case of natural numbers resolved to an infinite set – that is, the proposition that our most familiar series of numbers carries on in an ordered fashion to infinity (1, 2, 3, 4 . . . ∞). How was this seemingly inevitable solution reached? First, an immanent processual event must be abstracted into some kind of principle or relation. A given individual possesses a singular thing and acquires another, resulting in a doubling of the original allotment: one thing with another thing equals two things. Now, although this situation already involves some abstractions (counting, numbering), these do not yet make sense of the process: there remains an open set of elements or numerals (1, 1, 2)  but this abstract set remains to be certified by an active demonstration. In order for this abstraction to become useful (not a meaningless set of representations of real world phenomena), a proposition must be formulated to organize it into a series, sufficient to generate a general principle. This is not a problem about forms, beings or objects – it is to ask how the process animating immanent experiences can be abstracted, sufficient to model from it a general principle. As such, a singular capture, one particular snapshot of the process, is not enough  – further demonstrations of the process are required. The individual acquires another thing – what has it done to the allotment? Has it doubled again (a multiplication relation which would indicate a power rule)? No, it is additional to those already acquired: (1 + 1) + 1 = 3. What will happen to the allotment if another object is acquired? Insofar as it can be assumed that this process will faithfully repeat without variation in each encounter of this immanent situation, there may now be postulated a rule. If the subject continues to acquire objects, the allotment will grow in ordered increments toward infinity. The question is, what kind of a rule is this? This is to query how the proposition models the immanent unfolding or functional computation of the process, insofar as the infinite resolution can never be actualized by carrying out the calculative process, which it proposes to represent. Even if a specially designated computing device were set to the task, the duration of the universe would expire, still falling infinitely short of demonstrating the general principle  – that natural numbers go on in a perfectly ordered fashion to infinity. So how can one be assured this rule will continue to apply? Brouwer is as strict on this point as Hume is upon the demonstrability of predicable cause/effect relations, more generally; he tells us that this can never be more than a speculative assumption. Even in this simple case, where positive natural integers carry on to infinity, he tells us that this proposition lacks a sufficient rigour. Technically, Brouwer’s objection is formalized in a rejection of the law of excluded middle, the logic of the reductio ad absurdum. As such, it bears upon

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the mechanism of representation that constructs the Platonic model, where an immanent, unfolding of process is made to correspond or resolve into an abstract, determinable relation. For the law of the excluded middle governs how a particularity is extended to a general or universal principle, how the function is turned into the general form of the problem. To understand Brouwer’s objection, in which the generality of mathematical foundations are refuted, one must ask to what purpose the relation is put, how it establishes a principle of identity, how it grasps what is beyond change and remains the same. It is precisely because the identical relation must be computed and set into operation that even the most profoundly abstract mathematical relation cannot resolve its reliance upon dynamic functionality. Moreover, the irreducibility of the dynamic function is greatly amplified where the ideal model presents itself as adequate to the world of immanent beings. For it is thought that it is via the relation that ideas produce their consistency and which are put to work in the production of universal principles. This is because the relation is how a fragment of immanent processing is assigned an abstract form. But despite what we are often invited to believe, this is not a singular flow from immanent processes to ideas, because as we have seen in establishing the series of natural numbers with its infinite proposition, the relation must be established recursively by testing it against other immanent processes. That is, via a circulation or return to the dynamic process which, as such, insists within the abstract particle or ideal-object. But this is not in itself sufficient to establish a ‘true’, that is, a universal principle: for the model’s resolution relies upon whether the relation captures a purely repetitious process  – something that will repeat without change in every immanent instance, and so will remain identical across every active iteration. And it is only insofar as an identical repetition of process is there assumed that a functional operation can be reduced or fixed between the two binding terms of the relation, the pair domain/codomain. This reduction of the function to the two terms of the relation seeks to turn it into a problem of the general problem-solution kind, coupling it between two determinations in order to secure it and to cancel its immanent activity. It is the dynamism of the function that is excluded in the law that makes this simple operation sufficient to a universal principle. That is, in each juncture of the resultant universal series, every appeal to the relation requires this dynamic cancellation, assuming in its place an identical operation will be performed. Brouwer’s objection may not seem overly significant, if it only succeeds in pointing out again that immanent activity cannot predictably correspond to ideal modelling. Additionally, it’s no surprise that abstract thought is predicated

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upon bracketing out the messiness of immanent experience, for its power surely concerns selecting particular immanent processes and harnessing them into new capacities – this is the very power of abstract relations. But if the general form of the problem is again prolonged here, it is insofar as the lived experience is thought resolved into the idea so that the relation is thought to become independent from the dynamic, functional operation. It is only if the relation can affect this clean break that the abstraction of epistēmē can be sealed as something in itself, exclusively concerning the composition between relations, establishing the foundations of internal consistency adequate to universal principles. But Brouwer rejects this epistemological resolution. This is because the relation cannot stand in for, replace or reduce to itself the function. This objection is demonstrated by the Church-Turing conjecture, where the fundamental limit of computability indicates how relations are not free of the function’s indetermination.10 This is not only because the dynamic function is stratified by its capture when immanent processes are abstracted into relations but also because the function persists within the ideal relation. As such, even in the most abstract of cases, the relation’s identical repetition cannot be assured, such that it can be certifiably predicted in advance.11 Brouwer will therefore clarify something crucial about functions. Functions are not simply processes of pure repetition. They are a heteroclite mixture of two irreducible properties – repetition and creative transformation. Functions are like an unpredictable tussle or struggle between the two, the pattern of which is only revealed when they are put into action, that is, set into operation. Moreover, mathematics has forced us to radically re-evaluate what we understand by the function. For if the model can no longer assure an interior resemblance to the encounter which precipitates it, this returns us to the problematic encounter itself. When the problem is no longer viewed as already coupled to an inevitable resolution, it is possible to apprehend that the ‘real’ that mathematics deals with is the function itself. However, the function does not ‘belong’ to mathematics, either inherently or by virtue of its superior capacity to make the function presentable. The function – which is to say, the dynamic activity generative of transformations – rather suggests it has a far more primitive appearance in nature. What mathematics succeeds in showing us is that we have mistaken the locus and nature of creative transformation; it does not reside with nature as the origin or foundation of axiomatic principles but concerns the immanent irruptive application of local affect. What it suggests to us is that poiesis will not ultimately be a problem of the general form resolving identically to produce particular beings, but is rather a functional problem, so that a third element intervenes

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in the process of becoming. It is possible then to see that the particular has an additional element that is not donated from the universal. And moreover, no matter how minute, this introduces the locus of a genuinely creative power with consequences for natural processes.

1.2.6 Functions in the creation of models The recalibration around creative functions in pure mathematics has important implications outside of the discipline. If the function is something eminently creative, and the scientific procedure advances itself by the experimental application of abstract principles into functional operations, then might not the entire enterprise be itself something essentially emergent, something creative, rather than a labour of the confirmation and refinement of already occulted truths? This is to assign a very different role for the model than it acquires through Platonism. The model, which assembles together those ideal unifications abstracted from immanent functional operations, no longer apprehends the underlying reality of things, giving expression to hitherto hidden laws; rather, the method of ‘pure’ mathematics does not resolve into ideal unities. The model is not judged by its adequacy to eternal and unchanging principles but rather as a projective set of abstract constructs, a series of synthetic creations. This marks a change in the task allotted to the process of unification – namely, from series of adequate representational propositions (models) to functionally affective operations. Thus, the power of the model does not derive from its equivalence or identity to the living world, but through its multiplication of affective powers to carry out various transformations upon it. That is to say, to not only transform the functional operations carried over from the immanent world but also return these functions back upon it. Pure mathematics establishes a very different relationship to being, which has important implications for how the mind-body aporia fractures experience. For it is no longer the problem of determining a unidirectional resolution from one relation to another, but to consider workflows across a reflexive, dialectical or circuitous scheme. In some prescient analysis, Albert Lautman can be understood to have argued that the field of mathematics re-oriented itself from a resolute foundationalism toward creative synthesis. Lautman emphasises a synthetic perception, ready to determine the value of complex networks of mathematical interaction, beyond a stifling search for ‘primary’ notions. The unity of mathematics is expressed, not in a common base to rebuild the whole, but in the convergence of its methods and in the passage of

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Creation and the Function of Art ideas between its various networks: logical, arithmetic, algebraic, analytic, topological, geometric, etc. . . . these are all examples studied in detail by Lautman, in which, in the local fragment, the global unity of mathematics is reflected. It happens to be a real unity, at the interior of the synthetic universe of effective mathematics that disappears when the plurality of mathematical knowledge is reduced to its fictional analytic reconstruction. After all, the set theoretical presentation provides convenient layers of relative consistency, but in practice, it is increasingly evident that mathematics develops far from its so-called fundamentals. An epistemological inversion shows how, contrary to what one might think in the first instance, a practical observation of diversity can then reinstate the multiplicity in the unity. (Zalamea, 2011: xxvii–xxviii)

What Zalamea emphasizes is that Lautman proposes a very different conception of the epistemological progression and organization of the mathematical paradigm. In noting the primacy of experimentation and emergence (‘effective mathematics’), he indicates that mathematical labour does not progressively resolve into axiomatic certitudes, somehow equivalent to hidden universal laws. This somewhat contravenes the orthodox expectation prolonged from the Platonic model, where mathematics gives expression to the form of universal laws.12 For, when a mathematical theorem is less the apprehension of a fundamental order than an organization of ideal relations making new experimental powers possible, it becomes evident that mathematics is an essentially creative activity. This does not lead to a collapse of unity:  Lautman remains Platonic insofar as unity remains a critical function for the ideal; however, this ideal dimension is no longer intrinsic and given, it is rather constructed from the activity of immanent, abstract experimentations into relative frameworks and relations. In short, the fundamental idea is no longer understood to be the cause of functions, beings and manifestations of the real. Ideas rather have a new role to play – to facilitate the creation of new orders and beings, new dimensions of the real. Everything now turns around the emergence of the function, because the construction and creation of ideal unities is characterized as a particularly powerful procedure for intensifying the creative effects of functions. What remains prescient in Lautman’s reconfiguration of synthetic unity becomes explicitly elaborated in category theory, when it reformulates how the mathematical discipline is structured. Category theory emphasizes how synthetic unifications (that is, areas in which a set of axiomatic theorems have been synthesized) are not universal but local regions of order linked by functional transformations.13 But because these local regions of synthetic unity ‘acquire their properties only from the various arrow relations in which they are

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configured’, the ‘functors’ or transformative processes provide the fundamental insights into how mathematics operates and is structured (Madarasz, 2006: 12). As Norman Madarasz surmises, what is emphasized here is the emergent properties of these functional operations in generating or creating structures.14 But this does more than emphasize that pure mathematics works to overcome the ‘extra-mathematical’ constraint on its encounter with problems. It is certainly remarkable that category theory shows that unity is a local ordering, offering a striking new conception of the contest between epistemological or ontological models; that is, they are not a historical superseding of one axiomatic proposition for another, but groupings of local or particular unities, linked by functional transformations. It also tells us something very important about our relationship to these models of local synthetic unities; they are not the resolution of immanent, experiential problems or revelations of fundamental truths but highly productive areas in a circulation or feedback of functional operations. This is not to describe another general resolute approach to the problem, but how dynamic, immanent experiments generate theoretical syntheses that make possible new orders of creative experimentation. Colin McLarty emphasizes this point in his discussion of category theory in the history of meta-mathematical theorization: This new conception certainly did not come from some timeless nature of mathematics, nor from meditation on set theoretic foundations. Rather, like set theory itself in its time, category theory arose from the heart of mathematical practice and offered foundational insights. It might become common sense that foundations come out of practice, and will change as practice develops, and will lose contact with the subject if they do not change with the practice. As Lawvere has put it, ‘pure foundations of mathematics are no foundations of mathematics at all.’ (1990: 370, emphasis added)

This contingency between processes of practical and creative experimentation and synthesising ideal unifications describes a radically different reality to that presented through the classical model: unity is not the discovery of axiomatic principles, but rather the functional operation that brings models of unity into being. Models are not the resolute proposals of eternal orders, but a particular, even singular kind of process necessary for evolution and experimentation. Thus, unification may appear not as an essence or property, but rather as a function. Mathematical consistency is no longer paradoxical to the experience of its differential, experimental becomings; these are now understood as the continually fluctuating series of constructed arrangements that comprise the field of mathematical ideas.

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As such, a very different topology or epistemological arrangement of the discipline is evident. No longer the gathering of eternal solidification or foundations, mathematical unity is synthetic, not foundational; it is created in a supplementary, abstract dimension, not discovered already existent and commensurate with that governing the heavens, the centre of the universe, the earth or the absolute interior of hidden, concrete essences. In the Platonic model, the expectation that epistēmē discovers the array of eternal, unchanging principles is what guarantees the ideal’s intimate proximity with the real. But in Lautman we learn that unity is not a singular reality, but a differential property, specific to multiple synthetic unifications and also, and in another way, to the immanent praxis of creative experimentation. And in category theory, we locate the distributor of this differentiation of reals; it is the process of functional transformations, where the immanence of experimental praxis gives rise to regions of synthetic unification, which in turn gives rise to new experimental praxes and so on. Most importantly, everywhere these processes of functional transformations are creative, a creativity no longer tied to an origin or a cause, but as something ‘emergent’ within the transformative operation, to the particular kind of calculation in effect. Although the axiom, in assembling a maximal number of convergent functions and series remains the ‘highest’ expression of the ideal, this could never displace or supersede the reality of functional experimentation. No longer manifest within the model to be partially distributed and degraded into the copy (the poiesis of the craftsperson, which in this context indicates the mathematician labouring away at a desk), it rather apprehends another order of poiesis: the creative experimentation the ‘copy’ undertakes, which makes possible the construction of ideas and models. In the discussion that follows, where a reconsideration of the function of art is undertaken, mathematics offers us not only a new paradigm from the domination or constraint within epistemological models but also a new conception of what constitutes a genuinely creative principle.

1.3 Functions in art 1.3.1 The contention that a creative principle is necessary for art has not been exhausted Since pure mathematics establishes with the function the possible terms for a genuinely creative praxis, these details require a carrying over into the field of

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art. This is because of the way mathematics reinvigorates the understanding of creation by detaching it from a transcendent property of the model to an independently operating property of particular functional operations. Thus, despite those post-representational critiques that deeply problematize the philosophical idea of creation, this differential approach via the function opens the possibility that the relationship between art and creation may be restored. Indeed, the discussion of mathematics has indicated how a creative principle becomes occulted in art via its theoretical analysis – that is, insofar as it would not appear in the series of representative terms through which art tends to be thought about. It will not appear in either the domain or ‘inputs’ (the history of works; the relation between an ideal or natural world it is assumed to take as its subject; the materials it arrogates and upon which it imposes various methods of construction; and the status of the ontological and subjective natures of the artists themselves), nor its codomain, what is produced by it as a series of related affects (the historical series of works produced; the knowledge systems which arrange these works into sensible series, be they critical, theoretical, historical, and so on; the series of affects between works and viewers; the systems of value – economic, cultural, historical and spiritual – in which works are assembled). What this brings to our attention is that ‘the work of art’ may not constitute a problem of the general form, but rather a functional problem that escapes a possible reduction between these sorts of terms. In order to better demonstrate that it is not an essence, axiom, model, ideal or material basis that informs the specificity of art, but rather a function, let us bring forward the mathematical developments discussed into the field of art.

1.3.2 The function is occulted by the division between theory and practice The mathematical redefinition of function is particularly useful because the appeal to ‘function’ is overwrought in thinking about art. This general, orthodox utility of the term differs sharply from the mathematical account undertaken here, where in the context of art ‘function’ is a synonym of purpose.15 Historically, this addresses its material and cultural utility, finally becoming clarified into problems of meaning in our contemporary period. As such, whatever constitutes the functional problem of art is thought to play out between the ‘completed work’ (artefact or art ‘object’) and the milieu in which it operates. The advantage of treating the function of art as an analogue of purpose is that a certain ideal accounting or unification of its disparate products may be approached,

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and its emergence from a certain utilitarianism might be brought into view. This utilitarianism remains profoundly implicated with craft and is intimately related to a period in which the field of art cannot yet be understood to be differentiated from the broader activity of poiesis, or making. To clarify how this orthodox sense of the function emerges, let us return to The Republic – not to the conclusions it finally proposes but rather to its production of the model via the dialectical method. Socrates’ famous pronouncement upon art is the culmination of a progressive meditation, distinguishing between two different kinds or orders of knowledge:  technē and epistēmē. Rather than a strict, initial determination of either term, The Republic precedes with a speculative positing and experimentation, in which the distinction between technē and epistēmē seems to express a certain complexity and inter-penetration. Thus, before the instantiation of epistēmē where technē will be finally subordinated, the initial positing of technē begins with the craftsperson’s primary encounter with the function (ergon). That is to say, the basis of the craftsperson’s knowledge, and the pivot of its usefulness, is an immanent grasping of causal processes: the function of farming is to produce food, the function of medicine, is to heal; ‘Tell me, doesn’t every craft (technē) differ from every other in having a different function (ergon)?’ (Plato, 1997: 989).16 Technē thus appears to consist of at least two quite separate operations: the capacity to immanently apprehend the function which involves a certain immanence to the causal order and a more specific materialist know-how (epistasthai) whose task is to put into effect a change in the causal mechanism precipitated via the function.17 Thus ergon – function and production – is linked fundamentally to poiesis, and indicates how making or creating operates. But for Plato, this immanent activity could never be adequate to epistēmē, the contemplation of those eternal, unchanging forms that drive poiesis and the intentional deviations technē affects upon it. And this final resolution, although profoundly differentiated, will not change in Aristotle, for although the value of the craftsperson (technite) will extend to a higher kind of understanding, this will remain excluded from the highest partition of knowledge which apprehends the unchanging nature of cause – knowledge of a theoretical or scientific kind: epistēmē.18 All that remains to arrive at the orthodox understanding of the function that still persists in the field of art today is to allow the orthodox model to unfold: the immanent, experiential activity of technē, in apprehending and setting to work the dynamic function, requires a unification within epistēmē, whereby its apprehensions and actions may be judged. That is, the engagement with immanent

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functions must be submitted to a selective process governed by the forms: the ‘good’, the ‘just’ and the ‘beautiful’. That is why, to this day, art will be treated as an essentially aesthetic problem.19 If it has been valuable to return to the dialectical play that produces the simulacrum, it is to emphasize that epistēmē is not discovered ‘ready-made’ but generated by an encounter with the problem of functions (ergon). Once the model has been completed, the order of dialectical production is turned around so that its unity is presented as sufficient to the cause; this will be argued to be necessary for organising the vague, diffuse apprehensions of experience (praxis) into the know-how of the craftsperson. But the unity the model synthesizes is itself only possible because of its initial encounter with the function. Moreover, when technē is made a sort of medial resolution between experience and epistēmē, the path is laid for the formal division between theory and practice which will continue to echo into the present: technē remains subordinate to the judgement of epistēmē. Thus, the intelligibility immanent to and concerning the function becomes dissolved and obscured through this division between practical actions and pure, formal knowledge. Thus, despite the much-critiqued Platonic judgement, which degrades the work of art in the order of reality, there persists a far less commented upon effect within art’s relationship to knowledge. The superiority of epistēmē persists in the general form of the problem, where art must be resolved within and judged by a sufficient ideal model. Art remains effectively reduced to a material know-how (epistasthai) to which formal and categorical distinctions continue to be traced. Artistic intelligibility concerns a technical mastery specific to the playing of violins or turntables, of brush strokes or turns of phrase. As such, what is lost in the solidification of technē and epistēmē into the more familiar practice/theory aporia is art’s own kind of intelligibility, which arguably concerns its immanent, experiential encounter with the function. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the kinds of divisions possible within the ideal model are sustainably present in this encounter – that is, those differentiating between practical, technical, productive and formal phenomena. For art, this is a particular concern because what constitutes its work (that which is immanent to ergon) is snapped up into the completed work or object. Thus, what is missed is the opportunity to pursue whether the function’s work upon poiesis might constitute something fundamentally creative – a fundamentally different kind of work, not simply arrested or co-opted by the primary process through which all comes into being. Where art’s intelligibility remains restricted to productive and material engagements, the task of defining its meaning, significance and purpose are

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abdicated toward more theoretically capable epistēmē – predominantly philosophy and history, but also to communication, anthropological or social sciences and cultural theories. Thus, although the overturning of representation recalibrates art’s formal distancing from the real, it continues to be felt in the divisiveness about what constitutes different kinds of knowledge. This division will be explored more thoroughly in Chapter 3, but this has a more immediate consequence because this division, albeit in a subtle way, distorts our thinking about art’s immanent proximity to the function. There is a final issue that must be emphasized, by way of Aristotle. Technē is precluded from knowledge that apprehends the unchanging nature of cause, rather apprehending immanent causation (material cause). But it is rendered particular by an affective power of intentional deviation that can differently shape what is brought forward (efficient cause). That is to say, technē is the faculty that processes particular functional operations. Yet it is because technē has an additional property, evident in its highest practitioners (technites), that demonstrates it is a form of knowledge, properly speaking. Thus for Aristotle, the defining measure of artistic mastery is not simply the apprehension of material causes or the ability to put efficient causes into effect, but rather its capacity for communication.20 As such, it is because the knowledge of material and efficient causes can be transmitted between practitioners that demonstrate that technē has access to ideal abstraction and superiority over experience. The implication of these distinctions are ramified, overwhelmingly, into the current period. Art communicates invaluable apprehensions about material, utilitarian functions and processes, but upon a given lack, disinterest or disengagement with a sufficient epistemological capacity, it is for other disciplines to resolve the questions about its function and value.21 Consequently, it always falls to various theoretical interests to carry out the interpretative work of art’s various praxes and arrange the works produced into sensible series. As always, it is then ultimately for these ideal models in which the works of art are arranged, to distribute judgements of value upon the formal principles they have determined. Although it will take much of the following argument to demonstrate, this preliminary sketch maps out how the domination of the model breaks the immanent encounter with the function of art and the reality of creative praxis. Without an encounter unencumbered by these divisions between knowledge and praxis, the function cannot be approached in its independence and, which following from mathematics, is only presentable in the mode of its creative operation. Creativity unsettles the division between technē and epistēmē, because in the encounter with the function, they are no longer categories or stages upon a

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grand abscissa of knowledge, separated by the causes they apprehend. Rather, technē engages the nature of the ‘cause’ in order to act upon it  – this is not a failure to discover an idea adequate to a universal, but an intention to contest whatever constitutes ‘universal’ nature.

1.3.3 The conflation of function and purpose in art history Let us return to examine the orthodox deployment of ‘function’ in the field of art, up to the contemporary milieu. It has become the province of textbooks to find these conventional categories explicating the function of art, upon divisions that reflect the ideal structure of the model, and which generally flow from distinctions of the theoretical-practical type. There are any number of conventional divisions, but the following account will attempt to organize them into those most commonly encountered: the physical, social and personal.22 In each case, what must be identified is how these propositions about the function imply subtle transformations or mediations from the immanent encounter with the work of art to the communications or series of effects this work produces. The ‘physical’ function relates directly to the utilitarian sense of function in art or its material know-how (epistasthai) and dominates the art historical account of early art practices, particularly where art remains indistinguishable from toolmaking and craft. This approach contemplates the function of the object or artefact, tied to its utilitarian purpose – a weapon of war or a cooking utensil. This sense of a physical function persists in the current period, although in a supplementary way: it might describe a particularly ‘artful’ piece of craft or furniture, or it might assist in the classification of hybridized or bordering disciplines proximate with the contemporary field of art (such as design or architecture). However, what is emphasized in the development from a purely utilitarian function (tool) is that additional dimensions appear which pertain to other functional properties. Dominant within pre-modern artefacts, one encounters spiritual and cultural functions; for example, an eleventh-century Scandinavian war hammer may contain decorative elements (braided or interwoven knotwork) that invoke supernatural functions (like the fury of Thor) and may serve as a cultural marker of the bearer’s social standing (a warrior or soldier) (Cavendish and Oswarld, 2004: 180–1). We are invited to recognize that something distinctive about art emerges with these secondary functions, which distinguishes the tool or object as an artefact; that is to say, co-present with the utilitarian function of the first type, there emerges additional functional operations, where the ‘art’ becomes implicitly tied up with transmissions of meaning.

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From a modelling of historical analysis, the artefact’s centrality in the long emergence of semiotics could be argued to come into view here:  before the establishment of written dialects, artefacts are already performing symbolic functions.23 Thus, whether it is in the transmission of spiritual or cultural significance, this communicational function arguably animates what is added to the tool in the artefact. As such, the function of the eleventh-century Scandinavian war hammer may have remained essentially of the utilitarian type: it is a weapon of war. It may additionally invoke a kind of restricted production of sense, which remains tied to its materiality: a spiritual or cultural function invoking a supernatural, exaggerated aggression or marking the social status of its bearer. But most importantly, it may come to perform or at least anticipate a ‘purely’ symbolic function, further abstracted by its transformation into a sign (icon): the hammer, symbol of Mjöllnir, whose various inverted T or cross-shaped stylizations are incorporated into a multitude of artefacts.24 Arguably, these secondary developments both precede and become characterized under the ‘social’ function of art. Moreover, as theorization of art becomes progressively sophisticated, a closely associated communicative function features far more overtly in discussions of art. Where social functions are understood to consider relations between individuals and their socio-geographic milieus, this might always be enveloped within a general theory of communication, transmitting cultural and sociological information between elements of the system. This becomes particularly evident under the influence of the Marxist critique of social relations, where the social function of art becomes increasingly emphasized in the more sophisticated cultures of modernity, and perhaps most emblematically, in the political function art plays in the capture and transmission of the zeitgeist.25 If this seems to amplify how the social and communicative functions are wedded in art, it is because art appears to both express and potentiate the specific moments of political and cultural upheaval, and also to record or represent them for future analysis. Yet, because art’s communication is aestheticized and its knowledgeable engagement remains at best an epistasthai, these incursions retain a kind of acephalousness of an imitative, affective or emotive type. That is to say, this outpouring of artistic activity remains in need of ideal interpretation or context in which its inherent value is determined. And if with Adorno, the work of art retains within the aesthetic an irreducible function (a certain non-being in the structure, whose incommensurability is generative of real, emergent effects), more radical proponents of the social function go so far as to completely exhaust the specific artistic values of the work.26 The institutional theory of art proposes that art is entirely reducible to

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the socio-economics of the art gallery network and manages to eschew the question of artistic production and creation in its entirety.27 Perhaps the most pervasive contemporary utility of function is encapsulated by the ‘personal’. The personal function is strongly supported by the subjective turn in theorization (particularly influenced by psychoanalysis, structuralism and post-structuralism) and concerns the polyvalent interpretations and productions of meaning that encounters with a completed work produces for viewing subjects: this ranges across issues of taste and proclivity, value and significance, meaning and interpretation, and so on. No doubt throughout modernism and beyond, this kind of function that concerns the seemingly infinite productions of individual interpretation are thought to be endorsed by the experimentation of artistic praxis itself. Here, the ‘physical’ function tied to the history of the artefact and the ‘utilitarian’ function of material know-how appear to be overtaken by a kind of affective epistēmē – they are no longer encountered as products of material praxis, but rather as disembodied signifying elements within the overturned system of formal categorizations. In this rescinding of ‘elite’ historiographic and formal regimes, the function of art is to precipitate an affective, individual doxa, a solicitation of taste and proclivity, a wholly acephalous encounter whose value resides within the immediate judgement to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’. Art appears here to anticipate the obsessive individualism of late capitalism and to emblematize the dissipation of political and social structures more generally. However for the art, the ‘personal’ function effectively operates as a kind of broad recommendation to bypass the encounter with the work itself, in favour of a production of, and an encounter with, individual significance. This is tantamount to encountering the work of art as a kind of mirror, to reflect and refract back the viewing subject’s own image. It is worthwhile reiterating once again: these reflections upon the orthodox ‘functions of art’ are not to downplay the significance of all of these effects, which add immeasurable value to art within the broad milieus in which it is embedded. Moreover, it is not to naively claim that art is separable from these milieus, with which it enters into complex exchanges of forces and powers, mutual flows of affect and influence and reciprocal operations of causes and effects. Nevertheless, what all these proposals for the function or purpose of art have in common, whether they be ‘physical’, ‘social’ or ‘personal’, is that they tend to pass over the encounter with the work of art in favour of the productive communications and effects these works induce for other disciplinary structures. As such, the situation remains in which the work of art becomes reduced to or overwrought by these productive effects at the expense of encountering its own engagement with

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the function. What will have to be argued is that without the functional, creative labour the work of art brings into being, none of these productive effects would be possible. As such, that the function of art makes possible the generation of productive effects within these disciplines is a far more significant estimation of its kind of work than any interpretation issuing from them. If these seemingly outdated approaches to the ‘function of art’ nevertheless require re-emphasis, it is because the only credible relic of this approach has become arguably dominant; the assumption that art must be essentially treated as a mode of communication or a kind of semiotic system. This assumption is what implicitly justifies that a system of meaning – an epistemological accounting of one form or another – is sufficient to make art’s activities and productions sensible and animates debates around the kinds of predicates appropriate for aesthetic judgements and theorization (which includes their radical problematizing in contemporary, post-modern artistic praxis). It is such that the theorization of various knowledge systems has become the default model through which the function is interrogated, judged and valued on art’s behalf.

1.4 The inaugural Greek topos: Art, creation and nature 1.4.1 Aristotle and the apprehension of the topos The Platonic model does not directly apprehend the unifying, eternal principles upon which art will finally be judged. Rather the model synthetically produces an abstract principle of unity from its immanent encounter with the function (ergon). Where we have undertaken to approach the problem of the function and its proximity to art, it can no longer proceed through an interrogation of those models that continue to be predicated upon the general form of the problem. We must rather return to the encounter with the function in its primary apprehension – that is, to engage a different kind of problem. If the legacy of Platonism (and its overturning or reversal) prolongs the general form, it might be argued that a reinvestigation of Aristotelianism would open for us a very different kind of problem. To begin, Aristotle’s presentation of the problem of art is arguably foundational. It is immediately about nature because technē makes possible the deviation of natural causation from the selfpropagating automaticity of phusis. But if this is further emphasized, it is because this faculty also distinguishes what comprises human difference – it is the ability to intentionally deviate phusis that is a defining property of the human species.

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More specifically, technē signals a kind of intelligence (logistikós, rational calculation) linked to the capacity to sense (aisthēsis), but that is not all – for to deviate or change the direction of phusis requires a capacity to act (to make). Technē is thus a kind of intelligence coupled to an action, and the work thereby produced is art (poiesis).28 It is possible to see here in Aristotle’s originary problematization those elements classically interwoven with the problem of art; that is, a complex problem or topos in which art (technē), creation (poiesis) and nature (phusis) are apprehended in a complicated mixture.29 But where any ideal model has already determined the topos into a general form of the problem, it must be argued that it is inappropriate for investigating art in this irreducibly problematic encounter. That is to say that those methods which attempt to determine this complex by abstracting out, segmenting and clarifying into separate issues ‘creation’, ‘nature’, and ‘art’ cannot do so without collapsing the functional nature of the problem. That is why the complexity of the topos must be approached where they are encountered together. It is to the extent that Aristotle transforms the topos into a general kind of problem that the otherwise important correctives to its Platonic presentation become obscured. This transformation to the general form is clearest in Aristotle’s reformulation of mimesis. For Aristotle, art does not occupy a third order remove from the ‘real’, the wilful degradation of the copy (icônes) to the image (simulacra). Rather, mimesis is the functional operation that makes possible the affections of praxis upon poiesis.30 Because for Aristotle action and production are categorically distinct, artistic work requires technē (the intelligence linking material causation with an intentional deviation), so that art works by imitating the processes of nature, the poiesis through which beings come forward.31 The profundity of Aristotle’s procedure, which remains an important analysis of artistic activity, is revealed in the link to phusis itself; because for Aristotle the forms are a distribution of discrete particulars within phusis, it is human action (poiesis and praxis) that is most proximate to them (even though the adequate comprehension of this formal cause is only possible for epistēmē). Art is thus not a third order degradation of the real, but the work to intervene in processes of becoming and thus partly defines human specificity.32 As such, Aristotle offers a different metaphysical proposition concerning how art operates than that encountered in Plato’s Republic. Rather than diminishing orders of an ideal reality, mimesis concerns the imitation of means and actions (Aristotle, 1984b: 1447b15–17) – in the first instance, this is to deviate processes

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of becoming animate within phusis and, in the latter, ‘objective’ or actual beings (persons, things, etc.). In both cases, it remains for epistēmē to determine the function of art with its superior grasp of the nature of causes. However, what is crucial in Aristotle’s treatment is that the kind of formal apprehension and deviation that art carries out is linked directly to artistic praxis, rather than to the objects it produces (the artefact), in which the formal relation resides in Plato.33 Moreover, it is clear in Aristotle that the work of art is fundamentally about the dynamism at work with immanent functions. Notwithstanding, the solidification and further schematization of the theory and practice divide that Aristotle instantiates makes the function no less fragmented and dissolved within a now tripartite division between knowledge (epistēmē) and the two orders of practice (poiesis and praxis).34 For what is effectuated herein is a teleological distinction that divides making and action, further distancing poiesis from the possibility that ‘making’ might constitute something genuinely creative. It is the telos (purpose or end) which distinguishes poiesis from praxis; ‘For while making (poiesis) has an end (telos) other than itself, action cannot; for good action itself is its end’ (Aristotle, 1984b:  1140b5–7).35 That is to say, where praxis remains distinct from poiesis, the deviating activity ‘to make’ means to simply produce a supplementary, efficient cause upon the flow of natural causation, giving the proposition that art imitates natural production. This is never to encounter the nature or origin of causes, insofar as this efficient, artistic activity remains immanent and has no impact upon the ‘formal’ and ‘final’ that governs what is eternal or self-propagating in nature. For Aristotle, this is a domain beyond the ambit of human intervention, which is why praxis and poiesis are always subordinate to the contemplative powers of epistēmē. That is to say, the only possible encounter with the fundamental nature of the cause is the contemplation of its eternal, unchanging principles. As such, it is to make ideal contemplation adequate to the formal and final cause that the general form of the problem is re-instantiated in the Aristotelian model. Thus, even though Aristotle in a certain sense overcomes the model of veracity in which Plato degrades art objects through the orders of model, copy and simulacra, the attempt to clarify the work of art as the intelligible imitation of natural actions leaves it answerable to the final causal order within epistēmē.

1.4.2 The critical role of telos in poiesis and praxis For Aristotle, it is not the hypokeimenon  – the problem of hylomorphism  – that establishes the terms of art’s mimetic function. It is rather in the nature

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of telos – that for which things are done and into which they resolve – that the imitative relation depends and which differentiates poiesis from praxis. If this requires us to make a preliminary break with Aristotle, it is in order to pursue the function in the prior and broader category of logistikós, the calculative activity that gives rationality its distinctive properties. For Aristotle, it is logistikós that divides into the fundamental practices of poiesis (making) and praxis (action). This will be to reposition the priority of technē: for what must be shown is that technē is not simply the activity of making via an imitation of natural becoming, but a more primordial faculty to directly apprehend ‘natural’ or dynamic functions. First, let us clarify how the Aristotelian distinction between poiesis and praxis remains arguably decisive. To begin, both are proximate because they concern the telos; not the final cause (the formal, eternal and universal directly apprehended by epistēmē), but rather those efficient causes concerning variation. That is to say, poiesis and praxis are both efficient causes, functionally animated by the different kinds of ends they drive at. Poiesis, ‘to make’, has an end outside of itself, which is to say that it is a process of production whose purpose is to produce differences into being. This is why it is dominant in material craft and establishes the continental philosophical determination that art is essentially ontological. On the other hand, praxis, ‘action’, is an end in itself, so it is a form of deliberation that is proper to moral and ethical concerns and whose highest expression is phronēsis, concerning issues of leadership, good living, political action and so on. Now, technē’s relationship to these activities is more ambiguous than might originally appear, because in its Platonic formulation, ‘technē goes everywhere that epistasthai does’ (Nussbaum, 2001:  444), where epistasthai is the closest term to our generic designation, ‘to know’, and where this explicitly concerns the sense of ‘knowing how’, in the form of ‘knowing how to do’.36 As such, technē is uncontroversially animate within poiesis (indeed, is frequently claimed to be a type or kind of poiesis), for it is only through a skilful deviation of efficient causation (a telos with an end outside itself) that poiesis ‘makes’ – that is, as an imitation of natural production, through which it brings difference into being. And it is this Aristotelian distinction we have lost in the rather vague contemporary designations, the ‘work of art’ and ‘artistic praxis’, where the process of artistic production tends to be indistinguishably collapsed into its product. For the telos animate within poiesis, and which distinguishes it from praxis, is that it does not have an end in itself; that is, it is distinguished by the irreducibility of means and end, so that the process of production (the means, i.e. technē) should

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not be conflated with the product (the telos proper to poiesis, where ‘to make’ has its end in the appearance of an artefact).37 This is most evident in the contemporary ambiguity of ‘the work of art’, where the ‘work’ signifies this point of absolute convergence or indetermination between the process of production and what is produced, and which relegates art to the general problematic form. In Aristotelian terms, such a conflation breaks the distinction between poiesis and praxis, a difference maintained by the function telos performs. For Aristotelian poiesis, its telos functions to actualize, because ‘to make’ is to produce something, some resolution or outcome. As for praxis, when Aristotle says that it is an end in itself, he means that in this case, telos is a sort of inherence.38 What Aristotle distinguishes here is quite a different sort of function for telos. This is because, in praxis where telos is an end in itself, it is not at all the termination into a product; praxis is not a problem of the general form, because telos consistently inheres within the action. Finally then, an ontological distinction is evident; for what also distinguishes praxis and poiesis is a displacement of originary causes, for good actions are an end in themselves, so their originary cause (entelechy) inheres within the active being, whereas artisanal poiesis  – the activity of making specific to human beings – is impoverished because it has a cause outside of itself (that is, residing in the productive agent, or maker). All this is to say that, after the circulation through the efficient causes of poiesis and praxis, we will return to the judgement of a dominating epistēmē, and the re-instantiation or reification of this complex into the general problematic form – that is, the abstraction of the causal activities of immanent beings, into the eternal, universal terms of the formal and final. Poiesis, ‘to make’, with no access to the immutable and unchanging and animated only by a donated telos belonging to technē, is the most subordinate of the rational types. Next, praxis, manifested in its highest form of phronēsis, has its deliberative power animated by the inherent telos of its own being, giving it an immanent access to the immutable and unchanging. Finally, there is epistêmê, the wisdom or understanding of what is unchanging and which is beyond rational deliberation, giving the thinker a direct access to the universal, formal and final causes.39 What, then, about technē? We have already noted that technē is a source of great ambiguity for the Greeks, because for any rational deliberation a certain skill is required. Even when Aristotle considers sophia – the wisdom that marks the attainment of epistemological knowledge – he begins again by considering the technite, the master craftsperson who possesses wisdom if only about the particular; it is only at the threshold of the universal that technē is explicitly

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denied access. And if this finally delivers us to the functional superiority latent in Aristotle’s formulation, it is because technē is not attached to the more generic Platonic epistasthai, but the potentially broader and more primitive faculty of logistikós; the calculative rational computation that not only precipitates the activities of poiesis and praxis but also makes possible all rational knowledge. As such, it must be argued that a mastery of technē is as specific to poiesis (to skilfully ‘make’) as it is to the highest praxis of phronēsis; that is, the capacity to live well is equally in need of a practical skilfulness, requisite for the arts of moral judgement and ethical deliberation. If technē does not seem to be immediately evident here, it is because like all telos proper to praxis, its end inheres within the process, rather than its more overt purpose in poiesis, where skill leads to a different, productive end (the artefact). In short, technē is the skilful faculty present in both making and rational action, arguably because it is technē that functionally repurposes telos, from an end in itself (praxis) to one outside of it (poiesis). That is to say, in the course of this discussion, we will need to investigate more thoroughly the presence of technē within logistikós. This will be a departure from Aristotle, for whom technē is a higher rational property specifically belonging to the human, in contrast with logistikós, the far broader attribute of the living, at least evident in other ‘higher animals’.40 To wit, the functional reproblematization of technē will lead us to argue it is the broad, calculative faculty in the closest proximity to phusis, thus locating technē with the natural, dynamic functions encountered earlier with mathematical Intuitionism. Let us raise then the fundamental issue that the rest of this argument will pursue. Praxis and poiesis must retain their specific difference, but this is not a categorical difference, determined by formal or material, originary differences. It is rather an emergent difference at telos, the means and ends at work in becoming, that separate praxis from poiesis, action from making. That is why we cannot proceed with a simplistic conflation of art with poiesis which would extend into a categorical division between art and praxis. Rather in re-problematizing art around technē and its proximity to the calculative faculty animating logistikós, art must be understood to necessarily engage Aristotelian poiesis and praxis, but in a way that preserves their purposive distinction. In order to bring the functional re-problematization of art forward from Aristotle, the nature of this division must therefore be questioned. Where it is introduced into the analysis of particular artefacts, it only there seems possible that poiesis – ‘to make’ – must make do with imitations of actions. As such, it must be argued that artistic praxis cannot be imitation. This is not to refute

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Aristotle’s distinction between poiesis and praxis, because art’s participation in action does not operate within poiesis, conceived as ‘to make’, but rather in the creative activity in which technē – the skilful practitioner – deviates poiesis in order to make difference – that is, to deviate natural becoming in order to bring something new into being. As such, poiesis continues to have a telos outside of itself (the product, object, or artefact), but artistic praxis still requires a reciprocal, counter-oriented active process; the intentional act of deviation proper to the rational faculty of technē that precisely acquires its interventional force because it is animated by the inward turning or inherence of telos and whose task is to intentionally deviate the process of poiesis. Artistic praxis thus requires the circulation of both processes, in which technē governs a transformation of the telos. On the one hand, the ‘end’ is projected outside of itself in order to affect the process of production, and on the other, an interiorization of the ‘end’ in-itself is to actualize an intentional act, whose task is to deviate the form (morphē) and cause a different ‘shape’ to come into being. This complex, reciprocal workflow must be reclaimed as the work of art.

1.4.3 Actions cannot be imitated All that is now required to re-orient the Aristotelian procedure back toward uncovering the function is to clarify that it is impossible for mimesis to characterize the transferences of actions between artistic praxis and phusis. Art does not stage a mediated or medial encounter with a final cause; it does not labour under a teleological resolution of an original form because this is rather a theoretical, synthetic proposition deduced by the Aristotelian model. Nor does art perform an imitation of the telos because the division between poiesis and praxis is a supplementary division of the kind of work technē performs. Thus despite those theoretical distinctions about the nature of cause, nothing detracts from the reality that art affects a functional encounter with phusis, remaining the most proximate and sensitive to the process of becoming. If then actions (poiesis and praxis) are to be clarified as functional operations, there would seem to be no way that they could be mimetically transmitted. As a third and independent element, functions operate upon the series upon which they go to work; they do not belong or inhere within the original series nor do they resolve into that which has been transformed. As a specific, transformational process, functions are not capable of being represented because representation and similitude are comparative judgements carried out between differing series. That is to say, representation might prove itself to be a functional operation, but

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it is not an adequate model of them. For its part, the function either operates upon a series or upon an entity to produce its effect, or it does not. As such, the problem of praxis and epistēmē would not be resolved by mimesis between ideal hierarchies (from technē to epistēmē), but constitutes a more complex problem between two orders of events, two discrete dimensional orders that are not continuous. Let us consider a classic pedagogical example, whereby children learn, through imitation, to speak.41 Children pay attention to the performative activity of other bodies; they hear the sounds produced through speech, they watch the ways the lips move and part, perhaps the way the tongue rises and falls. All this is transmitted through the dimension of effects:  the material surfaces of bodies, or more precisely, the transferences of signs. This is the circuit of ‘mimetic transmission’, upon which the world of effects and representations flow. However, as we know from Saussure, there is no inherent value or interior content to these representative transmissions; they are arbitrary and abstract. As such, the so-called mimetic activity enables children to select between the arbitrariness of this sign or that such that they may assemble these disparate signs and struggle to unify them with an action which is not transmitted by this representation, but serves as the model upon which to judge an action with which it may be ideally matched. This affective dimension of experimentation and performativity is where the direct engagement with the dimension of cause takes place; through this performative experimentation, children will various actions into being. An affirmation or corrective – that is a representational assessment – judges the similitude between the communicated sign and the experimental action, thus putting into effect a repetition or feedback loop, even though these remain radically discreet processes. There is thus something misleading in the Aristotelian formula that describes the mimetic transmission of actions in the attempt to think how artistic praxis operates upon the broad functions of phusis. Nevertheless, in returning to the apprehension of the topos before the model is deployed, one might see in this explication of artistic practice a striking accord with what was discovered in mathematical practice. In both cases, there is a feedback loop between two kinds of processes, here elaborated into a series: there is the process of creative irruption and experimental practice, and there is the process of unification within an abstract ideal across which representational and mimetic relations flow. This refutes that the division between praxis and poiesis requires the governance and intervention of epistēmē, in arrogating all but the most mechanistic and debased sense of technē: rather, technē – the kind of knowledge which emerges with the primary, immanent encounter with

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phusis – is that which links poiesis and praxis in a way irreducible to the ideal formalizations of epistēmē. This is because technē does not simply deliver telos to a resolution within epistēmē, but effects a transformation of it into a new kind of cause (the efficient). Technē thus governs the resolution of poiesis into epistēmē, but only in order to transform this abstract end into a new problematic; technē turns an ideal product or unity into an intentional inherence, an active force to launch back upon phusis. What this implies is that the two processes found irreducible in mathematical practice – a creative apprehension and experimentation with functions and an assemblage and analysis of these functions into unified series – had been arguably operating all along in the inaugural encounter with the problem of art. If, then, the mimetic logic springing from the representational model locates the source of obscurity within Aristotle’s formulation, it then reopens for consideration the Aristotelian topos, concerning the proximity of art, creation and nature – that is, a return to the site of effective experimentation in which their functional activity may be apprehended. This is to return to the original encounter with technē before the elaboration of a hierarchical epistēmē, in which the pathway to a theoretical seizure of the function is established.

1.5 Meaning and creation 1.5.1 Structural sense-making and the problem of creation There is immediately a more contemporary complication. The way to the function has a new obstacle, which gradually solidifies through a particular effort to secularize philosophy throughout modernity. This does not derive from those methods earlier exemplified in Deleuze’s procedure, where deposing the model as the source of the transcendent conflict reopens for us the Aristotelian topos through which the problematizing of art, creation and nature might be brought forward. Rather, the possibility that art concerns a genuinely creative principle becomes a casualty of the efforts to de-theologize philosophical sense-making. What is of particular interest is an important consequence: the focus upon the ‘death of God’ leads to an abandonment of the function’s creative properties and natural relations and suggests in a more persuasive way that the function of art is not differentiated from, but rather emblematizes the way sense is everywhere produced.

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Nietzsche’s re-problematization of the Greeks arguably sets the terms of this debate. But Nietzsche had already identified that the source of the confrontation beyond the ‘death of God’ would be between knowledge and creation: for the limit of logical certainty and the desire for a knowledgeable mastery were everywhere confronted by the untimely – the irruption of creative forces which could never be traced to the form of beings nor the distribution of the knowable.42 Moreover, that the immanence of creative disruption occurs in the midst of things and does not constrain itself safely at the non-sensible, chaotic limits directly threatens the order of the model, the organization of all knowledge. Thus for Nietzsche, creation and knowledge remained two irreducible series which could not be collapsed into a final synthesis – a single, unifying ground – but rather constituted a circulation of rival processes. Let us continue the discussion by returning once more to the topos, where we discerned through Aristotle what might make the difference: how the field of art specifically concerns a certain deviation of immanent causes, by way of the faculty that gives human activity its particularity  – technē. Technē introduced the problem of nature in a general way when Aristotle linked artistic praxis to its work upon phusis. However, it was argued this relation could not be technically mimetic, because technē governs the functional operations that directly encounter phusis: the function never inheres in what it goes to work upon, and moreover, it can never be abstracted or reduced to an abstract relation. As such, the discussion now turns explicitly to the re-problematization of creation and the obstacles that stand against it. Tracing quickly back to the terms of the topos from which the philosophical elaboration proceeds is instructive: ‘creation’ or ‘to create’ directly derives from the Latin creāre, ‘to produce, make, create’ – most certainly from the Greek, poiesis, from which its long association with the field of art is derived.43 What comes to unsettle the concept of creation is its lingering association with an agent, that is, a creator. Thus, if it is thought to be inseparably metaphysical, it is because creation implies more than merely the process of making, but an intelligible, selective or constructive principle:  for Plato this donator is the demiurge, for Aristotle an admixture of formal and final causes. It is precisely because creation is thought irredeemably tied up with this problem of donation or original causes that those denouncing a transcendent authority have tended to retire the concept of creation with its transcendent namesake. But we will have to argue this is not at all, in itself, sufficient, where poiesis – making or creating – is made to bear the demand of the model. For as the certitude of establishing universal causes and donators diminishes, it will be poiesis – the process which brings all from

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non-being to being – that will be called upon to carry out the unifying principle sufficient for ontological modelling. The most overt example, which deploys these conceptual modifications into the field of art, is Barthes’ seminal essay, Death of the Author. Barthes famously criticizes those literary theories that attempt to determine the meaning of a text by grounding it within an authorial personage:  the writing subject. However, what is differentiated here from a line of critique emergent with the New Critics is that Barthes radicalizes this finding through a structuralist theory of senseproduction, that leads to a denunciation of originality: We know now that a text is not a line of words releasing a single ‘theological’ meaning (the ‘message’ of the Author-God) but a multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash. The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture. Similar to Bouvard and Pecuchet, those eternal copyists, at once sublime and comic and whose profound ridiculousness indicates precisely the truth of writing, the writer can only imitate a gesture that is always anterior, never original. His only power is to mix writings, to counter the ones with the others, in such a way as never to rest on any one of them. Did he wish to express himself, he ought at least to know that the inner ‘thing’ he thinks to ‘translate’ is itself only a readyformed dictionary, its words only explainable through other words, and so on indefinitely . . . Succeeding the Author, the scriptor no longer bears within him passions, humours, feelings, impressions, but rather this immense dictionary from which he draws a writing that can know no halt: life never does more than imitate the book, and the book itself is only a tissue of signs imitation that is lost, infinitely deferred. (1977: 146–7)

First, in the equivocation between authors and God (‘Author-God’), it appears necessary to depose the authorial personage:  the equivalence makes it a fait accompli, flowing directly from the central insight that God’s primary function is to perform a transcendent fixation of the signifier. What links the subject here to the function of creation is that God’s creativity provides the model of how the author is thought to work: as a kind of master signifier, strictly determining the kinds of meaning or sense the work of art produces. What evidences the absence of such a transcendent subject is the analysis that meaning is not at all eternal, essential or fixed; ‘We know now that a text is not a line of words releasing a single “theological” meaning (the “message” of the Author-God)’ (Barthes, 1977: 146). This is not to detract from the significance of this observation (aptly demonstrated by Derrida and others), which on the one

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hand, is right to emphasize the plurality of interpretations that the work of art produces. But it remains to be demonstrated whether this in anyway apprehends the function of art itself, how it operates and what it works to do. If we remain suspicious of its apprehension of art, it is simply because methods of deconstruction do not break with the general form of the problem, but operate upon variations of the structuralist model of sense-production. The determining agencies of cause (nature or Gods) and the possibility of a genuinely creative functionality are argued to be products of the same structural mechanism, in which all sense is produced together. An equality for immanent affective powers is thought achieved, in what is presented as a stripping of epistēmē of its transcendent powers. In place of a vertical, transcendent hierarchy distributing the difference between cause and effect and also between kinds of knowledge and experiential praxes, there is proposed an immanent, flat, ‘horizontal’ machinery, an abstract process producing all that is sensible. That is, even the sense of being defers to the series of seemingly infinite combinations, performed by the identical relations governing the structure. To wit, although the model of Platonism is argued to be ‘overturned’ to art’s advantage, this does not mean that artistic praxis is no longer degraded in the ordering of the real: it is rather that all sensible production, from ‘transcendent’ ideas to the nature of ontology, have become indistinguishably simulacra. Thus although the cause has been deferred, the general form of the problem is reinscribed in the structure of the signifying regime. And while truth values are conceived as equally debased, epistēmē retains its superiority in this new proposition of the model: now the signifying regime constitutes the generative problem, which in an identical processual operation resolves the appearance of human subjectivity and worlds as so many possible combinations. Thus, as we encountered with Barthes, writing therefore performs as a kind of bastardized unity, threading the disparate traces, echoes and phantasms which comprise the ‘real’: ‘life never does more than imitate the book, and the book itself is only a tissue of signs, imitation that is lost, infinitely deferred’ (1977: 147).

1.5.2 Creation and originality If we are to argue there is a certain lack of necessity in this procedure, it is because of certain assumptions that must be called into question. First, in the process of de-theologizing thought, there is a conflation between originality and creation. This conflation is far from incidental, because it rather founds a new unity for the model – the ‘always, already’ character of the signifying regime.

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This atemporal basis for thought is supposed to follow from the discovery that ideas cannot with any certainty establish originary causes. But, the consolation of the ‘always, already’ does not necessarily follow this discovery, but is proposed to reinscribe into the process of production (poiesis) a new semblance of the model. It must be argued that the conflation between originality and creation is not at all legitimate. Indeed, originality and creation cannot be in themselves synonyms or analogous determinations, because they fundamentally differ in kind. They can only be brought together as the common properties of an original cause, which the premise of structuralism and post-representational philosophy has already explicitly rejected. That is to say, the rejection of certifiable causes should consequently decouple them, but their conflation is retained for other purposes. Originality is not a temporal, but more precisely, an ordinal distinction.44 It is always the inaugural point in a series that indicates an emergence into being (marking then an appearance into time, space and so on). The origin remains fundamentally differentiated from all the other elements of the set, whose order and appearance remain relative to it. Moreover, in addition to this inaugural appearance into being, origination also implies singularity or uniqueness. It is a paradox to have two origination events within a given series – one will always be more original, more primordial than another. And insofar as disparate sets and series might be thought to be otherwise discreet, the inaugural order of appearance makes the origin something universal; that is the origin, absolutely, would pertain to a universal singularity. That is why the origin is thought to have a well-defined limit in either non-being or void. And because set theory prohibits that any One can precede or encapsulate the appearance of the set theoretic itself (i.e. there cannot be a set of all sets), origination cannot precede its own emergence into being. Thus, originality has an essential relation to a limit, where it converges toward a radical singularity, One or inaugural event. But this does not necessitate a denunciation of creation per se, cancelling the possibility that it might bear otherwise upon poiesis – whether it is a making or creating. For arguably, creation is dissolved with the origin, in order to save a model of ontological unity, so that poiesis is everywhere an identical process of becoming in which all comes from non-being to being.45 Thus what is common to ontological models from Plato to our current period is that they all secure the unity of the model, by characterizing poiesis as a problem of the general form, so that becoming is not a complex dynamic problem, but an identical relation.46 To determine poiesis  – to make or create  – as an identical process between a

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problem-solution coupling is to secure for the model its claim to comprehend a fundamentally existent unity. Moreover, because the process is identical, it is to justify the means in which this unity is apprehended. That is to say, this is how the reversibility of the deductive method is established, so that from the series of solutions – the diversity of beings – various propositions about the origin of their production may be put forward. But this conflation between poiesis and the origin has not even encountered the problem of the function or creation. It has been to indenture them in the production of the model.

1.5.3 Creation and temporality From this perspective, one can distinguish the effort to overcome the model from that of overcoming the Gods. For the doubt that falls upon a creator God does not undo the conflation between the origin and creation. It simply works to erase the authority issuing from the origin by displacing it to its bounding limit or negative – non-being, non-sense or void. And because thought can no longer with certainty resolve the nature of its origin – to establish its pre-eminence in the ordinal appearance of beings – the determination of its atemporal character provides a new way to restore its universalizing pretensions. Thus, although an origin in the Gods or nature is successfully deposed, it does not at all transform what is most at issue for re-problematizing art. That is, a return to the complex problematic topos, before the institution of the problem’s general form directs it inexorably toward a model. As a consequence, poiesis – the problem of what constitutes making or creating – remains identically composed, a problem-solution coupling, which carries on in the absence of cause or origin. Rather than the form (a ᇄ b) where a is a singular, original cause, there is now the form, ({}ᇄ b), where in the absence, excess or indetermination of the origin (where {} is void, non-sense, non-being, chance and so on), poiesis (ᇄ) carries out the universal proposition as an identical process through which all comes to being.47 But if the proposition of the atemporal is proposed only to save the form of the model, then there is no reason to persist with its expedient reduction of poiesis when our goal is to encounter the functional problem of art. For it is in the name of the ‘always-already’ that creation is deemed an illusory or illegitimate transcendent principle, predicated upon an indifferent or purely abstract process of production.48 It is only insofar as this critique is sustained that it follows that the task of clarifying poiesis is simply to determine whether it is ‘to make’ or ‘to create’, as though the task was only to resolve this point of ambiguity persisting

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from the Greeks. That is how artistic praxis is determined as the problem of the ‘Author-God’, who does not ‘create’ but ‘makes’, which is to say, produces – art is the process that mixes and combines, it appropriates, already existent elements. The activity of art is saved from its Platonic debasement, but only insofar as it expresses that ‘to be’ is always to be debased, for the abstract, horizontal structure, makes a simulacrum of all being. But the purported pluralities of meaning, the endless ‘play’ of signifying structure confining poiesis, does not pertain to anything like the immanent encounter with technē, of the functional, problematizing kind. From a functional perspective, creation appears radically differentiated from the idea of originality. If creation remains indifferent to categorical determinations (same/ different, production/reproduction, original/copy, etc.), it is because it is not of the order of ideas – it is a property of the function, that responsible for its distinctive effect of dynamic transformation. Together with repetition (that is, the calculative or ordinal process in which the function proceeds from one iteration to another), creation and repetition are the irreducible and different properties, mixed together in the function. Where creation is dynamic transformation, the origin is the absolute, inaugural position – it is the ‘first’, to be established over and again, as sets or series are composed, brought, or shown to exist together. We may deduce a prior existence of an origin, like the universal singularity in cosmology. But this does not make creation collapse into the original, but rather establishes the inverse; that is to say, our speculative search for the origin is derived from our immanent experience of creative transformations. Insofar as a universal singularity may be thought original, it is only so as the first irruptive event, setting a process of becoming into operation. But this generative event sufficient to establish universal laws does not yet oppose itself to the particular: a singularity remains a particular event, through which its dynamic transformation establishes itself into being. Thus, if origins are universal, creation is particular. And if there really was a universally original event where creation and origin coincided, then what is singular about this event is that they will forever after enter into conflict. Let us extrapolate from this a further observation. Far from a synonym of originality (and very far from its highest expression), the function of creation works to overcome origination. If origination is the inaugural event where a primary flow of causation is put into effect, then the function of creation is that which goes to work upon this causal flow, transforming it into something other than what the cause precipitated. This is the essential nature of the function; for the function is what grasps a particular series (domain) and transforms

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it into another (codomain). It is the nature of the function itself, which here makes the difference, by working upon, adding to, or in some way transforming existing order. But how do we account for this third element, the ‘non-ontological’ status of the function? We have said in the elaboration with Brouwer that functions do not operate ex nihilo, but are carried over into the abstract ideal from the immanent transformative dynamism, animating living bodies. Let us add, neither are functions original or foundational (that is, ‘always, already’). Functions are irruptive events; in the midst of poiesis, they are the emergence of something new, precisely insofar as they deviate the productive order.49 Maturana and Varela propose the term autopoiesis to describe how certain closed biological systems concretize or actualize the processes that bring them into being, introducing an emergent element that is irreducible to the given set from which the entity is ‘caused’.50 The autopoietic element is not derived from a pre-existing relationship between parts and wholes (such that the problem-solution coupling surreptitiously deploys), it responds to a more foundational, evolutionary problem of how higher orders of complexity emerge, in the absence of a donation or prior existence. This supplementary, spontaneous emergence of a higher organization is what makes possible the transformation in poiesis. Let us summarize how the function re-problematizes what constitutes creation. Creation is not a synonym for the origin; it challenges the metaphysical dominion of any possible origin. If it is no longer a case of discovering the first principle, it is because creative functions work upon existing processes of production. The function, therefore, does not operate upon a foundation or deeper law or predicate in which differences ground upon a primordial unity; functions operate by generating a supplemental or additional dimension. Where the task of ontological modelling remains to determine the identical relation constituting poiesis – that is to apprehend how all comes to being from non-being – the functional problematization of art concerns a deviation or transformation upon poiesis, itself. If science and mathematics demonstrate that an irreducibly different workflow is required, in which immanent, practical experimentation gives rise to epistemological productions and a counter-operation, in which theoretical models become the workflows for new modes of experimentation, it is because there is no simple reductive relation for poiesis. Poiesis is not the singular flow from an original cause, void or chance, which in a unilateral way determines all into appearance. There is a general or productive poiesis, which works to bring particulars into being, and there is another, counter-oriented workflow in

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which particular beings go to work upon the ‘general’ or primary poiesis that determines them. If this is no longer an identical process, it is because the ordinal flow of becoming has been counter-oriented, flowing from particular beings back toward the given, primary flow. This is in effect to ultimately confront the very form of the model: for creative functions precipitate a counter-cause through which the process of becoming will itself be affected.

1.6 The overwhelming excess of insuperable indigence There are important implications for those epistemological models that, in skipping over the function of creation, wish to tie art explicitly, and in the first instance, to the production of meaning. First, collapsing the distinction between processes of becoming and series of beings confounds what constitutes the work of art. The work of art is never exchangeable with what it produces, the product or abstract relations into which it is resolved (artefact, sign, object, being, performance and so on). This is not because the theoretical analysis necessarily ignores the problem of work (artistic praxis), but rather because the general form of the problem collapses processes of becoming into what it judges to be produced. Creation does not appear in this series, because as a functional operation, it is not present in either term of the problem-solution coupling; either within the causal process (intellectual, material, sociocultural, aesthetic or meaningful production) or the product (the completed work, artefact, object or performance) in which its work is thought resolved. Rather, in the epistemological estimation of art, creation has been put elsewhere to work; it has been turned toward the construction of a series of abstract relations, via the calculative process driving sense production within the model. Aesthetics is not a model for analysing art, so much as the series of representative relations and judgements produced by a sustained encounter with the work. Thus, if the model cannot judge or apprehend this creative activity, it is because it has participated in the construction of the model. The work of art is functional; it does not appear in the domain of elements upon which it goes to work, nor in the series (codomain) of effects it produces; it is a ‘third’ element, a particular, autopoietic emergence, that irrupts into the unidirectional flow of poiesis. Thus, irrespective of the problem of origins (including their inverse or lack), the work of art is the problem of what goes to work upon

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poiesis even where it is argued to be an identical process of bringing all to being. In short, the problem of creation is not resolved by a determination about origins, nor about the identity of a consistent, determinable relation governing the process of becoming, common to all beings. The problem of art concerns how the particular – technē – comes to affect poiesis, the process becoming into being. Creation is thus a problem about an emergent, secondary kind of work or causal flow, which begins with particular beings and concerns their powers of affect. Nothing in the general form of the problem, which makes of poiesis a unidirectional, identical relation, addresses this in the problem art presents. This distinction within poiesis, where the creative process is a differently oriented and distinct workflow, does not contradict, but rather differently affirms those contemporary revelations about artistic praxis thought to discredit creation. There is no question that the network of transmissible and communicative series the completed work enters into and in which innumerable productions of sense and meaning are produced remains radically divorced from the artist as subject. The artistic subject certainly cannot determine, govern or control this meaningful production. But, this is only because the processes of production – the materials from which the work is wrought, the historical and social context of works, the psychological make-up of the artist, and the artist’s subjective identity – comprise the series of inputs that the function of art will transform in the process of its work. It is therefore not a case of tracing the consequences of these processes of production to their respective, synthetic or composite outcomes, because what constitutes the art does not appear in either of these series. Further, there is no objection to those arguments highlighting the lack of originality within the work of art. Even in the canonical examples of the high modernist or classical ‘master’ as a stand-alone or singularly ‘creative genius’, it has been for historical and critical analysis to comprehensively show, in each case, the irrefutable traces and lineages of appropriation, pastiche and assemblage, in which the series of works can be seen to proceed from one to another in various ways. As both Barthes and Derrida have shown, it is always possible to analytically extract these residues of constructive similitude, which determines that poiesis appears as merely reproductive; that is, it is not a poiesis of the type that involves something genuinely creative. But this reduction requires that creativity be conflated with originality. This is to assert that creativity must be judged between a particular, completed work of art, and the entire set of all completed works, which constitutes the history of art. In this way, poiesis is already bracketed or contained within a governing ontological series, whose interactions, comparisons and values the analysis intends

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to measure. Thus, when a network of already extant traces is ‘found’ between an emergent work and the historical series of works with which it is counter-posed, this is thought to confirm that creation is merely the illusory envelope of a poiesis of translation: the play of those ontological agents which have always been in play, and whose random interactions produce only surface and superficial differentiations. This is to say that creation is judged only to be demonstrably evident if it brings forward an ontological singularity, sufficient to oppose the totality of the entire ontological series. Moreover, the discovery of such a work would be tantamount to issuing a fundamental challenge to the model itself, and specifically, to the organizational abscissa of the eternal and unchanging, the ‘always, already’ tissue of texts, in their endless, interchangeable indifference. Where the domination of poiesis and technē by epistēmē (as either ideal or abstract) particularly occults the function is in the reversible homogenization within it, of the causal. Aristotle’s procedure here remains decisive, so long as between the formal and final cause all the possibilities within the field of immanent experimentations and apprehensions are arrogated and assembled (that is, those pertaining to efficient and material causes). Thus, the artist does not offer a direct apprehension of causal relations of an irreducible and unique type: poiesis is never the production of something new, something that has no precedence in being, but a kind of combinatory of what must have always, already been, no matter how obscured in a different form or configuration. Yet, an alternative procedure has been elaborated upon, in order to argue that the function of creation cannot be deduced from the model. Whenever one searches for it in the ontological series of beings and in the orders of logical determinations of these beings, it is everywhere absent. This is to recompose the problem of creation in the work of art, for this implies it can no longer be deduced from aesthetic judgements upon the categorizations of art objects nor upon the ideal reconstruction of processes thought inherent to them. Artistic praxis and the nature of poiesis are not the fait accompli of an analytic enterprise, be it aesthetic, historic, theoretical and so on. They are irreducibly complex problems, requiring their own unique engagements. An epistēmē that does not regard these problems as foundational does so at the price of missing the function of art entirely. The conclusions that will be reached will no longer pertain to the problem of art, but rather the productive effects this work generates for other disciplinary epistēmē. Only in picking up the thread of what is happening in the affective, immanent event can the function of creative praxis that specifies the field of art be restored to its significance. Once this indifference to the contest of values and meanings

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taken up in competing epistēmē is acknowledged, the specificity of the work of art may be apprehended as a prolonged solicitation of creative emergence. This is a subtle work, to operate upon the processes of production in order to deviate what there becomes. Perhaps it is Beckett, who underlines for us this specific character of the work, when he sets the creative function upon a systematic erasure of all supporting ontological productions. In the subsidence of bodies and the progressive collapse of the semiotic series, what remains edifying in this ‘insuperable indigence’ is not an inevitable, annihilating void, but the irreducibility at the heart of artistic praxis – the inextinguishable force of creative emergence, an irruptive autopoietic mechanism from which poiesis can never be inoculated (Beckett and Duthuit, 1965:  118). Yet this is not to recover in the artistic subject a power adequate to overcome production; for this inexhaustibility is not exalted because its locus of power intensifies as the subject declines. It rather points us to the particularization of the body reverting back to its fragments and the dissolution of consciousness into the individuations that precede it. In the following chapters with Freud and Lacan, it will be necessary to examine what Beckett here demonstrates:  namely, that authorial intentionality precedes the subject. This will be to argue that to denounce the idea of creativity in conflating the ego-unifications of the artist with the figure of an Author-God turns upon the denial of an affective kind of intelligibility within the living, complex body. This will require us to think technē again and to show how differently it approaches the specificity of art, via the significance of artistic praxis. Creation does not stand and fall upon the affective potential of human subjects – it emerges from a creative poiesis long operating in complex living bodies: that is, it is a particularly sophisticated deviation of those productive flows of poiesis, bringing bodies into being. Thus, the characterization of art in its ‘insuperable indigence’ has nothing to do with an existential nihilism or exhaustion: it is a direct affront to the myth of Sisyphus, which settled over post-war Europe with a deadening pall.51 It rather works to bring forward the excessive, overwhelming force of creation with its functional, causal dimensionality, by showing its absolute indifference to even the most extreme ontological impoverishments. It is inexhaustible, because it has no contingency. Because it comes into being by virtue of its own occasion it may emerge anywhere. It is not answerable to an ontological ordinance, because its functional becoming allows its effects to overflow anywhere within the ontological series, while remaining radically indifferent to it. It cannot be reached by following or tracing back the path

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of ontological emergence; only the solicitation of forceful becoming shows its activity. It cannot be represented. It must be put into operation. All this ensures why the study of functions and the strange intelligibilities they precipitate comprises the necessary method for approaching what is specific in artistic praxis. It is enough to recall that for Nietzsche the overcoming of the Gods comprised a reclamation of powers into the immanent sphere away from the models of ideal eternity – it is not the Gods who fixated them there, but those thinking subjects, who in striving for eternal principles rather exhaust themselves of their creative potentialities. Then it is possible to suggest that it is not simply an end or result to have been created – ‘to be’ is not the solution of a generative problem, it is to be animate within a functionally creative process. Freedom is inscribed in a counter-orientation, where beings may intervene in whatever causes them, even though, as the traversal of the work of art will show us, there is a price for this process, to be paid with one’s own being. That is, this requires that unity must itself become a force and that it meet the causal realm on its own terms – force to force. All this is what the function of art and its very possibility forces us to confront.

2

The Re-Problematization of Technē Subjects and Praxis

2.1 Technē I: Immanence, praxis and intelligibility 2.1.1 Epistemological resolutions and practical methods in philosophy In returning to the topos, it is not the universal principles produced by philosophical models that inform us about technē. Rather, the methodological process that philosophy undertakes provides an insight into the kind of problem technē presents. This is because philosophy cannot identify technē, it can only demonstrate where and how it has been put to work. This persistence of technē indicates something very important about epistemological models that is worth re-emphasizing: no matter what ultimate reality or truth they ascribe to the universal laws or principles there discovered, they never absolve themselves from the requirement of immanent certification. This is to raise the not insignificant contingency of the abstract-ideal upon lived, immanent beings, which not only generate abstract models but also sustain and power them. If this is a particularly important qualification for art, it is because technē not only remains its most immanent problematic apprehension but also explicates why the increasing specification of epistemological model making has arguably diminished our understanding of the kind of work art affects. In the previous chapter, the irreducibility between praxis and epistēmē was introduced via the structure of scientific and mathematical disciplines, but it has of course a long philosophical precedence. Aristotle is not only credited with proposing a ‘scientific’ character for poiesis: that is, the proposition that a largely primary, bottom up, generative process is responsible for the appearance of all beings. For, in contradistinction to Plato, the appearance of subjects – of

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distinctive human beings  – is less a donation from the Gods, than a resolute drawing of this unidirectional poiesis into the epistemological faculty. The body remains divorced from the mind but in an ascending line, so that praxis and epistēmē are not fundamentally at odds, but rather anticipate how one might be progressively resolved into the other. Nevertheless, whether as a divine donation from above, or from a formal precedent below, it is the unidirectional flow that successively resolves technē, caught between praxis and epistēmē, bodies and thinking subjects. One way or the other, technē appears as a sort of identical relation resolving a degradation of ideas into the body or an elevation of sensation into ideas. Thus the general form of the problem, in which practices and theories are exchanged about in a problem-solution coupling, does not apprehend the problem technē presents to us. This is not simply to misapprehend art as a discipline, but to insufficiently acknowledge the importance of technē in philosophical work. To begin with, technē is arguably tasked with philosophy’s establishing of certitude – how it tests its ideal modelling of the immanent world. Ideal certitude is not conferred from the ‘cause’ (be it the Gods, Nature, being, chance and so on), to be simply realized in an idea of universal adequacy. That is, there is nothing philosophical about such a conferral, which could only generate articles of faith, or statements of belief. Of course, it is not that philosophy is necessarily less reliant upon faith and expressions of belief, but that it is distinguished by rigorous methods to test its assumptions. Thus, as it was found for the mathematical and scientific disciplines, philosophy requires a counter movement, through which technē does not simply beget epistemological constructs: it requires that these ideal relations be submitted again to technē and put into immanent action. The inseparability of philosophy from this demonstrable praxis is already evident, if not emphasized, in the presentation of Platonic ideas. That is, does not the very form of the Socratic dialogues emphasize what in philosophy is so idiosyncratic from other kinds of work thought had performed, namely the pedagogical effort to stage the working of the argument, to present, in short, the distinction of the method? That is, despite its rhetorical deployment the dialectical form ‘stages’ the immanent contest of ideas, the constructive philosophical labour from which the completed model only appears at the end. And where with Deleuze we might query the necessity of this ideal resolution or proposition at the end, thought consistently requires a re-problematizing about an empirical methodology.1

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As such, what characterizes the Socratic dialogues as a ‘staged event’ is not that they take place within abstract ideas, but because the dialectic returns to the problematic – the certification through technē – only to demonstrate how this problem has been already resolved. But in practice, the philosophical method requires a doubled workflow, one in which propositions and synthetic unities are posited, if only to be tested by the activity of thought and the verification of phenomena in the world of living bodies. However, the theoretical presentation tends to smooth over this circulation of workflows presenting the unity it synthesizes as the problem it fundamentally apprehends. As such, we are no longer assured that praxis and epistēmē are radically differentiated so that immanent experience simply resolves into abstract ideas. There must be a counter-oriented operation where thought precipitates new kinds of immanent actions. This is not to collapse ideal abstractions together with the living body or to blur the irreducible distinction between bodies and minds. But it is incumbent upon us to make account of how transformative processes cross from one irreducible series to the other. And where philosophy has greatly aided us in this task is in the identification (no matter how subordinate) of the medial role that technē plays. Moreover, as we have seen, this requires us to reconsider what concerns the nature of praxis, because we can no longer conceive of actions differentiated simply across bodies and rational faculties: that is, because we now understand that thought is also a praxis.2 And because we have recovered in the topos that technē is the most proximate to functional operations, we will argue that technē is not simply the identical processual relation which carries immanent experience into ideas, but is rather the dynamic functionality operating discrete workflows from one to the other. For if functional operations (natural, dynamic transformations) are carried into the abstract from the living body, and thought is also a praxis, we will have to enquire whether the problematizing functionality of technē is the faculty operating within bodies and the abstractideal. This is profoundly implicated with subjective theory, because if technē in these movements partly defines human difference, it does so in a certain confrontation with existing definitions. And finally, if there has been an insufficient philosophical necessity to interrogate the medial activity of technē, there is no such concession for art. Artistic praxis must traverse movements from the sensitivity of bodies to thinking subjects and from the contemplations of thinking subjects into immanent, material workflows. As such, technē remains the definitive, complex problem necessary to approach the work of art.

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2.1.2 Descartes and the function of doubt It is arguably with Descartes that the tension between the production of ideal models and the immanent methodology of philosophical praxis relocates what had become occulted in the problem technē originally poses – that is, the centrality of immanent being for the production of philosophical sense-making. The cogito famously problematizes thinking subjects, no longer as a historical proposition, but as an immanent, affective agent. Moreover, even though the discovery of this agent will be resolved again into the ideal, it will no longer disappear into the ontology produced. It is in this sense that Descartes is important for a re-problematizing of technē: it will be argued he emphasizes a role for technē that will not be entirely epistemologically resolved, because a functional operation remains irreducible to the model. This function of doubt will be prolonged to condition and test the production of ideal certitudes informing the model. In the preliminaries outlined in The Discourse on Method (Descartes, 1999b), what is of significance is that an autonomous irruption of technē affects a profound, if brief, disruption of epistēmē. Descartes’ method is revolutionary, but arguably the problem he approaches remains close to philosophy’s foundations: How is it, and by what mechanisms do ideas and thoughts relate to being in the world? What is of interest here is not the conclusive form the cogito theoretically attains, but the recursive process of the method itself. Descartes does not begin with the proposition of the cogito, but rather by the deployment of the function of doubt, which works between the set of historical ideas and his own, experiential presence.3 This immediately presents us with a new question: How is Descartes’ doubt possible, how is its function of resistance to all the preconceived paradigms of the ideal model effected, if the function – its kind of intelligibility and affect  – cannot operate independently of epistēmē? Thus, in the development of the method, Descartes returns to an immanent, intelligible field that performs intentional, selective operations, through which the function of doubt dismantles all ties between immanent presence and epistēmē. It is true that this immanent apprehensiveness is later made dependent upon an ideal donation, in the formalization of the cogito. However, technē, as the immanent apprehension that puts doubt to use, is arguably never fully subsumed in the re-assemblage of epistēmē; it remains ‘outside’ the closure of the cogito, where it continues to perform the function of certification. In Descartes, there is a precedent for technē as the irreducible functional operation responsible for ideal organization – the active intelligibility of a philosophical praxis that cannot be subsumed by the formalization of the cogito. Arguably,

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this precedent remains decisive, even though what supports this complex agency has since become disputed – we are no longer convinced the cogito demonstrates the existence of a clock-maker God, but rather how subjective being establishes its identity through language (what Lacan, following Sartre, will call the subject of enunciation, upon which all epistemological models depend).4 Yet what Descartes arguably succeeds in showing is that an immanent, sensitive intelligibility with an affective power (a putting into work) remains the necessary conditions for thought. Thus in returning to Descartes, two very different paths appear. On the one hand, the resolution of the cogito ramifies into the enquiry of subjectivity. On the other, the Cartesian method endures to re-problematize technē. The former and general problem concerning what brings subjects into being has been exhaustively examined. But it is arguably the latter problem that must be again pursued – the agency prior to subjective formations, a sensitive activity that engages the primary process in its becoming. In this return to the problem, while the functional activity of technē may certainly resolve into a subjective formation like that the cogito describes, it is quite another issue whether a definitive resolution is therein necessitated – that is to say, whether various kinds of subjective formation are the only possible solutions to the problem of technē. This will be to prepare a new line of inquiry. For thinking the proximity of art to the re-problematization of technē – of an agency independent of a particular subjective form – is to question whether art is encountered by a subjective determination at all. And in our contemporary milieu, where the field of art remains dominantly tied up with various philosophical speculations about the nature of subjectivity, it is pertinent to enquire whether the re-problematizing of technē might offer a very different kind of approach.

2.2 Technē II: Functional properties 2.2.1 Technē governs transformations from bodies to ideas and from ideas to bodies It is not only that the function of doubt makes Descartes’ cogito possible – it cannot be resolved and persists to establish again the model’s certitude. If this opens up the problem of technē in the midst of the Cartesian method, it is because technē is the faculty immanent to functions, the agency operating prior to the cogito. In the preliminaries of the method  – Descartes’ travels, his roaming

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across the countryside – it is the function of doubt that dismantles the history of epistēmē, before the constructive principles of the cogito are formalized. This is to locate not only the function of doubt but also the immanent operations of technē, in the foundations of subjectivity. Certitude makes use of epistemological methods, but what remains implicit in Descartes procedure is that they do not succeed in wresting away the task of judgement from immanent experience. Thus, while existence will be conferred to a necessary God, there remains a tension within the immanence technē governs, concerning a real encounter that is never quite secured by the ideal model’s assurance of veracity. That is why, where the methodological and functional problem remains irreducible, it matters far less that Descartes turns the innovation of the cogito toward the model’s desire for absolute truth. The task of certitude continues to depend upon technē shuttling back and forth between the formalization and refinement of propositions and the crucible of immanent praxis:  ‘For  – as can be seen from what I say about it – it consists in practice more than in theory, and I call the treatises which follow it Tests of this Method, because I claim that the things included in them could not have been discovered without it’ (Descartes, 1999a: 59). Insofar as Descartes’ procedure remains reliant upon the function of doubt and its independence from the model, this returns us to a critical point: If technē transforms or transmits immanent apprehensions for ideal contemplation, does it then not also follow that the setting of ideas into praxis would also require technē’s active functionality? That is, a counter-operation where epistemological constructs (the arrangements of findings, solutions, objects and subjects) are no longer teleological resolutions but become the impetus for experimental actions. In this operation, there is no resolution to technē’s problematic nature, it rather re-orients to activate powers of affect. Ideas do not terminate into epistemological resolutions, but are taken as a set of inputs (a domain), for a different kind of problem directed to actualize immanent, productive praxes. And moreover, this is not simply to control the movements of bodies because as Descartes’ procedure emphasizes, these counter-directional movements are necessary to test the veracity of ideas. In practice, the problems of immanent agency, its qualities and differences, are never singularly or unidirectionally resolved into an adequate idea – they are always established through complex, active recursions or feedback. Only in this way can certitude be established. Technē is not simply the perfunctory process through which immanent sensations and actions are unidirectionally conferred into ideal governance. Technē has a double articulation providing another flow of work through which ideas become active, including a counter-actualization process where ideas inform

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different kinds of actions. That is, simply to say, that there is a great deal more to the problem technē presents than determining its mediating role between the appearance of beings and their resolution into abstract ideas.

2.2.2 Technē in the living body The problem of immanent agency has not been adequately resolved; not only does the cogito fail to determine it but also it remains necessarily outside the model, testing its certitude. If this returns to technē prior to thinking subjects, then it is because of what we deduced through Aristotle; it is located at the topos in the closest proximity to immanent agency. This is to describe a sensitivity and activity, with which the work of art is broadly indicated. In a more contemporary way, this inaugural encounter further indicates that immanent agency must be tied up with the body’s innate or resting kind of sensitivity, before its active organization or specification into the sense organs (and possibly, as psychoanalytic theory testifies, this continues apace into the rims and surfaces of the body’s apertures, where it is further complicated and specified).5 Yet, it also arguably concerns the class of vague, haptic sensations that diffuse into the body’s depths. Thus, technē cannot simply be a mental or purely ‘rational’ faculty that excludes the physical; rather it emerges from an immersive state in the living body.6 It was argued in the previous chapter that technē not only determined the categorical difference between poiesis and praxis but also was arguably animate in Aristotle’s more ubiquitous logistikós; in the least, this would locate technē in the living human body, tasking it with the process of sense production (aisthēsis). We might additionally observe that this requalification therefore indicates that two very different orientations are available to technē, which profoundly affect how its apprehensive or intelligible property functions. In the orthodox sense, technē moves toward the surfaces of the body where its sensitivity becomes progressively differentiated into the activity of making sense. But in the opposite direction, diffusing into the depths of bodies, it moves toward the ‘problematic’ – which is to say, toward the conditions of its own emergence.7 Thus, technē not only enables the capacity to ‘make’ or produce sense but, the rather more general property, ‘to sense’. This capacity to sense must be one of the primary properties that belong to technē; and moreover, this particular property to sense arguably brings to bodies a capacitive, pre-epistemological intelligibility that is not abstract but calculative in nature. Let us attempt a brief elaboration of these observations before a more detailed explication in the ongoing terms of the discussion. Technē has a resting or innate

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position and a mobile sensitivity whose emergence is co-present with the body. From this resting state, it has two different ‘directions’ in which this sensitivity can move that become increasingly differentiated from one another. In one direction, sense becomes more organized and specified within the sense organs, the rims and anterior extensions of the body. In this direction sense is productive: it produces the pleasurable sensations of the sex organs; eating and defecating; the suite of broad constructive, mechanical functionalities at the bodies extremities (the grasping and shaping skills of the hands, the locomotive acts of movement); and finally, the productions of speech and sense impressions, sounds and images. Thus, this direction of progressive sense production and articulation importantly concerns the baroque foldings and curvatures of the brain, where the complex, organized strata of ideas are made possible. In the other direction, moving interior to the body, sense becomes less differentiated and more diffuse. Sense determinations or impressions mix together and tend toward a sort of indetermination. In these depths other kinds of apprehensions are encountered, such as visceral sensations and the sense of depth itself. There is also a common, though rationally discredited suite of sensitive phenomena attributed to these depth sensations, including a quasi-intelligible suite of ‘gut’ feelings  – a diffuse, haptic, processing functionality, conventionally opposed to the organized idealizations of epistēmē. This is not to take up the task of judgement, in which the veracity of these vague sensations would be determined against rational criteria. It is to acknowledge this functionality with a few remarks that seem significant, by picking up the earlier observation about mathematical functions – namely, that calculation has a dynamic, ‘natural’ precedent at work about living bodies. First, perhaps certitude is a sort of sensitive experience belonging to this class of depth sensations. That may explicate why the search for certitude driving the Cartesian method cannot resolve into an ideal proposition, were certitude not at all ideal. Arguably, there is rather an ‘anexact, yet rigorous’ quality to certitude, only approachable through the experimentations of praxis.8 This is not to raise the issue of certitude in itself, but rather to point toward another kind of sophisticated processing functionality, which has priority in the body. This would be distinguished from an intuitive mechanism, where it concerns a primordial, primitive or sensitive property belonging to thought. It is rather to identify that a sensitive, active calculability animates complex bodies, such as those that ‘automate’ complex systems (circulatory, nervous, muscularskeletal and so on), to indicate what kind of mechanism certitude might be predicated upon.9

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If we are not at liberty to discount the admittedly vague and indeterminate nature of these experiential phenomena, it is because of the frequency with which ‘depth’ and ‘gut’ processes are reported in artists’ own accounts of their practices. These experiences are often characterized as intuitive, impulsive, sense-driven and depersonalized, but in lieu of judging them against rational criteria, let their complex, calculative sensitivity be emphasized. It might then appear that this diverse accounting specific to artistic praxis records how a distinct functionality can be put to use and, moreover, to indicate an activity whose problematic nature cannot be easily deduced via epistemological modelling – that is, without necessarily transforming the kind of problem encountered. It would be to find in the body a functional precedence for re-problematizing technē that radically redefined its difference and irreducibility to epistēmē. That is to say, it would be to discover in the body an intelligibility that is not abstract but calculative in nature, and moreover, the principle of an immanent agency capable of carrying this functional intelligibility into the epistemological domain. If this will require a transformation of the Aristotelian topos, it will be because the problem of technē no longer pertains to a diminished capacity to apprehend ‘causes’ – it would rather be clarified into a capacity for the apprehension and activation of functions, that emerging in the body, would be carried over into the abstractions of thought. Moreover, this would also imply an inverse operation, where what is constructed in thought will be carried back into living bodies. As we will come to see, this will redefine what constitutes art’s work  – a highly sophisticated manipulation of technē’s functionality turned to radically new purposes.

2.2.3 Technē has two directions available to it Let us revise this preliminary sketch of the functional dynamics of technē. From the immanence of its resting state, technē has available to it two very different directional movements through which its primary sensitivity becomes increasingly differentiated and in very different kinds of ways: in one direction, toward the surface, it becomes increasingly specified and distinct, and in the other it becomes progressively diffused and indistinct. As such, the function of technē appears in a kind of triadic schema. First, there is an immanent, resting state, co-present with the body and that corresponds to the problem of human agency. Additionally, this agency has available to it two broad directions, two distinctly different operational movements. In one direction, moving toward the surfaces and rims of the body, sensitivity is broadly resolved into the production

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or making of sense. And in the other direction, moving toward the interior of the body, sensitivity diffuses into the conditions of its own emergence; that is, in encountering the ‘problem’ of sense, itself. If this requires special emphasis, it is because technē remains contingent upon directionality. But ‘directionality’ is not here spatial or temporal (that is, extensive) but rather ordinal because technē deals with functional operations. Technē cannot overcome the directional limit that ordinality inveighs in directing the flow of calculation from one series to another. Thus, the two ‘directions’ available to technē concern the flow of transformations and repetitions put into action, but these can never be simultaneously calculated and must either flow from one to the other – be it from depth to surface or from surface to depth, which is to say from body to mind or from mind to body. Having said all this, there are no doubt particular cases in which the exclusion of these immanent dynamisms of lived, sensual bodies is a sufficient strategy to ideally model general flows of cause. But arguably, this strategy cannot generate a sufficiently universal principle to justify encountering these immanent, lived functional differences, when the problem proposed implicates technē. It is rather the case that this linking to the body’s sensitivity provides an opportunity, indeed a suitably immanent, flexible grounding, sufficient to encounter technē upon its own terms. Additionally, this implies a very different perspective upon the problem set that has thus far been encountered. For arguably, what has occupied thinking about technē from the perspective of epistēmē almost exclusively concerns the first kind of direction available to technē, between its resting or passive, immanent function, to sense, and its progressive movements toward the surface where it is increasingly specified – that is, where technē is animate within poiesis to produce or resolve immanent experiences for ideal contemplation. This effectively homogenizes the process of abstracting immanent events into repetitive relations in order to model them in accordance with the general problematic form. But the price of this generation of clear and distinct ideas is the reduction of the complex functional problem that cannot be assured to operate predictably nor in a simple, determinate direction. Moreover, this resolution into abstract ideas does not account for how the activity of thought makes possible the actualization of experimental praxis and new affective powers. What must be emphasized in the Cartesian procedure is thus not a proposition about what kind of being a thinking subject is, but rather the re-emergence of the irresolvable problem of technē. Even when ideal unity is pursued at the price of reducing epistēmē to the status of simulacra, this still occults the difference; that functional activity  – active experiential processes  – do not simply

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follow from how things are brought to being, but rather concern an emergent power to deviate from the processes which produce them. Technē prolongs this problematic issue at the heart of immanent agency, because unlike the cogito or those theories of subjectivity following from it, technē does not resolve its active, generative capacities by considering them to follow from whatever brings them into existence. Technē grasps a power that belongs or rather emerges with the particular; this is the source of its distinctiveness, these deviations from the natural order, whether this order is constituted by a universal law, the decree of Gods, a chaos of noise or the silence of the abyss.

2.3 Technē and the function of subjectivity 2.3.1 The problem of technē is recorded in the etymology of the term ‘subject’ What the cogito arguably grasps is not an ideal certitude for being but its contingency upon a process of immanent calculation; in the case of conscious subjectivity, this kind of calculation is cogitation or thinking. Moreover, Descartes’ procedure might be argued to show that rather than immanent agency being predicated upon thought, it is precisely what ideal models remain unable to certify. As such, the problem of subjectivity must be argued to instantiate a reproblematization of technē. Contemporary theories of subjectivity grapple with the same problematic complex the cogito attempted to resolve:  what in the Aristotelian topos apprehends an emergence or deviation in the automaticity of phusis and thus announces the agency that arguably differentiates the kind of being we are. Thus it is perhaps not surprising that technē’s problematic terms remain well preserved in the etymological structure of the term ‘subject’. The contemporary sense of subject most clearly relates to the Latin, subjectus, from the passive past participle of subjicere, ‘to place under’, ‘to subdue, subordinate’.10 This unambiguously indicates the distinct directionality that characterizes this donation – ‘sub’, or under, and ‘to place’, or elsewhere, ‘sovereign’.11 This is conjoined with ‘-jet’ (later ‘-ject’), from the Latin, jacere (jeter); ‘to throw’ (to lie [gésir], to throw [jeter])’.12 Thus, subject includes the following: the presence of a superior, causal agent; a direction; and also the act or action which carries out the demand or donation of this agent – hence, ‘to place under’, ‘one under domination’.

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If the subject – like technē – continues to be viewed as a problem of the orthodox kind, then individual existence remains solely determined as a product, or as a result of a generative, unidirectional flow of causation. What is unidirectional about this flow is that the resulting immanent agency is a kind of readymade, insofar as its sensitivity and activity has no effect on the kind of entity it is. It is a measure of the confidence in the general form of problems that the debates about subjectivity almost exclusively revolve around identifying whatever is responsible for bringing it into being  – thus a broad causality persists insofar as whatever characterizes the nature of the cause directly corresponds to the nature of what is brought into being. Here the problem-solution coupling presides over a simple causal assumption:  whatever counts as the source of donation and precipitates the process of causation, directly determines what kind of being the ‘subject’ is. When subjectivity is thought as the resolved product of an occulted process (even if this process is thought to be divorced from a clearly determinable cause, and to be otherwise the product of an inert or random process or else emerging from an essential lack or void), it continues to determine the nature of immanent agency, because it withholds from beings the power to be differently problematized. It is not enough to determine the nature of primary or even secondary causal flows; to debate whether they are vertical, ‘strong’ determinations (a transcendent God or universal laws of nature), horizontal ‘weak’ determinations (a sociocultural stratum or the semiotic regime) or combinations thereof. The functional re-problematizing of technē must be carried over so that subjective emergence is seen to problematize the determining flows which inaugurate its coming into being. Without this, either way, the nature of subjectivity  – what kind of entity comes into being – is solely determined by the process that precipitates it. Moreover, where an essential, formal or innate determination is rejected in favour of an immanent, relative or collective process, what brings the subject into being continues to define how this subject will act, what it will do, what comprises its limits and so on. Thus, whether a ‘vertical’ or ‘horizontal’ direction, a ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ determination or an essential or relative causation is posited, there is a near total exclusion of the subject’s power to intervene in the unidirectionality of whatever counts as its given causal flows.

2.3.2 The functional approach to the subjective problem Let us attempt then a functional approach to thinking about subjectivity, restating that this functional problematization of subjects remains arguably recorded in

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the etymology of the term: sub– (to place under) and –jet (to throw). Where subjects are thought determined by the general form of problems, the task remains to correctly determine sub–: what kind of donation or cause brings the subject into being. But in more contemporary approaches, the problem of sub– is either erased or conferred within the problem of –jet, because ‘to throw’ becomes the new determination of the kind of process bringing the subject into being. Thus, in both cases the process precipitating subjective appearance remains an identical and simple relation, and as such, supports the key ontological idea that what is produced (what kind of being a subject is) can be deduced through an accurate apprehension of the processes bringing it into being. In contradistinction, the broad re-problematization of technē offers another interpretation of the structural arrangement the term ‘subject’ records. In the functional version, immanent agency cannot be directly determined by establishing the identity of the processual operation, because it is dynamic and admits of deviations. Consequently, what comes into being is no longer necessarily fixed to, or determined by, these inaugural processual operations. In order to elucidate the functional re-problematization of subjectivity, it is necessary to distinguish the prior operation and work of technē. First, there is no requirement to strike out sub– because the autopoietic function of technē is not contingent upon that from which it emerges. That is to say, the problem of immanent agency does not rest upon a clear determination of sub–; it is sufficient that this ‘primary process’ or general flow of causation indicates the direction of becoming that brings bodies into being. The task is rather to detach the unidirectional conjugation implied in the term ‘subject’ sufficiently so that sub– (what counts as primary causation) no longer simply determines –jet (the process which brings forward what comes into being). It is then possible to see that the subject is composed of two distinctly different processes: there is a primary process (which remains ‘cause’ in a general way) and a secondary emergence of affective powers now decoupled from the primary process. In this complex functional operation, immanent agency is not produced but is rather an autopoietic phenomena, emerging between sub– and –jet. Subjectivity is thus not the resolution of an ontological problem; rather, subjective formation is a particular effect that technē makes possible. In functional terms, sub– has a very different implication than in its treatment within the general form of problems. Sub– continues to indicate a certain submission to a primary process, but this flow of becoming predominantly brings bodies into being. As such, the functional approach to subjective appearance does not trace its emergence to a purely ‘horizontal’ determination that

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clearly distinguishes it from living bodies. Subjects remain purely abstract, ideal formations, but they are predicated upon technē where it is prolonged within the dimension of minds.13 As such, technē performs the same functional tasks for minds as it does for living bodies – that is, those necessary for immanent sensitivity and also dynamic activity. Where in the living body, technē calculates sensitive apprehensions producing from them intentional, physical actions in the abstract dimension of ideas, technē sets into operation cognition, the calculative faculty of thinking. As such, the functional difference lies elsewhere in the midst of the term, where the etymological recording indicates that ‘subject’ remains constructed upon an irreducible difference or mix of properties. It is less a division than a complexity, a complex functional arrangement. It is no revelation that the form of subjectivity is not directly determined by the primary process that brings living bodies into being. But this process does precipitate the conditions for technē – that is, the resting state, the immanent sensitivity coupled with the power of intentional activity, which animates the body. It is to the latter, second functionality of -jet that the defining properties of subjectivity must be traced. This second functionality allows technē to become decoupled from the living body from whence it emerges. Both points follow from the properties of the function, outlined in the previous chapter. For sub– is not the identity of a relation that signifies the cause or primary process; it is the functional operation that engages it. Sub– is the function ‘to sense’. And because functions govern a transformation between series, ‘to sense’ is never passive or a direct transmission of one thing to another. As such, when sub– goes to work upon the primary process, it produces an autopoietic, ‘higher’ emergence that is not at all present in this primary flow. This autopoietic emergence is technē. Moreover, because sub– transforms the primary process, what the second functional operation (–jet) goes to work upon is not a prolongation or identical series to that entering the first. Sub– and –jet cannot be reduced to a general, identical problem, because they do not operate on the same ‘cause’ or, rather, the same domain or set of inputs. That is why –jet (to throw) indicates the emergence of a power that is not precipitated within the flows of determination which bring the living body into being – intentional activity is thus a specific emergence of the second functionality at technē, a power that is distinct from the primary processes that precipitate bodies. As we will see, it is a particular deployment of this intentional power at –jet, the power to throw, that is responsible for bringing subjects into being.

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The consequence of –jet’s independence in the subjective mechanism are manifold. First, it brings into question where along the unidirectional flow between sub– and –jet, the subject becomes differentiated from the primary process – where it derives its distinctive, or properly, ‘autonomous’ agency. This is distinguished from the general form of the problem where subjects remain products of the process, so that what determines agency will determine its nature and capabilities. But in a functional sense, problems do not transmit or prolong a given ‘nature’ across the pair (domain/codomain) through which they operate. It is the creative, transformative property belonging to the function that differentiates domains/codomains from producers/produced. Thus the functional reproblematization of subjects eschews the task of deducing a determining nature (or process) so as to rather indicate how dynamic processes affect a change in nature. That is to say, the kind of problem subjects present belongs to the class of unresolvable complex functions indicated at technē: this ensemble considers generative problems of sense and intelligibility in composition with a second problem in which intentionality (action and creative transformation) is computed. It is across this complex functionality that technē indicates how the generation of human sensitivity and intelligence brings about powers to act, which are sufficient to deviate causes. Thus technē must resuscitate the problem of subjects, beyond the expectation that an understanding of its generative causes will directly determine what kind of entity it is.

2.4 Freud, Lacan and the re-orientation of epistēmē 2.4.1 Freud establishes that subjects are functional problems We have endeavoured to re-problematize technē at the kernel of thinking about subjectivity. This will imply approaching subjectivity as a functional problem about various dynamic, generative processes, both primary (bringing bodies) and secondary (bringing language and signification or elsewhere the properties of minds). But that is not all; these processes are not identical in kind, resolving into a general form or problem-solution coupling. They are rather processed by separate functional operations that intervene within each series, transforming and deviating their ‘causal’ flows. It has been argued that the functional re-problematization of technē remains recorded in the etymological trace of the term ‘subject’, but we perhaps owe the

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apprehension of this occulted arrangement most explicitly to Freud. Freud fundamentally reorganizes our expectations of the kind of problem subjectivity presents, by bringing the function of doubt to bear upon thinking subjects. This is not simply to denounce a transcendent source of donation to the appearance of immanent being. This is to query whether immanent consciousness is the exclusive property of minds, by inquiring into how the immanent agency that is co-located with living bodies itself comes into being. From a theoretical perspective, Freud’s discovery of the unconscious implies a quite radical modification of the cogito: within the crucible of experimental praxis, Freud submits the certitude Descartes establishes between the thinking subject and immanent being, still further to the function of doubt. That is, for Freud, Descartes’ method does not strike out all the extant epistemological unities to terminate in the foundation of immanent being, or locate the moment of the subject’s immanent appearance. Arguably, Freud pushes the process further into the problem of immanent being to encounter the unresolved problems technē continues to pose there. Freud rejects the idea that consciousness derives its transcendental peculiarity from any kind of donation from without: he will search for the generative causes of thinking subjects in the same direction as those processes that generate living bodies. This will not be to simply trace technē to the distinctive appearance of an immanent, human agent: for agency and intentional activity will be found operating in the depths of bodies, before they emerge more decisively in subjective beings. The significance of this is captured when Freud suggests that the discovery of the unconscious deals a third Copernican blow to the centrality of the subject (Freud, 2001b: 138–9). This refutes that the self-conscious subject, the subject who is supposed to know, goes about its acquisition of knowledgeable mastery, from the certitude of its own intentional autonomy. Rather the ‘unconscious’ designates something that precedes not only the self-conscious I, but also the sensitivity collocated with immanent being. So as Copernicus calculates that the Earth is no longer the centre of the celestial universe, and Darwin proposes that the human species is produced by the incremental transitions of animal-material bodies rather than through a divine donation, psychoanalysis performs a final blow in showing that immanent subjectivity does not certify or grasp what is essential in human entities. It is rather another kind of evolutionary problem, where consciousness and immanent being seem to emerge along a parallel generative process alongside living bodies. Subjects do not appear by virtue of the definitive donation of an epistemological

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principle; it is rather a sort of emergent division from the functional operations, animating living bodies.

2.4.2 Freud contra Aristotle: Technē is not a rational faculty but operates independently in living bodies If Descartes’ method returns us to the immanent affective event where technē was encountered again, Freud pursues it further into the depths of living bodies. But his refusal to arbitrarily assign there a newly definitive epistemological division carries a particular price: it does not afford him a clear theoretical foundation, such that the problem of the unconscious is phrased in a general problematic form. This is to raise a central criticism of the ‘unconscious’ because it is not a clearly defined concept, possessing an elegant and clearly determinable resolution. Rather, Freud denotes the unconscious as something irreducibly complex, only evidenced by the effects produced in various ‘autonomic’ affective mechanisms:  dreams and the somewhat secondary fehlleistungen (often translated as parapraxes, but literally ‘faulty functions’– slips of the tongue, misplacing objects and so on), which he composes against an experimental, theoretical structuring (Freud, 2001b: 15–22). However, unlike the cogito, Freud does not restore a higher unity sufficiently to resolve a thinking subject – for even as he posits the concept of the ego, this remains a fragile and contingent epistemological emergence. What is found detailed in Freud is not a definitive location of technē’s emergence, but rather the patterns or operations of the complex or coupled functional properties that arguably indicate technē’s distinctive activities; that is, evidence that sensitive and affectively potent agency operates independently and prior to the emergence of a ‘higher’ subjective formation. Freud postulated that unconscious mechanisms might operate analogously to the behaviour of forces hypothesized by the scientific experimentations of his time: that is, as ‘packets’ or vectors of forces, he termed ‘cathexes’. Cathexes suffer a certain agitation or dynamism, insofar as they are always partial and fragmentary and tend toward a lower energy state or equilibrium (much like other energetic-mechanical systems, like air-pressure differentiations in determining weather systems and electric potentials underlying molecular structures).14 Thus, the significance of this pre-subjective field of forces is that it generates the intentional donation upon which subjective being rests: that is to say, this foment is what sets off the cascade of productions – object-relations, language, emotions but also ultimately knowledge and self-consciousness – which come into being as the elaborate mechanisms for achieving this neutralization or balancing of forces.15

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This location of sensitive and intelligible functionalities together with their peculiar intentional affects re-problematizes the place when technē appears, because Freud finds these properties evidently operating prior to subjective appearance. This does not only decentre consciousness; it arguably refutes that technē must be an exclusive property of human difference, because technē not only animates immanent agency prior to the thinking subject, but as a population of discrete, rudimentary ‘technē-like’ agents (cathexes) within the living body. Thus arguably for Freud, the general direction through which subjects come into being no longer locates a clear bifurcation between the living body and the mind, but proceeds through the living body that is already animated by a progressive movement of sensitive and affective functional operations. Consciousness and subjective appearance do not appear then as a donation from without or else from a disconnected process; they are the final emergences at the apex of a ‘phylogenetic’ series (Freud, 1962: 33–6). That is to say, it is the activity of these pre-subjective technē-like cathexes that both underlie subjective being and establish the conditions for the world of ideas. This is a very different arrangement for technē than the one Aristotle defines for us. Technē is not the rational property of the soul that gathers intelligence about functions so that they might be resolved into higher epistēmē, nor is it an exclusive property of a distinct agency that defines human difference. The evidence of technē are to be found in a granular, distributed series of operations within the living body, series of sensitive processes coupled with powers to affect.16

2.4.3 Technē carries into epistēmē functional processes acquired in living bodies Let us proceed directly to what has not been possible thus far; that is to consider how the re-problematization of technē bears upon the nature of epistēmē. Following from Freud, epistēmē would be the final attainment of a phylogenetic process, emerging from or alongside those primary processes that bring bodies into being. To put this another way, epistēmē is constituted without an in kind, abstract or transcendent donation that distinguishes the nature of subjective being. It is Lacan who strongly emphasizes the functional problems at work in Freud, and in greatly elaborating upon them, carries their consequences into the field of knowledge. We might then locate technē in how Lacan addresses the process of formative functionality in his theory of the mirror stage (Lacan, 2006b: 75–82).

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From the complex of the embryonic or infantile body, technē would be the immanent, sensitive agency immersed within and undifferentiated from the living body, prior to any determination of subjective being. Lacan defines or designates this primordial immersive experience as the ‘Real’. Technē emerges here amidst a certain ontological indetermination, insofar as all the defining markers of subjective or particular being are not yet differentiated along the divisions between figure and ground or self and other (Ibid.: 77). For Lacan, this undifferentiated immersion leaves the sensitive being incapable of fulfilling its satisfactory requirements:  in this pre-subjective immersion, the entity possesses sensitivity but it is over-coded by compulsive activity, which is to say, the various intentional demands circulating in the body. Freud earlier located the source of these demands from the population of cathexes in the id – the foment of charged drives and desires circulating through embryonic and infantile bodies, seeking to exhaust or satiate themselves. What remains latent here, or not yet emergent, is a properly affective power, wielded by this ‘higher’ order emergence; that is, whilst the autopoietic immanent agent or technē has appeared, it remains incapable of generating its own suite of direct, intentional activities. For Lacan, this precipitates a crucial event: the sensitive agent must perform an inaugural, decisive action, namely, to eject itself from this undifferentiated, immersive state. But that is not all; for in order for it to begin the process of subjective formation, it must institute a bar upon returning to this immersive state, in order that its burgeoning particularity will not sink again, becoming once more indistinguishably diffused within the body. As such, this ‘bar to the Real’ is originally instituted as a shelter, behind which it flees the chaotic tumult of its undifferentiated presence. And all that rests in the ambit of knowledge – speech, subjectivity, identity and so on – are for Lacan the mechanisms which the subject constructs in order to have those drives and desires (by which it is riven and which constitute it, below the level of its ideal-abstract projection, within the Symbolic) satisfied (Lacan, 2006a). Across this generative flow, the relationships between technē, epistēmē and subjectivity are thus radically redrawn. The burden of doubt comes to rest heavily against the subject who is supposed to know (whether this is a thinking or onto-phenomenological subject), because subjects form within symbolic and ideal dimensions that are no longer immanent to, but now distanced from the Real. Along this pathway of generative processes, technē appears as the sensitive immanent agent within the Real; that is, it emerges prior to that subjective form only possible within the sheltered dimension of epistēmē. And moreover, if this is not simply a priority within generative processes in which technē is exalted in the order

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of appearance, it is rather because the epistemological subject, whose being was thought to be secured by the reality of its essentially ideal foundation, must now as a condition of coming into being at all, be fundamentally barred from the Real. This is quite a radical inversion of the Platonic model, in which ideas are the highest reality and the theatre of the sensual is a debased copy. It is rather now that technē – its sensitivity and the activation of functions  – indicates the encounter with the primary reality. Moreover, subjects are compelled to generate unifying productions of knowledge and epistemological models in order to stave off re-encountering the Real. This is a radical reappraisal of the Platonic doxa, because knowledge is no longer the desire for the ‘good’ and the ‘beautiful’ but a symptom of a ‘paranoiac’ foundation, through which Lacan analyses the history of philosophy.17 This reflects significantly on the problem of subjectivity itself, insofar as its nature is assumed to be certified by the source of its donation. For psychoanalysis here tells us that a sort of primary chaos or difference indicates the nature of sub–: that is, the primary process establishing the causal conditions from which this diffused, pre-subjective agent emerges. But this pre-subjective dimension of forces does not act to bring the subject into being (–jet); rather, as a consequence of its overwhelming sensory immersion (at sub–), this pre-subjective entity throws itself, thus precipitating the immanent subject into being and providing the conditions from which the thinking or knowing subject will derive its organizational character. For Lacan, this is analysable in philosophy’s historical development: that is to say, this accounts for why the subject of knowledge desires above all else consistency and unity, such that its ideal manifestation will come to perfectly model the seemingly chaotic patterns of the Real, sufficient for it to attain a mastery over them, and thus, its own desires. The fact that the entire enterprise from knowledge’s point of view is arse-backwards is predicated upon the fact that once we have instituted ourselves projectively into the field of knowledge and language, we exert tremendous energy fixating ourselves there upon the model of a sovereign unity, ostensibly forgetting and even working against the conditions of our generative emergence: that is, the profoundly diffuse, heterogeneous problematic complex, in which little more than patterns or flows of repetition and creative transformations are discernible.

2.4.4 The nature of subjectivity is not determined by the primary process (at sub–) but by technē (at –jet) In the passage from Freud to Lacan, a new approach to the problem of the subject’s appearance is elaborated. In this re-problematization, we no longer search

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for the nature of subjectivity in a transcendent, abstract donation – not in the perfection of Platonic ideas, nor else in the abstract universals of Aristotelian phusis. Additionally, to denounce these strongly determining, ‘vertical’ donations is not enough, if we only look to an orthogonal donation, from which an abstract ‘horizontal’ principle issues (that is, from the terms of a negative, void, chance, non-being, non-sense and so on). For what is recorded in the etymology of the term ‘subject’ is a complex functional mechanism in which sub– (the nature or kind of cause precipitating the primary, generative processes) does not precipitate or reduce to the process bringing being (–jet, that which is thrown). We have rather refuted the nature of the problem:  for sub– and –jet are not deductions reducible to a problem-solution coupling, but dynamic, individual functional operations. As such, one cannot deduce the nature of subjectivity by determining its original cause (at sub–) thus establishing what is produced (at –jet). And moreover, one does not recalibrate the nature of the problem by arguing that subjects have no original cause (negating sub–) if one simply posits an identical relation as its process of ontological appearance (at –jet). Rather sub– and –jet are conjoined functional operations, but each functional operation performs its own transformation or deviation upon the process on which it goes to work. The subject does not devolve from a general form of the problem; it rather emerges from the complex functional problem of technē. In the embryonic, infantile body, this emergence from the Lacanian Real indicates that the functionality at sub– has brought its undifferentiated sensitivity to bear upon the chaos of overdetermining forces, bringing a higher order autopoietic emergence  – immanent agency  – into being. But the nature of the subject is not determined by this functional operation; it is not brought to being by this generative, primary ‘chaos’, even though these forces will continue to work their determinations upon it. Rather, what will directly determine the subject’s nature is the act of its escape, the inauguration of its own intentional activity to project itself beyond this sensitive immersion. This is possible because the second function at –jet – that which brings intentional action – operates upon a different set of inputs than sub–. It is not the immersive chaos of the real that flows into –jet, but rather that which immanent sensitivity has already transformed so that the codomain of sub– becomes the domain at –jet. The subject is not brought to being by an identical donation or process from sub– through –jet, directly. Technē throws itself as its first intentional act, the act that forges sub– to –jet in a complex functional arrangement, across which the nature of subjectivity is not prolonged from a process or cause, but across which it is deviated.

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It is the functional arrangement of technē that thus governs the transformation of primary, generative processes into those precipitating subjective appearance. Technē turns the body’s sensitivities, from which it emerges, toward the apprehension of the overdetermining forces of the drives and cathexes that beset it. It was earlier suggested that this sensitivity of bodily processes is acquisitive, which is to say intelligent; if this remains a broadly rational faculty, it is only so as a kind of sentience, the intelligible acquisition of functional ‘know-how’ specific to calculation. That is to say, it is distinct from intelligence involving abstract relations and representations because within the living body it collates this sensitive information specific to affect functional operations. Thus in the moment that directly precipitates the subject’s coming into being, technē puts all of this intelligibility to use by affecting its own inaugural, intentional act. The subject is born from this act, in which the series of functional sensitivities are operated upon by –jet and transformed into an intentional action: it ejects itself from its resting, immersive state within the living body. That is to say, insofar as the problem of subjectivity can be understood within the broader functional arrangement of technē, a subject might be defined as that which comes into being by deviating the primary process which precipitates it: as such, regardless of what constitutes its cause or original conditions, it remains that entity which comes into being by processing itself.

2.5 Technē and the agency of art 2.5.1 The subjective obstruction for the problem of art We are perhaps only now in a position to indicate what precisely is at stake for the field of art when technē is not functionally recovered – that is, when art is approached via the various subjective formations that abstract and fragment the functions of sensitivity, activity and intentional agency, which are together crucial for artistic praxis. If there has been a specific necessity to examine again how technē is precisely differentiated from epistēmē, it is because it has been obscured by the attempt to resolve immanent agency through abstract, general or universal clarifications, whether it has been the cogito or the complex subject-centred theories of contemporary continental philosophy. These approaches are often distinguished by how radically they redetermine what constitutes epistēmē. But what they have in common is to break up the complex conjugated problem of technē into its sensitive and affective properties.

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On the one hand –jet (affective power) will be determined by the devolution of epistēmē and technē into a theory/praxis divide, where technē will be stripped of its distinctive intelligibility. Technē performs here as a sort of reactive or unconscious property of living bodies, divorced from the rational faculties of minds.18 On the other hand, technē’s function of sensitivity pertaining to intelligence (sub–), which additionally designates immanent agency, will now solely pertain to the problem of human difference, in the appearance of the subject. Thus the sensible function of technē will be resolved into a renewed epistēmē, dethroned of transcendent significance. Technē will here recover the contemporary sense of ‘art’, but art will now serve to exemplify the reality of all beings: as empty, combinatory processes, productions without creation. But this division is not precipitated by an interrogation of technē, or of trying to understand the problem art presents, but rather in the effort to find a new unity for the model after the end of its transcendent fixation; which is to say, it is a division for the benefit of epistēmē. It is only epistēmē that is the beneficiary of a division of the theory/praxis type, predicated upon the spatio-temporal differences of material and abstract worlds. Thus this division does not only illegitimately fragment technē, it fails to apprehend its very problematic nature. Technē is only restricted by the distinctive limitation of epistēmē when its functional arrangement, thrown into the founding substrates of the abstract-ideal, works to precipitate the subject’s appearance – that is, where it manifests as the sensitive, active agency animating various subjective forms. However, it is rather the subject’s contingency upon technē that might be demonstrated by the very instability of subjective appearance. For it is the mobility or dynamism of technē, crossing back and forth between the living body and epistēmē, that gives to consciousness its fragility, its febrile, flickering quality. For what makes theory and immanent experimentation opposable or irreducible processes is the ordinal restriction of calculation, earlier identified as a limit for technē; whether putting a theoretical premise into experimentation or assembling experimental findings into theoretical unities, technē cannot perform these movements simultaneously, but may only calculate or compute across one direction or another. Thus when Lacan tells us that subjects remain ‘barred from the Real’, we understand why crossing this bar necessitates aphanisis: when technē prepares itself to act it can no longer process itself as a subjective being so that all its centring, elevating, opening and enlightening effects unravel. This is the very limitation of all conscious coming to presence, the precariousness of the I, which cannot exist beyond the rarefied atmosphere contained by the limits of epistēmē.

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2.5.2 Technē and the work of art Another approach has been forwarded. It has been argued that technē rather performs a generative role in subjective formation, where it remains recorded in the etymological structure of the term ‘subject’. It brings first the property of sensitivity (sub–) from which the autopoietic ‘higher’ order of immanent agency emerges and thus conjoins to the second property of action (–jet). Thus immanent agency is not some emergence ex nihilo, nor a pre-existent donation carried over by inaugural conditions; it emerges by deviating the flows across one functional operation (sub– bringing sense to the primary, generative process) so that a different series is processed by the second functional operation (–jet, the power to act). These are not separable properties (sense and action) because the emergence of immanent agency couples them together; that is why technē remains an irreducibly complex functional problem in which these properties emerge through successive iterations comprising its complex processing. It is thus that the complex functional arrangement of technē transforms the primary generative conditions, so that subjective being becomes possible. But that is not all; it has further been argued that while subjective formation requires the strict division of epistēmē, technē is not excluded from this new dimension, in which the fragility of the subject will be kindled. Technē is thus not only instrumental in the production of subjectivity but also prolonged everywhere within the foundations of the abstract-ideal and, additionally, animates subjective formations from within. More specifically, technē carries out this task because it is the active computational process without which thinking as a dynamic activity would not be possible. Subjects would have no sensitivity or power to act, much less their distinctive, self-conscious form of immanent agency, were not the functional properties of technē prolonged there. Most importantly, the location of an agency adequate to art must not only be capable of assembling the practices of the body into ideal speculations; it must be capable of the reciprocal process, in which ideas transform into immanent acts. If this limitation does not present itself in the search for a subject proper to artistic praxis, it is because the subject is the patient of this dissolution. No form of subjectivity, no determination of immanent agency derived from abstract principles can encounter this other scene, dissolving into the depths of living bodies. For finally, the issue is not whether subjective theorization is sufficient for its primary task of organizing immanent agency into a suitably philosophical form, capable of assembling a radically broadened ontological model. It is rather that immanent agency restricted to the subjective form is not capable

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of navigating the breadth of artistic praxis, which must traverse the heights of abstraction as masterfully as the absolute depths of living and material bodies. If epistemological interrogation cannot lead us to technē, it is because it is not encountered by analysing the series of effects it has produced. This is not in the least because technē no longer simply responds to whatever problem brings it into being – technē is, above all, the power to problematize, inseparable from a real power to create. Functions have been argued to radically differentiate from the general form of problems because they work upon the flows of cause; they deviate the processes of becoming, which is to deviate the nature of problems that might otherwise flow from ‘natural’, determining laws. That is why the creative power of the function works against or rather upon original, natural powers. This creative kind of power is not foretold, nor given in the general or universal origin – it is a power that both emerges with and belongs to the particular. These, immanent, particular, creative powers are not problems requiring a solution. They are the active powers with which human subjects are differentiated, not as a product of their being (the forces which comprise them and which bring them to appearance) but as a problematic field in which powers to affect are generated. This work is indistinguishable from art, which from the first, indicates the particular powers agents have in their complicated proximity to nature, considered in its Greek sense of phusis – the flows of forces that bring them and all else to being. But art is not defined by this bringing to being. Through the creative power of functions art is defined as a work that deviates, a working upon and against this primary phusis and its determinations. Art does not imitate; art improves nature. Against the general form of the problem, overdetermining this primary flow into resolved epistemological ideas stands the emergence of the function. And with the generative problematization of the function, all these hitherto fragmented moments of creative productions, of immanent acts and sensitivities, of partial processes and dynamic differentiations thread together, to indicate what can only be a sort of rival circulation. And if there has been no adequate epistemological approach, no adequate idea, no clear and distinct solution to the problem art presents, then as we shall see, it is because the field of art plays out in the moments of this rival, counter-causal flow.

2.5.3 Recapitulation of the functional problem The re-problematization of technē has been necessitated because a subjectepistemological approach to the field of art fails to engage the kind of immanent

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agency necessary to sensibilize artistic praxis. This failure is twofold; first, while the status of epistēmē has tended to be degraded where subjects are implicated in the production of knowledge, this does not lead to a re-problematization of technē, but solidifies its division further into living bodies. While universal foundations for thought are destabilized by their reliance upon subjective being, immanent agency remains radically divorced from the generative process through which bodies come into being. Here, at the price of acknowledging the limitations of epistēmē and thinking subjects, the division between ideas and bodies, between praxis and epistēmē becomes more intractable. If philosophy and theory are less troubled by this renewed division, it is because immanent agency is drawn decisively on the side of thought, sufficiently to relegitimize intellectual labour. But art, which addresses itself to the abstract and the concept as much as it does the material and the body, is impossibly rent by this configuration, so that the field becomes fractured with each fragment bringing to bear its own expository theory. The issue is not one of theoretical pluralism, but rather that this obscures an analysis of work and the question of praxis upon which epistemological subjects have little authority left to pronounce. This leads to questionable divisions within the discipline of art, fragmented by categorical distinctions about the nature of its products:  the conceptual and the affective; intellectualism and expressionism; representational and processual; abstraction and impressionism; romanticism and realism and so on. Rather this result of resolving the nature of subjectivity in exchange for the encounter art presents becomes the de facto signification for art; it will exemplify epistēmē by standing as the emblem or symbol of all within it that cannot be made explicable, whose dissemblance communicates its discredited ‘nature’. Yet this symbolic dissemblance perhaps obscures a more significant failure; to adequately encounter and analyse what art is working to do. As such, a case has been presented that this problem cannot be approached wherever the making of work – poiesis – is abstracted or made exchangeable with the artefact or product, what this work produces. Consequently, artistic praxis is by default a sort of improper problem for thought. And the price is paid in the fragmentation of the work of art, such that it resolves into an abstract relation, ready-made for thought or into an irreducibly material process, radically divorced from intelligibility and agency. Artistic praxis is the casualty of this concession to subjective epistemological perspectives that can only apprehend art by a stratification in which its work is obliterated. Thus, the second failure is that the effort to

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make sense of work  – to render it meaningful  – loses the thread of technē, so it is broken apart, its properties are reallocated and its operation becomes inexplicable. But in returning to the Greeks, technē can be recovered in the terms of a complex topos – a complex, functional problem. It is the problem of intelligence and intentional action together with immanent agency. In this chapter, these problems were drawn forward to argue that technē indicates the immanent agency capable of approaching artistic praxis and to encounter how art operates by carefully distinguishing it from thinking subjects. But this was only to reconsider the role technē plays across the flows of generative causes and how it potentializes the work that will distinguish it. Yet, this is to only arrive at the work of art via poiesis, for art’s work concerns another workflow entirely – the transformation of these flows into a particular power to act. What our attention must turn to now is a discussion of this work of deviation – that is, an engagement with Aristotle’s primary apprehension, in which technē deviates the generative process thus distinguishing itself from the flows of phusis.

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Deviant Technē Phusis and –jet

3.1 Technē and technology: Agency and artifice 3.1.1 The ‘other’ problem of technē The functional re-problematization attempts to restore the splitting up of technē’s functional properties across theory/praxis and mind/body divides. In the problem of subjective formation, –jet (to throw, the power of immanent action) required a special emphasis to draw attention to how technē is there prolonged. Subjects were argued to be precipitated by technē’s intentional act, throwing itself into the abstract strata (the Symbolic or signifying regime). Here it was further argued that the productions of sense and meaning, up to the activity of producing knowledge, were only possible because technē must also carry out cogitation, the broad calculative operations of thinking. Thus, to recover technē as a functional problem is to prohibit cleaving apart its functional properties. But this is not only necessary where technē precipitates the subject’s form; it also concerns its power to affect. On the one hand, this is the affective praxis animating thought. But on the other, this is the process of directing powers around living bodies. If this returns us back to the Aristotelian topos, it is because this is to address the ‘other’ problem of technē, concerning its relationship to phusis. In subjective formation, technē’s affective power (at –jet) or dynamic praxis required emphasis because it was prolonged within the ideal. This was to discover first an intelligible property in bodies, the dynamic functionality of calculation (logistikós) as the precedence for thinking subjects. But if technē is not a problem of the general form, it is because the formative precipitation of the subject does not resolve this calculative power, claiming it exclusively for the work of thought. For technē is not bound by this mind/body distinction, but

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rather by the ordinal restriction where its calculation is limited across one direction or another. And because technē is the complex functional conjugation of sense coupled to action, as it moves one way or another, it progressively complicates the intelligible and affective properties present in both minds and bodies. Thus, when in the process of subjective formation technē applies its intentional power (at –jet) to produce new kinds of sensitive intelligence, so it reprocesses this intelligence back into living bodies to potentiate within them new affective powers. That is to say, where the complex conjugation of technē was found to deviate the process of production to bring an unprecedented subject into being, so its return to the body must potentialize within it unprecedented powers. If this is a crucial step for our re-problematization of art, it is because this is the mechanism through which a genuinely emergent, creative power animates its kind of work. But before the problem of art can be adequately pursued, the broader context in which technē works to deviate phusis must first be established. This returns to the ‘other’ aspects of technē:  the problems of its experiential affects and its experimental praxes. In our contemporary period, the most rigorous accounting of this aspect of technē is addressed in the theorization of technology. This is because, of all human activity, it is arguably technology that leverages the most significant power to work upon or deviate the natural world. But, where technē is thought to be resolved into thinking subjects, there seems no way for its intentional or affective powers to influence the generative forces at work in phusis. That is to say, where the subject’s coming to being is thought to be the outcome of a general ontological problem, this determines what kind of affective powers it may wield. What thus carries over in the general problem’s resolution of technē is this limitation or illegitimacy about the affective powers exerted by technology upon the generative processes of phusis. Arguably, it is the advent of modern technology that calls into question this impoverishment of technē’s affective powers. Modern technology challenges these assumptions because the local deviations human beings put into effect are patently multiplied by machinery. Even with the first waves of industrial technology, it becomes evident that the technical apparatus works in a sort of contravention to the flows of phusis, to the ordering power of primary processes. First, technology confronts, works upon and even alters the conditions or limits of being, the space-time dimensions that are overwhelmingly determinate (the telegraph moves communication across vast distances in an instant, industrial manufacturing processes multiply the transformative effect of labour upon earth and material).1 Moreover, the orientation of technology

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is pointedly aimed at overcoming these limitations that have been placed upon particular beings by all manner of natural laws (such as the aeroplane, which combines the force of combustion with material fabrication to overcome the force of gravitation). At what point will technological sophistication empower the affective attributes of particular beings in such a way as to re-problematize our very thinking about what constitutes phusis? Such a proposition is patently absurd from the orthodox perspective of the general form of problems, which are posed between the generative powers of universal laws and their resolution in the appearance of beings. However, where the realization of technological power rests in mathematical foundations, does it not follow that this is not merely to mitigate universals but to pursue the exercise of an emergent creative power? That is to say, if the broad utility of mathematics does not concern its discovery of universal laws or foundations, it is rather because it creates functions adequate to the work of universal processes, by utilizing human computation as an affective fulcrum. This is to re-problematize technē in the work of the particular. For it must be argued that the contemporary suspicion about universals and their transcendent donators must find a new consequence through empowering the particular, even if this is not yet in ascendancy.

3.1.2 Aristotle’s resolution of the topos: The general problem of formal and final causes For Aristotle, the fundamental kind of deviation technē affects from phusis not only works to signify human difference but also explains the relative impoverishment of its immanent, particular being. This weakness in the deviations beings put into effect is compensated for by the superior ambit of epistēmē; for despite the degraded imitation of forces affected by immanent bodies, this impoverishment is partly overcome by the capacity of abstract thought to model and directly access the nature of generative causes. This judgement works to legitimize why so much emphasis is placed upon understanding how thinking subjects come into being and precisely what constitutes the nature of thought. But this will not assist in recovering the functional problem at technē if contemporary thought only reduces the stature and certitude of epistēmē and does not lead to a renaissance of how the powers of particular beings might re-problematize generative processes. Thus, it is arguably not until the advent of modern technology that these assumptions about the impoverishment of technē’s immanent, affective

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deviations become adequately problematized. This is because modern technology multiplies the powers exerted by particular beings so that the deviation of the ‘natural’ can no longer be interpreted as something trivial or inconsequential, which is to say, something that is merely derivative of universal forces. Technology thus confronts what arguably remains the most orthodox and pervasive assumption about technē established by the Greeks  – what is prolonged in the contemporary terms ‘artifice’ and ‘artificial’, where to affect a particular deviation implies a local aberration of the natural.2 That is to say, even where divine, natural and universal orders are largely overthrown, this does not unseat the judgement about the artificial quality of human activity and work. This is a significant issue because it is arguably this judgement that continues to dominate technē; it undermines the legitimacy about technology and animates the suspicion of superfluity about contemporary art. It will again be instructive to return to the inaugural topos, for the judgement between nature and artifice remains arguably predicated upon how Aristotle characterizes technē’s deviations from phusis. We know technē gives to immanent beings a power to act, but this deviation is locally restricted; that is to say, it only propagates between particular beings, by either working upon local materials (material elements immanent to the subject, such as the crafting of wood or stone) or other subjects (such as ‘doctoring’ in the case of medicine) (Aristotle, 1984d: 194b24–37). What must be emphasized is that while immanent beings propagate affective powers, these remain restricted to local and derivative effects with no consequences for the primary flow of phusis – the strong, ‘vertical’ flows comprising whatever constitutes universal laws. For Aristotle, what differentiates technē and phusis, and carries over in our contemporary sense of artifice and artificiality, is predicated upon the doctrine of four causes.3 The work of art that technē affects is propagated locally, so that it only precipitates efficient causes that work upon the material. That is not only why technē cannot act upon the nature of phusis (formal and final causes) but also why epistēmē is tasked with resolving technē; for only epistēmē can engender a sufficiency to the eternal and unchanging through thought, in which formal and final causes may be grasped. This was the crucial distinction elaborated earlier between the Platonic and Aristotelian senses of art, where Aristotle resituates mimesis as a function of immanent activity: that is, where the work of art with its deployment of immanent affects imitates the generative processes of phusis. If, for Aristotle, this confers a more primary role to affect it is because the mimetic, intentional activity of art may work in accordance with phusis to bring

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about a proper, final form.4 For what impoverishes the work of art is that it deviates from the progression to the final cause through the intervention of an efficient cause upon the material. There is no prohibition here, for technē is precisely so potentialized in order to deviate forces between the efficient and the material for the benefit of immanent beings. In the canonical example, the work of art deviates the generative progression of the tree (telos) so that its materiality may be fashioned into a bed. But this will not be to engage the power of the formal or the final cause; for the work of art, in operating upon the material and efficient causes of the bed, will not lead to a reconfiguration of the formal, so that the immanent deviation works back upon phusis. No amount of cutting and carving of timber, no repetition of technical assembly, will cause the following generation of plants to produce a bed.5 That is why the work of art in precipitating material and efficient causes only imitates the productivity of phusis. What must be clarified is precisely what is differentiated and what is lacking in the work of art, such that it stops short of operating at the level of formal causes. What specifies art and enacts the deviation at technē was argued in the analysis of subjectivity to concern –jet. For where the function at sub– (to sense) already implies the functional transformation or deviation of phusis, the resulting series carries into the second function –jet: the power to direct intentional actions. As such, the functional re-problematization accords with Aristotle’s complex apprehension of the topos:  art is a central problem of human difference announced by deviation, where deviation was always intended to indicate the act and expression of intentional agency. Thus, although for Aristotle art’s deviation falls short of comprehending the formal and realizing the final, it works by deviating the flow of causes: that is, it deviates the ‘shape’ (morphē) by acting as the final cause, the end to which phusis is automatically directed.6 What thus precisely differentiates technē, its intentional power of deviating cause, is that this remains an inferior imitation of the final cause that phusis mandates – what Aristotle calls ‘purpose’ (telos).7 Not only is technē impoverished in the order of causation available to it and by the magnitude of its affective power relative to phusis, its finite intentionality (efficient cause) is also enfeebled against the eternal nature of final causes, the purpose animating phusis. Where phusis produces the entire series of formal causes into the finality of being, art works through immanent agency (efficient causes) to deviate a fragment of this affective power into the actualization of a material cause; this is a local deviation of material or subjective conditions, with no impact upon the nature of the universal.

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Arguably, the judgement upon how well the deviations of immanent technē harmonize with the purpose of phusis have nothing to do with technē and its primary relation to phusis; rather, it has everything to do with ensuring the deviation technē affects unilaterally works toward a unified perspective within epistēmē. There is no meaningful uncovering of truths between the immanent affective powers of technē and an epistemological apprehension of a universal nature; rather, there is in effect a process of abstracting immanent functional operations into formal relations, speculatively extended to universal ambitions. And if this evokes a certain Lacanian precedent, it is because the existence and consistency of the subjective form requires that technē’s active calculation continues to compute its form within epistēmē; where it turns about to actualize affective power this subject and its knowledge necessarily dissolve. It might then be the case that the perceived impoverishment of technē is that it fails to legitimize the speculative proposition that simple, determinable and unchanging laws should govern phusis. Thus, despite technē evidently deviating phusis through an application of efficient causes upon the material, a general form of the problem brackets this functional activity into the problem-solution coupling of formal and final causes. This is not because the formal and final are necessitated by the affective power of technē; it is rather to secure the identity of the model against this reality.

3.1.3 Heidegger on the illegitimacy of technē in its mode of challenging phusis If technē remains a fragmented problem of irreducible elements for modern theory, the necessity to return them to a more inaugural, complex problem was not lost upon Heidegger. Having resolved to his satisfaction technē’s relationship to epistēmē, Heidegger turned to this other scene, concerning technē deviating phusis.8 In The Question Concerning Technology, Heidegger characterizes technē’s deviation as a mode of challenging to be contrasted with its harmonious activity in The Origin of the Work of Art. The problem at the essence of technology finds technē no longer working toward the unveiling or deconcealing of truth, but rather engaging in a contest with the nature of phusis. Heidegger contrasts the original harmony between technē and phusis to the discord that comes to dominate in modern technology, where technē enacts a dangerous, inauthentic challenging of nature. The original and authentic work of technē would be exemplified in the way art emblematizes the task of Dasein; a putting to work

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in the unveiling of truth, which in accordance with the flow of phusis, brings all from Being to particular being. Although for Heidegger the potential for the inauthentic challenging of technē is already anticipated by Plato, the consequences are fully realized in the degeneration of technē into its modern, industrial form, that is, technology – a challenging or forcing of phusis that Heidegger calls Ge-stell (Enframing) (2001: 19–20). Here technē no longer facilitates phusis (the task of unveiling beings) but rather sets upon, divides, stores and redeploys phusis, treating it as an abstract, material repository or ‘standing reserve’ (Bestand) (ibid.: 17). Heidegger draws out this poetical and technological distinction in his discussion of the Rhine (ibid.: 15–16).9 Technē does not facilitate the poetic, ‘natural’ dwelling of the river or the earth, but fractures and transforms it in a contest of power. Technē is judged harshly in this redistribution of its intentional powers, from its proper allotted work of unveiling truth or the unfolding of the essential nature of Being. Despite the fact that Heidegger grants that technē possesses a genuine countercausal mechanism which contests or operates upon phusis, this activity remains judged by a transcendent principle. The danger, identified in Enframing, is precisely to displace Dasein from the process, so that what is set to work is a circulation of phusis that no longer has human being as its shepherding centre. Thus, when Heidegger fixes his gaze upon the deviation of modern technology, working to challenge or ‘counter’ phusis, this stands opposed to his characterization of poiesis which was uncovered at the origin of the work of art. For the ‘countering’ or challenging of technē does not express a legitimate immanent power, but a covering over of the natural process of onto-phenomenological unveiling. We are reminded that, at the origin of the work, technē is never a making but always an unveiling – technē’s proper task is not to deviate from but participate in the unidirectionality of poiesis and is oriented so as to facilitate the coming to presence, which is already at work with phusis. Heidegger conceives that this coming to presence has already been established by Being: and where phusis brings forth what is already established there, so technē takes its place as the medial process bringing this from phusis to Dasein. That is why any deviation from this medial task is perceived by Heidegger to be a kind of violation.10 Let us elaborate here on the distinction coming into focus. It is the particularity of technē that must be distinguished from the partiality of Dasein; the complex functionality of technē in locating an unprecedented creative power belonging to particular beings must be contrasted to the process of onto-phenomenological revelation, where Dasein is a partial unveiling of an occulted and forever distant

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greater Being. For a functional re-problematization of technē, deviation characterizes the very nature of its intentional power; for Dasein, deviation is an impediment to its essential purpose. Thus, despite Heidegger’s undeniable innovation, what is problematized in technē by the emergence of technology is itself occulted when approached through the centrality of the subject’s formal presence:  its fixated perspective within the model. Technē must be re-problematized in a primary deviation from phusis, which contrasts with the judgement that it has left behind its essential vocation in the setting of technological machinery against nature.11 It is only to save the identity of the model that poiesis insistently concerns a unidirectional process that brings all to being identically. Where technē is re-problematized as functionally creative, its encounter deviates poiesis into a completely separate workflow. This change in the direction of the workflow constitutes a genuine ‘counter-causal’ affect belonging to particular beings, with consequences for an adequate ontological modelling of phusis.

3.1.4 Simondon’s machinic evolution: Toward a dissolution of the formal and final for the material and efficient It has been argued that the particularity of technē is not resolved into a thinking subject, whose very appearance or formation signifies the terminus of a partial universal. Rather, the problem of technology returns us to the analysis undertaken in Chapter 1, where the distinction of mathematical praxis was found to be predicated upon two irreducible operations; here, active experimentation did not resolve into final epistemological predicates, but initiated a new counteroriented process where ideas engendered new immanent acts. Epistemological abstractions do not resolve the activity of technē; the contest of ideas synthesize new kinds of functions (including, but not restricted to, unification and assemblage), enabling a more complex or potent circulation of forces back into the dimension of material and living bodies. It is the demonstration of these powers in modern technology, operating upon the ‘lesser’ material and efficient causes, that returns us to the ‘other’ aspect of technē and its deviations of phusis. Thus, in contradistinction to Heidegger, another theorization of technology finding little taste for transcendent principles fundamentally re-problematizes technē. Here, the influence of scientific praxis is further expressed in the pragmatic view that technological objects do not necessarily provoke questions of formal or final causes; rather, a sort of prima facie return to the technological object’s effects make it relatively

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evident that whatever functions as ‘purpose’, whatever ‘essence’ or ‘design’ participates in bringing technological objects into being, precedes only from the praxis of human agents. Gilbert Simondon pioneers this approach leading to an entirely new way of conceiving the affective powers generated by the particular. This will not only bring forward a radically revised assessment of technological objects but also have far-reaching implications for art and the re-problematization of technē. For Simondon, human subjects do not create the machine through an intentional donation (‘fabricating intention’) where this implies a formal structure or design; that is, the subject does not bring the machine into being by modelling for it a suitable telos or final purpose. Rather, the machine already possesses a complex, primary ensemble, specific to the material composition of its elements. Yet, what is common to natural and machinic processes is the functional dynamics or genetic processes, which drive their respective evolutionary behaviours. Unlike the utensil or the tool (which is determined by its use and the completion of its form), Simondon argues that the machine is only comprehensible as a series of dynamic genetic processes and which makes the evolutionary process specific to each case.12 But this is not a simple reiteration of Aristotelian causation. By demonstrating that technical evolution effectively circulates between material and efficient causes, Simondon might be argued to show that formal and final causes do not bracket and contain immanent processes, but are made redundant by them. And this is only possible because of how Simondon clarifies what the human donates to the machine – not a final imposition of form, but an efficient donation of structure that co-determines the very process of becoming. For Simondon this is to recalibrate our metaphysical assumptions of what constitutes becoming, itself; it is to transform Aristotle’s primitive individual terms – ‘form’ (eidos) and ‘matter’ (hylē) – into two interdependent forces in a state of dynamic tension. Simondon theorizes that individuation processes emerge in order to resolve preindividual differences in states of otherwise irreducible tension; that is to say, the origins of being are thought to no longer require a distribution of essential elements or pre-existing terms, but rather an essentializing of individuation processes themselves. If technical ‘invention’ will thus be able to establish a new kind of being, it is because efficient causation everywhere replaces original forms with information and is thus a combinatory element of all processes of becoming; that is, the indispensability of efficient causation now resides in the fact that it replaces the formal element, morphē or ‘shape’, as the structuring or ordering principle of Simondon’s ontogenetic process.

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For Simondon, this arrangement is absolutely foundational; as such, this ‘transductive’ recursive process has its model in the primitive example of crystallization, where ‘each molecular layer already constituted serves as a structuring base for the layer in the process of forming’ (Simondon, 2013: 33).13 Whether by accident (in the case of natural crystallization, where a contaminant strays into a supersaturated metastable liquid) or by the intervention of a technical agent, transduction shapes what comes into being by donating structure into a primary field of dynamic potentials. Simondon thus advances the re-problematization of technē, because he is at pains to show that the evolution of the machine is not differentiated from natural evolution by an epistemological design and development, such as we would expect from the subject in the image of Descartes’ Clock-maker God. Rather, technological intervention is simply another efficient cause; a donation of structure which shapes the ontogenetic process, whether initiated by a human agent or a chance, material contaminant. Simondon provides innumerable examples of this: in the case of the combustion engine, as power output increases, a cooling mechanism is necessitated by the physical properties of the mechanical system. As such, the secondary mechanism is not instigated by a subject’s intentional design: ‘each piece, in the concrete object, is no longer simply that which essentially corresponds to the accomplishment of a function desired by the builder, but part of a system where a multitude of forces act and produce effects that are independent of the fabricating intention.’ (Simondon, 2017: 42). The evolution of the engine is not driven by an idealized human design, but by a circulation of forces between ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’, between material evolutions abstracted into ideal models and ideas made to deviate material processes.14 Moreover, if the machine can never constitute a product, a completed or final object, it is because it is incomprehensible outside of this circulation of particular forces, which only ‘defines’ it as the workflow of material evolutionary forces and the efficient causes that progressively deviate or reshape the ontogenetic process. Thus, Simondon’s procedure arguably locates a functional independence in the arrangement of bodies that remains completely independent of epistēmē. This would seem to make somewhat superfluous the task allotted to epistēmē, to establish the unchanging nature of formal and final causes, because machinic evolution does not seem to require them. However, in his constitution of the ontogenetic problem, it is true that in order to found a principle of ontological coherence, Simondon restores a certain unidirectionality into the process of becoming which, in spite of its dynamic recursion and radical relationality, arguably constrains ontogenesis within the general form of the problem. That is to

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say, rather than restoring to technē a particular power to problematize, the determinations of ‘higher’ order agents remain composed by the original ontogenetic problem that produces them. Thus, despite the radical openness and computational incompleteness of Simondon’s ontology, there remains the spectre of the problem-solution coupling within the system’s primordial metastability, which both drives the ceaseless productions of differential becoming and resolves them in an ‘ecumenical’ unity.15 This is both the source of a common problem animating each ontogenetic becoming and as a tendency toward which each becoming is resolved. What is at issue here is that the generalization of efficient causation within the ontogenetic problem further erases the distinction of technē so that it is no longer functionally differentiated from the primary process. On the one hand, the problematic nature of technē directly results from the repository of primordial becoming it carries along with it, and on the other hand, its affective work is indistinguishable from other structural donations, which by intention or chance, inform or shape ontogenetic processes. That is why Simondon emphasizes that it is not the ‘fabricating intention’ or individual agency that re-problematizes the system, but rather a general participation in the shaping function necessary for all processes of ontogenesis. In other words, at the price of establishing ontological consistency, Simondon sacrifices the particularity of technē, where both its specificity and agency are largely accounted for by the ‘ecumenical’ or homeostatic drive animating the system.16 As such, while much of the distinctive innovation of Simondon’s ontology rests upon the striking idea that the recursive role that information plays constitutes a necessary element of the system’s genesis, it might be legitimately inquired how adequate this approach remains for the problem of technē. As we have recovered with Aristotle, technē remains the definitive power that announces agency, precisely because it is the power to re-problematize by breaking from the determinations of our originary becoming; that is why a human being is not simply the product or resolution of its originary conditions, but that which can actualize a decision, a deviated course of action. As we will see, while technē may certainly perform the resolute, recursive role allotted to it in Simondon’s ontology, this cannot exhaust the specific powers emergent at particular agency. This is because the agency emergent at technē will have a supplementary power to decide to be other than the resolution of the ontogenetic problem posed to it, by utilizing the flow of becoming as the elements of its own problematic composition. In short, technē and the agency that announces it are the emergence of a secondary and irreducible problematic (at -jet). We will

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later see that this precipitates a division within poiesis itself, so that the power to re-problematize clarifies that creative workflows do not integrate or unify; they differentiate and deviate. This is the distinctive function that Aristotle precisely had in mind for technē:  a unique kind of cause, a supplementary work upon natural, ontogenetic becoming and through which it precipitates unprecedented differences into being. Nevertheless, we owe to Simondon important insights for the reproblematization of technē; this is to affirm the critical role of efficient causation not only in shaping (to in-form) what is becoming but also in dissolving static formal determinations, so that what becomes is only comprehensible as a primary process of becoming, insofar as it is shaped by recursive structuring processes (efficient causes). As Simondon reminds us, it is not a matter of collapsing together the technical object with the natural object, but of seeing across them a circulation of differential causal operations that re-problematize our assumptions about what constitutes the artificial and the natural: the machine, being a work of organization and information, is, like life itself and together with life, that which is opposed to disorder, to the leveling of all things tending to deprive the universe of the power of change. The machine is that through which man fights against the death of the universe; it slows down the degradation of energy, as life does, and becomes a stabilizer of the world. (2017: 18)

These revelations must be carried over to query the task taken up by the model – to apprehend what is eternal or unchanging, whether it be an essentialism, a formal and final causation, or whether it is in apprehending an identical relation in the processes of becoming, governing how all comes to being. What this arguably requires is a new kind of functional problem, where the task is no longer to apprehend universal processes or causes, but rather to grasp with adequate complexity, the dynamic, differential and transformative powers of the particular. That is why technē does not simply raise again the aporia between being and becoming, where becoming reasserts a general form of the problem.17 This will be to pursue Simondon’s innovation further into how particular beings introduce efficient causation into the system, so that the telos is recovered as an emergent, existential power. It is when particular beings in their emergence are attributed a power adequate to the universal that the distinction of ‘life’ might be raised to the power of a veritable counteractive force upon physical laws. Edwin Schrödinger outlines such a project in What is Life? (1992), where the dominant, primary process of

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the Second Law of Thermodynamics (entropy) is opposed or countered by the negentropic building of order specific to life. Schrödinger argues that ‘universal’ laws would themselves be predicated upon local chaotic pockets of disorder, such that primary physical laws emerge in an early counterposition; an ‘orderfrom-disorder’ (a cosmological proposition that might find some support from category or topos theory).18 That is to say, the primary process is not conceived as having a formal or final cause, but is rather composed of a statistical or general flow, precipitated by the activity of many occulted or unknown particulars. Thus from physical laws to the complex assemblage of human beings, there is a certain irreducibility between flows and counter-flows – a body may be precipitated from primary or physical processes but the power to act marks a change in the determining flow. This is to participate in an orthogonal causal process which, Schrodinger argues, likely indicates, ‘ “other laws of physics”, hitherto unknown’ (Schrödinger, 1992: 68).

3.1.5 The particular is not a product or effect; it precipitates another causal process Nevertheless, the point is not to overtly engage in metaphysical speculations but rather to draw attention to the operating moments of functional technē in a broader context. This is specifically to emphasize a new role for the particular in the system of evolutionary processes; rather than simply the termination of the primary process, the particular initiates a counter-oriented flow of cause. This restoration of power at the particular diminishes the task of determining the telos (as form, essence or design) in a universal way, even at the limit of its overturning or negation. Technē is not bracketed (as the processual, apprehensive and practical segment of a bottom-up workflow), from inert material to a resolution in thinking subjects. For as doubt falls upon and overcomes the authority of the formal and the final, it is the apprehension of the complex problem or topos to which thought must return. That is why technē must be engaged with again, not only to recalibrate its resolution within epistēmē and subjective formation but rather in a more fundamental confrontation where it deviates phusis. For deviation has now further problematic implications: we must inquire into a transverse circulation, through which the particular operates upon the old repository of universals. There are revolutionary implications here for the re-emergence of technē as an agent specific to the field of art. In the least, it unsettles the certitude that epistemological models can determine art and the kind of work it performs. More

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importantly, it indicates a radically new function for art; where technē’s deviation of phusis is no longer a medial, localized action to be epistemologically resolved, it arguably participates in a rival circulation, whose activity works to naturalize phusis. This is to return to the originary topos – art, creation and nature – with a fundamentally different schema; for the proximity of art to nature takes on a constructive, creative role, a rival circulation through which particular, autopoietic or individuated differences confront and work upon primary processes. This broader task for deviation in the inaugural apprehension of technē is capable of engaging the complex problem or topos in important ways. Thus far, the Greek sense of technē – the distinctive quality of that being, captured against the flow of natural causes it both apprehends and works to affect – has been brought forward into the problem field of subjectivity, which has been ramified in the wake of the cogito. This has led to certain controversies about the constitution and value of human knowledge – between a practical, active intelligibility and abstract, ideal knowledge. However, it was argued that apprehension or the capacity to sense remains the functional operator that is equally productive across this distinction, by virtue of the fact that it is coupled with a power of affective, intentional action. It was thus possible to conceive a kind of affective work immanent and necessary to the production of the ideas – the very labour and production of thinking, generated by the agency of a computational operator with its attendant sensitivities and actions. As such, where technē was found to be the functional operation driving the immanent effects of living bodies so too was it necessary for the epistemological strata. Moreover, that it was so instrumental to the living body and thinking subjects adds significance to Aristotle’s apprehension that technē locates something specific to the human. Yet the problem of technology has complicated this configuration by locating the distinctive marks of technē’s functional operations outside of the human (a point that was not lost in Freud’s mechanistic characterization of the cathexes). This has brought into question whether intentionality belongs to thinking subjects, reserving for them an exclusive capacity to deviate natural processes. It has been already argued that technē’s complex conjugation of functions ensures that its actions are intentional. Thus a broader ubiquity or distribution of technē beyond human specification would be to reappraise intentionality as an affective property, belonging not to the epistemological strata, but rather to active bodies, more generally. Moreover, Simondon arguably initiates a more general proposition: the formal cause does not describe what is donated from phusis, insofar as it is the attempt to think a universal in the material; phusis is an assemblage of efficient

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and material causes, which pertain to universal traits, never as laws, but as a sort of consensus or grand assemblage. This reflects the broader trend in which the universal is no longer thought essential or axiomatic but rather something statistical: the general. But it also markedly differs, because the status of an intelligible, intentional donation is not simply denounced, but arguably becomes reallocated to the particular. There is no formal essence, no donation of subjective nature to be discovered, not only because the nature of particular processes of individuation are autopoietic (which is to say, not always already present in the universal) but also precisely because these emergent differences are how the general (‘universal’) becomes populated with particular difference. That is to say that another, irreducible process to the primary process of phusis is required, a process through which the given is transformed and refolded back upon phusis itself. For the distinction between technē and phusis remains at heart a question about the autonomy of the particular against the determination of the general. It also involves the degradation of epistemological truth-claims: that is, if the universal may only ever be of the general statistical kind, then the series of higher, supplementary dimensions that abstract and collectivize groups of individuating processes must indicate that the properties of intelligibility and intentionality are far more primordial and ubiquitous than we have been led to believe.

3.2 Technē III: General functional schematic 3.2.1 Technē is the general functional arrangement where sense conjugated to action generates the additional emergence of agency: A computor We are now in a position to bring forward a functional re-problematization of technē, assembling the disparate problematic elements into a more schematic presentation. This will not be to position technē as the outcome of this work; rather, it comprises an attempt to reinvigorate the problem itself, so that its generative operations can be more clearly identified. Let us return to the standard graphical representation of the ‘black box’ functional diagram (Figure 3.1). We have seen that it schematizes the transformation between two series: x is the series of inputs or the domain fed into the function f and producing a resultant series y or codomain. What the diagram attempts to draw to our attention is the inscrutability of the function f, which becomes expressible only in the transformation between

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Figure 3.1 Function ‘black-box’

the series x and y [= f(x)]. What is formally inscrutable about the function is that it is not reducible to an abstract relation between properly determinable epistemological objects (like a series of numbers, names, forms, laws and so on). It appears in the abstract structure only in a denotative way; that is, as a symbolic representation of the processes it will put into operation. What is effectively inscrutable about the function is the process of computation; a function cannot be satisfactorily abstracted or reduced to a series of relations (domains, codomains) because the affectivity of the function cannot be anticipated from the abstraction of relations alone (that is, something clearly predicable from the conditions and results  – the cause-effect couplings of previous iterations). Functions must be put into operation. This highlights an even more fundamental issue about the inscrutability of the function that recalls in a very precise way the problems about subjective formation: functions are inscrutable because their operation is necessary for the appearance of abstract relations and thinking subjects. Thus, the formal limits upon axiomatization and computation, in Gödel, Church and Turing converge upon the presence of a disciplinary subject  – the computor  – whose task in the mathematical epistēmē is to carry out the computation.19 But, this is a very unique disciplinary subject, because what mathematics grasps with exceptional rigour is not a particular subjective form defined by its perspectival fixation, but rather a functional apprehension of what animates subjective formation. And let us immediately assign this ‘computor’: it is the autopoietic emergence of that kind of agency brought about across the complex conjugated functionality of technē. Let us with the fullest, possible resonance contrast this ubiquity of computors with the vertical or horizontal donator in bringing about subjective formation.

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Figure 3.2 Complex functional schema of technē

Where donators are unified, eternal singularities, computors are granular, simple, massively distributed. Where donators are formal and final, first and last, computors are efficient causes; they exert immanent powers operating recursively upon and through material causes. Brouwer precisely clarifies what animates the scepticism in Descartes’ method and which drives the affective mechanism in Simondon’s evolution of technology. It is this:  computors perform the work that will be attributed to telos. The functional elaboration of technē makes redundant the formal and the final, because it is the process of computation that performs the deviation:  that computation is a transformational act is why the function remains independent from the formal and the final, from x and y, domain and codomain. This is inseparable from a genuinely creative power belonging to the particular that does not feature in all the sets upon which it operates. What must therefore be brought forward, from the high abstractions of pure mathematics to the emergence of living processes, is that these everywhere invoke the complex functionality of technē.

3.2.2 The complex functional conjugation of technē Let us elaborate upon how this general schematic for technē might be brought forward from the functional arrangement animating subjective formation in the previous chapter (Figure 3.2). There, in living bodies, the first function concerned the capacity ‘to sense’ (f1). This capacity was found inseparable from a measure of intelligibility. However, this function of sense and intelligence at technē should never specify only what is exhibited in the higher faculties of abstract thought and subjective formation demonstrable in epistēmē. It is rather something more ubiquitous, closer to what for Plato was epistasthai (know-how, technical or pragmatic intelligence), and more precisely, what Aristotle identified as logistikós (calculation). In short, this is to sense, apprehend and gather intelligence about functions (ergon), which broadly concerns how things operate.

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In the previous chapter, the passivity of sense was brought into question by the transformation it affects upon the primary process or series of forces precipitating the entity (represented at x, in Figure 3.2). What was clarified is that ‘to sense’ is a functional operation (f1) that may only be thought of as passive, insofar as it does not, of itself, produce an intentional, affective power. As such, the function ‘to sense’ (f1) was not enough to distinguish technē, for this apprehensive, intelligible acquisition about functions leaves it thus inactive and technē announces itself by deviating phusis in such a way as to disrupt autonomous, natural production. Thus technē is linked to a second function, which generates intentional action (f2). But, as Aristotle is careful to distinguish, this kind of action must be differentiated from production, because intentional action implies a commensurate intelligibility. The function bringing intentional action (f2) is thus coupled directly to the first property or function of sense (f1). These properties together form the complex functional operation of technē (Figure 3.2). Sense operates by apprehension upon phusis (x), transforming it into a second series [y = f1 (x)]. Most importantly, this interior deviation brings an autopoietic phenomenon:  a ‘higher’ order emergence, namely, an agent (a computor). Thus, this second series or codomain (y) is coupled to the second functional operation bringing action (f2) by serving as its input or domain. Finally, from the flow of phusis (x), already transformed by sense (f1) into (y), a third series emerges (z), of intentional actions. It is this force of intentional affection that performs the deviation with which the complex functionality of technē is announced (at z).20 This arrangement completes the functional schematic common to all technē. Moreover, the functional schematic of technē thereby re-problematizes the nature of the deviation, through which technē is distinguished from phusis. Because deviation is the transformative process or computation carried out by technē’s complex functional operations, it is phusis itself that is deviated (x); the complex functional arrangement of sense (f1) and action (f2) carry out transformations so that the entity’s particularity  – the autopoietic emergence of immanent agency (computor) – cannot belong to, prolong from, or be donated by the primary process (x). From the general to the particular, a nature is not prolonged in a flow of direct generative causation, but rather it is deviated and transformed. The operation of technē leads to the acquisition of new properties and powers. Thus what emerges from the deviation or transformative operation of technē has no corresponding, original or essential nature issuing from its primary, generative flows.

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3.3 Deviation and evolution 3.3.1 Aristotle’s telos is predicated on an inadequate understanding of natural processes We have seen in the problem of technology that the functional operations of technē are not confined to the processes bringing subjective formation and epistēmē into being. The problem of technology indicates that technē not only works in the service of generative processes bringing ever more complex or sophisticated bodies – it also operates in a kind of countermovement or challenging, in which these generative flows are, to various extents, contested. Nevertheless, to challenge or deviate phusis  – whether as an intentional action, the work of art or the apparatus of technology – has always been thought the exclusive province of higher self-conscious beings, specifically the human. However, this exclusivity is tempered by the relative paucity attributed to these challenging or counter-affective powers. This is because deviation is assumed to be derivative, so that a degradation of powers characterizes particular beings. It is this assumption about technē that is carried over into the epistemological estimation of art and technology. That is to say, it is the work of art (poiesis) qua particular deviation that simultaneously engenders the technological apparatus and degrades it on the same account. That is why technology is characterized as artifice (a product of art), resonating into the contemporary sense of artificial (human-made and opposed to the natural), because what impoverishes the counter-affective powers of particular human beings consequently diminishes technology against the order of nature. We have seen that Aristotle’s primary apprehension, which grasps the inaugural deviation of technē, is hampered by the teleological assumption about phusis, with crucial consequences for particular being. Technē deviates or disrupts the general flow of how phusis self-propagates, but what it does not do is work upon the formal impetus (eidos), or the final purpose (telos), of what phusis brings into being. Nevertheless it has been argued that, for Aristotle, the work of art has a far more sophisticated engagement with nature than in the Platonic model, because mimesis happens in the order of actions so that technē may deviate phusis back toward its ‘rightful’ self-propagation. And this idea informs the orthodoxy we encountered in Heidegger (and almost everywhere else besides), where the deviation technē performs is measured by degrees of consonance with phusis. Where it does so, the specificity of the human being results, together with

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its distinctive epistemological privileges. Where it does not, there is in its place a kind of squandering or impoverishment of the natural order of things. But it must be maintained that deviation concerns a far broader context than that of human subjects. This becomes clear when we acknowledge that Aristotle confined technē to the human species because of a relatively unsophisticated understanding of natural processes. It is the contemporary data sets, yielded from the natural sciences about the generative, evolutionary processes at work in phusis, that reveal a far greater role for technē. What is thus required is not an abandoning of the topos Aristotle apprehends, but a re-problematization of technē with this new information in mind. Once the perspective of this accumulated scientific data is brought to bear upon the Greek topos, what emerges first is how uncertain the telos – the automatic, eternal, purely in itself ‘purpose’ of phusis – seems to be. Even where the universal, fundamental laws of classical mechanics hold sway, we have learned that the macroscopic law finds its own limit in the activity of the infinitesimal particular; that is to say, the laws of matter seem to be predicated upon the particular, statistical activity of quantum phenomena. Moreover, and despite the fact it remains an often-misappropriated example, this finding demonstrates that sense (observation and measurement) has even here a recursive effect, by precipitating the collapse of complex and indeterminable quantum states. This is not to overplay the role of human subjects in the fundamental nature of materiality, but rather to indicate that some function of sense (f1) affects at this fundamental level a deviation in phusis, precipitating transformations from one set of laws to another. There is of course nothing determinable in this example, but it is nonetheless evocative of how ubiquitous the functional operation of technē and its interventionist deviations, may yet prove to be. And if this indetermination is overstated in this case, there are other reasons to doubt the conventionally ‘inert’ status attributed to matter. Theoretical biologist Stuart Kauffman, whose work examines the gulf between matter and the emergence of living entities, discusses certain autocatalytic processes in organic molecules, which seem to actualize co- and self-organizing structures, exhibiting particular, emergent properties. Kauffman theorizes that such a ‘general biology’ would overturn the necessity for a randomly determined, inaugural or singular evental cause for life, rather indicating that complicated structure emerges ubiquitously from the material.21 That is to say, matter does not require a preexisting telos to precipitate it upon the path of evolutionary becoming. Matter evidences its own autopoietic functionality, radically distinguishing it from the kind of non-intentional inertia that Aristotle conceived.22

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3.3.2 Technē has an evolutionary precedence, evident in the simplest cells These speculative examples are not meant to be definitive, but simply indicate that a case might yet be made for a very primordial, operable technē. Let us then consider a less contentious example:  the deviations indicating sensitivity and intentional activity in the emergence and behaviour of single cellular life. In the case of the simple, single cell organism, the transformation that the first function of sensitive apprehension (f1) brings would be relatively simple and limited, but as Maturana and Varela have argued, it must be sufficient for the autopoietic emergence of a ‘higher’ order organization or rudimentary agency, capable of exerting affect; a deviation at (f2), even if extremely limited.23 The single cell must have this ‘whole body’ capacity to sense coupled to a capacity to act, even if only commensurate with its ability to apprehend then select or reject what may pass its epithelial envelope. Technē greatly assists our conception here, because this capacity to sense and to act is not discredited if it proves purely functional (computational) in nature. We indeed expect that this intelligibility is exclusively of a ‘know-how’, pragmatic, even dominantly reactive type. And if this same functional schematic is indeed common to the single cell and to conscious human beings, we might then venture an additional proposition:  as the function ‘to sense’ (f1) operates upon a more diverse, complex set at (x), this directly corresponds to the magnitude and diversity of affective powers available at (f2). This is to enquire into deviation in a mode hitherto unapproached in this investigation. It will require us to see a new division in Aristotelian deviation: there is an ‘interior’ or strong deviation, corresponding to how the complex conjugated functionality of technē transforms phusis into a particular being. This process has been schematized in Figure 3.2, but particularly refers to the interior conjugation between the two functional operations where the codomain of the first function is taken as the domain by the second (this is indicated by the central arrow y, between the functional boxes). Let us reiterate, this dominantly concerns the first function of sense (f1), because what is brought to being across this process is not the living body but the agency specific to this body. This interior deviation is ‘strong’, because the transformed series produced by the function of sense (f1) feeds directly into the second function bringing action (f2), establishing a strong correspondence between these two operations. But there is another class of deviations concerning what this particular being will put into effect, that is, which regards what exits the functional conjugation of technē at (f2), concerning the series of actions (z) it exerts. These

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‘exterior’ or external deviations are precipitated by the intentional activity that this particular entity puts into action. And because technē operates deviation in all of these instances, the functional re-problematization of particular beings cannot be complete without a further elaboration of these additional distinctions.

3.3.3 By degree and recursion, technē potentiates transformations of bodies Let us pursue the example of the single cell in the context of its evolutionary emergence, in which the complex nature of deviation can be brought to the schemata of technē. Consider the particularly illuminating case of cyanobacteria, a prokaryotic cell, evidently one of the most primordial and simple, single cell organisms on Earth. Cyanobacteria are distinctive, because fossil records indicate an unprecedented morphological stability (some billion years) with no evident evolutionary transformation of the body’s form across subsequent generations. What is additionally distinctive about cyanobacteria across this extraordinary period is that they appear to have transformed the chemical composition of the atmosphere to one far more conducive for diverse, complex life forms (Whitton and Potts, 2000). Figure  3.3 schematizes this very rudimentary, primordial kind of exterior deviation where technē exerts a difference in degree in the locality of phusis about a particular entity. As the case of cyanobacteria aptly demonstrates, this kind of deviation upon existing evolutionary pressures remains infinitesimal relative to the primary forces determining the particular entity. But as cyanobacteria also demonstrate, with a sufficient population of particular individuals – where many such particular entities immanent to one another, exert a collective, sustained deviation of the local conditions – the effect may well strongly deviate what comprises the existing, generative flows of phusis. In the case of cyanobacteria, this collective affection was strong enough to deviate the entire atmospheric composition of the earth, leading to a complete terraforming of the planet. That is to say, they impacted upon the heterogeneous composition of those primary processes which bring different kinds of bodies into being. Thus exterior deviations by degree – even when exceptionally weak and indeterminate in and of themselves and which are felt in the ‘atmosphere’ of forces about particular beings – might generate stronger determinations through collective, accumulative effects when many such particular beings operate in parallel to one another.

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Figure 3.3 Deviation by technē: degree

Yet there is another important characteristic of exterior deviation anticipated by the functional schemata of technē. For, like all forces in spatio-temporal extension, the intensity of intentional affect tends to diminish from the place of its expression because affects are not exercised in a vacuum but against other kinds of forces (such as gravity, air resistance, the movement and resistance of other bodies and so on). Thus exterior deviation has a particularly potent effect upon the entity which exerts it (Figure 3.4). As such, in addition to the weak exterior deviation by degree, which works upon what is immanent to the particular being, there is a stronger feedback mechanism where exterior deviations work upon the body’s own generative, individuation processes. This feedback mechanism ensures that its own intentional actions have a progressive determination upon the kind of being it is. Of course, such a series of processes would be radically inadmissible from a process of becoming confined by the general form of problems, where a formal and final cause strictly determines processes of becoming (whether as essences or concrete universals, forms or transcendent donations, chance or randomness). But, in following on from Simondon’s evolutionary logic, particular beings are individuation events – they are not a teleological product divined by an inaugural

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Figure 3.4 Deviation by technē: recursion

form, but ensembles of dynamic processes. The exterior deviations of technē, by degree and recursion, therefore arguably introduce what is inadmissible in orthodox evolutionary theory – that is, a role for efficient causation, where particular beings have an impact upon the general ‘primary’ process that brings transformations of bodies into being. As such, to argue that the functional configuration of technē appears in the prehistory of complex living bodies is to argue that efficient causation is not a property of human subjects, but constitutes a second and counter-oriented evolutionary process to the primary process driving material causation. More precisely, the sensitive and affective functions of technē, with their interior and exterior deviating powers, respond to the problem of telos in phusis. That is, repetitious and productive material causes with a tendency toward inertia are progressively deviated and worked upon by the autopoietic emergence of bodies, which introduces differences and cause fluctuations and transformations within processes of becoming. As such, there are two orders of becoming, two processes of evolutionary progression, driven by material and efficient causation. Material causation is

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repetitious and productive, whereas efficient causation is deviating and creative. Material causes propagate from within the interior of bodies  – the universe explodes into being from an indeterminable but interior quantum phenomenon, DNA structures bodies from the interior nucleus of cells. In contrast, efficient causes propagate across extension, between particular bodies: the exertions of physical forces; the momentum and resistance of bodies upon each other; the diffusion of light and radiation and their patterns of interference; sound; communication and so on. They are like two orthogonally oriented planes, a strong vertical material line of causation and a second horizontal plane of extension in which effects mix and work upon each other. And at the intersection of these irreducible workflows lies the functional operation of technē that operates transformational exchanges between them through the work of its conjugated functional operations: an interior deviation of the material into the efficient and a set of supplementary and secondary exterior deviations precipitating a counteroriented workflow, where the efficient deviates upon the material.24 Let us return to the functional account of deviation in the evolution of cyanobacteria, now having elaborated a separate evolutionary process of efficient causation  – an orthogonal and supplementary evolutionary process comprising the set of intentional actions exerted in degree and recursion by particular entities upon themselves and others immanent to them. In the case of cyanobacteria, efficient causation must have exerted an infinitesimal deviating force compared to the overwhelming power of primary material causation, which strongly determined the bodies of particular entities. As we have seen, this infinitesimal power of exterior deviation by degree was only gradually amplified by the extensive reign of vast populations of particular individuals. In the example of cyanobacteria, these infinitesimal deviations specifically concern the transformative process of photosynthesis; the combination of carbon dioxide with sunlight to produce self-sustaining sugars, which expels into the local environment the byproduct oxygen. Of course, a single prokaryotic cell or even a large colony could not thereby exert a sufficient effect to impinge upon the dominance of material processes, determining the next generation of living bodies. But the repetition of this particular functional transformation over very many bodies and successive generations was sufficient to transform the atmospheric conditions of prehistoric Earth – an event that would prove decisive for following generations of living bodies. Thus by both degree and recursion, exterior deviation exerts pressures upon the primary process bringing successive, particular entities. For the cyanobacteria, once the process of terraforming has carried out a sufficient collective

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transformation in the atmospheric composition, new potentialities for successive generations of bodies have been brought about through these actions upon the forces of material, primary processes. But as we will see, this remains a controversial proposition, violating as it does the Aristotelian model at the most primordial appearance of life; for precisely what differentiates the work of technē from the production of phusis is that intentional affects cannot work upon the eternal self-propagation of natural forms. And where a lingering Aristotelianism was found in the general form of philosophical problems so here extends another into evolutionary biology: for the functional nature of immanent being has not there been re-problematized, so that it remains contested whether the particular might have some recourse upon the forces, bringing subsequent bodies into being.

3.3.4 Never singular, technē organizes into parallel and hierarchical structures Let us continue the discussion of the evolution of efficient causation with a few remarks about the immanent operations technē enters into. The case of cyanobacteria will again be instructive: How does the terraforming activity of cyanobacteria give rise to the emergence of more complicated bodies, the multicellular organisms that follow from them? Let us start with what seems evident to us today:  cyanobacteria do not transform into a more complicated multicellular organism, as though its essence were to undergo a transition, or that this essence would be simply replaced with another that is expressed into existence. Rather, cyanobacteria persist in the same essential form, carrying out the same functional operation (photosynthesis) throughout the kingdom Plantae (plant life).25 That is, cyanobacteria have rather remained functionally independent organisms, enveloped within larger more complex entities. As such, the probable basis for the transition between single and multicellular organisms is that complex behaviour emerges across different individual entities generating collective behaviours. That is, networks of exterior deviations between particular individuals lead to a spontaneous emergence of autopoiesis – another ‘higher’ dimensional organization. These emergences are first aggregates: individual single cell bodies such as those comprising algal blooms adhere to one another, so as to align their propelling flagella, maximizing through collective exertion individual advantage.26 Sense and intentional activity collectively compel them (toward nutrients or sunlight), but these powers are together amplified by exterior deviations across an emergent complex of efficient causation.

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If such a precedent credibly explicates the transition from singular to multicellular bodies, then exterior deviations and their localized activity must find some way to work upon the primary processes that bring bodies into being. This is not to intervene upon a formal principle, as though the sensitivity and intentionality of particular beings went to work upon an already existent cache of eternal essences. Rather this evolutionary work of efficient causation leads us to a different problem, where evolution implies a progressive complication of material and efficient causes. And if efficient causes cannot insinuate themselves in some essential bedrock or transcendent telos, then they must rather do so via complex assemblages of many individuals, forming complex ensembles of technē. Technē has thus far been presented as a singular but complex functional process, well suited to approach the problem of subjective being. Following this the discussion turned to cyanobacteria to address the primordial appearance of technē in even the simplest of cells. But this was also because of the simplicity it afforded us in elaborating the complex functional conjugation of technē in a singular way. But as bodies become progressively complicated, it is impossible to imagine that technē operates as a singular entity. Cyanobacteria remain discrete, but assembled within a higher complex organization constituting the multicellular organism – the plant. It is certainly the case that a ‘higher’ order autopoietic technē corresponds to the new ‘whole’ multicellular body, but that does not imply that the ‘lower’ technē emergent with each cell have coalesced to form this higher organization. For cyanobacteria continue independently their functional operation of photosynthesis, but this is now put to work in a more complicated series of processes. As such, multicellular organisms assemble the lower distributions of technē into a higher organization, so that this ‘higher’ technē may govern the new ‘whole-body’ order of functional processes. Each leaf has its parallel distribution of many cyanobacteria, each sensing the light, each performing chemical transformations, each with its own computational agency in which the photosynthetic production of sugars is modified and regulated. But the plant contributes additional functionality, both potentiating the ‘lower’ technē of the cyanobacteria and profiting from them; it has additional sensitivities and affective powers of motility to maximize exposure to the sunlight, to twist the leaf surface to trace the path of the sun throughout the day. And what the cyanobacteria gain in additional efficiency and output is for the profit of the multicellular body; the plant utilizes this excess energy for the larger, more complex processes that support it (the circulatory and defence systems, its roots and branches and so on).

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Figure 3.5 Technē in parallel and hierarchical structures

Thus the plant has a ‘higher’ structure in which all of these disparate individuated computational processes are assembled and harnessed. But this ‘higher’ autopoietic emergence of the plant does not constitute an abdication of the functional arrangement of those technē belonging to the cyanobacteria. It rather marks the emergence of another technē – a technē that takes as its series of inputs (senses at f1) the output of the ‘lower’ technē; the codomain of intentional activities or exterior deviations at the cyanobacteria’s (f2) (see Figure 3.5). As such, where parallel distributions of like technē are in sufficient magnitudes, they potentiate a further autopoietic emergence of technē, which operates upon the assembled lower strata. This is to bring a new capacity ‘to sense’ (f1) upon the output (codomain) of a distribution of technē immanent to each

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other. Thus, this ‘higher’, emergent technē brings its function of sense to a series of affects that are already intentional in nature, having emerged from the lower strata of many technē. Consequently, in carrying out its transformation, the function of sense (f1) for the higher technē, brings a more complex agency into being, commensurate with this more complicated input. It further follows that the intentional powers (f2) this ‘higher’ technē wields will have extra dimensions or properties pertaining to them. It is because complex bodies are dizzying arrangements of technē in parallel and hierarchical arrangements down to their cellular levels that the relationship between the material and efficient causes that produce them must be reconstituted. It has been argued that technē must somehow bring efficient causation to bear upon the strongly determining process of material causation, but it was not at all clear how this could be the case. It was additionally noted that weak exterior deviations must have a more intensive localized effect or feedback mechanism upon the particular entity itself. But this only becomes really evident once this constitutes localized effects upon small colonies of cells in which they pool resources for mutual advantage (the ‘wolf-pack’ effect). As such, for complex multicellular organisms, technē does not simply remain emergent for the whole (like the essence of a new being), but rather the organism retains a complex arrangement of many technē in hierarchical and parallel configurations. Technē is not a functional essence, where a different form corresponds to a different body; it is rather more algorithmic, so that differences of bodies correspond to various complex assemblages of recursive and parallel functional computors. And if efficient causation comes to exert greater force upon material processes as bodies become more complex, it is because the affective powers of ‘higher’ technē are also amplified where many ‘lower’ technē have already contributed their distinctive transformative deviations upon the primary, material flow. As such, efficient causation is capacitive, building its counter-causal forces through the co-operation of many other technē; in this way, the exceedingly diverse functional operations of very many particular deviations are performed across many individuals. As such, it is computational complexity that is ramified, deviated and exchanged throughout efficient causation; this is because, in all cases, what technē senses and acts upon, what it gathers its distinctive intelligence about, are functional operations. We have already seen in thinking through technology that evolution implies two orthogonally oriented functional processes, indifferent to the orthodoxy of formal and final causes. Following from this, it has been argued that efficient causation concerns all the effective works of particular entities, the entire series

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of exterior deviations, which progressively deviate the primary generative processes bringing bodies. Both counts constitute a violation of Aristotle, insofar as there is no possible way technē could influence there the formal cause determining bodies. As eternal and immutable, the form is always, already – it is therefore absurd that it could be subject to immanent affects. But it is equally clear that to renounce eternal forms and their resolution into a universal telos must also dispel these prohibitions about technē. That is to say, in the absence of a determinable cause for processes of becoming there is arguably a necessity that the particular and efficient causation should both be re-problematized.

3.3.5 Lamarck contra Darwin: the efficient (particular) deviates the material (general) Before an undertaking of the final step, in which technē’s confrontation with phusis will return us to the work of art, let us briefly contextualize the controversy in evolutionary theory, over the role of efficient causation. This controversy is famously emblematized in the contest between Charles Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck through which the orthodoxy of a singular primary process was firmly established. Lamarck reasoned that some sort of recursive particular affect was in play, because an unadulterated primary process should manifest a smooth, ordered progression of adaptions. But quite contrary to this expectation, the evolution of bodies evidences an eccentric and fragmented progression of wild deviations and otherwise inexorable cul-de-sacs. As such, Lamarck conceived there must be some other mechanism through which particular differences feedback upon the primary evolutionary process. Lamarck’s famous example of this recursion is the neck of the giraffe: as successive individuals respond to an environmental constraint (such as food scarcity), a feedback upon the primary process governing bodies is generated, such that an otherwise undesirable or unlikely characteristic becomes manifest (in this case, the canonical example of an improbably vulnerable, elongated neck). In response, Darwin argued this recursive mechanism was both unproven and unnecessary to account for this kind of unusual, individual differentiation. The singular causal process need not be violated, insofar as fitness and other metrics of individual survival could sufficiently account for these divergences across species. In the case of the giraffe, chance mutations in the primary process would throw up differentiations in body morphology that were made determinate by immanent conditions: animals that had chanced upon longer necks were

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simply better nourished and stronger individuals, both factors highly conducive to reproductive success. For Darwin, random mutations in the primary process assembled with environmental chance was therefore enough to determine advantage and evolutionary progression. Consequently, fitness is only a derivative degree of affective freedom for particular beings  – a power to determine only what in the primary process moves forward through reproduction, or is extinguished through competition. Yet, upon what criteria is it that Darwinian theory is generally thought to have won this contest, and so decisively? Let us note first the distinctive adjudication of the model, the measuring against the aesthetic criteria of the simple, the elegant and the beautiful, that already demands the problem of particular beings should exhaust into a clear and abstract resolution. That is to say, it is precisely because Darwin’s theory explicates evolutionary differences into a single unifying principle, a simple unidirectional process, that he is considered to have resolved the unsatisfactory complexity of Lamarck. However, it is far from clear what function this resolution of theoretical postulates into a singular elegance performs. Again, mathematical praxis can here be instructive, for in the rarefied atmosphere of mathematics’ abstract-ideal, elegance and simplicity retain a functional utility because computation is finite; that is to say, the reduction of complexity is to conserve computational labour so it can be allocated to more genuinely productive and creative activities. To put this more generally, neither simplicity nor elegance are defining properties of rigorous axioms or foundational principles; they rather reflect the computational limitations of thinking subjects, whose cognitive functions are poorly equipped for the vast, interrelated processes of complexity at work in the natural world. As such, these aesthetic criteria can hardly perform as sufficient principles to judge competing models in the evolutionary sciences, not least because what evolutionary theory studies lie outside of epistēmē; that is to say, its measure of judgement cannot be an epistemological axiom (even if a computational limit could perform as one) but must surely be veracity – how well the theory performs in modelling natural becoming. To proceed from a maxim of elegance is simply to decide in advance that any complexities in the evolution of bodies encountered must always be reducible to simple causation. This might lead us to consider the contest rather differently. Before we admit Darwin’s superiority via a problematic reduction, it might be queried whether Lamarck was pursuing a more appropriate problematic approach. Darwin’s problem is essentially taxonomic, where specific differences are formally categorized and from which a set of fundamental principles is deduced. This is

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a sort of historical rationalization predicated upon an ontology of formal relations, in which the immanent moments of particular differences are interpreted through the general abstractions of what has been, or is already in appearance. In this approach, the problems of specific deviations about the particular and their emergent processes are always medial and subordinate to their theoretical resolution, because they are made reducible to sets of determinable ontological relations. Arguably, this bears little comparison to the problem Lamarck approaches. We might see in Lamarck a stronger commitment to the veracity of natural becoming, a sort of functional precedence in which an immanent accounting for the particular cannot be reduced with any certitude to an elegant singular process. Lamarck is therefore distinguished because despite his commitment to a dominant primary process, this cannot resolve or explicate the becoming of emergent differences that are brought about in particular entities. Lamarck’s characterization of the evolutionary problem is thus radically different:  he identifies orthogonal flows of forces through which individual, environmental and local conditions organize across two irreducible affective processes. There remains a dominant, bottom-up, primary flow that manifests strong determinations about the specific differences of living bodies. But this dominance cannot account for those specific adaptations brought about by the particular entities’ environment and affective actions, which comprise the work of exterior deviations. For Lamarck, these constitute a ‘counter-affective’ flow of force that not only introduces highly specified differences but also affects disruptions, changes and irregularities into the primary process itself: Lamarck joined the two sets in a discordant union that operated more like a tug of war than a harmony. This partnership made no pretense to equality. A primary and dominating force – the march of progress – struggled to order organisms in a simple and sensible way; while a secondary and disrupting force – l’influence des circonstances, or adaptation to local environments – tore this order apart by pushing individual lineages into lateral deviations from the main track, thereby making the order of life rich, messy, and replete with clumps and gaps. (Gould, 2002: 186)27

It might therefore be observed that the distinction between Darwin and Lamarck – and the contemporary forwarding of this conflict between macroand microevolutionists, genetic determinists and epigeneticists – remains predicated upon two approaches to the evolutionary problem. In Darwinism, an epistemological judgement resolves natural differences because of the orthodox

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conviction that epistemological reductions directly apprehend fundamental laws. But in Lamarckism, an irresolvable doubt subordinates this conviction to the testing of the method, because the complexities of particular natural becoming are understood to be fundamentally irreducible to theoretical predicates. In the former, general form of the problem, the particular is always the casualty, lost, deferred, resolved into and reduced to the general. It is only in the latter that particular natural differences remain a problem in their own right – that is, as the source of a unique and irreducible functional problematic. That such judgements about the nature of problems radically ramify into how we understand immanent processes and the power of particular beings was not at all lost upon Freud. When Freud postulated an evolutionary ‘phylogenetic’ emergence for consciousness, it was not strictly Darwinian. For the postulate of an evolutionary emergence for consciousness was already to propose another kind of evolutionary process: one that does not concern the evolution of material but rather of efficient causes. As such, it is elsewhere very revealing that an orthodox epistemological privileging effaces Freud’s therapeutic emphasis in order to pursue the theoretical consequences of psychoanalysis. It is only via a theoretical reduction that psychoanalysis resolves into some form of historical, psychosexual determinism  – for in practice, the theoretical apparatus works to actualize immanent affects. Arguably, it is the demonstration of therapeutic effect in transforming the subject’s prior formation that leads Freud to a particularly Lamarckian speculation: that the affective power of particular beings may constitute another evolutionary process, which might play a broader role in the psyche’s primary generative process. That is to say, the affective powers of the particular may well be responsible for the distribution of creative differentiations the primary process throws up: The experiences of the ego seem at first to be lost to inheritance; but, when they have been repeated enough and with sufficient strength in many individuals in successive generations, they transform themselves, so to say, into experiences of the id, the impressions of which are preserved by heredity. Thus in the id, which is capable of being inherited, are harboured residues of the existences of countless egos; and, when the ego forms its super-ego out of the id, it may perhaps only be reviving shapes of former egos and be bringing them to resurrection. (Freud, 1962: 35)

This speculative proposition has met with much ridicule upon the assumption that Freud invokes some sort of transcendent dimension or metaphysical

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principle, but perhaps it rather anticipates the problem of how particular differences become encoded into genetic structures, other than through chance and reproductive success. Where genes are a largely consistent reproduction of a primary pattern, epigenetic phenomena functionally operate upon this pattern, in accordance with specific spatio-temporal conditions. That epigenetic phenomena thus perform the unfolding or computational expression of this primary pattern in the development of an organism is partly understood, but how they might themselves be programmed, or whether and to what extent they may infold differences into the primary system, is largely unexplored (where it is not outright rejected, as an error of Lamarckism).28 In any event, Freud’s countering of essentialism contrasts markedly from its contemporary philosophical denunciation. There, the immanent acts of particular beings are no longer inconsequential against the immutable telos or its lack, and which in either case determines them; intentional activity comprises an alternative to a universal, unidirectional, homeostatic telos – a progressively differentiating evolutionary process, ramifying particular, intentional acts. As such, there is arguably, in Freud, a sort of rival, efficient causal process operating upon those primary, material causes bringing the psychic apparatus into being, so that a circulation of efficient and material causes already anticipates the redundancy of the formal and final.

3.4 Technē IV: Schema for human subjects 3.4.1 The ‘lower’ technē of cells and the ‘medial’ technē of the organs Let us complete the schematization of technē by returning to the particular case of subjective formation and the distinct functional arrangement found recorded there in the etymological structure of the term ‘subject’. Figure 3.6 brings this

Figure 3.6 Functional schema of technē specific to subjective formation

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Figure 3.7 Technē specific to subjective formation, emerging from the living body

arrangement forward into the general schematic so that it is now specific to subjective emergence. The distinction of human being arguably arises because the technē responsible for subjective formation is of an unprecedented sophistication and complexity. If the transition from single to multicellular organisms were made possible when a ‘higher’ order technē emerges from an array of parallel, immanent technē (schematized earlier in Figure 3.5), then the human body would comprise a structure where this hierarchical arrangement was many times repeated. Figure 3.7 schematizes this in an extremely simplified way. The bottom layer corresponds to the specialized cells, comprising the body as a massively parallel distribution of individuated cellular units. Even at this level of rudimentary individuation, cells have highly specified functional operations  – processes of interior deviation that are particular and autonomous. While the biological sciences continue to affirm that these individuated cellular units come into being through primary, generative processes (the signals and instruction of genetic determinations, unfolding in space-time), they have also

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demonstrated that these individuated units possess varying degrees of plasticity, through which their functionality and form are co-determined by the influence of local conditions – the set of exterior deviations in which they operate.29 In complex living bodies, these groups of specialized cells further organize into larger, more complex individuations such as the organs (these correspond to the middle strata or first order hierarchy in Figure 3.7). This stratum includes the internal organs (heart, lungs, liver, spleen and so on), which comprise the digestive and circulatory systems critical to the nourishment and maintenance of living bodies. But, this stratum also includes the sensory organs where the body is oriented toward the exterior world and whose emergent functional specificity is to engage more explicitly with the exterior deviations of other bodies. These medial level technē work upon the ‘lower’ technē comprising the organ: the set of specialized cells specific to them (for example in the case of the heart, this would be the muscular cardiomyocytes and the stimulatory cardiac pacemaker cells). In bringing the function of sense upon the sensitivities and activities of the lower set, ‘medial’ technē generates new kinds of affective powers – organ specific functionality generated from its expanded, more complex set of sensitive operations. That is to say, as bodies become more complex, so do the functional operations that animate them. More complex operations, such as nuanced sensitivities and greater intentional powers, are thus derived, because chains of technē in parallel and hierarchical configurations carry out more complex calculations across many functional operations.30

3.4.2 The ‘highest’ technē and subjective formation This brings us to the strata of ‘highest’ organization that operates upon the medial level of internal and sensory organs, bringing the functions of sense and intentional activity to the living body as a unity.31 In Figure 3.7, this is the uppermost stratum and indicates the technē we are most familiar with: namely, the eponymous one that Aristotle apprehends in the Greek topos. This was the technē discussed in Chapter 2 that was argued to be at rest with the living body and that resolved into epistēmē and subjective formation. Moreover, it is this technē that generates sense, intentional action and agency in the orthodox terms with which we are familiar. At this ‘highest’ technē, the function of sense envelops or takes as its input all of the ‘medial’ technē’s functional operations. It is already notable in its immersive state in the living body that this ‘highest’ technē is characterized by its mobility, insofar as its sensitive function can be focused upon specific areas within

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the body – a phenomenon well illustrated by pain, where particular attention is drawn to sensate a particular region (the stomach or kidney, the hand or foot and so on). And to this ‘whole-body’ sensitivity corresponds a new class of intentional actions exerted at the order of the living body’s totality (the powers of motility and movement, prey and predation, reproduction and communication, socialization and so on). In the previous chapter, it was this ‘highest’ technē that was found at rest with the human body and which had available to it two differing directions; in one direction, it moved toward the interior where sense becomes problematic (intense and diffuse) and in the other, toward the surface, where it became increasingly specified and resolved. It might now be added that in its movement toward the interior, this ‘highest’ technē sets its function of sense to operate upon the interior population of distributed technē that comprise it. This is to approach the direction from which primary, material causes determine bodies from their interior, but it is fragmented and diffuse owing to the reduced functionalities of the ‘lower’ technē that remain most proximate to them. That is to say, ‘higher’ technē do not of course exchange symbolic representations with the ‘medial’ technē, because the latter lack the requisite sophistication to compute symbolic relations; that is why when ‘higher’ technē senses its organs and the depths of its body, it does not acquire from them clear and distinct ideas. This is rather a functional exchange, which the ‘higher’ technē experiences as sensations (a ‘making of sense’): qualitative, phenomenological, emotive and so on. But this is strictly a ‘making’ because these sensations are not direct transmissions, but are produced by the ‘highest’ technē at its sensitive function (at sub–) when it encounters the ‘anexact, yet rigorous’ intentional output (–jet) of the ‘medial’ technē. That is why it has been insisted that technē is a functional agency or computor, because what it precisely engages in is logistikós (calculation), even though this can be understood via the more generic epistasthai: the exchange, in the broadest sense, of ‘knowing how to do’. And finally, this additionally characterizes the progressive diffusion and lack of specificity as ‘highest’ technē attempts to sense (to set its sensitive function upon) ever ‘lower’ technē and which inevitably defers toward the encounter with the problem of sense, itself.32 Nevertheless, we are not accustomed to thinking about ‘highest’ technē in this way, directing its sensitivity into the depths of the living body. We are more generally preoccupied with its other directional movement toward the surface and the rich series of productions it there produces. Here technē ‘co-operates’ with the direction of material causation coursing through bodies, performing the work

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Figure 3.8 Technē throws itself in the inauguration of the mirror stage

Aristotle so admirably apprehends there for us. This is not to engage the diffuse sensitivities of vague depth impressions, but rather deviates in the most recognizable way from this primary flow of generative phusis. That is, ‘highest’ technē performs that most distinctive deviation by projecting itself from its envelopment within the living body, bringing the thinking subject into appearance. It has been argued that what determines subjective formation is not the prolonging or donation of an essence or form, but a deviation in nature, predicated upon an intentional action: it is where this ‘highest’ technē throws itself. Thus, subjective formation is the distinctive act, in which the higher organizational operation of technē becomes fixated into the specialized strata of abstract thought. We owe to Lacan the schematization of how such a process must precipitate that most specific particularity – the emergence of the self-conscious, thinking subject (Figure 3.8). The subject comes to being in language, or more precisely, in the symbolic fundaments, the abstract series of relations which structure epistēmē. We recall that the precipitation of the subject begins with the sense of immersion, the distinct lack of intentional power within the living body, such that it throws itself into the signifying regime, in a sort of defensive posture. But this

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is also a bid for power: for this immersed ‘highest’ technē, overwhelmed by the intentional demands and actions of all the ‘lower’ and ‘medial’ technē driving the body’s processes, must transform its sensitive immersion into a decisive act. Thus what Lacan demonstrates for us with the mirror stage corresponds to an emergent power at –jet (f2); it is a decisive intentional action that determines how subjective formation comes into appearance. Arguably, the functional schematic of technē offers us a way of illustrating what is significant in this projection  – that is, to support the contention that what technē carries over into epistēmē is the functional configuration it gains from the living body, for to ‘project’ is also to reorient the functional mechanism from its calculative activity in the living body. What then is additionally illustrated in Figure  3.7 is how each stratum of technē (‘lower’, ‘medial’ and also the ‘highest’) remain oriented in the same direction, so that each function of sense (f1) ‘naturally’ works upon the direction of the material causal flow in which bodies come into being; that is to say, the entire series of dynamic natural functions have their ordinal direction of computation, aligned to the direction of the primary process. As such, what so differentiates the ‘highest’ technē precipitating subjective formation is that to project itself constitutes a ‘turning’ of the functional assemblage so that it can fall upon a completely new series of inputs. That is to say, the ‘highest’ technē (at sub–, f1) no longer senses the living body or operates upon it as its series of inputs, but now falls upon the series of abstract relations comprising the signifying regime. It is this intentional re-orientation of ‘highest’ technē that makes possible subjective formation and the world of ideas (Figure 3.9). Technē no longer operates upon the complex sensitivities of the living body, but rather takes the abstractideal as its input or domain, bringing to it first sensitivity. There must correspond an entire haptics for thought pertaining to the sense function specific to thinking.33 For thought’s leaps and movements, its connections and oppositions, its moods and textures would here indicate the transformation that sense (sub–, f1) carries out as it processes relations and objects, models and representations, into a new class of intentional activity – the process of thinking (at –jet, f2). In short, the same sensitive and active functional conjugation found everywhere animating living bodies, in becoming re-oriented, performs cogitation  – the calculative faculty specific to thought. As such, in the functional re-problematization of technē, cognition is a specialized application of technē’s primary operation, where the functional conjugation animating living bodies is turned to the task of animating thinking subjects.

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Figure 3.9 Technē, thrown into epistēmē, sets into operation the process of thinking

3.4.3 Technē is not emphasized because it precipitates a subjective form, but because of its mobility, in and out of epistēmē However, whether or not ‘highest’ technē may be argued to make subjective formation possible does not resolve the functional problem. This is because the mechanism of technē has not been elaborated in order to satisfy philosophical or psychoanalytic criteria; it is to address the problem of art on its own terms. Subjective formation is a critical problem for epistemological interrogation because of the role it plays in structuring the meaning and sense constituting ideal models. But the resolution of subjective being is not a necessary problem for art: as we will see, subjects and epistēmē are not conditions or problems to resolve, but configurations through which the work of art necessarily passes. Let us complete the schema of technē specific to subjective formation by emphasizing what for ‘highest’ technē is most important – not its formalization into subjective appearance, but rather its mobility. For the work of art is only possible in a final movement, a second projective motion in which technē throws itself again, but this time out of subjective formation. It has been argued that subjective formation and the possibility of knowledge are predicated upon the thrownness of technē, re-orienting itself from the living body into the abstract strata (epistēmē). But the work of art begins with another distinctive re-orientation: having acquired additional apprehensions about the nature of functions specific to epistēmē, technē throws itself again, reorienting toward the living body. This is no longer in accordance with phusis, where technē is naturally oriented to the flow of material causation bringing bodies – it rather constitutes a challenging, a mode of direct opposition (Figure 3.10). The work of art therefore exploits what remains a hitherto widely occulted circuit: the ‘counter-causal’ flow of efficient causation, where the differentiations and creative transformations affected by particular beings exert themselves upon the primary processes comprising phusis.

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Figure 3.10 The work of art begins where technē projects out of subjective formation

Lamarck and Freud both argued that an efficient causation from particular beings to the primary processes that determine them must have been operating, if obscure, in evolutionary processes. But perhaps it is the case that Nietzsche had already identified the nature of this obscurity in the work of art. The Birth of Tragedy (Nietzsche, 1993) argues that two processes must be at work in the problem of Greek tragedy – the Apolline (responsible for knowledge) and the Dionysiac (responsible for creation). If the Apolline is characterized by the more familiar tracing of how causal forces precipitate beings, then the Dionysiac is characterized by the dissolution of beings; a counter-actualizing mechanism through which beings become force. That is why, for Nietzsche, creation and knowledge are not dialectically opposed, but operate upon rival circulations or movements, orthogonally displaced from each other. Nothing demonstrates the orthogonality of Nietzsche’s rival circulations so clearly as the apparent paradox the Dionysiac movement presents. That it is properly the circuit responsible for all creative power is overwhelmed by the trepidation of destruction it instils in constituted subjects. This is not the product of an illusion: from the formal subject’s perspective, the transformation into

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force is experienced as a line of death and disintegration, for the subject cannot withstand the encounter with phusis. For what characterizes creative work as Dionysiac is that this return to the depths in which the body is torn apart precisely diagnoses the subject’s dissolution as the condition for the work of art to begin. If art cannot be apprehended from an ideal perspective, where a sufficient fixation of subjectivity makes possible the theoretical model, it is because art begins with the dissolution of the subjective form. This is not an autonomic aphanisis (the fading of the subject in Lacanian discourse) because art is born from an intentional ejection of higher technē from its subjective fixation.34 Yet, if it is predicated upon a comparable functional principle to aphanisis, it is because both are effects of the computational limit earlier encountered with technē. Subjective dissolutions of all kinds occur because technē no longer carries out the active calculation upon which subjectivity rests. And if this is simply an effect, it is because technē has been elsewhere directed to carry out other kinds of functional operations, be it the sensitive focus within the body, the production of a sense impression, the exertion of an action or else, as we will see, the work of art. At the heart of this dynamism is the transformation of an efficient cause, directed upon the material. It has been argued that this flow of efficient causation may well have a broad evolutionary precedence, forming a counter-causal process through which the differences emergent at particular beings are progressively deviated into material, primary processes. But in any case, what is lacking in this general evolutionary counter-flow is a very specific kind of intentional power. For the deviation that Aristotle apprehends technē performing, the one that specifies the human and inaugurates the work of art, is not differentiated by the deviations of such a broad circuit of efficient causation, but by the distinction of telos, the intention to ‘shape’. Perhaps it is only when the intelligent sensitivity about functions becomes detached from the living body and the immanent processes in which they operate – that is, in being projected within the abstract series of relations, precipitating the appearance of thinking subjects  – that such an intentional power becomes possible. For what we learnt from pure mathematics is that in the world of ideas, functions are decoupled from the material causes upon which they operate, so that technē acquires vast, new intelligence about functional operations and new experimental powers to mix and assemble them together. But it was in the dual workflows evident there, in the generation of abstract relations into theoretical models and the setting of these theoretical unities into creative

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experimentation, that we apprehended a more flexible agency was operating. ‘Highest’ technē can perform as this more flexible agency, always distinguishable from epistēmē, subjective formation and the living body, because its intelligence and activity remains about functional operations. In this rarefied environment, ‘highest’ technē generates an emergent functional power that both specifies and makes the work of art possible. This distinctive power is intentional; it is the specific intention to deviate the primary processes that determine beings. Art is nothing else than the progressive exploration and potentiation of those functional operations capable of carrying out this intention – that is, a suite of calculated deviations performed upon phusis. Subjective formation is not the beginning and resolution of the problem pertaining to art, but a necessary configuration through which its active processes pass. For art will require not only that ‘highest’ technē be projected out of subjective formation but also that it circulates between its various stages in the living body and in the world of ideas.

3.5 Technē and deviation 3.5.1 The functional re-problematization attempts to reassemble the disparate elements of technē as various deviations of phusis Aristotle’s inaugural apprehension of technē was of a broad, ambitious problem concerning human specification, the nature of work, a fundamental relativity to nature and the specificity of art. But since this time, changing demands about problems have seen a progressive fragmentation and breaking up of these apprehensions about technē. As such, we have been led to the disparate contemporary stages where fragments of the problem have been pursued. Theories of subjectivity and epistēmē explore central aspects of the problem, pertaining to human specificity. Here technē is a medial process between the problem of donation (at f1 or sub–) and the appearance of thinking subjects. This is not to examine technē per se, for technē is tasked with bridging the irreducible divide between living bodies and the appearance of epistēmē. That is to say, the problems about subjects and epistēmē are framed about the origin and the outcome, the cause and the effect, where technē performs the identical relation carrying one to the other. Even where the origin is denounced and an empty abstraction or void is postulated, the processual relation remains the same and technē dutifully transfers a void or empty relation to establish the distinctive

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properties of subjective being. That is why despite the great variation in epistemological propositions about how subjects come to being, the function technē performs remains identical in each case:  a passive or mechanical transformation from problem to solution, where the nature of the former determines the appearance of the latter. These attempts to resolve the subjective problem thus seem disconnected from the other problematic aspects of how technē indicates human specificity; that is, the activity and deviations carried out by the living body. This is because, by the time that technē sets about performing its immanent acts, the formative process is thought complete, establishing not only what kind of being a human is but also what kind of acts this being can perform. On the one hand, technē is the necessary, medial process that functions to distinguish epistēmē from its own, and by extension, all living, material bodies. Technē therein secures for human beings the identity of its distinctive difference. But on the other hand, technē exemplifies all that is impoverished about this being in putting into action its limited sphere of affect – a degraded, artificial power against whatever is understood to constitute the primary process. That this impasse might be predicated upon another problematic aspect of technē – the problem of deviation relative to phusis – comes into view elsewhere, with the theorization of technology. This is because industrial and modern technology demonstrates that technē is not at all impoverished against the forces of phusis. But this does not inspire a wholesale re-problematizing of technē, in which the activity of immanent beings causes us to question our relationship to nature or what kind of beings we are. It more reliably animates those judgements established by the Greeks: to act in accordance with phusis, along its material primary flow legitimizes technē, but to move against it, is to impoverish and degrade, or moreover, to violate phusis.

3.5.2 Technē asserts the power of the particular Arguably, this judgement turns upon a final, deeply occulted aspect of the reproblematization of technē. For technē is the very problematizing of the particular, where to deviate phusis is to problematize the causal relations between the primary process and what it brings into being. That is why it has been necessary to proceed through a critique of what constitutes a problem:  it is the general form of the problem that relegates technē to a medial element between relations and into which it is resolved, rather than as a functional problem bringing about particular differences. For technē is not a simple relation between two terms,

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but a third, independent element – a functional operation. And the particular is never simply the resolution of a formative general problem, because technē continues to animate the particular, conferring to it generative, transformative, creative powers. Where creative power and transformation are generated by the operations of particular technē, speculative propositions about the nature of primary processes are unsettled. Let us be reminded, that Aristotle’s proposition about telos – that it concerns an eternal, unchanging principle – abstracts a similitude from the apprehension of the repetitious force evident in immanent affective processes; it was never a direct apprehension of a universal principle.35 A particular tree emerges from a seed and dies, but the form ‘tree’, evidenced by the forest and testified by antiquity, has been and will be continually forthcoming. Aristotle did not know the geological history of the earth, the time before trees (nor the single celled organisms which both precede and prolong in them), nor else could he conceive they would not eternally prolong. Of course, since Aristotle’s time, our postulates of universals are more rigorously scientific, subtler and far more abstract; but the point is not to debate whether a direct apprehension of a formal and final cause, a resolute telos for phusis, has been forthcoming. It is rather to re-emphasize that it has not at all absolved us from the affective problem of particulars: for irrespective of epistemological and ontological postulates, everything we know of universals is abstracted from brute acts of computation: in the iteration of particular phenomena, it is repetition that presents to us whatever ‘constants’ dwell in natural processes.36 For what is obscured between technē in the formative process of thinking subjects and its setting into work the acts these subjects perform is that creative power always concerns the particular. And if we have laboured unwittingly under this divisiveness upon technē, it is perhaps because it is art that bears this sufferance and which is thereby obscured. For in the absence of a functional reproblematization of technē, there has been little taste to connect art in its general sense (the intentional deviations of particular bodies) to its specific or disciplinary sense (the historical and contemporary work of art). One may not appreciate that the same impoverished mimesis that relegates the work of art to a peripheral consequence also reduces the technological object so that it seems inconsequential or else violates natural processes. Heidegger warns us that it is the mode of challenging, the very counter-orientation at technē, that constitutes the danger it presents to the order of nature. But what is arguably of a far greater danger is our insensitivity to a particular affect that impoverishes our sense of the deviations we perform: for to act inevitably precipitates a flow of cause where,

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directly or recursively, the flows of phusis will be altered. And while the treatment of nature as standing reserve (Bestand) certainly captures the materialist reduction characterizing our contemporary posture toward the natural world, no moral prohibition could avert the amassing of particular powers, amplifying about increasingly sophisticated technē. It is arguably not the alienation of mind from body that divorces us from ‘natural’ processes, because epistēmē and living bodies are irreducible: what fractures our relationship to nature is the continual failure to compute how significant immanent affects are in the ordering of forces (a situation tragically evident in contemporary climate denialism). It is this failure to re-problematize the particular that devalues the work of art and ramifies into the artificiality of the technological object. Had we learned from the work of art that the creative praxis of immanent beings was not impoverished or derivative but genuinely transformative, the advent of the modern technological object would not have appeared as such an unprecedented and traumatic anomaly.

3.5.3 Technē affects a progressive complication of material and efficient causes Yet, there is another possibility. Rather than a single formative problem resolving into particular differences between bodies and thinking subjects, two orthogonal causal processes are differentiated by a particular that generates the difference. This is only possible because a third element  – the function  – makes the particular the place of creative transformation. This transformation between causal processes is potentialized by the interior deviation that technē performs:  in the complex functional arrangement, where sense is conjugated into action, material and efficient causes are progressively composed or brought one upon the other through the computations of multiple technē in parallel and hierarchical arrangements. It is such that the functional re-problematization of technē, through its deviations of phusis, envelops all the disparate elements attributed to it at the topos. Technē operates along the primary process where its functional operations work in the bringing forward of particular beings. But technē is not a passive conduit; its complex functional conjugation transforms the primary flow. It is through this interior deviation of phusis that a new particular nature becomes manifest. But technē is not exhausted in this process, through which a particular entity comes to being. Technē remains active in this entity, generating sensitivity coupled to a power of immanent affect. Through these exterior deviations, technē

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propagates another evolutionary process by contributing to the flows of efficient causation. This process is felt in the progressive transformation upon each particular entity, because through degree and recursion, these deviations work upon the ensemble of forces that constitutes its ‘being’. But each particular never simply appears once and for all as its mode of inauguration into being, but rather continually becomes through a dynamic circulation of processes. Across the currents of efficient causation, exterior deviations also exert pressures upon other technē, so that in collective flows, technē potentiates transformations across bodies. That is why the evolution of efficient causes can be forwarded as an alternative to the thorny problem of telos, and why the evolution of bodies diverge and differentiate into various forms. It has been argued that this process culminates in ‘highest’ technē and precipitates the process of subjective formation. We have argued that this technē remains oriented to the living body so that what indicates the human (homo sapiens), is when technē throws itself into the abstract strata (Symbolic or signifying regime), precipitating a self-identifying, subjective formation. But technē is not resolved into, nor excluded from, epistēmē. Suitably reoriented, technē rather goes to work as cogitation, the sensitive, active calculation peculiar to thinking. However, the subject’s appearance and the activity of thought do not of themselves recapture the other set of distinctive deviations Aristotle apprehends at technē:  this is the sphere of immanent acts about the living body in which its distinctive intelligibility goes to work upon primary, generative processes. These deviations of poiesis announce technē  – they are a kind of work that deviates primary processes, and by introducing supplementary efficient causes, they bring different entities into being. Yet the sophistication of the scientific method in its forwarding of experimental praxis and the technological object has led us to understand that this work cannot be carried out by a debased logistikós, pertaining exclusively to bodies; a more sophisticated exchange between praxis and epistēmē is evident. Thus, the technē at rest with the body, re-oriented and projected within epistēmē, must have an additional recourse back into the body. This will be to transform the intelligence acquired about new functions within epistēmē into the generation of new powers to affect. Yet, for any work of art to be possible, this intentional re-orientation of technē must have already been required. In going to work upon abstract and epistemological constructions, technē will throw itself back into the body, but this will no longer be at rest: this will be a counter-orientation so that it is now in confrontation with the direction of phusis, the material causation flowing

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from the interior of bodies. The work of art in its general and disciplinary sense is thus always a contest with phusis. And although technē’s evolutionary complication indicates to us that counter-causal affections must be something far more ubiquitous in the evolution of bodies, we must see here in this distinctly intentional, deviant activity what equally specifies the human (homo technē). The re-problematization of technē opens up a way again to the field of art that has long been foreclosed: the approach through the problem of functions. Why does Plato’s exile continue to destabilize the function of art, long after the discreditation of its transcendent donator? It is because it brings forward the profound uncertainty about the particular, what kind of deviation technē affects there upon phusis. Where ‘to be’ remains a fragmented, partial being, how are we decoupled from the judgement that an always superior process or being determines us as inferior, darker, impoverished and disempowered? For even when this superiority loses its own power, the judgement persists in the formal relation that carries on the impoverishment of the particular. But technē, in passing from living bodies into the world of ideas, does not prolong a given nature from either donators or processes; for across its complex functional conjugation it brings an unprecedented nature into being. And when it goes to work again upon the new kinds of sensitive intelligence generated there, its counter-oriented functional affect is to potentiate in living bodies unprecedented new powers. This work belongs to the genuinely creative flow comprising all of efficient causation, and with it, a very different sort of power is restored to art, as to all particular life.

4

The Function of Art Creation and Poiesis

4.1 Poiesis I: Making and creating 4.1.1 ‘For of anything whatever that passes from not being into being the whole cause is composing or poetry.’1 The preceding chapters have arrived at a new problematization. In the absence of a counter-causal workflow, it is not possible to approach the function of art and to understand how it operates. This is not to say this makes the discipline of art unique or unapproachable through other modes of disciplinary inquiry, it is rather to argue that art is incomprehensible solely within the problem of generative processes that grapple with how entities come into being. This does not simply mean that art is irreducible to ontology. It also implies what Nietzsche had already brought to our attention; production and creation are not interchangeable names for a singular process of becoming, but they are differentiated by counter-posed or counter-oriented workflows (Nietzsche, 1968: 330–1). Poiesis remains the general term for the process of coming into being but this can no longer diminish praxis about particular entities – these activities must be argued to constitute a necessary aspect of phusis where efficient causes progressively participate in and deviate the very processes of becoming. That is, praxis participates in a rival circulation, a counter-oriented workflow or creative poiesis. As such, poiesis can no longer be assumed to be a unidirectional, identical process, but concerns a distinct division in workflows. The task can no longer be to simply determine whether poiesis is productive or creative: it will rather be the elucidation of a dual workflow where processes of production or making must be distinguished from processes of creating. The Greek sense of poiesis is very general:  it is the unidirectional process through which all comes forward from non-being into being. This general

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conformation of the process indicates why poiesis is thought to be indistinguishably a making (production) or creating. That is why the historical terms of debate have focused upon the nature of the donation; where a ᇄ b, poiesis is the identical process or relation (ᇄ) in every event, so that whatever comprises a determines the nature of b. Whether a is thought to be a Transcendent subject or decree, a form or essence or else a chance, random or chaotic event, poiesis is the process of transference but never that which admitting of variation in itself, introduces difference into how this bringing is brought forth. When poiesis is thought to be a problem of the general form – an identical process, movement or transference – there are profound consequences for the concept of creation. Where poiesis is understood to be a non-transformational relation, this already determines it as a process of production rather than creation. When a is an existing entity or phenomenon (God, concrete essence, cosmic singularity or so on), creation inheres within a, as the singular event generating all possible beings. In this case, poiesis will be clarified as production, because creation will pertain only to this original event or being and not to the nature of the process through which all possible b will be brought into appearance. Where the existence of a will be called into question (to be replaced by nonsense, non-being, void or indeterminacy), creation, deemed a property of a, will be denounced along with it. That is to say, in the absence of a singularly creative event, poiesis is deduced to be outside of time (eternal or ‘always, already’), invoking an indifferent abstraction or structure that takes up the task of ontological determination. Thus, despite knowledge’s retreat from a as something indemonstrably determinable, the identical nature of the relation remains in place to characterize poiesis. Thus, whether a is posited or refuted, the consequences for creation remain the same – whether it inheres within the origin or is clarified into the unidirectional nature of the process, creation is not an authentic power. It is rather some kind of lingering mythology of transcendence, forever tied to a divine or chance origin, or otherwise complicated by an illegitimate, transcendent agency. But this only exhausts the possibility of a proper power for creation so long as poiesis remains an inert, identical operation: that is, by foreclosing creation from what is produced, namely from b  – from the particular that is brought into being. Let us begin by observing that there appears to be no necessity to the identical determination of poiesis outside of the desire to establish a principle of ontological consistency. In the absence of a and amongst the reality of a seemingly

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uncountable diversity of b, it is only in seizing upon an identical relation animating poiesis (the process of becoming) that ontology can generate general principles or statements. This comprises a familiar strategy for dealing with ‘artistic problems’ composed in response to the Greek topos; this was to deploy the interior resemblance to the model upon whose judgement technē became broken apart and obscured. Poiesis is subsequently interpreted as a general form of the problem where the process of moving from non-being to being is taken as a relation, reducible to the two ontological terms a (or not a) and b. But if poiesis is not a problem of a general form but concerns functional operations, then other possibilities emerge for a power of creation. The function is not reducible between two sets or terms; it is a third and independent element through which one term is deviated into another. This is to open up for poiesis the possibility that its process of becoming may not be identical but might admit of an interior variation. More importantly, this indicates poiesis might not be indifferent to that which it brings into being, so that both its process and what this process produces cannot be determined by establishing original conditions. If this returns us properly to the problem of art, it is because Aristotle’s superior formulation already apprehends art as the activity that supervenes upon poiesis and works to deviate what is brought into being. And although for Aristotle art was impeded from an understanding of poiesis and its cause, this was only because they were thought to reveal themselves solely to epistēmē: the contemplation of universal properties and what is unchanging in nature. But where doubt has fallen upon the universal, this configuration might be argued to restore to technē a greater significance. For where the reality of the unchanging unveils itself to epistemological interrogation, it remains the case that the dynamic elements of nature have always revealed themselves to technē. That is to say, when poiesis is no longer thought to issue from essences or universals but from dynamic or indeterminable processes, it is reasonable to assume they will be most directly apprehended by art’s greater proximity to ergon – to functions and the dynamisms of action and deviation. This will be to address the final step in the recovery of the topos and the functional re-problematization of art. In this alternative account, art is the functional interrogation of how technē works to progressively deviate the flows of poiesis, but this is no longer where praxis is diminished against the order of poiesis, in a kind of localized deviation from the law. It has been argued in the progressive emergence of complex, living bodies that there is no general ontological problem in which an identical processual relation determines what kind of being is produced. What comes to being emerges as a progressive series of

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ever more complicated functional calculations across many technē, in which efficient causes (deviations or local effects generated by particular beings) ramify into and shape those processes bringing the next higher order of emergent beings. This cascade through orders of particular beings never simply prolongs a unidirectional poiesis, having no effect upon the nature of phusis that poiesis brings forward. Poiesis is thus not productive or creative, making or creating. Rather, there are two broad orders or kinds of processes within poiesis. There is a primary, productive poiesis, the poiesis with which we are familiar. These material causes are dominated by repetition and strongly determine what is brought into being (b). But there is an entire counter-flow of efficient causes that emerge at every particular being (b) and which go to work by deviating the ‘primary’ process. This work of particular beings comprises what will properly differentiate creative poiesis from the primary, productive kind. What follows from this differentiation within poiesis returns to the topos; the complex, functional problem through which poiesis comes to us via the work of art. For here the work of art exemplifies the indeterminably dynamic nature of this process by affecting a deviation upon it. This is not simply to reveal the primary process, but to show us what art works to do: art belongs to a rival process that works to systematically and intentionally deviate productive poiesis. Art thus exemplifies and capitalizes upon the rival circulation emerging from complex bodies and that were earlier found to challenge the orthodox interpretation of the topos. Art is not an imitation of phusis nor does it operate upon a unidirectional process of production. Art exploits the rival circulation of efficient causes, which play an important role in the telos to shape what phusis brings forward. Thus, creative poiesis forms a collective, counter-oriented workflow to primary, productive poiesis, but it is not its dialectical other nor does it form with it an irreducible aporia. Creative poiesis is rather supplementary and emerges out of the primary process insofar as it becomes progressively intensified about ever more complex bodies. The terms of this reconstituted sense of creation were earlier clarified with pure mathematics. Creation does not belong to the origin and nor does it exclusively belong to whatever operates there as the instigator or agent of cause. Creation is rather a power belonging to each particular. Creation does not collapse into an original, causal event because the power of original events rather derives from their singular particularity. And moreover, the demonstration of creative powers about particulars do not concern the ‘nature’ of their being for art or technology alike: it is rather something put

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into effect that emerges when they go to work – a power to deviate processes of becoming. If the problem is not to determine whether poiesis has a singular origin or is a unidirectional process, it is because deviations do not seem to happen at the origin. Poiesis does not diversify and diverge of itself – it is forced to deviate by particular beings. The evidence of a doubled workflow in poiesis is not present at the origin or in the unchanging element but is a progressive emergence. Creative poiesis is not ‘always already’ there within productive, originary poiesis; it is the cumulative force of creative powers exerted by particular beings that works to progressively deviate what determines from the origin. Finally, if this differentiation between making and creating has remained theoretically obscure, it is because the process of knowledge production fractures the functional nature of the problem. That is to say, the same productions of epistemological specializations that generate for us such rich catalogues of knowledge about the world and ourselves also work to fragment the nature of creative workflows. This has profound implications whenever we attempt to apply epistemological sense-making to the problem art presents.

4.1.2 The properties of the function – repetition and creative transformation – describe why the primary process is dominated by productive poiesis To create is thus never the same kind of work as to produce. But it is true that in making creative poiesis emergent and belonging to the particular, the distinction of production has been weakened, insofar as it distinguishes poiesis in general. This is a crucial issue because although the work of art is born from the circulation of creative poiesis, no work of art is possible without a profound engagement with productive poiesis; the primary mechanism through which all comes into being. Art contests the primary flow, but the work of deviation is always minute compared to the mediation or shepherding of processes of production that must accompany it. As such, the functional re-problematization of art cannot simply explain how a genuinely creative poiesis operates without accounting for productive poiesis. It has been argued that technē is not excluded from epistēmē, but is projected within it. This is both to bring sensitivity to the abstract structure and to animate it with logistikós – the series of calculations without which thought is not possible. That is to say, there is also a praxis for dealing with production that must be discussed in functional terms.

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In the early encounter with the function, its heterogeneous character was emphasized. It was argued that functions are composed of an irreducible and inseparable mixture of properties, repetition and creative transformation; both properties must be present in order for functions to operate. Repetition is necessary for the process of iteration; it drives the computation across an ordinal direction, both animating and ordering the functional dynamic. To this ‘mechanical’ property must be added the ‘dynamic’ property of creative transformation; all of our knowledge of the function appears into being through the series of transformative effects, through which one series becomes transformed into another. These properties are irreducible and inseparably mixed in the function. That is to say, it is impossible to deal with one of these properties of the function without potentially invoking the other. As such, it is the privileging of one functional property over the other that differentiates productive and creative poiesis. Productive poiesis is dominated by repetition. It is conceivable that the most primary of generative flows approaches a kind of pure repetition – iteration or computation of the same particular process where transformation is extremely limited. This dominance of repetition in inaugural, singular particulars would perhaps then find an expression in the laws of conservation of momentum and inertia. That is to say that repetition prolongs in the absence of a contest where another particular causes the existing process to deviate into a new or supplementary one (such as the appearance and accretion of mass in the universe is thought to bend and curve the pure parallelism of space-time expansion). That productive poiesis dominates first by this uncontested reign of repetition is also evident in the emergence of functional technē animating living bodies. The billion-years-long reign of cyanobacteria, with little demonstrable ontological transformation or change, exemplifies the dominance of repetition in productive poiesis. It is only by a mass of simple, particular transformations through the work of many disparate but similar technē that productive poiesis is forced to deviate into producing different and more complex bodies. Thus, as the particular becomes more complex (that is, as assemblages of many particulars), the work of creative transformation ramifies into a growing tide of counteroriented workflows, deserving of the distinction of another kind of generative process – creative poiesis. If repetition in productive poiesis and in the order of functions operates as a kind of default, it is because it must be made to deviate; there is always a particular that affects a transformation or change. That is why creation must be clarified as peculiar to particular beings. As such, the functional mechanism of

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technē required a detailed elaboration because technē is proposed as the minimal functional configuration within particular bodies sufficient to cause poiesis to deviate into a new workflow. Moreover, it is also why deducing the origin of the primary generative flow of productive poiesis cannot certify the work of deviation about particular beings. Insofar as productive poiesis continues to suggest a singular, inaugural event as that initiating the process of becoming into being, creative poiesis emerges in a supplementary, autopoietic progression toward a hitherto unprecedented ‘end’. And if creative poiesis is not to be found in the origin of production, it is because it emerges from the efficient cause generated by particular beings. This is not some emergence ex nihilo nor from an ‘always, already’; it emerges in action when the calculative process goes to work.

4.1.3 Creative poiesis and the intentionality of art in general The progressive emergence of creative poiesis provides an alternative genealogy for thinking about art. Creative poiesis addresses why art continues to indicate something quite general, emerging from the broader work of deviation specific to particular bodies. Art is born of creative poiesis, which everywhere concerns the work of deviation. This work is opposed to production, which in privileging repetition works to reiterate again a given functional operation. Creative poiesis is rather inseparable from particular beings, because it requires that they intervene in becoming and make new kinds of being possible. Such a scenario is absurd where ontology comprises a general problematic form. But this remains eminently possible where the function remains a third, additional element or autopoietic phenomena that belongs to particular beings. Yet art could not be thought to have such a broad evolutionary precedence. It requires the complex development of a higher order technē to exploit this broad path of creative poiesis in a new way. Thus, the general sense of art is born of creative poiesis, but it is differentiated by a new intentional power for technē (at f2 or –jet): it is to intentionally deviate processes of production. As such, from this orthodox Aristotelian interpretation a more radical consequence can be drawn; for this general determination of art must be argued to always differentiate from processes of production. The work of deviation is never to imitate phusis because creative poiesis is always a counter-oriented process that works upon it. But this will open a new distinction in human activity that will return to the problem of how art differentiates from craft. For it is the orientation or utility of intentional deviation that distinguishes between painting a house and painting a canvas

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and, moreover, why a painted house might indeed comprise a work of art and painting a canvas may not. Aristotle’s apprehension about the topos remains nevertheless instructive, for we know the distinguishing power he draws there from wielding an intentional function. Art is distinguished from phusis most clearly because it deviates telos; the morphē of the acorn seed becomes into the telos of the tree, but technē intervenes with its own purpose so that the form of the tree is deviated into the bed. It is this special kind of intentionality directed at deviating the ‘end’ – the form of being that appears – that remains the foundation of art’s peculiar power. Despite this lurch into teleology, intentionality has been re-problematized by the critique of Aristotle’s four causes. It was argued with Simondon that the telos does not correspond to a general form of the problem, bracketed between an original (or formal) and a final term. But where Simondon makes the formal redundant via the inclusion of telos (information) into the original ontological problem, we have rather argued that telos be accounted for in the dynamic circulation of material and efficient causes. Where productive poiesis is dominated by repetition, even if repetition was ‘pure’ or in itself, the process of becoming that it governs is characteristically strict or rigidly observed – ‘mechanical’ and indifferent, reiterating the same, identical process. We have seen how in the denunciation of an original cause, such an indifferent, mechanical, material causation takes the place of a transcendent resolution into formal and final – no longer a formal donation of shape or purpose, but the shaping effect of an identical, indifferent process. On the other hand, creative poiesis comprises a very different conception of telos:  the efficient causation generated by the intentional deviations about particular beings. This kind of ‘purpose’ does not arise from originary conditions, from the nature of the process that brings beings forward. Rather, this telos is the intentionality emergent at –jet (f2); it is an emergent property of the complex conjugation of technē, which conjoins the function of sense directly to the function of action. As Freud has shown, this intentional power remains overwhelmed by what for ‘highest’ technē are forces of repetition.2 But to follow another workflow becomes possible here, and this includes a very different type of deviating power – to intend to deviate the processes of becoming in order to precipitate a new kind of being. Human differentiation emerges in the topos with technē, not because it is a rational faculty (or thinking subject) but because it has the power to intentionally deviate its environment for its own advantage. If creative poiesis very broadly describes deviations of becoming (that identified with Lamarckian evolution),

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it is because this deviation is not expressly intentioned, but a consequence of a particular act. A cyanobacterium, in sensing the sunlight, orients itself to maximize its sugar production to which a rudimentary praxis corresponds. This sensitivity is thus coupled to a determinate action and so implies intentionality. We might see here the primordial potential for an artistic act insofar as this exerts a transformative effect upon subsequent generations of bodies. But it is sharply differentiated because it is very difficult to think that evolutionary transformation was the intended end or purpose of the bacteria’s immanent, intentional activity; it is rather an unintended consequence of the simple cell’s activity that was elsewhere directed. But the human is arguably defined by a new kind of intentional capacity whose ‘end’ or purpose is to deviate material causes. Art is rather born of a particular kind or class of deviations within creative poiesis, where intentionality performs the work of telos by generating an efficient cause. This is to put the intentional functionality (f2 or –jet) to work to deviate productive poiesis directly. This is a very special utilization of technē’s powers because it requires a counter-projection to that bringing subjective formation. Art requires the functional mechanism to project upon the process of becoming, to compute differently the primary flows of production. Art in the general sense is thus the class of intentional acts whose purpose is to intervene in the process of production. As such, it remains that art deviates phusis, but it is no longer an accident – it is the intention to differently shape generative processes, so that something else comes into being.

4.1.4 ‘Art in general’ and disciplinary difference This determination of ‘art in general’ can be strictly applied. Art, as the intentional deviation of processes of production, can be functionally opposed to every workflow of production. If art maintains the enveloping sense in which it indicates all possible disciplines, it is because each comes to being through an intentional deviation of a productive workflow. That is to say that all human endeavours remain an ‘art’, insofar as this describes the intentional deviations carried out by ‘highest’ technē to bring into being very diverse kinds of work. Nevertheless, these disciplines will thereafter be defined by the processes of production that are subsequently established within them; an emphasis upon immanent experimentation might deviate metaphysics into the emergent field of physics, but physics will become identified by the particular type of knowledge it produces. Once a process of becoming has been deviated to establish a

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new field or area of inquiry, it is then regulated into a particular form, which is to say, it is directed toward a particular end by the repetition of a new process of production. Technē continues to play the critical role, for the intentional power of technē governs whether a repetitive (productive) or transformative (creative) workflow will be set into operation. Thus the persistence of the general work of art within each disciplinary distinction tends to be overlooked, where it will perform those deviations through which innovation and creative transformation will enervate new processes of production. Moreover, it will be elsewhere called upon to perform more decisive deviations, in dividing up an existing discipline into new sub-disciplinary areas or precipitating the emergence of a new discipline from an existing one. And it is because each discipline will come to be defined by the new process of production brought into being that this general work of art will remain largely elided. What finally characterizes the determination of art in general is that, although it is only possible by the deployment of an efficient causal process upon production, this intentional intervention nevertheless retains a productive end; that is, the work of transformation intends to bring about a new process of production. Moreover, it is this intention that will continue to qualify the fine division between art and craft – their exceptional proximity and the difficulty in differentiating one from another. Both are concerned with art in general, but where art becomes distinguishable in its contemporary disciplinary sense, they will have diverged by a further intentional difference: for the work of art remains wholly specified by the intention to deviate, that cannot have a process of production as its end. If this distinction remains an important issue, it is because this complication of technē in art and craft remains contemporized in the problem of technology. The technite deviates phusis, but the telos – how the intentional affect governs the efficient cause – is put to work in shaping a new productive process. Technē must vacillate here between precipitating a creative workflow in order to deviate an existing mode of production, but the end remains a re-stabilization or repetition of what the deviation has performed. And where the discipline and work of art comes into its recognizably contemporary context is where the telos comprising the efficient cause works to introduce a sustained or progressive deviation into processes of production, so that deviation becomes the end in itself. It has been argued that poiesis is not a singular, unidirectional workflow, creating or making. Yet this was not determined by examining again the ontological problem of why things come into being so that it was refuted that poiesis describes an identical relation between a producer and all that it produces.

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Rather, poiesis concerns an independent functional operation, a third participating element in the process of becoming. As such, we have found a mechanism to indicate a difference in the workflow of poiesis, concerning how things come to being; not only a primary, productive poiesis, but another workflow – creative poiesis – that emerges from particular, processual computations. Moreover, in the previous chapter, we located with processes of interior deviation, a rudimentary technē animate within primordial life, suggesting that creative poiesis was emergent in early evolutionary history. If there is a particular advantage to this doubled workflow, it is because it describes a mechanism where particular differences affect the primary flow, thus presenting an alternative to determining once and for all why particular forms come into being. This is to argue that a genuinely creative power belongs to particular beings, an emergent power that is felt in its capacity to affect. The interplay between repetition and deviation, between production and creative work indicates that sense and activity and their correlated agency are not ontological problems, but functional operations pertaining to productive workflows. They are not aberrant, metaphysical properties, whose very appearance into being proves exceedingly difficult to assign, but functional operators emerging from generative processes: this is another evolutionary process concerning efficient causation. Most importantly, the terms of a creative poiesis pertaining to particular beings opens a vector of return to the Aristotelian topos, sufficiently to re-problematize art in its necessary complexity. That creative poiesis locates intentional pressures exerted upon the processes bringing forth particular beings radicalizes the deviations belonging to technē:  these are no longer a class of transformations subordinate to the primary generative flows, but deviations that are profoundly implicated within the general work of poiesis in determining how difference comes into being.

4.2 The disciplinary structure of the field of art 4.2.1 The work of art cannot be reduced to a product or mode of production Art in its broadest sense is born of creative poiesis, but it is no longer any deviation whatsoever. In the previous chapter, complex assemblages of many technē were discussed and which supported the development of highly complex bodies

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in parallel and hierarchical arrangements. This progression was followed to the emergence of a ‘highest’ technē that in projecting itself from the body became reoriented to the field of abstract relations, making subjective formation possible. This projection into the ideal dimension left technē free to take abstract relations as its series of inputs, upon which it could directly operate. If art is born when particular technē gain an intentional power to deviate the process of becoming into new modes of production, then the discipline of art begins with a further specification of intentional functionality:  this is to continue to orient away from a productive outcome in order to introduce deviation into the process of becoming as the ‘end’ of the work. The discipline of art is specified by this praxis, which no longer intends to produce a new mode of productive poiesis but works to establish a deviation that escapes resolution at all. This is the work of computing a particular functional transformation upon a productive workflow so that it continuously diverges. Yet, despite this idiosyncratic distinction, the discipline of art is continually reduced to the series of effects its work produces. In the most obvious case, this concerns the conflation about the very term ‘the work of art’, as though it interchangeably signifies artistic praxis and what this praxis produces (be it material and physical objects, artefacts, texts, scores, performances, utterances, images, installations, concepts and so on). This becomes further confused in art’s contemporary context, because this conflation between praxis and product is then abstracted into productions of meaning and sense, as the new determination for what signifies its ‘work’. Yet arguably, these difficulties do not belong to art but are rather produced by other epistemological disciplines attempting to make sense of its work. Nietzsche had forewarned us of these inevitable difficulties when he told us that knowledge and creation, truth and art were opposed to one another – that is, the apprehension of a fundamental discordance between the problem art presents and the production of epistemological sense-making. Where poiesis concerns two opposing workflows between production (Apolline) and creation (Dionysiac), fundamentally different processes operate with regard to the work of art as opposed to the work of knowledge production. It has been discussed in previous chapters how the process of abstraction already paves the way for this opposition in the kind of problems proposed between abstract relations and functional processes. But this is further complicated for contemporary art, which takes place within a model of transdisciplinary organization predicated upon the problem of productive workflows and where disciplines are defined by the various kinds of sense and meaning they

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produce. This works additionally to elide the distinctive activity of art, which is not assembled about production, but rather its inverse workflow of creation.

4.2.2 Art and disciplinary subjects It is illuminating to compare the semiotic and structuralist accounting of epistemological distinctions with the discipline of art. The privileging of creative poiesis gives the discipline of art a necessarily different kind of structure. Unlike those disciplines (philosophy, theory or even science) with which it is often compared, the work of art is not oriented toward a production of sense or meaning in which its disparate activities are of necessity consensualized. That is, art lacks a disciplinary subject because it is not organized about a consensus or collective enunciation. Moreover, because ‘art in general’ participates in the emergence of disciplines and the processes through which they are transformed, this indicates that a certain ‘anti’ or ‘counter’ disciplinary affect is peculiar to art.3 This is predicated upon the fact that a circulation between creative and productive poiesis precedes any new kind of coming into being, and the emergence of disciplinary distinctions is no exception. The emergence and structure of epistemological disciplines was earlier anticipated with Lacan’s unfolding of the cogito. In the analysis of the mirror stage, Lacan locates a speaking subject (subject of enunciation) as the necessary precedence for a thinking subject’s emergence into the Symbolic; this structurally corresponds to why each discipline requires a disciplinary subject to produce its distinctive body of knowledge. Disciplinary subjects illuminate for us something of great importance about subjects in general, which we approached in Chapter 2. Technē are not simply proto-subjective individuations nor are they resolved into subjects; they are rather what animate subjective formations and make them possible. Technē is the functional operation that brings sense and activity to subjects and which inhabits them with agency. Thus, in order for disciplinary subjects to generate meaning (such that the Structuralist analysis indicates), this implies that technē must project itself out of its individual subjective formation to inhabit the disciplinary subject, in order to participate or produce for itself the meaning specific to the discipline. This will be to vacate one’s own particular subjective formation in order to animate another – to change the place from which one senses and speaks in order to produce and constitute another kind of meaning. It is the necessity for technē to project itself in this way that illustrates why disciplinary subjects are some sort of collective, consensual or ‘public’ form.

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Of course, that disciplines are organized about the perspective of a disciplinary subject does not imply that epistemological disciplines have an agency of their own. It rather highlights the alterity between agency and subjective formation, for therein lies the difference between individual and disciplinary subjects. Where individual subjective formations are animated by a single and unique agent (that is one particular, ‘highest’ technē), disciplinary subjects are consensual or ‘public’ formations constructed by the work of many different ‘highest’ technē.4 As such, Structuralist sense production is essentially perspectival; in a field of abstract signs, sense and meaning are local productions generated when a sensitive agent takes up a particular perspective within it. This appears to give to ‘highest’ technē a certain free mobility to animate various perspectives across the ‘empty’ or purely abstract semiotic or signifying regime. But what now mitigates this freedom is the limit encountered with Barthes and Derrida, because at the level of the text (that is, the abstract or semiotic structure) poiesis is recharacterized as a singularly resolute production; once the sensitive agent has been projected into the abstract structure, there is thought to be no way of getting out of it. That is to say that sense, meaning and the very constitution of being are all thought to be produced by the structure itself, and cannot be exported by the agent projected there.5 But the discipline of art cannot pertain to this structure first of all because it does not intend to produce sense and meaning. It begins with a movement to project technē out of the abstract or semiotic structures. That is why artists continually tell us the condition for the work of art always entails some kind of depersonalization or a loss of self-conscious subjectivity – this is what Nietzsche identified in the figure of Dionysus. But if this remains distinct from aphanisis and other effects of subjective degradation, it is because the work of art begins with an intentional act to traverse the supplementary workflow of creative poiesis. In the discipline of art, one looks in vain for a consensual discourse or production of sense-making across its practitioners that works to organize its processes of production. Art thrives on diversifying its ideal perspectives, in the intentional dissonance between its sensitive agents. In contrast, disciplinary subjects perform synthetic unifications and build toward an interior resemblance in which ideas and theoretical constructs are progressively rationalized, together. This is to overcome perspectival, linguistic, terminological, personal and sensible differences into a clear, collective enunciation; it is to mitigate difference through the structure of representative ideas.6 Yet nothing in this process reflects how the work of art is created. The work of art proceeds through a dispersing and diversification of possible perspectives.

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It amplifies the dissonances between methodological praxes in order to disrupt the consensual repertoire of formal and aesthetic unities. This is not to argue that the work of art can do without a sustained engagement with material and methodological processes of production. Rather, art makes use of disciplinary subjects, in particular those pertaining to its formal distinctions and the mastery of craft specific to them: the mastery of its instruments (the violin or camera) through which it masters a particular process of production (the technical construction of music or images). Nevertheless, the discipline of art is not organized around a disciplinary subject. The work of art operates counter to ideal productions, rather working to deviate them back toward processes of becoming. What constitutes the work of art cannot be ‘organized’ around a consensual perspective, because there can never be a process of production adequate to creation; it is not possible to reproduce, represent or redeploy the function of ‘creative deviation’ as a kind of pedagogy. As such, art cannot be understood to exhaust or resolve itself in the appearance of any kind of subject (be it disciplinary or individual), but rather works to exploit subjective formation to generate a new suite of affective powers.

4.2.3 Technē does not inhabit the abstract dimension to resolve sensible productions, but because it is a laboratory for creating functions The problem of art is not predicated upon establishing a regulated procedure for delivering immanent experiences into abstract relations in order to model them. Art is a praxis that intends to return the intelligence it acquires about abstract relations to generate new affective powers. This is not to dissolve the irreducible division between the world of living bodies and the abstract structure in which sense and meaning are produced. But it is to refute that the flow of material causation, becoming through cells and organs and culminating in a ‘higher’ self-conscious entity, exhausts or resolves poiesis; it is rather to potentiate a rival efficient causation in the emergence of the intentional activity of ‘highest’ technē. For art, the important distinction does not lie between the body and the mind, between embodied sense and thinking subjects, because technē computes both realities. Art is rather re-problematized by the ordinal limitation of technē. This is because technē can only process across one direction of poiesis or the other, either setting about the task of production or in counter-orienting its functional mechanism, working toward a creative transformation.

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It is in this regard that the richly productive labour with which subjects are engaged is not simply constrained within the structure where meaning is produced and conserved and transmitted between subjects. Technē drives logistikós in which the abstractions of thinking subjects are generated, but this calculative faculty does not belong to the semiotic structure – it is carried there by technē, together with the functional operations and intelligence it gathers in living bodies. Thus, the question is not whether technē becomes adequate to epistēmē where it produces sense and meaning, but what intelligence technē gathers there about functional operations. For what technē acquires in the emergence of the abstract ideal is a powerful laboratory for experimenting with and generating new functional operations. The world of ideas greatly potentiates technē’s intentional powers because what abstraction makes possible is the decoupling of functions from their processes of production, which in the living body are so oriented as to compute material causes. This is the well-observed liberation abstraction affords from spatio-temporal dimensions that opens vast new possibilities for technē; ‘the mind of the mature poet differs from that of the immature one not precisely in any valuation of “personality,” not being necessarily more interesting, or having “more to say,” but rather by being a more finely perfected medium in which special, or very varied, feelings are at liberty to enter into new combinations’ (Eliot, 1960: 48). This issue was encountered earlier with Brouwer, in which the abstract appearance of the function was found to have a precedence in dynamic, natural processes. Functional computation does not simply ‘appear’ with thinking subjects. Rather, the re-oriented projection of ‘highest’ technē within epistēmē carries with it the intelligence about ‘natural’ functional operations it has already acquired through its sensitivity of the living body. And although representation strictly identifies the ability to correlate abstract relations with these natural functions, this does not resolve the functional work carried out by ‘highest’ technē, because it continues to perform there the calculation of these abstract elements into new kinds of functional operations. Moreover, Lacan never ceased to remind us of the significance of this functional creativity for immanent agents: Let me illustrate where logarithms arose. In one case the first relation is addition. Addition is nevertheless intuitive. There are some things here, some things there, you put them together, and you get a new collection. Multiplying loaves is not the same as collecting loaves. It is a matter of applying one of these relations to the other. You invent the logarithm. It starts to run wild in the world, on the basis of little rules that seem to be insignificant. But do not think that the fact

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that they exist leaves you, any of you who are here, in the same state as before they appeared. Their presence is all that matters. (2007: 188)

In crossing into the world of ideas, technē makes thinking subjects and the world of ideas possible. But this is far from an end in itself. For where productive poiesis concerns the repetition and becoming of existing functions into being, then creative poiesis works to deviate processes of becoming via new functional operations. Epistēmē remains dominated by the prolongation and repetition of functional operations; some acquired by technē in the living body and many others generated there by efficient causes that have been stabilized into new processes of production (for example, linguistic, cultural, moral and aesthetic norms). It is in the projection of technē within epistēmē that the detachment of functions from processes of production makes these new configurations possible, which could never be composed together in their natural, material ensembles. That is to say, technē achieves a certain liberation from the ordinal limits that restrict it in the living body, where the orientation of its sensitive functionality remains constrained to the material causes producing bodies from their interior.7 It is this mixing of functional operations the abstract affords that arguably gives to mathematics its prodigiously creative praxis. But for art, this concerns not only the creation of new abstract functions but also the opportunity to transform them into new intentional, affective powers (f2, –jet). Pure mathematics pursues creation in a complete renunciation of material causes, but the work of art remains specified by the intention to confront them. All art in general begins with an intentional act but the discipline of art is not any intention whatsoever. It is additionally not enough to return the creation of functions upon the material, for this would not distinguish art from those scientific disciplines and technologies that put the mathematical function to work to affect a new productive end (to make atoms smash together, or to produce a new metallic alloy). Rather, the work of art remains uniquely specified by the intention to deviate phusis, but it is no longer for a material or productive end. It is the intention to deviate as the ‘end’ of the work.

4.2.4 Art and language It would be absurd to deny that the artist and the work of art are not signifiers in the definition structuralist thought provides for us. But that does not imply their respective presence within the signifying regime produces the work of art in the prescriptive manner in which all sensible productions are there reduced. For

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even though the literary utterance or mark emits through the signifying order its missives or expressions, the work of art does not appear in the regime, but merely resounds a stubborn silence. Thus, while technē animates the appearance of a signifier, it does not at all describe to us what brings the art, nor does it indicate the particulars of creative poiesis. If the work of art does not draw out truths, nor else does it combine together signs in order to produce sense: art works to saturate the sign through an inward forcing, filling it up with intentional affects; ‘The idea has come to me that what I would like to do now is to saturate every atom.’8 Woolf ’s methodology is not an example of the signifying regress but a presentation of its counter-operation.9 This is to efface the ‘horizontal’ movement of sense production in order to confront the primary generative forces, which determine thinking and material bodies from their interior. In this new praxis of writing, consciousness is not the stream that follows and reveals the contours of the earth; it is a damming of this flow to confront the generative forces in their depth, where they remain profoundly mixed together. As such, the work of art has the effect of freezing the horizontal flow where technē is tasked to calculate the production of sensible relations. And if Woolf ’s novels defy or unsettle the orthodox transmission of meaning, it is because the work intensively pursues creative poiesis in this confrontation with depth. This work cannot be represented; it can only be traversed. Beckett’s theory of non-relation exemplifies this work of creative poiesis, where the artist is ‘the first to submit wholly to the incoercible absence of relation’: the work is to oppose the ‘estheticised automatism’ of reconstituting a workflow of sensible production (Beckett and Duthuit, 1965:  125). Non-relation goes to work upon the gestalt ordering the semiotic system (signifier/distribution of signs), disrupting, breaking or ‘failing’ the transmission between signs, concepts and perspectives through which knowledge and meaning are produced. But this is not at all to represent the problem of the emptiness of signs, nor else, the kind of polysemy or plurality of surface effects, generated by the endless slippage of the signifier. What is arrested in the Beckettian formulation is the mechanism through which the slippage may operate at all: that is, to seize the production of sense in its tracks, to freeze out the regress and to exclude the production of meaning altogether. Yet, the power of this proposition is not to negate sensible expression with the revelation of its own exhausted machinations. Signification is exhausted only as a secondary consequence, where the computation of technē is oriented away from the task of producing meaning. The freezing or collapse of meaning derives from technē’s ordinal limit  – its incapacity to perform productive and creative workflows simultaneously. Thus the power of Beckett’s proposition is to show the

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necessary conditions through which the work of art can be performed. As technē prepares to orient itself away from abstraction and signification, the work of art begins when technē’s sensitive functionality (f1) works upon various epistemological productions: ideas and models, language or semiotic sequences and so on. In the case of modernism, this may additionally operate by going to work upon a disciplinary or individual subjective form, in which various epistemological constructions have already been composed. In this mode of counter-orientation, technē directs itself toward the interior; the gaps, holes, coupures, through which, in becoming again forces, they may contest again the foment of phusis. The ‘insuperable indigence’, the extreme exhaustion of the machinery for making sense, does not constitute a nihilistic resignation; the failure to calculate productions of sense indicates that technē has turned toward the task of creative transformation (Beckett and Duthuit, 1965: 112). Representational relations do not perform the work of art, but Beckett deploys them to emphasize where creative praxis has gone to work: there is a subtraction of movements across the surface; a freezing of bodies in the earth or a reduction of them to heads or mouths; and moreover, a freezing of expression more generally. This is not to carry out creative work in order to resolve for the reader a new productive poiesis, which would imply the transmission of a particular sense or meaning between artist and viewer; it is to solicit the traversal of creative poiesis within the reader (in another technē) to carry out their own deviations upon production as the ‘end’ of the work. That is what characterizing the work of art as Dionysiac implies; it is to set to work across efficient causation the powers liberated from resolving into being, through which phusis, and thus all else, will be otherwise transformed. If this leads us to the presence of a signifier that does not speak, it is because to speak is only one face of a certain vacillation: ‘If the poem is to be pure, the poet’s voice must be stilled’ (Mallarmé, 1956: 40). Technē turns from the task of enunciation, the production of signification engaged in making sense. The ordinal limit of technē – that it may only admit one workflow or another – necessitates that it must orient away from sense-making in order to create. What appears as a signifier that does not speak is the turning away of technē, its becoming dispersed and disappearing into the depths. There are two distinct perspectives here that must be clarified. From the surface of sense, the horizontal movement in which sense is produced closes down and the subject senses its own fading. But this is only symptomatic of the Dionysiac quality of the creative workflow, where the return to the underworld is experienced as a tearing apart of the body. If this is not simply metaphorical, it is because the subject’s ‘body’ is the manifest form of its self-consciousness;

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a sensitive body constructed from the mise en abyme of technē’s own recursive and sensitive computations. As such, the turning away of technē from its fixation within epistēmē is experienced as the breaking up and dissolution of this ‘self ’-sensitive nexus. Yet what the subject experiences in its dissolution, passing into these gaps as a negative or void of sense, is for ‘highest’ technē a repurposing of its computational faculty. It is only because technē has ceased to calculate within the semiotic regime that the subjective form dissolves. In this counter-oriented projection into depth, technē encounters again the processes of material causation forcing through the interior of bodies, but it now intervenes upon them as an intentional force. And if this experience is everywhere elided, it is because the conditions of this encounter are first the loss of all those sensitive calculations, where technē makes sense of (or rather, computes the awareness of) its own functional processing. That is to say that technē cannot return to enact intentional powers through living bodies and simultaneously remain the subjective consciousness assembling this activity into meaningful relations. This is consequent of the computational limit, in which it can process either a productive or creative workflow but never both simultaneously. Thus, technē cannot ‘export’ the particulars of subjective self-consciousness or the productions of meaning specific to them as it projects out of the abstract strata. What it carries along and what potentiates the emergence of unprecedented affective powers is rather the new functional operations it has acquired in epistēmē, which it intends to put to work upon productive processes. These powers will be exercised in the generation of an efficient causation, a deviation of ‘shape’, by setting these new functional operations to work upon processes of production. Thus, technē does not return to encounter phusis with the determination or resolve of the idea: it acts upon phusis, with all its assembled intelligibility about the nature of functions. This no longer concerns production at all but rather the activation of intentional forces.

4.3 Poiesis II: Creative and productive poiesis in the work of art 4.3.1 The work of art is born of creative poiesis, but this is a supplementary workflow, irreducible to and inseparable from productive poiesis It has been argued that the work of art is defined by the specialized attention to creative poiesis: an intentional force proceeding from particular beings whose

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task is to introduce a deviation into phusis in its becoming. But this is never to confront the ‘origin’ producing a flow of primary cause, because it is the contest of forces that determine what kind of being is brought forward. This is the corrective forwarded to Aristotle:  phusis has been re-problematized as a recursive circulation between material and efficient causes, where the origin only dominates insofar as its force persists. It is not a general form of the problem in which to deduce an inaugural determinant but a complex functional problem in which the origin is a singular particularity amongst many; as Beckett reminds us, ‘[t]he creation of the world did not take place once and for all time, but takes place every day’ (1965: 19). Functions are indifferent to origins. Because they do not inhere within a domain from which their nature is derived, the origin is simply another series upon which to work. It is the function and its predilection for the particular that works to contest the power of the origin. That is how the function has led to a revitalization of creation, no longer conflated into the origin, but that which contests it at the particular. In this sense, it doesn’t matter if origins are universal, even absolutely so; their power progressively diminishes against the immanent emergence of creative transformations, which everywhere acts upon and deviates them. Thus, the point has never been to determine how ‘original’ poiesis operates as a singular, unidirectional workflow: deviation is decided at the particular so that poiesis becomes divided into counter-oriented workflows. Moreover, when the power of the origin is restored to its evental nature (that is, as a particularly singular event), phusis itself becomes conceivable as a contest of particulars. For a functional re-problematization, the key issue was never to overthrow transcendent donators, whatever Gods or universal forces were believed to determine our nature; it was always to enervate about the particular adequate powers of deviation thereby restoring to generative processes the dynamic properties of the function. In this turning about the particular, technē provides for us the logic of how poiesis is divided into genuinely separate workflows. ‘To create’ is to direct a counter-oriented force against production or ‘to make’; and because phusis is the general sway of the contest of particulars, to create is always the attempt to affect the order or the ‘shape’ of what comes into being. Telos is thus retracted from the finality of teleology, and locates the contest between general and particular forces. And let it be reiterated that it has always been the task of technē – its intelligence about the function coupled to its capacity to set functions into operation – that carries out this task of deviation. As such, it is always problematic to invoke the ‘origin’ of the work of art, where a unidirectional poiesis collocates it with production, so that all working

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moves together from non-being to being. The work of art begins by seizing what poiesis has rather already produced, because it actually works against this inaugural flow or origin. The work of art born from creative poiesis remains distinct from a making of materials, ideals, concepts or bodies; it is to work upon the material or the concept, a structure or a body, in such a way as to create there what has no prior being. Art is thus an irreducibly creative labour, but it is radically complicit, engaged with and inseparable from the processes of production, the productive poiesis, upon which it goes to work. Thus, artistic praxis concerns the counter-posing of creative and productive workflows: through creative poiesis, intentional forces deviate into phusis to contest becoming; through productive poiesis, a mastery of production presides over the bringing of new beings into appearance.

4.3.2 Productive poiesis concerns the mastery of repetition We have been told that poiesis is a unidirectional workflow, creating or making together. But it has rather been argued that art could not be possible without a doubled workflow, a phusis of productive and creative poiesis. In order to apprehend the work of art, we must therefore understand how it remains separate from the processes of production, which must be mastered across a very different workflow. Heidegger clarifies a great deal about how art utilizes processes of production when he reminds us the artist is also a technite (2001:  56). The craftsperson (technite) works to master production, because technical mastery works upon the mixture of properties in the function (the function qua function), privileging repetition over transformation. That is why the differentiation in the workflow, between productive and creative poiesis, remains intimately about the intentional activity of technē (at f2 or –jet); it is intentionality that manipulates the function into a process of production in which repetition dominates, or else into a process of creation that deviates into production and transforms it. In productive poiesis, technē has the intentional goal (the efficient cause) of mastering repetition. The mastery of craft not only governs the turning of the lathe but also presides over the bowing of the cello, the mixing of a turntable and the programming of the interface. This is difficult and delicate work, because it requires the extreme sensitivity of technē to be attuned to warding off the risk, omnipresent whenever the repetitious function is put to work; that is, it must

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mitigate the introduction of aberrant transformations or unintentional deviations, leading to undesirable variations of production. The exactitude of the work, of the dealing with the mixed properties of the function, provides for us another insight into the extreme proximity between the artist and the craftsperson, and why they are almost always, in practice, a mixture of both. But they are governed by fundamentally different intentions, and the mastery of one does not at all evidence a mastery of the other. The mastery of the craftsperson flows across productive poiesis, for its end concerns bringing something into being. Craft remains an art in the general sense, in the terms most strongly identified by Aristotle, because it is through a deviation in the workflow – through technē’s intervention upon phusis – that craft brings what it does into being. But in the circulation of workflows, in which productive and creative poiesis work upon one another in complex ways, craft is that which intends that a particular deviation becomes stabilized into the flow of repetitious production. Thus, the mastery of production concerns in our antiquity the progressive mastery over the material: the minerals and elements of the earth, clay and stone, the degree of hardness and grain of wood. But it has always been inseparable from technology, so it has always concerned the development of new deviations into processes of production. Thus it also governs those new properties creatively wrought from the elements of the earth – it works toward the strengthening and flexibility of steel, the rigidity of concrete, the purification of various products from fossil fuels. But, as we have already argued, such a mastery of the material of the earth and of other bodies is only possible because ‘highest’ technē is predicated upon the technicality and labour already at work in complex bodies. Thus, the mastery of productive poiesis makes new demands on what kind of work its own body can perform. That is to say that the mastery of production governs those recursive deviations, in which ‘highest’ technē transfers new functional operations into the ‘medial’ technē of the organs, for the hand does not prepossess the requisite precision and control to produce an even curvature in wood or ceramic. It is this progressive mastery of production that art history traces between prehistoric cave art and Renaissance portraiture, even though it properly remains distinct from the artistic value or the work of art. In our own period, this mastery of production has extended from its governance over bodies to productive machines and other sophisticated technical apparatuses. However, in every case technē is called upon to perform the same kind of work – to manipulate the properties of the function in processing what

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is becoming and to stabilize deviations through a mastery of repetition. This remains the case for the simple tool (the brush or the hammer) as it does the highly sophisticated machine (a laser die cutter or a super computer). And of course, this progressive mastery of production could not have been possible were a commensurate mastery of production not carried out in the abstract-ideal, where the projection of technē carries out the same functional operations in working upon language and semiotic systems and producing epistemological models. The thinking subject is a prodigious technite, and the foundations of the logos – of the clear and distinct production of rational ideas – typify the labour where technē is set to the task of stabilizing repetition and warding off unintentional deviations in the process of production. This labour is most clearly encapsulated by how preoccupied epistemological sense-making is with the mitigation of error. If this recalls Nietzsche’s opposition between knowledge and creation, it is because errors of all kinds belong to creative poiesis; whether in material or abstract productions, unintentional deviations are deleterious to processes of production, introducing inconsistencies by deviating the smoothness or consistency of fabrication. The consensual or collective nature of disciplinary subjects is critical to this task, because nothing introduces dissonance and divergence so much as the differences between individual subjects and the paucity of their sensitive apprehensions over a collation of sense between them. The principle of objectivity can be understood in this attempt to rectify the parallax error of individual subjective differences through a consensual perspective shared amongst observers. That is why in the highly epistemological disciplines (science, philosophy, mathematics and logic) extensive work is devoted to the analysis of logical fallacies, which everywhere threatens to distort or unravel the delicate unities of theoretical models.

4.3.3 Artistic praxis requires the introduction of creative poiesis into processes of production Of course, the requirement for a mastery of production is no less heightened for the discipline of art. The artist always works against the risk that unintentional deviations will collapse the work of sustaining a progressive deviation upon the processes of material or primary production. The difficulty is never in mobilizing the power of creative poiesis, for there is nothing easier than setting into action an uncontrollable flow of creative transformation. And when we talk of ‘bad art’, this is generally to what we refer: there is too much deviation relative to the

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productive poiesis employed, resulting in a work with an insufficient circulation of forces. Thus, artistic praxis reminds us of something about production that is not necessarily obvious from the perspective of intending productive repetition; repetition intensifies whatever ‘shapes’ the circulation of forces. Everywhere ‘free’ or unrestrained creative transformation quickly exhausts the forces built up through repetition; disease introduces free, runaway transformations of the productive orders powering the body, just as the free transformation of the doxa destroys the careful production of reason. If productive poiesis requires all the strenuous deployment of technē’s intentional resources, then the work of art must be up to the reciprocal task of a carefully intended, controlled and targeted deviation of a creative workflow. This is of the upmost importance for the work of art; for its work to be successful, technē must master productive and creative poiesis, so that deviation is brought to work upon a process of production in order that a progressive, sustained transformation is affected. Let us consider in a functional light, the utility of technical precision or productive mastery for the work of artistic praxis. The establishment of the intensive circulation of forces begins with repetition. A mastery of production proceeds through an exploitation of repetitious functions dominant in production. It has been argued that complex bodies must be thought to be composed of many technē, organized in parallel and hierarchical configurations. This allows us to understand something very important about the observation of automaticity clarified earlier by Freud; automaticity does not imply that lower functional strata are mechanical, as though they are devoid of sense and intentional activity. It rather indicates they are also individuated entities, so that ‘automaticity’ describes the intentional force or workflow carried out by different kinds of technē. What is rather apprehended in this perception of a machinic indifference is the limitation of those ‘lower’ technē to intelligibilize the more complex organizational nature of ‘highest’ technē. ‘Lower’ technē are perfectly capable of sensing the intentional forces higher technē direct upon them, but they may only process this affection within the powers of sense and action belonging to them. That is to say, their reactive nature does not indicate a lack of intelligence or agency, but the inability to apprehend their more complex emergent properties or formations. Thus while a ‘lower’ technē could not be capable of responding to the complexity of self-consciousness that emerges in ‘highest’ technē, the computational basis of the agency common to them ensures that transmissions of functional operations may pass between them. That is to say, where those dynamic transformations or ‘natural’ calculations performed by living organisms are carried over into the basis of cogitation (the calculations of thought), so

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more complex functional operations can be transmitted back and set to work in ‘lower’ technē, even though they lack the capability of creating these functions or comprehending the end to which they are intended. Thus, the mastery of production, for art or craft alike, exploits the ‘medial’ technē that emerge in more complex assemblages of the living body – namely, those corresponding to the organs. In the hierarchy of technē discussed in Chapter 3, such a medial level technē was posited, between the level of the cell and the ‘highest’ technē precipitating subjects and self-consciousness (these three strata are illustrated in Figure 3.7). It is the technē of the organs (the eye, the ear, the stomach and the skin) upon which artistic praxis must first go to work; ‘the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul’ (Kandinsky, 2004: 32). Additionally, although we are less accustomed to thinking in this way, there is a ‘medial’ technē for the ‘organ’ of the hand and the foot (and so on) that must also be mastered. Artistic praxis requires first the disciplining of these medial, organizational technē through the enhanced functional sensitivity of ‘highest’ technē. One learns to draw or write or to strum a guitar by bringing the sensitivity of ‘highest’ technē upon the operable movements of the eye and the hand. Irrespective of the vagaries of natural talent, one must learn to draw or play an instrument and this cannot be done through a transference of signifiers and meaning alone. This was earlier discussed with Aristotelian mimesis and the pedagogy of praxis. For quite separately from the transmission of communication and signs, praxis concerns an exchange from technē to technē of the intelligence and putting to work of functional operations. In the mastery of production, this transference takes place between the different individuated elements within the living body. Having generated new functional operations in abstract epistēmē, ‘highest’ technē sets these to operate upon the ‘medial’ technē of the organ. Thus, although the abstract strata remain inaccessible for these ‘medial’ technē, more complex functional operations may be recursively fed into their sensitive functionality, making available there new intentional, affective powers or new kinds of actions they would be otherwise incapable of. Thus, the ‘medial’ technē of the organ assimilates the capacity to execute new functional operations and intentional actions. First, the ‘highest’ technē in transmitting a new functional operation makes possible a deviation in the processes of production operating within the organ. Once this has been established, a new process of production works to stabilize the repetition of this new functional operation. That is why a mastery of production always

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proceeds through practice; the repetition of scales or the making of marks, so that the ‘medial’ technē becomes imbued with reiterating this new functional operation. In the process of mastering production, ‘highest’ technē continues its intervention on the ‘medial’ technē’s execution of the functional process, by directing its sophisticated sensitivity to govern the stricture of the repetition, mitigating unintentional deviations and intensifying the precision of the operation. It is worthwhile emphasizing again that this pedagogy does not proceed through a communication of sense production, meaning or significance:  a movement of the hand does not correspond to the ideal geometry of the circle, nor else do particular finger positions to an E chord, but rather to the repetition of a functional operation which either performs the intended function or unintentionally deviates it, so another is produced (an ellipse or an E#). The objective of this exercise is that the ‘medial’ technē of the organ becomes so rigorously versed in this capacity to repeat the required functional operations that the ‘highest’ technē will be liberated to perform a very different kind of work. For it is only once the ‘medial’ technē of the organ has sufficiently mastered this process of production that the ‘highest’ technē can pursue the orthogonal workflow of creative poiesis, in which the work of art becomes possible. Mastery of production, in craft or art, always concerns this process through which ‘highest’ technē disciplines the organs to carry out new functional operations. Yet this is only the condition for the work of art that the technē of the organs master the repetitious act of the brush or the key stroke; for the importance of liberating ‘highest’ technē from the task of production is not merely from the specific technicalities of material production – it also requires a liberation from subjective fixation and consciousness alike. Kleist’s marionettes exemplify this condition of the work of art made possible through the liberation of ‘highest’ technē from the crucifying refraction of self-consciousness (1972). The art of dance is not only to master the movements and the steps but also to give oneself over to the creation of the work, which is only possible because the ‘medial’ technē will continue to carry out the repetitions of productive poiesis. In order for the work of art to begin, ‘highest’ technē must re-orient itself from its subjective fixation and project itself out of epistēmē. For one does not affect a deviation by summoning the Gods of the earth or encountering the meaningless void out of which all circulates; one deviates phusis by projecting there technē’s functional powers and computing the deviation upon the circulation of forces. That is why the work of art constitutes a final projective possibility for technē, no

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longer oriented in its habitual direction along the flow of production, but now in a counter-orientation. The work of art thus always requires two orthogonally oriented workflows. The orthodox sense of mastery concerns poiesis, the practised precision of iterations, the repetitious mode of production – but this would never lead to art if this were an end in itself. For what is required is that the mastery of repetition liberates ‘highest’ technē in order that the work of art begins. Here, the task of productive poiesis is taken over by ‘medial’ technē, but this intensive production is what allows the place of immanent sensitivity or awareness to escape, such that the artist loses their hands, the eye, the occupation of self-consciousness, in order to inject a sustained deviating workflow into the processes of production. It is here that the force of creative poiesis performs its crucial work – to deviate the processes of becoming by setting a flow of efficient causation in order to shape again phusis.

4.3.4 In the work of art, technē must circulate across productive and creative workflows The work of art is born of creative poiesis, but in praxis, all of technē’s projective plasticity and movement must be deployed to establish a sufficient circulation between productive and creative workflows. To intensify this circulation of forces is never simply to set into motion a singular, intentional activity at technē (at –jet or f2). It is never to deviate the origin or its overwhelming propagation through an omnipotent act. The consequence of recalibrating Aristotelian causes is that the efficient is inseparable from the living; it is only as a series of immanent acts, ramifying into complex ensembles, that the efficient exerts a force sufficient to shape the material. That is why technē must be present to compute or set into operation each deviation in order for the work of art to function. The reality of artistic praxis is therefore underscored by the prodigious mobility of technē. It must circulate between the workflows, which is why the work of art unsettles subjective being into a febrile chiaroscuro, where it flickers in and out of appearance. It is not simply a preliminary to programme or school the organs of the body for the task of production; the reality of artistic praxis requires that ‘highest’ technē vacillates between its productive orientations in the body and mind with the counter-orientation through which creative work is set into operation.

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Artists have told us over and again of this experience in making work, of the distinctiveness of its de-personalizing or de-subjectifying affect. ‘The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality’ (Eliot, 1960: 47). Making work is a vertiginous experience in which sense and intentional activation rapidly vacillate between the various workflows, so that the experience of consciousness and subjective presence seems to flicker in and out of being. Artistic praxis thus requires that ‘highest’ technē circulates between overseeing the processes of production (the repetitions of the ‘medial’ technē of the body’s organs and the various technological apparatuses deployed) and the creative workflow, which introduces into them progressive deviations. Intentionality is the critical operand in this circulatory flow of artistic praxis, where technē is mobilized across productive and creative poiesis. Together with its ejection from subjective formation as the condition for the work of art to begin, this mobility of ‘highest’ technē explains why art is never determinable as the activity of a subjective or meaningful type. Moreover, this setting out from subjective formation cannot be incidental or the effect of another process (aphanisis or loss of consciousness), because art remains differentiated from the broader work of creative poiesis by its intention to deviate. If technē requires an incredible mobility here, it is because it must modulate the organs in their mode of production, so the intentional creative force can work upon them. Yet it will also require the continual passage through subjective formation in order to make sense of ‘medial’ technē’s productive work, so that the creative workflow can be targeted again: ‘The hand must incessantly advance, ready at every instant to obey the head; and yet the head holds the creative instinct no more at command than the heart can bestow love at will’ (Balzac, 1965: 270).

4.3.5 The work of art counters productive poiesis, for it resists what in it desires the end (the appearance of the product, object, being and so on) From a functionalist perspective, the artist is not differentiated from the craftsperson, due to a hierarchy in the kinds of functions they create nor certainly by various judgements upon the value of the work in which they are engaged. For the proximity to the function (ergon) with which technē is wholly concerned makes the artist and craftsperson alike a technite.

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What differentiates them is the intentional action exercised by technē; on the one hand, it is to bring to repetition a new or existing process of production, and on the other, it is to will production to progressively deviate. As such, it is the failure to acknowledge that technē affects here a change in poiesis that prolongs the indetermination between art and craft. Moreover, it is the failure to make this distinction that resurfaces in the strange artificiality of the technological object, which despite the de-authorizing of transcendent donators and the concept of nature, continues to degrade it against a universal poiesis. Where the technological object remains the result or product of a process of production, it is inconceivable that its coming to being might affect powers capable of influencing processes of becoming. But if its actions indicate not a resulting effect of a cause, but a new causal process (the efficient) then it must present to us a very different kind of problem. This remains an important part of re-problematizing technē, because the unprecedented power modern technology wields against primary, material processes should have revitalized our understanding of the particular and its effect upon phusis. Where this is not the case, this degradation of powers particularly diminishes the encounter with contemporary art. Thus, when modern art praxis takes up the utility of machines, it raises old problems because art continues to be tied to processes of production. Is it not strange that after the secular reformulation of the cogito, in which the ‘natural’ and ‘creation’ are so convincingly de-authorized, that the problem of art should resurrect a natural/ artificial distinction, where the production of hands and bodies is valorized against the production of machines? Only an obscuration of the breadth of technē could fail to challenge here the unidirectional assumption of poiesis where art is a mode of production, differently determinable by hand or machine:  ‘As to whether a musical process is realized through live human performance or through some electro-mechanical means is not finally the main issue’ (Reich, 1974: 9). It has been argued that intentionality determines the difference between art and craft and so it remains in art’s relation with technology. This situation has a primordial precedence, where even the simplest bodies, by exerting their intentional function (at f2), affect a deviation between productive and creative workflows through particular technē. As such, in the first instance, this might clarify why the work of art, born across the flow of creative poiesis, could never be determined by the productive work with which it is generally conflated. If this issue becomes striking in contemporary art, the dissonance between creative and productive praxis had clearly been demonstrated where the

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technological object was worked upon by early modernist art experiments. The playfulness of Duchamp’s ‘readymades’ had already problematized the grave sobriety of the ‘always, already’, because the readymade fundamentally defies participation in the process of production. Rather, what the readymade shows is that not only is creative poiesis differentiated from the process of production but that it also operates across another kind of workflow, by going to work after the production has been completed. Moreover, Duchamp demonstrates quite precisely the function of the work of art, which intentionally intervenes by resuscitating the process of production from its collapse into the object. As such, the bottle rack no longer simply appears as the product of a technical production, but becomes circulated into a new process of becoming. It has been observed that the significance of the readymade lies in effacing the object to draw our attention to context – this is not simply its immanent framing (the gallery and the gallery context) but, more importantly, is thought to lead us back to a supportive epistemological context; what Arthur Danto argues to require a ‘certain theory of art’ (1964: 581). Thus, the subtraction of a productive labour (the ‘work’ or art) is meant to unveil that art is always a kind of semiotic play, in which meaning and sense are infinitely exchangeable about an object. Yet, it is not the art that works to produce for us this realization of a historical or theoretical gestalt in which it circulates (even if Duchamp – as a thinking subject – also intends to draw our attention to this). That is to say, what produces for thinking subjects a rather jolting recognition of their epistemological sensemaking does not at all define how the art functions. This is rather an effect; for the art has already gone to work to deviate the ‘end’ of a productive process (industrial mass production), in which the technical object had been considered complete. That is to say, the art does not intentionally work to deviate the artobject into a new resolution between itself and the space, or between the canon and the expectation of a viewing public. The work of art concerns the intention to progressively deviate the process of production in order to overcome the reduction to the object or the relation altogether. That is to say, that what Kandinsky apprehends in Cézanne is common to all art: ‘He raised the “nature morte” to a height where the exteriorly “dead” object becomes inwardly alive’ (Kandinsky, 2004: 31–2).

4.3.6 Art and modern technology If this returns us to the complex functional problem of technē, it is because the work of art does not inaugurate some miraculous precedent here; it simply

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refutes the historically dominant idea that particular beings have no genuine power of affect, by challenging the assumption that poiesis is unidirectional. Moreover, the consequence of this power for the particular does not merely reiterate the ancient aporia between being and becoming, because the power of the particular resides in the conjugated sensitive and affective functions that deviate poiesis. The work of re-problematization with Simondon can be profitably brought to bear upon the work of art, and its engagement with modern technology, more specifically. We have seen with Heidegger that behind the restorative romanticism devaluing technē’s deviation from phusis lies first a fundamental commitment to a unidirectional poiesis (truth as unveiling), which consequently valorizes philosophical sense-making and devalues the deviations of particular beings. This is the foundation of valuing technē in its double movement: deconcealing (working with the generative flow is legitimate) and deviation (its mode of challenging is dangerous and illegitimate). But the work of art proceeds from the double workflow initiated by technē since antiquity, and whose particular deviations comprise the differential forces in the telos. The legitimacy of art’s deviations therefore concerns the entire function of the counter-oriented workflow, through which difference deviates the very nature of phusis. The consequences of this conflation become increasingly problematized by the introduction of technological processes into modern art. Walter Benjamin’s highly influential The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility sets an emblematic precedent. Benjamin’s unidirectional poiesis is Marxist, and the discussion of modern art practices takes place within the terms of a materialist and correspondingly political mode of production.10 Once again, this unidirectionality proceeds by first delegitimizing the explicit function of creativity, which is thought to be overcome by constraining it within the origins of production.11 Benjamin’s innovation is to utilize historicism to differentiate art into modes of material production. Here the ‘aura’ of the original in which the authenticity of the work of art is magnified is contrasted with the mechanical reproduction of the work, through the labour of technology.12 For Benjamin, this is a critical codex for understanding the difference between the modern and pre-modern work of art. Benjamin’s argument elaborates upon differences between an ‘original’, ‘authentic’ work of art and the work of mechanical reproduction; let us consider differing productions of images, between a painting and a photograph. It is because, for Benjamin, the fundamental concept of ‘work’ makes all processes of production unidirectional that the discussion of what here constitutes the ‘work

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of art’ is made exchangeable with its modes of material production. As such, it is the value of the labour the painter invests in the production of the work from which its ‘aura’ and authenticity are derived. Each painting is an ‘original’ or singular work, and this is thought to fundamentally determine its value. In the case of the photograph, the way the technological apparatus reduces the labour involved in image production is thought to fundamentally transform its perception of value. Moreover, this cursory or ‘uncritical’ application of labour in the capturing of images is further devalued because there will be no original – that is, the process of reproduction progressively devalues the resulting art objects. There is something profoundly Platonic in this logic of productions and reproductions in which the authentic origin is ever distanced across the general workflow, and which the process of further iterations degrades and dilutes the potency of subsequent particulars.13 But this unidirectional grounding in material production does not apprehend the problem of art at all, nor else the problem persisting from it by the fundamental technical distinction established by Aristotle. For was not the entire distinction between types of technites – the very problem of differentiating between art and craft – precisely so composed because the mode of production could not adequately determine there a difference? The power of Benjamin’s procedure in discussing the social upheaval heralded by processes of technical reproduction are enfeebled where they are purported to split the difference in the historical function of art: [F]or the first time in world history, technological reproducibility emancipates the work of art from its parasitic subservience to ritual – to an ever-increasing degree, the work reproduced becomes the reproduction of a work designed for reproducibility . . . as soon as the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applied to artistic production, the whole social function of art is revolutionized. Instead of being founded on ritual, it is based on a different practice: politics. (2008b: 24–5)

Art is not detached from the ‘parasitic subservience to ritual’ through the advent of reproductive technologies, because art always worked upon the productive poiesis proximate to it. That is to say, creative poiesis was already circulating long before magical practices were ritualized by putting art to work, or more pertinently, where the work of art was subdued into aesthetic productions to constrain its deviant nature. One cannot, as Benjamin argues, determine another epistemological end for the work of art – neither a social, religious nor political function – because art is never any kind of productive process. And where the work of art is simply collapsed to any such mode of material production, one

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does so at the cost of losing all capacity to apprehend what makes it art, paving the way to its ideal degradation; all pronouncements and writing become poetic, every application of paint on a surface a painting, each tea cup and toilet bowl indistinguishable from sculpture. What is lacking in Benjamin’s analysis is what theorization dominantly lacks – the accounting after a different kind of work through which processes of production become art.14 The point is not even to challenge the distinction between ‘authentic’, which is to say traditional methods of producing works of art with the work of technological reproduction, which has been exploded by the reality of contemporary practice. Who could any longer suggest there is an inferior technical mastery in the production of photographic images? One need only consider the meticulously constructed self-portraits of Cindy Sherman or the intricate digital constructivism in Andreas Gursky’s technological naturalism, or else mixtures of both in Geoffrey Crewdson’s cinematic images. It is rather to recognize that the work of art is not commensurate with the process of production at all, whether it be by hand, celluloid or pixel. Ansell Adams had already dispelled this kind of mechanical or productive reduction of the work of art by emphasizing that a different kind of work was required, even to ‘simply’ capture naturalistic images: ‘A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety’ (Adams and Baker, 1981: 378).15 This is not an appeal to sentimentality; it is to draw upon a vast repertoire of functional information about how generative processes become and transform, one into another. It has been argued that this mastery of technical production has always been necessary, presiding over the epistasthai pertaining to technology or craft; this concerns the repetitious mastering of the light reading and depth of field, of processing film and print or digital compositing. But it also pertains to the mastery of the perceptual organs of the body, the repetitious training of the visual mechanism, in which the rules of aesthetic composition are productively encoded (rule of thirds, Fibonacci sequences or Golden spirals and so on). All of this work, this mastery of processes of production, must be set to an ‘autonomous’ activity: the profound schooling of the ‘medial’ technē of the body as well as the machines and apparatus of technological production. It is only on these conditions that ‘highest’ technē can project across a counter-oriented creative poiesis sufficiently to deviate the flow of production and bring forward something that has not before entered being. In order for the photograph to become a work of art, all this must circulate in the time of a firing shutter: it is what differentiates

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Adams’ Yosemite Valley, Thunderstorm, from a holiday snap or the work of aerial or geological survey.

4.3.7 The problem of intentionality in technology and the projection from subjectivity The New Critics raise an objection to intentionality that remains pertinent where the artist’s production of meaning illegitimately dominates the function of the work.16 Yet what here is at issue is precisely what defines intentionality. The New Critics proceed with an orthodox sense of intentionality as a property belonging exclusively to thinking subjects. That is to say, they did not address what has been recovered with Lamarckian evolution and Freudian theory: the operation of pre-subjective intentional forces governing processes of production that have nothing to do with how the ‘artist’s’ intentionality has gone to work. It might rather be argued that the intentional fallacy anticipates a doubled workflow in poiesis, because its central insight cannot be disputed: namely, the productions of meaning or sense generated by artistic subjects remains fundamentally distinct from their creative work. Intentionality is not restricted to the active productions of thinking subjects; it is rather a functional operation, and a very primordial one at that, exercised by even the most rudimentary living organisms. Nevertheless, the intentionality precipitating the work and discipline of art is a specialized type, orthogonally oriented to all of production, differentiating it from its habitual orientation in ‘natural’ bodies. In the work of art, intentionality is rather counter-oriented toward deviating processes of production. And because this begins with a countering of the productive work fixating subjectivity, the functional re-problematization of intentionality does not violate the objections of the New Critics. The function of intentionality does not ensure a special relationship between the creation of the work and the artist’s interpretation produced from it; rather this disconnection returns to the phenomena of de-personalization, of subjective decentring or fading, that is so commonly reported by art practitioners as an effect of the creative process. If technology strangely prolonged problems of authenticity and legitimacy for modern art, so the orthodox understanding of intentionality complicates the utilization of sophisticated technologies in new media art practices. Where the transition from material to sensible processes of production continues to define how the work of art operates, what happens when the technological apparatus takes on decision-making tasks in the process of production? This is the case in

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generative art practices, where the technical apparatus assists in or takes over the task of aesthetic determination in the work.17 It is already clear that the reduction of intentionality in the production of sense-making anticipates this development in the work of art. Derrida has already forwarded convincing arguments that reading and interpretation are equal to the purported difference at work in the art, so whether the art is produced by one of Barthes ‘eternal copyists’ or whether by chance or machine, it seems to equally affirm the productive work of semiotics is here in play. That is to say, a kind of genuinely creative work might be arguably degraded, where pastiche, chance or indifferent machinic processes are argued to equally stimulate the effect of the work of art, by generating analogous sensible productions in viewing subjects. But before reducing the work of art to the labour of sophisticated machines, let us first return to what Heidegger has elsewhere clarified. Any work of production, the ‘to-handedness’ of the brush or the chisel, is already inseparably technological – the work of technē deviating phusis, with which poiesis is originally clarified (2008: 98). Yet where technē is something far more ubiquitous, prior to thinking subjects, technē is not simply that ‘to-hand’ but rather that the hand is already technological, so that a body is living and ‘machinic’18 – that is to say, whose sense and activity are already the results of an interior, deviating process through which poiesis has become progressively transformed across a cascade of individuated agents, executing many orders of intentional actions. Simondon distinguishes processes of individuation between the tool at hand and the machine, but bodies are, in the circulation of material and efficient processes, already profoundly sophisticated living machines. And if aesthetic integrity or authenticity is challenged by mark-making machines and poetry-producing algorithms, it is only because we inadequately grasped that aesthetics has always concerned processes of production irreducible to art, despite the fact they are those most intimately coopted and worked upon by it. When ‘highest’ technē achieves a mastery of production – a programmatic enterprise of re-functioning the organs of the body, the hand and the eyes, as the preparatory conditions for any work of art – then it is a relatively simple matter to draw out the principle mastering production, from the hand to the bow or the brush, and on to the printer and the computing apparatus. For in each case, it is always the same task of divesting the work of production from ‘highest’ technē, liberating the specialized function of intentional

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activity, which orthogonal to all production, affects the counter-oriented, creative workflow. The abdication of the artist’s intentionality in the work of production does not begin with generative art practices or the readymade. Nor else does it begin with the introduction of random and chance elements in art: the experimental ‘musical dice games’ of Haydn and Mozart or else in its modernist popularization with John Cage or Jackson Pollock.19 In fact, there never was an intentional fallacy, because the work of art does not operate across the process of production, where the task of determining the colour and compositional scheme is carried out, whether by a human subject, chance or the algorithm. That is to say, none of these make a direct or consequential impact upon the work art must perform. The same governance of productive processes operates the hand, whose ‘medial’ technē is programmed for the task of material production, as the machine. For in each case the intention is the same; it is not to determine the meaning and sense produced for another subject, it is to liberate ‘highest’ technē for the task of creative work. Nevertheless, the analysis leading to the intentional fallacy importantly identifies that the work of art remains irreducible to the discovery of an original meaning. But this is not restricted to the realization that this does not reside with the artist’s subjectivity, because the work of art does not begin at the origin; the particularity of creative power rather specifically contests what counts as the origin. That is why the lack of direct correlation between the artist as subject and the completed work cannot be traced to the origin of abstract play or the production of sense as a general poiesis. This is not simply because meaning is localized and dependent upon hidden abstract relations; it is rather because these differences of the local, the individual and the personal constitute the forces of another causal operation: the efficient which exerts its emergent effects upon the primary process.

4.4 Technē to technē 4.4.1 The field of art is established by complex functional interactions between series of works The emotion of art is impersonal. And the poet cannot reach this impersonality without surrendering himself wholly to the work to be done. And he is not likely

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to know what is to be done unless he lives in what is not merely the present, but the present moment of the past, unless he is conscious, not of what is dead, but of what is already living. (Eliot, 1960: 53)

The work of art is born from creative poiesis but artistic praxis requires all of technē’s highly nuanced and sophisticated movements, orientations and projections. Creative poiesis begins with the particular, so it is always a supplementary, emergent workflow operating upon what has been brought into being; the ‘already living’. T. S. Eliot might then constitute a functional corrective to Benjamin’s art historicism; the canon of works are not the successive objects or stages of a temporal labour, but living circulations of immanent and dynamic processes. Eliot does not invoke a spiritual or transcendent dimension for this ‘life’ of the work, as though the poising pen resurrects a series of dead poets, or the work possesses its own agency. It is rather that the particular functional operation through which the literary work comes into being becomes again productive and creative once another technē puts it again to work. Let us consider the brief appearance of Tiresias in Eliot’s ‘The Wasteland’, who we are told is the ‘most important personage’ of the poem.20 Tiresias is at once a symbol of dialectical heterogeny, both masculine and feminine, seer and blind. Eliot draws the figure of Tiresias from Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’; born a man, Tiresias becomes transformed into a woman and back again, an event that leads to the bestowal of a secondary, complex heterogeneous power. For as a consequence of this transformation, Tiresias is called upon to arbitrate a quarrel amongst the Gods, from which he is blinded and then compensated with the gift of foresight. Yet, Tiresias is punished because between thinking subjects and their immanent experiential activity, new functional powers become possible that are not discernible at the origins of the Gods, or elsewhere made possible by indifferent universalizing structures. That is, Tiresias acquires a kind of knowledge greater than the Gods, because an immanent act leads to a transformation from that bringing him to being; his striking of copulating snakes leads to his becoming female. This progressive acquisition of functional transformations is at odds with a fundamental heterogeny, because the capacity to circulate between abstract relations and the experience of living bodies is what leads to the progressive intelligibility of and transformational powers to affect functional properties. It is the idiosyncratic nature of these circulations that progressively differentiates each particular being and its properties, from its purported origin, or indifferent, determining structure.

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Thus, the importance of Tiresias is in animating Eliot’s ‘meta-fictive’ assemblage, rather than to serve as the representation of its theoretical reality. What is missed where Tiresias represents ‘The Wasteland’, as an assembled pastiche – ‘tissues of text’ – is that the work of art relies upon the process of complicating functional operations; it is the ramification of the ineffable phenomena emergent in the cell, the class of autopoietic phenomenon or higher order emergence. That is why the work of art is lost in its deconstruction into an assembly of various parts. Let us recapitulate precisely what of the function complicates here this otherwise abstract reduction to the model. Just as one does not encounter the autopoietic, higher unity of the cell from breaking it down into constituent particles, one cannot derive the higher unity comprising a literary work from breaking it into signs. What one misses is the entirety of the art, the series of functional operations that only works when it is calculated by another technē. For it is through these functional assemblages, from technē to technē, that the complications across works of art become possible. That is to say, it is in the process of their computation that they become transformed and live again; it is such that new works are brought forward and those existing become again transformed.

4.4.2 The function of art plays out from technē to technē If the mastery of production concerns functional interactions between ‘highest’ technē and the ‘medial’ technē of the organs, then the work of art concerns exchanges from one ‘highest’ technē to another. The work of art has been defined as the intentional insertion of a specific deviation into processes of production, but this is only possible where a new functional operation has been set to work from one computor to another: that is, from technē to technē. This is to approach the final issue in this discussion, for the dynamic counteroriented workflows that have been necessitated by the work of art must be carried over to re-characterize the act of its reception. This is to enquire into the role that reading, viewing or engaging plays in the work of art. Let us first proceed by reiterating what has already been shown: that the work of art does not comprise a mechanism for the production and transmission of a particular meaning between subjects. If the model of a general problematic form has been elsewhere insufficient for art, it will no more characterize the relationship between a ‘creator’ and a ‘viewer’. There is no problem-solution coupling between artist and viewer, between an active creative instigator and its passive resolution in a receiver.

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Where the creation of the work requires a circulation between productive and creative workflows, these demands are no less necessitated for those technē encountering the work. If the creation of the work of art is not possible without the vacillations of technē circulating between the abstract and living bodies, then the act of encountering this work would not be possible without eliciting a sympathetic circulation. It may be orthodox to assume that the work of art is solely for thinking subjects, as though the task of reading and writing takes place wholly within the abstract exchange of signs. But there is always a return to the sensitivity of the living body in order to confront the music of the orchestra, or to stand before the video installation or to read the pages of a book. One must always pass again through the ‘medial’ technē of the perceptual organs, whose very special task is to process the exterior deviations, the currents of efficient causes, passing between various technē. If there is nothing passive in the encounter with the work, it is because of what has already been clarified about sensitivity; to sense is never passive, it is a functional operation that transforms what it goes to work upon. From the functional perspective, to encounter the work of art is to set one’s functional sensitivity upon it, so it flows through the cascades of technē animating the living body. If there is no one-to-one relation between the work and its encounter, it is not least because what we have learned about living bodies; they are already baroque complexes of functional computations, circulating between the body and the mind. Thus, the art does not simply go to work between the formation of ideas and sense impressions through which the thinking subject makes sense of this encounter. For in order for this to happen, the art has already gone to work across the interior process of calculation of many ‘lower’ technē. And the consequence of this sensitive encounter is most of all to deviate the process of subjective formation. This deviation works at ‘shaping’ the process of the calculation, from which a thinking subject will re-emerge. As such, the encounter with the work does not fulfil its intended function, unless it solicits a sympathetic deviation within another technē. That is to say, if in having processed or rather intelligibly engaged this functional operation, the viewing technē does not intentionally set it again into operation. Perhaps the encounter does not compel our continued attention, so we move away from ‘contemplating’ the work. But if it manages to do so, the vacillation of technē is set into operation when we willingly project again our ‘highest’ technē into the encounter with the work. This sets into operation the circulation of ‘highest’

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technē between operating upon the encounter and transforming these operations back into our subjective assemblage. Across these circular processes or calculations, the force of the functional deviation at work intensifies, setting the viewing technē across its own traversal of creative poiesis. Yet what here distinguishes the art is that it does not shape in us a new object for thought, nor does it dictate to us a mode of living or a way of being. What the art always goes there to do is to deviate what in us repeats, to work upon what is fixated into a process of production. That is to say, it is to initiate in another technē a deviation upon a path of creative poiesis. It is to enervate a transformation of existing ideas, or to inspire in us new associations between them. It is to reanimate old memories and in setting them again into operation, subtly, perhaps radically transforming them. It might affect a lasting deviation on the process of our subjective fixation, setting in us a recursive cascade in which the ‘medial’ technē of the organs become reprogrammed, opening to us new aesthetic pleasures or appreciations, or even new ways of being. The active process of reading comes to the fore, because out of the vast repertoire of sensitive functionalities technē acquires over its lifetime, it will deploy assemblages of these in this encounter with the work. This is the problem encountered earlier, where the productive nature of reading or reception is emphasized when the technologically generated artwork ‘dupes’ the perceiving technē into having an ‘authentic’ or identical response to a ‘genuine’ work of art. It recalls the joke about the patron of the contemporary art gallery that ‘incorrectly’ identifies something as a work of art and pontificates about a mundane object (a pile of rubbish, an exhaust grate or fire extinguisher). Yet all this tells us is that technē acquires from various works of art, ways to deviate its sensitive functionality. That is to say, before a rubbish pile or a readymade can be regarded as art, one must have already encountered Arte Povera or a Tracey Emin installation, Duchamp or Andy Warhol. One must separate here the effect of an aesthetic signifier attached to a particular form, because nothing is degraded or made inauthentic about the work of art, which intends to deviate the process of production in other technē. For the function of art operates from technē to technē in which processes of production are deviated from their restitution into the object to promote transformative deviation as the ‘end’; and in this case, the deviation of telos upon our subjective ‘shape’ is the work. What the art practitioner and the interested spectator acquire alike in their encounter with the work is the particular functional configuration specific to traverse a process of deviation. Although technē requires the immanent encounter

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with the work, its intelligence acquires specific apprehensions from the works functional configuration so that it may again be put into operation. That is, what is transmitted in the work of art between artist and viewer is what is transmitted between ‘medial’ and ‘highest’ technē in the process of artistic praxis: a distinctive functional operation that does not produce a particular end or effect, but makes possible within other technē new kinds of deviating processes. And if this does not require the passing from one living technē to another, it is not because the function is recordable in the object or completed work, but because when another technē sets their sensitive functional operation upon the artefact, it is processed and further deviated by this new act of calculation. It has been argued that the work of art is defined by a unique intentional affection, whose ‘end’ is to cease the end at work in productive poiesis. This is to intend a progressive deviation within phusis, so that the supplemental circulation of efficient causes continues to amplify difference, by complicating generative processes. But this is never a will unto itself, a decisive or singular act, because it does not work against the ‘law’ or the origin where doubt has already fallen. It is a solicitation to other technē, because it is only technē who decide, in their multitude of immanent, particular actions, to contribute to the task of deviation or whether to repeat productive poiesis. Material causation may well prove to have an indifferent repetitious basis, but the power of efficient causation is of a radically different kind. It multiplies across the immanence of many particular beings and it ramifies in the complex functional operations that emerge, in vertiginous parallel and hierarchical calculations. This vast calculative activity becomes progressively complicated over time, so that even the most rudimentary technē must have been supported by a vast, immanent network of efficient causation, from which particulars launched their deviating works upon the material. And it is in these particular contests across the circulation of material and efficient causation that the telos that ‘shapes’ what comes into being is decided. If there is an antagonism in this contest, it is perhaps because the supplementary emergences of particular beings have always been a kind of resistance to the indifference of originary conditions. This is what Schrodinger defined for us as the ‘negentropic’ function of the living – a resistance to the law of entropy at work in productive poiesis.

Conclusion: Art and Nature

The artist has a twofold relation to nature; he is at once her master and her slave. He is her slave, inasmuch as he must work with earthly things, in order to be understood; but he is her master, inasmuch as he subjects these earthly means to his higher intentions, and renders them subservient. (Goethe, 1980: 248) Creative poiesis has a very special relationship to phusis. Oscar Wilde has already told us what it is – art works to improve nature: ‘Art is our spirited protest, our gallant attempt to teach Nature her proper place’ (2004: 5).1 But this is not restricted to an aesthetic innovation; Artaud will show us that this is not a surface rearrangement of productive effects but a conflict with our process of becoming. It is to stage an encounter with phusis, where before the structured abstraction of language (grammar), one must go again to work as the very condition to be: ‘There are some fools who think of themselves as beings, as innately being. I am he who, in order to be, must whip his innateness’ (Artaud, 2001: 19). It is always with the whip and the hammer that creative poiesis is carried out, where technē goes to work upon the dominance of productive poiesis. In the previous chapter we touched upon alternative evolutionary models, arguing a rival circulation was necessary to account for the transformations across living bodies. Where the process of becoming remains fixedly unidirectional, it is laughable to argue that an effect might influence its cause or that the product of a process may have any influence upon that which determines it. This assumption drives the general form of the problem because, where poiesis is unidirectional for all events (a ᇄ b), it is absurd to think that b could have any influence upon a. Even when a is denounced, so that the unidirectional process indifferently inveighs, there is no way a being could affect the process from which it results, and this is common for all that comes to being. But where doubt has fallen upon the existence of a, there seems little reason to assume that processes are any more indifferent or immutable than those fixed,

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original causes that gave way before them. As such, what constitutes nature – phusis – must be re-problematized. It denotes no more than the sum of particular flows: a statistical dynamism rather than a fixed process, something progressive rather than established. As such, the power of a particular would not equate to a direct contest with the origin or the law; for it would take a place in determining phusis, in a progressive complication of many particular operations, all working to ‘shape’ what next comes into being. In the circulation of material and efficient causes, technē’s primary task is to influence telos – this is to ‘shape’ individuation processes in their becoming. Creative poiesis  – through which the particular brings its differences to bear upon the orders of generative production – does not belong to art, but is exploited by it: ‘The creation of a work of art must of necessity . . . be accompanied by distortion of the natural form. For, therein is nature reborn’ (Klee, 1948: 8). Thus a critical function that art performs is to demonstrate to thought that it is not the isolated citadel in which its being resolves, but is rather a particular coordinate which generates for it new transformative powers. If the function of art operates from technē to technē, it is because the work of art solicits technē to deviate away from subjective formation, in order to affect processes in their becoming. The work of art exploits the possibilities of creative work, but this is hardly to exhaust it; this rather indicates how phusis itself is populated and renewed with difference. Creation is the kind of work that ensures that subjects do not remain fixed at sub–: this is because we are not subjects at all, but the autopoietic functional conjugation of ‘highest’ technē, whose self-consciousness is an effect or emergent property of its subjective formation. If the functional conjugation of technē was found ubiquitous across the evolutionary transformations of bodies, it is because an inaugural, indifferent inveighing of law or structure is insufficient to account for the emergence of complex difference. Everywhere technē remains the special entity, because it is technē that deviates creations into productions and elsewhere productions into creations. And moreover, technē may carry out this work on every level, from the emergence of matter out of force to the emergence of consciousness from the body; and because technē always deals in functional exchanges, it ensures that whatever hierarchies emerge to institute flows of cause, it goes to work there to make deviation possible, so that particular events have recursive and counteractive powers upon that which determines them. Most importantly, the counter- causal directionality that introduces creative transformation into phusis does so by virtue of the proliferation and complication of the living. If phusis is indeed dominated by the repetition

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of indifferent simple laws comprising material causation, art counters nature because it belongs to the complex higher order emergences peculiar to life. The particular need not directly confront the origin; it complicates primary flows by making them pass through many complex functional assemblages, each affecting many deviating processes. If art must stand as a bulwark against the general form of problems, it is because the deduction of foundations tells us nothing of this complex, higher order workflow, across which efficient causes ramify. That is because in deducing the terms of its construction, it does not see it in operation, does not see the higher orders of emergence that only appear in their active computation. Thus, we do not find in the foundation a principle of the telos ordering phusis, because it rather emerges upon the dizzyingly complex computational operations carried out by the living and computed from one technē to another. But this is not finally to raise a quarrel with the overdetermining desire of knowledge – Nietzsche already told us that ‘we possess art lest we perish of the truth’ (1968: 435). The functional re-problematization of art rather directs us to differently experience sense and activity and the agency emerging from them, for none are terminals that make us some kind of ‘being’: we are not the resolution of a problem that has produced us as a product, as though the world of beings were so many cut flowers, whose price of coming to being was already the severance from life. We are pervaded with this sickness of the end, in which our intentional individuations could never matter. Art opposes this ontological reductiveness, not in the order of truth, but because the reality of particular deviation could never be exhausted in such a manner: ‘we want not death but life’ (Kandinsky, 2011: 36). As such, the function of art does not confront knowledge, which rather becomes for it a crucial and prodigious ‘material’ upon which to go to work. Nevertheless, its problem can never be approached by epistemological sensemaking, because the work of art must dissolve subjective being in order to traverse the creative workflow. Art shows us that we do not resolve into subjective being, but that it is rather a coordinate in which to produce new powers, new functional operations. This activity is to participate in the process of generative differentiation across the flow of efficient causation, together with all life. All our acts induce affects, not simply at the local in our milieus, but because purpose is decided in the activity of particular, intentional acts, the purpose that shapes the telos – a forcing that introduces purpose into the circulating shapes of phusis.

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Notes Chapter 1 1 The constitution of the problematic is a major theme in Deleuze’s oeuvre and is drawn from a profound period of reflection upon mathematics and philosophy in early-twentieth-century French thought (particularly Lautman and Bergson, but also Canguilhem and Cavaillès). For a particularly illuminating account of Deleuze’s antecedents upon the nature of problems, see Duffy (2014: 130–135, passim). 2 Canguilhem’s (1991) concept of error should be explicitly distinguished from error as an epistemological judgement of a debased or compromised experiential body. Foucault (1998) clearly positions the significance of Canguilhem’s concept of error as instigating a Platonic reversal in which the relation between experiential life and error rather forms insurmountable obstacles for epistemological sense-making. 3 Deleuze elaborates on this idea in Difference and Repetition arguing for the dominance or persistence of this ‘image of thought’ in favour of a ‘genitality’ or a ‘thought without image’, in which the idea regains its ‘inventive’ power of apprehending the fundamentally differential nature of the problematic (2001: 147–67). 4 This encounter occurs in the inaugural establishment of The Republic: ‘Tell me, doesn’t every craft (technē) differ from every other in having a different function (ergon)?’ (Plato, 1997: 989). Ryle makes a particularly clear account of this circularity at the basis of a foundational epistēmē: The crucial objection to the intellectualist legend is this. The consideration of propositions is itself an operation the execution of which can be more or less intelligent, less or more stupid. But if, for any operation to be intelligently executed, a prior theoretical operation had first to be performed and performed intelligently, it would be a logical impossibility for anyone ever to break into the circle. (2000: 31) 5 Deleuze summarizes this tendency in the general problematic form: ‘Problems, therefore, continue to be traced from the corresponding propositions, and to be evaluated according to the possibility of their finding a solution’ (2001: 160).

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6 A. Turing (1937) famously demonstrated this limit of computation. We will return to this finding in greater detail throughout the following discussion. 7 Deleuze and Guattari (1994) propose that science concerns the interrogation and creation of functions. But the manner in which they make this predilection for the function an exclusive condition distinguishing science from all other disciplines will be explicitly disputed across the following argument. 8 More precisely, Euclid (2005) defines these axiomatic principles in the first twenty-three definitions of The Elements. These axioms became formalized via the seventeenth-century algebraic translation of Euclidian geometry into the system of Cartesian co-ordinates, upon fundamental dimensional abscissas (the x, y axes in Figures 1.2 and 1.3). As such, the abstraction of geometric differences into simple, foundational terms exemplifies the classical or Platonic ideal of the fundament or formal law upon which the world of beings is constructed. 9 Weyl suitably emphasizes Brouwer’s singular contribution: Brouwer made it clear, as I think beyond any doubt, that there is no evidence supporting the belief in the existential character of the totality of all natural numbers . . . the sequence of numbers which grows beyond any stage already reached by passing to the next number, is a manifold of possibilities open towards infinity; it remains forever in the status of creation, but is not a closed realm of things existing in themselves. That we blindly converted one into the other is the true source of our difficulties, including the antinomies . . . Brouwer opened our eyes and made us see how far classical mathematics, nourished by a belief in the ‘absolute’ that transcends all human possibilities of realization, goes beyond such statements as can claim real meaning and truth founded on evidence. According to his view and reading of history, classical logic was abstracted from the mathematics of finite sets and their subsets. (The word finite is here to be taken in the precise sense that the members of such a set are explicitly exhibited one by one.) Forgetful of this limited origin, one afterwards mistook that logic for something above and prior to all mathematics, and finally applied it, without justification, to the mathematics of infinite sets. (1946: 9–10) 10 This is discussed in Turing (1937). Moreover, in the elaboration of the ChurchTuring thesis, debates continue to consider precisely what is indicated by the central notion of effective calculability, which implicates human agency in the process of abstract calculation. This point is elaborated in Chapter 3 (Section 2.1). 11 A vivid example of the incommensurability of computability comes to us via the Mandelbrot Set (Z = Z2 + C). There is no way from the mathematical expression of the formula to predict how the patterns of ‘self-similarity’ – that is the complex

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tussle between repetition and transformation – plays out without carrying out the computation – that is, without setting it into action. Turing’s work on computability seeks to formalize this incapacity, which in this context identifies that despite the best strictures of epistemological abstraction, the immanent affection of technē is precisely what remains inexpressible in the abstraction. 12 That is, the so-called Platonic existence of numbers. 13 Norman Madarasz elaborates an excellent summary of category theory by contrasting it with set theory and offering a commentary upon their ontological implications. It is worth quoting him at some length: A category consists of arrows and point-objects that acquire their properties only from the various arrow relations in which they are configured. Unlike the intrinsic dimension of Set Theory, the notion of category was not perceived as most fundamental. Instead, the functor was. The arrow in a transformation thus became more important than the objects the latter links or maps. As Eilenberg and Mac Lane wrote: ‘it should be observed that the whole concept of a category is essentially an auxiliary one. Our basic concepts are essentially those of a functor and of a natural transformation.’ This is why a category is in fact nothing without its criteria. It is a collection of ‘objects’ satisfying three basic conditions: that any pair of ‘objects’ a, b, are linked by a collection of arrows or ‘morphisms’; for every triple a, b, and c of objects, the operation of arrows from a to b, and b to c is called the ‘composition’ of a to c; finally, every object a has an arrow linking it to itself called the ‘identity morphism.’ In a nutshell, elementary category theory shows that there is no object prior to the relations constituting it. The theoretical apparatus literally illustrates this by using a geometric presentation combined with its equational transcription. It is not merely a matter here of delving further into the question of the meaning of a multiple being transversal and open-ended. This is enough to ward off any claims of essentialism going on behind the scenes. It is not even just a matter of taking Aristotle’s typological rebuttal of Plato’s numerology as a path by which to undermine the claims emerging from Set Theory and turn them towards a logic of being. (2006: 12–13) 14 Madarasz offers the following summary: What it is in fact is a meta-ontological theory, very Deleuzian at that, of showing and analysing the emergence of (mathematical) objects qua forms, that is, structures, in possible worlds. This sense of emergence provides an altogether unexpected necessity to the notion of existence, albeit within the realm of the possible. As J. Bell writes:

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Notes Set theory strips away structure from the ontology of mathematics leaving pluralities of structureless individuals open to the imposition of new structure. Category theory, on the other hand, transcends particular structure, not by doing away with it, but by generating it, that is, by producing an axiomatic general theory of structure. (2006: 13)

15 This has a distinctly Platonic precedent where the more generalized translation of ergon is interpreted as function in the context of art; this is to differentiate the work of art by the intentional outcome it produces (Plato, 1997: 989). Most commonly, ergon explicitly refers to the ‘end of the work’, that is to say, to production. It might be argued, that the mathematical recalibration of the term, lends a rigour to these disparate interpretations by showing they are properties of the function: i.e. work is calculation and production is the outcome of this calculation, the codomain produced by the function’s dynamic transformation. 16 Of course, craft or art (technē) here is implied in the general sense and is closer to the contemporary meaning of ‘discipline’ or ‘area of study’. But that is precisely why the re-problematizing of ‘function’ requires an engagement with the form of the model and the general problem-solution coupling that issues from it. 17 While the verb epistasthai (to know) remains the source of the first declension noun epistēmē, it is frequently deployed by Plato to refer to the ‘know-how’ belonging to the technite, or craftsperson (analytic philosophy has clearly distinguished ‘know-that’ as a more properly epistemological characteristic). Nussbaum provides a useful summation of Lyons’s seminal linguistic analysis, where ‘technē and names of specific technai function semantically as the most common direct object of the verb epistasthai . . . technē goes everywhere that epistasthai does’ (Nussbaum, 2001: 444). However, the question of what counts as epistēmē and technē remains contentious, certainly insofar as the contemporary sense of ‘to know’ is extremely heterogeneous, relative to the distinctions of thought deployed by the Greeks. Gail Fine, in a comprehensive discussion of the many divisions of knowledge and knowing in early Socratic discourse, offers a particular illuminating definition of the interdependence of epistēmē and technē, in its Platonic sense: ‘For example, at 20 b Socrates says that only equestrians have epistēmē of how to make horses fine and good (kalon kagathon) – that is, of how to make them acquire their proper virtue (aretē). This involves their having the relevant craft or skill (technē, 20 c 1): a specialised, systematic, synoptic grasp of a given domain’ (2008: 60, emphasis added). What is of particular note is the function that technē performs here for epistēmē and which provides the ‘specialised, systematic, synoptic grasp of a given domain.’ That is, a particular know-how (‘specialised’) has not only a preliminary or immanent methodological structure (‘systematic’), but is coupled with a ‘synoptic’ grasp – sunoptikós, to see the whole, together, in a glance. That is to say that the

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particular, methodological structure has an additional functional overview, in which the work-flow informs itself through snap-shots or surveys of the overall process. Such a ‘self ’ seeing or informing is clearly evident, because as Fine’s definition makes clear, it properly belongs to technē; this is prior to the division of a universal knowledge, or a properly epistemological, transcendent overview. This sort of immanent apprehension of the ‘global’ system plays a key role in Deleuze and Guattari’s sketch of those intuitive, apprehensive or immanent processes that predicate philosophical thought; namely, the function of the ‘survol’ (Deleuze and Guattari, 2004; 20–21) a sort of immanent sensing of an entire domain or region of thinking (the ‘concept’). What this seems most proximate to in the discussion that Fine carries out, is the ambiguity in which epistasthai is deployed in the Socratic dialogues, whose contentiousness amongst contemporary Platonists is a major theme of Fine’s essay. In the present context, this complex of terms thus converges upon a latent sense of the process ‘to know’, that is not yet the actualized attainment or production of a universal idea, but perhaps some sort of recursive apprehension that generates a sensation, specific to the act of knowing. As the following argument will attempt to demonstrate, these properties of sense linked to activity are precisely what will be identified as the definitive properties of technē, which indicates its necessity for and prolongation within even the most formalized epistemic productions. 18 ‘Hence we think that the master-workers (technites) in each craft are more honorable and know in a truer sense and are wiser than the manual workers, because they know the causes of the things to be done’ (Aristotle, 1984a: 981a30– 1). But we will see later that, precisely because Aristotle brackets off this kind of knowledge strictly from praxis, the function is split off from knowledge insofar as it constitutes a kind of evolutionary progression from a natural form of experience (that is to say, sufficient to see praxis, technē and logistikós all as evidence of the function). 19 Of course, the limitations of the ‘good’ and ‘beautiful’ have been long surpassed in twentieth-century art practices, specifically from the experimentations of modernist practices onwards. What is worth re-emphasizing in this transition is the philosophical logic of ‘overturning’ that now aestheticizes prior antinomies; the abject, the ugly, the unformed, the mundane and so on. This is simply to say that such a broadening or transformation of aesthetic criteria in no way addresses the classical divisions that resolve the problem of artistic praxis to the product it produces. What is rather retained is the general problematic form where the process (artistic praxis) merges with what is produced (product). 20 ‘And in general it is a sign of the man who knows, that he can teach, and therefore we think art more truly knowledge than experience is; for artists can teach, and men of mere experience cannot’ (Aristotle, 1984a: 981b6–8).

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21 It may sound disingenuous to suggest that contemporary art is denied an epistemological dimension because artists clearly have profound and complicated epistemological engagements. The point is that none of these belong to art, but are rather the pronouncements of sense production upon art by bordering epistemological systems. This problem will be taken up in more detail across the following discussion. 22 A. de Botton and J. Armstrong’s populist textbook, Art as Therapy (2013), provides a contemporary example of this approach. 23 Precisely how figurative representations, proto-artistic gestural mark making, archaic toolmaking and communication emerge in human prehistory is of course a matter of great speculation. We not only understand the risk of inevitable contaminations of a retroactive epistemological importation (Foucault, 2001) but also must more importantly consider Bataille’s encounters at Lascaux, where he locates the primordial transition from the animal to the human – from the medial homo faber to homo sapiens – wherein and with ‘the first tangible sign left by man of his emergence in the world, we can finally gauge . . . what we still are’ (Bataille, 2005: 58). What remains instructive in Bataille is that this encounter is not with a determined nature or subjective form, but with the ipse, the emergence of the central problematic of inner experience. What requires underlining here is that Bataille assures us this encounter at Lascaux remained impassable prior to an appropriate epistemological preparation (the encyclopaedic, scientific survey of Breuil), whose function is to open a hitherto inaccessible encounter of innermost depth, in which all knowledge (including the scientific) will become negated. In short, Bataille’s instrumentalist conception of epistemology, whose task is to return us to the immanent encounters of the living body, might be thought to offer us here a guide for a functionalist conception of iconography; namely, that the scientific investigation of historical art objects might be thought to be too ‘arte-factual’ where too much emphasis falls upon the analysis of production (factum) with not enough consideration that the epistemological frame of production (including the frames of analysis specific to iconographic study) does not end with the consideration of effects (cultural, spiritual, religious, communicative and so on) but must be continuously submitted again to the art (arte, literally, the art by which the factum, or made ‘thing’ has come into appearance). 24 It should be noted that such a model of a historical emergence of symbolic communication would not necessarily be compatible with Saussurean semiotics, but it would certainly not be antithetical to the work of Charles Peirce. In the development of a very complex series of categorical divisions, Peirce offers a typological set, adequate for precisely this kind of historical emergence, with the triadic division of icon, symbol and index. It may well be added that a project of linking the irreducible dynamism of functions from their static, symbolic

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expression might profitably draw on Peirce’s semiotic distinctions (which addresses, among many other distinctions, the progression from natural to abstract signs). 25 If the Marxist critique of social relations remains the most rigorous formulation of art’s social function, it is uncontroversially on account of Benjamin, Adorno and the Frankfurt School’s extension of Marxism into an exhaustive cultural critique of the field of art. It is worth pointing out again that this discussion does not attempt a counter-critique of the legitimacy of cultural theory, negative aesthetics or dialectics more generally (even though, as we will see later, there can be no negative for a functionalist paradigm). It is simply to state again that these methods, which put art to work for other purposes, cannot approach the functional problem of art, in itself. 26 This functionality is retained in Adorno’s thesis of works of art as ‘social monads’ and is captured in the Hegelian formulation that defines them as ‘the social antithesis of society’ (Adorno, 2002: 8). For Adorno, the question of aesthetic function was thoroughly Marxist, so there was no question that the consideration of artistic function was necessarily of a sociopolitical kind. As such, although Adorno has an extraordinarily sophisticated conception of the functional interface between art, philosophy and culture, in which reciprocal effects operate between each (so that they must be understood to be mutual historical constructs rather than axiomatically discrete disciplines), there is no functional conception of art itself, in which its particular praxis is considered as bringing something distinctive to this circulation of affects; ‘the function of art in the totally functional world is its functionlessness; it is pure superstition to believe that art could intervene directly or lead to an intervention’ (2002: 320). That art functions via ‘determinate negation’ is not thought to be an impoverishment, but it is nevertheless via non-being in the form of a supplementary imaginary dimension that is the source of its praxis, and which constitutes its impossible intervention in the worlds of material, social and intellectual relations. This must be contrasted with the non-ontological status of the function, whose power resides not in its negation or ontological absence, but in its autopoietic emergence and from which its creative particularity is exercised. 27 This theory was pioneered by Arthur Danto in ‘The Artworld’ (1964) and also by George Dickie (who developed a more comprehensive approach to the theory in Art and the Aesthetic: An Institutional Analysis [1974]). Although the theory is the subject of much derision in the world of art, it has not stopped a contemporary revival of the project in cultural theory, which does not even engage art at the level of the aesthetic functionality of the work, but rather just puts art to work as a neoliberal apparatus for the end of ‘urban renewal’. This absolute indifference to artistic praxis simply sees art production as a sort of perpetuum mobile for reinvigorating environments or urban centres, decaying under the effects of late capitalism. For a local example, see the Renew Newcastle project

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(http://renewnewcastle.org/about) that negotiates short-term leases of derelict properties for artist galleries and studios. 28 To be precise, this depiction of Aristotelian technē might be objected to, insofar as Aristotle distinguishes it from the reasoned activity of phronēsis (Aristotle, 1984b: 1140a1–5). Technically, phronēsis and technē are both types of calculative knowledge (logistikós), and these distinctions are important to the latter argument, where a case is made that technē must by reformulated away from certain Aristotelian conventions. In the immediate context, it should rather be clarified that ‘to act’ more simply concerns the act of making which does not violate Aristotle’s distinction between rational states and where phronēsis is the act of deliberative reasoning, proper to pragmatic or political thought. Nathan Colaner provides a useful clarification of this distinction: The reasoned state of capacity to make is called ‘techné,’ and the reasoned state of capacity to act is called ‘phronésis.’ So a person who knows how to build houses or fix computers has techné, which is a kind of intellectual virtue that corresponds to the English ‘knowledge,’ . . . The same is true for someone who knows what to say to criminals with hostages or what kind of assistance to give the homeless or how to vote on the health care law. This person has phronésis. (2014: 19–20) 29 Luce Irigaray (2013) argues that the Greek’s philosophical foundations always imply some kind of complex problematic apprehension. She demonstrates that the illusion of transcendental unity (either in the masculinities of an absolute logos or in a singular subjectivity) always occults a feminine other with which it is necessarily co-extensive. In the Beginning, She Was returns to the Pre-Socratics to show how this chaotic, wild untamed feminine nature forms the fertile substrate from which the logos is thrown or distinguishes itself. 30 ‘A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action (πράξεως, praxis) that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself (τέλειος); in language . . .’ (Aristotle, 1984e: 1449b24–26). That action can only be imitated by art is because Aristotle conceives of praxis as a differentiated and ultimately superior rational faculty than poiesis. That is to say, what the poet imitates is the virtuous (but flawed) life of living human agents, which are then transposed within the drama, evident in the relation between a living being and a character. From a logical perspective, the imitation is necessitated because praxis and poiesis are categorically differentiated by the telos which animates phronēsis and technē, respectively. On this point, it might be observed that a certain contradiction exists in the idea that poetry is the imitation of human actions by dint of its transposition into language, when scientific (epistēmē) and philosophical (sophia) pronouncements express direct (nondeliberative) expressions of truth (aletheia), but whose linguistic transposition (or

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abstraction) somehow escapes this exceptionality. That is to say, where Aristotle’s distinction between types of knowledge fundamentally concerns their animating telos (ends, purpose) and archē (beginning) relative to subjective being, there remains a functional case to reconsider this in the necessity of a thinking subject, or subject of enunciation, necessary for any pronouncement, be it artistic, political, scientific and so on. ‘Art in some cases completes what nature cannot bring to a finish, and in others imitates nature’ (Aristotle, 1984d: 199a15–16). Additionally in Poetics, Aristotle discusses a sort of primordial evolutionary theory, in which the various arts emerge from the natural propensity that human subjects have for imitation (Aristotle, 1984e: 1448b5–23). That is to say, this marks the distinction between the human species and all others, i.e. ‘beasts’ (Aristotle, 1984b: 1139a20). It is enough to recall that it is the intentionality inscribed in artistic praxis by Plato – to deceive, to distance from truth – which is the grounds for the artists’ expulsion from The Republic. On the contrary, this intention to deviate is the source of the artist’s power for Aristotle, distinguished by the capacity to intervene upon the form (morphē) of natural materials. Aristotle carries out this famous discussion in Book VI of Nicomachean Ethics (Aristotle, 1984b: esp. 1139a18–22, 1139b14–18). The term here, εὐπραξία (good conduct) and its cognate εὐπραγία (welfare, success) concern the end or telos of praxis and so are linked in the way that phronēsis has an essentially moral inherence or purpose, i.e. eudaimonia (happiness). That is to say, the sense of telos here is distinct from poiesis in which a separation between means and ends is evident, for phronēsis has eudaimonia as the end – which is to say that praxis (the pursuit of happiness, etc.) is an end, in itself. This distinction within the contemporary designation ‘to know’ is more latent within the continental tradition than in analytic philosophy, where it is a major topic addressing the distinction between cognition and thought, ‘knowing how’ and ‘knowing what’. For a seminal and much discussed treatment, see Ryle (2000); however the previous argument shares some closer affinities with Hetherington (2006). For example, where there are two things of which one is a means and the other an end, they have nothing in common except that the one receives what the other produces. Such, for example, is the relation in which workmen and tools stand to their work; the house and the builder have nothing in common, but the art of the builder is for the sake of the house. (Aristotle, 1984f: 1328a27–35)

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38 This is exemplified in the task which praxis is allotted, namely the moral and ethical function of phronēsis: that is, eudaimonia, happiness, the pursuit of a good life (Aristotle, 1984b: 1140b5–7). That such an activity could have an end outside itself would be a sort of nihilist absurdity (Aristotle, 1984a: 1048b25–27). That is, one would pursue the good life in order to resolve it, as though the goal of life was to have lived well, rather than virtue constituting a method of good living. 39 This is the definitive formulation of Aristotelian metaphysics, carried out by Heidegger (2008). They are like the moments of a unidirectional, transcendental ascension of the ontological model; becoming (poiesis), the ontic, es gibt (phronēsis) and the infinitive or always, already, Being (epistēmē). 40 ‘And this might be taken further, where logistikós is a higher form of krinein (deliberation) evident in dianoia (thinking), in turn explicitly likened also to aisthēsis (sense-perception): these are the common sensitive and active movements of souls, that animates all life’ (Aristotle, 1984c: III, but specifically, 427a18–21, 432a24–27, etc.). 41 Aristotle forwards this case of the natural pedagogy of imitation in human subjects, linking it to the origins of poetry (Aristotle, 1984e: 1448b6–23). 42 Nietzsche pioneers this distinction in The Birth of Tragedy, particularly in the rival circulations between the Apolline and the Dionysiac. But it will be an enduring motif that is arguably clarified into eternal recurrence and the irreducibility of becoming into being, more generally. ‘Very early in my life I took the question of the relation of art to truth seriously; and even now I stand in holy dread in the face of this discordance’ (Nietzsche quoted in Heidegger, 1997a: 142). 43 ‘Creat˙e, ppl. a. Also 4 6 cre˙at. [ad. L. creāt˙us, pa. pple. of creāre to produce, make, create.]. . .1. trans. Said of the divine agent; To bring into being, cause to exist; esp. to produce where nothing was before, “to form out of nothing”.’ V. Ridler (ed.) The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, p. 1151. And for art, ‘Creation [a. F. création (14th c. in Littré) or ad. L. creātiōn-em, n. of action f. creāre to CREATE.] . . . 5. An original production of human intelligence or power; esp. of imagination or imaginative art.’ Ibid., p. 1152. 44 Ordinal numbering is distinct from cardinality, in that it describes the order or sequence of a given series. That is to say, the cardinal set (1, 2, 3, 4, . . .) would be composed in ordinal terms as (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, . . .). Ordinality might be argued for this reason to have a special significance for ontology (that is, for the effort to identify a unity or universal predicate for the appearance of all beings). 45 A full discussion of poiesis, characterized in this way as an identical relation or unidirectional workflow, is carried out in Chapter 4. 46 That the consistency of ontology is ultimately dependent upon the preliminary reduction of the function to the relation is explicitly demonstrated in Alain Badiou’s set theory ontology. If ontology necessarily proceeds in this manner, it

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is because this is the fundamental operation that underwrites how becoming, processes of production, transformations, novelty – in short, all dynamic operations – will be presented as ontologically determinable: Contrary to the Aristotelian orientation (potentiality as a primary singularization of substance) and the Leibnizian orientation (logical possibility as a ‘claim to being’), set-theory knows only actual multiplicity. The idea that actuality is the effective form of being, and that possibility or potentiality are fictions, is a profoundly Platonic motif. Nothing is more significant in this regard than the set-theoretical treatment of the concept of function. What seems to be a dynamic operator, often manifested in terms of spatial – i.e. physical – schemata (if y = f(x), one will say that y ‘varies’ as a function of the variations of x, etc.), is, in the set-theoretical framework, treated strictly as an actual multiple: the multiple-being of the function is the graph, which is to say a set whose elements are ordered pairs of the (x, y) type, and any allusion to dynamics or ‘variation’ is eliminated’ (2004: 58). In Badiou’s set theory ontology, we are told the decisive scene (‘event’) concerns the axiom of choice that governs the nominative process through which a given set is populated with its particular elements. As such, there seems to be two important aspects of the function emphasized in Badiou. The first locates the function in its proximity to the pure multiple (the fundamental ‘unit’ of the Ideas), where interior to the constructible presentation of a given set, a function inheres or operates and whose task is to select or decide which names or particulars are to be presented, and thus populate the set with its distinctive difference: In the case of the axiom of choice, the assertion of existence is much more evasive: the function whose existence is affirmed is submitted solely to an intrinsic condition (f (β) ෛ β), which does not allow us to think that its connection to the internal structure of the multiple α could be made explicit, nor that the function is unique. The multiple f is thus only attached to the singularity of α by very loose ties, and it is quite normal that given the existence of a particular α, one cannot, in general, ‘derive’ the construction of a determined function f. The axiom of choice juxtaposes to the existence of a multiple the possibility of its delegation, without inscribing a rule for this possibility that could be applied to the particular form of the initial multiple. The existence whose universality is affirmed by this axiom is indistinguishable insofar as the condition it obeys (choosing representatives) says nothing to us about the ‘how’ of its realization. As such, it is an existence without-one; because without such a realization, the function f remains suspended from an existence that we do not know how to present (Badiou, 2005: 227).

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The function introduces paradoxes into the project of set theory ontology, not only in the selection of axioms but also, arguably and more problematically, in the generative activity of mathematical calculation. That is to say, that the universal procedure of naming or nominating being within a consistent discourse (the pronunciation of all of being-qua-being as pure multiples within a set theoretic paradigm) is unsettled in its operative procedure by the intervention of the function, which decisively resists or refuses an existential appearance and can only be forced to appear via a supplementary operation. As Badiou explains, ‘ontology can only do this at the price of endangering the one; that is, in suspending this being from its pure generality, thereby naming, by default, the non-one of the intervention’ (2005: 228). If the function is directly incompatible with set theory, it is because the function violates the consistent aspirations of the discourse, insofar as it can only secure an inference of its existence, devoid of an account of the particular activity it performs (the ‘how’ in the previous quotation). Thus, the second important aspect of the function is that it remains a unique exclusion, insofar as it cannot be presented or expressed in set theoretic terms. What we discover is that it is only through the intervention of another function – another event in which the mathematician or more decisively in this case, the philosopher decides upon axiomatic protocols – that the singular consistency of an ontological model can be restored, through a supplementary operation (or re-presentation), that names or nominates the function in terms of its in-existence. For Badiou, this disjunction assigns to philosophy a new vocation: Our goal is to establish the meta-ontological thesis that mathematics is the historicity of the discourse on being qua being. And the goal of this goal is to assign philosophy to the thinkable articulation of two discourses (and practices) which are not it: mathematics, science of being, and the intervening doctrines of the event, which, precisely, designate ‘that-which-isnot-being-qua-being’ (2005: 13). What thus demonstrates the necessary link between these two aspects of the function – this circulation from the calculative increment to the axiom – is that both require the repression, reduction or leaping over of the functional incursion, to restore the consistency of ontological theory. To put this another way, it is only the decision to pursue or to privilege a method of ontological consistency that determines the independence of the function (‘that-which-is-not-being-qua-being’) will not survive its meta-ontological reduction. For Badiou, this restores the metaontological consistency in the philosophical presentation, for here the paradoxical interventions the function introduces into set theory are recovered by the positing of a ‘generic’ procedure (2005: 15). And thus for Badiou, the functional problematic is subsumed by the philosophical decision to reduce it to a form of the pure

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multiple (‘form-multiple’): that is, an appeal to an ‘always, already’ transcendent element and whose task is to secure a meta-ontological condition, governing both functions and set-theory (a decision, which should be noted, that is contrary to contemporary mathematical orthodoxy, which favours category theory precisely because it does not demand this functional reduction). What Badiou is thus able to articulate, in a way hitherto profoundly occulted, is a methodological necessity for any ontological model, from Plato to Heidegger: a procedure of reducing the function, whose univocal assignation in ontology can only be pronounced ‘inexistent’ (negative, non-being), and that operates as a proxy or supplementary procedure for forcing its appearance into being, motivated only by the decision of ontological consistency, itself. That is to say, the veracity of the axiomatic decision is here laid bare; for what this ultimately fails to assign is the role the functional operation plays in the pronunciation of the foundational assumptions of being-qua-being, and which brings into question the primordial entity designated as ‘pure multiple’ in the same manner it does Heideggerian ‘Being’ or Platonic ‘Forms’ – namely, that such philosophical decisions evoke the problem of the doxa, an extra-philosophical judgement, whose task is to found the consistency of the model, rather than evidencing the foundational bedrock the model ‘discovers’. This is the limitation of the general form of problems analysed by Deleuze and that is differently expressed as the logical limit of axiomatization, demonstrated by Gödel. Moreover, that such a philosophical doxa or axiomatic decision cannot be enacted or actualized without recourse to the function occupies the general arc of the argument and bears directly upon Badiou’s foundational procedure. As such, the extent to which the reduction of the function evokes the specific problem of calculation qua the philosophical thinker is taken up in the discussion of human computors in Chapter 3, Section 2.1. 47 In our contemporary milieu, this abstract determination of the model – this transition from a ‘vertical’ transcendent (God/Nature), to a horizontal or ‘flat’ ontological model – dominates how art is understood to operate; we will recognize the explicit form of this argument in Heidegger, but it will variously appear throughout Continental philosophy’s thinking about art, from semiotics and structuralism to its post-structural ‘crisis’. For a decisive, formative example, see Heidegger (2001: 56–8, 60). 48 It is arguably the ‘always, already’ that is critical in Heidegger’s fundamental distinction between Being and Dasein and that is profoundly influential for twentieth-century thought. But it is in Derrida’s elaboration and unfolding of the consequences of this model, which arguably begins to show its particular assumptions. Derrida reformulates the ‘always, already’ away from the ontological limit to a contingency of structure, the gap which inheres within the very structure of signification. Here, the general form of the problem no longer brackets the

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system from its limit, but inheres within all of its elements; the trace or dialectical mixture, in which antimonies are always implicated, or present in one another. ‘The trace is not only the disappearance of origin . . . it means that the origin did not even disappear, that it was never constituted except reciprocally by a non-origin, the trace, which thus becomes the origin of the origin’ (Derrida, 1997: 61). All that is left to secure the unity of the model (the inescapable nature of all as text) is to assume this identical operation, proliferates everywhere, infinitely and unilaterally. That is how one generates the certitude of infinite regress from the immanent apprehension of a particular tracing. Although there is no space to do justice to the complexity of Derrida’s argument, the functional objection might be summarized, thus. First, the trace is not an identical relation, but a dynamic function, whose behaviour is illegitimately reduced. Second, (after Brouwer) there is no infinite proliferation of the regress, outside of a particular process of calculation that produces it. That is why meaning does not collapse at once, and why the proposition that all creative acts are pastiche, that is, already ‘written’, does not address the problem: ‘The interweaving results in each “element” – phoneme or grapheme – being constituted on the basis of the trace within it of the other elements of the chain or system. This interweaving, this textile, is the text produced only in the transformation of another text’ (Derrida, 1981: 387–8). But creation does not simply pertain to the origin of the structural relations, it is endemic to the processes of calculation. This is what we learn from Brouwer and Turing. Derrida’s vertiginous tracing of the pharmakon in Plato’s Pharmacy does not unravel the structure of sense-making because the trace is a functional operation he puts there to work – the production of sense is a functional operation that cannot be anticipated by or reduced to the potential field of structural relations. 49 We have additionally seen in reconsidering Aristotle that technē does not resolve the telos into an epistemological resolution, but transforms it into a forceful inherence; entelechy – the functional operator driving the transformation between series – is less then an original property, than the emergence of a reciprocal series of transformations in which a calculative process becomes successively re-oriented. 50 ‘I am speaking of how a living system is constituted operationally as discrete singular molecular system that arises as a dynamic architecture which is the spontaneous unintended result of the interactions of molecules that operate in relation to their immediate locality, without any reference to the totality that they compose’ (Maturana, 2002: 9). 51 Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus (2005) encapsulates this stoic intellectual posture in the face of a world quickly devoid of gods, reason and morality, uniquely emergent in the cultural, political and intellectual upheavals of the first half of the twentieth century. Although it is conventional to conceive Beckett as a significant exemplar in these movements, it is rather contended that his work presents an antidote to this heroic resignation in the face of nihilism.

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Chapter 2 1 Indeed, the historical developments of philosophy might be re-characterized after Colin McLarty’s observation of mathematics; that is, developing far from their axioms or foundations, insofar as the history of philosophical contest clearly concerns a return to the methods of their forebears and a re-problematization of the complex issues there encountered (1990: 370). 2 If it was not already evident in epistasthai and technē that thought is a praxis, it is certainly an overt theme for Deleuze and Guattari (1988). Nevertheless, Deleuze and Guattari conceive of action in a more primitive way than Aristotelian praxis, being generally indifferent to formal, categorical distinctions. Alternatively, a more functionally expansive praxis is also evident in Alain Badiou, who raises the issue of the activity of thought (‘thought in actu’) as the basis for an irreducible conflict between philosophy and poetry, a point not entirely incompatible with the one presently elaborated (2004a: 247). 3 The first three parts of The Discourse on Method recount these preliminaries, but of particular significance is Descartes’ renunciation of ‘the great book of the world’ in order ‘to study also within myself ’ (1999b: 11), and more explicitly in the emphasis upon practising the method (ibid.: 22–23). 4 Lacan considers Sartre’s discussion of the gaze and its relation to the Cartesian cogito in the Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (1999: 84–85). He elsewhere discusses the centrality of the subject of enunciation in establishing psychoanalytic fundamentals (ibid.: 26). Additionally, a preliminary discussion on the cogito and the subject of enunciation, takes place in (2006a: 516). 5 Lacan makes a more comprehensive accounting of these specialized areas of the body, at the ‘margin or border: lips, “the enclosure of the teeth”, the rim of the anus, the penile groove, the vagina, and the slit formed by the eyelids, not to mention the hollow of the ear’ (2006c: 817). 6 This contests Aristotle’s distinction that technē is restricted to the rational faculty that apprehends the transitive (material and efficient) causes. 7 Deleuze has a particularly edifying discussion of two orders of sense and non-sense, which on the one hand pertains to the construction or making of sense within the structuralist or semiotic regime and on the other, with a sort of encounter with sense, itself – the Untersinn encountered in the depths of the body (2004a: 104). 8 Deleuze coins ‘anexact and rigorous’ to identify Husserl’s pre-critical intuitive geometric apprehensions (‘morphological essences’) that underlie more explicit or overt geometric theorems (Husserl, 2012: 143; and more extensively in Husserl, 1989). This idea appears to be somewhat influential in Deleuze’s analysis of the irreducible complexity of problems, particularly concerning how the immanent encounter with the ‘being of the problematic’ is never explicable or reducible to the formulation of ideal models (2001).

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9 To reiterate, this sensitive activity must be argued to be radically independent of any conventionally ‘ideal’ properties. Rather, a real computational apparatus may well correspond to this functionality – the complex neuronal matrix of the gastrointestinal structure. The enteric nervous system comprises of highly sophisticated functional operations, where a sensitive reflexive intelligibility is linked to a flexible and powerful suite of affective powers – that is to say, precisely those properties arguably belonging to technē. Moreover, current research suggests a suite of ‘higher’ autopoietic phenomena emerge from this functional activity and carry out additional processing for conscious subjects: ‘Recent neurobiological insights into this gut-brain crosstalk have revealed a complex, bidirectional communication system that not only ensures the proper maintenance of gastrointestinal homeostasis and digestion but is likely to have multiple effects on affect, motivation and higher cognitive functions, including intuitive decision making’ (Mayer, 2011: 453). Clearly this diffuse, subject-less intelligibility and affection requires adequate investigation, but what should be emphasized is that an independent form of sense-intelligibility linked to affective power does not appear to be the exclusive property of the brain, but rather is emergent in the computational operations of living bodies. 10 The following is a more detailed etymological extract from Le Robert: SUJET, ETTE adj. et n. est la réfection (v. 1138) de suget (v. 1120), emprunt au latin subjectus «soumis», «assujetti», «exposé» et «voisin, proche», participe passé passif de subjicere «placer dessous», «amener à proximité de», «soumettre, subordonner». Le verbe est composé de sub- marquant la position inférieure (→sub-) et de jacere «jeter» (→ gésir, jeter), qui se rattache à la même base indoeuropéenne que le grec hienai «lancer» (→dièse). (Le Robert Dictionnaire Historique De La Langue Française, ed. Alain Rey) TRANS: SUBJECT adj. and n. is the correction (c. 1138) of suget (c. 1120), borrowing from the Latin subjectus, ‘submissive’, ‘subjected’, ‘exposed’ and ‘close, near’, the passive past participle of subjicere, ‘to place under’, ‘to bring near’, ‘to subdue, subordinate’. The verb is composed of sub-, marking the inferior position (→sub-) and jacere ‘to throw’ (→ to lie, to throw), which shares the same IndoEuropean base as the Greek hienai ‘to launch’ (→dièse). 11 This sense is derived from the English, possibly lesser tracing: subject sfvbdgékt A. one who is under the dominion of a sovereign, etc. XIV (Rolle, Shoreham); B. (philos.) †substance XIV (Ch., Wycl.); matter operated upon XVI; (gi-am.) XVII; thinking agent XVIII. ME. soget, suget, sugiet, later subiect (XVI) – OF. suget, soget, subg(i)et (mod. sujet) = Pr. suget-z, Sp. sugeto, It. soggetto – L. subjectu-s m., subjectum n. pp. of subicere, f. sub

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SUB- I+jacere throw, cast; so su˙bject adj. that is under the rule of a power. (Oxford Etymological Dictionary) 12 ‘SUJET, ETTE’, Le Robert Dictionnaire Historique De La Langue Française, ed. Alain Rey. 13 If analytic philosophy is generally more illuminating on this account than structural and post-structural subjective theories, it is because analytic philosophies of mind remain explicitly attentive to this distinction between thought and cognition, in which the functional operation of technē is more clearly evident (e.g. Chalmers, 1996; for a definitive, comparative account, Rorty, 2009). 14 ‘Sensations of a pleasurable nature have not anything inherently impelling about them, whereas unpleasurable ones have it in the highest degree. The latter impel towards change, towards discharge, and that is why we interpret unpleasure as implying a heightening and pleasure a lowering of energic cathexis’ (Freud, 1962: 15). 15 ‘The ego, which to begin with is still feeble, becomes aware of the object-cathexes and either acquiesces in them or tries to fend them off by the process of repression’ (Freud, 1962: 23). 16 Notably here, Freud describes (if in an implicit way) the sensitivity (‘feels’) and agency (‘needs’) of the cathexes in the id: ‘We can only suppose that later on object-cathexes proceed from the id, which feels erotic trends as needs’ (1962: 23). 17 This is a perennial theme for Lacan, but he ties it to the formative function of the mirror stage: ‘In my view, this activity has a specific meaning up to the age of eighteen months, and reveals both a libidinal dynamism that has hitherto remained problematic and an ontological structure of the human World that fits in with my reflections on paranoiac knowledge’ (2006b: 76). 18 This is perhaps most clearly the case with Massumi (1995), who carries out an important discussion of technological power, but in a certain regard remains too beholden to the subject-epistemological view where intelligent agency remains a property of higher, thinking subjects. It must be noted, however, that important aspects of this dissonance no doubt derive from the very different process that Massumi is analysing. Massumi’s preoccupation with the mechanism of centralized assemblages of political power emphasizes their co-option of bodies through their ‘autonomy’, because the sensitive body is characterized by a sort of diminution, lack or distancing from agency, where it remains a property of higher subjective being. This is misleading for the problem of technē, where agency must be emphasized through an evolutionary ascent, developing alongside the transformation of particular bodies.

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Chapter 3 1 Marshall McLuhan presents a sustained version of this argument; ‘It is a persistent theme of this book that all technologies are extensions of our physical and nervous systems to increase power and speed’ (McLuhan, 2001: 98). 2 ‘Artificial [a. F. artificial ad. L. artificial-is f. artificium] A. adj. I. Opposed to natural. 1. Made by or resulting from art or artifice; contrived, compassed, or brought about by constructive skill, and not spontaneously; not natural. A. Artificial in result, as well as in process . . . 2. Made by art in imitation of, or as substitute for, what is natural or real. (These are not real.)’ V. Ridler (ed.) The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, 466. 3 This is introduced in the famous discussion of the bronze sculpture leading into the division of the four causes (Aristotle, 1984d: 194b25). For Aristotle, the four causes engage in complex interrelations that make their categorization far from simple. Fundamentally, they are predicated upon a set of distinctions between the universal and particular, the potential and actual, the immutable and changeable, and into which they form two dynamic groupings or interrelated tensions: the universal pair of the formal and final, and the particular pair of the material and efficient. In what is perhaps a secondary distinction, they are otherwise differentiated by their relative positions and their directionality or orientation. In this sense, the formal and material are paired as the hylomorphic properties that determine the essential nature of beings, additionally accounting for the fundamental nature of things. In contrast, efficient and final causation comprise a second pairing, responsible for the purpose (telos) that brings beings into appearance, and accounts for the transcendental unity and particular differences in actual beings. What then orders each cause into a coherent whole is the unidirectionality of becoming that almost exclusively operates from universal to universal through the medial particulars – that is, being naturally becomes through the progression, formal ᇄ material ᇄ efficient ᇄ final. What additionally distinguishes technē in this metaphysical model is that it is the medial, emergent element that affects a third pairing in this schema, between the efficient and material, by instigating a recursive, or counter-oriented flow to the unidirectionality of natural becoming, thus giving, formal ᇄ material ප efficient ᇄfinal. 4 ‘Art in some cases completes what nature cannot bring to a finish, and in others imitates nature’ (Aristotle, 1984d: 199a15–17). 5 As an indication of this, Antiphon points out that if you planted a bed and the rotting wood acquired the power of sending up a shoot, it would not be a bed that would come up, but wood which shows the arrangement in

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accordance with the rules of the art is merely an accidental attribute, whereas the substance is the other, which, further, persists continuously through the process. (Aristotle, 1984d: 193a13–16) 6 The form indeed is nature rather than the matter; for a thing is more properly said to be what it is when it exists in actuality than when it exists potentially. Again man is born from man but not bed from bed. That is why people say that the shape is not the nature of a bed, but the wood is – if the bed sprouted, not a bed but wood would come up. But even if the shape is art then on the same principle the shape of man is his nature. For man is born from man. (Aristotle, 1984d: 193b7–12) I have followed Christopher Long’s assertion that Aristotelian eidos and morphē are not synonyms of the formal cause; ‘Aristotle says μορφή (morphē) as he links form intimately to the shape and appearance of the composite, but as he considers the ontological priority of form, he says εἶδος (eidos)’ (Long, 2007: 440). Furthermore, Irwin and Fine usefully elucidate this distinction in the present context of technē: In some cases (e.g., when a block of wood is made into a statue) the form is closely connected with the shape acquired by the matter. And so Aristotle readily uses morphé (lit. ‘shape’) to refer to the form, e.g., Phys. 190b15n, 30, 192a13, 193a30n. But since morphé is also applied to cases where functional properties rather than mere physical shape are intended, ‘shape’ would often be a misleading rendering; in these cases ‘form’ is used (marked as ‘formm’ (e.g., at GC 335b35, PA 640b30) where it seems important to indicate an occurrence of morphé). (Irwin and Fine, 1996: 583) On the latter point, it might be observed that this ambiguity of morphē in the presence of technē records differences of functional intervention affected by the ‘higher’ causes (efficient, in the case of craft and which remains distinct from the final). As such, the distinction of morphē from eidos (such that Long proposes) arguably concerns whether it is a final or efficient cause acting upon the formal and which affects functional differences upon the process of becoming. In short, this further illuminates how Aristotle considers technē as an imitation of phusis. 7 It is absurd to suppose that purpose is not present because we do not observe the agent deliberating. Art does not deliberate. If the ship-building art were in the wood, it would produce the same results by nature. If, therefore, purpose is present in art, it is present also in nature. The best illustration is a

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Notes doctor doctoring himself: nature is like that. It is plain then that nature is a cause, a cause that operates for a purpose. (Aristotle, 1984d: 199b27–32)

8 Heidegger analyses this in The Origin of the Work of Art, where technē exemplifies the mode of unveiling specific to Dasein (2001: 56–8). 9 The example here is purposively limited, but Heidegger had a sustained engagement with the problem of technē in the context of art and technology (a theme taken up again in a discussion of Antigone in the Introduction to Metaphysics [2000: 112–27]). 10 On the one hand, Enframing challenges forth into the frenzied-ness of ordering that blocks every view into the coming-to-pass of revealing and so radically endangers the relation to the essence of truth. On the other hand, Enframing comes to pass for its part in the granting that lets man endure – as yet unexperienced, but perhaps more experienced in the future – that he may be the one who is needed and used for the safekeeping of the coming to presence of truth. Thus does the arising of the saving power appear. (Heidegger, 2001: 33) 11 Bernard Steigler summarizes Heidegger’s position on this very clearly: Modern technics inflicts violence upon phusis; technics is no longer a modality of disclosure in accordance with the growing of being as phusis. Technics becomes modern when metaphysics expresses and completes it-self as the project of calculative reason with a view to the mastery and possession of nature, itself no longer understood as phusis. And yet the being that we ourselves are is much less placed in a situation of mastery over nature by technics than it is subjected, as an entity belonging to the realm of nature, to the imperatives of technics. (1998: 10) Nevertheless, as Steigler points out, Heidegger’s reading of Ge-stell strikingly anticipates the highly problematic way modern technology transforms Earth’s ecosystem into a ‘planetary industrial technics – the systematic and global exploitation of resources, which implies a worldwide economic, political, cultural, social, and military interdependence’ (ibid.: 31). This issue will be addressed later in this chapter, Section 5.2. 12 Simondon’s distinction between tool and machine, which are differentiated by the causal ordering relative to conscious intentionality, might be fruitfully brought to bear upon Heidegger’s clarification of ‘to-handedness’ in the proximity of tools, which links technē to Dasein. 13 Transduction is a unique Simondonian concept: ‘By transduction, we mean a physical, biological, mental, or social operation, through which an activity

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propagates from point to point within a domain, while grounding this propagation in the structuration of the domain, which is operated from place to place: each region of the constituted structure serves as a principle of constitution for the next region’ (2013: 32). 14 It is true that Simondon explicitly retains the universal insofar as the synthesis of functions performed by the concrete converges toward the clarification of scientific knowledge. But if this is no longer an Aristotelian epistēmē, it is because scientific knowledge will remain always deficient to the task of apprehending the functional nature of material causation: The objective of the technical intention can attain perfection in the construction of an object only if it becomes identical to universal scientific knowledge. It should be emphasized that this latter knowledge must indeed be universal, because the fact that the technical object belongs to the class of fabricated objects, answering to this particular human need, does not in turn limit and in no way defines the type of physico-chemical actions that can occur in this object or between this object and the outside world. The difference between the technical object and the physico-chemical system studied as an object only resides within the imperfection of the sciences; the scientific knowledge that serves as a guide to predicting the universality of reciprocal actions exerted within the technical system is still affected by a certain imperfection; it doesn’t allow for an absolute prediction with rigorous precision of all effects; this is why a certain distance remains between the system of technical intentions corresponding to a defined objective and the scientific system of knowledge of causal interactions that realize this objective; the technical object is never fully known; for this very reason, it is never completely concrete, unless it happens through a rare chance occurrence. The ultimate allocation of functions to structures and the exact calculation of structures could only be accomplished if the scientific knowledge of all phenomena likely to exist in the technical object were completely acquired; since this is not the case, a certain difference subsists between the technical scheme of the object (containing the representation of a human objective) and the scientific picture of phenomena for which it is the base (containing only schemas of reciprocal or recurrent efficient causality). (2017: 42–3) 15 For Simondon, although ‘higher’ orders of being participate in the ontogenetic process that determines them, particular difference divulges from a potential apeiron that each being carries – an infinite reservoir of becoming, common to all processes of ontogenesis and from which differences properly emerge: According to the hypothesis presented here, there remains an apeiron in the individual, like a crystal retains its mother-water, and this charge of apeiron

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Notes would allow us to go to a second individuation. But, unlike all those systems which grasp the collective as a union of individuals, and think the group as a form whose individuals are the matter, this hypothesis would not make individuals the matter of the group; individuals bearing apeiron discover a meaning in the collective, which is translated, for example, in the form of the notion of destiny. The charge of apeiron is the principle of disparation in relation to other charges of the same nature contained in other beings. (2013: 297)

Muriel Combes identifies this resolute, unidirectionality in Simondon’s ontology, by summarizing various critics of this tendency: ‘Attention has often fallen on an obvious tension in Simondon’s thought between two tendencies or orientations: an ecumenical tendency that aims for the symbolic unification of the diverse, and another, which I have called naturalist, that focuses on the emergence of novelty from the preindividual’ (Combes, 2013: 63). 16 To what extent this might signal a vaguely positivist tendency in Simondon’s ontology, it might be considered to be a strategic commonality with materialist ontologies, generally speaking. In its most famous and vociferous manifestations (such as scientific positivism), the properties of particular, higher order agents – agency, consciousness and free will – are struck out, altogether. However, a renunciation in a weaker form is less commented upon, where the absence of a transcendent donator downgrades the particular powers wielded by agents into constructs, by reducing them to more primary, primitive principles. Thus, even those revitalized materialist theories following Bergson – evident in Simondon and the contemporary proliferation of new materialist and affect theories – have a general tendency to refute that agency might be some sort of difference in kind, rather conceiving it as a product of bodily, material or vitalist principles. This is to generally agree that the powers of agents can be explicated in terms of original generative problematics that tend to degrade the specific difference of particular agency and its suite of historical problems; intentionality, action, free will and so on. That is, while they do not disavow these higher properties in the way that strongly mechanistic determinisms do, they tend to perform what is quite emblematic in Simondon – that is, to conceive of a singular, generative problem as a way to resolve the fractious antimonies that have plagued our understanding of being, between subject and object, nature and culture, mind and body and so on. 17 In this regard, by framing Simondon’s metaphysical innovations within the double problematic of the differential calculus, Deleuze can be understood to have arguably overcome this final re-instantiation of the model in Simondon. Nevertheless, it is far from clear whether Deleuze, for this, properly returns us to the powers of a sufficiently re-problematized technē, insofar as difference continues to rely upon an infinitive, atemporal and ‘pure’ potentiality: the Bergsonian

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virtual. In this sense, both Simondon and Deleuze follow Bergson in requiring that difference be already secured by the reality of an apeiron (and specifically, where apeiron stands for any concept that conflates an infinite distribution of all potentialities with an infinitive incompleteness or capacity for calculation). For the re-problematization of technē, Simondon’s restoration of the efficient must be further radicalized, so that the power of the incalculable, incompleteness of the apeiron might be restored to technē, not as a metaphysical donation but as an emergent, finite power; this emergence is indistinguishable from the distribution of computational agents, whose very activity is the kind of work that creates difference. 18 We cannot expect that the ‘laws of physics’ derived from it suffice straightaway to explain the behaviour of living matter, whose most striking features are visibly based to a large extent on the ‘order-from-order’ principle [as opposed to the ‘order-from-disorder’ principle, governing the primary process]. You would not expect two entirely different mechanisms to bring about the same type of law – you would not expect your latch-key to open your neighbour’s door as well. (Schrödinger, 1992: 80) 19 Turing’s work explicitly concerned ‘effective computability’ – that is to say, the work carried out by ‘human computers’. Wilfried Sieg carries these concerns over into the work of Robin Gandy, a student of Turing, who developed more explicitly the differentiation between human and mechanical computers: Gandy made a useful suggestion, namely, calling a human carrying out a computation a ‘computor’ and referring by ‘computer’ to some computing machine or other. In Turing’s paper, ‘computer’ is always used for a human computing agent who proceeds mechanically; his machines, our Turing machines, consistently are just machines. The Oxford English Dictionary gives this meaning of ‘mechanical’ when applied to a person as ‘resembling (inanimate) machines or their operations; acting or performed without the exercise of thought or volition;. . .’. When I want to stress strongly the machine-like behaviour of a computor, I will even speak of a mechanical computor. The processes such a computor can carry out are being analyzed, and that is exactly Turing’s specific and extraordinary approach: the computing agent is brought into the analysis. The question is thus no longer, ‘Which number theoretic functions can be calculated?’ but rather, ‘Which number theoretic functions can be calculated by a mechanical computor?’ Let’s address that question with Turing and see, how his analysis proceeds. Gandy emphasizes in his [1988, 83–84], absolutely correctly as we will see, that ‘Turing’s analysis makes no reference whatsoever to calculating

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Notes machines. Turing machines appear as a result, as a codification, of his analysis of calculations by humans’ (Sieg, 2009: 574).

This work is to be distinguished from the current proceedings, in which technē problematizes computation in proximity to phusis, rather than the abstraction and generalization of computation into an axiomatic framework, which preoccupies Sieg. 20 As such, the series of intentional actions is expressed in Figure 3.2 as [z = f2(y)] but may equally be expressed in terms of the original flow of phusis as [z = f2(f1(x))]. 21 If this view is correct, and the kinetic conditions for rapid reactions can be sustained, perhaps by enclosure of such a reproducing system in a bounding membrane vesicle, also synthesized by the system, the emergence of self-reproducing molecular systems may be highly probable. No small conclusion this: Life abundant, emergent, expected . . . One way or another, we will discover a second life – crouched under a Mars rock, frozen in time; limpid in some pool on Titan, in some test tube in Nebraska in the next few decades. We will discover a second life, one way or another. (Kauffman, 2006: 30–1) 22 A parenthesis should be briefly opened here, to quickly clarify the determination of ‘life’ for a functional re-problematization. Perhaps this can be approached by considering the problematic status of the élan vital, the elusive essence which seeks to differentiate, even in the smallest, most rudimentary ‘living’ beings, between the animate and the inanimate. It would seem exceedingly difficult to prolong this distinction in the proximity here to Kauffman and the ineffable vibratory dimension of the quantum, whose relation to the most rudimentary material seems inextricable. As such, this brings into question the élan, insofar as it may no longer be thought of as a fundamental element, but rather a sort of supplementary, emergent and additional property that is inseparable from the emergence of the efficient itself; that is why life will appear so instrumental in the intentional deviations of technē that it announces itself as an entire evolutionary ‘other’, so they are perhaps quite indistinguishable. That is to say that the élan vital might constitute the attempt to reduce to a simple, essential relation or property, what is a complex and potentially very diverse series of efficient causal operations. Nevertheless, there is no adequate qualification for the second element of the concept, namely the vital, the impetus or force, which rather seems to apprehend an irreducible aspect of the function: namely, repetition, or more precisely, to iterate the engine of functional computation that this work has endeavoured to locate not only in inanimate and animate materials but also in the intensive dimensions of the material and whose evidentiary iterations are as necessary for the most speculative, abstract ideas.

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23 Having said this, the current argument is hardly the first (much less, the most authoritative) to assert that some form of conscious agency is evident in even the simplest, single cell organisms. In their provocative response to Schrödinger’s What is Life?, Lynn Margulis and Dorian Sagan argue: Consciousness, a private affair, is not directly measurable. But an inability to render a quality is no reason to assume its absence––to assume that animals are mere instinct machines. Indeed, we would take Griffen a step further. Not just animals are conscious, but every organic being, every autopoietic cell is conscious. In the simplest sense consciousness is an awareness of the outside world. And this world need not be the world outside one’s mammalian fur. It may also be the world outside one’s cell membrane. Certainly some level of awareness, of responsiveness owing to that awareness, is implied in all autopoietic systems. The world, after all, is not a petri dish; the sky does not rain agar. Every live being incessantly senses and responds with alacrity to its surroundings. (Margulis and Sagan, 2000: 150) 24 The critical role that recursive processes play in the evolution of biological forms is illuminated in Manuel DeLanda’s Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy. DeLanda’s project is more than a monograph on the scientific and mathematical concepts at work in early Deleuze (2001, 2004a); DeLanda expands and diversifies Deleuze’s matheme of differential calculus into a vertiginous essay on the implications of contemporary scientific developments. Of particular note is the role of the integral, where DeLanda considers the Simondonian problem of how the information ramified into emergent beings is re-encoded back into generative conditions. DeLanda discusses the significance of Arthur Winfree’s work on how DNA is refolded or integrated back into the nucleus to be transmitted to the next generation: ‘Such miracles bespeak of reproducible precision. But that precision is not the kind we know how to write equations about, not the kind we can measure to eight decimal places’ (2004: 64). That is to say, the problem of recursion challenges our existing modes of knowledge, the ‘anexact yet rigorous’ quality of those dynamic calculative functions at work in living bodies. 25 We owe to the inimitable Lynn Margulis the understanding of these ‘horizontal’ evolutionary processes and a profound and profoundly unorthodox reconsideration of speciation and ecology: My best work, I believe, is the development of the details of the serial endosymbiosis theory. The central idea is that extra genes in the cytoplasm of animal, plant, and other nucleated cells are not ‘naked genes’: rather they originated as bacterial genes. The genes are a palpable legacy of a violent, competitive, and truce-forming past. Bacteria, long ago, which were partially devoured and trapped inside the bodies of others, became organelles. Green

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Notes bacteria that photosynthesize and produce oxygen, called ‘cyanobacteria,’ still exist in ponds and streams, in muds, and on beaches. Their relatives cohabit with countless larger organisms: all plants and all algae. (Margulis, 1998: 37)

26 Even some prokaryotic cells show such social behaviour in a primitive form . . . They stay together in loose colonies in which the digestive enzymes secreted by individual cells are pooled, thus increasing the efficiency of feeding (the ‘wolf-pack’ effect). These cells indeed represent a peak of social sophistication among prokaryotes, for when food supplies are exhausted, the cells aggregate tightly together and form a multicellular fruiting body (Figure 1–31), within which the bacteria differentiate into spores that can survive even in extremely hostile conditions. When conditions are more favourable, the spores in a fruiting body germinate to produce a new swarm of bacteria. (Alberts, 1994: 58) 27 Gould treats in great detail this contest between a singular, unidirectional process and an orthogonally oriented indivisibility between disparate causal flows: Modern evolutionists may read this list with an odd feeling of deja vu—in the backward sense that we have already encountered all these issues in the modern debates of our own professional careers, but didn’t know that our forebears had struggled over the same themes. Doesn’t the late 20th century debate about micro and macroevolution raise the same questions about different causes at higher and lower taxonomic levels . . . and don’t extrapolationists still charge the defenders of higher level causality with proposing untestable theories of evolutionary change? (2002: 192) In contemporary evolutionary science, this contest carries on between strong genetic determinism and the significance of epigenetic phenomena. It should be emphasized that the same problematic assumptions remain, insofar as the undisputed dominance of the primary process is widely posited, and debate hinges upon the relative degrees of impoverishment about particular entities. What perhaps has changed is that epigenetic phenomena seem to operate upon observable structures in which demonstrable, experimental evidence for a ‘counter-causal’ recursion (rather than a logical or speculative one) might well be in the process of being articulated. Gould provides an encyclopaedic list of examples, but let us refer to a more recent and evocative one. Dias and Ressler have performed a series of experiments in which male mice are administered a small electric shock accompanied by the smell of cherry blossom. First- and secondgeneration offspring are then exposed to the smell of cherry blossom without any direct experience of its correlation with the negative electric stimulus; however,

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a pronounced shock response remained evident. The experimental analysis found this reaction was consistent with changes to the olfactory system and associated neurological pathways, with increased sensitivity in the receptor areas for cherry blossom and an enlarged correlation of this area with that responsible for the production of fear (Dias and Ressler, 2013: 89–96). Additionally, there is a very useful introduction that contextualizes the work within the evolutionary controversies previously glossed (Szyf, 2014: 2–4). That is to say, if all bodies, as we have proposed, are vast strata of technē that communicate via functional computation both in the direction of becoming as well as in a creative flow of cause that confronts primary conditions, then Freud’s proposition may simply be anticipating this infolded flow of causation, in which even the experiences of subjects might find a functional expression back into the primary pattern that produces living bodies. This ‘fragment’ would be nothing like a word, a gesture, an experience or a memory; it would be the precipitant of an efficient cause, a vast counter-causal cascade of functional transformations through to the lowest technē, where what is transmitted could only be conceivable as a sort of ‘knowing how to do’ (such as an instruction of where and how, or under what conditions, to ‘unfold’). These are those epigenetic phenomena, which through various mechanisms activate or inhibit the expression of particular genes. An obvious example of this plasticity is embryonic stem cells, which according to the local bodily region in which they are distributed, can manifest into different cell types, making them of particular interest for medical science. There is no doubt that the emergence of such a medial level, higher order agency remains contentious. It would be conventional to argue that the brain maintains these higher order functions, in such a way as to make this concept of a medial order redundant. However, recent research into 3D printing techniques of organs might very well dispute this orthodox assumption. Sharon Presnell has demonstrated this principle in printing living cells (hepatocytes and stellates) onto synthetic 3D scaffolds. What is of interest is that the assemblage of individual cells – their simple proximity parallel to one another across a horizontal stratum – spontaneously precipitates the emergence of higher order functions specific to the behaviour of the organ, in this case, functions particular to the liver, the production of albumin (a protein that transports drugs, salts and hormones throughout the body) and cholesterol (Presnell, 2013). It should be reiterated that this presentation is greatly simplified – there must be many other levels of hierarchical strata in complex, living organisms. For in complex bodies, even single cells can be exceedingly complex, with multiple centres of various independent functionalities in which new orders of technē must be operating (such as the nucleus and mitochondria, not to mention discrete bacterial

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and viral entities [Margulis, 1998]). Moreover, there must be additional uppermedial strata, in which various organs are arranged into complex systems (such as the GIT, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, the muscular-skeletal and so on). More generally, although a certain organic locality for distinct technē has been implied for the sake of simplicity, certain ‘medial’ and ‘upper medial’ technē must come to presence across various regions of the body, including specific regions of the brain, in ways that further complicate any clear distinctions between the metaphysical divisions of mind and body, thought and action, as well as those older biological categories that distinguish organs by rudimentary functions, local organization or cell type (brain, heart, lungs, etc.). That is, we no longer credibly think of the eyeball as the organic locus of the sense of sight, but rather as part of the visual system, also incorporating specialized elements of the nervous system, the visual cortex and so on. 32 In his discussion of problems, Deleuze indicates the creative potentiality of this encounter and describes the ‘being of the problematic’ encountered in depth. More profoundly still, Being (what Plato calls the Idea) ‘corresponds’ to the essence of the problem or the question as such. It is as though there were an ‘opening’, a ‘gap’, an ontological ‘fold’ which relates being and the question to one another. In this relation, being is difference itself. Being is also nonbeing, but non-being is not the being of the negative; rather it is the being of the problematic, the being of problem and question’ (Deleuze, 2001: 64). 33 Spinoza’s intuition and Deleuze’s survol may well be accounts of this nature. 34 Lacan stresses that aphanisis concerns the split nature of the subject; ‘where the subject appears somewhere as meaning, he is manifested elsewhere as “fading”, as disappearance’ (1999: 218). Lacan is very clear that this phenomenon occurs within the Symbolic, generated by the fundamental dissonance between the Other (the structure of language) and the place of enunciation which the subject must come back to in order to speak. 35 Now action is for the sake of an end; therefore the nature of things also is so. Thus if a house, e.g., had been a thing made by nature, it would have been made in the same way as it is now by art; and if things made by nature were made not only by nature but also by art, they would come to be in the same way as by nature. The one, then, is for the sake of the other; and generally art in some cases completes what nature cannot bring to a finish, and in others imitates nature. If, therefore, artificial products are for the sake of an end, so clearly also are natural products. The relation of the later to the earlier items is the same in both. (Aristotle, 1984d: 199a11–19)

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36 In light of the doubt thrown upon transcendent or abstract donators, Deleuze is arguably the most Nietzschean when conceiving that an immanent power of repetition performs the task allocated to primary universals. From the occupation of an immanent perspective, both argue that universals are composed of a pure repetition of forces, which comprises the primary process. One might think of these as statistical or consensual compositions of infinite differences or perhaps something like the conservation principle in classical momentum (where a vector in a closed system, unless acted upon by another force, will continue indefinitely). In any event, repetition has the advantage of being an affective primary process, rather than predicated upon an essential, teleological principle.

Chapter 4 1 ‘ἡ γάρ τοι ἐκ τοῦ μη ὄντος εἰς τὸ ὂν ἰóντι ὁτῳοῦν αἰτία πᾶσά ἐστι ποίησις’ (Plato, 1961: 205c). There is a wide variation in the translation of this key sentence, which well encapsulates the very different kind of problematic apprehension at work with the Greeks and its difference from contemporary thought. For example, the previous translation from M. Joyce (Ibid.), which emphasizes the ontological dimension of the problem, is rendered: ‘After all, everything that is responsible for creating something out of nothing is a kind of poetry’, by A. Nehamas and P. Woodruff (Plato, Complete Works, Hackett, 1997). What this emphasizes is the tension in contemporary debates about the primary problems there apprehended and, in particular, the role of creation or production in the genesis of beings. 2 ‘The functional importance of the ego is manifested in the fact that normally control over the approaches to motility devolves upon it. Thus in its relation to the id it is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse’ (Freud, 1962: 19). In this context, the ‘highest’ technē is overwhelmed not only by the repetitious flows of material causes but also by the efficient causes or exterior deviations of ‘lower’ and ‘medial’ technē, which will attempt to overdetermine consciousness with their own desires and demands. 3 This becomes clearly manifest from modernist art praxes onwards, because various epistemological constructs become the materials or inputs for the work – namely, the history of aesthetics and the formal intra-disciplinary distinctions (literature, painting, music and so on), generally assumed to comprise the discipline of art. It is certainly the case that modernist praxis begins by working upon these aesthetic and formal productions, but if this parallels the development in pure mathematics, it is because modernist art breaks from the ‘extra-artistic’ constraints of the model, which direct it toward the task of representation and the realization of the ‘beautiful’. That is to say, it is the fuller recognition of its own task of creative

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transformation that liberates art from the representational model, thus giving it a new material to work upon. This is the basis of its formal experimentation, where it sets to work upon the conventional structures (form and aesthetics) in which it was constrained. Yet this project does not culminate in the series of works that mark the purported ‘crisis’ or ‘end’ of art: where music becomes silent (John Cage’s 4’ 33”) or words inexpressive (Samuel Beckett’s Unnameable) or in the realization of purely non-representative images (Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square or Jasper Johns’ White on White). This is rather when creative poiesis is set to intentionally work upon the productive processes that constrain it and provide the functional impetus for why art has always concerned what might be otherwise confused as an anti-disciplinary tendency. For this working upon formal and aesthetic productions was always the preliminary for the anti-disciplinary work upon ‘art’ itself; and if this was not already demonstrated by Dada, it would find a more overt expression with Fluxus; ‘PURGE the world of dead art, imitation, artificial art . . . PROMOTE A REVOLUTIONARY FLOOD AND TIDE IN ART, Promote living art, anti-art, promote NON ART REALITY to be fully grasped by all peoples, not only critics, dilettantes and professionals’ (Maciunas, 1988: 35). In Fluxus, the very ‘anti-art’ trajectory is to fully embrace what the work of art pursues in its ‘purist’ intentional activation; it is to be opposed to all of production. This includes, but is not limited to, the reduction of the work to the object and aesthetics (‘Fluxus is definitely against art-objects’, ‘Fluxus objectives are social [not aesthetic]’); all the epistemological accretions of knowledge (‘all institutions’, ‘ANTI-PROFESSIONALISM’); the fixation of subjective formation (‘not the artist’s personality or ego’ or ‘ANTI-INDIVIDUALISM’); and everything formal, representational and imitative in art, which is to say to radically efface everything that opposes life (Maciunas, 1988: 37). 4 That is to say, Aristotle as a thinking subject was animated by the unique ‘highest’ technē that emerged from his living body, but Aristotelianism as a disciplinary subject is a philosophical perspective that may be inhabited by many different thinking subjects. 5 It is unclear whether this sense of Derrida’s famous, ‘there is no outside of the text’, is consistent with Lacan’s arguably more nuanced position. For Lacan, it is certainly the case that the sensitive agent, under certain conditions (such as trauma), will find themselves projected out, and again overwhelmed in the experience of the Real (indeed, that this Lacanian mechanism indicates a possible approach to the problem of art, is explored admirably in Foster, 1996). But this is at odds with the current line of argument, in two immediately obvious ways. First, because technē concerns the intelligibility about functions, the entire edifice of knowledge is engaged in order to gain new intelligence about functions to be exported back into praxis. And secondly, the traumatic encounter in which the subject falls out of the

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Symbolic is consequential, and the work of art is only possible with an intentional ejection from the abstract, semiotic or Symbolic structure. 6 Deleuze is decisive on the consequences of this for difference: The ‘I think’ is the most general principle of representation – in other words, the source of these elements and of the unity of all these faculties: I conceive, I judge, I imagine, I remember and I perceive – as though these were the four branches of the Cogito. On precisely these branches, difference is crucified. They form quadripartite fetters under which only that which is identical, similar, analogous or opposed can be considered different: difference becomes an object of representation always in relation to a conceived identity, a judged analogy, an imagined opposition or a perceived similitude. Under these four coincident figures, difference acquires a sufficient reason in the form of a principium comparationis. (Deleuze, 2001: 138) 7 In this regard, a reconsideration of the Kantian a priori might be necessary for a more thorough accounting of the functional problem, particularly in elaborating the emergence of calculation from living bodies and its prolongation within epistēmē as the functional drive of cogitation. That is to say that temporality might prove to be a species of ordinality, namely, the successional ordering of temporal events. So while the projection of technē within epistēmē decouples cogitation from the dynamic natural ordinality governing spatio-temporal dimensions, this does not constitute a freedom from ordinality per se, in which a sort of protoor primitive temporality persists, specific to both the direction and events of calculative cogitation. 8 ‘The idea has come to me that what I would like to do now is to saturate every atom. I mean to eliminate all waste, deadness, superfluity: to give the moment whole; whatever it includes’ (Woolf, 1977: 109). Anthony Uhlmann discusses very clearly how this creative workflow implies a counter-directed ‘folded in’ workflow, which precedes the latter productive effects in which this labour generates different kinds of meaning. ‘In writing one seeks to recapture such a moment or to approximate the intense sensations it produces by other means. Such a moment, however, because it is folded in, might in turn be unfolded, teased out, either in interpretation, or in the stories which surround that moment, leading up to and away from it’ (Uhlmann, 2011: 113). 9 Indeed, if we have lost faith in the unidirectional structural poiesis, it is because the regress does not survive Brouwer’s scepticism about infinite calculation. It is only in the pursuit of the trace that Derrida demonstrates how one sign can be found infolded in another; without the dynamic work of technē there is no ‘autonomic’ movement from one sign to another.

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10 The determination in which the work of art falls into line within a unidirectional Marxist process of production is well summarized in the introduction to Author as Producer: Here you have the catchword around which has long circled a debate familiar to you. Its familiarity tells you how unfruitful it has been, for it has not advanced beyond the monotonous reiteration of arguments for and against: on the one hand, the correct political line is demanded of the poet; on the other, one is justified in expecting his work to have quality. Such a formulation is of course unsatisfactory as long as the connection between the two factors, political line and quality, has not been perceived. Of course, the connection can be asserted dogmatically. You can declare: a work that shows the correct political tendency need show no other quality. You can also declare: a work that exhibits the correct tendency must of necessity have every other quality. This second formulation is not uninteresting, and, moreover, it is correct. I adopt it as my own. (Benjamin, 2008a: 79–80) 11 Benjamin argues that the new theses capable of responding to the technological complication of art proceed from the following criteria: ‘They neutralize a number of traditional concepts – such as creativity and genius, eternal value and mystery – which, used in an uncontrolled way (and controlling them is difficult today), allow factual material to be manipulated in the interests of fascism’ (2008b: 20). 12 ‘The here and now of the original underlines the concept of authenticity’ (Benjamin, 2008b: 21). 13 For discussion of ‘originality’, ‘authenticity’ and the technological tendency which opposes the ‘unique’ to the ‘mass’, see Benjamin (2008b: 22). 14 Let us recall that Heidegger greatly clarified technology through its ‘to-handedness’ by drawing together the intentionality and immanence of technē, with its distinct impact upon the process of production, in general – that is to say, in clarifying that technology is not ‘modern’ but the distinctly human capacity for using tools coming importantly to include language. 15 Moreover, it seems that one can define all the qualities of a work of art except that essence which is self-evident in the art itself, and which creates a resonance of thought and feeling beyond verbalization. I attempt in these books to suggest the importance of craft and its relation to creativity in photography. As for the creativity itself, I can only assert that it exists. (Adams and Baker, 2005: 10) 16 This position is emblematized in W. K. Wimsatt Jr. and M. C. Beardsley’s essay, ‘The Intentional Fallacy’, in which the intentional, creative work performed by the

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artist is argued to be radically divorced from the production of meaning the work produces. Magaret Boden and Ernest Edmonds argue that the term ‘generative art’ is traceable to Georg Nees and Freider Nake in seminal computer works from 1965 (Boden and Edmonds, 2009: 3). This post-Cartesian transformation of the analogical relationship between bodies and machines is elaborated in Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus (1988). Living bodies are no longer like machines, which seek to strip them of intentional, living properties, endowed with a supplementary principle, through which life, consciousness and agency are donated. ‘Machinic’ is rather re-oriented by Freud’s decentring of consciousness, because machinic rather implies the body is not an empty matter, but a granular, multiplicity of individuated bodies, a molecular population. M. Boden and E. Edmonds discuss these precedents and others in their development of a taxonomy of new media practices, of which generative art is one such division (including electronic, digital and computer art, and so on) (2009: 8–19). In a footnote, Eliot states, ‘Tiresias, although a mere spectator and not indeed a “character,” is yet the most important personage in the poem, uniting all the rest’ (2006: 2302).

Conclusion: Art and Nature 1 Or moreover, Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life, and I feel sure that if you think seriously about it you will find that it is true. Life holds the mirror up to Art, and either reproduces some strange type imagined by painter or sculptor, or realizes in fact what has been dreamed in fiction. Scientifically speaking, the basis of life – the energy of life, as Aristotle would call it – is simply the desire for expression, and Art is always presenting various forms through which this expression can be attained. Life seizes on them and uses them, even if they be to her own hurt. (Wilde, 2004: 38)

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218

Index absolute 178 abstract and concrete 90 donation 70, 73, 205 horizon 15 ideal 21, 28, 47, 58, 53, 55, 59, 62, 66, 71, 75–6, 83, 86, 94, 97, 111, 119, 144, 152 plane 1, 13, 17, 24, 43, 45, 46, 73, 77, 81, 118, 120, 127, 130, 133, 154, 168, 171, 189 relation 9, 16, 18–20, 36, 40–1, 48, 61, 74, 96, 112, 119, 122, 123, 125, 140, 165–6, 178–9 semiotics 39, 142, 168, 183, 207 set 18 unity 32 universal 12, 95, 125 Adams, Ansell 162–3, 208 addition 18, 144 Adorno, Theodor W 30, 183 aesthetics and art 5, 27, 30, 48 and artistic praxis 50, 181 and causation 48 discipline 4, 205 and doxa 13, 111, 181 and innovation 12, 171 and intentionality 164 and judgement 50, 111 and mathematics 13, 15 negative 183 norms 145, 162 and process of production 164, 206 properties 8 and science 111 and subjects 169 theory of 8, 32 and work of art 8, 30, 143, 161, 183 agency of art 3, 74, 78, 166 and cogito 57

and computation 178 and emergence 3 and ‘highest’ technē 123 immanent 58–9, 61, 63, 64–5, 68, 75, 78 intentional 85 pre-subjective 57, 68–73, 75–6, 109, 153, 193, 203, 209 and scepticism 198 of simple cells 101, 107, 201 subjective 67, 91, 116, 141–2 and technē 70, 79, 91, 94, 96, 98, 117, 139, 173 transcendent 130 aisthēsis 33, 59, 186 algorithm 109, 164–5 ‘always already’ 13, 43–5, 47, 50, 130, 133, 135, 159, 186, 189 anexact, yet rigorous 60, 117, 191, 201 aphanisis 75, 122, 142, 157, 204 Apolline 121, 140, 186 aporia 21, 27, 92, 132, 160 architecture 29 Aristotelianism 32, 106, 206 Aristotle 1, 3, 4, 12, 26, 28, 32–41, 50, 53, 59, 61, 70, 79, 83–5, 89, 91, 92, 94, 97, 98, 99, 100, 110, 116, 118, 122–3, 125, 127, 131, 136, 149, 151, 161, 179, 181, 184–6, 190–1, 194–6, 204, 206, 209 Aristotle’s doctrine of four causes 3, 50, 84–6, 88, 136, 156, 191, 194 art and abstraction 78, 88, 143–5 aesthetic domination of 8, 27, 50, 161, 181 and craft 4, 6, 14, 26–7, 29, 35, 84, 135, 138, 143, 151, 154–5, 157–8, 161–2, 180, 181, 195, 208 and creativity 24, 42, 49, 51, 208 and deviating nature 1, 3, 32, 87, 94, 99, 128, 160 discipline of 54, 78, 129, 138, 140–3, 145, 152, 163, 180, 205

20

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domain 48 evolutionary precedence of 128, 163 in general 2, 4–5, 25, 128–9, 135, 137–8, 141, 145, 151 intelligibility of 27, 78 intentionality of 51, 136–7, 157–8, 163–5, 185 in itself 43, 183 and knowledge 4, 25–9, 32, 34, 36–7, 41, 78, 120–1, 133, 140, 146, 173, 182, 206 and mastery 27–8, 37, 143, 150–6, 162, 164, 167 metaphysical function of 3, 33 object 2, 25, 27, 29, 38, 48, 159, 170, 206 and originality 42, 49, 208 in particular 1, 3, 99, 170 praxis 2–3, 5–6, 8, 28, 31–5, 37–8, 41, 43, 46, 48–52, 55, 61, 74, 76–9, 140, 143, 146, 150, 152–8, 166, 170, 181, 183–5 and production 4–5, 31, 35–6, 38, 49, 51, 82, 129–30, 132, 135, 137–65, 167, 169, 172, 180, 182–3, 186, 205–6, 208–9 of meaning 48, 49 of the new 50 of sense 42–3, 182 and purpose 25, 27, 29, 31, 34–5, 85, 136–7, 173, 195–6 re-problematization of 37, 45, 82, 85, 131, 133, 139, 173 and technology 3–4, 82, 84, 86–8, 99, 132, 138, 151, 158, 160, 162–3, 196 Artaud, Antonin 171 artefact 25, 29–31, 34, 36–8, 170 artifice 84, 99, 194 artificial 84, 92, 99, 124, 126, 158, 194, 204 artist 6, 49–51, 145–7, 150–2, 154, 156–7, 163 atemporal 44–5, 198 ‘Author-God’ 42, 46, 51 autopoiesis 47–8, 51, 65–6, 71, 73, 76, 95–6, 98, 100–1, 106 Badiou, Alain 187–9, 191 Balzac, Honoré De 157 Barthes, Roland 42–3, 49, 142, 164 Bataille, Georges 182

beautiful, the 12–13, 15, 27, 72, 111, 181, 205 Beckett, Samuel 51, 146–7, 149, 190, 201 becoming in art 137 and being 48–9, 160, 186 deviation of 4, 34, 38, 48, 57, 77, 104, 129, 133, 135–7, 139–40, 143, 145, 149, 156, 158–9, 172 experimental 23 functional 51 as identical relation 44, 48–9, 131, 136, 187 natural 111–12 primary process of 65, 103, 129, 135, 203 process of 14, 16, 110, 152, 171 and ‘shape’ 4, 172 in Simondon 89–92, 197 unidirectional 171, 194 variability within 131 Bestand 87, 126 ‘black-box’ 9–10, 95–6 bodies actions of 3, 39 active 94 and affect 193 animal 68 and art 51, 137, 150–1, 158 coming into being 51, 65, 102, 119, 164 complex 60, 99, 106, 109, 116, 132, 139, 151, 153, 203 complicating 107 depths of 3, 59–60, 62, 68–9, 76–7, 117, 146–8 differentiation of 4, 109 emergence of 104 evolution of 4, 106, 110–11, 127–8, 172 freezing of 147 infantile 71 intelligibility of 59, 81, 82, 127 interior of 105, 117, 128, 148 living 3, 17, 47, 51, 55, 60, 66, 68, 75–6, 78, 81–2, 88, 94, 97, 104–5, 112, 116, 119, 123, 126, 128, 131, 134, 143, 144, 148, 166, 168, 171, 192, 201, 203, 207, 209 many 105 material 68, 77, 88, 124 and material causes 117, 120, 145–6

Index and minds 54–5, 57–8, 78, 82, 123, 126 multicellular 107 natural 163 other 103, 116, 151, 201 particular 105, 125, 135 and poiesis 135 and primary process 66–7, 70, 104, 110 sensitive 62 simple 158 single cell 106 surface 39, 59, 62, 107, 117, 147, 171 and technē 127, 134, 203 of work 5 calculation abstract 178 and cogitation 63, 81, 127, 153, 207 emergent 24 infinite 207 as logistikós 35, 37, 97, 117, 133, 184 mathematical 188 and ordinal restriction 75, 82 and subjectivity 122, 144, 168, 189, 200 calculative faculty 37, 144, 199 intelligibility 59, 61, 74 in living bodies 60–1, 119, 153, 201, 207 process 46, 48, 135, 190 technē 37, 62, 81, 86, 116, 122, 127, 132, 144, 168–70 work 180 Cartesianism 57, 60, 62, 178, 191, 209 category theory 22–4, 93, 179–80, 189 cathexes 69–71, 74, 94, 193 causality 10, 64, 113, 197, 202 cause and art 38, 41, 132, 137, 173, 181 and beings 64, 202 circulation of material and efficient 3–4, 28, 89–90, 95, 97, 105, 107, 109, 113–14, 122, 126, 132, 136, 149, 160–4, 172, 191, 194, 205 counter- 48, 52, 93 and creation 24, 46, 132 and effect 10, 18, 31, 43, 96, 123, 158, 171 final 33, 38 formal 110, 195 formal and final 34, 41, 89–90, 93, 103, 109, 125

221

ideal 22 and models 16, 27, 83 original 36, 41, 44–5, 47, 74, 136, 149, 171 in pedagogy 39 power to deviate 1, 38, 67, 77, 134 of primary processes 4 singular 12, 100 and subjects 65, 66, 68, 73 transcendent 43, 54 universal 14, 26, 28, 34, 35–6, 62, 92 cell colonies 109 multicellular 106–7, 109, 114, 202 prokaryotic 102, 105, 202 single 101–2, 106, 125, 137, 154, 167, 201, 203 specialized 115–16, 143 stem 203 type 203–4 chance 45, 47, 54, 73, 90–1, 103, 110–11, 114, 130, 164–5, 197 chaos 63, 72–3 cogito 56–9, 63, 68–9, 74, 94, 141, 158, 191, 207 complexity 26, 33, 47, 66, 92, 109, 111, 114, 139, 153, 190–1 computability 20, 178, 179, 199 computation functional 10, 18, 134, 144, 200, 203 limits of 96, 111, 122, 134, 148, 178–9 natural 114, 119, 125 in poiesis 139 in pre-subjective agents 192, 199 rational 37 and technē 76, 97–8, 108–9, 126, 146, 148, 153, 167–8, 173, 200 in thinking subjects 83, 94 computor 96–8, 109, 117, 167, 189, 199 consciousness in art 146 dissolution of 51, 157 fragility of 75, 157 Freudian 68, 70, 113, 205 pre-subjective 201, 209 scepticism of 198 self- 69, 147–8, 153–6, 172 copy 6–7, 24, 33–4, 42, 46, 72, 164

2

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Index

craft (see art) craftsperson 6, 24, 26, 27, 151, 157 master (see technite) creāre 41, 186 creation and art 31, 42, 49–50, 141, 145, 155, 158, 163, 168, 172 and functions 48–51, 131, 145, 178, 190 and knowledge 41, 121, 140, 152 in mathematics 16–17, 21–2, 46, 145 and originality 3, 24, 42–7, 130, 132 and the particular 3, 132, 134, 149 and production 129–30, 143, 150, 205 and technē 75 in the topos 1, 32–3, 40, 94 culture 25, 28–30, 42, 48, 64, 145, 182–3, 190, 196, 198 cyanobacteria 102, 105–8, 134, 202 Danto, Arthur 159 Darwin, 68, 110–13 Dasein 86–8, 189, 196 Deleuze, Gilles 2, 5–9, 13, 16, 40, 54, 177, 189, 198, 199, 201, 204, 205, 207 Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari 178, 181, 191, 209 depth 3, 59–62, 68–9, 76–7, 117–18, 122, 146–8, 182, 191, 204 Descartes, René 56–8, 63, 68, 69, 90, 97, 191 design 29, 89–90, 93 desire 72, 130, 173 deviation and action (f2) 101 and art 133, 135, 137–40, 143, 151–5, 167, 173 dialectic 9, 26–7, 55, 121, 132, 166, 183, 190 exterior (weak) 102–5, 107–10, 116, 126–7, 168, 205 interior (strong) 98, 101, 105, 115, 126 of nature 118, 148, 168, 172 of phusis 3, 28, 32, 63, 79, 83–8, 93, 123, 149, 170 upon poiesis 47, 51, 131–3, 135, 170 and sense (f1) 100–1 and technē 1, 33, 35, 38, 41, 83, 94, 97–9, 100, 122, 124, 128, 156, 160, 168–9, 172 of telos 148, 169

Dickie, George 183 difference autopoietic 94, 104 efficient amplification of 170, 172 emergent 37, 95, 112, 122 and feedback 110, 114, 139, 165 functional 2, 47, 62, 66, 109, 160, 195 and immanent agents 58, 61 making 35, 38, 41, 47 particular 95, 110, 112–14, 126, 139 in poiesis 35, 130, 139 preindividual 89 primary 43, 72, 198–9, 204, 207 technē as generator of 3, 6, 92, 102, 126 Dionysiac 121–2, 140, 147, 186 directionality 62–3, 172, 194 doxa 7–9, 12–13, 15, 31, 72, 153, 189 efficient and art 34, 85, 132, 138 as capacitive 109, 114, 170, 173, 203 and computors 97 and counter-orientation 105, 109, 114, 120, 143 and creative poiesis 3, 128, 137 and deviation 28, 104, 109, 156 and evolution 106–7, 110, 121–2, 127, 139 and extension 105, 205 and form 89 and the living 156, 170, 173, 200 and the particular 109–10, 127, 132, 135, 170 and phusis 34, 85, 129, 138, 147, 149, 156, 158, 170, 196 and poiesis 34–6, 45, 47, 131, 135 and praxis 35–6 and production 138, 148, 150, 165 and structure 89 and technē 40, 61, 79, 90–2, 94, 109–10, 132, 145, 150, 168, 172, 203 and telos 35, 40, 92, 122, 136, 138, 148, 156, 172 ego 51, 69, 113, 193, 205–6 eidos 89, 99, 195 elegance 14, 111 Eliot, Thomas S 144, 157, 166–7, 209 entropy 93, 170 epigenetics 112, 114, 202–3

Index epistasthai 26–7, 29–30, 35, 37, 97, 117, 162, 180–1, 191 epistēmē 12, 20, 24, 60, 90, 118, 126, 127, 177, 207 Aristotelian 33–6, 39–40, 53, 83–4, 116, 131, 184, 186, 197 and art 28, 31, 34, 43, 50–1, 78, 184 and cogito 56, 58 mathematical 96 Platonic 180 and praxis 54–5, 127 in psychoanalysis 70, 71 scientific 13, 15, 111 superiority of 27 and technē 26–7, 28, 39–40, 50, 56, 61–2, 74–6, 86, 86, 93, 97, 99, 119–20, 123–4, 133, 144–5, 148, 154–5 ergon 3, 8, 26–7, 32, 97, 131, 157, 177, 180 error 6, 152, 177 essence 6, 12, 15, 23–5, 89, 93, 95, 103, 106–7, 109, 118, 130–1, 191, 200 essentialism 7, 114, 179 Euclid 178 Euclidian 13–14, 178 event 18, 39, 44, 46–7, 50, 55, 62, 69, 100, 103, 130, 132, 135, 149, 171, 187, 207 evolution 3–4, 23, 47, 68, 89–90, 93, 97, 100, 102–7, 109–14, 121–2, 127–8, 135–7, 139, 163, 171–2, 181, 185, 193, 200–3 existence 46–7, 57–8, 63–4, 106, 113, 130, 171, 179, 187–8 experience 7, 9, 17, 18, 20–1, 27–8, 46, 55, 62, 71, 143, 166, 181–2 (f1) 97–8, 100–1, 108–9, 119, 123, 147, 200 (f2) 98, 101, 108–9, 119, 135–7, 145, 150, 156, 158, 200 fabrication 4, 83, 152 feedback 23, 39, 58, 103–4, 109–10 field of art 2, 25–6, 29, 41–2, 50, 57, 74, 77, 93, 128, 139, 165, 183 form 6–7, 14, 18, 26–7, 33, 89, 96, 103, 106, 110, 127, 139, 179, 189 Foucault, Michel 177, 182 Freud, Sigmund 51, 67–72, 94, 113–14, 153, 163, 193, 203, 205, 209 function 1–207

223

God 45, 57–8, 64, 90, 130, 189 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von 171 granular 70, 97, 209 Heidegger, Martin 86–8, 99, 125, 150, 160, 164, 186, 189, 196, 208 heterogeny 6, 72, 102, 134, 166, 180 homo sapiens 127, 182 Husserl, Edmund 191 ‘I’ 68, 75, 207 icônes 6–7, 33 id 71, 113, 193, 205 idea 6, 14, 17, 20, 22, 29, 43, 54–6, 58, 66, 70, 72–3, 88, 94, 117, 119, 122, 144–5, 152, 168, 181, 187, 204 image 6–7, 12, 15, 33, 60, 140, 143, 160–2, 206 image of thought 9, 177 imitation 1, 12–13, 16, 33–5, 37–9, 42–3, 83, 85, 132, 184–6, 194–5, 206 immanence 26, 41, 58, 61, 170, 208 individuation 51, 89, 95, 103, 115–16, 141, 164, 172–3, 198 infinite 6, 18–19, 178, 190, 197, 199, 205, 207 infinitesimal 6, 10, 100, 102, 105 infinity 18, 178 information 74, 91–2, 136, 162, 201 inherence 36, 38, 40, 185, 190 insuperable indigence 51 intentionality and affective power 28, 103 and agency 74, 85 in art 6, 84, 127, 135–7, 140, 142, 144–6, 150–9, 163–5, 167, 180, 185, 206, 209 authorial 51 in bodies 66, 71, 82, 118, 125, 148 and creative poiesis 138, 142, 150, 156 and deviating cause 85 and efficient causation 85, 105, 107, 138, 143 fabricating 89–91 and inherence 40 and intelligence 33 and –jet (f2) 85, 98, 102, 108, 117, 119, 145, 150, 156, 200 and material causation 145, 148

24

224

Index

and models 7 and nature 29 and the particular 95 and phusis 32, 99, 106, 138, 148, 173 and poiesis 38, 132 pre-subjective 56, 68–9, 119, 153, 209 primitive 101, 106 and sense 98, 156, 164 and shaping 4, 38, 91 and subjects 67, 68, 73, 82, 89, 117–19, 122–3, 128, 198, 207 and technē 26, 38, 66, 70, 71, 74, 79, 81, 87–8, 94, 98, 109, 116, 112, 135, 144, 153–4, 157–8, 163–5, 168, 170, 200, 208 and technology 163–5, 196–7 and telos 114, 122, 136–40 Intuitionism 25, 45 Irigaray, Luce 184 Kandinsky, Wassily 154, 159, 173 Kauffman, Stuart A 100, 200 Klee, Paul 172 Kleist, Heinrich von 155 knowledge 4, 25, 78, 81, 94, 146, 182, 197, 201 Aristotelian divisions of 26–8, 34, 36–7, 181, 184–5 and art 27–8, 30, 133, 173, 206 and creation 41, 121, 140, 152 disciplinary 141 and epistasthai 30, 180–1 and functions 32, 134 immanent 39, 166 and mastery 41, 68 mathematical 22 and models 41 paranoiac 72, 193 and poiesis 130 and praxis 28, 206 and psychoanalysis 70–2, 86 revelatory 16 and technē 28, 120 Lacan, Jacques 57, 70–3, 75, 86, 118, 119, 122, 141, 144, 191, 193, 204, 206 Lamarck, Jean Baptiste 110–12, 121 Lamarckism 113–14, 136, 163

Lautman, Albert 21–2, 24, 177 life 42–3, 92–3, 100–2, 106, 112, 128, 139, 162, 166, 173, 177, 184, 186, 200–1, 206, 209 logistikós 33, 35, 37, 59, 81, 97, 117, 127, 133, 144, 181, 184, 186 machine 82, 88–90, 92, 151–2, 158, 162, 164–5, 196, 199–201, 209 making or creating 4, 26, 41, 41, 44–5, 132 and poiesis 26 and technē 33 Mallarmé, Stéphane 147 Mandelbrot, Benoit 13, 178 mastery 27–8, 37, 143, 150–6, 162, 164, 167, 196 material animate/inanimate 200 and art 5, 25–1, 49, 55, 78, 84, 150, 152, 160, 173, 183, 185, 205–6 and bodies 39, 68, 77, 88, 117, 119–20, 124, 146 cause 28, 33, 37, 48, 85, 97, 104–5, 117, 119, 122, 143–5, 148, 170, 173, 197, 205 copy 6 and craft 35, 84–5 deviations upon 109, 122, 137, 145, 156, 170 end 145 evolution 90, 100 and formal 194 and function 28, 122, 144 and ideal 15, 25 inert 93 know-how 26–7, 29, 31 mastery of 151, 155 and model 6 natural 145, 185 object 6, 140 ontology 198 and phusis 94, 127 praxis 31 as primary process 105–6, 109, 114, 117, 124, 136, 152, 158 process 78, 90, 143, 152 production 160–1, 163, 165

Index and repetition 104–5, 132 and technē 87, 119–20, 126 and technology 82–3, 89–90 world 13–15, 75 mathematics abscissa 178 applied 12, 15 and art 24–5, 205 axioms 17, 20, 96, 191 and creation 16, 20–2, 25, 28, 132, 145 effective 22 and epistēmē 12 and functions 15–17, 20, 23, 28, 122 and general form of problems 12, 16, 19 and human computation 83, 96, 111 and models 15–16, 22 natural numbers 18–19 praxis 47, 111 pure 3, 9, 12–13, 15–16, 21, 24 and synthetic unity 22 and technē 96 and theory as tool 12 matter 89, 100, 172, 192, 195, 198–9, 209 Maturana, Humberto R 47, 101, 190 mechanical 60, 69, 90, 124, 136, 153, 158, 160, 162, 199 metaphysics 1, 3, 33, 41, 47, 89, 113, 137, 139, 186, 194, 196, 198–9, 204 method artistic 5, 8, 25, 52, 146, 162, 183 Cartesian 56–8, 60, 68–9, 97, 113, 191 deductive 45 dialectical 26 and function 56 and general form of problems 33 of good living 186 mathematical 21, 191 philosophical 40, 53–6, 188–9 of production 143 scientific 127 Socratic 9, 54 and technē 57, 180–1 mimesis 1, 6, 33–4, 38–41, 84, 99, 125, 154 mind and body 15, 21, 54–5, 62, 70, 75, 81–2, 126, 143, 198, 204 and consciousness 68

225

philosophy of 193 and technē 66–7, 156, 168 mirror stage 70, 118–19, 141, 193 model and activity 19 aesthetic 48, 111 and affective power 14–15, 21 and agency 59 Aristotelian 34, 38, 106 and art 8, 25–9, 32, 34, 42, 50, 140, 143, 205 authority of 15, 16, 28, 43 and being 14, 19 and cause 10, 16, 62, 83, 89, 111, 194 and certitude 57, 59, 63 classical 13, 23 -copy 7 and creation 41, 44, 48, 50 and dialectic 9, 26–7, 54 and doxa 12 epistemological 23–4, 48, 53, 57, 61, 72, 93, 120, 147, 152 and the eternal 52, 92 and experience 18 and function 8, 11–12, 14–16, 21, 23, 56, 167 interior confirmation to 8, 14, 20, 131 and judgement 9, 39, 48 mathematical 21, 24 ontological 23, 42, 44, 47, 76, 88, 186, 188–9, 190 overcoming the 45 philosophical 12, 53 Platonic 6, 19, 21–2, 24, 32, 34, 43, 44, 72, 99 and poiesis 41 predictive 10 and problem 33, 45, 167, 180, 191, 198 and production 8, 44–5, 48, 90 property of 25 and representation 7–8, 39–40, 119, 206 resolution 19, 23 to secure the 45, 86 theoretical 47, 122, 152 of thought 5–6 and topos 39 and unity 27, 32, 43–4, 72, 75 modernism 147 morphē 38, 85, 89, 136, 185, 195

26

226

Index

nature and art 25, 33–4, 77, 94, 99, 171, 173, 185, 195–6, 204 and creation 20 deviation of 3, 118, 126 and functions 20, 67 and original cause 34, 43, 45, 54, 98, 128, 189 and the particular 1 and phusis 86, 132, 160, 172, 196 re-problematization of 172 and strong determination 64 and technē 4, 32, 84, 86, 88, 98, 101, 123, 124–5, 131 and technology 99, 126, 158 and topos 1, 33, 40, 84, 94 universal 12, 23, 26, 28–9, 34, 86, 131, 149 negentropic 93, 170 new materialism 198 Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm 41, 52, 121, 129, 140, 142, 152, 173, 186 ontogenesis 89–92, 197 ordinality 44–6, 48, 62, 75, 82, 119, 134, 143, 145–7, 186, 207 organism 101–2, 106–7, 109, 112, 114, 125, 163, 201–3 organs 59–60, 114, 116–17, 143, 151, 154–7, 162, 164, 167–9, 203, 204 painting 13, 135–6, 160–2, 205 parapraxes 69 particular, the and art 49, 126 and counter-cause 93 and creation 3, 46, 126 and creative poiesis 133–4, 166 and difference 95 and efficient causation 110, 126 emergent properties of 21, 63, 77 and evolution 93, 106, 112 and functions 92 and the general 2, 19, 47, 93, 95, 98, 113, 172 and the origin 173 and phusis 33, 95, 128, 149, 158, 170, 172–3

power of 1, 4, 77, 79, 89, 93, 97, 113, 125, 132, 160 and singularity 46, 134, 149 and subjects 71 and technē 28, 36, 41, 83, 87, 88, 91, 98, 125, 149 as unity 23 and the universal 6, 93, 100, 194 pastiche 49, 164, 167, 190 pedagogy 38–40, 143, 154–5, 186 phantasmes 6–7 photosynthesis 105–7 phronēsis 35–7, 184–6 phusis and affective power 85 apprehension of 98, 100 Aristotelian 73 and art 3–4, 33, 38–9, 41, 84, 128, 136–7, 145, 172–3 automaticity 1, 32, 63, 85, 99, 172 and becoming 34, 149 and being 87, 99 counteractive force upon 40, 82, 87, 147 and creative poiesis 171–2 deviation of 1, 32, 79, 84–5, 86, 88, 93, 98–9, 123–4, 128, 145, 160 and efficient and material cause 95, 149 encountering 41, 122, 127, 148, 171 as eternal and unchanging 13, 86 and formal cause 85, 94 and functions 85 and generative processes 82, 84, 100, 102, 118 Greek 77 and imitation 85, 132, 135, 195 and models 88 naturalizing 94, 126 and nous 7 and the particular 33, 149, 158, 172 and poiesis 129, 132, 150 primary 77, 84, 95, 98, 120, 173, 200 and production 106 re-problematizing 83, 172 and rival circulation (efficient cause) 94–5, 132 shaping 156, 172 and technē 37, 40, 81–4, 86–8, 101–2, 110, 124, 128, 148, 151, 155, 160, 200 and technology 86–7, 164

Index and telos 85–6, 100, 104, 125, 132, 138, 170, 173 transformation of 147 phylogenetic 70, 113 Plato 10, 26, 34, 37, 41, 54–5, 87, 97, 128, 180, 185, 189, 204, 205 Platonism 1, 6–8, 14, 16, 21, 27, 32, 35, 43, 46, 73, 84, 161, 177–80, 187, 189 poetics 1, 87, 129, 144, 147, 162, 164–6, 186, 191, 205, 208 poiesis Aristotelian 53 and art 1, 24, 26, 33, 36, 47, 49–50, 79, 99, 131, 150 and being 33, 38, 47, 129, 131, 186 and creation 44, 49, 51, 130 creative 4, 24, 33, 51, 132–7, 139–42, 145–8, 150–3, 155–9, 161–2, 166, 169, 171–2, 206 deviation of 38, 51, 88, 127, 132, 139, 158, 160 dividing 92, 149 and efficient causes 36 and epistēmē 50 and ergon 26 and forms 26 and functions 27, 47, 131, 139 and general form of the problem 16, 20, 44, 129–31, 143 as identical relation 130–1 and making 34–7, 78 as making or creating 41, 44–5, 130, 132 and mastery 156 and mimesis 33 and origin 45, 47, 133, 149 and the particular 132–3 and phusis 87, 132, 150, 164 and praxis 33–8, 40, 59, 131, 184 and production 44, 130 productive 47, 51, 132–7, 139–42, 145, 147–8, 150–1, 153, 155–7, 161, 155–1 singular 4, 133, 138 and technē 35, 40, 49, 62, 131, 143, 158, 160, 164 and telos 34–8, 40, 185 unidirectional 48, 49, 54, 87–8, 129, 149–50, 160, 171, 207

227

as universal process 41, 45–7, 49, 129–31, 165 variation within 47, 49, 131, 163 practice 22–3, 25, 27, 29, 34–5, 39–40, 54– 5, 58, 61, 113, 151, 155–6, 160–5, 181, 188, 191, 209 praxis and action 35, 38 and agents 89, 137 Aristotelian 37, 181, 184, 186 and art 37, 140, 143, 146, 183 artistic 3, 5–6, 8, 31–2, 34–5, 37–9, 41, 43, 46, 48–52, 55, 61, 74, 76–9, 140, 150, 153–4, 156–8, 166, 170, 181, 183, 185, 205 creative 24, 28, 50, 126, 145, 147 and epistēmē 39, 53–5, 78, 127 and experience 27 experimental 17, 24, 60, 62, 68, 127 and knowledge 28 material 31 mathematical 15, 17, 88, 111 nature of 55 philosophical 56 and phronēsis 36–7 and phusis 129 and poiesis 33–8, 40, 59, 129, 131, 184 and production 133, 158 scientific 88 and technē 58, 81, 154, 156, 206 and telos 36–7, 185 and theory 15, 75, 81 and thought 55, 58, 81, 191 and ‘work of art’ 2 problem aesthetic 27 of art 1, 25, 32, 36–7, 40, 45, 48–9, 77–8, 85, 120, 128, 131, 139–40, 158, 173, 181, 183 complex 1, 33, 44, 50, 55, 72 and creative power 77, 92 in Deleuze 5–9, 177, 191, 204 emergence of 59, 117 functional 4, 9, 12, 16, 20, 25, 27, 47, 58, 67, 79, 92, 113, 149, 207 general form of 10, 12, 15–17, 19–20, 23, 25, 27, 33–4, 36, 43–4, 48, 54, 62, 64–5, 69, 77, 82, 90, 92, 103, 113, 130, 135–6, 149, 167, 171, 173, 180, 189

28

228

Index

generative 3, 6, 10, 43, 52, 95, 129, 198 mathematical 13 and model 6 nature of 2, 5, 16, 61, 62, 73, 113, 124 and the particular 124–6 and phusis 172 and propositions 14 and resolution 20, 23, 55, 111, 126 and solution 5, 8–10, 13, 15–16, 19, 45, 47, 54, 73, 86, 91, 124, 167 of technē 37, 46, 53, 56–7, 62–3, 67, 75, 77, 81, 86, 91, 123–4, 143, 159, 161, 193 and topos 45, 94 process abstracting 18–20, 43, 62, 86 and art 28 of becoming 4, 14, 38, 44, 48–9, 77, 89–90, 92, 104, 129–31, 136, 140, 156, 159, 171, 195 and being 17, 35, 65, 73, 101, 187–90 causal 26 circulation of ‘rival’ 4, 41, 77, 94, 114, 122, 127, 132, 142, 166, 169 contingency between 23, 107 counter-oriented 38, 59, 88, 120, 126, 134–5, 150, 163 and creation 48, 52, 129, 150, 171–3 creative 24, 49, 132, 134, 138–9, 152, 162–3 deviating 4, 33, 98, 134, 137, 138, 145, 170, 173 of deviating phusis 51, 67, 73, 79, 87–8, 95, 105–6, 120, 126–7, 133, 150, 157 dual 39–40, 55, 65, 68, 70, 82, 104, 112, 121, 142, 148 dynamic 19 emergent 65, 70, 100, 112 and functions 16 identical 44–5, 48, 130–1 and infinite computation 10, 18 and model 19 natural 17, 94, 100, 111, 125 of particularization 2 primary 4, 27, 53, 57, 65–7, 74, 82, 92–3, 98, 102, 104, 110, 112, 121–2, 124, 126–7, 130, 165, 171, 202, 205 and produced 8, 36, 48–9, 63, 120, 169 and product 8, 35–6, 64, 159, 162

recursive 19, 39, 56, 76, 127, 201 repetitious 19–20, 46 secondary, efficient 4, 65–7, 92–3, 107, 109, 112, 114, 121–2, 126–7, 135, 158, 167–8, 170, 172–3, 202 ‘self ’ 74–5 shaping 4, 89–91, 132, 138, 170, 172 singular 4 and technē 28, 58, 65–6, 75–6, 98, 103–4 and telos 37–8, 89 transformative 4, 23, 38, 153 unchanging 12, 18 prokaryotic 102, 105, 202 psychoanalysis 3, 31, 68, 133, 191 purpose 5, 25, 29, 31, 34, 37, 85–6, 89, 99–100, 136–7, 173, 185, 194–6 randomness 50, 64, 100, 103, 111, 130, 165 readymade 159, 165, 169 real 6, 15, 20, 22, 24, 28, 33, 43, 71–3, 75, 194, 206 reason 7, 153, 190, 196, 207 recursion 19, 56, 58, 90–2, 97, 100, 104–5, 109–10, 126–7, 149, 151, 154, 169, 172, 181, 194, 201, 202 Reich, Steve 158 relation abstract 9, 16, 20, 41, 48, 74, 96, 140 and art 25, 48, 78, 143, 146, 168 cause-effect 10, 18 and consistency 19 and domain/codomain 19 and epistēmē 20 foundational 12 and function 8–10, 12–13, 16–23, 25, 35, 41, 47, 49, 55, 65, 66, 73, 86, 92, 96, 123–4, 128, 131, 159, 168, 190, 200 identical 8, 16, 19, 43–4, 47, 49, 54, 65 and immanent events 22, 54, 55, 62, 166 intrinsic 6 medial 13 model-copy 7 and the particular 112 and poiesis 47, 49, 92, 130–1 and process 18–19, 22, 73, 138, 159 reduction of function to 17, 19, 44, 86, 144, 186, 190 and repetition 20 sets of 10

Index symbolic 117–19 and technē 122–4, 140 repetition and art 85, 155–6 and creative transformation 20, 72, 134, 150 and function 105, 145 and intensification 153 and material cause 132 and phusis 172 and productive poiesis 134–6, 138–9, 145, 150, 152, 154–5, 158 property of the function 46, 179, 200 pure 20, 134, 136 and universals 125, 205 representation 6–8, 19, 25, 28, 38–9, 44, 144, 147, 205–7 resting state 59–61, 66, 74 romanticism 4, 78 Schrödinger, Erwin 92–3, 170, 199, 201 Seig, Wilfried 207, 208 sense and action 3, 76, 106, 139, 141, 153, 157, 164 capacity 59, 94, 101, 108 in complex functional conjugation 3, 82, 95–7, 101, 126, 136, 173 diffusion of 60 function of 59, 62, 66–7, 76, 85, 97–8, 100–1, 109, 116–17, 168, 199 and intelligence 67, 97, 119 -making 4, 8–9, 40, 56, 133, 140, 142, 147, 152, 159–60, 164, 173, 177, 190 and meaning 140–3, 159 non- 45, 73, 130, 191 as problematic 62, 117 -production 42–3, 49, 59, 60, 81, 142, 146, 147, 155, 165, 182 and technē 59, 95–8, 108–9, 116 set theory 178, 180, 188 shape 4, 28, 38, 85, 89–91, 122, 132, 136–7, 148–9, 156, 169, 172, 195 sign 30, 39, 48, 146, 182, 208 signifier 42, 145–7, 154, 169 Simondon, Gilbert 11–12, 96–100, 102, 105, 111, 144, 168, 172, 196–7, 206–7, 209 simulacrum 6–7, 33–4, 43, 46, 62

229

singularity 10, 44, 46, 50, 130, 187 social, the 29, 30–1, 49, 117, 161, 183, 196, 202, 206 Socrates 26, 180 Socratic 9, 54–5, 180–1 Sophia 36, 184 sovereign 63, 192 spatial 13–14, 62, 187 spatio-temporal 75, 103, 114, 144, 207 species 110 structuralism 42–4, 141–2, 145, 189, 191 subject and agency 57, 63, 65, 67–8, 71, 75, 77–9, 141–2 and art 31, 42, 57, 74, 76, 143, 159, 167–8 and artist 49, 51, 163, 165 and becoming 74 and being 57, 65–6, 83, 118, 124, 156–7 and causation 64–5 collective 141 complex conjugation of 65–6, 73, 76, 145 computational limits of 111 and consciousness 70, 148, 154–5 and creation 42, 51 disciplinary 96, 141–3, 147, 206 dissolution of 51, 86, 121–2, 142, 147–8, 163, 173 of enunciation 141, 185, 191, 204 and epistēmē 70–2, 78, 120, 123, 193 formation 4, 65, 76, 81, 86, 88, 96–7, 99, 114–16, 118–21, 123, 127, 137, 141, 157, 169, 172, 182 fragility of 75–6, 156–7, 204 functional re-problematization of 65, 67, 73–4, 81, 144, 166 as general form of problem 64, 82, 126 individual 147, 152 and intentionality 69, 74, 81–2, 85, 90, 118, 122, 163, 165 –jet 63, 65–7, 72–6, 81–2, 85, 91, 117, 119, 135–7, 145, 150, 156, 192 nature of 57, 64, 72–3, 78, 95 and the particular 125 and phusis 122 pre- 69–72, 163 as problematic 67 proto- 141 resolution of 43, 69, 82, 124

230

230

Index

sub- 63, 65–7, 72–3, 75–6, 85, 117, 119, 123, 172, 192 and technē 57–8, 63–5, 69, 76, 78–9, 81, 107, 119, 121–2, 127, 140–1, 143, 152, 154, 164, 169, 172, 192 theory 55, 63, 123 thinking 3, 54, 56, 59, 68, 81, 83, 118, 159, 168 transcendent 42, 130 unidirectional conjugation of 65, 67 symbolic 71, 81, 127, 141, 204, 207 technē and abstraction 147–8 and affective power 81–2, 84, 87, 94, 192 and agency 57, 63, 68–9, 91, 93, 141 Aristotelian 3, 28, 35, 37, 70, 84, 92, 99, 181, 184, 190, 195 and art 2–3, 14, 33, 37–8, 41, 51, 53, 55, 74–5, 85, 93, 122, 131, 137, 140, 146–8, 156, 166, 169, 173, 184 autopoiesis in 66, 107–9 and becoming 92 and being 56 in bodies and ideas 55, 58–9, 66, 71–2, 74–6, 93–4, 127, 144, 152, 172 and calculation 37, 59, 62, 75, 81, 86, 97, 109, 132, 144, 200 and causation 28–9, 65, 84–6, 92, 97, 126 and certitude 54–5, 58 in collective 106 as complex functional conjugation 1, 33, 66–7, 73–4, 76, 88, 94, 96, 97–8, 102–3, 105, 136 action (f2) 98 sense (f1) 98, 147 and computor 98, 117 and craft 26, 138, 177, 180 and creative poiesis 135, 138, 146, 157, 169, 171 of cyanobacteria 102, 107 and deviation 85, 101, 118, 122, 170 by degree 102 by recursion 103 and directionality 61–2 and epistēmē 26–8, 39–40, 50, 53–4, 56, 70, 75, 86, 120 and ergon 3, 26

in evolutionary processes 3, 101–6, 172, 200 and function 26, 28, 37, 46, 54, 56, 93, 109, 122, 135, 145 functional re-problematization of 3, 37, 56–7, 61–2, 64, 77–8, 81, 86, 88, 90, 95, 100, 123–4, 128, 198–9 in hierarchy 108–9, 116, 154, 157 ‘higher/highest’ 116–20, 123, 144, 151, 153–7, 162, 164, 168, 172 homo technē 128 and identical relation 54–5 and immanent apprehension 56–8, 69 and intelligence 33, 75, 203 and intentionality 135–8, 143, 150, 158 interior conjugation 98, 101, 126, 139 and knowledge 35, 37, 39, 180–1, 193 ‘lower’ 107, 114, 116, 153–4 in matter 100 ‘medial’ 114, 116, 151, 154–7, 162, 164, 168, 204 and mimesis 39, 41 mobility of 75, 120, 156 and nature 3–4, 41 ordinal restriction 62, 75, 82, 143 orientation 147 in parallel 107–9 and the particular 49, 63, 83, 87, 91, 102, 124–5, 158 and phusis 32, 40–1, 79, 81, 83–4, 86–8, 94–5, 99, 106, 110, 151, 160, 164 and poiesis 26, 36–8, 40, 62, 149, 158 pre-subjective 70–2 primordial 100, 139 as problematic 2, 40, 55, 77, 91, 95 and productive poiesis 134, 138, 150, 157, 171 as rational faculty 3, 37 resolution of 54, 58 and subjects 55, 57, 63–7, 71–6, 82, 85, 114–15, 118–21 to technē 154, 167, 169, 172 and technology 82–4, 88, 99, 125, 160, 164, 196 and telos 37–8, 40, 110, 125, 136, 160 and topos 1, 33, 36, 41, 53, 61, 79, 94, 131 triadic schema of 61

Index technite 26, 28, 36, 138, 150, 152, 157, 161, 180–1 technology 3–4, 81–4, 86–8, 94, 97, 99, 109, 124, 132, 138, 151, 158–60, 162–3, 196, 208 teleology 34, 38, 58, 99, 103, 136, 149, 205 telos 4, 34–40, 85, 89, 92–3, 97, 99, 100, 104, 107, 110, 114, 122, 125, 127, 132, 136–8, 149, 160, 169, 170, 172–3, 184–5, 190, 194 temporal 44–5, 62, 207 throw 63, 65–6, 72–3, 75, 81, 118, 120, 127, 192–3 Tiresias 166–7, 209 tool 12, 29, 30, 89, 152, 164, 196 topology 24 topos Aristotelian 40, 59, 61, 63, 81, 85, 100, 136, 139 complex problem 1, 33, 45, 79, 94, 132 general form 33 inaugural/Greek 39, 41, 53, 55, 84, 94, 116, 126, 131 topos theory 93 transcendence 1, 16, 130 transcendent 7–8, 25, 40–3, 45, 68, 70, 73, 75, 83, 87, 103, 107, 113, 128, 130, 136, 149, 158, 166, 181, 184, 186, 189, 194, 198, 205 transduction 90, 196 tree 85, 125, 136 Turing Alan M. 28, 104, 178–9, 198, 207–8

231

viewer 147, 167, 170 void 44–5, 47, 51, 64, 73, 123, 130, 148, 155

unconscious 68–9, 75 unity autopoietic higher 167 and difference 24 and function 52 ideal 8, 62 and knowledge 69, 72, 207 and mathematics 21–4 and model 14, 23, 27, 32, 44–5, 72, 75, 190 synthetic 6, 14, 22, 24, 55 and technē 40 utilitarianism 26

Weyl, Hermann 186 Wilde, Oscar 179 Wimsatt and Beardsley 208 Woolf, Virginia 154 work of art and aesthetics 8, 30 and art object 8, 136 and creation 50–1, 126, 142, 147, 168, 172 and creative poiesis 133, 148, 150, 153, 155–6, 158, 161, 166 and deviation 4, 132, 138, 143, 145, 169 and efficient cause 85, 120–1, 147, 160 encounter with 31, 168 and epistēmē 4, 28, 161 fragmentation of 78, 167 as functional problem 25, 29, 34, 48, 170 and intentionality 142, 145, 163–5, 167, 180, 207 in itself 2, 138 and judgement 27 and mastery 153 and material causes 145 and mimesis 34, 84, 125 and nature 99, 172 and originality 49, 160, 165 and the particular 49, 126 and phusis 99, 110, 128 and poiesis 18, 87, 99, 132, 149–50 and praxis 2, 35, 140, 153 and productive effects 31–2, 36, 42, 48, 140–1, 145–6, 159 and productive poiesis 133, 143, 151, 159, 162 and reciprocal workflow 38, 59, 79, 120, 156, 167–8 and subjective dissolution 122, 142, 156–7, 172–3 and subjects 31, 52 and technē 55, 84, 123, 127, 146–7, 156, 164 and telos 122, 138, 170

veracity 6–7, 14–15, 58, 60, 111–12, 189

Zalamea, Fernando 30

23