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Schizoanalysis and Asia: Deleuze, Guattari and Postmedia
 1538157756, 9781538157756

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Schizoanalysis and Asia

Schizoanalysis and Asia Deleuze, Guattari and Postmedia

Joff P. N. Bradley Foreword by Toshiya Ueno


Lanham • Boulder • New York • London

Published by Rowman & Littlefield An imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. 4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, Maryland 20706 www​.rowman​.com 86-90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE Copyright © 2022 by The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote passages in a review. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Information Available Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Bradley, Joff, author. Title: Schizoanalysis and Asia : Deleuze, Guattari and postmedia / Joff P. N. Bradley ; foreword by Toshiya Ueno. Description: Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield, an imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., [2022] | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2022032743 (print) | LCCN 2022032744 (ebook) | ISBN 9781538157756 (cloth) | ISBN 9781538157763 (epub) Subjects: LCSH: Deleuze, Gilles, 1925–1995. | Guattari, Félix, 1930–1992. | Psychoanalysis and philosophy. | Philosophy, Asian. Classification: LCC B2430.D454 B73 2022 (print) | LCC B2430.D454 (ebook) | DDC 150.19/5—dc23/eng/20221004 LC record available at LC ebook record available at ∞ ™ The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992.

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Acknowledgmentsvii Foreword: A Portrait of the “Native Stranger” Traversing the Schizo-Orient xi Toshiya Ueno Introduction xxiii SECTION 1: “JAPAN”


1 Is the Otaku Becoming-Overman?


2 On Guattari’s “Japan”


3 On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons


4 From the Exterminating Angel to Guattari’s Scarecrow


5 Fukushima: The Geo-trauma of a Futural Wave 65 6 Guattari and Pachinko: Deadly Ritournelle, Himatsubushi-Tinguely Machines 81 SECTION 2: POSTMEDIA


7 The Zerrissenheit of Subjectivity


8 Machinic Dopamine Junkies and the (Im)mobile Walk(less)man


9 Schizoanalysis of Pokémon Go


10 On the Disordering Ritornello of Graffiti v






11 Zhibo, Existential Territory, Inter-Media-Mundia: A Guattarian Analysis


12 On Deadly Spirals of Ipseity: Hikikomori, Trauma and Resistance


13 On the BwO of the Hikikomori


14 On the Prospects of Virilio’s Pedagogy of the Image


15 A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference




16 The Delirious Abstract Machines of Jean Tinguely


17 Ango the Schizo: Deleuze, Daraku, Downgoing


18 On Nonhuman Machinic Love




The articles and book chapters in the collection have been published in a dozen countries over the last decade. The first essay was published in 2013, the most recent essay was written in 2021. Every essay responded to a particular issue or problem which presented itself to me. I have slightly edited some essays, modified titles, corrected typographical errors and so on, and added and removed paragraphs here and there for the sake of consistency and to make the passage through the book an easier task for the readers. The book is divided into four main sections. The first covers “Japan,” the second and third Postmedia and Mental Ecology, respectively, and the fourth Aesthetics and Literature. The first chapter on Alexandre Kojève introduces the importance of “Japan” as a philosophical problem. This is followed by a chapter shedding light on Guattari’s interest in “Japan.” In chapters 3 through 6, I argue for the continued importance of the task of schizoanalysis. In chapters 7 to 10 I look at the application of schizoanalysis to questions of postmedia, and to cultural phenomena in Japan and Asia. In chapters 11 to 15, I turn to the question of mental ecology. The last section addresses questions of aesthetics and literature. I thank the following publishers for their kind permission to reprint material from the following articles and book chapters: Is the otaku becoming-overman? Bulletin of Human Science Research, Toyo University, 15, pp. 115–133, 2013. On Guattari’s Japan, Journal of the International Association of Japanese Studies, 4, pp. 15–20, 2019.




On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons, Chul Hak Sa Sang, Journal of Philosophical Ideas, Institute of Philosophy, Seoul National University, pp. 365–394, 2017. From the Exterminating Angel to Guattari’s Scarecrow, Journal of English Language and Literature (JELL), 65. 3, pp. 361–75. 2019. Fukushima, The Geo-trauma of a Futural Wave, Trans-Humanities, with David R. Cole and Rick Dolphijn, University of Hawai'i Press, pp. 211– 233, 2016. Guattari and Pachinko: Deadly Ritournelle, Himatsubushi-Tinguely Machines, Journal of the International Association of Japanese Studies, 2, pp. 13–22, 2016. The Zerrissenheit of Subjectivity, Tamkang Review, 44.2, pp. 37–62, 2014. Machinic Dopamine Junkies and the (Im)Mobile Walk (Less)Man. Bogue, R, Chiu, H, Lee, Y, Deleuze and Asia, Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 121–143, 2014. Schizoanalysis of PokémonGo, China Media Research, 15. 4, pp. 78–91, 2019. On the Disordering Ritornello of Graffiti, Criticism and Theory, The Criticism and Theory Society of Korea, 25-3, pp. 261–281, 2020. Zhibo, Existential Territory, Inter-Media-Mundia: A Guattarian Analysis, China Media Research, 13. 4, pp. 77–89. 2017. A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference, Explorations in Media Ecology, 14.1-2, pp. 107–124, 2015. On the Prospects of Virilio’s Pedagogy of the Image, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 53:7, pp. 706–718, 2021. The Delirious Abstract Machines of Jean Tinguely. MacCormack, P., & Gardner, C. Ecosophical Aesthetics: Art, Ethics and Ecology with Guattari, London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 193–213, 2018. Ango the Schizo: Deleuze, Daraku, Downgoing, See, T. & Bradley, J.P.N. Deleuze and Buddhism, Palgrave-Macmillan, pp. 69–97, 2016. On Nonhuman Machinic Love, Trans-Humanities, with Sabine Weber, 11-2, pp. 173–204, 2018. I wish to thank 藤貫書由子「Kiyuko Fujinuki 」 for the permission to use her artwork. The kanji 烈 which names the painting suggests to me the color of anger, rage and violence. Red predominates. It is the visceral explosion not of the natural violence of the earthquake which shook and devastated Japan in 2011 but a reaction to the country’s politics which craved nuclear energy despite the dangers to a conformist population. Japan’s politics has its own hue of structural violence. The violence of Japanese politics blows a strong wind throughout the country, which tears and splits and rends the socius. It is a politics which cleaves and cuts into fragments the fabric of the



archipelago. The color invoked in the painting reflects the break in the heart of Japan. It is a color of severance—a mad color which bursts all asunder. It is a color reflecting a rift, a rip, a tear, a slit, a crack, a fissure, a chasm, a crevice in the ground of Japan. The [烈] “Re” or “Rekka” is the lacerated wound of Japan. My story about Anti-Oedipus goes like this. My mum told me when I got back to Bolton after finishing university in 1994 that I needed to get a haircut, to pack that philosophy blathering in, and get a real job. I summarily did, straight back to where I left off, drinking dark mild on Thursday nights, after working 12 to 8 in the evening in the warehouse at a large bakery. Things had changed though. Before I went to the factory I would sometimes travel by train to Manchester to the bookstore on Oxford Road where I would buy a few philosophy books and read them during the break at work. One morning on my way back from Bolton train station, I bumped into an old friend from primary school. N had had an arranged marriage with a Pakistani woman from his village who wasn’t much of a looker by all accounts. I never actually met her even though I went to his house several times. They seemed to live in separate rooms and I don’t think she got out much either. I think at the time N had a few kids as well and was stressed out with that and being on the dole. Many Pakistanis continue to have a hard time in Bolton with racial prejudice. N also had a nagging drug habit. On the sly, he was renting a room in a dilapidated terrace house on Chadwick Street facing Bolton Institute of Higher Education campus, now the University of Bolton. At the time the area was rife with prostitutes and drugs. But this dank room was an island of mental respite from the strictures of his religion and the prying eyes of local religious elders. N invited me in for a brew. On this drizzly weekday morning, not knowing what to do with the rest of my life, I was in this hell hole of a bedsit. N asked me did I want a bit of smack. I turned him down and I pulled out of my bag the book I had bought that morning. As he started doing his thing, I started to read Anti-Oedipus. Some time passed and down from the high, N looked at me quizzically and went quiet for a moment. He then grabbed the book and read a few random lines. A mental spasm looming on his face, he grinned and looked up, shook his head and threw the book back at me. I was off my fucking head! That’s when I decided I had to leave England. I wish to thank several people for motivating me to try my hand at writing. David R. Cole of Western Sydney University, the world’s foremost expert on education and Deleuze, was chief among them because it was David, now more than fifteen years ago, who encouraged me to become involved in academic life outside of Japan. I wish to thank Anna Powell and Felicity Colman because it was they who realized that I was never going to finish my doctorate through the



orthodox route and encouraged me to publish my thesis by using the stack of publications I had already amassed in Japan. I doubt without their intervention I would still be floundering as I was when I first met them in Manchester. To my colleagues and friends in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Philippines, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere in Asia and across the planet who have allowed me to thrive in their company. My indebtedness goes out to them as they inspire me to write and speak about Deleuze and Guattari. The encounter enlivens my existence. To the irreplaceable Faustina Johnson in India who has been helping me with first-rate editorial duties throughout the process and has proved an invaluable assistant. Japanese sweets are on the way to her. And last but not least, to my wife Miho and my children Tetsuya and Hinako who with a combination of advanced Boltonian humor and gentle Japanese mocking soon put me in my place when I get a little bit too cocky or lofty. They care little of my books and essays and prefer a less grumpy father and husband who can from time to time do a bit of DIY around the house and also clean up after himself. Sorry for being おっさん (ossan means a middleaged old fart in Japanese).

Foreword A Portrait of the “Native Stranger” Traversing the Schizo-Orient Toshiya Ueno

JOFF’S BOOGIE The sky above the suburban city was no longer the “color of television tuned to a dead channel” but, perhaps for both the author and myself, the palette of machinic assemblages. Could it be that a Guattarian mantra has come to resonate with one of the Asian suburban cities depicted in William Gibson’s legendary cyberpunk novel Neuromancer? One night a couple of years ago I was dancing madly in central Chiba city, east of Tokyo, in a small club behind the busy main station. Amidst swarming bodies driven by repetitive beats, and insofar as dancing bodies maneuver different zones both inside the club and outside in the narrow, labyrinthine streets, they pass through singular existential territories of their own repetitive rhythms, which they draw and mutate into beautiful ritornellos. Despite the tiny venue with its sophisticated underground tastes, the DJs that night had international backgrounds and reputations—one female from Paris, two guys from Chiba and Tokyo. One of them, DJ Nobu, was the resident headliner at the Berghain nightclub in Berlin, formerly the site of a heating plant in pre-1989 socialist Germany. The transformation of this site is interesting because it shows an uncanny mixture of machine age sensibility (industrial or mechanical) and cyber-era “machinic eros” of (info-semiotic) electronic technologies. Both aspects linger permanently in the DNA of techno tribes. The organizing crew of the aforementioned party in Chiba was called “Future Terror,” The combination of these two words should not be read as a terror occurring in the future, but as a stance against terrors xi



emanating from the future and plotted in the present. A disjunctive shard rises out of the usual coordinates of time and space. But by inverting these terms and going against the grain, just as the author of the present book is quite aware, the future wave can afford a form of novelty as the third synthesis of time according to Deleuze. As I was dancing, several phrases in the present book were frequently recalled as refrains in my brain and in my body. After the party, the bright sunlight of a Chiba Sunday morning outside the club was splendid. When walking the streets, I imagined the commuter train which the author has used for over twenty years to pass back and forth across the suburbs of Chiba, central Tokyo, and rural Hachioji. In exactly the same town, both the author and myself happened to be thinking, moving, drifting, and speculating in almost similar functors (F, Φ, T). As for the fourth functor, the meaning of incorporeal Universes of values might differ between us. But this is fine as both of us share so many other conceptions drawn from Guattari and Deleuze, we are inevitably always of a certain dissensus or divergence in our views. We enjoy this dissensus. Let me clarify this using Guattari’s concepts. F, Φ, for instance, as described in Schizoanalytic Cartographies, are totally given, or ordinarily implemented and institutionalized in our everyday life. Certainly T (existential territories) plays a crucial role for preparing and giving both the planes of immanence and consistency in the mode of superposition. T is not simply reduced to affective attachments on specific spaces in terms of a relationship between space and identity, which conventional sociology or cultural studies have so far argued. Both humans and non-humans (machines, tools, things, other species, non-livings agencies, and so on) can retain their existence by assuming territories. In and through the author’s boogie style of a zigzagging trajectory of thinking—Pachinko, Tinguely’s artwork, Pokémon GO, Chinese-based Zhibo streaming, Japanese folklore of ghostly monsters (Yōkai/妖怪), and all other cyber ephemera—we can construct our own singular existential territories. The former three functors, relatively speaking, are pervasive in contemporary society and more or less artfully controlled under info-semio-capitalism. The functor of incorporeal Universes of values deserves a more careful reading. However, rather than privileging the functor of U, one has to grasp how some technologies are left unrealized or emerge without imagination, perspective on profit, feasibility, or referentiality. We must understand how the incorporeal gives way to the incorporative values of Universes (Guattari, 1995, p. 48). As is well known, Guattari’s thought has long been trivialized and given a secondary role to the systematic philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. But as the author has succinctly clarified in this book, and indeed others too have noted such as Nadeau, Massumi, Genosko, Berardi, Berressem, Sauvagnargues, there is an ongoing reevaluation of Guattari’s singular work. This



reevaluation has taken place despite Žižek’s hasty reproach against the “Guattarized Deleuze” (Žižek, 2003). Put otherwise, Guattari is neither just the “activist half” of Deleuze nor a “politicized Deleuze” but is gradually being reevaluated as the first violinist in their duo. Guattari is not a part of Deleuze and Guattari, but the term Deleuze and Guattari is by definition a part of Guattari (Sugimura, 2018). Although the author has also drawn richly on detailed philosophical arguments by Deleuze, the present book provides us with a thrilling adventure to an unknown Guattarized world: the Schizo-orient. What is the schizo-orient, then? Can Asia(s) or the so-called “oriental” regions be located in a geographical formation? Or does it suggest that, like utopia (utopos), the schizo-orient is nowhere? Obviously, this doesn’t imply a mere schizoanalysis on Asia or the interpretation of a schizophrenic Asia. Certainly Guattari was fascinated by countries like Japan and Brazil, but our author doesn’t give any privileged status to one specific nation or geographical place. Instead he invites us on an expedition through archipelagoes of different concepts and various genres of (machinic) assemblages. Hitherto, many intellectuals have revealed a certain over-romanticization or postured a stereotypical attitude to Japan and its unique culture. Should Guattari be counted as one of them? Does he join the semiological idealization of Japan by Barthes or the celebration of the “animalization” of the Japanese as suggested in Alexandre Kojève and later by Azuma Hiroki? This is answered in the author’s critical survey of these arguments. We should note that in Japan in the mid-1980s, Kojève’s theses on “animalization” and “Japanese snobbism”—found in a tiny footnote in his book on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit—had been already translated and discussed publicly by several Lacanian thinkers and critical intellectuals much before the eruption of geek or even pro-neoliberal otaku arguments on animalization in the time of info-semio-capitalism, or indeed before Agamben’s critical remarks on it (Agamben, 2003). In order to clarify the author’s unique idea of the schizo-orient, I should suggest a way to read this book. The manner in which Guattari was amazed by Japan is subtly comparable to the encounter with Caribbean archipelagoes by Édouard Glissant, who was a close friend of Guattari and lived in the same apartment with him for a time in the 1980s. Glissant defines the Caribbean as “one of the places in the world where Relation presents itself most visibly” (Glissant, 2010, p. 33). In my view, what is called “Relation” in Glissant’s writings can be equated with (machinic) assemblages in Guattari’s sense. It is possible to read the two thinkers’ works by replacing the term Relation with (machinic) assemblages. In a similar vein, the author of this book envisions Japan as such a site for the exploration of machinic Relation that is irreducible to the comprehension of the One.



By modifying Glissant’s phrase, the Japanese archipelago seems to be a place where assemblages present themselves most starkly. Guattari didn’t just find something in Japan (and Brazil) which was merely absent or lacking in Europe. Instead, like the Caribbean, the Japanese archipelago also retains a “sea that explodes the scattered lands into an arc” in its dynamic tendency of “diffraction” at both the material and cultural levels. This is recognized even in physical descriptions such as “Japan islands arc,” “Ryukyu arc,” and so on. This singular “explosive flash” (éclat in French; Glissant, 1989, p. 106) is not confined to the topography of Japan but is also rampant in its various cultural and social scenes. The real of the archipelago offers a spontaneous manifestation of both “Relation” and (machinic) assemblages. It is a mode dependent on circular nomadism which Glissant opposed to arrow-like nomadism (1989, p. 12). And let us recall that, in this period, both Guattari and Glissant were very much interested in and inspired by the theory of chaos and complexity. Indeed, careful readers will discern a shared concern in both Chaosmosis (1995) and Poetics of Relation (2010) for chaos and planetary ecology. The thought stemming from the One always tends to “comprehend” the world in an integrative, absolute manner of assimilation, totalization, and identification, whereas thinking through chaos or archipelagic thought—as a circular nomadism or schizo-orient(ation)—supposes a gesture of grasping, or rather give-on-and-with (donner-avec) (Glissant, 1990, p. 78). Comprehension tends to aim at sameness and totality, while “grasping”—“prehension” in the Whiteheadian sense—or “give-on-and-with”—is charged with wholeness and divergence. Guattari encountered both Japan and Brazil as singular conceptual sites capable of catalyzing a process which might engineer philosophical cracks in the hegemony of the assimilating forces of Europe. Just as conceptual personae function as agencies of philosophical discourse, schizo-orient is a conceptual site of our author’s system of thinking. Following this path, and in terms of the many dimensions of the quadruple ecology, the author delineates the process of deterritorializing from the earthground (continental islands) and reterritorializing other transversal horizons (oceanic islands) onto Japan (as a site of the schizo-orient). He gives-on-andwith both conceptual sites of Europe/America and Japan through and toward schizo-orientation. The varied cases and phenomena addressed in this book are nodal points in a speculative cartography (Guattari, 2013, p. 181) which is not drawn for the purpose of reaching a final destination but rather to map, to wander or divagate. This is an act of philosophical dérive. The schizo-orient as such is invoked as a singular site and event but one constantly suggesting a vestige of other sites. Turning back to the view on archipelagoes by Deleuze and Guattari, concepts can constitute themselves as a “skeletal” or “spinal” frame of



the “reservoir or reserve” of events (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994, p. 36). And, in Guattari’s late work on ecosophy and postmedia ecology, it is possible to observe the decentralization of urban landscapes through improvements in info-media technologies into the “archipelago of cities” (Guattari, 2015, p. 101). As Glissant’s contemporaries and friends, Deleuze and Guattari anticipated and transducted the “swarming of islands” (群島) and “sea with many islands” (多島海) into a conceptual event. On the surface of the sea, islands are isolated and discrete, but underwater, they are virtually or transversally connected by the land. Similarly, in the sense of “mutual inclusion,” the author’s adventure explores beyond the dichotomy between the West and its Others. To demonstrate this further, and through another allegory of the archipelago, Glissant presents a morbid-fig (figue mordi) in his novel All-World in order to resolve an opposition between rhizomes (as horizontal networks) and banyan trees (as vertical extensions of roots). Glissant explains that morbid-fig freely grow and spread out to infest other trees or rocks. Surprisingly and with respect to symbiosis or co-evolution, wasps fecundate their eggs inside morbid figs by burrowing into the fruitage. This readily reminds us of the symbiosis of wasp and orchid exemplified by Deleuze and Guattari. The author similarly digs into the “strange fruit” called Japan. Through such a translocal, transversal, and comparative approach, the schizo-orient must be posited as a type and site of arc as Glissant described, a potential node for virtual archipelagoes consisting of plural (dis)locations. Even to me, the figures of Japan constructed by the author sometimes look unfamiliar, exotic, uncanny, strange, and even weird. My reading of his dense interpretation proceeds as if I were a visiting foreigner from outside Japan. That which I do not usually see, the author’s schizoanalysis unveils as his careful analysis addresses the details of popular phenomena, incidents and themes in the info-cultural scenes in Japan and other Asian places. In this sense, one could call him a “native stranger.” This concept is inspired and coined from a comparison with the term “native informant” utilized in cultural anthropology, ethnology, and sociology fieldwork. Our author is neither a Japanese national nor a Japanese native speaker, but he knows the many cultural, social, and media spheres of Japan much more than I do, despite my position as a native resident. He touches succinctly upon all minor or ephemeral moments in Japan (or other Asian areas) from his doubleedged status as both a quasi-native and quasi-stranger. This position of “native stranger” reminds me of another figure, and itinerant traveler in Japan and other non-Occidental sites, Lafcadio Hearn. Hailing from Greece, raised in Ireland before moving to the United States, to New Orleans, and then to the West Indies (Caribbean islands), his intellectual journey ended in a migration to Japan, where he had a Japanese family,



taught English, and wrote weird stories about ghosts and monsters inspired by ancient Japanese folklore. My association doesn’t intend to revere our author’s personal background as a man harking from northern England and living a life similar to Hearn’s, but rather what is conceptually at stake here is the very process of his becoming uncannily Japanese. And indeed Guattari thought seriously about the transversal meaning of this process in contemporary capitalism (Guattari, 2008; 2015). Certainly Hearn’s itinerary and philosophical trajectory overlaps with our author’s own itinerary of writing and thinking. This is exactly one of the virtues of this volume. One crucial concept with which to unpick the schizoanalysis of this book is Zerrissenheit or “torn-to-pieces-hood” which indicates the implosion of subjectivity. What is implied in this concept is not a mere atomization of individuals in a sociological sense. Rather, it is the pulverization or fragmentation of both humans and things, subjectivities and machines. Tearing or cutting is noted in any connective composite of machinic assemblages according to Guattari. For only tearing can open up the “new sense of everydayness, new mode of existence.” The author sees the dynamics of the tearing away of hands even in the movement of handwriting with calligraphy. The conceptual taste for cuts, cracks, fissures, and ruptures is found not only in the philosophical system of Deleuze (2002, pp. 94–95) but in Guattari’s thinking, especially in the series of concepts such as a blackhole, vacuity, void, dissensus, and bifurcation (Guattari, 2005, p. 33, p. 37). The author’s regard toward (Japanese) young people afflicted by mental woes is always delicate and warm. Definitely his style of writing incarnates a “new gentleness” beyond the borders of sexuality, ethnicities, the generations, and various media or urban tribes. This purpose is the invention of a new valorization of life (Guattari, 1995, p. 92). Even a bitter-sweet retrospection on his mentor Gillian Rose reveals the presence of a decent yet provocative demeanor for thinking. Needless to say, the phenomenon of social withdrawal and the social recluse (hikikomori) is found in both speculative philosophy and critical theory in the contemporary world, but the issue of withdrawal for our author also presents a tactical resource for ontological turnover. Our author mindfully sheds light upon the predicament of social, mental, environmental and info-media ambiences. Of course, the mental woes and suffering in young people are grasped as functioning in tandem with structural exploitation, institutional violence, and precarity. And events such as nuclear catastrophe and climate change are read alongside the crisis or devastation of manifolded ecologies. Accordingly, in this book, the issues of the Anthropocene and the Fukushima disaster are considered as coexisting with mental crisis, delusion, and depressive stasis. Heidegger’s “broken tool” is envisioned with(in) all “chaosmic stases” in and across all mental, economical, and environmental spheres.



It bears repeating that this book is not simply an application of Guattarian (or Deleuzian) philosophy onto the sociological domain of Asia and the territory of Japan. It is crystal clear one cannot reckon the notion of postmedia as a mere research object or platform for new media studies. While the term postmedia studies is used by many Japanese scholars in both the fields of cultural studies and sociology to research the grassroots or alternative usages of new electronic technology and media, it is sadly undertaken without Guattarian speculative cartography or fractal ontology. Additionally, a bunch of vulgar blog writers, anti-leftist Deleuzians, and quasi-public intellectuals in Japan constantly complain about the adoption of Deleuze and Guattari onto sociopolitical spheres. It is paradoxical to observe how they accuse cultural studies and postcolonial studies of having usurped or appropriated the postmodern or poststructuralist theory in general, especially the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari. Obviously, the author doesn’t take either path in his critical but careful analysis of Pachinko, the Sony Walkman, Japanese SNS, and Chinese live streaming. Despite his awareness of such criticisms, the author surveys the recent trend of Deleuze and Guattari scholarship which tends to emphasize the so-called “dark” aspect of their thought and consequently addresses the disconnective or disjunctive aspects in terms of machinic assemblages and abstract machines but in the last instance maintains a stance against this tendency. WHITE WALLS, BLACK HOLES In the period when Deleuze was interested in white walls, Guattari was fascinated by black holes (Deleuze, 2003, p. 13) and often addressed the concept especially in his speculative theorization of sign-particles (Guattari, 2011). Here questions arise: How can one get out of black holes? How can one transmit signals from there? These problems reappear in Chaosmosis. The image of black holes is translated as a dark scab or umbilical point of chaosmosis, which is no longer a mere pivot of interaction between chaos and cosmos, but rather operative as a dynamic texture of quasi- or relative chaos. A series of expressions such as “submersion in chaosmic immanence,” “pathic access to the chaosmic thing,” “chaosmic plunge into the materials of sensation,” and diving into an umbilical chaotic zone (Guattari, 1995) are always charged with something negative and dark and forewarn of sufferings such as depression, psychosis, jealousy, cosmic vertigo, despair, and organic or institutional fragility. But such diving as an umbilical point of chaosmosis is not undertaken exclusively by human agencies. The variety of chaosmic stases is not just mental, psychological, and pathologic affairs for both Guattari and our author. The machines or technologies also come across certain existential



stases in tandem with both crises of economical recession and psychological depression. An umbilical point targeted by chaosmic diving and submerging is not simply a void or emptiness. To search the dynamics of chaosmosis is far from celebrating or idealizing the void. The reasons are delineated through many case studies exemplified in this book: Walk(less)man, salaryman, live streaming, SNS, Pachinko, and so on. Inspired by Guattari’s idea of chaosmic submersion, the author presents and analyzes many contemporary social and cultural phenomena. There is an alternation between chaosmic grasping (or prehension) and being anchored in the conventional coordinates of spatial-temporalities. The real vacuity is excavated from within such dynamics. To be honest, the description of Pachinko as incorporeal (immaterial) universes left me perplexed at first glance, but on reflection it is plausible that Pachinko can provide “machinic funk” refrains for the otaku (geek), hikikomori, and certain urban tribes because refrains can cut through the vacuity or rupture in our uncanny wilderness or so-called unnatural participation. Even the notion of “natural drift” can be explicated by the evolution of Pachinko in some cases (Valera & Maturana, 1998, p. 117). In order to realize the crystallization of the virtual and the actual, and also to set the superposition between the plane of immanence and the plane of consistency, or existential territories and incorporeal universes, a process of deceleration is demanded. Otherwise islands or archipelagoes of concepts cannot be deployed as transversally fragmentary movements of sign-particles-waves in an ocean of potentiality (partial possibilities). The oscillation between order and disorder, being and nothingness, does not simply revolve around chaosmosis. The alternation between appearance and disappearance at infinite speed should be translated and transmuted into finite speed or a certain slowness because intensive movement is always asymmetrical, irreciprocal, irreversible, and unilateral. After scrutinizing tool metaphors in philosophy such as the scalpel (Spinoza), the hammer (Hegel and Nietzsche), and even the Molotov Cocktail, the author proclaims that “weapon are consequences of assemblages that act as a reservoir of free activity.” If affects have their own velocity and speed, and are also ballistic and accelerative, as the author contends, then it is possible to think them as weapons. Surprisingly, our author addresses Gandhi’s idea of Satyagraha, the “weapon of truth,” which is considered to transform “weapon of war” into “instruments of peace.” Machines of warfare can emerge from this process of transformation and translation, which also seems to be based on certain forms of deceleration. Is the author’s slow position close to the humanism of the young Marx? Certainly some arguments in this book appear close to alienation theory and humanistic Marxism. But this can be explained by the question of alienation,



which the young Marx ascribed to suffering, vulnerability, fragility, and passivity. Kojin Karatani has made an intriguing remark on the notion of “suffering-passivity” or “passionate being” (Leidenschaftlichkeit/受苦性) in the early Marx and drawn from Feuerbach’s philosophy. Karatani says humans experience suffering and should therefore be passional, “active-subjective to be passive” (Karatani, 2020, p. 92). A lack or deferral of desire as a fundamental suffering, stemming from a long term of infancy and precarious physiology in human development is the very condition of human existence. Bernard Stiegler’s view of primary prosthetics or originary supplement is echoed here. On this point, Stiegler remains humanism-oriented. What is at stake, however, is that humans can always surmount this primal lack excessively. The primordial fragility of humans, as the cause of alienation, is not just a lack but is also presented as the capacity to bring about something unknown in being, including the machinic assemblages of technology. The condition and alienation derived from a primal vulnerability is not just human destiny. Certainly there is natal and biological predisposition, but we have always been constituted ontologically and historically. Paradoxically the human condition demands a certain nonhuman moment. And that is why the author has taken account of Wilhelm Reich’s worm-in-man—without reducing Guattari and Deleuze’s thought to an eclectic junction between Marxism and Freudianism in the early twentieth century. Guattari’s concept of pathic is invoked in this context. The notion of the pathic in ecosophy has not yet been fully understood and interpreted even among Guattarians. But numerous analyses on a variety of schizo-orient events and phenomena presented in the book provide us with the occasion to think this concept radically. The pathic is neither passive nor pathological but is articulated in the very relation to what has been excluded in both discursive and non-discursive practical spheres. The pathic is a twofold relation, having a boundary with others on the one hand, while assuming a relation to its own environment on the other. The pathic as a nuclei of subjectivation which is prior to the correlation between subject and object is fecund with potential becomings. The pathic is a kind of ambience (we can think of plural subjectivities as ambience). No longer just reactive, passive, and pathological, the pathic is a zero degree, an incipient moment, with the potential to surpass what has been given or suffered. Through this reading, our author’s thinking can be exempted from the predictable criticism of humanistic alienation theory because he finds no innate essence to fall back on or return to. In this sense, our author’s reading of Ango Sakaguchi—we prefer to call him by the first name—is crucial, because this demonstrates a crucial distance from the philosophy of originary plenitude or the pre-formed One. For Ango, to exist is to fall into decadence. But this doesn’t necessarily imply indulgence in unethical attitudes. The existence of both humans and machines, in



his view, is always a fallen-ness or degradation. What is called decadence or falling here is not only ascribed to moral degeneration but also seen in breakdown or the withdrawal of things, objects, and machines from the horizon of technological articulation. As a contemporary of Sartre, Ango emerges not only as a precursor of accelerationism à la mode Nick Land but also as decelerationist in a Guattarian sense. For both our author and myself Ango is another “breath of fresh air from the backyard” like Sartre (Deleuze, 2002, p. 9). And without any unthinking affirmation of pharmaco-narcotic philosophy, it should here be remarked that, hooked to the same drug of “speed” (amphetamine), both Ango and Sartre were capable of becoming things (mono ni naru koto) by accelerating and decelerating their own affective velocity of writing, thinking, and being. The same can happen in our daily usage of machine technologies and through the practices of media ecology, just as the chapters in the present book explicate upon so perspicaciously. Demonstrating the breadth of his project, and following on from his schizoanalysis of Japanese literature, the author turns to a treatment of Chinese science fiction. Of course, philosophy and science fiction are always closely tied up with each other. And our author’s interpretation of Chinese SF is also highly intriguing. As sensitive and mindful readers of Guattari know very well, his over-idiosyncratic writings can be read as SF: science, semiological, and speculative fiction, etc. Indeed, his Schizoanalytic Cartographies and Chaosmosis are treated like fragmentary parts of SF stories, for instance, by China Mieville and Greg Eagan. In fact, his lifelong dream to be a writer like Joyce or Kafka made him a kind of failed author or “wannabe” novelist or poet. His wish lingered on in various initiatives such as the curation of an exhibition on Kafka or the screenplay of his original science fiction, A Love of UIQ. In this script on the Infra-Quark Universe, UIQ is depicted as a strange artificial intelligence, ubiquitously pervading the world and affective communications. UIQ appears not only in the likeness of humans but also presents itself in natural landscapes, clouds, in pools, and swarms of animals. It seems to be driven by aerosolic dispersion, which is closely tied up with the organic, fluid turbulence of semiotic, libidinal, and material flows. According to Berressem, the origin of dispersion as a concept is traceable to the 1920s, posited to explain the atmosphere of micro-particles; dust, mist, smoke, fogs, and all modes of aerosols (Berressem, 2021). But we also find aerosolic virtuality in Guattari’s works. Indeed, virus has been the metaphor frequently utilized and even affirmatively addressed by Guattari and Deleuze. The relevance is striking as we are all seized in the condition of symbiosis with viruses (under the banner of living together with COVID-19). Our everyday communication in the era of info-semio capitalism is also permanently driven by a contagion, transmission, contamination, and infection in both thought and action. Now the notion of transmission or transference of



affects in the info-public-sphere must be contrasted with that of attunement or resonance (of refrains), non-discursive or diagrammatic cartography in a Guattarian sense. The images of “miasma and fog” in the last paragraph of Chaosmosis are significant in this regard (Guattari, 1995, p. 135). Unlike air or water, subjectivity is produced and fabricated, but the capacity to make decisions manifests from the air—like in the so-called Japanese sense of conformity (the figurative equivalent in Japanese of the phrase “reading context” translates quite literally to “reading air”). This means affective ambience sanctions and determines our subjectivity. And nowadays, not only in Japan but also elsewhere, subjectivity emerges as an aeroform or aerosol atmosphere. Even Deleuze suggested that business and enterprises are made from and maintained by “a soul, a gas” (Deleuze, 1995, p. 179). For our author, “subjectivity is a metamodelling activity.” To think is to articulate something within the constellation of concepts. Each time, such articulations permanently invoke a certain scheme and model. And yet, after a model is constructed, invented, and localized on the plane of immanence, it can be jettisoned, abandoned, and transformed, but at the same time, reinvented, dubbed, and transducted on its plane of consistency. Metamodelization is an infinite process, of the repetition of singularities (of events and existences). Models must be destroyed once they are used. This is also about deceleration or ecosophy albeit considered through an intensive slowness in thinking and practice. As a kind of “pupil,” both the author and myself attempt to emulate, imitate, and incorporate Guattari and Deleuze as “teachers,” but at the same time we make vectorial deviations through a transference of their style to bifurcate toward new singular directions. It is a form of deviant unlearning which weaves the groove of Joff’s Boogie. Rather than clinging to the “pure Deleuze” which some Deleuzians in both academia and the blogosphere in Japan tend to demand, the author—like me—asks for a more “mingled or Creolized Guattari.” We no longer need to be stuck in the “Guattarized Deleuze” which Žižek thoroughly hated and negated. On the contrary, the crucial challenge lies in a kind of “Deleuze Guattarizer”—constantly being ready for both connection and disconnection, association and betrayal, junction and disjunction. Perhaps we have both left from the same embarkation point. We have embarked on the maritime open seas of Deleuze and Guattari’s thought. But both of us are taking different paths. The neologism “solidaritude” can be coined here as a concrescence between solitude and solidarity for the “people-yet-to-come.” This is not some utopian initiative but a performance of subjective groups at risk of betrayal and antagonism. So this preface does not hesitate to proclaim to all of you: welcome to the schizo-orient! And yes, now you are ready to become . . . a native stranger in another land and in some other time.



REFERENCES Agamben, G. (2003). The Open: Man and Animal (K. Attell, Trans.). Stanford University Press. Berressem, H. (2021). Felix Guattari's Schizoanalytic Ecology. Edinburgh University Press. Deleuze, G. (1995). Negotiations, 1972–1990 (M. Joughin, Trans.). Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).   A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Originally published 1980) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What Is Philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1991) Deleuze, G., & Parnet, C. (2002). Dialogues. Continuum. Genosko, G., & Hetrick, J. (2015). Machinic Eros: Writings on Japan. Univocal. Glissant, É. (2010). Poetics of Relation (B. Wing, Trans.). University of Michigan Press. Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (2000). The Three Ecologies (I. Pindar & P. Sutton, Trans.). Athlone. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F. (2009). Molecular Revolution in Brazil (K. Clapshow & B. Holmes, Trans.). Autonomedia. Guattari, F. (2011). The Machinic Unconscious: Essays in Schizoanalysis. Semiotext (e). Guattari, F. (2012). Schizoanalytic Cartographies (A. Joffey, Trans.). Bloomsbury. Karatani, K. (2020). Marx: Towards the Centre of Possibility. Verso Books. Maturana, H. R., & Varela, F. J. (1998). The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding. New Science Library/Shambhala Publications. Sugimura, M. (2018). Translator’s Postscript for the Japanese Edition of Gary Genosko’s Felix Guattari, Ferikkusu Gatari. Housei Daaigaku Shuppankyoku. Zizek, S. (2004). Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences. Routledge.


As 2022 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Capitalisme et schizophrénie: L’anti-Œdipe, this book is a timely reminder of the lasting significance of Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalytic project. It comes at a time when the schizoanalysis found in that “nutty book” seems to have fallen out of favor. In fact, the whole question of how capitalism makes us all schizo seems slightly embarrassing. “You read books about schizoanalysis? What on earth is that?” Cynical scholars have already confined the romantic fantasy of the schizo to the intellectual infantile disorder of the 1960s. They insist we should grow up and understand capitalism’s schizophrenia as a metamorphosis into the dominant and global form of economics in the neoliberalism era. Get with it. The world has moved on. The point is that there ain’t no romance around here. Philosophically, there is some reason to believe that the concepts in that book have gone beyond their expiry date. Concepts whence without applicability and aptness to the moment lose their hermeneutic potency. However, that a concept becomes useless or not is not a problem in itself. Deleuze says as much. Some concepts have their time when certain problems become interesting for philosophy and certain concepts are used to raise other problems. Indeed, Deleuze himself warns his readers that many of the concepts in Anti-Oedipus were meant as a radical challenge to the philosophical and psychoanalytical orthodoxy of the day, to the way theory and psychoanalysis were performed and undertaken. The concepts had their particular moment, vibrancy and intent. Yet, drained of their once explosive verve and their force depleted, one is left to find other means of expression. The exact reproduction of those concepts, Deleuze says, ruins the force of the idea. In other words, the language of desiring machines, the syntheses of production, the Urstaat, the Body without Organs and machinic unconscious cannot be reused xxiii



unthinkingly without becoming a poor simulacra of the original. We must thus understand the concept in terms of its dramatization, and this is why perhaps Deleuze chose to talk of difference and repetition early in this work but later dropped the notion in Logic of Sense. And this is why Deleuze decided to discuss desiring machines in Anti-Oedipus only to replace the concept in A Thousand Plateaus, with the notion of assemblage. Explaining this matter, Deleuze writes in Desert Islands (2004, p. 278): When a term is introduced and has the least bit success, as has been the case for “desiring-machine” or “schizo-analysis,” either one circulates it, which is already rather pernicious, a sort of co-optation, or one renounces it and seeks other terms to upset the order. There are words that Felix and I now feel it urgent not to use: “schizo-analysis,” “desiring-machine”—it’s awful, if we use them, we’re caught in the trap. We don’t know very well what they mean, we no longer believe in the words; when we use a word, we want to say, if this word doesn’t agree with you, find another, there’s always a way. Words are totally interchangeable.

So why bother writing a strange book about this anachronistic and often incomprehensible subject matter? Why write about schizoanalysis in 2022, half a century after Deleuze and Guattari caused such a stir? And why a book about schizoanalysis and Asia penned on the other side of the planet in a country so very different from Deleuze and Guattari’s France, with an intellectual inheritance which bears little resemblance to the history of Western philosophy? In defense, I believe the project of schizoanalysis demands the constant revolutionizing of our instruments of conceptual production and therefore the unfinished task of schizoanalysis, as Ian Buchanan (2021) puts it, still rings true. We must continuously rework, redirect and question those concepts and critiques and apply them to particular and local milieux. What schizoanalysis is one method Deleuze and Guattari created to reinvent psychoanalysis and therapeutic practice and to apply the methodology to the material and social field of the hospital, the school, the prison, the factory, the workplace, the family, the street, the bedroom and so on. Schizoanalysis and schizoanalytic cartography are ways to rethink the relationship between mental health and space and even time. It seems to be the right course of action as millions and millions of people around the planet continue to be made both mad and exhausted by capitalism. Schizoanalysis remains a key tool to critically unpick the wanton greed, excess and madness of the age. I say this as I am writing a year after Donald Trump lost the US election and called on his supporters to storm Capitol Hill. And after Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson launched into space at a time when humanity remains mortally at risk from the coronavirus. Why do such ultrarich men as Trump, Bezos and Branson



“proliferate freely” (Guattari, 2000, p. 43)? Why is our mental world saturated by “degenerate” images and statements? Why is mental pollution of life consistent with the devastation to ecosystems everywhere? I have said this repeatedly because I believe schizoanalysis is informed by an ethical imperative. Its ethics are futural. Ethics is the first philosophy of schizoanalysis. It is an ethics oriented toward the future. That is, it is an imperative of responsibility not only for the present but also future generations. Hence the schizoanalysis I am writing is tied to ecosophy and to ethics. It is perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but given the way the world is at present there is little choice. Schizoanalysis does continue in other aesthetic guises. For example, the middle-aged Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) becomes schizoanalyst and explains to Veronika the meaning of “Choose life” in Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting: Veronika: What’s “Choose life”? Veronika: “Choose life”. Simon says it sometimes. He says “Choose life, Veronika!” Renton: “Choose life”. “Choose life” was a well-meaning slogan from a 1980’s anti-drug campaign and we used to add things to it, so I might say for example, choose . . . designer lingerie, in the vain hope of kicking some life back into a dead relationship. Choose handbags, choose high-heeled shoes, cashmere and silk, to make yourself feel what passes for happy. Choose an iPhone made in China by a woman who jumped out of a window and stick it in the pocket of your jacket fresh from a South-Asian Firetrap. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a thousand others ways to spew your bile across people you’ve never met. Choose updating your profile, tell the world what you had for breakfast and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, desperate to believe that you don’t look as bad as they do. Choose live-blogging, from your first wank ‘til your last breath; human interaction reduced to nothing more than data. Choose ten things you never knew about celebrities who’ve had surgery. Choose screaming about abortion. Choose rape jokes, slut-shaming, revenge porn and an endless tide of depressing misogyny. Choose 9/11 never happened, and if it did, it was the Jews. Choose a zero-hour contract and a two-hour journey to work. And choose the same for your kids, only worse, and maybe tell yourself that it’s better that they never happened. And then sit back and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody’s fucking kitchen. Choose unfulfilled promise and wishing you’d done it all differently. Choose never learning from your own mistakes. Choose watching history repeat itself. Choose the slow reconciliation towards what you can get, rather than what you always hoped for. Settle for less and keep a brave face on it. Choose disappointment and choose losing the ones you love, then as they fall from view, a piece of you dies with them until you can see that one day in the future, piece by piece, they will all be gone



and there’ll be nothing left of you to call alive or dead. Choose your future, Veronika. Choose life.

And then realizing he desired the boredom and tedium of late capitalist “life” and has no antidote to offer and ashamed of his sudden moral tone, the exdrug addict disarmingly adds: Anyway, it amused us at the time. Guattari’s friend, Franco Berardi, too notes the changing forms of madness in the contemporary moment and pinpoints the loss of desire and the psychical effects which proliferate in the world of work and unreason: In the past three decades the psychotic explosion of the unconscious provoked by the great acceleration has jeopardised the erotic sphere. Porn has invaded the erotic imagination, visual stimulation has replaced bodily contact. But now, in the wake of the pandemic, we are pushed beyond that limit, as a new constellation of sensibility is taking shape: What can we glimpse beyond the threshold? A decreasing of the intensity of desire, a spread of depression and autism? Or a creative displacement of the pulsional energy? (2021, p. 93)

And if we follow Will Self, most of us are guilty of systemic violence since most of us have mobile phones in our pockets with columbite-tantalite [coltan] in them, the ore produced through murderous conditions of exploitation in the Congo. In a discussion about who got modern society right, Orwell or Huxley, Will Self puts the point thus: It’s permanent peace. None of you have seen the least conflict in your lifetimes … Conflict goes on somewhere else. You watch it on your stereoscopic movies or your Feelies and your brain chemistry, if you’re an aggressive young man, makes you effectively experience the same thing as if you had inflicted violence. Huxley understood that this was the Brave New World that was coming. A world in which young men sitting in upstairs bedrooms pretending to kill and slaughter thousands or a world in which five million people have died in the Congo in the last 15 or 20 years so you can have that mobile phone in your pocket with its coltan in it. (Gopnik & Self, 2017; see also Žižek & Self, 2017)

It seems to me that there remains in Anti-Oedipus a revolutionary impetus which extends beyond the Oedipal triangle and the double bind of filial piety. This is vital for me because it contrasts with R.D. Laing and David Cooper and the anti-psychiatry movement. It shows that both Laing and the antipsychiatry movement focus too much on the family whereas Deleuze and Guattari look to the wider society and call that wider society into question. So when Laing castigates Deleuze and Guattari’s project as “intellectual



wanking” or Will Self names these thinkers intellectual lightweights or more broadly when British Conservative MP Liz Truss lambastes Foucault for the litany of social maladies pervading her society, it seems to me that something continues to resist and jar. There is a demand to look beyond the protection of the established forms of thinking, established ways of life, established institutions—those institutions which sustain inequalities throughout society. Desire has gone AWOL. Such a depressing catalogue of mental woes puts a book like this in its contemporary political and social context because, to paraphrase Deleuze and Guattari, capitalism engineers schizo-subjectivities the same way that it markets toxic food and drink, mobile phones, branded training shoes, Viagra, Ferrari cars, face surgery, breast enhancements and whatever else. Schizoanalysis is necessary because disavowal causes us to carry on relentless, even as we know the world is cracking up, reproducing the very domination and obedience and schizo-subjectivities we know makes us and others ill. And still, the double bind of neoliberal capitalism makes us all go schizo (think of the tough love of the Thatcher years in Britain). Does it make sense to say one is Deleuzian? Or Guattarian? Or Marxist? Why Deleuzian? Why Guattarian? Why Marxist? Why continue to mention this strange word “schizoanalysis”? And why do so in Asia? These seem to me to be good questions for someone who will always be an outsider in Japan and Asia. These are poignant questions for someone who has lived for more than two decades in this country, who witnesses day-in day-out the mental woes afflicting young people. There’s a whole string of them, but the hikikomori syndrome or social recluse syndrome is prominent (Zielenziger, 2007). In Japan, over a million people shut out the world, cocoon themselves in digital and electronic funk and refuse new relations with the Outside (Saito & Angles, 2013). Add to this attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the growing cases of autism, endemic loneliness, indifference to the lives of other people, and growing acts of mindless violence. All of these problems are of course mushrooming in other countries, and one’s mind immediately jumps to the game addiction problems in Korea and China as cases in point, where young people play in extremis to exhaustion and death. So thinking about Deleuze and Guattari in the Asian context does seem to work, somehow. Indeed, it seems timely and necessary. This book therefore explores social schizophrenia in East Asia and I make use of the concept of Zerrissenheit or torn-to-pieces-hood as my intervention and supplement to schizoanalysis to demonstrate a new way to apply the latter as a key concept and heuristic tool for decoding the madness of planetary capitalism. With this in mind, I collected my essays together to spell out my position. As an outsider, as a kind of cultural anthropologist, as a kind of schizoanalyst with others, I want to shake up the order of things, to find a new sense of everydayness, a new mode of existence, a new care and vulnerability toward the other, a new sensitivity and relationship with the environment and the



world, a new social system, a new practice of ecosophy. I want these for myself and my children and my students, my family and friends and for the wider community. All of these things, I think, are a consistent concern for those who read Deleuze and Guattari and who try to find a way to think beyond the time of advanced industrial, planetary capitalism, and the immonde of the world. All of the concerns in the book pertaining to capitalism, the implosion of subjectivity, Zerrissenheit, technology and education are pertinent to our time. Whether Japan is a schizo society ripped to bits, whether students are intellectually disrupted, whether individuals are torn to shreds, whether communication is evacuated of meaning, these are matters the reader must decide, but I hope in some way that people reading this book will start to rethink the concepts of Deleuze and Guattari and to reapply them to their locality, to vibrate or agitate the social world afresh, to make the world tremble and quake and to make it crack—to undertake a new dramatization. It is my honest belief that a new kind of philosophy is necessary to appreciate the Zerrissenheit or schizoanalysis of our society, a society riven by crises and cracks. A new philosophy might emerge from such schisms and schizzes and one only hopes that something new and positive will come into the world. OUTLINE OF THE BOOK In what follows, I shall outline my own idiosyncratic contribution to schizoanalysis, detailing methodologies, approaches and analyses for a schizoanalysis of Zerrissenheit. This book contributes to the body of work in the field of schizoanalysis (Berressem, 2020; Boundas, 2018; MacCormack & Gardner, 2018; Sauvagnargues, 2016), which I treat as a political and cultural tool relevant to language, communication and affect. The monograph is thus concerned with the social, affective and pedagogical issues pertaining to communication technologies, the breakdown and breakthroughs of individuals and institutions and the question of control or uncontrollable societies in the Asian context. My ongoing work focuses on the affective and social problems facing Japanese youth, such as suicide and depression among high school and university students, and poverty and precarity among youth in general. First a word about the concept of Zerrissenheit as it appears in my work. I read Zerrissenheit (which can be found, for example, in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, in German romanticism, Heidegger’s Parmenides lectures and William James’ writings vis-à-vis his experience of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake) through the prism of Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalytic and materialist methodology to consider the tearing or splitting asunder of subjectivity. This is not an analysis of spirit but a materialist one. I argue that



this provides a conceptual means through which to articulate and critique contemporary modes of technology (the Walkman, mobile phones, “industrial temporal objects”) and interconnected concepts (order-words, the nonplace, breakdown/breakthrough in communication), especially in terms of their consequent effects on subjectivity and on language. The Zerrissenheit of subjectivity is fractured and estranged. Social media and communication technologies, and mobile phones especially, accelerate the tearing away of subjectivity from itself and aid a detrimental process of subjectivation or “axiomatic stupidity.” The Walkman and now, in the contemporary milieu, portable devices and smartphones are striking examples of this schizophrenic tendency because, quite simply and despite the plethora of communication devices available to people, loneliness is an endemic problem in advanced industrial societies. Throughout the chapters I explore this growing societal phenomenon through the “flattening” of affective subjectivity and the way micro-technologies “pulp” subjectivities. Though the work builds on excellent research on schizoanalysis and amid growing interest in Japan and Deleuze/Guattari studies (Ueno, 2012; Genosko & Hetrick, 2015), the book is the first of its kind in English to apply schizoanalysis in the new millennium to contemporary forms of subjectivity in Asia in a sustained manner, and as such presents an update and extension of Guattari’s ecosophical project. Given Guattari’s long-standing interest in Japan, he and Deleuze remain invaluable resources for thinking about philosophy and contemporary societal formations in the archipelago. My book demonstrates this through a transdisciplinary application and metamodelization of their concepts. My reading of schizoanalysis is perhaps at odds with the view that it is only by accelerating delirium or schizophrenia qua process that creativity can be unleashed from repetitive, immiserating cycles and dominant forms of capitalist production, consumption and exchange. The transversal methodology I am proffering aims to rethink how best to build a strategic research paradigm which does not operate in vacuo but is able to connect with other practices to ensure enduring, consistent transformation. Schizoanalysis ought to trace those moments of revolutionary breakthrough as well as chart paths beyond psychological breakdown. I believe this is the ethical dimension or function of schizoanalysis as it aims to engineer and experiment with workable subjectivities, while also accounting for systemic malfunction. In terms of schizoanalytic metamodeling, Watson (2009, p. 9) claims that to build new models is in effect to build new subjectivities. This is profoundly true. Subjectivity is thus a metamodeling activity, a process of singularization. Such a machinic version of subjectivity and singularization revolutionizes the world and completely recreates it, according to Guattari (Watson, 2009, p. 161). Affirming this view of schizoanalysis, Holland (1999) describes schizoanalysis as “an extraordinary venture in experimental thinking and writing” (1999,



p. viii). This book thus promotes Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalysis as a form of metamodeling or symptomatology. Why? Because their philosophy is a constant search for signs of new health, signs of “little health,” however frail. We can thus read Deleuze and Guattari as symptomatologists of their age, aiming to disclose the forces, modes of existence that animate or suppress change, transformation and experimentation. While rejecting any certain hope of forging a political project based on schizoanalysis and while skeptical of finding any simple solution, Guattari nonetheless suggests a way to sustain health through experimentation. In an interview with Jacques Pain, he states: “Without pretending to promote a didactic program, it is a matter of constituting networks and rhizomes in order to escape the systems of modelization in which we are entangled and which are in the process of completely polluting us, head and heart” (cited in Genosko, 1996, p. 132). This was taken up recently by Buchanan in his introduction to Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Literature in which he stresses the importance of transformation in the schizoanalytic project and writes: “Schizoanalysis is itself a practice, but one that operates alongside other practices in order to help us better understand—and in some cases to challenge and transform—the relations between theory and practice in any given field” (Buchanan, Matts, & Tynan, 2015, p. 4). Guattari remains of central interest in my research because it is he more than Deleuze who consistently investigates the social and mental ecologies linked with wider environmental problems. His experimental, metamodelizing method for thinking transversal communications, for charting or tracing transversal relations of new processual subjectivities remains timely and in need of further application and explication, and it is this area which I am actively researching at present. Guattari’s work operates via a metamodelization process, where diagrams function and enter into rhizomatic connection with different virtual universes. In his final book Chaosmosis, Guattari connects metamodelization to the practice of ecosophy. In Chaosmosis, Guattari argues that the ecological crises can be traced to a more general crisis of social, political and existential registers. His concern is with the possibility of a revolution of mentalities and so he enquires into how one can engineer new mentalities, how one can reinvent social practices that would return, in the words of the young Marx (1964/1844) (hu)man to (hu)man, that would, in some sense, deliver, as Guattari says, a sense of responsibility to human life “not only for its own survival, but equally for the future of all life on the planet, for animal and vegetable species, likewise for incorporeal species such as music, the arts, cinema, the relation with time, love and compassion for others, the feeling of fusion at the heart of the cosmos” (1995, pp. 119– 120). This would be to understand the unconscious geared toward the future, imagination turned toward the new, desire fiercely embracing the unknown.



It is this ecosophical principle which I try to apply and adopt in my writing. In terms of an examination of modern life and when fused with research on the pharmakon of technology, schizoanalysis may be granted a new momentum, for example, in the way Guattari’s notion of incorporeal universes can be rethought using Bernard Stiegler’s notion of “industrial temporal objects” (Bradley, 2021). The main arguments and focus of this book therefore underscore the ongoing significance of Guattari’s ecosophical project and transversal methodology. DARK TIMES Despite these dark times, I invoke an old book, Anti-Oedipus. I cling desperately to one of its central images—the exterminating angel (l’ange exterminateur). The schizo figure is seared into my memory and I remain strangely entranced by it—that “surplus product, proletariat, and exterminating angel.” It lingers, burrows itself, surreptitiously and mischievously refusing to disappear; the exterminating angel is my Angelus Militans. I have long tried to expunge it from my mind, starting in my youth which saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and exhaustion of the Soviet empire, thinking it safer to invoke other less-violent angels. Yet even through the bleak, early 1990s, when communism, hope and utopia were words seldom spoken on university campuses in England, the specter of the exterminating angel abided—giving a faint angelic cataclysmic hope of something to come. In the time of the Anthropocene, what sort of angel is this? Is the inhuman, agonizing howl in Edvard Munch’s “Der Schrei der Natur” still audible? Are we not hurled into a time deaf to its forewarning? Is it better “to walk straight into the wind of the future than to enter into the future backwards or to head straight back into the past” as François Laruelle puts it (2013, p. 93)? Faced with these questions, I again search frantically for the figure of the exterminating angel in the intermundia—between the world and unworld, between this life and the next, in the purgatory of a petrified, exhausted, traumatized present. The image of the exterminating angel is invoked to think beyond the atemporality of the now. It is contrasted with Klee’s Angelus Novus—that famously ruminatedupon angel in Walter Benjamin’s ninth thesis on history and Klee’s Angelus Dubiosus—the angel of doubt and transformation invoked in Gillian Rose’s work The Broken Middle (1992). With wings spread, progress violently propels the Owl of Minerva into the future. Joining it, Angelus Novus witnesses the wreckage of the past and the paradise of yesteryear. Both have flown the mire of the present. Philosophy thus needs new angels to make sense of the trauma and catastrophe of human history. While we are certainly beyond the “premature celebration of a new epoch for the coming millennium” (Rose),



the equivocations, antinomies of reason, the anxiety of beginning and the beginning of anxiety do not grant us a politico-philosophical vision to think anew. Rose’s broken middle fails to overcome the aporia of hope and utopia. While we may keep our minds in hell and despair not, we need a pedagogy so defined as absolute deterritorialization to rip the veil from the shame and mourning of the present. My gambit is to replace the broken middle with the intermundia of utopia—to further differentiate the pedagogy of the intermundia from the anxiety of the middle. Why? After 1989, with the last two hundred years “in life and in letters” returned, while “all the debates, all the antinomies of modern state and society . . . have been re-opened” (Rose), we remain paralyzed in and by the present. We desperately need a philosophy of utopianism beyond the exhaustion and despair of the moment, beyond the hypertrophy of the inner life. We need new angelic icons. We still have not gone far enough and have not seen anything yet ON THE OPEN GESTURE OF THINKING With the above image of the exterminating angel in mind, it is no wonder that much of what I read of philosophy at university made little sense. I labored at it for years, spinning endlessly on someone else’s wheel. Strawson, Ryle, Searle, Austin, Wittgenstein and Rawls: all were excellent and left their mark but for the wrong reasons. But when I read Nietzsche, Deleuze and Guattari—and especially Deleuze’s Nietzsche and Philosophy—for the first time, I felt as if a dark cloud over me had lifted, and I could see the infinite sky. This was thinking that made sense of the present then, as it does now. So much of the philosophy that I had read up to that point maintained the status quo with its inequality, violence and unrest. Deleuze and Guattari woke me up. Although Marx, Nietzsche, Adorno, Heidegger, Sartre, Gajo Petrović, Kostas Axelos, Gillian Rose, Proudhon, Kropotkin, Bookchin, even Mao, had spoken to me, something in Deleuze’s style compelled me to think otherwise; his ideas made philosophy meaningful. Perhaps I was reacting to the fact that, in England, my teachers—conservative English thinkers who destroyed arguments because they could—never let you say anything in your own name. I found out recently that Wittgenstein had a similar experience in later life with a new brand of young scoffers: “These philosophers, they’re not behaving like honest interlocutors. They’re behaving like beasts of prey. They are going out to hunt down philosophers, to disagree with them, to tear them to pieces.” Or perhaps I was reacting to the fact that in British philosophy, as soon as you say the ought word, you are in dead trouble. If you said anything about how the world ought to be, how things should change, you would be hammered down like the proverbial nail.



Think of Alain Badiou on the BBC’s Hard Talk with Stephen Sackur, and how he came off looking like an impetuous child, an intellectual imposter. Although it is not always like that on Hard Talk—Germaine Greer, Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Žižek all toyed with their respective interlocutors before summarily chewing them up and spitting them out—Badiou got a hard time for offering a vision of the future. The gang of beastly British philosophers sets out to destroy the arguments of anyone who wants to respond to the shame of the present. Think of Roger Scruton, who in his book Thinkers of the New Left (1985) set out to destroy anyone who dreams of another way of doing things: left Nietzscheanism, Continental philosophy, Marx, Sartre, Marcuse, Lukács, Adorno, Bataille, Foucault. He has little time for Habermas, R. D. Laing, Lacan, Saïd or Žižek. Yet, in the 2019 edition, Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left, he adds a section on Deleuze. But, in it, he uses an analytical interpretation of Deleuze to discredit him. Scruton uses a pea-and-thimble trick to avoid trying out another way of thinking, another way of life. He will not think beyond his style or discipline. There is no open gesture in his thought. But though Scruton sets up an analytical caricature of Deleuze, Deleuze comes off untarnished. To his chagrin, Scruton admits as much. Perhaps, ultimately, he cannot resist the pull of that most dangerous word: ought. If Scruton could perversely rehabilitate Deleuze, I suspect that Guattari would be beyond him. But Guattari is the thinker who can enable us best to understand the contemporary crisis in the unconscious, in education, ecology and media. The import and influence of his singular style and message is recognized by thinkers such as Glissant, Malabou, Negri and Stiegler. Indeed, for me, it was The Three Ecologies that turned my focus to social ecology in the 1990s and has guided my thinking on social ecology ever since, along with Gregory Bateson, Murray Bookchin, André Gorz and Lewis Mumford and many others. In recent years, I have detected a thread of utopian thought in Guattari’s writing that is also expressed in his collaboration with Deleuze. Even during Guattari’s so-called winter years of depression, he continued to believe in the world and the possibility of thinking otherwise than the status quo—in affirmation in the name of the earth. This affirmation expressed itself in a range of concepts: schizoanalysis, transversality, dissensus, semiotic enslavement, the machinic unconscious, subjectification, metamodelization, postmedia, the micropolitics of desire and the ritornello. Such concepts can continue to inform debates on the crises crippling schools and hospitals and also enable us to interpret the impact of microtechnologies on the mind, the individual, the group and youth at large. For example, his experiment at the La Borde clinic with unconventional therapies for schizophrenic patients is being



reassessed as a “treatment” for social maladies such as depression, social reclusiveness, indifference, political apathy and loss of belief in the future. The thought of Deleuze and Guattari thus remains vital and fertile. If I can convey the joy that it promises, then perhaps thinking might begin again. They explicitly encourage others to counter-actualize their thinking by meshing concepts with their own, and with other situations and philosophical and cultural traditions. This collective, open gesture has great potential for thinking. Of course, I do not agree with everything in their thinking—if I did, I could not develop it further. But I do affirm the idea of taking something from them to create something new, a gesture that for them defines philosophy. May that open gesture serve as a guide for this book.

REFERENCES Berardi, F. B. (2021). The Third Unconscious. Verso Books. Berressem, H. (2020). Felix Guattari’s Schizoanalytic Ecology. Edinburgh University Press. Boundas, C. V. (2018). Schizoanalysis and Ecosophy: Reading Deleuze and Guattari. Bloomsbury Academic. Bradley, J. P. N. (2021). On the Use and Misuse of Deleuze and Guattari’s Concepts in Bernard Stiegler’s Philosophy. Teikyo University Foreign Language, Foreign Culture, 12, 79–120. Buchanan, I. (2021). Incomplete Project of Schizoanalysis: Collected Essays on Deleuze and Guattari. Edinburgh University Press. Buchanan, I., Matts, T., & Tynan, A. (Eds.). (2015). Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Literature. Bloomsbury Publishing. Deleuze, G. (2004). Desert Islands: And Other Texts, 1953–1974. Semiotext(e). Genosko, G., & Hetrick, J. (2015). Machinic Eros: Writings on Japan. University of Minnesota Press. Gopnik, A., & Self, W. (November 28, 2017). Brave New World vs Brave New World. Intelligence Squared. https://www​.intelligencesquared​.com​/events​/brave​ -new​-world​-vs​-nineteen​-eighty​-four/ Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (1996a). The Three Ecologies (I. Pindar & P. Sutton, Trans.). Athlone. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F. (1996b). The Guattari Reader (G. Genosko, Ed.). Blackwell Publishers. Holland, E. W. (1999). Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis. Psychology Press. Laruelle, F. (2013). Philosophy and Non-Philosophy. Univocal Publishing. MacCormack, P., & Gardner, C. (Eds.). (2018). Ecosophical Aesthetics: Art, Ethics and Ecology with Guattari. Bloomsbury Publishing. Rose, G. (1992). The Broken Middle: Out of Our Ancient Society. Blackwell.



Saito, T., & Angles, J. (2013). Hikikomori: Adolescence Without End. University of Minnesota Press. Sauvagnargues, A. (2016). Artmachines: Deleuze, Guattari, Simondon. Edinburgh University Press. Scruton, R. (1985). Thinkers of the New Left. Harlow. Scruton, R. (2019). Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left. Bloomsbury Continuum. Ueno, T. (2012). Guattari and Japan. Deleuze Studies, 6(2), 187–209. Watson, J. (2009). Guattari’s Diagrammatic Thought: Writing Between Lacan and Deleuze. Bloomsbury Publishing. Zielenziger, M. (2007). Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created its Own Lost Generation. Vintage. Žižek, S., & Self, W. (May 18, 2017). Slavoj Žižek & Will Self in Conversation on ‘Dangerous Ideas’. How To Academy. https://www​.youtube​.com​/watch​?v​ =CId1iOWQUuo

Section 1


Chapter 1

Is the Otaku Becoming-Overman?

Consider Japan: there’s a country that deliberately protected itself from history during three centuries; it put a barrier between history and itself, so well that it perhaps permits us to foresee our own future. . . . Now, what Japan teaches us, is that one can democratise snobbery. . . . Next to the Japanese, English high society is a bunch of drunken sailors. (Kojève, 1968; Nichols, 2007, p. 85)

I shall investigate Kojève’s aesthetic turn to snobbism through situating Nietzsche’s overman at the end of history as envisioned by Hegel and later by Kojève, who argued that Hegel’s horizon was the last man’s horizon. Yet, “snobbism” disrupts this eschatological conclusion and Fukuyama’s (1990) use of it. Writing in the wake of the Berlin Wall’s fall in 1989, Fukuyama envisaged the dissolution of historical telos, realized in liberal democracy and capitalism, and concretized in the postmodern man, the last man, the man at the precipice of nothingness. Fukuyama reads Nietzsche as looking upon the last man with disgust and dismay. In the prologue of Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1996), the diagnosis of modernity reads: The earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small. His race is as ineradicable as the flea beetle; the last man lives longest.

Why is it that after 1959 Japan becomes a rival to America, the once posited final stage of communism? In trying to account for this profoundly offhand, nutty proclamation about Japan, I argue that Kojève succumbed to something more than a certain “peremptory diagnoses” of expertise after returning from a faraway land, what Niethammer (1992, p. 68) describes as a “tourist fantasy.” We can appreciate the historical relevance of snobbism 3


Chapter 1

more clearly when we think about the bubble years in Japan, when commentators looked eastward with trepidation, when Japan’s prosperity and hypermodernity in the 1980s and 1990s transfixed the West and turned lusting eyes to the coveted Orient. On the cusp of an era of outlandish capital deterritorialization, at a time when Tokyo became one of the richest technopoles on earth, theoreticians got a little bit carried away with what they saw as possibilities inherent in the futurity of an exoticized, phantasmagorical other. They succumbed to and became transfixed by a sense of the aesthetic japonisme. We shall see that the Kojevian aesthetic turn survives resuscitated in a different way by Azuma Hiroki (2009), to explain the snobbism inherent in otaku culture. Azuma’s idea of animalization helps us to ask again whether contemporary socio-politico existence in Japan is posthistorical in any meaningful sense. While we acknowledge a residual irony in many parts of Kojève’s work, the postscript on Japan promises another narrative, the Owl of Minerva flying again at dusk, rising from the ashes. For some the social and cultural history of “Japan” is not comprehendible in Kojevian terms and consequently the notion of a distinctly Japanese end to history makes little sense (Haigh, 1991, p. 110). The Japanese cannot be fully self-conscious because their culture is arborescent. For Haigh, the master-slave dialectic cannot operate in such a vertically striated socius of oyabun-kobun relations especially as the dialectic of master and slave plays out a quintessentially Hegelian and European dilemma (Haigh, 1991, p. 114). Haigh argues that the Japan thesis makes no sense precisely because Japan has always been culturally nonmodern. Japan is read as a non-Western civilization which became modern without becoming Western at the same time. For Darby (1982, p. 220), it has been uniquely postmodern from the start by resisting the universality of the Idea, since, for Hegel, Japan and her Asian neighbors do not share in human history as they are non-Western in not experiencing Enlightenment in any meaningful European sense. Japan cannot form part of the universal and homogeneous state. Kojève’s stages of history are therefore largely irrelevant to Japan as the Japanese have pursued an altogether different, more insular, extra-historical path. Japan is unable to shed its old armor and remains locked in a feudal embrace. We can counter possible skepticism toward the Japan postscript when we understand how Kojève developed the notion of snobbery more clearly. After several trips to Japan in the 1940s and 1950s, Kojève conjectured that the Japanese had been living at the theoretical end of history for over 250 years during the Edo period, without crucially losing their humanity or returning to animals. The end of history is not the death of animal existence per se, but of human existence as negativity or action. During a

Is the Otaku Becoming-Overman?


long and relatively peaceful period of history, the Japanese, Kojève argued, formed an interesting way of spending time at the end of history, in a kind of pure snobbism of forms, concretized in the tea ceremony, calligraphy, haiku, ikebana or flower arrangement, and the Noh play, examples of a graceful, albeit empty, activity, or what Baudrillard (1994) might designate an aesthetics of meaninglessness. Kojève finds unique characteristics diametrically opposed, formal values, a type of human life that was anything but animal, a particularity to vie with Western claims to universality. The out-of-synch difference allows the Japanese to enjoy a peculiar repulsion and attraction to modernity; a peculiar becoming beyond the end. Such culturally and geographically autochthonic practices signify the rejection of a transcendent God, the future of the end of history and the identity of Time, along with the Concept. The latter is viewed as Hegel’s great discovery by Kojève. Hegel’s historical time is human, finite time. Kojève followed the logic to its final end and concluded that Hegel’s thought constituted not just the end of history but also the end of human Time. It follows, Kojève conjectured, that after Hegel there will never more be anything new on earth. This stoppage of time is read as the end of history. After the Battle of Jena (1806), history ends—thus spoke Hegel. Attracted by the cult of World Historical Personality, Hegel sees in Napoleon the Weltseele or world soul. In Hegel’s Philosophy of History (1820), it should be remembered, America is determined to belong in the category of “unhistorical History.” As such, America is excluded from Hegel’s philosophical forecast of both modern European history and philosophy. Here Hegel’s system appears not as hermetic as the proclamations about Napoleon suggest because, rather presciently perhaps, he grants future roles in world history for Russia and America. Hegel defines America and Russia as “lands of the future.” He writes: “America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that lie before us, the burden of the World’s History shall reveal itself—perhaps in a contest between North and South America. It is a land of desire for all those who are weary of the historical lumber-room of old Europe.” But as Napoleon is the particular man actualized as truly universal cause, a truly satisfied man, Hegel views himself qua philosopher as Napoleon’s own self-consciousness realized. For Hegel, Napoleon is the embodiment of the Logos, which becomes flesh in Napoleon—the “true” Christ. On this point, Kojève, according to Descombes (1980), is read as expounding a terrorist conception of history through his affirmation of the violence of Maximilien de Robespierre (1758–1794), leader of the Jacobins and architect of the Reign of Terror. For Kojève, what follows from this interpretation is that nothing


Chapter 1

of historical significance has happened since Hegel’s day. As for the Chinese and Russian ways of life competing for hegemonic prowess in the 1950s, Kojève (1969, p. 161) proclaims: If the Americans give the appearance of rich Sino-Soviets, it is because the Russians and the Chinese are only Americans who are still poor but are rapidly proceeding to get richer.

And again in a 1968 interview with Gilles Lapouge, Kojève says the Chinese revolution of 1949 signaled the bringing of the Napoleonic Code to China. As he says: Since this time (1806), what has happened? Nothing at all, the alignment of the provinces. The Chinese revolution is only the introduction of the Napoleonic Code into China.

Yet, according to Niethammer (1996), Stalin represented in the twentieth century what Napoleon did in the eighteenth century. But in what sense of historical action and negativity can one imagine a war to the death between the snobs and the last men? In Japan, Kojève did not discern religion, morals, or politics in the European or historical sense but a form of snobbery in its pure state. Writing in 1959, he says that all Japanese without exception are currently in a position to live according to totally formalized values, which are completely empty of all human content in the historical sense (see Wettergreen, 1973). In his interpretation of Edo culture, Kojève found a way of life among the upper class with no need for them to risk their lives for prestige as Japan was essentially free from civil and foreign war for centuries. Yet, with no reason to work as a slave, the Japanese remained human. Without systemic political and moral unrest, the Japanese made art but not in the “European” or “historical” sense as that would demand a cause. As life in Edo did not bear witness to the struggle for Hegelian mutual recognition, the Japanese are the last men, the ones who for Nietzsche were the bridge to the overman. They live according to pure snobbery and nothing else. For Kojève, in Edo, progress as a modern ideal completed its cycle (an essentially Western Enlightenment ideal transplanted on Japan) and introverted snobbery flourished. So, in a sense, Edo is always already postmodern, seemingly outside the dialectic of history. For Kojève, since no animal can be a snob, a “Japanized” post-historical period would be specifically human. What becomes of the interaction between Japan and the Western world is not the rebarbarization of the Japanese but the “Japanization” of the West, including the Russians. In extremis, Kojève contends that the Japanese are in principle capable of committing, from a

Is the Otaku Becoming-Overman?


pure snobbery point of view, a perfectly gratuitous suicide. In the late 1960s, in an interview with Lapouge, Kojève remarked, “Don’t forget that snobbery goes a long way. One dies with snobbery as with kamikazes” (see Darby, 1982, p. 176). THE POSTSCRIPT If man returns to his animality, art and play become purely natural. In this sense men would construct their edifices and works of art as birds build their nests and spiders spin their webs. Man performs musical concerts in the manner of frogs and cicadas and plays like young animals and indulges in love like adult beasts. However, can one say that all this makes man happy? (Kojève, 1969, p. 159)

The trouble with post-histoire is the cessation of action and that means the disappearance of wars and bloody revolutions. Fine in theory but the post1989 world shows a different reality. While satiated Homo sapiens live in abundance and security, desire dies in the negating, active sense. Artistic, erotic and playful behavior does not negate in the Hegelian sense, as all are satisfied and satiated. At the end of history, “healthy” automata are “satisfied” through personal pleasures—sports, art, eroticism—while the “sick” ones get locked up in the madhouse. As for those who are not satisfied with their “purposeless” activity, they are the philosophers (who can attain wisdom if they “contemplate” enough). The end of history also means the end of philosophy, as being no longer undergoes transformation and discourse about the world has been actualized in wisdom or knowledge of the whole. As Kojève says, he was looking for wise men, not philosophers. In his later writings, Kojève writes as a communist and leftwing critic and contends that humanity was witnessing the ultimate trivialization of man and his return to the merely animal order. Contra the emptied formalism of the Japanese snob was the powerful American consumer equipped ready-at-hand with the machines of the universe, pulsating with pure standing reserve. And according to Bloom, editor of Kojève’s Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, the agon between Japanese snobbery as graceful empty activity and the rampant consumerism of the Americans was an issue at the heart of the universal homogenous state.

SNOBBERY Snobbery qua formal value is the repetition of the same, outside of time, or, if you will, in the duration of time experienced as intensity. It is the Zen of


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the cracked and intense moment. At the end of history there is the formal repetition of the kata in myriad forms—golf or baseball swing, shopping in the Ginza, martial arts. Here we can see a remarkable resemblance between Kojève and Japanese philosopher Kuki Shūzō (1980) on the imagery site of Edo. Edo is the prism or fragment of memory for perceiving and describing the semiotics of hyperlogical consumption. It is reused again and again, mixed, cut, inverted, pixelized to satiate the (Occidental) desire to know the traditional, the exotic, the Other. One commentator has said that Shūzō virtually hallucinated a new cultural Edo in the tradition of taste he identified as iki (粋) (Vlastos, 1998, p. 271; Pincus, 1996)—a term used to refer to a structure of existence in the Edo pleasure quarters, usually associated with nonattachment. It is also similar to Baudrillard’s view (1994, p. 257) when he argues: When the real no longer is what it used to be, nostalgia assumes its full meaning. There is a proliferation of myths of origin and signs of reality, of secondhand truth, objectivity, and authenticity. There is an escalation of the true, of lived experience, a resurrection of the figurative where the object and substance have disappeared. And there is a panic-stricken production of the real and the referential, above and parallel to the panic of material production: this is how simulation appears in the phase that concerns us—a strategy of the real, neo-real, and hyperreal, whose universal double is a strategy of deterrence.

Emerging out of an economy of expenditure found especially in Edo’s Yoshiwara pleasure quarters, the tsujin or aesthete is adjudged a dandy specialist in the knowledge of pleasure. He was a player in possession of an elusive style called iki. INTERMEZZO It has been over 150 years since Commodore Perry (1794–1858) and his ominous black ships disembarked in Kurihama, near Yokohama in Japan. In 1853, the landing of foreign powers effectively ended three centuries of voluntary seclusion and began the process of opening Japan to the world. With the arrival of Perry, the Tokugawa shogunate’s rule effectively comes to an end. This is how the narrative runs. With the new emperor Meiji comes a rush, a frenzy to modernize, to understand Western technology and science, to play catch up and to surpass. A clever sleight of hand concealing the posthistorical nature of the Japanese socius is smuggled into Edward Zwick’s film The Last Samurai. In this Hollywood blockbuster, Tom Cruise discloses the truth that Japan has always been postmodern. The idea finds its perfect incarnation in the concrete entity of Edo culture. The opening up to the West

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is but a ruse. The Japanese retain their postmodern trajectory regardless of adorning Western garb. In the film, Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a thirty-six-year-old mercenary, lands on Japanese shores in 1876. He comes to teach the Japanese how to fight. After nearly a month at sea, he disembarks at Yokohama docks to find Japan at the cusp of a new historic era. The port reflects this frenzy, with new languages, looks, smells and sounds. But Algren is somehow captured by samurai and brought to a magical, mythical place in the Japanese countryside after many days of travel. Here Algren learns the ways of the samurai in a kind of sakoku haze. Each day, he says, he is confounded by their strange customs and contradictions and savagery. Algren later in conversation with long-term resident Graham suggests Japan is buying the future by enlisting the services of foreign experts in a bid to modernize. Graham retorts that Japan could be selling the past in doing so. Here we see Graham succumbing to the ruse of the postmodern. TECHNO-ORIENTAL STEREOTYPES Morley and Rovins (1995) have argued that Western stereotypes of the Japanese continue to prevail in the media and beyond. In a chapter entitled “Techno Orientalism: Japan Panic,” the authors argue that the media designates the Japanese as sub- or inhuman, unfeeling, detached. They argue that the association of technology and Japaneseness serves to reinforce the image of a culture that is cold, impersonal and machine-like, an authoritarian culture lacking emotional connection to the rest of the world. As an archetypical typology, the otaku generation is lost to everyday life through the immersion in computer reality. Children reject physical contact and prefer technical communication and the realm of reproduction and simulation in general (1995, pp. 169–170). These kids are imagined as people mutating into machines; they represent a kind of cybernetic mode of being for the future. In manufacturing images of the Japanese as inhuman, the political and cultural unconscious of the West perceives Japan as the figure of an empty and dehumanizing technological power. For Baudrillard (1988, p. 76), the future seems to have shifted toward artificial satellites. Japan not only is located geographically somewhere else but is also projected chronologically. The depiction labels Japan as the alienated and dystopian representation of capitalist progress. The Japanese emerge from the future as unfeeling aliens, cyborgs and replicants. The otaku are therefore of the postmodern. The otaku on this reading is becoming-overman. While the United States is described as the only great primitive society of modern times, for Baudrillard, Japan is a satellite in orbit and the future of technology. For Karatani (1993), the Orient is neither a cultural, religious, or linguistic unity as its identity lies


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outside of itself. What endows it with some vague sense of unity is precisely that the Orient is that which is excluded and objectified by the West, in the service of its historical progress. From the outset the Orient is a shadow of the West (Árnason & Sugimoto, 1995). In a move not altogether dissimilar, and reflecting this enthraldom with Japanese technology, science fiction writer William Gibson (2009) writes: If you believe as I do, that all cultural change is essentially technologically driven, you pay attention to the Japanese. The postmodern era will be the Pacific era. Japan is the future, and it is a future that seems to be transcending and displacing Western modernity.

Infatuation with Japan is found in Guattari’s writings (1995, p. 4). He visited the island nation on several occasions in the 1990s. Guattari was enthralled with the dialectic of the archaic and modern in a country which had progressed from premodern archaism to postmodern hybridity with no discernible modernity in between. Guattari said that the lack of modernity made machinic junkies out of the infantile, childlike Japanese. Japan exhibited a certain unique penchant for the machine, for the machinic relationship to technology. He also drew attention to the always-already mixed nature of the elements that form subjectivity—for example, those archaic attachments to cultural traditions that nonetheless aspire to the technological and scientific modernity characterizing the contemporary subjective cocktail. Guattari (1996, p. 105) writes: Look at Japan, the prototypical model of new capitalist subjectivities. Not enough emphasis has been placed on the fact that one of the essential ingredients of the miracle mix showcased for visitors to Japan is that the collective subjectivity produced there on a massive scale combines the highest of high-tech components with feudalisms and archaisms inherited from the mists of time.

AZUMA’S OTAKU Hiroki Azuma adopts an otaku perspective on Japanese society and produces a novel update on the snobbery thesis. He claims otaku culture represents a new orientation toward a large database, somehow, and something outside of the story of grand narratives, outside the story of modernity. For Azuma, postmodernism reveals the structure of otaku. What Azuma means by database is often far from clear, but it is used as a structure to rival Western tales of the grand narrative. Azuma says animals differ from humans in the sense that animals cannot distinguish between their needs (yokkyû) and desires

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(yokubô). Reading much into this, Azuma heralds the arrival of an animalized postmodern, particularly in otaku culture, where needs and desires become indistinguishable. Here the otaku and the snob serve as synecdoches for Japan and the Japanese. The figure of the otaku pinpoints, materially, the excrescent revelation of an abnormal outgrowth. Connecting with the narrative of the otaku is the notion of the superflat (Murakami, 2005) and its relationship with architecture. The discourse of the otaku operates where Japan is conspicuously absent or missing, a space for invention or rediscovery. The figure of the otaku works as phantasmagoria of the spectacle and bears witness to the hypertrophy of the inner life. In one sense, it appears closer to Bataille’s man of unemployed negativity than to Nietzsche’s last man. We should note also that after reflecting upon Kojève’s account of the end of history, Bataille wrote an open letter to Kojève (Letter to X Lecture on Hegel), proposing an alternative ending with himself as the last man. At the end of history the human being is unemployed negativity. For Bataille, human negativity does not disappear, it only becomes “unemployed.” More critically, we might say, the otaku is the manifestation of enthraldom to commodity fetishism. Yet, for Azuma, otaku culture is not a subculture unique to Japan. Although the concept denotes your home, your family, it is transnational, enjoying a presence across Asia, Europe and the Americas. Otaku is no longer a derogatory term. To be otaku is in a sense to be hip. Otaku have evolved. Otaku are becoming-overman. For example, so-called third-generation otaku, born in the 1980s, have developed a new sensibility and a methodology of communication over the internet. From the 1970s (Azuma denotes postmodernity as the cultural world since the 1970s or in terms of Japanese history, the period marked by the era following the Osaka International Expo in 1970) postmodernity suggests a rupture in culture, a desire for small narratives (chiisana monogatari) or simulacra and the desire for a grand non-narrative at the level of the database. Here we can understand non-narrative as that found in the characters in anime or manga and the non-narrative product mascot or figure. The otaku leads informatic capitalist society, according to Okada (1996). Oriental culture for Okada begins as an amalgam of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism derived from Japan’s Asian neighbors. This process of becoming oriental continues with Zen and the tea ceremony, before being realized in ukiyoe, and more contemporarily in anime, special effects films, video games and costume play (cosplay). The otaku perceives with three eyes or modes of visual appreciation—iki, takumi, and tsuu. Here otaku is linked to the notion of iki from the Edo era, placing the valorization of ideas above the message. This idea is used elsewhere by Marc Steinberg who discusses the use of Edo as a trope for Japanese postmodernity. Steinberg (2004) suggests Edo is deployed to situate Japanese visual artist and theorist Murakami Takashi’s 2000–1 exhibition,


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Superflat. He contends that the superflat itself is guided by the logic of compositing informed by contemporary modes of digital imaging rather than the quasi-historization that characterized the use of Edo in Japan’s postmodern 1980s and 1990s. Drawing on Okada’s study, Azuma builds a theory of the otaku from works in Japanese, which link the unique compositions of animator Kaneda Yoshinori to the eccentricities of Edo painters. Azuma is at his strongest when he disrupts the received opinion and fantasy that otaku culture and otaku-like sensibilities are unique to the Yamato race. To the apparent chagrin of hardline otaku fans, he says the emergence of otaku culture is not a uniquely Japanese phenomenon because it was imported from the United States after the trauma of defeat in the Second World War. The early history of otaku culture is about adaption and domestication. Otaku may well have a unique aesthetic and cybernetic-hybrid imaginary, but it is one drawn genealogically from overseas and one built on a certain ressentiment of desire drawn from dark places, from the sense of inferiority vis-à-vis the United States. Edo is but one among many invented others in relation to which modernity posits itself. Postmodern Edo is a designated space phenomenologically and epistemologically distinct from European modernity, acting as a trope for an imagined space, that is to say, the unspoiled, rural idyll, the authentic Japan, that pre-Western locus lying outside of modernity. So at the end of history, there is form stripped of content and the otaku nestles in between the dyad of otaku and Japan (Azuma, 2009, p. 11). The Japanese aspects of otaku culture are disconnected from postmodern Japan but remain implicated in the Americanization of Japanese society. And it is this point on the lingering and embedded effects of the logic of consumer society which complicates a strong reading of the Kojève-Japan thesis. In fact, Azuma contends, the disappearance of Japanese tradition led ironically to a rekindling of obsession with Japan or pseudo-Japan in otaku culture (ibid, pp. 77, 15). Pseudo-Japan is manufactured from US-produced material. Azuma rejects the paradigm of Edo commodity culture to explain Japan in the 1980s and 1990s and in doing so questions the self-orientalizing impulse in Japan where Japanese view themselves and Japan through the prism of occidental desire. He finds a psychological mentality to hide the Americanization of Japan and loss and defeat after the Second World War. As he says, Japan is merely an imaginary and imagined space, a “quasi-Japan created from American materials” (ibid, pp. 77, 32). Japanese postmodernism is connected to a certain sense of narcissism as it was an expression of an atypical modernization process. She was different not because she suffered a defect or loss but precisely because she brought something inaugural and vital. With no modern sense of humanity built on Enlightenment ideals, the collapse of sovereign subjectivity was not something to be mourned but celebrated as the Japanese could unite

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consumerism and technological progress. In summa: if modernity is a Western notion, postmodernism is a Japanese idea. For advocates of this line of reasoning, to be Japanese therefore in the 1980s was to stand at the forefront of a very different kind of history. Japan was standing at the zenith of the world economy. Under one Kojevian reading of posthistoire, if the animalization of society was an American outcome, snobbery was a Japanese conclusion. Snobbery is a formal value, a value empty of all rational (historical) social and political content. Kojève’s argument suggests that a way out of the animality or rebarbarization of American life was the Japanization of the West. And the euphoria regarding this idea did get the better of some astute cultural critics. Takashi Murakami (ibid, pp. 77, 19) wrote that perhaps Japan was the future of the world. The formation of otaku culture can be seen as an expression of this self-gratifying narcissism. For Azuma, the existence of otaku reflects the grotesque fragility of the Japanese identity. He is critical of the unthinking suggestion that Japan was at the cutting edge because it could harness ultramodern technology and everyday customs. The structure of otaku subculture is set out in the following manner. Otaku culture essentially is a database of the derivative works of amateurs. It is postmodern in the sense that it reproduces simulacrum, neither original nor copy, without aura or place—junk. Otaku operate within a cultural realm permeated by the omnipresence of simulacra and the dysfunction of grand narratives. Baudrillard’s site of hyperreality is the home of the otaku, a double world of simulacra and database. Baudrillard saw in Kojève’s interpretation the omnipresence of simulacra, signs without referents. In Japan, he discerns an unintelligible paradox, the capacity to transform feudalism and territoriality into weightlessness and deterritoriality. The resolution for the otaku is to expend life for any absurd purpose. For Azuma, it is against a backdrop of the loss of grand narrative and the resultant mushrooming of many singular narratives that otaku culture places importance on fiction. Osawa Masachi in The End of the Fictional Age notes the dangers of this process as this can spill over into micro-fascist becoming, self-immolation and black holes found in fictional narratives such as those disseminated by the Japanese religious group Aum Shinrikyo. Moreover, otaku are more susceptible to the otherworldly as they struggle to mark out the difference between the other and transcendental other. Because the deep layer of hidden meaning has disappeared, leaving mere appearances and surfaces, otaku culture, for Azuma, obsesses with smaller narratives as fragments of a grand narrative—a non-narrative consumption. The internet is a paradigm of database activity. With no center, no hidden grand narrative and a mere world of outer signs, it is rhizomatic as there is a double-layer structure at once accumulating encoded information and


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individual webpages. It is operable as a database, a reading-up model. The arborescent tree model stands in contradistinction to the database model of the postmodern world image (ibid, p. 77). With the collapse of the tree structure, the database takes its place. By conjoining the database model and Eiji Otsuka’s narrative consumption model (Lunning, 2008, p. 27), Azuma discerns a double structure of settings and small narratives and thinks this as representing a double-layer structure of information and appearance. At times, Azuma writes as an ironist at once uttering statements of a Hegelian (Azuma says Hegel’s historical perspective is difficult to refute), fullyfledged postmodernist (grand narratives are anachronistic) kind and then speaking on behalf of others (Japanese youth lack the desire for the grand narrative image of the world because database operations, now more perspectival than omniscient, see no currency in forgeries even as a subculture) (ibid, p. 36). In Deleuzian terms, if rhizome is a matter of becoming, the otaku is a becoming-database. Repeating the poststructural mantra of the erasure of the author and authorship, Azuma claims, with neither original nor copy, what matters for the otaku are the settings created anonymously (ibid, pp. 53–54). A copy is not judged according to the distance from the original but its distance from the database. What are the ramifications of database consumption and a double-layer structure of postmodernity? While Azuma’s thesis is insightful, it seems to fail to make good on the radicality of its initial assumptions. We therefore need to go further. At the beginning of Azuma’s work, he asks what becomes of the humanity of human beings at the end? By the finale of the book, he seems nowhere near close to answering this fundamental question. Is Azuma really saying that solitude is the answer to life at the end of history? Is he suggesting that it is in the quasipataphysical figure of the undergoing hikikomori, that there is a sign of hope and difference? It is also pertinent to question the necessity of substituting the concept of rhizome for the database as even Azuma acknowledges that the rhizome model can be seen as synonymous with the database mode (ibid, p. 31). Snobbery is concretized in the postmodern animal era in the formalized detachment of the otaku (ibid, p. 69). Is Azuma here suggesting that the last man or posthistorical man is exemplified in the otaku as pure idle spectator? Does the otaku personify the way of life depicted in Kojève’s fantasy? Azuma suggests that the world of the otaku contains a certain degree of truth. However, does this truth pertain to the posthistorical? Following Žižek’s snobbery as cynicism thesis in the Sublime Object of Ideology (1989), Azuma argues that we think otherwise even when we believe nonetheless in something because of the twisted relation between form and substance evinced in snobbery. Cynical subjects do not believe in the material value of the world (Azuma, 2009, p. 70). As people commit seppuku (ritualized self-sacrifice) fully in the knowledge that it is meaningless, so otaku refuse to relinquish the fake.

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For Azuma, the post-1995 era is that of the animal age (ibid, p. 80). He cites the way chara-moe, that is, elements which characters, specifically in anime, can be broken up into, is a reflection of otaku culture of the 1990s and postmodern consumer behavior in general. Chara-moe is not explained away as mere fanatical consumer behavior. It is sustained rather by movements back and forth between the characters (the simulacra) and the moe-elements (the database). Entwined within the feeling (moe) for a character and some form of blind obsession, there is a peculiar cool, detached dimension engineered from destructuring the object into moe-elements and objectifying them within a database. The narrative animal of modernity satisfies the desire for meaning analogically through sociality, through small narratives with a grand narrative. What Azuma seems to be saying is that at the end of history the question of man qua animal is answered by the otaku who deals with emotive concerns at the level of animalistic processing, that is to say, in solitude. The point is well made when Azuma remarks that in a database-model society there is no room for grand empathy. The otaku clan is adrift materially, living meaningless lives. Moe-elements therefore function in a similar fashion to Prozac or psychotropic drugs. The otaku is comparable to a drug addict. While noting that it is the small narratives in the surface outer layer that offer meaning to the otaku (ibid, pp. 94–95), otaku behavior is akin to the lifestyle choices endemic to Prozac drug abuse, Hollywood films and techno music. The otaku here appear akin to the postmodern characters of Haruki Murakami, leading essentially purposeless lives, devoid of meaning, but lives protected with a style and obsession to survive. Another writer, Ryu Murakami (2000) has explored the underside of hikikomori, describing the phenomenon as social withdrawal or “a state of anomie, those socially withdrawn people, who find it extremely painful to communicate with the outside world, and thus they turn to the tools that bring virtual reality into their closed rooms.” Socially withdrawn adults lock themselves in their bedrooms and refuse to have any contact with the outside world. Some own computers or mobile phones, but most have few or no friends. Their funk can last for months, even years in extreme cases. He argues rather apocalyptically that if Japanese culture cannot adjust it may well drown in “a tsunami of technology” and end up sinking ever deeper into a “labyrinth of confusion.” Yet even here, for Murakami, Japan’s hikikomori could be harbingers of a new way of life. On this register, it could be that their undergoing is preparatory for the overman to come. A WALK IN THE GINZA Fukuyama’s evangelical and eschatological prophecy of ultra-capitalism rings true in Tokyo—of consumerism, capitalism and conspicuous consumption


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as art form to the nth degree. The Japanese retain their own clear sense of humanity, without becoming animals in the Hegelian sense. For Kojève, the West has much to learn from Japan and may escape the animalization of man or rebarbarization through a “Japanization” of the world. Yet critics are right to be skeptical of the linear conception or narrative of Western history which ends in Japan, which reifies as unique the topography of the Japanese. Contrary to the linear conception of history, Japan is a pastiche of anachronistic elements, ranging from the postmodern to the “protohistoric.” Kojève’s identification of snobbery as a uniquely Japanese posthistorical phenomenon can be read as a heuristic device for contesting the unblinking affirmation of Fukuyama’s earlier proclamations. As posthistorical man slumps back into reanimalization, he is reabsorbed. The parallel between Kojève’s “protoman” concept and Zen absorption is not coincidental. It is not difference but the repetition of the same. Kojève had a deep attraction to Eastern mysticism, and it is known how he long entertained the possible union of Western philosophy and Eastern religion (Buddhism in particular) (Lilla, 1991, p. 4). CONCLUSION: THE SPECTER OF FUKUYAMA Fukuyama (2002, 2011) has conceded recently that his 1989 thesis is incomplete. He has argued that there can be no end of history without an end of modern natural science and technology. Humanity’s control of its own evolution will have a great and possibly terrible effect on liberal democracies. He has reflected on the seemingly feverish desire to align Western capitalism and democracy with the end of history, describing it as a symptom of the anxiety to ensure the death of Marx. Indeed, others have said the same thing but more harshly. According to Bauman (1992, p. 183), Western society has “neither effective enemies inside nor barbarians knocking at the gates, only adulators and imitators.” It has practically (and apparently irrevocably) delegitimized all alternatives to itself. Reworking Kojève, Agamben (2004) thinks the Japanese retain human subjectivity through separating form and content of action in the most radical manner. It is the formation of rules and values stripped of utilitarian purpose that forges a sense of snobbery without content. But for Agamben, and contra Fukuyama, the posthuman future is the control of the biosphere (ibid, p. 76). With history depleted of telos, humanity becomes animal again but with nothing left to do but depoliticize the socius by means of the unconditioned unfolding of the oikonomia, or the taking on of biological life itself as the supreme political task. For Agamben, the animalization process signifies the lapse and lack of historical tasks for men. He goes on to say that humans have been on a course to disappear since

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the end of the First World War. For the Italian philosopher, the question of the animal is now one of the management of bare life. It is a question of the depolitization of the socius or of tackling biological life itself (ibid, p. 77). Agamben says that what is left at the end is the ominous total management of biological life or the animality of man. So sharing the concern of Fukuyama, the tasks before mankind are how the genome is mapped, how planetary capitalism is unfurled and the dissemination of humanitarian ideology. The total humanization of the animal coincides with a total animalization of man. Taken in another sense and in a way critical of Fukuyama, Agamben challenges the collapse of the animal and the human into the so-called zone of indifference. While Fukuyama’s biological turn highlights new dangers at the end of history, Agamben identifies a biogenetic threat to render obsolete the free autonomous subject of liberal democracy, which he finds in Fukuyama’s realization of the dark obverse of his idealized image of liberal democracy. The free market has the capacity to rip apart quite literally the very being of the human being, to imperil the notion of what it means to be human. This is why the Japan snobbery thesis reruns. Žižek says the future will be Hegelian either in the guise of a conservative capitalism with Asian values as in Japan or the Hegel of Haiti (Žižek, 2004, p. 132). The question of Hegelian history remains timely. Contra Fukuyama, who wants to put Hegel and the political question of how best to organize society to bed, Žižek critiques this arrogant position, arguing instead that in reading Hegel we understand what we are, what our contemporary situation might be in his eyes and how our epoch would appear to his thought. In terms of Kojève’s Marxist convictions, he was looking for a way beyond American-style mass consumption in which the end of history becomes an iron cage in which human animals engage in riskless inactivity. Endless consumption replaces the struggle for recognition, as the repetition of animalistic sameness replaces historical change. The end of history thesis remains timely and pertinent. There is a need to think alternatives to the miserable plight mankind endures day to day. Thinking Kojève’s anthropocentric reading of Hegel’s speculative end of history thesis alongside Fukuyama’s desire to expunge any alternative tales, and Azuma’s otaku theory we have seen that Kojève’s postscript is something more than a mere jotting in the margins, crossed out and erased. Fukuyama’s thesis needs this erasure. It cannot function as the famous paean to capitalism and liberal democracy with it. However, Kojève’s postscript suggests more than Fukuyama allows. It is a provocation to pose and question alternative models to capital, whether diametrically opposed systems or hyperlogical, excrescent models as in Japan. There are more thought-provoking things to be said of the snobbism thesis. We must read it therefore again amid the backdrop of prevalent terror and fear. We must read and understand it against claims that it makes little sense


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to talk about Japan as an alternative to Western capital. We interpret the postscript therefore seriously while acknowledging Kojève’s penchant for irony and wit (Kojève, 1969, p. 169). REFERENCES Agamben, G. (2004). The Open: Man and Animal (K. Attell, Trans.). Stanford University Press. Árnason, J. P., & Sugimoto, Y. (1995). Japanese Encounters with Postmodernity. Kegan Paul International. Azuma, H. (2009). Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals (J. E. Abel & S. Kono, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Originally published 動物化するポストモダン オタクから見た日本社会, 1991) Baudrillard, J. (1988). America. Verso. Baudrillard, J. (1994). Simulacra and Simulation. University of Michigan Press. (Original work published 1981) Bauman, Z. (1992). Intimations of Postmodernity. Routledge. Darby, T. (1982). The Feast: Meditations on Politics and Time. University of Toronto Press. Descombes, V. (1980). Modern French Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. Fukuyama, F. (1992). The End of History and the Last Man. Free Press. Fukuyama, F. (2002). Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. Fukuyama, F. (2011). The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. Gibson, W. (2001, April 1). Modern Boys and Mobile Girls. The Observer. http:// www​.guardian​.co​.uk​/books​/2001​/apr​/01​/sci​ence​fict​ionf​anta​syan​dhorro features Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (1996). The Guattari Reader (G. Genosko, Ed.). Blackwell Publishers. Haigh, S. P. (1991). Kojève, Japan, and the End of History [Unpublished MA thesis]. University of Calgary. Hegel, G. W. F. (2007). The Philosophy of History (J. Sibree, Trans.). Cosimo Classics. (Original work published 1820) Karatani, K. (1993). Origins of Modern Japanese Literature. Duke University Press. Kojève, A. (1968, June 1–15). Interview published in La Quinzaine Litteraire. Kojève, A., Queneau, R., et al. (1969). Introduction to the Reading of Hegel [S.l.]. (J. H. Nichols Jr., Trans.). Basic Books. (Original work published 1947) Lilla, M. (1991, April 5). The End of Philosophy: How a Russian e’migre’ Brought Hegel to the French. Times Literary Supplement. Lunning, F. E. D. (2008). Mechademia 3: Limits of the Human. University of Minnesota Press.

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Morley, D., & Robins, K. (1995). Spaces of Identity: Global Media, Electronic Landscapes, and Cultural Boundaries. Routledge. Murakami, R. (2000, May 1). Japan’s Lost Generation. Asia Now. http://www​.time​ .com​/time​/asia​/magazine​/2000​/0501​/japan​.essaymurakami​.html Murakami, T. (2005). Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture. Yale University Press. Nichols, J. H. (2007). Alexandre Kojève: Wisdom at the End of History. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Niethammer, L., & Laak, D. V. (1992). Posthistoire: Has History Come to an End? Verso. Nietzsche, F. W. (1995). Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (W. A. Kaufmann, Trans.). Modern Library. (Original work published 1883) Okada, T. (1996). Otakugaku nyūmon [Introduction to Otakuology]. Shinchōsha. Pincus, L. (1996). Authenticating Culture in Imperial Japan: Kuki Shuzo and the Rise of National Aesthetics (Volume 5, Twentieth Century Japan: The Emergence of a World Power). University of California Press. Shuzo, K., & Clark, J. N. (1980). The Structure of ‘Iki’. (Originally published “Iki” no kōzō, 1967) Steinberg, M. (2004, November 1). Otaku Consumption, Superflat Art and the Return to Edo. Japan Forum, 16(3), 449–471. Ueno, T. (2012, May 1). Guattari and Japan. Deleuze Studies, 6(2), 187–209. Vlastos, S. (1998). Mirror of Modernity: Invented Traditions of Modern Japan. University of California Press. Wettergreen, J. A. (1973, March 1). Is Snobbery a Formal Value? Considering Life at the End of Modernity. The Western Political Quarterly, 26(1), 109–129. Yoshimoto, M. (1989). The Postmodern and Mass Images in Japan. Public Cultures, 1(2), 818. Žižek, S. (1989). The Sublime Object of Ideology. Verso. Zižek, S. (2004). Organs Without Bodies: Deleuze and Consequences. Routledge.

FILM BIBLIOGRAPHY Zwick, E. (Director). (2004). The Last Samurai [Film]. Warner Home Video.

Chapter 2

On Guattari’s “Japan”

For some time I have been reading a number of European philosophers and Japanese thinkers to try and rethink the very idea of Japanese studies. I have been looking at the impact of technology on calligraphy using Paul Virilio, Pierre Lévy and Michel Foucault (Bradley, 2014a). And I have tried to connect Murakami Ryu’s writing with Félix Guattari and Bernard Stiegler to address the prevalent sense of digital connection and loneliness in Japanese society (Bradley, 2015a). Elsewhere, and in undertaking a kind of media ecology of exploitation (Bradley, 2014b), I have been looking at live streaming and its impact on young people—a perspective which I think needs to be addressed in Japanese studies (Bradley, 2017). I have also been considering the loss of attention among young people, and alongside Deleuze and Guattari, phenomenologist Bernard Stiegler has been especially important as his work helps to make sense of the crisis (Stiegler, 2013). I have been using the beautiful concept of ritournelle or refrain (from the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari) to reinterpret the kinetic contraptions of Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely in terms of Japan’s pachinko industry (Bradley, 2016) and modern Japanese art (Bradley in MacCormack & Gardner, 2018), and I very much enjoyed dipping into and mixing concepts found in Friedrich Nietzsche, Deleuze and Guattari, and Japanese iconoclast writer Sakaguchi Ango (坂口 安吾) in Deleuze and Buddhism, my book with Tony See, especially working with the notion of daraku (堕落) or decadence. In other places, I have been applying Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts to address how students fall in love with literature or steer away from it (Bradley, 2015b). In tandem with an interest in Japanese anime and manga, I continue to use Deleuze and Guattari’ schizoanalysis work to look at the notion of indifference, suicide and loneliness in Japan. 21


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Over the years, I have been eagerly involved in Deleuze conferences, both the international and Asia-focused variants. To date, the Deleuze in Asia conferences have been held in Taiwan, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore and recently in the Philippines. In 2019, it was held at the University of Tokyo. In 2021, it was back in Korea at Kyung Hee University, where I am a visiting fellow at the Global Centre for Technology and the Humanities (GCTH). The International Deleuze and Guattari conference proper has a longer history, with meetings held predominantly in Europe (Cardiff, Cologne, Amsterdam Copenhagen, Lisbon, Istanbul, Stockholm and Rome), but also in North America, in New Orleans and Toronto; in 2018 it went south to Brazil and moved to London in 2019, then online in the Czech Republic during the pandemic. Why is this important? The writer and psychiatrist Félix Guattari visited Japan many times in the 1980s (Guattari, 1996, 2015) where he gained some notoriety. At that time, he wrote much about the archipelago, its culture, its architecture and economy, often in critical terms. But on the whole it is fair to say he was enchanted by the nation. For me, his schizoanalysis and ecosophy of the country (2006, 2014) remain thought-provoking and many are still influenced by it (Boundas, 2018), including myself, but it is tied to its era and needs updating and applying—hence my impetus to write a kind of applied Guattari or applied schizoanalysis. Whether Guattari or myself succumb to a form of techno-Orientalism or not (Morley & Robins, 2004), I shall leave for others to decide. However, despite being a Westerner, I think it unreasonable to simply criticize my own particular facticity as a kind of a new Japonisme, as I have resided in Japan for two decades and got over the honeymoon period some time ago. Moreover, my purpose is not to engage in delineating Guattari’s intellectual history. Nor is it not to explain in detail what Guattari found interesting (animism, Shinto Buddhism, social control pachinko, work ethic, soft power) but to examine what must be studied in our time using Guattari’s theoretical model and conceptual architecture. For example, it is my view that more research must be undertaken to understand precisely how social control functions and how the refrains and jingles function to capture our attention (think of pings for Facebook or the chimes from Skype, the vibrations from the smartphone). We need to appreciate more fully how propaganda surreptitiously works, for example, how Twitter is making people stupid (or how “mutant algae” like Donald Trump constitute an ecological disaster). Guattari writes (2000, p. 43): Now more than ever, nature cannot be separated from culture; in order to comprehend the interactions between ecosystems, the mechanosphere and the social and individual Universes of reference, we must learn to think “transversally.” Just as monstrous and mutant algae invade the lagoon of

On Guattari’s “Japan”


Venice, so our television screens are populated, saturated, by “degenerate” images and statements. In the field of social ecology, men like Donald Trump are permitted to proliferate freely, like another species of algae, taking over entire districts of New York and Atlantic City; he “redevelops” by raising rents, thereby driving out tens of thousands of poor families, most of whom are condemned to homelessness, becoming the equivalent of the dead fish of environmental ecology.

And on the interrelation of politics and desire (1984, p. 249), Guattari describes how social control functions in subtle, seductive ways: Certainly social control has never been achieved with as little violence as it is today. People are kept the prisoners of their environment—of the ideas, the taste, the models, the ways of being, the images constantly presented to them, even the turns of phrase that run through their heads.

The activity of the growing network of Deleuze and Guattari scholars is mentioned above because it is extensive in its intellectual endeavors and impressive in its commitment to thinking otherwise than the status quo: its work extends to scholars who formed the India Deleuze collective connecting academics and activists in Manipal, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi and beyond and the group of researchers in South Africa, who hold conferences on Deleuze and Guattari. Also in Peru and Brazil, to name but two countries in South America, Deleuze and Guattari scholars are continuing to build their own rhizomatic research networks. Yet it is only recently in the last year or so that the Deleuze conference has decided to change its name to the Deleuze and Guattari conference. This is not an earth-shattering event but one presumably made to reflect the growing interest in the latter’s work. Genosko’s Machinic Eros: Writings on Japan (2015) is an example of work which has emerged recently with a Japan focus, and there is a growing body of work on Guattari and Japan in the Deleuze Studies journal itself (Guattari, 2007; Ueno, 2012). For example, some recent work on Deleuze and Japanese thought (2018) stems from a forum held at the second International Deleuze Studies in Asia Conference, in Osaka in 2014 on the theme of desert islands. Writers for this Deleuze and Guattari Studies journal issue include Tatsuya Higaki, Kuniichi Uno, Yoshiyuki Koizumi and Masato Gōda. This is noteworthy and important I believe because it shows an active interest in Guattari’s particular way of thinking, which not only unpacks the reality of the contemporary moment but is also critical of the present society and milieu. This is not to say that Deleuze was not critical about of the society of his time and place but perhaps we can say he had a different, more nuanced philosophical way of thinking about it. Guattari, on the other hand,


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traveled to Poland, Japan, Mexico and Brazil in the 1980s to understand the technological and ecosophical changes that were taking place there. His ecosophy emerged from those encounters around the world. My interest then is in developing a kind of applied Guattari approach to Japan. Straightforwardly, I am not dogmatically focused on the exegesis of his schizoanalysis as an end in itself but rather in using some of the concepts to rethink social phenomena. I endeavor to use such concepts to analyze where I am in the world and what I experience in everyday life and especially what I experience not only in the classroom but also outside, that is to say, when I reflect on the lives of the young Japanese or Asian students who are miserably affected by technology, by the Japanese and global work ethic, by isolation, loneliness, depression, by endemic indifference and a certain sense of infantilism (see Asada, “Infantile Capitalism and Japan’s Postmodernism: A Fairy Tale” in Masao Miyoshi and H. D. Harootunian’s Postmodernism and Japan, 1989). THINKING A RADIOACTIVE WORLD The idea of an applied Guattari studies is not without its critics. Such an antithetical view rejects the idea of an applied Deleuze and/or Guattari studies (in areas such as philosophy or social theory or social criticism). Chiba Masaya (2015) seemingly takes up this position, claiming, “I am embarrassed from time to time to hear some Deleuzians, including Asians, happily discussing the affinity of Deleuze’s contentions and Asian traditional relationism and writing comparative articles on Deleuze and some theory of Buddhism, Confucianism blah blah blah.” He goes on to decry the fact that various applied studies of Deleuze’s theory are flourishing. He turns his eyes away in disbelief (2015): “Such a situation often embarrasses me. We can find interesting things in them, of course. However, I cannot help being doubtful about them because my priority is still a close examination of the basis of his system. Today’s proliferation of applied Deleuze means that there are some textbooks about studying him but I’ve taken distance to such a situation. If we still stick to Deleuze, what matters is to squeeze an outside of Deleuze, out of Deleuze himself, recapturing the economy of his texts.” Chiba writes of the need for an anti-dromological imperative “don’t move too fast” the instruction found in the title of his book Ugokisugite wa ikenai: Jiru Duruzu to seiseihenka no tetsugaku (Don’t Move Too Much: Gilles Deleuze and the Philosophy of Becoming) (2013). He is right to question the over-connectedness he finds in Japanese society and suggests in response the extreme strategy of withdrawal or disconnectivity from excessive connectedness. Separation, as he says, is ontologically prior.

On Guattari’s “Japan”


Following Deleuze, he insists, we need more “non-communication,” not less, a point also made by Andrew Culp in his Dark Deleuze (2016). Indeed, it is true that Deleuze insists we need vacuoles of non-communication or circuit breakers as we have too much communication. Yet Chiba is composing a kind of Deleuzian-negativity, which addresses the pleasure of accepting alienation and separateness, a philosophy undergirded by the principle of a-signifying rupture. This is important because Deleuze is usually seen as embracing a kind of philosophy of affirmation and joy, and demanding distance from sad affects following Spinoza and Nietzsche. Deleuze is often interpreted as writing a kind of metaphysics of joy. I have no particular truck with Chiba’s or Culp’s view. In some ways, the position of Chiba is close to that of phenomenologist Alphonso Lingis, the English translator of Emmanuel Levinas and Merleau-Ponty, and a majestic prose writer in his right. Lingis claims that in the transnational, “technocratic-commercial archipelago of urban techno poles,” by which he means cities in advanced industrialized countries, there is a need to withdraw from the clamor of being with others. As he says (2013): “Today one half of humanity has assembled in cities where whenever people are talking to others, facing them, they talk into cell phones, there exists a powerful drive for solitude.” Yet, some Japanese scholars are perhaps more sympathetic to my position of experimenting with an applied Deleuze or applied Guattari project. One such writer is Higaki Tatsuya of Osaka University. In recent years, Higaki has been writing a great deal of Deleuze-influenced scholarship on Japanese intellectual history and Japanese philosophy, the content of which blends Western concepts and Buddhist philosophies; for example, he mentions several writers such as Kuki Shūzō (1888–1941), members of the Kyoto school, Kenji Miyazawa, Takaaki Yoshimoto and so on and views them through a Deleuzian lens. Higaki writes (See & Bradley, 2016, p. 67): “Yet it cannot be denied that the schizophrenic nature that Deleuze depicts, especially in A Thousand Plateaus, is intertwined with Japanesque and Buddhist descriptions of nature, and that this, together with anthropological discussions, serves to expand the argument of A Thousand Plateaus.” Some might say much of this is not new as there is already much extant scholarship in Japan on Deleuze and Guattari (Uno, 1996), going back decades. This is certainly true. Indeed, many young Japanese scholars were profoundly influenced by Deleuze in the 1960s and 1970s and traveled to Paris to study with him. Because of this many translations of Deleuze’s work, thanks to the endeavors of Kuniichi Uno and others, appeared in Japanese before appearing in English. This movement was followed famously by Asada Akira’s notion of tōsōron (逃走論) or theory of escape (2016). Asada’s writings made the notion of the schizo a popular household name in the 1980s.


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To give a more recent example of how Deleuze remains important as a theoretical means to understand Japanese politics, Koichiro Kokubun (2012) writes of taikutsu shinogi (退屈しのぎ), a problem which emerged after the bursting of the bubble economy and proceeded right up until Fukushima. The Fukushima incident has prompted a rethinking of this mentality. Kokubun says that given the historical structure of Japanese democratic politics and sovereignty, before 3.11, no new image of thought or vision of the future could have been imagined—because Japan had enjoyed its prosperity, while living schizophrenically under the shadow of American imperial will. As such, there is no way to actively engage in politics, except by merely passing the time. However, following the nuclear meltdown, and in the resultant horror and danger to life, the Japanese people are forced to become “animals” (doubutsu ni naru koto, 動物になること)—compelled to think a new image of thought that fully embraces the ramifications of Fukushima. In an interesting way, this move by Kokubun is a reworking of Deleuze and Guattari’s geo-conception of thought. Why? Because, as they say, in facing the “ignominy of the possibilities of life” and the shameful compromises of our non-thinking present, Deleuze and Guattari contend that“There is no way to escape the ignoble, but to play the part of the animal (to growl, burrow, snigger, distort ourselves)” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994, p. 108). Japanese society is confronted with a demand to think a new image of thought, to begin thinking again, especially with respect to an engaged democracy. Kokubun makes the point that there is a pressing need to connect the everyday lives of people with the representative bodies in singularly new formations. In this respect, 3.11 is a trigger for people to think fundamentally, in order not to fall back on received opinion, or what Kokubun terms passive democracy (omakase minshushugi, お任せ民主主義). Other writers have explored the geo-trauma or shock of 3.11 from a Guattarian perspective. Shirô Yabu (2012), author of 3.12 no shisô [3.12 Thought] writes that what the 3.11 shock demonstrates is how the dystopia of “nuclear capitalism” (genshiryoku shihonshugi, 原子力資本主義) was preexistent before the catastrophic accident. Meanwhile, Sabu Kohso (2015), a translator of Kojin Karatani, claims that Fukushima remains implicated in a capitalist-driven “totalization of the world” and, as such, its “apocalyptic symptom” is part of an “unending process toward a radioactive planet.” The fissures of Fukushima are, he says, “running everywhere on our existential territories” and because of this, the people of Japan face a crossroads, one toward conservatism and collusion with the nuclear industry, the other to “pry open the fissures”—to destinations unknown. In the latter, there is a remote hope to “decompose capitalism,” to “turn people’s sufferings into political projects and the different ways which we can interact with the planet.”

On Guattari’s “Japan”


One can also find an interesting Deleuzian-inflected take on Japan and its ecological crisis in Thouny’s Planetary Atmospheres and Urban Society After Fukushima (2017). Elsewhere, Hiroki Azuma (2011a) follows a line of argument which appears at odds with someone like Masaya Chiba and appears less optimistic than Kokubun Koichiro. He discusses the notion of kizuna or bonds (of friendship) and claims that what the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear accident in 2011 demonstrate is the conspicuous lack of solidarity and homogeneity in pre- and post-Fukushima Japanese society. The reality of post-Fukushima is that people remain atomized and alienated from each other in terms of income, location and age. In his article “The Disaster Broke Us Apart” (2011b), Azuma criticized the sometimes unthinking affirmation of kizuna (friendship or “bonds between people”), a concept which gained popularity in the immediate aftermath of the nuclear disaster and acts as a means to encapsulate the sense of community which emerged in the face of the earthquake, tsunamis and nuclear disaster. Kizuna was voted the kanji of the year in 2011, ahead of other kanji such as 災 (sai) or 震 (shin), meaning “disaster” and “quake,” respectively. Azuma’s views in this article contrast with the comments made in the days after 3/11. For example he wrote in the opinion pages of the New York Times that “there is one thing that can be said on the sixth day since the quake: the Japanese people have begun to see their nation in a more positive light than they have in at least 20 or 30 years” (Azuma, 2011b). Another Japanese writer is Toshiya Ueno (2016), whose book Yottsu no ekorojī: Ferikkusu gatari no shikō [The Four Ecologies and the Thought of Guattari] (2016) calls for an extra ecology in addition to Guattari’s triadic ecology of the social, mental and the environment. This he calls a media ecology. For Ueno, to pass from the One (totality or whole), beyond dualisms or a dialectics of the two, to transcend the troika of relations in psychoanalysis is to extract a fourth dimension or ecology in Guattari’s works. This fourth ecology would look at Japanese society to address the mental woes afflicting young people, not only in Japan but also across the world (Berardi, 2015). This diagrammatic form of thinking would look to escape pre-formatted ideas to try and anticipate what is yet to come. This form of forecasting as a fourth ecology is profoundly interesting and impacts on my own work on utopia, which I argue, one can find in Deleuze and Guattari’s oeuvre and especially in What Is Philosophy? where there is specific mention. Yet thinking about utopia in the current Japanese context is an ever so tortuous mental exercise (Tamura, 2018). This is what we have come to call the geo-trauma of the real (Cole, Dolphijn, & Bradley, 2016). And this is why Guattari remains an essential thinker to decode the reality of post-Fukushima Japan.


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REFERENCES Asada, A. (2016). Tōsōron: Sukizo Kizzu No Bōken. Chikuma shobō. Azuma, H. (2011a). The Disaster Broke Us Apart. Shisōchizu beta, 2, 8–17. Azuma, H. (2011b, March 17). For a Change, Proud to be Japanese. The New York Times. https://www​.nytimes​.com​/2011​/03​/17​/opinion​/17azuma​.html Berardi, F. (2015). Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide. Verso. Boundas, C. V. (2018). Schizoanalysis and Ecosophy: Reading Deleuze and Guattari. Bloomsbury Academic. Bradley, J. P. N. (2014a). The Zerrissenheit of Subjectivity. Tamkang Review, 44(2), 37–62. Bradley, J. P. N. (2014b). Machinic Dopamine Junkies. In R. Bogue, Y. Lee, & H. Chiu (Eds.), Deleuze and Asia (pp. 121–143). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Bradley, J. P. N. (2015a). A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference. Explorations in Media Ecology, 14(1), 107–124. Bradley, J. P. N. (2015b). Becoming-literature: Deleuze and the Craquelure. Lit Matters, 1(2), 79–111. Bradley, J. P. N. (2016). Guattari and Pachinko: Deadly Ritournelle, HimatsubushiTinguely Machines. Journal of the International Association of Japanese Studies, 2, 13–22. Bradley, J. P. N. (2017). Zhibo, Existential Territory, Inter-Media-Mundia: A Guattarian Analysis. China Media Research, 13(4), 77–89. Bradley, J. P. N. (2018a). Cerebra: “all-Human”, “all-Too-Human”, “all-TooTranshuman”. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 37(4), 401–441. Bradley, J. P. N. (2018b). The Delirious Abstract Machines of Jean Tinguely. In P. MacCormack & C. Gardner (Eds.), Ecosophical Aesthetics: Art, Ethics and Ecology with Guattari (pp. 193–213). Bloomsbury Academic. Bradley, T., & Bradley, J. P. N. (2016). Deleuze and Buddhism. Palgrave Macmillan. Chiba, M. (2013). Ugokisugite Wa Ikenai: Jiru Durūzu to Seisei Henka No Tetsugaku. Kawade Shobō Shinsha. Chiba, M. (2015, December). The Deleuzian Negativity Revisited [Paper presentation]. Deleuzian After Effects Conference, Kingston University, London, United Kingdom. Cole, D., Dolphijn, R., & Bradley, J. P. N. (2016). Fukushima: The Geo-Trauma of a Futural Wave. Trans-humanities, 9(3), 211–233. Culp, A. (2018). Dark Deleuze. University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What Is Philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1991) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).   A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Originally published 1980) Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (2000). The Three Ecologies (I. Pindar & P. Sutton, Trans.). Athlone. (Original work published 1989)

On Guattari’s “Japan”


Guattari, F. (2007). Tokyo, the Proud. Deleuze Studies, 1(2), 93–99. Guattari, F. (2015). Machinic Eros: Writings on Japan (G. Genosko & J. Hetrick, Eds.). University of Minnesota Press. Guattari, F., & Lotringer, S. (1996). Chaosophy: Soft Subversions. Semiotext(e). Guattari, F., Sheed, R., & Cooper, D. (1984). Molecular Revolution: Psychiatry and Politics (R. Sheed, Trans.). Penguin. (Original work published 1977) Kohso, S. (2015). Constellations of the Fukushima Problematic: Socialization, Capitalism, and Struggle. Boundary 2, 42(3), 37–54. Kokubun, K. [國分功一郎]. (2012, February 10). Taikutsu shinogi wo Koete [退屈しのぎを超えて, Beyond Boredom]. Asahi Shimbun [朝日新聞]. Lingis, A. (2013, June). Communication and Silence [Lecture]. Life and Phenomenology. Celebrating Algis Mickunas at 80 conference, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania. Miyoshi, M., & Harootunian, H. D. (Eds.). (1989). Postmodernism and Japan. Duke University Press. Morley, D., & Robins, K. (2004). Spaces of Identity: Global Media, Electronic Landscapes and Cultural Boundaries. Routledge. See, T., & Bradley, J. P. N. (Eds.). (2016). Deleuze and Buddhism. Palgrave MacMillan. Stiegler, B. (2013). Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected Individuals. Polity. Tamura, A. (2018). Post-Fukushima Activism: Politics and Knowledge in the Age of Precarity. Routledge. Thouny, C., & Yoshimoto, M. (2017). Planetary Atmospheres and Urban Society After Fukushima. Palgrave Macmillan. Ueno, T. (2012). Guattari and Japan. Deleuze Studies, 6(2), 187–209. Ueno, T. (2016). Yottsu No Ekorojī: Ferikkusu Gatari No Shikō. Kawadeshobōshinsha. Uno, K. (1996). Dī: Shi to Imāju. Seidosha. University of Edinburgh. (2018). Deleuze and Guattari Studies. University of Edinburgh Press. Yabu, S. (2012). 3.12 no shisō [3.11 Thought, 3・12の思想]. Ibunsha.

Chapter 3

On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons

What is the meaning and the possibility of Spinozist weapons? How are Spinozist weapons different from the usual sense of weapons used as instruments in warfare or to combat or overcome an enemy? How can we define Spinozist weapons as weapon-tools, that is to say, tools transformable into weapons? To answer these rather strange questions one must address the passage from “Spinoza’s Hope” (Braidotti, 2002, p. 229) all the way to Spinozist weapons—we need to look at a contemporary form of Spinozism. Guiding the chapter is the consideration regarding “the schizophrenic taste” (un gout̂ schizophreniqué) for tools/weapons found in A Thousand Plateaus (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 403) and the possibility of a new “image of thought” as entertained in Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy. We shall situate the question of weapons in the political context of Deleuze’s societies of control thesis. One fears that in seeking an answer to the above questions the writer will never escape language and its traps. As the writer can never see within from beyond, as it were, there is a risk that we may fall quickly into metaphoricity, that we will understand weapons only metaphorically, in the sense that metaphor is necessarily entrained when describing weapons. This seems to deeply trouble the chapter. How to begin at the beginning? This caveat is important to take on board, but as the chapter is also looking to perform another task, to think otherwise than the status quo with new forms of language, its remit is to trace other possible tools and weapons, different coda of affect and intensity. In other words, it is searching for a new kind of vocabulary for thinking the future and the means through which to escape or flee from the negative, atemporal present and our compromises with it. This is Deleuze’s point, as he adjudges Spinoza’s affect as thought itself—as a non-representational mode of thought. Deleuze tells us “it is always by 31


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means of an intensity that thought comes to us” (1994, p. 144). Moreover, as we are not treating weapons and tools solely from the singular standpoint of assemblage theory (De Landa, 2006), we can escape the criticism that we are simply reifying the concepts. Although assemblage theory has a role to play in explaining the transformation of tools into weapons and vice versa, our analysis is not determined solely by this paradigmatic form of thinking. The above forewarnings and provisos must be taken on board before asking—beyond metaphoricity—what can thought do? and how it can be used to practice a joyful militancy, to ward off the propagation of sad affects? How can it speak a schizo babble to contest the present? Because thought is a weapon or means to counter sad affects for Deleuze, it is important to consider how weapons can be joyful even though the enemy faced is soul destroying. How can the weapon escape the vicious circle of violence and counter-violence to become a mechanism or machine of peace? In asking these questions in this way we arrive at the issue from an applied Deleuzian practice, and so we shall look to Deleuze’s dark precursors, his predecessors and rivals, especially to Spinoza and Nietzsche, to assess how Spinozist weapons might be more precisely described. While Nietzsche is used sparingly to remind ourselves of Deleuze’s indebtedness to his thinking, his perspectivism also underscores the importance of an immanent conception of the world, a worldview shared with Spinoza. Indeed, Nietzsche recognizes a certain proximity of Spinoza vis-à-vis his own work. In the postcard to Franz Overbeck in Sils-Maria dated July 30, 1881, Nietzsche writes, I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! . . . Not only is his over-tendency like mine—namely to make all knowledge the most powerful affect—but in five main points of his doctrine I recognize myself; this most unusual and loneliest thinker is closest to me precisely in these matters: he denies the freedom of the will, teleology, the moral world-order, the unegoistic, and evil.

So in performing this task, we are constructing an image of thought contra the dialectic of Hegel. In the last instance, we shall consider Gandhi’s thought and find there a “schizophrenic taste” for weapons. It is with Gandhi that weapons wielded against the soul-destroying British empire are turned from weapons of war and counter-strike to those of peace. Against the economic and military might of the British behemoth there is resistance, but at a point of implication within it. There may well be shame when there is implication with itself, but equally, where there is power, there is resistance, as Foucault says in The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: Where there is power, there is resistance, and yet, or rather consequently, this resistance is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power. (1990, p. 95)

On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons


HOPE AS THE WORST OF EVILS Writing against those myths, superstitions and phantoms which thwart human endeavor, critical of passions which prevent us from living to the fullest (fear, the hope linked to fear—which signifies powerlessness, anxiety, hatred), Spinoza insists that it is insufficient to merely hope. Mere hope? Here Spinoza and Nietzsche can be read alongside each other. Nietzsche says in Section 71 of Human, All Too Human (1997, p. 64) that hope is in truth “the worst of evils” because it lengthens the agony of mankind: Hope. Pandora brought the box filled with evils and opened it up. It was a gift from the gods to humanity, on the outside a beautiful, seductive gift that had been named “the box of happiness.” Then all the evils flew forth from it like living, winged beings: from then on, they have been wandering about and doing harm to people by day and by night. One single evil had not yet slipped out of the box: then Pandora, by the will of Zeus, slammed the lid shut and so it remained inside. And now man has the box of happiness in his house forever and thinks that he has some amazing treasure there; it stands 15 at his service, he can reach for it whenever he desires to do so; for he does not realize that the box Pandora brought was the box of evils, and he takes the evil that remained behind for the greatest of worldly possessions—it is hope.—For Zeus did not want human beings, however much tormented by the other evils they might be, to throw away their lives, but instead to continue letting themselves be tormented anew. Hence, he gives hope to humanity: it is in truth the worst of evils because it lengthens their agony.

What is essential then is to find weapons to counter that which cuts off affirmative powers of action. On this point Deleuze writes: Spinoza belongs to a great tradition: the practical task of philosophy consists in denouncing all myths, all mystifications, all superstitions, whatever their origin. I believe that this tradition always involves a naturalist philosophy. Superstition is everything that keeps us cut off from our power of action and continually diminishes it. The source of superstition is the concatenation of sad passions, fear, the hope linked to fear, the anxiety that delivers us over to our phantoms. Spinoza knows, like Lucretius, that there are no joyful myths or superstitions. Like Lucretius, he sets the image of a positive Nature against the uncertainty of gods: what is opposed to Nature is not Culture, nor the state of reason, nor even the civil state, but only the superstitions that threaten all human endeavor. (1992, p. 270)

The task of philosophy therefore is twofold: (1) to denounce “all that is sad, all that lives on sadness, all those who depend on sadness as the basis of their power” and (2) to find weapons to undertake this task.


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Can thought be a weapon, a “battering ram,” a machine of war or nomadic force as Deleuze says of Nietzsche’s work (Allison, 1985, p. 149)? How does one wield thought qua weapon as a means of counterattack? And who does one fight against? What is the difference between weapons, tools and everyday objects or instruments? Is it exclusively the “terrorists of theory” or “fascists of everyday life,” as Foucault points out in his introduction to Anti-Oedipus, who wield such weapons? If so, is this irremediably a form of ressentiment and so by definition terroristic? To the chagrin of Adorno, would a modern-day Spinoza—as the “Christ of philosophers” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994, p. 60)—adorn a balaclava and throw the first Molotov cocktail? Can we perhaps understand the difference between weapons, tools, everyday objects and instruments in a clearer fashion by looking to Heidegger’s distinction between “readiness-to-hand” (Zuhandenheit, practical, everyday knowledge) and “present-at-hand” (Vorhandenheit, theoretical knowledge) in his tool analysis? Indeed, this would be a fruitful course to take, but for our purposes and with space in mind, we decline this move because the hammer as a piece of equipment in Heidegger’s phenomenology is grasped at a level quite different from the Nietzschean sense of thought as hammer-blow, as weapon, that is to say, as a means to crack open the heads of false idols. In Deleuze’s Nietzsche and Philosophy (1983, p. 3), the philosopher’s critique is a way of the being-philosopher that “intends to wield the differential element as critic and creator and therefore as a hammer.” From this, we may surmise that the hammer characteristic of the “differential element” can be forged into the weapon of Spinozism. From the above initial forays, blocks and parries and with a committed and clear Deleuzian thrust, let us address Deleuze’s philosophy more closely to disclose—inhering within it—those theoretical contraptions which may contribute to the emergence of new social formations which can derail the worst excesses of “control” societies. With this in mind, we ask how philosophy can be put to use as a theoretical weapon to serve the democracy or “the revolution to come” and to consider how the tools or weapons of philosophy may serve those “yet-to-come.” TOOL-BOX As is well-known, Deleuze describes philosophy as a conceptual “tool box,” which one may pick from freely to manufacture new ideas, to engineer new ways of thinking, even new weapons, to set philosophy in flight. In this sense, his philosophy can be understood as not merely an isolated and esoteric theoretical means to interpret the world but precisely as a weapon

On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons


with which to change it; in other words, a means to become revolutionary. In an interview with Foucault, Deleuze speaks of the pragmatic and functional aspects of theory: A theory is exactly like a box of tools. It has nothing to do with the signifier. It must be useful. It must function. And not for itself. If no one uses it, beginning with the theoretician himself (who then ceases to be a theoretician), then the theory is worthless or the moment is inappropriate. We don’t revise a theory, but construct new ones; we have no choice but to make others. (Foucault, 1977, p. 208)

Our perspective then is to see beyond the nature of the “spiritual weapon” of philosophy-as-dialectics, so described by Marx sometime between 1843 and 1844, in A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. It is here that Marx sets out a vision of dialectics which had such a profound influence on the dialectical materialism of the twentieth century. In response to the claim by Marx (1977, p. 137) that “the weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses,” it is important to consider how Deleuze’s philosophy and Spinozist philosophy—both possessing a differential element—might be used as a “weapon of criticism” to become a material force capable of “gripping the masses.” As the dialectical moment in which philosophy finds its material weapon in the proletariat and the proletariat finds its spiritual weapon in philosophy seems to have passed, and while the consensus is that the contemporary society has no material weapon at hand (like class formation as harbinger of historical change) as such to rely upon, it is essential to look beyond Hegelian dialectics, ressentiment, revenge and negation—the “weapon of the weak” as Nietzsche puts it—to Deleuze’s philosophy of difference and affirmation, to his vision and aesthetic of the “atmosphere of fêtes.” This is done to ask—affirmatively, speculatively and resolutely—of those yet-to-come. Demonstrating how contradiction has lost its fabulatory power, Deleuze writes in Difference and Repetition: History progresses not by negation and the negation of negation, but by deciding problems and affirming differences. It is no less bloody and cruel as a result. Only the shadows of history live by negation: the good enter into it with all the power of a posited differential or a difference affirmed. . . . That is why real revolutions have the atmosphere of fêtes. Contradiction is not the weapon of the proletariat but, rather, the manner in which the bourgeoisie defends and preserves itself. Contradictions are not “resolved,” they are dissipated by capturing the problem of which they reflect only the shadow. (1994, p. 262)


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This view is clearly at odds with Engels who writes that the materialist dialectic had been his and Marx’s “best working tool and our sharpest weapon” (Ollman, 1976, p. 86). It also goes against Mao Tse-Tung’s vision of dialectical materialism, which views dialectical logic as the “revolutionary weapon of the proletariat.” Such a revolutionary weapon is brandished, so majestically and metaphorically expressed, against forms of political power which “grow out of the barrel of a gun.” Here, weapon negates weapon in the movement to a higher Aufhebung or sublation. Explaining the point in his lectures on dialectical materialism, Mao writes: Dialectical materialism is the world view of the proletariat. The proletarians then proceed to use dialectical materialism as a mental weapon in their struggles and as the philosophical foundation for all of their views. Only when we adopt the standpoint of the proletariat in order to understand the world can we correctly and completely grasp the worldview of dialectical materialism. Only when we start from such a standpoint can we achieve true and objective knowledge of the real world. This is because, on the one hand, only the proletariat is the most progressive and most revolutionary class; on the other hand, only dialectical materialism is a most authentic and most revolutionary worldview and methodology, uniting a high level and rigorous scientific nature and a thorough and uncompromising revolutionary nature. (2015, p. 580)

Furthermore, Althusser in Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists & Other Essays (1990, p. 143) writes in a similar Maoist mode that if materialist philosophy is to be genuine, it must have the flexibility and mobility to respond to specific historical circumstances as they so arise: If dialectical materialist philosophy is genuinely a weapon in theory it must, on the basis of a minimum number of firm principles that assure its position, be mobile enough to take itself where battle calls and to be formed—that is, constituted—in the battle itself.

Un affreux curetage, une activité malveillante From a Deleuzian perspective, the inquiry into the nature of weapons asks how they can be executed against naysaying and dialectics. Here oddly enough it is Spinoza who is given central stage. This point is even more disorienting because it is Althusser—aside from Negri and Hardt—who spots the necessity of Spinozism and the need to rethink joy and affirmation in terms of non-dialectical thought. This trajectory is seldom explored by Spinozist monists and new materialist writers such as Rosi Braidotti who, instead, often chart the passage from Marx to Spinoza via Deleuze, Balibar, Macherey, Negri and so on, rather than through Althusser. Through

On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons


a detour through Spinoza, Althusser finds a way out of the language of dialectics to disclose a way to think philosophy as a revolutionary weapon. As poststructuralism or new materialism is a shift from Hegel to Spinoza, from a Hegelian-Marxist reading of history to a critical Spinozist, monistic reading of history, it is Spinoza’s thought which is used to attack the creed of Hegelianism. Althusser writes: For me philosophy is something of a battlefield. It has its frontlines, its entrenched positions, its strongholds, its frontiers. I have made use of Hegel in order to launch an assault on the fortress of Descartes. I have turned the weapon of Spinoza against Hegel. I have always been rough in my use of references and quotations. But that was not the problem. The urgent thing was to “think at the limit” and . . . to bend the rod of theory in the other direction, to open the way, against the dominant ideas, for completely new political thought. (Sharp & Smith, 2012, p. 84)

Following on from where Althusser left off, Negri finds in Spinozism a means for contesting the abuse of power. For him, Spinoza considers those weapons which contest power as residing precisely within “the creative and prophetic power of the multitude” (Hardt & Negri, 2000, p. 65). Negri invokes the metaphor of a medical instrument to demonstrate this: Spinozism is a scalpel that lays bare every survival, no matter how parasitic, of the exploitation of man by man; it is both consciousness and weapon. It is power against Power [potenza contro potere]. That is, power against, or counter-Power [contropotere]. It is not irrelevant to note here that Spinozism offers us the possibility of elaborating a new conception of right and the State, a conception adequate to the development of individual and collective freedoms in an era in which the problem of war and peace is again becoming a crucial political consideration (and thus reviving a situation inherited from the notion of natural right). (Negri, 2004, p. 97)

La tâche négative de la schizo-analyse The switch from Hegel to Spinoza is “massive” (Braidotti, 2016) and, concurringly, we can say it is the task of schizoanalysis to account for its movement. In it Braidotti finds a “generous experimentation” in language as it prepares for a reconceptualization of the imagination and creativity. Spinozist critique is the invention of new ways of thinking, a new language for new problems, and a weapon to reject the exhaustion of the atemporal present. Braidotti argues (2016), “We have to create a new language to express the novelty of our situation.” Schizoanalysis finds in critical Spinozism, in Spinoza’s monism, not just an alternative to the Hegelian philosophy of


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history but also a critique of the subject–object dualism (Holland, 1999, p. 111).

FROM DIALECTICAL DUALISMS TO MONISM? Indeed, for Holland (1999, p. 109), Deleuze and Guattari, following Althusser, prefer the non-teleological materialism of Spinoza to the interpretation of grand eschatological narratives in Hegelian-Marxism. Holland writes: In place of Hegel’s teleologism Spinoza offers only the possibility that humans will forgo the illusions of subject-centered imagination and develop more adequate knowledge. (1999, p. 110)

Contra-Power (Potestas), the precision of the scalpel or surgical knife excises ideology and false consciousness to reveal the truth of power. Spinoza’s scalpel cuts diagonally or transversally to reveal the multilayered planes running immanently through the body. As Spinoza’s scalpel is wielded to sever the malignant passions of fear, hope and hatred, we can say that, like schizoanalysis, it acts as a vital surgical tool/weapon in the curettage of the earth and unconscious. This arsenal is not limited to Spinozist medical instrumentation. For Deleuze, Spinoza is one of the so-called “private” thinkers who “overturn values and construct their philosophy with hammer blows” (Deleuze, 1988, p. 11). And so Spinoza turns artisan, hammering away, uncovering “potential,” in the sense of that creative possibility inherent in material reality. Indeed, in his essay “I Have Nothing to Admit” (1977), Deleuze acknowledges his famed distaste for Hegelianism and the dialectic. He writes, “What I hated above all was Hegelianism and the dialectic.” Looking elsewhere for sources of inspiration, he finds in Lucretius, Hume, Spinoza and Nietzsche “a secret link which resides in the critique of negation, the cultivation of joy, the hatred of interiority, the exteriority of forces and relations, the denunciation of power” (Lotringer, 1997, p. 112). Considerable importance is given to Spinoza’s observation in The Ethics, Part Three, proposition 50, Scholium, namely, that “hope does not exist without fear, nor fear without hope.” For Deleuze, Spinoza is intent on eliminating these two passions which disturb the state of indifference. This is consistent with the goal of Stoic philosophy and the guarantee of happiness in the moment. It is through reason that we overcome these passions. Yet, Deleuze’s Spinozism is a strange one. What weapons are at our disposal to eliminate fear and hope? Hammers, scalpels, Molotov cocktails?

On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons


THE IMAGE OF THOUGHT AS WEAPON For Deleuze (1998), thought is like a stone thrown by a war machine—or, if you like, a nomadic David against the State formation of Goliath. And for Massumi in his translator’s forward to A Thousand Plateaus, the concept of nomad thought is best described as a brick, acting—potentially—as both constructive tool and destructive weapon. The concepts it creates do not merely reflect the eternal form of a legislating subject, but are defined by a communicable force in relation to which their subject, to the extent that they can be said to have one, is only secondary. They do not reflect upon the world but are immersed in a changing state of things. A concept is a brick. It can be used to build the courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window. What is the subject of the brick? The arm that throws it? The body connected to the arm? The brain encased in the body? The situation that brought brain and body to such a juncture? All and none of the above. What is its object? The window? The edifice? The laws the edifice shelters? The class and other power relations encrusted in the laws? All and none of the above. (Massumi, 1987, pp. xii–xiii)

This clearly contrasts with Adorno’s critical theory and theoretical model, whose architect finds no unification of theory and praxis but rather a crisis of totality. Finding no realization of theory in praxis, and to the consternation of his students, Adorno writes, “When I made my theoretical model, I could not have guessed that people would try to realize it with Molotov cocktails” (Jay, 1973, p. 279). While he does find in “unswerving negation” a hint of resistance to the sanctioning of the way of things, and while he does acknowledge in the opening lines of Negative Dialectics (2004, p. 3) the lingering power inhering within philosophy—precisely because the “moment of its realization has been missed”—we must look elsewhere to construct an image of thought which may contribute to the critique of control societies, which may put thought to work as a tool of resistance. In other words, not only to ruthlessly criticize itself—because it has “broken its pledge to be as one with reality or at the point of realization” (Adorno, 2004, p. 3)—but to make thought address the problem of thought itself qua infinite speed and absolute deterritorialization. Here we must look to expose those lines of flight in contemporary society which escape control and point toward utopia, precisely defined as absolute deterritorialization—the transformation of the now-here into the no-where. Indeed, it is in Deleuze that one finds the imperative to flee, but always with a weapon close to hand. On the plane of immanence, it is on lines of flight that new weapons manifest as inventions, to be used against the armory of State-formation, the tyranny of the despot. Yet Deleuze adds several injunctions to this, counseling against those who


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see in every line of flight a simple panacea and solution to the woes of the contemporary moment. He writes: The great and only error lies in thinking that a line of flight consists in fleeing from life; the flight into the imaginary, or into art. On the contrary, to flee is to produce the real, to create life, to find a weapon. (2002, p. 36)

CIRCUMSTANCES, CIRCUMSTANCES, CIRCUMSTANCES Weapons are thus contextual, part of an assemblage, always already ­embedded in circumstances. As Deleuze and Guattari say it is “always the assemblage that constitutes the weapons system” (1987, p. 399). And so we must also understand the concept of the war machine in relation to weapons and tools in terms of an “ecosystem” traversed by the “machinic phylum” or ­technological lineage. To understand this sense of “ecosystem” involves incorporating Guattari’s three ecologies thesis (2000), which pertains to environmental, social and mental ecologies, and which is itself a tool-box for understanding why some objects become weapons of war or peace. ­Describing the ­ecosystem as machinic, Guattari in Molecular Revolution, contends that machine processes can assume multiple formations. They “could be a new weapon, a new production technique, a new set of religious dogmas, or such major new discoveries as the Indies, relativity, or the moon” (1984, p. 117). Again, everything depends on circumstances and contingencies. To appreciate this shifting sense, schizoanalysis has a methodology sufficiently mobile and deft to grasp such subtle differences. ON THUNDERSTRUCK PHARAOHS Weapon-making is not for the fainthearted because as Deleuze and Guattari claim, the nomads on lines of flight sweep away everything in their path and in so doing find new weapons, “leaving the Pharaoh thunderstruck.” This is an act of terrible curettage, the first task of schizoanalysis as noted in Anti-Oedipus (1983). In this unflinchingly committed and compelling work, Deleuze and Guattari write that schizoanalysis is a veritable curettage of the unconscious: Destroy, destroy. The task of schizoanalysis goes by way of destruction―a whole scouring of the unconscious, a complete curettage. Destroy Oedipus, the illusion of the ego, the puppet of the superego, guilt, the law, castration. It is not a matter of pious destructions, such as those performed by psychoanalysis under

On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons


the benevolent neutral eye of the analyst. For these are Hegel-style destructions, ways of conserving. (1983, p. 311)

So the nomad—a self-forging living weapon—creates the line, and importantly, his weapons are affects, according to Proposition 1 in the plateau entitled “1227: Treatise on Nomadology-The War Machine” in A Thousand Plateaus. Deleuze and Guattari argue that as “weapons of war” affects “transpierce the body like arrows” (1987, p. 356). Affects are the weapons or projectiles of a war machine and bear an inhuman dimension as they express “the becoming inhuman of man” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994, p. 169). Thus the transformation of affects—sadness, fear, and hope premised on fear and foreboding, indifference—to those of joy and affirmation— is a form of pedagogy. A new form of philosophy turns culinary and connoisseur, developing its “schizophrenic taste” for weapons. Of course, Deleuze and Guattari are both primarily concerned with the body and what it can do and therefore look to Spinoza’s Ethics for answers, that “great book” of the BwO. Drug users, masochists, schizophrenics, lovers―all BwO’s pay homage to Spinoza. The BwO is the field of immanence of desire, the plane of consistency specific to desire. (1987, p. 154)

Affects are thus ballistic, projective, accelerative. Why? The argument goes like this: The more the properties of projection a tool has, the more it behaves like a weapon. Weapons are therefore affects and vice versa. The weapon or affect is thus active, self-propelling; the tool, on the other hand, is passive; it is moved, it is used. So if we flee, construct a line of flight and experiment, we must actively pick up a weapon along the way. The weapon/tool difference is thus consistent with the speed/movement distinction. We could say that weapons have a speed, while tools have movement. Speed is intensive; movement is extensive. Further, we can differentiate between weapons and tools according to their direction (projection-introception), the vector (speedgravity), the model (free action-work), the expression (jewelry-signs) and the passional or desiring tonality (affect-feeling). In A Thousand Plateaus, as desire is social and collective this may transform the gun, for example, into a weapon of war, or sport, or hunting, depending on circumstance, history or arrangement of desire. A tool or weapon is thus always determined by its affective power, by circumstances and consequences emerging in the assemblage it belongs to. Weapons and tools are consequences, “nothing but consequences” (1987, p. 398). It is always a question of how they are used and what they do. Hence we fend off criticisms pertaining to the metaphoricality of weapons.


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GANDHI AND THE SCHIZO WEAPON OF SATYAGRAHA (TRUTH) Deleuze and Guattari discern “a schizophrenic taste” (1987, p. 403) for the tool that moves away from work and toward “free action,” which transforms it into a weapon. More than this, and important for the explanation of Gandhi’s philosophy of Satyagraha or “weapon of truth”—in the sense of a “strong weapon” to be outlined below—the schizophrenic taste for weapons may turn it into a means for peace, “for obtaining peace” (1987, p. 403). It is always a question of simultaneous counterattack and resistance. This “schizophrenic taste” itself acts as a weapon against unthinking dualism, and thus continuously resists the construction of dualisms, dyads and (multiple) modes of internal functioning. “Schizophrenic taste” then prefers the logic of rhizome, conjunction, intermezzo and interbeing. Everything is ambiguous and up for grabs. So weapons may act as a means of liberation when tools are freed from modern-day slavery, for example, from the 9–5 job, from endless daily grind, from control by surreptitious means. Weapons as affects may free us from the hatred of the world as it is (Culp, p. 2016), from the world of work and reason. For example, the mobile phone acts as either a technical drug or technical means for new encounters. In terms of absolute deterritorialization, we can say that in freedom, tools become weapons to forge new futures and utopias to come. We escape the hatred of the world of work and reason to fathom or fabulate new worlds and utopias, to wonder afresh, to escape indifference (Malabou, 2012, 2013). Or as Laruelle puts it in Struggle and Utopia at the End Times of Philosophy, “even hatred of the World has its limits; it is still about saving the World from the World” (2012, p. 250). Changing the usage of an object is not merely some ontological choice, but rather the effect of the whole collective assemblage of forces, machinic phyla, circumstances and contingencies in which the particular technology is embedded. Weapons are thus sometimes the effect of “unworkable flows” (Culp, 2013). At this moment, we can say that it is in the breakdown that the tool may turn into a weapon, a new beginning, a new health—like the case of the social recluse (in Japanese, hikikomori) who turns away from the world as a prelude to a new health and overcoming. Downgoing is preparatory of new beginnings. Weapons are thus the consequence of assemblages that act as reservoirs of free activity. This is how Deleuze and Guattari differentiate the weapon from the tool. They are convinced that the difference always lies in agencement, in the milieu, in contingent arrangements of desire. The question then is, how to understand the assemblages of control in the current milieu?

On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons


AGAINST HATRED Against those sorrowful desires which by their nature aim to injure others (anger, hatred, fear, derision, revenge), Spinoza invokes the common notions, which Hardt (1993) claims provide a means to discover a practice of joy and a veritable language “for an expansive collectivity, for the creation of society, and thus constitute a powerful weapon against the sad passions” (Hardt, 1993, p. 55). Spinoza’s work pertains to the affirmation of life. It is therefore not a straightforward question of the hatred of life (Culp, 2016). For Spinoza, reason by its very nature denounces hatred because everything related to it is inseparable from the sadness that it involves. On this account hope, pity, humility and repentance are all equally denounced as they inspire sadness. Every passion—including hope premised on fear—is bad insofar as it involves sadness. In the common notion is the idea of a similarity of composition in existing modes, which are biological, rather than physical or mathematical ideas, general ideas rather than abstract. As such they are clear and distinct, and necessarily “adequate.” For example, when we encounter a body that agrees with our own, we experience a joyful passive affection, and are induced to form the idea of what is common to that body and our own. In Qu’est-ce que la philosophie? (What is Philosophy?; 1994, p. 60) Deleuze and Guattari defend Spinozism because as they say it offers the “best plane of immanence,” “the purest, the one that does not hand itself over to the transcendent or restore any transcendent.” Such a sense of immanence and atheism “inspires the fewest illusions, bad feelings, and erroneous perceptions” (1994, p. 60). They describe Spinoza as the infinite becoming-philosopher: Thus Spinoza is the Christ of philosophers, and the greatest philosophers are hardly more than apostles who distance themselves from or draw near to this mystery. Spinoza, the infinite becoming-philosopher: he showed, drew up, and thought the “best” plane of immanence-that is, the purest, the one that does not hand itself over to the transcendent or restore any transcendent, the one that inspires the fewest illusions, bad feelings, and erroneous perceptions. (1994, p. 60)

Here let us contextualize the above remarks and provide a concrete instantiation of the passage—going from a means of war to one of peace. We shall think of Gandhi to exemplify the above remarks and further explore the question of Spinozist weapons and the “schizophrenic taste” for such weapons vis-à-vis the independence movement in India. This “taste” for weapons is one which transforms weapons of war into instruments of peace. In the case of Gandhi, it is clear for him that this is not a question of “weapons of the weak” but rather of finding weapons of resistance. Satyagraha is interpreted


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not as “passive resistance” (Gandhi, 1928, p. 93) but as a non-violent form of transformatory subjectivity. While ahiṃsā is perceived as “the mightiest weapon,” Satyagraha is adjudged “an all-sided sword.” In 1917, Gandhi described Satyagraha not as physical force per se but as “pure soul-force.” Gandhi writes (Gandhi & Dalton, 1995, p. 52): Satyagraha is not physical force. A Satyagrahi does not inflict pain on the adversary; he does not seek his destruction. A Satyagrahi never resorts to firearms. In the use of Satyagraha, there is no ill-will whatever. Satyagraha is pure soul-force. Truth is the very substance of the soul. That is why this force is called Satyagraha. The soul is informed with knowledge. In it burns the flame of love. If someone gives us pain through ignorance, we shall win him through love.

Indeed, what was unprecedented in Gandhi’s thought was that “he sought to transform the elements of renunciation into political ‘weapons’ that could be wielded to achieve the social and political goals of self-rule, improved gender relations, self-reliance, elimination of untouchability, and Hindu–Muslim unity” (Howard, 2013, p. 33). Gandhi’s Satyagraha is thus differentiated from dialectical materialism which, in its Maoist description, stresses the necessity for armed struggle and violence. Furthermore, for Gandhi, Satyagraha is not synonymous with “passive resistance” because it denotes rather a subjectivity of resistance and transformation (Caygill, 2013). Gandhi writes: If we continue to believe ourselves and let others believe we are weak and therefore offer passive resistance, our resistance will never make us strong, and at the earliest opportunity we will give up passive resistance as a weapon of the weak. (1928, p. 96)

Satyagraha is thus a weapon based not in fear but on inner transformation. It is premised on joy. In this respect, it is Spinozist. Satyagraha is articulated not as another form of naysaying, revenge or ressentiment but as Spinozist and Deleuzian in emphasis. It is a way to affirm the world as it is, despite the everyday horrors that abound. It is fearless, refusing to feast on the sad passions of hope and fear. Gandhi writes (1928, p. 134): “We are fearless and free, so long as we have the weapon of Satyagraha in our hands.” In the adopting of the tenets of abhayā or a state without fear, we discern a becoming-Spinoza in Gandhi, as it is also consistent with Spinoza’s differentiation between hope and fear found in the Tractatus Politicus (Spinoza & Shirley, 2002, p. 700), a differentiation which uses the sense of hope in Spinoza’s work in a specific, positive sense:

On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons


For a free people is led more by hope than by fear, while a subjugated people is led more by fear than by hope; the former seeks to engage in living, the latter simply to avoid death. The former, I say, seeks to live for itself, the latter is forced to belong to a conqueror; hence we say that the latter is a slave, the former is free.

Or, put differently, in the manner in which Deleuze writes of control societies and the search for new weapons in Negotiations: We’re in the midst of a general breakdown of all sites of confinement—prisons, hospitals, factories, schools, the family. Control societies are taking over from disciplinary societies. “Control” is the name proposed by Burroughs to characterize the new monster, and Foucault sees it fast approaching. Paul Virilio too is constantly analyzing the ultra rapid forms of apparently free floating control that are taking over from the old disciplines at work within the time scales of closed systems. It’s not a question of asking whether the old or new system is harsher or more bearable, because there’s a conflict in each between the ways they free and enslave us. It’s not a question of worrying or of hoping for the best, but of finding new weapons. (1995, p. 178)

SPINOZA’S SCALPEL Spinoza’s scalpel makes distinct transversal cuts, that is to say transversal cuts which clearly distinguish between transcendence and immanence. But more than this, the Spinozist transversal cut is a curettage operation to restore greater health and joys. The tool for performing transversal cuts is the curette, often shaped like a spoon or loop. The term comes from the French name curer, which means to clear or clean. It is used to scrape and remove tissue from the skin or body cavities. Spinozist transversal cuts operate on the plane of immanence to scrape, slice, shave, scratch, trace or groove the old earth ahead of restoring the new. Schizzed Spinozist tools are thus weapons of transversality, cutting diagonally, probing planes of immanence. Celebrating this emphasis, Deleuze and Guattari write (1994, p. 48): “Spinoza is the vertigo of immanence from which so many philosophers try in vain to escape. Will we ever be mature enough for a Spinozist inspiration?” The entire Ethics is a voyage in immanence, Deleuze argues in his book on practical ­philosophy, but always in the sense that immanence is the unconscious itself; it is “the conquest of the unconscious” (1988, p. 29). What does it mean to perform a philosophical or schizoanalytical curettage? Let us think of “Spinoza’s scalpel” a little more closely, using the curette as an example, and borrowing from De Landa’s explication. The curette scalpel’s properties may include a concave and a convex side as in


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the Gracey curette. The curette’s properties are length, weight, sharpness, durability and precision workmanship (De Landa, 2010, p. 70). The properties of the shank—straight or circular, concave, convex—characterize the more or less “enduring states of the scalpel” (De Landa, p. 70) and are therefore always actual. The curette is either sharp or blunt—and therefore useful or useless as uterine curettes, dermal curettes, cervical curettes or ear curettes. Such qualities emerge from the interactions between its own components: the cut of its blade, for example, is a geometric property of the “cross-section” (De Landa, p. 71), a property that emerges from the arrangement of metal— double-bladed, box curette, loop or ring, angled and bayonet-shaped curettes. A sharp scalpel possesses capacities, like the capacity to cut in a particular way, diagonally, transversally. The capacity to cut need not be actual if the scalpel is not presently cutting something, and may never become actual if the scalpel is never used (as it may be dirty and already disposed of). And when a capacity does become actual, it is never as an “enduring state” but as an “instantaneous event” (De Landa, p. 70). De Landa explains: “Moreover, this event is always double, to cut-to be cut, because a capacity to affect must always be coupled to a capacity to be affected.” Depending on whether the scalpel is laser based, a scalpel can cut through skin, tissue, bone or even a block of titanium (De Landa, p. 71). Another difference is that while properties are finite and may be put into a closed list, capacities to affect may not be fully enumerated because there are potentially an infinite number of capacities to be affected. Thus, a scalpel may not only have a capacity to cut but also a capacity to kill, if it happens to interact with an organism constituted by differentiated organs, that is to say, with an entity having the capacity to kill or be killed. A technical object thus is adjudged a tool or weapon depending on the larger assemblage of which it is a part (De Landa, p. 71) but always with circumstances and contingencies in mind, as we emphasized earlier. For our part, this can be interpreted as suggesting that a scalpel used in the “operating theatre” is a tool to save lives, while the same scalpel in an “army assemblage” may be a weapon, because the wider assemblage selects its ability to kill, or to experiment on humans (Japanese army experiments in Unit 731 during war-time, for example). We agree with De Landa here when he argues that the scalpel’s sole properties are not uniquely determined outside of the larger assemblage. Weapons are distinguished from tools by absolute speed, not in the ordinary sense of slowness or rapidity of movement, but in the manner in which the scalpel is moved. The scalpel is moved to excise malign cancer tissue, dead tissue, or in a slow piercing movement, to torture an enemy combatant. In their treatise on nomadology, Deleuze and Guattari clarify this point (1987, p. 381): “It is thus necessary to make a distinction between speed and movement. A movement may be very fast, but that does

On the “Schizophrenic Taste” for Spinozist Weapons


not give it speed; a speed may be very slow, or even immobile, yet it is still speed. Movement is extensive; speed is intensive.” Here, Spinoza’s scalpel is moved to perform a kind of philosophical cataract surgery, replacing the distorted lens inside the eye with an intraocular lens to restore clear vision. This is Spinoza’s third eye. Deleuze also detects this sense of clear vision and affirmation, borrowing from Henry Miller, who writes: You see, to me it seems as though the artists, the scientists, the philosophers were grinding lenses. It’s all a grand preparation for something that never comes off. Someday the lens is going to be perfect and then we’re all going to see clearly, see what a staggering, wonderful, beautiful world it is. (As quoted in Deleuze, 1988, 14)

Of Spinoza the surgeon, Deleuze writes (1988, 14): “He wanted only to inspire, to waken, to reveal. The purpose of demonstration functioning as the third eye is not to command or even to convince, but only to shape the glass or polish the lens for this inspired free vision.” CONCLUSION We agree with Deleuze and insist it is not a question of worrying or of hoping for the best, but of finding new weapons because for our part such weapons must assume a philosophical form. And as connoisseurs of schizoanalysis, we need “a schizophrenic taste” to understand the difference between tools and weapons. At its most brutal, schizoanalysis acts as a scalpel, a tearing and scraping away at the body of the socius to make it a means of exploration. The scalpel in the hand of the schizoanalyst is a weapon or surgical instrument performing a “terrible curettage.” Through cuts and scrapes, it grooves the earth. In Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari share a macabre delight in this process and find “exaltation” (1983, p. 299) in the schizophrenic process which deterritorializes with wild abandon to produce a new earth. From this process, as we know, new desires manifest and new becomings are made possible. Yet, transforming the tool into a weapon is always a question of how it is handled, how it is moved, and thus always pertains to circumstances and the milieu it appears in. So we ask again: how to change the world with philosophical weapons? This of course is explored by Marx in the eleventh thesis on Feuerbach, who writes that philosophers must not only interpret the world but change it. However, Deleuze takes from Spinoza the need to change the world as it is but always from the standpoint of joy and affirmation. This remains the task of philosophy which continues to search for an ontology of the common, as Negri puts it, or as the Brazilian


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philosopher Pelbart says “a structure of life that is not an apparatus of life” (2015). This remains the task of contemporary philosophy. But such a task emerges alongside the “negative task of schizoanalysis”—that most “violent, brutal: defamiliarizing, de-oedipalizing, decastrating” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, 381) of operations; that “terrible curettage” and “malevolent activity.” The task of the schizo-mechanic is then to transform the tool into a weapon, and in so doing to transform forms of violence into pacifism, and the war machine into a means of peace. I began this chapter with four quotations: the first from the British band Radiohead; the second from Deleuze; the third from he and his comrade, Guattari; and the last from the replicant Roy in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982). I hope the chapter has adequately demonstrated why but in recapitulation allow me a brief, last moment to tie together the quotations. The lyrics of Radiohead’s Present Tense suggest a fabulatory way to be joyful vis-à-vis the unknown while simultaneously acting affirmatively through countering or parrying the sad affects of the present. In that sense, the song conveys a very clear Deleuzian motif. It suggests the need for a philosophy which responds to the contemporary moment in an affirmative fashion. The countering of the present as a fleeing to the future necessitates the use of weapons—hence the quote by Deleuze in On the Line, which is taken from the prison letter of Black Panther George Jackson. The wielding of tools of transversality is thus read in terms of a “schizophrenic taste” for free action. Weapons in this sense are tools for peace: again through simultaneous counterattack and resistance as Deleuze and Guattari say in A Thousand Plateaus. The last quotation is taken from a scene in Blade Runner where Decker, hanging off the top of a skyscraper, is at the mercy of the replicant Roy, who is grasping Decker’s hand and is in control of the detective’s fate. In brief, my task is to find a method in philosophy to express the idea of a life without fear of, or slavery to, the sad affects of Integrated World Capitalism. REFERENCES Adorno, T. W. (2004). Negative Dialectics. Taylor & Francis e-Library. Althusser, L. (1990). Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists & Other Essays (G. Elliot, Ed.). Verso. Anonymous. (1975). Dr. Althusser. Radical Philosophy, 12, 44. Braidotti, R. (2002). Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming. Polity. Braidotti, R. (2016, December 22). The Critical Posthumanities [Paper presentation]. Summer Institute of the Antipodes 2016, Hawkesbury Campus, Western Sydney University, Australia. Caygill, H. (2013). On Resistance: A Philosophy of Defiance. Bloomsbury Academic.

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Culp, A. (2013). Accelerationism and the Need for Speed: Partisan Notes on Civil War. The Anarchist Library. https://theanarchistlibrary​.org​/library​/andrew​-culp​ -accelerationism​-and​-the​-need​-for​-speed​-partisan​-notes​-on​-civil​-war Culp, A. (2016). Dark Deleuze. University of Minnesota Press. De Landa, M. (2006). A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity. Continuum. De Landa, M. (2010). Deleuze: History and Science. Atropos. Deleuze, G. (1977). I Have Nothing to Admit. Semiotext(e): The Anti-Oedipus Issue, 2(3), 111–116. Deleuze, G. (1983). Nietzsche and Philosophy (H. Tomlinson, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1962) Deleuze, G. (1988). Spinoza: Practical Philosophy (R. Hurley, Trans.). City Lights Books. (Original work published 1970) Deleuze, G. (1992). Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza (M. Joughin, Trans.). Zone Books. (Original work published 1968) Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and Repetition (P. Patton, Trans.). Athlone Press. (Original work published 1968) Deleuze, G. (1998). Nomad Thought (D. Allison, Trans.). In D. W. Conway & P. S. Groff (Eds.), Nietzsche: Critical Assessments. Routledge. (Original work published 1973) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).   A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Originally published 1980) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What Is Philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1991) Deleuze, G., & Parnet, C. (2002). Dialogues II. (B. Habberjam, H. Tomlinson, E. R. Albert & J. A. Tomlinson, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1977) Foucault, M. (1977). Language, Counter-memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews (D. F. Bouchard, Ed.). Cornell University Press. Foucault, M. (1990). The History of Sexuality: Volume 1 (R. J. Hurley, Trans.). Vintage. (Original work published 1976) Gandhi. (1996). Mahatma Gandhi: Selected Political Writings (D. Dalton, Ed.). Hackett Publishing Company. Guattari, F. (2014). The Three Ecologies. Athlone Press. Guattari, F., Sheed, R., & Cooper, D. (1984). Molecular Revolution: Psychiatry and Politics (R. Sheed, Trans.). Penguin. (Original work published 1977) Hardt, M. (1993). Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy. University of Minnesota Press. Hardt, M., & Negri, A. (2000). Empire. Harvard University Press. Holland, E. W. (1999). Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis. Routledge. Howard, V. R. (2013). Gandhi’s Ascetic Activism: Renunciation and Social Action. State University of New York Press.


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Jay, M. (1973). The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research 1923–1950. University of California Press. Laruelle, F., Burk, D., & Smith, A. P. (2012). Struggle and Utopia at the End Times of Philosophy. Univocal. Lotringer, S. (1977). Anti-Oedipus: From Psychoanalysis to Schizopolitics. Special issue of Semiotext(e), 2(3). Malabou, C. (2012). The New Wounded from Neurosis to Brain Damage (S. Miller, Trans.). Fordham University Press. Malabou, C. (2013, October 22). From Sorrow to Indifference: Current Politics and the Emotional Brain [Provost Lecture]. Stony Brook University. https://www​ .youtube​.com​/watch​?v​=KoAd1lQ1bXM Mao, Z., Schram, S. R., & Hodes, N. J. (2014). Mao’s Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings 1912–1949, Volume VI. Routledge. Marx, K. (1977). Critique of Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right’ (J. J. O’Malley & A. Jolin, Trans.). Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1927) Massumi, B. (1987). Translator’s Foreword. In G. Deleuze & F. Guattari (Eds.),  A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia . University of Minnesota Press. Negri, A., & Murphy, T. S. (2004). Subversive Spinoza: (un)Contemporary Variations. Manchester University Press. Nietzsche, F. W. (1997). Human, All Too Human I (G. J. Handwerk, Ed. & Trans.). Stanford University Press. Ollman, B. (1976). Alienation: Marx’s Conception of Man in Capitalist Society. Cambridge University Press. Pelbart, P. P. (2015). Cartography of Exhaustion: Nihilism Inside Out. Univocal. Sharp, H., & Smith, J. E. (2012). Between Hegel and Spinoza: A Volume of Critical Essays. Bloomsbury Publishing. Spinoza, B. D., & Shirley, S. (2002). Spinoza: Complete Works (M. L. Morgan, Ed; S. Shirley, Trans.). Hackett Publishing Company.

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From the Exterminating Angel to Guattari’s Scarecrow

A teacher tries to console her angry and disillusioned student. Working-class male students are a rarity in her class and in the university as a whole. She knows this and she seldom meets such a demographic. She tells him to keep his mind in hell and despair not. It is a few years after 1989 and at a moment when the near evangelical words of Francis Fukuyama (1992) hold much currency. A generation is at the end of history. A generation has returned to insects and animals, as Kojève says. What is left is but a global form of capitalism and democracy  and nothing else . Faced with this ominous prospect, she suggests we begin again in earnest—in the middle, in anxiety, at the beginning. She says we must return to the thinkers of two centuries past to seek answers to new dilemmas, paradoxes, quandaries and aporias. Yet in her argument there is no mention of Karl Marx, no return to the question of the revolution or the critique of capitalism itself. Such matters are at an end . Indeed, in her Dialectics of Nihilism  (1984), and in her idiosyncratic reading of poststructuralism, she has little time for the philosophy of affirmation because Deleuze, for instance, is too Bergsonian for her taste. He, along with Foucault and Lyotard, is nowhere to be found in her philosophical lexicon. It is rather in Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt school, Walter Benjamin, Søren Kierkegaard, Max Weber, Hannah Arendt and others that she seeks counsel. This anecdotal moment is pivotal in my intellectual life. It endures. It leaves me in the middle, in-between Deleuze and Guattari on the one hand and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and its rarefied form of Marxism on the other. It is my diremption. I am torn between the two—between a messianic desire for a redemptive politics and the melancholic realization that abstract ideas no longer meld with concrete actuality. Verily, what is to be done? 51


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In the early years after 1989, my teacher Gillian Rose, a critic of Deleuze, told this despairing young soul that the question of Marxism would return again in some form in the coming millennium. Formerly, this same message appeared at the beginning of her magnum opus The Broken Middle (1992). Its Hegelian message reads: The “Revolution” in the revolutions of 1989 has not “destroyed” Marxism so much as it has dismantled post-war state-Socialism. We have been given back the last two hundred years—in life and in letters. All the debates, all the antinomies of modern state and society addressed since Hobbes, Smith and Rousseau, have been reopened as well as the opportunity to resume examination of the connection between liberalism and Fascism from which post-war stateSocialism has proved such a dangerous distraction. (Rose, 1992, p. xi)

My question to her at the time was—if we are given back the political problems of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, why are we not also given back the question of utopia and the question of the revolution? “After 1989, everything has changed,” she simply retorted. She was right, everything has changed. Especially the desire for change. Now as time has passed and I am writing this chapter over fifty years after the événements of 1968, I believe it is timely to revisit the question of desire and the desire for social transformation itself. Has this desire for root-and-branch, that is, radical change been firmly and finally quashed? Where is the schizo? Has the schizo process been recuperated further into the capitalist axiomatic? Where and in what form can we find the exterminating angel in the capitalist hell of the world? I do not wish to merely rehash old debates on the intellectual passages from Anti-Oedipus (1983) to  A Thousand Plateaus (1987), from the prospects of wild destratifications to the purported compromises of the later work. Rather I want to look at figures or images of thought found in the two works of capitalism and schizophrenia and to warn of their possibly exhausted nature. This anxiety of beginning and beginning of anxiety, the broken middle, that is to say, that which is without hope of restored totality and must be affirmed as such, can be appreciated through an angelology of sorts. Here we shall understand the angel on a number of familiar levels—as a spiritual being, as a messenger of the Gods, as a heavenly messenger, as a harbinger of news. We understand that the contemporary sense of angel is derived from the Latin angelus and Greek angelos, the angel or errand-spirit which literally announces. From this we can ruminate on the associated questions of the middle and the angel in other terms through the notion of intermundia, or spaces between worlds , through the sense of intermundia found in Paul Klee’s writings. I shall demonstrate this through a consideration of the significance of Klee’s drawings, namely, Angelus Novus (New Angel), Angelus Dubiosus

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(Doubting Angel) and Angelus Militans (the Militant Angel). These angels will be contrasted with Deleuze and Guattari’s image of the schizo, “the exterminating angel of capitalism.” I shall examine Klee’s angels, Benjamin’s interpretation of the Angelus Novus as well as Rose’s reinterpretation of his view and then turn to Deleuze and Guattari’s figure of the schizo. I am arguing that the three angels—Novus, Dubiosus and Militans—and Deleuze and Guattari’s exterminating angel all suffer a form of trauma or anxiety; they are in effect pulverized and petrified. All of the angels are without horos; in other words they are without a path to utopia. Heralding Guattari’s warning, the angels seem to be caught in a vertiginous whirlwind, the vertigo of abolition; they are thrown into a maelstrom of self-directed destruction.

EXTERMINATING ANGEL OF CAPITALISM Writing two hundred years after the birth of Marx, two centuries since the publication of Mary Shelley’s  Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus , five hundred years after Sir Thomas More’s publication of Utopia and half a century since the events of 1968 in Paris, it is at this juncture timely to revisit the legacy of the exterminating angel of capitalism as described in Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus, which is itself 50 years year in 2022. Let us remind ourselves of what they write: The schizophrenic deliberately seeks out the very limit of capitalism: he is its inherent tendency brought to fulfillment, its surplus product, its proletariat, and its exterminating angel. He scrambles all the codes and is the transmitter of the decoded flows of desire. (Deleuze & Guattari, 1972/83, p. 35)  Le schizophrène se tient à la limite du capitalisme: il en est la tendance développée, le surproduit, le prolétaire et l’ange exterminateur. Il brouille tous les codes, et porte les flux décodés du désir. 

Is there a need for a new image of schizo thought, a new figure in the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari? In what way can we continue to invoke the figure of the exterminating angel in Deleuze and Guattari studies in any meaningful sense? Put another way, what does it mean to be evangelical about Deleuze and Guattari’s angel of death and destruction? What message would this convey? What news would it disseminate? What new dogmatisms would it create? Although I am endeavoring to make sense of and raise questions regarding the becoming-evangelical of Deleuze’s philosophy, this is not taken in any religious, transcendent sense—I am not trying to get out of this world and its complexities but to get deeper into its immanence—rather, this should be


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taken in the sense of a message. What is the nature of this message and who is the harbinger of this news? With age, I confess I struggle to affirm the image of the exterminating angel. Go schizo! Why? It seems to me that we soon end up with exhausted alternatives. This point of exhaustion is what I am designating Guattari’s scarecrow, that is, the scarecrow at the end of the world, the scarecrow bearing witness to apocalyptic times. Although Gensoko and Hetrick translate “ l’épouvantail de la fin du monde ” as “ bugbear of the end of the world ” (2005, pp. 106–107) I find the scarecrow offers a different and revealing imaginary. This is at the point of the death of man, where the faces of man vanish in the sand and fallen angels are blown deeper into the hell of the world. The scarecrow is a perfectly miserable description of where we are in the contemporary moment. Not even a doubting angel, nor a militant angel, not a Forgetful angel or an Angel in the process of becoming, not an “ugly” angel, but a useless, paralyzed, vandalized figure. Against this, we might look to Deleuze, who offers alternative positive figures, who invokes Klee’s notion of a people- yet-to-come  but alas this is always deferred. This aporia is not overcome. We are still looking for a path or horos.

THE FIGURE OF THE SCHIZO To say it more straightforwardly, are we not slightly embarrassed by the metaphorical language of the schizo announced in the early part of AntiOedipus ? The schizo is described as de-Oedipalized, part of an a-subjective process, bereft of ego, neither man nor woman: more orphan, anarchist and atheist. The schizo is “more capitalist than the capitalist and more proletarian than the proletariat” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1972/83, p. 34). We are told the schizo deliberately seeks out the very limit of capitalism; and is capitalism’s inherent tendency, surplus product, proletariat, exterminating angel. The schizo haunts capitalism as its terrifying nightmare. Deleuze and Guattari write of the apocalypse to come: We shall speak of an absolute limit every time the schizo-flows pass through the wall, scramble all the codes, and deterritorialize the socius: the body without organs is the deterritorialized socius, the wilderness where the decoded flows run free, the end of the world, the apocalypse. (Deleuze & Guattari, 1972/83, p. 76)

For Deleuze and Guattari the schizo process is radical, revolutionary and nomadic. On this account, the first task of the revolutionary is described in Anti-Oedipus as:

From the Exterminating Angel to Guattari’s Scarecrow


to learn from the psychotic how to shake off the Oedipal yoke and the effects of power, in order to initiate a radical politics of desire freed from all beliefs. Such a politics dissolves the mystifications of power through the kindling, on all levels, of anti-oedipal forces—the schizzes-flows—forces that escape coding, scramble the codes, and flee in all directions: orphans (no daddy-mommy-me), atheists (no beliefs), and nomads (no habits, no territories). (p. xxi)

This is not to say that Deleuze and Guattari are simply claiming that modern life drives us mad. This may well be true, but for them it is more a question of the process of production, the production of the real. There is complicity and disavowal as well. The schizo is engaged in the process of production, in the production of the real. Here the exterminating angel is like communism, the specter haunting nineteenth-century Europe: both are depicted as signifying real movement and process. In Chaosophy, Guattari explains this regarding flows that threaten the order of things: We don’t say that revolutionaries ought to identify with free-wheeling madmen, but that they should model their action on the “schizo-process.” . . . The schizophrenic is a person who, for whatever reason, has been touched off by a desiring flow which threatens the social order. There’s an immediate intervention to ward off such a menace. . . . The work of the analyst, the revolutionary, and the artist meet to the extent that they must constantly tear down the systems which reify desire, which submit the subject to the familial and social hierarchy. (1995/2009, p. 152)

OWL OF MINERVA, ANGELUS MILITANS AND GUATTARI’S SCARECROW Compare Deleuze and Guattari’s image of the exterminating angel with Walter Benjamin’s angelology and materialist philosophy of history. Catastrophe after catastrophe, failed experiment after failed experiment, catapulted into the future, the  Angel of History  cannot but look at the junkyard of malfunctioning, obsolete desiring machines, all manufactured in the march or progress of history. In the ninth thesis on the philosophy of history, he writes: A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from


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Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress. (Benjamin, 2009, pp. 257–258)

Compare this also to Gillian Rose who contrasts another of Klee’s angels. This angel offers an alternative phenomenology of modernity. While Angelus Novus offers an image of “aberrated mourning,” of traumatized arrest before “the single catastrophe of History,” Angelus Dubiosus embodies the contrasting condition of “inaugurated mourning.” She proffers Angelus Dubiosus to postmodernity’s New Angels (Levinas, Lyotard, Blanchot, Deleuze and others), who are described as humorless witnesses to the ruins of Reason after Auschwitz. One imagines she would take issue with Deleuze and Guattari’s inversion of Francisco Goya’s view of rationality. In AntiOedipus Deleuze and Guattari write, “It is not the slumber of reason that engenders monsters, but vigilant and insomniac rationality” (1983, p. 112). Instead of this, Rose prefers an equivocal, doubting witness, writing: I prefer another angel of Klee’s, Angelus Dubiosus. With voluminous, blue, billowing and enfolding wings in which square eyeholes are cut for the expanse of rotund, taupe flesh to gaze through, this mole-like angel appears unguarded rather than intent, grounded and slack rather than backing up and away in rigid horror. To me, this dubious angel suggests the humorous witness who must endure. (Rose, 1999, p. 110)

Rose writes that Benjamin’s ninth thesis presents the angel not as destructive as such, but as traumatized. It embodies the impulse to save rather than annihilate. She questions the poststructuralism of Deleuze and others, probing the ethical right of its philosophical credentials. Philosophy’s color remains gray layered on gray as Hegel writes of the Owl of Minerva in the Preface to the  Philosophy of Right : One more word about giving instruction as to what the world ought to be. Philosophy in any case always comes on the scene too late to give it. As the thought of the world, it appears only when actuality is already there cut and dried after its process of formation has been completed . . . When philosophy paints its gray in gray, then has a shape of life grown old. By philosophy’s gray in gray it cannot be rejuvenated but only understood. The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk. (1820/2005, p. xxi)

Rose interprets Hegel’s famous passage in the  Philosophy of Right  as follows, contrasting the grayness of philosophy with the technicolor of postmodernity:

From the Exterminating Angel to Guattari’s Scarecrow


The Owl of Minerva has spread her wings. Not that a shape of life has grown old, for it has always been already ancient, but we may now be prepared and readied for comprehension. We may now be prepared and readied for philosophy’s gray in gray; not for the color on color of postmodernity, with its premature celebration of a new epoch for the coming millennium, even if incipient in the old. For our antiquity has yet to see the soaring of soft-plumaged Minerva in her nocturnal figuration. Gray in gray warns against philosophy’s pride of Sollen, against any proscription or prescription, any imposition of ideals, imaginary communities or “progressive narrations.” (Rose, 1992, p. xi)

No more ideals, imaginary communities or “progressive narrations”? No more utopic visions and imaginations? Yet, for Rose, this is no longer a question of embracing tragic resignation or messianic utopianism, nor negotiating a broken middle between the dualisms of universal and particular, law and ethics, potentiality and actuality, but of understanding the diremption between the utopian promises of the Enlightenment and the concrete realities of contemporary life. Gray on gray, color on color, black on black? I am left wondering what color expresses Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy. Is it of the technicolor spectrum as intimated by Rose? Or is it the absence of color as suggestive of the mad, black, negative Deleuzism which Ray Brassier finds in Nick Land’s “ostensibly unsavoury” corpus? He argues: The French philosopher Vincent Descombes once described Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus and Lyotard’s Libidinal Economy as manifestations of what he called “mad black Hegelianism.” An attempt to find the prosecution of a kind of Marxist materialism that would somehow be anti-Hegelian. In the same regard, Land’s work is a “mad black Deleuzianism,” an attempt to turn Deleuze’s vitalist impetus, the affirmationist élan that animates the Deleuzoguattarian corpus into something much more ostensibly unsavoury, but also much more conceptually liberating. (Brassier, 2010)

On a similar note, Bernard Stiegler suggests that late in his life Deleuze succumbs to the “negative.” The philosopher of affirmation is late in life a “negative Deleuze,” or if one is to follow Andrew Culp, a “dark Deleuze.” Stiegler insists Deleuze is more negative, wiser perhaps in his old age, finding less hope, less affirmation of “desiring machines.” More gray on gray, we could say. He has less faith in the potential of the exterminating angel. For Stiegler, this suggests an the exhaustion of desire. The question is less concerned with the utopian dimension to of Deleuze and Guattari’s anti-Oedipal strategies, the affirmation of desiring machines and schizophrenic process, and has more to do with the critique of the drives which turn destructive and nihilistic. That Deleuze and Guattari ultimately confuse the drives, desire and libido is, for Stiegler, primarily because Deleuze has no concept of organology, which is to


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say no understanding of the technicity of machines. The concept of desiring machine is thus increasingly anachronistic. MUNDUS IMAGINALIS I am suggesting that Klee’s sense of intermundia or interworld can be differentiated from the speculative thought of the middle as found in Rose’s work. It is Klee’s drawings which grant us a heuristic prism to probe this middle and thus to inform Deleuze and Guattari’s treatment of the schizo. The intermundia helps us to understand the site and status of the angel. It is in his notion of interworld and the role of eye-thinking (Bilddenkerische) that we may begin to retrace the figure of the schizo. Here I am also proposing that the notion of mundus imaginalis found in Islamic philosophy and its study of angelology, eschatology and cosmology can help us understand the meaning of the intermediate, the interworld. The mundus imaginalis is the prism through which to understand the ontology of the interworld. Following Klee, we can say that the angel inheres in some sense in this mundus imaginalis. It is the role of philosophy and art to make this agency apparent. Indeed, in What Is Philosophy ? Deleuze and Guattari write on the relation between creation, the people to come and the prospect of a new earth: “The creation of concepts in itself appeals to a form of future, calls for a new earth and a people which do not yet exist . . . . Art and philosophy converge on this point, the constitution of an earth and a people which are lacking, as the correlate of creation” (2015, p. 108). Klee writes that children, the mad and so-called primitives can rediscover the “power of seeing.” They disclose the coming into being of the world as interworld or Zwischenwelt. Klee interprets the interworld in line with his notion of eye-thinking. I overstep neither the picture’s nor the composition’s limits. But I do stretch its content by introducing into the picture new subject matter—or rather, not so much new as barely glimpsed subject matter. Obviously this subject matter, like any other, maintains its ties to the natural world. By natural world I am not referring to nature’s appearance (as naturalism would) but to the sphere of its possibilities: this content produces images of nature’s potentiality . . . I often say . . . that worlds have come into being and continuously unfold before our eyes— worlds which despite their connection to nature are not visible to everybody, but may in fact only be so to children, the mad and the primitives. I have in mind the realm of the unborn and the already dead which one day might fulfill its promise, but which then again might not—an intermediate world, an interworld. To my eyes, at least, an interworld; I name it so because I detect its existence

From the Exterminating Angel to Guattari’s Scarecrow


between those exterior worlds to which our senses are attuned, while at the same time I can introject it enough to be able to project it outside of myself as symbol. It is by following this course that children, the mad, and the primitive peoples have remained faithful to—have discovered again—the power of seeing. (as quoted in Lyotard, 1971/2011, pp. 446–447)

Guattari too emphasizes this aspect. In Chaosophy, he writes on cinema and its relation to desire, exploring a form of animism: “It is enough to observe children, the insane, and the primitive without prejudice in order to understand that desire can make love with humans as well as with flowers, machines, or celebrations” (pp. 245–246). Children, the insane, primitives, schizos and angels have access to this interworld, to an inter-inhuman world. And again in Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari note regarding Klee’s work that the intermundia “perhaps are visible only to children, madmen, and primitives” (p. 243). The presence of angels is found in the coming into being of the world—the becoming of the world in-between worlds, between the exterior, perceived world and the interior, sensed world. This is the site of the schizo too. The intermundia is populated with angels, giving hope to the world. It is the angel which mediates the world, connects the local to the global, and in so doing engenders worlds to come. But again angels also bring apocalypse and death, like the envisaged exterminating angel of capitalism. MY ANGELUS MILITANS Angelus Militans (painted in 1939) is one among over fifty line drawings by Klee. Others include the Archangel, Vigilant Angel, Watchful Angel and the Angel Overflowing. We can only guess at the meaning and intent of this militant angel, but as its designation suggests, the angel is full of anger and bewilderment. It is also without rest; insomniac. This expresses a sense of the angel which drives out and away, expels and drives beyond. Exceeding boundaries, limits and ends, this militant or exterminating angel destroys in total, wanton fashion. In this way, Angelus Militans scours the earth like the schizophrenic angel without a resting place. It is volatile, winged, and changeable. Angelus Militans,  my exterminating angel , fills the capitalist world with dread; it is the dread capitalism feels when confronted with flows that elude its codes. I enjoy this apocalyptic thought. I enjoy the prospect of slaking vengeance and unbridled militancy. It is my image of ressentiment . But again there is still equivocation and doubting: can we still invoke the exterminating angel? What would it look like? Can it be seen? What or who does the exterminating angel rid the world of? Does it remain the terminus


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of capitalism? Does it interfere in the deliverance of meaning? What is the nature of the exterminating angel yet to come? To ask in bleak terms, what does it mean for Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy to find that a central motif has absconded? My Angelus Militans shares in the militancy of Guattari. It is a militancy sharing an interest in the re-revolution of desire. Why? Dogmatically put, it is because even after half a century schizoanalysis remains political and social—it is a militant analysis. The Angelus Militans is less symbolic of the sad militant as depicted in Anti-Oedipus, and more perhaps of a joyful spirit, mischievous even, invoking absolute re(de)territorialization as mapped out in Deleuze and Guattari’s  What Is Philosophy ?; its fatal model offers a possible path to utopia. Yet again it remains unsure of itself, joyful in its experimentation but hesitant nevertheless, unsure of its path and destination. Yet, in its militant mode, countering sadness need not be infectious or debilitating. As Foucault says in the preface to Anti-Oedipus : “Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable” (Foucault, 1977, p. xiii). And as the translator of Anti-Oedipus, Mark Seem writes, militancy necessarily must seek a path beyond madness because such a politics of desire demands that loneliness and depression are the first things to go (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. xiii). But even with those caveats acknowledged, the significance of Angelus Militans remains subject to reinterpretation. CONCLUSION That said and thus far, I have invoked an old book. Anti-Oedipus. I cling desperately to it and to one of its central motifs—the exterminating angel. The schizo figure is seared into my mind. I remain strangely captivated by this surplus product of capitalism. It lingers, burrows itself surreptitiously and mischievously, refusing to disappear. I have long tried to excise it, starting in my youth which saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the exhaustion of the Soviet empire, thinking it safer to invoke other less violent, more hopeful angels. Yet even through the bleak early 1990s, when communism, hope and utopia for another society or world were words seldom raised on university campuses in England, the specter of the exterminating angel abided—albeit, offering less a faint angelic hope and more a prism to think the possibility of something yet to come. With eyes thinking the present (from Klee), and in the time of the Anthropocene, what sort of angel awaits? Is the inhuman, agonizing howl in Edvard Munch’s  Der Schrei der Natur  (The Scream of Nature) still meaningful? Are we not hurled into a time deaf and indifferent to its forewarning? Faced

From the Exterminating Angel to Guattari’s Scarecrow


with these questions, I situate the figure of the exterminating angel in the intermundia—between the world and unworld, between this life and the next, in the purgatory of a petrified, exhausted, traumatized present. This is to think philosophy from a utopia or non-place, taking the critique of its “own time to its highest point” as Deleuze and Guattari say in  What Is Philosophy ? (p. 99). This intermundia is accessible to the mad, to children and indeed to the schizo. Thinking the schizo and utopia alongside each other invokes the idea of the exterminating, embodied angel, able to intermediate beyond the atemporality of the now. Utopian thinking thus resists the present. The exterminating angel is contrasted with Klee’s Angelus Novus—that image examined in Benjamin’s ninth thesis on history and Klee’s Angelus Dubiosus—the angel of doubt and transformation invoked in Rose’s work. On this view, philosophy in its Deleuze and Guattarian technicolor iteration needs new angels, demons and monsters to make sense of the trauma and catastrophe of human history. While we are certainly beyond the “premature celebration of a new epoch” (Rose), the equivocations, antinomies of reason, the anxiety of beginning and the beginning of anxiety do not grant us a politicophilosophical vision to think otherwise than the reality our everyday world. Rose’s broken middle remains broken, failing to overcome the aporia of hope and utopia. While we may keep our minds in hell and despair, we also need a pedagogy so defined as absolute re(de)territorialization to rip the veil from the shame and mourning of the present, to use the words of D. H Lawrence. In this way the exterminating angel and the notion of absolute re(de)territorialization seem to offer some potential for rethinking Deleuze and Guattari studies afresh. My gambit is to replace the doubting, facetious angel of the broken middle with the exterminating angel present in the intermundia of the world—to differentiate the utopian pedagogy of the intermundia from the anxiety of the middle. Why? After 1989, with the last two hundred years “in life and in letters” returned, while “all the debates, all the antinomies of modern state and society . . . have been re-opened” (Rose, 1992, p. xi), we remain paralyzed to think the present. We desperately need a philosophy of utopianism beyond the exhaustion and despair of the moment, or to borrow Rose’s language, beyond the hypertrophy of the inner life. We need new angelic icons, new monstrous effigies. If after Auschwitz “the metaphysical capacity is paralyzed” (Fackenheim), and after Hiroshima, the capacity is exhausted, perhaps after Fukushima and with the advent of the Anthropocene, we can say that the metaphysical capacity is petrified. Here Guattari helps to understand this moment of petrification because he is writing against the sense of  une vertige de mort collectif  or the “collective vertigo of death,” which we might also call the black hole of absolute deterritorialization. He aims to counter the scarecrow at the end of the world ( l’épouvantail de la fin du monde ), our collective annihilation, by invoking


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the subjective city or a form of immanent utopia in the last instance. He writes: Here it is not a question of opposing the utopia of a new “Celestial Jerusalem,” like that of the Apocalypse, to the harsh realities of our era, but of establishing a “subjective City” at the very heart of these realities.   Il n’est pas question d’opposer ici l’utopie d’une nouvelle “Jérusalem céleste,” comme celle de l’Apocalypse, aux dures nécessités de notre épo-que, mais d’instaurer une “Cité subjective” au cœur même de ces nécessités (. . .).  (Guattari, Genosko & Hetrick, 2015, p. 99)

As we know Guattari invokes a sense of ethical-political responsibility for the future, not only for human life but for all animal species, the biosphere and the very future of being in its entirety. A certain apocalyptic type of thinking is necessary, he says. To accept the vertigo of abolition, the prospect of the end of ends, apocalypse, cataclysm, and so on,  to meet the scarecrow at the end of times , to confront the impossibility of the present, he says, is to begin to reconstruct a vision of the world. I consider this a quintessential utopian impulse. I think one of the chief tasks of schizoanalysis is to update this contemporary vision. Why? This would reimagine something beyond the figure of the scarecrow, beyond  the vertigo of abolition . The scarecrow is the forlorn figure at the end of things; it looks on at the incessant manufacturing and engineering of manmade nature. The scarecrow scares off the natural world to protect the agriculture of the manmade world. But at the end of things, to name the Anthropocene, its figure remains with no nature to ward off and no manmade-nature to preserve. It is left stupefied by the way of the schizoid world. The scarecrow is the figure of man as such. My point is that if this image continues to dominate the immediate horizon of possibility, we are in danger of replacing the figure of the angel in all of its forms and meanings and with it the possibility of revolution or redemption, with the despairing image of the scarecrow. In this respect, and with a nod to the resilient spirit and hope of Anti-Oedipus and the unfinished tasks of schizoanalysis found within it, we still have not gone far enough and have not seen anything yet, especially in the sense of a new image of utopia defined as absolute deterritorialization, that is, as an imaginary of how to live at the end of things. REFERENCES Benjamin, W. (2009).  Illuminations: Essays and Reflections (H. Arendt, Ed; H. Zohn, Trans.). Mariner Books. (Original work published 1955)

From the Exterminating Angel to Guattari’s Scarecrow


Brassier, R. (2010). Accelerationism. Transcribed from the Backdoor Broadcasting Company recording, Audio Recording. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983).  Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia  (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1972) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).   A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia  (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1980) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What Is Philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1991) Foucault, M. (1977). Preface. In G. Deleuze & F. Guattari (Eds.), Anti-Oedipus (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. Fukuyama, F. (1992).  The End of History and the Last Man . Penguin. Guattari, F. (2015). Machinic Eros: Writings on Japan (G. Genosko & J. Hetrick, Eds.). University of Minnesota Press. Guattari, F., & Lotringer, S.  (2009). Chaosophy: Texts and Interviews 1972–1977. Semiotexte. (Original work published 1995) Hegel, G. W. F. (2005).  Philosophy of Right (S. W. Dyde, Trans.). Dover Publications. (Original work published 1820) Lyotard, J.-F. (2011). Discourse, Figure (A. Hudek & M. Lydon, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1971) Rose, G. (1992).  The Broken Middle: Out of Our Ancient Society. Wiley-Blackwell. Rose, G. (1984).  Dialectic of Nihilism: Post-structuralism and Law. Wiley.

Chapter 5

Fukushima The Geo-trauma of a Futural-Wave

The authors of this chapter have constructed an abstract machine, dated and signed, “geophilosophy–futural-wave–geo-trauma-Fukushima.” In this chapter, the authors are committed to the view that they have put geophilosophy to work, and thus have performed an inaugural and creative act of thinking, which is entirely consistent with the spirit of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Moreover, this abstract machine is an application of Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism (which can be read as the search for the conditions of singular, creative production) and invents a new mode of thought that encompasses the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. From this perspective, and in developing an unprecedented thought-experiment, the authors have consequently worked with Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of geophilosophy to explore the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi disaster in the time of the Anthropocene, as a singularity of absolute deterritorialization, as a moment when life escapes formations of categorical or territorial capture. The chapter engages with the pressing ecosophical matters at hand, engineering a compelling set of concepts and questions, in order to think the outside and beyond human finitude. Here geophilosophy is employed to consider the sense of immanence in nature that operates through interactive material processes and between boundaries and bodies of differentiation. The chapter concludes that the geo-trauma of the nuclear disaster acts as a spur away from the black hole of entropic capitalism, and toward an irradiated homelessness that holds the promise of a new utopos, a site of world-formation, and a people-yet-to-come. This is both the Zerrissenheit, or torn-to-pieces-hood, of Fukushima and a time of crisis, a moment fecund with new possibilities. This is the movement of philosophy to a third reterritorialization as set out in What Is Philosophy?—from Greek polis, to modern democratic state to the absolute deterritorialization of a future revolution and earth itself—in 65


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other words, philosophy as infinite movement, as the “utopia of immanence.” This is a movement from third reterritorialization to the possibility of ecoplanetary-revolution. In sum, geophilosophy finds its milieu in the time of the Anthropocene. GEOPHILOSOPHY: FUKUSHIMA AND THE ANTHROPOCENE Deleuze and Guattari anticipate many of the ongoing debates regarding the notion of the Anthropocene (Crutzen, 2002; see Deleuze & Guattari, 1993, 1994). The Anthropocene is a vital consideration at this juncture, as the geological time of man’s intervention on Earth is exactly what this chapter is about through the example of Fukushima. Deleuze and Guattari predicted the rise of the Anthropocene and the resultant crises such as the 2011 nuclear meltdown in Japan: For example, in A Thousand Plateaus, the plateau “The Geology of Morals (Who does the Earth think he is?)” is precisely dated 10,000 Years B.C., a period before the rise of human civilization in the Holocene, a time in which “the Earth—the Deterritorialized, the Glacial, the giant Molecule—is a body without organs” (Deleuze and Guattari, 1993, p. 40): That is to say, Deleuze and Guattari give voice to the Earth as a response to the Anthropocene. Moreover, in September 1988, in an interview with the Magazine Littéraire, Deleuze announced his plans for the near future: “I want to write a book on ‘What Is Philosophy?’ Also, Guattari and I want to get back to our joint work, and produce a sort of philosophy of Nature, now that any distinction between nature and artifice is becoming blurred” (p. 155). Although the joint philosophy of Nature was never realized, Qu’est-ce que la philosophie? (What Is Philosophy?) was published in 1992. In chapter 4 entitled Geophilosophy, the philosophy of Nature (and the Earth, which might be seen as their translation of Spinoza’s Nature) is mentioned briefly. Revitalizing the sections on Nature and the Earth that can be found in their previous collaborations, their philosophy of Nature focuses on the destabilizing of dualisms that separate nature and culture, man and environment, matter and thought; in other words, on attacking exactly those dualisms that are at the heart of critical thinking in the Anthropocene. Their alternative is already found in their opening statement of the “Geophilosophy” chapter, which says: “thinking takes place in the relationship of territory and the Earth” (p. 85). Thinking thus happens in a double movement or “entrenchment”; in a deterritorialization (from territory to the Earth) and a reterritorialization (from the Earth to territory): It is a passage to a third reterritorialization or new Earth and people. As territory and the Earth are inseparable from the moment that thinking (as a mode) begins according to this schema, it is



impossible (for us) to take them apart—in other words, all thought removes itself from a territory, toward the Earth, while at the same time installing a territory, removing itself from the Earth. “Thought” itself, moving parallel to the matters from which it breaks free, then necessarily involves both the Earth and territory, while it is deterritorialized and reterritorialized in perpetuum. This chapter focuses on the event generated by “Fukushima” in the time of the Anthropocene, an event where the planet, as Deleuze and Guattari put it in their own terms in Anti-Oedipus, “becomes so artificial that the movement of deterritorialization creates of necessity and by itself a new Earth” (p. 353). Working from a deep Spinozism, and radically breaking from Eurocentric Cartesianism, which still largely dominates the image of thought in philosophy, Deleuze and Guattari’s geophilosophy emphasizes the “situatedness” of thinking principally in two ways. (1) Descartes’s cogito functioned “independent from anything else” (Gaukroger, 1989, p. 50), forming both “the starting point for knowledge and the paradigm for knowledge.” Consequently, the origin of Cartesian thought and knowledge had nothing to do with the Earth. Cartesian thought reflected upon the Earth, but always already remained fully independent of it. (2) Descartes considered the cogito a distinctly human enterprise: our thinking (all the operations of our soul) is completely in our power and it is only according to our ideas that we envision the outer world (which makes Fukushima, in light of the Anthropocene, a radical break with this tradition). For Descartes—in contrast to Spinoza and Deleuze and Guattari in What Is Philosophy?—the human mind thinks about something—an animal, a thing, a disaster, or simply: “the Earth.” By situating thinking between territory and the Earth as “entrenchment,” geophilosophy breaks with Cartesianism, because it turns thinking into an immanent activity and refuses to make thinking a solely human enterprise. Situating thinking “in the midst of things” as they occur, Deleuze and Guattari stress that the act of thinking is produced in the zigzagging relation between territory and the Earth. Thinking thus does not wait for man to begin and necessarily happens when territory and the Earth meet. Baruch De Spinoza, in response to Descartes, notably offered the situated conceptualization of thinking in his “Letter to Schaller” (p. 390), in which he goes as far as to say that even the material assemblage called a stone holds the ability to think: that a stone, while continuing in motion, should be capable of thinking and knowing, that it is “endeavouring,” as far as it can, to continue to move. Such a stone, being conscious merely of its own endeavour and not at all indifferent, would believe itself to be completely free, and would think that it continued in motion solely because of its own wish. This is that human freedom, which all boast that they possess, and which consists solely in the fact, that men are conscious of their own desire, but are ignorant of the causes whereby that desire has been determined. Thus an infant believes that it desires milk freely.


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Thinking, for Spinoza, is not a product of the human mind; it is not even located “inside” a body. Rather, thinking is what immanently causes the body to function as one (since in the end its oneness is an illusion of the mind), and to act as one. Spinoza already noted that a body is “always already” a composite—he tells us that every individual is always a series of individuals ad infinitum (Dolphijn, 2014). The functioning together of these individuals and, most importantly, of expressing the desire to keep working as one (to maintain this particular being) forces the stone, the child or any possible individuality, to action. Therefore, thinking, in turn, is not so much “caused by” its body because this would lead us to the wrong kind of essentialism (there are an infinite number of causes, unknown to the body in casu). Rather, thinking has its body as its object of thought (it is the idea of the body). For Deleuze and Guattari in both A Thousand Plateaus (see Chapter “10,000 B.C.: The Geology of Morals (Who Does the Earth Think It Is?).” and What Is Philosophy? (in Section 4 Geophilosophy of Part 1), thinking decisively breaks the Cartesian mind/body distinction and rests on the capacity for entrenchment between territory and the Earth, or between culture (which is not necessarily human) and nature; thought is being actualized immanently, offering new life-forms (Cole, 2011) and new images of thinking hitherto unknown or unforeseen. Hence, can we make sense of the event of Fukushima through the geological-geophilosophical thought of the Anthropocene, the mixing of territories and the Earth, and the type of thinking that the nuclear meltdown has initiated? The chapter is about Fukushima, that moment when a singularity ended the world as we know it and made in its wake both an unworld (immonde) as well as the possibility of a new Earth. Of course, the event of Fukushima was anticipated by dystopic Manga comics (think of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 or Astro Boy/Mighty Atom), by the historical precedents of Hiroshima and Chernobyl, and by capitalism itself, through the economic imperatives that drove nuclear technology, including the construction of the Fukushima site. This last point is explored by Shiro Yabu (矢部史郎) in 3.12 no Shiso, in which he describes the desire for nuclear energy as being primarily driven by what he terms “nuclear capitalism.” The concept of geophilosophy in the work of Deleuze and Guattari and in the light of Fukushima and the Anthropocene pivots on the two aspects of how, and in what sense, the singularity of the manmade nuclear meltdown is immanent: 1) What is the (new) Earth in the context of Fukushima and the Anthropocene, and how does it relate to territory and land?



2) How is the nuclear disaster and contamination of Fukushima a mode of geo-trauma of human/nonhuman subjectivity (see section titled “Geotrauma From Japan”) that prevents thinking altogether? By means of rethinking Deleuze and Guattari’s geophilosophy, we note how Fukushima is an excrescent component in the logic of Japan’s postwar development, that its body (in space) and the ideas with which it sustains its endurance are situated in Japan. However, such logic does not properly take into account the location of the power plant, the likelihood of future strong earthquakes and fierce tsunamis and the dangers of nuclear contamination. The schizophrenic “full Earth” as described in Anti-Oedipus, where “the body without organs is the deterritorialized socius, the wilderness where the decoded flows run free, the end of the world, the apocalypse” (p. 176) was unthinkable in terms of Fukushima as a staged event in the realization of postwar Japanese capitalism. Even if (or when) human beings become extinct because of looming global climate catastrophe, Fukushima will remain a lasting monument to the ways in which the insatiable desire or jouissance for constant energy has led to unsustainable invention. Following Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, the pre-Darwinist naturalist, who was more interested in the homologies in life than in genus and species, we read the Anthropocene as a layering of strata (his concept), a thickening of the Earth, with all sorts of sediments (from nuclear waste to socio-economic policy). Not starting from the human being, or from any privileged form of life, the focus on strata allows us to see the power differentials or levels involved with thinking of the Earth in the context of the Anthropocene, and today, these differentials tend toward extenuating and obfuscating the intent of human activity. For example, the reasons for Fukushima’s placement are prefaced on the capitalist need for cheap energy to supply Japan’s industry—and this fact sets up a double articulation in terms of why Fukushima was built in such a precarious situation, in terms of modeling a new capitalist Japan after the Second World War, and in the frame of an obliviousness to global environmental effects that the push to a new Japan has created. The Anthropocene as an overarching concept or designation for our all-too-human times has interlinked streams, flows or vectors working through it. Especially within the geosciences (e.g., the atmospheric sciences), the results of the Anthropocene indicate the interconnected layerings and feedback loops that define the ways in which human activity is changing the world irreversibly (Steffen et al., 2011, pp. 842–867). These changes are akin to the point made by Heidegger in Being and Time, when he claims that it is when our circumspection confronts the breakdown of equipment as ready-athand, that the environment is itself revealed afresh. Similarly, we can say that not until there is a traumatic rupture or bifurcation in our thinking vis-à-vis


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this layering does what is happening become truly apparent. Fukushima is one such bifurcation point or singularity; it is at once an event of creation and destruction, which has, for example, radically altered environmental thinking about nuclear power as a possible solution to global warming due to fossil fuel usage (Chu & Majumdar, 2012, pp. 294–303). In contrast, the mainstream political and conservative mollification of what has happened in Fukushima can divert and stall the asking of questions about possible action or activism as a result of the accident. The political forces that set Fukushima in place and justified its funding and construction work suggest that the implications of nuclear meltdown are not as they in fact are. Fukushima is a singularity that shows how the strata of the Anthropocene work, on all levels of life and in all spheres, and it demonstrates how the various spheres fit together in the context of Japan and in time. Fukushima realizes the Anthropocene, forming a singular territory of fluid materiality and geo-ideas that continue to create new cancerous webs of truth and lies between its territory and the Earth. THE FUTURAL-WAVE AND THE IRRADIATING PLANE If Fukushima acts as a realization of the Anthropocene, as promoted in this chapter, one way to speculate upon the (end) times to come is through Alvin Toffler’s (1980) idea of The Third Wave. From the perspective of the geophilosophy of Deleuze and Guattari (What Is Philosophy; A Thousand Plateaus), the strategic use of Toffler is important because of the ways in which Fukushima in the Anthropocene operates as a fully evolved concept that is at work on every social level from the micro to the macro, and also eats itself into the dimension of time. Toffler’s predictions were based on developments in the information society in the 1970s, and how, for example, democracy could change for the better under pressure from the new information society and increased transparency. While some of Toffler’s predictions have come true, for example, the ways in which the internet has reinvented the limits of socialization, learning, and knowledge, the wholesale refashioning of society due to the information age has not taken place, principally because of the ways in which capitalism has resisted and co-opted such changes (Harvey, 2000, pp. 53–73). Capitalism has been able to deal with Toffler’s utopian ideas, such as changes in and improvements to democracy, through the increased reach of credit and debt forms of financialization (the debt economy) and in their very fluctuations (Melitopoulos and Lazzarato, 2012b, p. 24), which have seeped into all aspects of life through learning, and which have been largely facilitated through the combination of electronic mediation and cybernetics. Toffler’s wave notion, featured here as a “futural-wave,” works in parallel to the entrenchment of the geo-idea of Fukushima (as [an]other plane)



and captures the ways in which the socius is changing: The futural-wave is a time-based, posthuman means of understanding the geothought of the Anthropocene—or non-anthropocentric, nonhuman “Nature” in the wake of Fukushima. If we take the very instance of the singularity of Fukushima—March 11, 2011—it could be figured as a “shock of the new.” Suddenly, the (conscious and unconscious) mistakes of the past and possible ways forward become apparent as planes collide. Instead of relying on the nuclear power solutions of the previous generation, new modes of energy creation can begin to take precedence, as ideas and in practice, as the dangers of nuclear energy are fully understood and this knowledge is gradually disseminated. However, these changes in thinking and societal organization are not instantaneous, but take concerted pressure, imagination and activism/work on all levels, as the stalling mechanisms in capitalism (anti-production) hinder progress to a better (uncontaminated) life. The unfortunate reality of living in the Anthropocene is that it takes deep ruptures, crises and moments of Zerrissenheit or torn-topieces-hood, here figured as societal futural-waves, as adapted from Toffler, combined with the geo-thinking of the strata, to refigure the modes through which society has been organized in the past, and to alter the continuums for society and thought. Or as Michel Serres puts it: “Global history enters nature; global nature enters history: this is something utterly new in philosophy” (1995, p. 4). The continued growth and strengthening of global capitalism make cost-benefit analysis a matter of life and death in terms of society’s choices around building and maintaining nuclear power stations in vulnerable areas such as Fukushima. As Ronald Bogue has argued, Deleuze and Guattari’s “people-yet-to-come” (after Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche) is not simply a utopian project, but posits “collectivity as change” that makes a difference in “the now,” involving, in the context of this chapter, those who have fully realized the folly of Fukushima, and those who would do everything in their power to ensure that a nuclear disaster never happens again. The futural-wave discussed here is therefore about disruptions in social strata and the time-based thinking that can happen because of and in relation to Fukushima and the Anthropocene. Toffler underestimated the power of capitalism to undermine and infiltrate such processes as those that might think Fukushima with the Anthropocene, perhaps because of his Marxistinfluenced notion that the capitalist mode of production will be overcome. In contrast, the futural-wave takes on interrelated scientific, political, artistic and strategic meanings, depending on how it is positioned, and pragmatically what work it is set to do in the world. Such an argument about the futuralwave leads to the genesis and question of time in relation to the future in Deleuze. Significantly, the third passive synthesis in Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (1994) is of the future. The third synthesis is a peculiar


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force in time that dislocates time and divides the subject or “I.” Williams (2011) and Bogue (2004) have remarked that the third synthesis cannot be understood simply through dislocation, but it is a deliberate reordering and playing with time (or a science fiction of the temporal order). In the context of Fukushima and the situatedness of this chapter, Japanese art has concerned itself with time since Hiroshima. For example, in its aftermath, Akira Kurosawa’s classic film I Live in Fear (1955) works with Fukushima’s creation as its extreme limit or next plane of collision. Furthermore, Manga comics such as Astro Boy/Mighty Atom (from 1952 to 1968) and Barefoot Gen (1945 onward) have incorporated the irradiated playing with time of the third synthesis in the context of Fukushima as a limit thought. At the heart of Fukushima, one could place the writings of noir author Haruki Murakami, whose Kafka on the Shore and 1Q84 meticulously show us how, as Deleuze puts it in Difference and Repetition, “time itself unfolds instead of things unfolding within it” (p. 88). In other words, the third synthesis is a form of novelty or action that produces lesions in time, a “before and after” that, in our case, has been realized with the futural-wave of Fukushima and in the geothought of the Anthropocene. One could say, following Bergson, that the third synthesis or futural-wave constructs time internally as duration, but also tears such duration asunder. Once the violence and a loop in time have been achieved, a new sequencing will occur: around how exactly to deal with Fukushima in The Anthropocene, the consequent geo-trauma that Fukushima has produced, and the new forms of subjectivity that the plateau based around March 11, 2011, tolerates. A territory, an Earth, an idea has emerged that is so radically different from hitherto notions that a rupture in time, a “crack in the world,” as Murakami puts it, is noticed, producing a non-equilibrium division in which the before (nuclear power in the Anthropocene) and after (alternate power in the Anthropocene) are incommensurable. Put differently, an absolute silence, an absolute nothingness is realizing itself as time unfolds post-Fukushima. As non-equal elements pre- and post-Fukushima, the continuum is thus divided not only as a sequence but also as a series (Williams, p. 179). In the twenty-second series of The Logic of Sense, entitled “Porcelain and Volcano,” Deleuze discusses how self-destruction comes out of left field. Something happens that shatters the image and sanctuary of a perfect life— “looks, charm, riches, superficiality and lots of talent”—like “an old plate or glass” (1990, p. 154). This is what he describes as the “terrible tête-a-tête of the schizophrenic and the alcoholic” (p. 154). Indeed, in Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics, regarding a discussion on the nomadic processes of transformation, Braidotti, following Deleuze, maintains that the point is to learn how to refuse the sad passions which one feasts upon at “the crest of the wave of cracking-up” (Braidotti, 2006a, p. 208). If one toils in “the long



deep crack” of life, the question is how to learn to ward off the sad affects “of orchestrated demolition of the self” (Braidotti, 2006, p. 213). In Braidotti’s essay “Affirmation versus Vulnerability: On Contemporary Ethical Debates,” (2006) she suggests that in the experience and recovery from the crack up, what returns is a new force of health, resistance, adaptability and even ethical transformation, which is productive of difference. As she says, paradoxically, it is those who have already cracked up a bit, those who have suffered pain and injury, who are better placed to take the lead in the process of ethical transformation [. . .] They know about endurance, adequate forces, and the importance of Relations. (2006b, p. 156)

Deleuze takes the line that art itself is a path between the cracks. In a 1988 interview he says: “Any work of art points a way through for life, finds a way through the cracks” (Deleuze & Joughin, 1995, p. 43). For Deleuze, and indeed Nietzsche, the question is how to live in and on the surface of the crack, to traverse it, delicately, like the tightrope walker, balancing as ever over the precipice, yet learning all the while how to avoid headlong, hell-forleather suicidal collapse and thus to resist the perilous descent into nihilism, decadence and despair. In this chapter we argue that this is precisely the type of sensitive balancing required to live on in the time after Fukushima, as the futural-wave constantly extends, mutates and plays with time, as the Anthropocene becomes even weirder. One could suggest, with respect to the futural-wave that unfolds from the caesura that we have called the singularity of Fukushima in the Anthropocene, there are three forms or planes of the future, that is to say, the (1) present, (2) past and (3) future. These forms of the future “groove the Earth” for the people-yet-to-come, as they carry with them and work with forms (material and immaterial) of the future. Such modes of time set conditions and act as contingency in terms of the nonlinearity of what happens next. In the context of Fukushima, the force of the Fukushima-Anthropocene geo-idea, for example, which includes the ability to rally against nuclear power and compellingly dispute its continued use in exposed and vulnerable positions, will live or die depending on the ruptures and feedback loops in time that are possible, and the outcomes associated with such rupturing and subsequent assemblage. Deleuze’s third synthesis promotes thinking through the absolute complexities of time, which adds another dimension of thought to the gathering of forces necessary to change society with respect to Fukushima. Ultimately, Deleuze and Guattari’s geophilosophy lends itself to avoiding the mistakes of the past (e.g., those involved with nuclear capitalism), but this avoidance cannot be left to gradual changes in society, especially in the context of an irradiating Fukushima in the Anthropocene; it has to do with creating difference and planes on all levels, including the natural world


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(rethinking the Earth), the unconscious (reimagining and feeling a new world) and the hyper-rational (making a new world). In the next section, the challenge of the futural-wave is taken up in the context of the temporal and traumatized dimensions at work in post-Fukushima Japanese society and is read through the trope of “geo-trauma.” GEO-TRAUMA FROM WITHIN JAPAN How does the application of the work of Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus and What Is Philosophy? make sense of post-Fukushima Japan? Firstly, one can now name a Fukushima-Japanese thinking-praxis that disseminates the rhythm of the irradiated, singular milieu (March 11, 2011), hence opening up new (possible) worlds. This is a wholly new conception of thought in and for Japan, redefining what it means to think of and according to an infected and traumatized non-place such as Fukushima. In this context, the Japanese Earth, the cherry blossoms, seas and mountains all give rise to geo-ideas, marking the Anthropocentric nuclear age as infected by/ in Fukushima. However, one cannot overlook the power and “affect” of the geo-trauma produced on March 11, 2011, and the social and psychic maladies which have ensued—which are bound up in memory, image, contamination and a frozen temporality where one “works to forget” to the point of karoshi or death from overwork. The geo-trauma of Fukushima functions in a new sense based on the posthuman thinking that the nuclear meltdown has precipitated and constantly gives rise to as a futural-wave. The photographer and visual anthropologist Chihiro Minato, who appears in Melitopoulos and Lazzarato’s documentary, Life of Particles (2013), speaks of adaptation to the environment in terms of interior and exterior “psychosis,” which he argues is a territory or psycho-geography that the Japanese must now negotiate. Minato suggests that “the absolute evil” of the atom bomb is inextricably tied to Japanese desire. Similarly, the adoption of nuclear power is wedded to desire for economic development in postwar Japan. Because of this desire, Minato says that the Japanese are compelled to respond to Fukushima. Geo-trauma, in the context of the Anthropocene and Fukushima, is defined as a form of ecological thinking that takes as its object not Nature per se but the unnaturalizable as such. Drawing on the concept of geo-traumatics, as suggested by Nick Land (2011) and as elaborated on by Reza Negarestani in Cyclonopedia, we can say: “it is not a question of being ‘open to’ something, some object or other, but, rather, of being opened, with all the necessary force that this suggests” (2008, pp. 200–201). Geo-trauma helps us to rethink the relation between the human and nonhuman postFukushima, by embracing a notion of violence irreducible to either side of



the human/nonhuman relation and through the very irruption of Fukushima. As Land points out in Fanged Noumena, for Sigmund Freud, the notion of trauma corresponds to a breach or invasion, the emergence of something alien from the outside that the conscious system struggles to assimilate (Land, 2011, p. 333). Congruously, one could argue that post the Fukushima meltdown, the new geophilosophy from, in and about Japan on the singularity of the plateau of March 11, 2011, is bound and grooved on a course of the autonomous, animist technology of radiation (Winner, 1977, p. 30). The geo-idea/wave of Fukushima forges an irradiated territory with the Earth that pushes the real “out to sea” to envelop the entire Japanese archipelago, and its conception of itself through contamination. After Fukushima, the abstract movement from “land of hope” to “hope of land”—a relay to and fro, from deterritorialization to reterritorialization—is a question of terra incognita (unknown land) or, in Deleuze and Guattari’s terms, absolute deterritorialization, nomadism, drift and utopia. Absolute deterritorialization connects with both the present relative milieu (of irradiated land) and the forces that are curtailed by this milieu (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994, pp. 99–100). “The land of hope” metamorphoses into “the hope of land,” as it is a passing from the collapse of structure to ungrounded ground, or terra infirma. The absolute deterritorialization of the Anthropocene in light of Fukushima is, pivotally and simultaneously, the search for a new escape fantasy, an off-world sanctuary, enclave, haven or (an)other Atlantis—sited in the sea of geo-trauma, indifference, separation and mutation—mare incognitum (unknown sea). The futural-wave sweeps away the present, as well as assumptions about the past in Japan, made in and for the expansion of a postwar capitalist state as the “miracle economy.” The futural-wave could be aligned with an impersonal K-wave or extended cycle of economic activity in Japan, because the course of inexorable inhuman economic logic, or expansion for any purpose—is tellingly a line of pure madness, destruction and abolition in and for itself. As a consequence, a dramatic interplay between Fukushima as geo-idea/wave and the continuing economic miracle of the new Japan is emerging. Post-Fukushima Japan is on a journey motivated by the “hope of virgin land” (risōkyō 理想郷, utopia) as mutated object. The “idea” of Fukushima/ Japan—contaminated and irradiating—thinks flows of time, images, abstract matter and machines in the context of geo-trauma. Terra firma ebbs in and out of being: Irradiated being is a processual, futural ebbing machine of trauma. The future of Fukushima ungrounds the Earth and territory; its pollution remains “groundless,” nomadic. The breakthrough of the ground “ungrounds” the Earth from its moorings and sets it on a course for posthuman and futural becomings—in other words, “processual virtual


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immanence.” Fukushima signals a universal breakdown or collapse (effondrement) alongside a universal ungrounding (effondement)—an “absence of fondement” or ground, more cracked spaces than smooth spaces, but more than this, it is also a reversal of grounding and in effect, it is undoubtedly an “absence of ground” in the new Japan (Sauvagnargues, 2009, pp. 97–98). However, one significant problem for the universal ungrounding of Fukushima is that there appears to be no immediate prospect for a Japanese diaspora, or the possible discovery of a new Promised Land. There is no escape from the viscous hyperobjects of the Anthropocene (Morton, 2013, p. 29). Fukushima now reconfigures “the Zeitgeist of precarity” according to Maria Grajdian (Rosenbaum and Iwata-Weickgenannt, 2014, p. 119), and is the new threshold of cataclysm and mutation. For example, filmmaker Sion Sono’s The Land of Hope (2012)—made soon after Fukushima—represents this new sense of terra-formation as Fukushima. Inhabitants of a made-up prefecture are uprooted and ordered to evacuate, never to return. They leave without a destination. They flee with neither weapons nor hope. This harsh reality brings home the radical destratification of the Earth in the present epoch, which is to say post-Fukushima, as a fundamental condition of the Anthropocene. Despite the aforementioned relationless and precarious aspects of the Anthropocene, Slavoj Žižek, in the documentary, The Possibility of Hope, which was made for the film Children of Men, speaks affirmatively of the state of being adrift. Discussing the concept of the boat and reflecting on the geo-traumatic ecological crisis facing mankind, Žižek suggests: We must really accept how we are rootless. This is, for me, the meaning of this wonderful metaphor, boat. Boat is the solution; “boat” in the sense of, you accept rootless, free floating. You cannot rely on anything. You know, it’s not a return to land. Renewal means you cut your roots.

This philosophical sense of the cutting of roots and the acceptance of drifting at sea—rendered imperative in post-Fukushima geo-traumatized Japan— functions with the intensification in horror Manga that we have seen in the last few years, in, for example, the cartoons of Junji Ito. The recent emergence of horror manga as a major genre in the Japanese expressive psyche coheres with the schizophrenic downgrading of nuclear capitalism after Fukushima. Put another way, the decoded schizo flows of Fukushima hemorrhage hyperobjects, a traumatic chaos from which “we”—deliriously—pass into thinking the inhuman and the increasingly inhospitable Gaia. Irradiated Japan is posthuman and nothing posthuman is alien to it. And we are thus always already populated by this strange matter, overcoded by an abstract machine which emerges from the futural-wave.



CONCLUSION: AFTER FUKUSHIMA AND THE KIZUNA TO COME Although the Anthropocene may well be part of what Deleuze and Guattari designate the “landscapification” of all milieus in A Thousand Plateaus (1995, p. 181), propelled, as Arun Saldanha claims, by “the crazy greedy feedback loop that is capital” (Stark & Roffe, 2015, p. 201), there is also embedded in Fukushima-Anthropocene, equally, simultaneously and pivotally, a land (e)scapification of all current worlds, milieus, territories and (ir)rationalities of the human—a course of posthuman terra-formation for the people-yet-to-come. Indeed, as Jean-Luc Nancy insists, nature has reached a threshold; it is nature no more (2015, p. 34). The earthquake and tsunami render Fukushima not only a technological catastrophe but also a social, economic, political and philosophical earthquake. He writes: We have, in fact, transformed nature, and we can no longer speak of it. We must attempt to think of a totality in which the distinction between nature and technology is no longer valid and in which, at the same time, a relationship of “this world” to any “other world” is also no longer valid. (p. 34)

Faced with the enduring geo-traumatic effects mentioned in this chapter, we may ask the following questions: How does the philosopher, the friend of the concept, become a friend of the Earth in the time of the Anthropocene and in light of Fukushima? How does one become a friend of territory, a friend of terror-formation or “terra-formation” in Japan, when one is already baked in radiation? How does the philosopher form a provisional friendship with polluted territory and affirm the becoming of mutation? How does the philosopher think the Zerrissenheit of Fukushima and the third reterritorialization to come (eco-planetary-revolution)? How does the philosopher open up to the taking-over of the unthinkable? More succinctly, these questions pertain to the question of friendship with the nonhuman. And this focus is what crystallizes the form of thinking in this chapter. Indeed, this chapter works in a parallel manner to Hiroki Azuma, who discusses the notion of kizuna or bonds (of friendship), and claims that what 3.11 demonstrates is the conspicuous lack of solidarity and homogeneity in pre- and post-Fukushima Japanese society. He argues that the reality of post-Fukushima is that people remain atomized and alienated from each other in terms of income, location and age. Therefore, in this immonde or unworld the question is: How does one become a friend of radiation and embrace the kizuna, or friendship of the irradiated territory? Moreover, the question “How does one embrace kizuna in terms of the irradiated, impossible Earth?” coincides with


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Heidegger’s pessimistic view of the Earthrise photograph: “This is no longer the Earth on which man lives” (Wolin, 1993, pp. 105–106). In response, and faced with a kind of liminal eco-schizophrenia, geo-trauma, or Zerrissenheit—so described because Japan’s nuclear capitalism appears hell-bent on more catastrophe, tearing the World away from Nature in its wake—we state that thought is destined for absolute deterritorialization, for all manner of strange becomings: Thought is no longer bound to the Earth on which man lives. How does one de-/reterritorialize when one is terra-forming, searching for an island of renewal amid irradiated seas? How does one embrace one’s “corporeal facticity” in the cosmic-making times of the Anthropocene? How does one embrace the absolute deterritorialization or utopia of a milieu in which and through which one calls, following (Nietzsche and) Deleuze and Guattari, for “a new Earth, a new people” (1994, p. 101)? How is it possible to produce a mode of thinking capable of engineering futural becomings, to produce the thought of a third reterritorialization of the Earth? Post-Fukushima geophilosophy must respond to its current milieu, however traumatically, and contra the unworld or the immonde of Integrated World Capitalism, “create worlds of thought, a whole new conception of thought,” of “what it means to think” in that infected milieu (Deleuze, 2004, p. 138). So to ask the most Unheimlich of questions: How to become what one is, in the crack of time, outside of time, for a time yet to come?

REFERENCES Azuma, H. (2011, March 17). For a Change, Proud to Be Japanese. New York Times. www​.nytimes​.com​/2011​/03​/17​/opinion​/17azuma​.html Bogue, R. (2011). Deleuze and Guattari and the Future of Politics: Science Fiction and Protocols of People to Come. Deleuze Studies, 5(supplement), 77–97. Braidotti, R. (2006a). Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics. Polity Press. Braidotti, R. (2006b). Affirmation Versus Vulnerability. Symposium, 10(1), 235–254. https://doi​.org​/10​.5840​/symposium200610117 Chu, S., & Majumdar, A. (2012). Opportunities and Challenges for a Sustainable Energy Future. Nature, 488(7411), 294–303. https://doi​.org​/10​.1038​/nature11475 Cole, D. R. (2011). Educational Life-Forms: Deleuzian Teaching and Learning Practice. Sense Publishers. Crutzen, P. (2002). Geology of Mankind. Nature, 415(23), 23–24. Deleuze, G. (1981). Sur Spinoza, Cours Vincennes: The Actual Infinite-Eternal, the Logic of Relations (S. Duffy, Trans.). [Lecture]. Webdeleuze. https://www​.webdeleuze​.com​/textes​/42 Deleuze, G. (1990). The Logic of Sense (C. V. Boundas, Ed; C. Stivale & M. Lester, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1969)



Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and Repetition (P. Patton, Trans.). Athlone Press. (Original work published 1968) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983).  Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1972) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).   A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1980) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What Is Philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1991) Deleuze, G., & Joughin, M. (1995). Negotiations: 1972–1990 (M. Joughin, Trans.). Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G., Taormina, M., & Lotringer, S. (2004). Desert Islands and Other Texts, 1953–1974 (D. Lapoujade, Ed; M. Taormina, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Dolphijn, R. (2014). The Revelation of a World That Was Always Already There: The Creative Act as an Occupation. In R. Braidotti & R. Dolphijn (Eds.), This Deleuzian Century (pp. 185–205). Brill. Gaukroger, S. (1989). Cartesian Logic: An Essay on Decartes’s Conception of Inference. Clarendon Press. Harvey, D. (2000). Spaces of Hope. University of California Press. Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and Time (J. Macquarrie & E. Robinson, Trans.). Harper. (Original work published 1927) Heidegger, M. (1993). “Only a God Can Save Us”: Der Spiegel’s Interview with Martin Heidegger (1966). In R. Wolin (Ed.), The Heidegger Controversy: A Critical Reader (pp. 91–116). MIT Press. Land, N. (2011). Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987–2007 (R. Mackay & R. Brassier, Eds.). Urbanomic. Lazzarato, M., & Jordan, J. D. (2012). The Making of the Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition. Semiotext(e). Lazzarato, M., & Melitopoulos, A. (Director). (2013). The Life of Particles [Video Installation]. Morton, T. (2013). Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World. University of Minnesota Press. Nancy, J.-L., & Mandell, C. (2015). After Fukushima: The Equivalence of Catastrophes. Fordham University Press. Negarestani, R. (2008). Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials. Re​ .pres​s. Rosenbaum, R., & Iwata-Weickgenannt, K. (2014). Visions of Precarity in Japanese Popular Culture and Literature. Taylor & Francis. Sauvagnargues, A. (2009). Deleuze: L’empirisme Transcendantal. Presses universitaires de France. Serres, M. (1995). The Natural Contract. University of Michigan Press. Spinoza, B. D. (1955). On the Improvement of the Understanding/The Ethics/ Correspondence (R. H. M. Elwes, Trans.). Dover Publications. (Original work published 1677)


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Stark, H., & Roffe, J. (2015). Deleuze and the Non/human. Palgrave Macmillan. Steffen, Will, et al. (2011). The Anthropocene: Conceptual and Historical Perspectives. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 369(1938), 842–867. Williams, J. (2011). Gilles Deleuze’s Philosophy of Time: A Critical Introduction and Guide. Edinburgh University Press. Winner, L. (1977). Autonomous Technology: Technics-out-of-control as a Theme in Political Thought. MIT Press. Žižek, S. (narrator). (2006). The Possibility of Hope [DVD Bonus Feature]. In Children of Men. Universal Pictures.

Chapter 6

Guattari and Pachinko Deadly Ritournelle, HimatsubushiTinguely Machines

VIGNETTE One Saturday night in late spring, a young sararīman returning to the suburbs in the east of Tokyo, to William Gibson’s Chiba, spends his journey time surrounded by “funk.” As I am seated directly behind, I observe his spasmodic actions at an angle through the reflection of the pitch black glass: potato chips, beer and then sake, chewy squid snacks—the repetitious beep of his smartphone. Over the next hour, in this temporary milieu he switches between industrial temporal objects—laptop, iPad and smartphone, the latter of which he uses intermittently to make hushed calls. Between the burps, gulps, munches and idle talk, most of the time is spent engrossed intimately and myopically with the luminescent mobile screen which flashes, twitches and pings with Pachinko noise inches from his eyes. The refrains of Pachinko noise invade every temporal mode of semiotization: they simply capture time. The luminescent mobile screen commands my eyes also. His attention captured, the sararīman gambles oblivious to the world. Like a pig in muck (Châtelet, 2014), he is utterly content, madly in thrall to the parade of digitized silver balls. This is an example par excellence of what I shall call the suicidal-societal-Tinguely machine. Hurled at extreme speed from one non-place (non-lieu) to another, the masochistic body of this sararīman is symbolic of a convulsive machine society living without respite, reflection or telos—striving for jouissance, defined as a kind of purposeless, selfdestructive enjoyment in and for itself. In this chapter, I use Gilles Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the (deadly) ritournelle or refrain to think through this scenario more fully. In making the case that the body of the sararīman is a fitting practical object for schizoanalysis, this chapter shall probe the following questions: 81


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What is the sararīman’s Body without Organs (BwO)? What maps is he rearranging? What abstract lines will he pursue, and at what price, for himself, his kin and for others? Is he cracking up or is he going to crack up? Are the cracks collective or singular? Which line is he severing, cutting off, and which is he extending or resuming? Where are the “lifelines” or “lines of flesh”? How can one spot the crack lines or molecular rupture lines—the lines of flight? Why so many sad lines? Why so many hemmed in, sewn up, hermetic souls stuck on the spot, spinning endlessly in the void? Why so many BwO approaching absolute zero? Indeed, the actions of the sararīman echo the useless operations sketched in a Rube Goldberg cartoon. For example, the cartoon “automatic suicide machine for unlucky stock speculators” conveys the sense of pointlessness of the atemporal present’s traumatized socius. It is described thus: Automatic suicide machine for unlucky stock speculators: - when phone (A) rings it is probably a message from your broker saying you are wiped out phone bell wakes up office manager (B) who stretches, hitting leaver (C) and starting toy glider which nosedives and hits head of dwarf (E) - He jumps up and down from pain working handle of jack (F) lifting pg (G) to level of potato (H) on end of bookkeeper's collar button (I) - pig eats potato and motion of colour button annoys bookkeeper who moves head forward with sudden jerk causing string (J) to shoot off gun (K) and end your troubles. If telephone call is not from your broker, you’ll never find out the mistake because you’ll be dead anyway.

The abstract machine inhering in Goldberg’s cartoons imagines the future of smartphone technology and its role in control societies. Goldberg also constructs a machine which is a prototype of the sararīman-Pachinko machine explored here, and which closely resembles the Eating Machine in Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 film Modern Times. PACHINKO NOISE The word Pachinko derives from the Japanese onomatopoeic word pachipachi which imitates the sound of small metal objects knocking against each other. Pachinko, the ko of which refers to the ball, acts as a refrain which marks the territories of the machinic unconscious. The silver balls of Pachinko, in their proliferation and disorder, are part of a process of physical causality, the vital drives of a society, passing through “detours, extensions, indirect paths,” secret liaisons between heterogeneous elements, and thus provide an absurd machinic element, according to Guattari (1986, p. 181). From a schizoanalytic perspective, the random interactions of the silver balls can hook you into the chaosmosis of Pachinko (see Guattari’s book carrying the same name, 1995). Pachinko noise is a “refrain” that encircles the

Guattari and Pachinko


sararīman in his everyday life, preventing for the most part, other existential territories or moments of “resingualarized subjectivity” from emerging. Our enjoyment of Pachinko and work are intimately connected (Bown, 2015, p. 27). Yet, as will become clear, in pharmacological terms, Pachinko also functions as an escape from the madness of the world of work and reason. Concurring that capitalism functions without rhyme or reason, Deleuze and Guattari write (1983, p. 408): “the capitalist machine does not run the risk of becoming mad, it is mad from one end to the other and from the beginning, and this is the source of its rationality.” And again, giving an adequate description of the Rube Goldberg machines mentioned above, on the thither side of reason there are but lies, delirium and drift, according to Guattari, who writes in the interview entitled Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium (2009, p. 36): “Everything is rational in capitalism, except capital or capitalism itself. The stock market is certainly rational; one can understand it, study it, the capitalists know how to use it, and yet it is completely delirious, it’s mad.” In this way, Pachinko is entirely consistent with capitalist logic. It commands thinking and feeling through a process of “existential contraction.” The pachin! of Pachinko is a “sound wall” which orders the chaos of the outside. Writing in another context and era, this is what Katô Hidetoshi (1959) calls the cosmic integration of self and machine. Pharmacologically, Pachinko is a tool to either conjoin with other machines or ward off the madness of the world. Like an unsteady Tinguely machine, it echoes the mad functioning of the production line: production for production’s sake and without final product. In a pataphysical sense, it is essentially useless. Yet in a psychopathological sense it is part of the childishness of Japan of which Guattari speaks—part of a system which produces the “withdrawn clan” or hikikomori, otaku and a whole set of other maladies. This is Pachinko in a nutshell. It is a Tinguely machine—a paragon of contemporary Japanese society. Pachinko acts as a microcosm that goes some way in explaining how the Japanese structure their machinic unconscious, how they order their emotions. Pachinko encapsulates how the Japanese are “crazy” for machines, for the machinic kind of “buzz” as Guattari says, in summa: for jouissance. Pachinko on your phone acts as a veritable prism through which to view Japan, which qua totality is faced with a national trauma to forget, which is the Fukushima disaster. To reinterpret and paraphrase Deleuze and Guattari, Japanese capitalism produces Pachinko players, hikikomori, otaku and salarymen with suicidal tendencies like it produces Toyota cars and PS4s. Himatsubushi and Jouissance The sararīman with his Pachinko addiction serves as a contemporary model of hyper-capitalist subjectivity. In criticizing “electro-libidinal parasites” like


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the smartphone, this chapter therefore argues that we must begin to rethink the role of animism and its effect on machinic enslavement, to question how to unhook ourselves from points of subjectification that secure or nail us down to a dominant reality. The desire to forget is of course majestically raised in Wim Wenders’s documentary homage to Ozu Yasujirō (小津 安二郎, 1903–1963), Tokyo-Ga (1985). In a monologue on the emergence of Pachinko in post-war Japan and the suggested links with national trauma, the German filmmaker states: Perhaps I was searching for something that no longer existed. [game machines buzzing] [buzzing] [beeping] [metal balls dropping] [beeping] [beeping and buzzing] Late into that night, and then late into all the following nights, I lost myself in one of the many Pachinko parlours, in the deafening noise where you sit in front of your machine—one player among many, yet for that reason, all the more alone—and watch the countless metal balls dance between the nails on the way out, or once in a while into a winning game. This game induces a kind of hypnosis, a strange feeling of happiness. Winning is hardly important. But time passes. You lose touch with yourself for a while and merge with the machine, and perhaps you forget what you always wanted to forget. This game first appeared after the last war when the Japanese people had a national trauma to forget.

Wenders’s comment is noteworthy but does follow an earlier precedent. Through the words of Mokichi, a forty-odd-year-old sararīman inお茶漬けの味 (Ochazuke no Aji, 1952), Ozu himself in a rare, explicit intervention critiques the post-war world of hobbies to pass the time: You can get kind of hooked on pachinko. For just a few yen, you can lose yourself completely in the crowd—it’s an easy way to find solitude. There’s just you and the silver ball. Your troubles disappear with a flick of the wrist— pachin! The ball and you are one. You are utterly alone, and it feels great. It’s a happy kind of solitude.

And again in Kurosawa’s To Live (1952) we find an interesting treatment of Pachinko as the prototypical himatsubushi machine: These silver balls, they’re you. They’re your life itself. This machine emancipates people who strangle themselves in their “everyday” lives. A vending machine of dreams and yearnings.

Here it is apposite to paraphrase Lyotard (2004, p. 111) with respect to decoding the time of Ozu and the time of post-Fukushima Japan: how strangely the Japanese enjoy! How perverse indeed for the Japanese to enjoy. To enjoy the silence, the solitude, the mu or the nothing of their everyday lives. To enjoy

Guattari and Pachinko


“the mad destruction of their organic body,” “the decomposition of their personal identity,” “the dissolution of their families” and local communities—matters which Lyotard describes and which Ozu Yasujirō comes to protest about in the film mentioned above. The Japanese enjoy “the monstrous anonymity” of the city, the bars and Pachinko parlors from dusk ‘til dawn. The sararīman engineers a useless machine, perhaps not to waste time but to let time be captured, to forget his lot, that lot that will come the following day and the next: his agencement of desire is entirely consistent with this, his game playing surplus . . . his work too surplus to requirements. The desire for Pachinko is part of this aggregate. The sararīman does not desire in vacuo. He does not simply dream of breaking the bank. Rather he desires within an aggregate, as there is no desire that does not flow without an assemblage. The desire of the sararīman is one of constructing an assemblage or rhythm: the aggregate of squid, mobile, Pachinko ball, enjoying the masochistic exhaustion after a long hard week, enjoying the quiet, the luxury of a little space in his nomadic non-place. Here let us remind ourselves, the non-place is distinct from anthropological place, as the latter is relational, historical and determined by identity, according to Marc Augé (1995). The non-place creates smooth, frictionless spaces that aid the hypermobility of the fractured subject, whose vampiric, spectral-like existence signifies life unlived. Non-places are unliveable, uninhabitable (Bradley, 2012). Like transnational cities, they resist dwelling and residing. One enters, one leaves. The space is schizoid and decoded. Nonplaces are empty—often urban or interurban spaces—associated with transit and communication without history, with customers or travelers trapped and immobilized “in a time without events” as Bosteels puts it (2003, p. 119). The non-place is a hallucinogenic, infinite and depthless space, a paragon of boredom, premised on the loss of historicity. Those passing through use industrial temporal objects like Pachinko as a means to be constantly excited, to be in a constant state of entertainment, to be permanently stupefied and distracted. The escape of the everyday is the everyday’s escape from itself. So desire is constructing an assemblage, a region, a milieu, withdrawal, forms of exodus and escape. Desire is a production line: it engineers assemblages. Viewed from the perspective of Bernard Stiegler’s philosophy (2011), in the time of the immonde, the sararīman is a total proletarian—expropriated of all knowledge and condemned to a life-without-knowledge. The sararīman is economically, symbolically and libidinally immiserated. Pachinko world is the non-world, l’immonde—a vile and terrible place. Whence aware that his immaterial labor is passive, monotonous, pure, empty abstraction, ultimately useless, the sararīman’s boredom reaches the point of despair and neurosis concretized in Pachinko mania. The sararīman is a powerless voyeur in an inhuman metropolis. This is a form of proletarianization, of both consumer


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and producer. Franco Berardi spots the intimate link between the smartphone and the needs of what he determines as semio-capital: The mobile phone is the tool that makes possible the connection between the needs of semio-capital and the mobilization of the living labor of cyberspace. The ringtone of the mobile phone calls the workers to reconnect their abstract time to the reticular flux. (Berardi, 2009, p. 33)

Ritournelle The beeps of Pachinko on the smartphone, the bombardment of announcements and train station jingles all act as “sound walls” or ritournelle, which order the day of millions of salarymen—those commuters—in post-Fukushima Japan, who are increasingly “haunted by depression, loneliness and suicide” (Berardi, 2014, p. 86). Indeed, with particular reference to cities like Tokyo and Seoul, Berardi discerns in the latter a link between high internet connectivity rates and mental suffering or what he calls the psycho-sphere: I was impressed by the amount of street walkers who gazed at the screen of the smartphone all the time . . . I also noticed a sort of inattention to the surrounding physical landscape. Then I discovered that Korea is number one in the world as far as concerns suicide rate. (Berardi, 2014, p. 244)

It is perhaps little wonder then that the prototypical sararīman faced with a constant barrage of this form of mental pollution, those poisonous refrains, withdraws into the world of little silver balls. The desire for Pachinko is read by Deleuze and Guattari (1983, pp. 346–347) as the “pure joy in feeling oneself a wheel in the machine, traversed by flows, broken by schizzes.” As a fatal strategy, for Berardi (2014, p. 85), the secluded lives of those who withdraw from the world, for example, hikikomori in Japan and elsewhere, are “a healthy reaction to the frantic precarious life that is late capitalism . . . a fully understandable withdrawal from the hell.” In terms of the deadly ritournelle, the jingle renders the sararīman “lost to everyday life” and becoming. He is filled with refrains, memes that whirl around in the head, train station jingles, inane J-Pop lyrics and announcements inside the train. The refrains determine how to think, feel and live. JINGLING INTERMEZZO Azamino, Moontone, JR-SH2, Water Crown in 錦糸町, Bell to JR-SH2 in Tokyo, then back to JR-SH2 before 春風, ML-24, 春, 淡い恋心 and Bell in

Guattari and Pachinko


Shin-Kawasaki. Then a long series of Cielo Estrellado, only interrupted by ホリデイ, あざみ野 and Water Crown.

SCHIZOANALYSIS OF PACHINKO ON YOUR PHONE—OH DESPAIR! The sararīman reminds us of André Gorz’s description of the nuclear engineer who returns home in the evening, only to rediscover his little desiringmachines by tinkering with a TV set. In accord with Deleuze and Guattari (1983) on this point, we concur and say “O despair” indeed regarding the plight of the everyday proletarian. The metamodel explored in this chapter is a thought-experiment akin to Jarry’s pataphysics and Jean Baudrillard’s “theory fiction,” simulation or “anticipatory theory.” To understand this map of the unconscious and subjectivity, schizoanalysis constructs metamodels for each singular situation. In this respect this chapter is a pataphysico-ontological account of Pachinko. Schizoanalysis seeks to explain the jouissance of alienation, the joy in “hysterical, masochistic, whatever exhaustion” as Lyotard (2004, p. 109) says in Libidinal Economy or put ecosophically—the relation between joy, uselessness and the “axiomatic stupidity” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983) of Integrated World Capitalism (Capitalisme Mondial Intégré)—that machinic intoxication that enslaves the sararīman in his everyday life. The sararīman with his tinkering gadgets is tucked up snugly with other desiring-machines. On the train, the sararīman with his portable machines is part of an ensemble of heterogeneous elements of which he forms a part under the specific conditions or a definite “machinic phylum” or technological lineage, which we can designate as the following dated abstract machine: infan​tile-​hyper​ -inde​bted-​casin​o-cap​itali​sm, March 11, 2011. Schizoanalysis, Guattari says, is a way of forming networks and rhizomes in order to escape the systems of modelization in which we are entangled and which are in the process of completely “polluting us, head and heart” (1996, p. 132). In terms of ecosophy and indeed chaosophy, what is sought after then is an understanding of the cognitive and semiotic ecologies which govern social, cultural, environmental or technological assemblages (Guattari, 2000). The question is how to think about and how to form mutant, molecular nuclei of subjectivation to challenge dominant capitalist forms. In terms of mutant incorporeal universes of reference or enunciation (Guattari, 2013), a jingle in an existential territory may engender new reveries, for example, the realization that you are being conned, that the much-vaunted “job for life” (tiě fàn wǎn in Chinese) is a myth, that the traditional married


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structure has collapsed, that the nuclear family is no more, that living alone and doing your hobbies, building small networks of friends, creating islands of refusal (Miyadai), may be an alternative to depression and suicide in the last instance. Schizoanalysis is interested in the creative passage from the affective milieu or existential territory of dominant refrains—real but only virtual—to the potentiality of inaugural incorporeal universes. Schizoanalysis asks of the way to pass on from spinning endlessly in the void, bordering on suicide, to a gentle refrain or experimentation, quitting the rat race, learning a new skill, making new friends—forging new constellations of universes of reference. Schizoanalysis probes how subjectivity is effectively torn in different directions and how it can be possibly reconstituted. It asks how the refrain can aid existential consistency or lead to destructive behavior, to acting out (Stiegler, 2009). A contemporary schizoanalysis of Japan must therefore focus on the mental woes prevalent in the archipelago—cracking up, bullying, social withdrawal and drastic economic problems faced by freeters and NEETs (Bradley in Chiu et al., 2014). In the same spirit and arguing that ecosophy and schizoanalysis are practices that work to free the flows of desire that remain blocked or petrified, Rick Dolphijn (2013) claims that they can expose “the coldness and indifference that has taken over some of the ecosystems today, that has traumatized them, disturbed their presence, their ideas with which we live.” The design of a new ethico-aesthetic paradigm is concerned with the possibility of breakthroughs and breakdowns in immaterial universes such as Pachinko playing. In this way the schizoanalytic perspective remains felicitous for criticizing the ethics of the media and the orientation of new communications technologies. So the task of schizoanalysis is to learn what a subject’s desiring machines are, how they work, with what syntheses and bursts of energy, what constituent misfires, with what flows, chains, and what becomings in each case (Bradley, p. 2015). From this new ethico-aesthetic perspective, we see that the refrain can become neurotic, a mode of entrapment, impoverishment, intoxication with Pachinko, video games and TV. It can take on reactive, religious references such as Aum Shinrikyo or annihilate itself in alcohol, drugs or endless daily toil—working for any absurd purpose—desire desiring repression. Applied to the contemporary milieu, Guattari’s writings are therefore the cartography of, the pragmatics for, contemporary subjectivity understood qua material practice. At their best, they offer insights into the possibilities of reconfiguration and resingularization (Bradley, 2015). Critical of the semiotic operations of capital, which generate a flattening of subjectivity (laminage), Guattari’s perspective contributes a thought-provoking critique of the obsession with machinic “funk.” While not dogmatically opposed to the use of machines as such, Guattari

Guattari and Pachinko


would, if alive today, I think, be committed to curtailing the intoxication with technologies and the trajectories of becoming-Pachinko, becomingotaku, becoming-hikikomori, becoming-bêtise. He would, with Deleuze and Stiegler, call for action against the immonde and the intolerable and would decry the mindlessness or bêtise of a youth turned to pulp (la loque). It is through mental ecology that we can therefore come to better understand how the construction of new existential assemblages and refrains can help ward off the descent into despair and dissolution. Such a mental ecology calls for “the seizing of society by society itself” as Guattari says in New Lines of Alliance, Spaces of Liberty (2010, p. 126). In its search for bifurcation points that may engender a process of resingularization, one could say of schizoanalysis that it remains steadfastly utopian because it is concerned with the creation of world-formation to contest the unworld or immonde (Nancy, p. 2007). While we may embrace the critique of unthinking affirmation in Culp’s (2016) and Chiba’s work (2013) and their call for the new modes of negativity, and while schizoanalysis hates the world as it is (Kraus et al.) and demands worlds yet to come, it baulks at embracing the extreme pleasure of accepting alienation, as Chiba puts it (2013). Chiba’s work affirms a kind of disconnection, a moment of non-relation or separateness from the everyday fascistic desire for excessive connection (Chiba, 2013). It is the quest for anonymity. Read along these lines, the Pachin of Pachinko on the phone may be read in terms of the pleasure of alienation, a form of a-signifying rupture, a fatal existential strategy to embrace isolation and solitude in a constructed albeit make-shift territory, to ward off incessant capitalistic refrains (jingles on the train)—that demand ever closer being-together for the sake of the economy—to the point of karoshi. FTΦU Applied in this way, schizoanalysis is a refrain-analysis which concerns itself with an array of enunciative modalities—linguistic (train station names), sonorous (the semiotics of ritournelles or jingles), behavioral (train rules and warnings)—and the diversity of ways of living—endless commute, repetition of daily routine (alcoholism and domestic violence). Let me explain why schizoanalysis is a kind of refrain-analysis. I shall undertake this via the metamodel of the four ontological functors (foncteur) (FTΦU) in Guattari’s Schizoanalytic Cartographies (2013, p. 26). The four functors, which act as a kind of mathematical function, and are used to map relations between objects in different categories in Guattari’s diagrammatics, are real and potential, fluxes and material. Mapping this onto Pachinko the four functors operate in consistency with the following:


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Causa materialis of Pachinko describes the flows of matter, libido, capital, signification, labor, phatic images and advertising. Causa formalis describes the abstract machinic Phylum, gambling to fund a bankrupt Japanese economy. Causa finalis describes the referential Universes—winning the lottery, an end to the daily grind. Causa efficiens describes existential Territories—himatsubushi. The four functors help to explain the uselessness of Pachinko, a machine which serves no purpose, yet remains a commercial success. Pachinko reaches its full existential potential because it mirrors the uselessness and madness of the current machine society. Indeed, it secures “ontological consistency” by combining the material flows of consumer’s money and credit card data and the machinic phyla of technology—the original Masamura Gauge to Pachinko application on the smartphone to a kind of malfunctioning Goldberg-Jarry-esque dopamine-hypnotic-neuro-implant-useless machine— but also it equally relies on a number of incorporeal universes. These are the poor man’s Zen Buddhism of the non-relation society (silence amidst the din of machines), and they are refrains connected to other refrains and train announcements, a collective imaginary of isolation and himatsubushi (squashing or killing time), the desire to be alone, collective apparatuses of escape and withdrawal, anonymous relaxation and respite from hierarchical obligation and collective apparatus of capture—as well as political and economic funding by the Korean and Japanese mob. Pachinko is thus an agencement of desire much more complex than the simple desire to win the lottery (causa finalis). The universe of Pachinko or constellation of values, nondiscursive references and virtual possibilities sustains its consistency because the socius is schizo. Pachinko works because the giant megamachine is essentially useless. The passage from the noise of the factory to the noise of the Pachinko parlor demands practices of cut-rate Zen as Donald Richie says. Indeed, Buddhism is thus perfectly integrated into the function of Japanese capitalism or mechanosphere. Here lovers of gadgets turn to Buddhism— which acts as a kind of inner distance and indifference toward the frantic pace of market competition. Zizek (2001) describes this in a thought-provoking way: Buddhism allows for the sararīman to participate in capitalist dynamics, while retaining the appearance of “mental sanity.” To anticipate the virtual possibility of the realm of incorporeal universes, schizoanalysis examines not only the actual and real material fluxes—intensities of play, gambling, joy, sadness and the semiotics of train noise and endless announcements—but also the actual and potential machinic Phylum: train maps and timetables, commuting times, work schedules, credit card data, time sheets of the sararīman, internet feeds on which Pachinko machines

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are paying out in which city, at which station and at what time, late night TV devoted to Pachinko, 24 smartphone/PC applications. The ontological status of the tangible machine of Pachinko thus depends on abstract machinic functions (Pachinko to ward off the national trauma of Fukushima). JEAN TINGUELY Machines are driven by flows: real or virtual. Flowing desire is the runaway process which hurls the machine to its joyous end, to catastrophe—flatlining the economy through uncontrollable national debt. Much like the excesses of overproduction under capitalism, Tinguely makes his barren machines run for any absurd useless, productless purpose: a meaningless telos in tune with the kinetic joy of movement as such. The Pachinko machine buzzes, pings, whirrs, flashes, screeches, refrain after refrain. Partial objects connect and disconnect, build and collapse with other useless objects, the jetsam and flotsam of discarded objects. The recycled objects are held together by the absurd desire for the constant revolutionizing of the instruments of reproduction: a deadly repetition. So in the Tinguely machine, in its very malfunctioning, one finds a flow of desire. In this breakdown then one finds the joy in feeling oneself a silver ball, in dancing to dissonant jingles and refrains. Tinguely’s abstract machine mocks the madness of the Cold War suicidal machine, a machine disconnected from the bios machine itself. Through their pure din, Tinguely’s cacophonous machines connect trash with other trash to constructdeconstruct useless, joyful machines, beset on catastrophe. These useless, joyful contraptions disrupt the flows of consumption and overproduction. Their overriding organizing principle is the exposure of the irrationality of the desiring machines of the human unconscious and the schizophrenic sociopolitico-economic Leviathan under which many live. Tinguely sculpture machines disrupt the flows of use-value to operate a detournement of other, equally, nutty desiring-machines. The rumination on Pachinko and “industrial temporal objects” is part of a larger ecosophical project which acknowledges that mental ecologies are inextricably linked with other ecologies of environmental and social dimensions (Guattari, 2000). The sararīman works days, weeks, months, years, decades—ten hours a day, sitting in front of PC screens, pressing buttons, making calls, their native intelligence and skill put to little use; superfluous and bored to death. Boredom reaches levels of despair and neurosis. As Gorz says they become “powerless witnesses of a universe made by men but which makes men superfluous.” On the train, the sararīman plays with silver balls to escape the contradictions of a random


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world. He returns home to the suburbs and plays with video games to hide the fact that his marriage is a sham, his alienation complete. But a crack emerges, he may leave his job in order to escape breaking down or becoming insane. On this Gorz writes: “Pottering around the house, keeping a garden or going fishing can save semi-skilled or unskilled labourers from a breakdown; but these vocations can no longer fill the vacuum created in the life of highly qualified but extremely specialized workers by the permanent underemployment of their abilities in passive and monotonous work.” While in Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1983) there is a caveat against the brutal lines of flight, in Anti-Oedipus (1983) we discern the enthusiastic thirst for escape in all kinds of revolutionary ways—even utopian withdrawal. The former notes the danger of transgression for the line of flight crossing the wall, escaping the black holes but without connecting with other lines. A line left spinning in the void, turning to destruction and annihilation, abolition pure and simple. A line with a passion for abolition. The war machine turns suicidal, as Virilio says, ditches all objects to focus singularly on war, destroying itself. The most catastrophic charge is found in destruction—mutant lines of flight give way to a pure, cold line of abolition. The fascist lines—freezing cold lines—excite molecular energies and transforms intense lines of flight into lines of pure destruction and abolition. The cold, metallic lines, at once rigid and segmented, block fluxes of machinic heterogeneity, starve the passional, molecular, transversal and mutant. To ward off destruction of the assemblage, what matters is the consistency of the collective agencement. What matters is the connection of desires, the conjunction of flows and the continuum of intensities. Being plugged into other collective machines. Be mindful of it because it will tear you apart. This is the true Zerrissenheit of subjectivity, the tearing asunder of lines of flight. The line of Zerrissenheit is the most dangerous line (Bradley, 2016). CARTOGRAPHY The dots on the train map hide the fact that there is no respite—only perpetual transit, endless toil. Train station exits hide the fact that denizens of the city are permanently uprooted, forever on the move: engaged in total war for any absurd purpose. There is no respite or reprieve. Speed is an assault upon the station (Virilio, 1986). It turns the point into a line of flow, escape, connection, vibration, differentiation, blockage and passage. The blurred dotted lines do not disintegrate but form part of a schizoid breakthrough and breakdown.

Guattari and Pachinko


One finds lines of filiation, selection and evolution, lines on gradients— rising, falling—but these are more akin to fences, walls, bottlenecks. Elsewhere, there are lines one dreads—striated, short, elevated, underground, sweeping, arcing, swirling. Overlaying these are so many horizontal and vertical lines of rigid segmentarity. But these form only part of the story. We find other more adventurous, processually involuted lines of variation and modulation. Contesting these and amidst the lines of singularities and absolute outlandishness, there are lines of exploitation and oppression, of integration. These insinuate themselves as more and more intertwined with schizoid lines of escape, curtailing lines of molecular or supple segmentation—lines of affectivity of the intimate self. We also find hallucinating lines, lines of passional subjectification and subjection. Why so many despotic, fascistic lines of flight? Then there are heterogeneous lines, lines which intersect, crisscross, zigzag, swerve, which circulate and spin, which coil and swirl, and which are at risk of becoming despotic, overcoded, knotted, contorted, which gyrate, block and segment. These are lines of articulation or segmentarity, strata and territory which curb the regeneration of lines of change or creation—flows of many straight, geometric, angular and abstract lines. Is there a goal? This is a question perhaps on a third line, a Chinese and Gothic northern line, a nomadic line of organic liberation; a sweet, intense melodic and mellifluous line. We should have more of these unforgettable lines. For the lovers of the black and red, most interesting of all is the revolutionary line of escape. In Anti-Oedipus (1983), the abstract line and the line of drift are the most seductive and enticing as they shift imperceptibly away from customary paths. Although simple, the abstract line is the most complex of all and the most tortuous. The nomad line is abstract because it passes between points, figures and contours. At every moment along a particular trajectory, a processual becoming criss-crossed by molar lines of reterritorialization is at constant risk of breakdown and decomposition. One travels at absolute speed like a bullet set on a single trajectory. At the final destination one burns crimson red. As Deleuze and Guattari say, following D.H. Lawrence, the lines of flight and creation emit a strange despair, like an odor of death and immolation. One returns from a long commute bereft of hope. Lines are sent veering into the void—The torture of the “I”—Lines erase the “I”—throw it into chaos and disarray. With each singular deterritorialization the subject is more and more evacuated of interiority. It is devoid of entrance or exit points. It is difficult to diagram a self from this chaos. To create beyond oneself, to forge the new, is to bypass the loops, repetition and warnings: it is to find a little consistency amid the chaos. The question is how to trace serendipitous lines of drift and lines of continuous


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variation to ward off the lines of death and destruction, to destratify the lines of the triangle and to compose new lines of differentiation, improvisation, vibration. Where does one find secret lines of disorientation to give the silver balls entertaining the Pachinko player a sustainable trajectory? The blue at the end of the line, at the end of the train platform, seeks to defer the excrescent conclusion of the schizoid socius. It calms the line of abolition. In making it a blue line, the colors pass from red to yellow to blue to vital force. A strange life with new powers is inserted back into circulation: immanence and a-life to come. CONCLUSION This work has applied Guattari’s work to the contemporary Japanese context with the aim of examining the conscious and unconscious functioning of society. At the micrological level, Pachinko was chosen as the machine which encircles and oppresses but also as one in which the breakdowns can liberate the flows of desire to create different modes of being or existing. The essential breakdown of the Tinguely-Pachinko machine is thus emblematic of the uselessness of the megamachine. The young sararīman described at the beginning of the chapter is thus a veritable Tinguely machine, emblematic of jouissance gone AWOL. REFERENCES Augé, M. (1995). Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. Verso. Berardi, F. (2009). Precarious Rhapsody: Semiocapitalism and the Pathologies of the Post-Alpha Generation (E. Empson & S. Shukaitis, Ed; A. Bove, E. Empson, M. Goddard, G. Mecchia, A. Schintu & S. Wright, Trans.). Minor Compositions. Berardi, F. (2014). And Phenomenology of the End: Cognition and Sensibility in the Transition from Conjunctive to Connective Mode of Social Communication. Semiotext(e). Bosteels, B. (2006). Nonplaces: An Anecdoted Topography of Contemporary French Theory. Diacritics, 33, 117–139. Bown, A. (2015). Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism. John Hunt Publishing. Bradley, J. P. N. (2012). The Future of a Transnational Cultural History of the NonPlace. Toyo University, Institute for Human Sciences Bulletin, 1(14), 47–60. Bradley, J. P. N. (2015). A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference. Explorations in Media Ecology, 14(1–2), 107–124. Bradley, J. P. N. (2016). Zerrissenheit and Schizoanalysis: Philosophy, Pedagogy and Media Ecology in the Japanese Context [Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation]. Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

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Châtelet, G., & Mackay, R. (2014). To Live and Think Like Pigs: The Incitement of Envy and Boredom in Market Democracies. Urbanomic. Chiba, M. (2013). Ugokisugite Wa Ikenai: Jiru Durūzu to Seisei Henka No Tetsugaku [Don’t move too much: Gilles Deleuze and the philosophy of becoming]. Kawade Shobō Shinsha. Chiu, H., Lee, Y., & Bogue, R. (2014). Deleuze and Asia. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Culp, A. (2016). Dark Deleuze. University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G. (1986). Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (H. Tomlinson & B. Habberjam, Trans.). Athlone. (Original work published 1983) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983).  Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1972) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).  A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia  (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1980) Dolphijn, R. (2013, November 22–23). Insanity and Ecosophy: From Guattari and Bateson to Malabou and Back to Spinoza [Conference paper]. Terra Critica II, Society for European Philosophy/Forum for European Philosophy Annual Conference, Utrecht University. http://terracritica​.net​/wp​-content​/uploads​/Dolpijn​_TC2​.pdf Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (1996). Chaosophy: Soft Subversions (S. Lotringer, Ed.). Semiotext(e). Guattari, F. (1996). The Guattari Reader (G. Genosko, Ed.). Blackwell. Guattari, F. (2000). The Three Ecologies. Athlone. Guattari, F. (2012). Schizoanalytic Cartographies (A. Goffey, Trans.). Bloomsbury. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F. (2009). Soft Subversions: Texts and Interviews 1977–1985 (S. Lotringer Ed; C. Weiner & E. Whitman, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Guattari, F., & Negri, A. (2010). New Lines of Alliance, New Spaces of Liberty. Autonomedia. Jarry, A. (2001). Adventures in ‘Pataphysics (P. Edwards, Ed; P. Edwards & A. Melville, Trans.). Atlas. Katō, H. (1959). Japanese Popular Culture: Studies in Mass Communication and Cultural Change Made at the Institute of Science of Thought, Japan. C.E. Tuttle Co. Kraus, C., & Lotringer, S. (2001). Hatred of Capitalism: A Reader. Semiotext(e). Lyotard, J.-F. (2004). Libidinal Economy (I. H. Grant, Trans.). Continuum. (Original work published 1974) Nancy, J.-L. (2007). The Creation of the World, Or, Globalization. State University of New York Press. Stiegler, B. (2009). Acting Out (D. Barrison, D. Ross & P. Crogan, Trans.). Stanford University Press. Stiegler, B. (2011). The Decadence of Industrial Democracies (D. Ross & S. Arnold, Trans.). Polity Press. Virilio, P. (1986). Speed and Politics: An Essay on Dromology. Columbia University. Žižek, S. (2001). From Western Marxism to Western Buddhism. Cabinet (2), 33–36.

Section 2


Chapter 7

The Zerrissenheit of Subjectivity

This chapter opens with a small vignette regarding the production of calligraphy at speed on the Tokyo train network. This will serve as a focal point in considerations pertaining to the notion of Zerrissenheit or “tearing” and its intimate relationship with the complicated notion of the “abstract machine.” As both Gilles Deleuze and Martin Heidegger have used the idea of “tearing” in various ways, we shall think transversally across these two approaches in terms of disclosing the dangers and possibilities of technological relationships as given in Heidegger, and, in Deleuze (and his collaborator Félix Guattari), in the sense of how tearing impacts on writing and the articulation of calligraphy or what Deleuze designates the “Oriental line” in The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (1993). It will become clear that while technology tears the hand away from an essential relation to man and earth through disruption and disorientation, it also engineers “universes of reference” in unheard-of ways, as means to think, produce and live afresh. Man is essentially torn between these two poles. In entwining the aforementioned remarks with the art of Paul Klee (his active, spontaneous lines), the notion of sobriety and Asian culture in general, the conclusion, which teases out the ramifications that technology effectively disrupts the purity of style or the simplicity of becoming, suggests that in several ways Deleuze and Guattari’s sole and joint writings are an extension, radicalization and complement of Heidegger’s thought. VIGNETTE It is barely six o’clock in the morning in Tokyo and an already jam-packed Sōbu line (総武線) commuter train is arcing its way routinely across the massively distributed metropolitan area. Exhausted passengers are jostling 99


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for a tiny modicum of personal space to play with their portable piloting devices. Eyes downcast, bodies depleted of energy. Yet there is a ­collective atmosphere of feverish concentration. While some of the lucky ones are seated, meditating or sleeping, the standing—the immobile desiring machines—are reading books and magazines. Fellow travelers are flailing their fingers across overexposed screens to enter text, read the news or mine information. One identikit salaryman is racing through manga on his smartphone, swiping his fingers every few seconds to change the page. But it is a small school boy nearby who catches and commands my attention, for he is repeating traditional kanji drills but with a modern twist. Stretching out a finger, he twirls it to enter a string of letters on his handheld tablet device that will help him find his way around Google Earth. His handwriting is immediately transformed into text which zips through databases of countries, place names, and streets to find the desired search string. It seems the boy is aloof as he sees this operation, from a third eye, seeing the earth distant and remote. Utterly engrossed, ripped away from his immediate milieu, he hovers above the digital earth, his hand a dismembered body part. This vignette perhaps is rather mundane but a most unheimlich and thought-provoking one nonetheless. Given the processes involved in learning language—mother tongue or otherwise—it has much to do with the Zerrissenheit of subjectivity. In an emblematic sense, the boy is ripped away from a material and affective relation with language. The boy learns but does so extraterrestrially. The earth is no longer his home as Heidegger was apt to say, and language is ripped away as a consequence. As we shall see, this is tantamount to a brutal deterritorialization of language. In learning to write, the boy’s use of Google Earth is an example of Zerrissenheit. The question is whether one can engineer “movement” as such from this to discern sober lines of flight (lignes de fuite) and new forms of experimentation in this new form of calligraphy. TEARING In very distinct ways, thinkers Deleuze (and/or Guattari) and Heidegger address the issue of “tearing” and its relation to learning. Yet both parties present ideas suitable for cross-fertilization in their examination of a particular relationship to calligraphy, writing and contemporary formations and deformation of subjectivity. More importantly, they illuminate the construction and articulation of the abstract machine. From their ruminations, we can ascertain that machines emerging from the machinic phylum, that is to say the technological lineage of machines, may in some circumstances compromise the “processual opening of plastic and incorporeal universes of

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references” in semiocapitalism. In effect this may stall or petrify the operations of the diagram and the abstract machine. The sense of tearing thus helps us to rethink the risks involved in what can be perceived as a violent deterritorialization of language, through addiction and obsession with technical devices. Sprawling megacities like Tokyo are a striking, excrescent instance of this tendency. It will be seen that changes in orthography, the art of writing words, fundamentally affect the purity of style in calligraphy and writing in general. RISS Etymologically, in noting that Riss, used in a derivative sense for tear, cleft or crack, is the root of Zerrissenheit, Heidegger indicates a painful originary schism. Riss is grasped in the sense of that which tears (fission) as well as in the sense of the fissure (rift) that the fission opens up. It describes the relation between thinking and poetry. Heidegger uses the term Riss in his lecture “The Origin of the Work of Art” to designate the strife between world and earth, and in On The Way to Language (1959), we find a description of the unity of the essence of language as the fission that tears open (Aufreissen). The idea of circumspection reveals that relations with material as such are not relations of mastery per se but involve a sense of responsiveness to and care for tools and materials, so that they may operate and emerge in their own way. As this seems not to happen with the Japanese school boy and his device in a traditional way, let us at this stage ask the question whether technological changes transforming the way we write amount to a process of tearing (Zerrissenheit) or a tethering to the earth. The trope of Zerrissenheit conveys a sense of tornness, with Zerreissen suggesting a tearing apart as in to rend, tear, dismember or disconnect. In Hegel and Heidegger we find this sense of “dismemberment” and “disjointedness.” It is consistent with a sense of chaos, disorder, cataclysm, impulse and chance. Zerrissenheit is a term used by William James, who translates it as torn-to-pieces-hood, a state of being broken or in disarray. A witness to the mental anguish which beset San Franciscans after the 7.9-magnitude earthquake devastated the bay area on April 18, 1906, James (1842–1910), in analyzing the psychosocial effects of the earthquake, explored man’s inner fragmentation in the wake of such a momentous natural event. In a chapter entitled “On Some Mental Effects of the Earthquake” in Memories and Studies (1911), the American psychologist and philosopher noted a kind of kinetic empathy among the survivors, a “rapidity of the improvisation of order out of chaos” (James, 2008, p. 91). Amid the destruction that the earthquake unleashed, James found


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a strong sense of camaraderie and a renewed sense of hope, a universal equanimity, or what he calls heroism as survivors eked out a new beginning from the ruins. In himself and others, James found no trace of fear as such, but only a “pure delight and welcome” (James, 2008, p. 87) as the earthquake unleashed its almighty natural power. Recording a sense of “nervous excitement” among those bearing witness to the tremor, he discerned “the passionate desire for sympathetic communication” (James, 2008, p. 86). He found a universal sense of cheerfulness, a “steadfastness of tone.” Drawing on the experience, he spoke up for the commonest man, declaring that such men would go on thriving, “singly and collectively,” displaying an “admirable fortitude of temper.” In the latter days of his life, and despite the gravity of the devastation, James, according to his biographer Richardson in William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism (2006), learned much from this experience, and adopted, in the last instance, a philosophy of life that affirmed “chaos, cataclysm, change, Zerrissenheit (brokenness), impulse, and chance” (Richardson, 2006, p. 477). His experience is pharmacological, both a poison and cure, a negativity pregnant with possibility. A TERRIBLE CURETTAGE The sense of tornness here implies a wrenching and wresting asunder, a splitting and lacerating, a rupturing and militating—or in Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus, a terrible curettage (1983, p. 318)—which we shall designate as a machine of schizoanalysis which tears down the social field (Land, 2011, pp. 471–482), a machine which impersonally deterritorializes. In answering the question, “How do you make yourself a body without organs?” in A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari consider the ways in which it is possible to free potential from processes of subjectification and signification. They consider how the self can be unhooked from points of subjectification that affirm and are attached to a dominant reality (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 160). Dismantling the organism means opening the body to connections that presuppose an entire assemblage. The methodology is radical, twin-pronged, and more crucially, brutal, as it demands the “tearing” of the conscious away from the subject in order to make it “a means of exploration.” The tearing of the unconscious away from significance and interpretation is performed to make it “a veritable production.” The process is comparable to the tearing of the body away from the organism: there is a destructuring of the organism. The socius is increasingly the site of dismembered body parts as Lingis says in his famous essay of the same title (Lingis, 1994, pp. 1–19).

The Zerrissenheit of Subjectivity


In Difference and Repetition (1994), Deleuze considers learning to be a singularity that repeats itself. Learning is founded in and through difference and repetition—a voluptuous apprenticeship of the senses. Learning a foreign language means “composing the singular points of one’s own body or one’s own language with those of another shape or element” (Deleuze, 1994, p. 400). While this “tears us apart,” it also propels us into a hitherto unknown and unheard-of world of problems. Such problems demand “the very transformation of our body and our language” (Deleuze, 1994, p. 192). From this we can begin to appreciate more seriously the communicative (in)capabilities of the virtual lines of calligraphy in the example of the school boy on the busy commuter train. INFANTILIZING SUBJECTIVITY Writing in the wake of McLuhan’s proclamation in The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962) of an imminent return of orality, Guattari in Chaosmosis conjectured that the era of the digital keyboard would soon be over. Presciently, as this is becoming commonplace day by day, Guattari believed after its demise, humans would speak into their machines rather than type in instructions. A witness to the sweeping technico-scientific mutations underway in the early 1990s, Guattari envisaged the emergence of new social, political, aesthetic and analytical practices aiding the production of transversalist, plural and polyphonic subjectivities, which could liberate people from the “shackles of empty speech” and the erosion of meaning. Opposed to the mass media’s “infantalizing” subjectivity (Guattari, 1996, p. 272), and what he termed the will to “neuroleptize subjectivity” (Guattari, 1996, p. 215)—to drug the brain—he argued that processes of subjectification permeate, work upon the “subject”—for better or worse. For Guattari, “unprecedented” plastic universes offer both the possibility of different modes of living, as well as the risk of more dead-ends—more deathin-life, more of the same from the “steamroller” of capitalistic subjectivity (Guattari, 1996, p. 91). He spoke of the emergence of a postmedia era, in which informatic subjectivity could break writing away from old script forms to inaugurate hypertextualities, new cognitive and sensory writings and a postmedia era that would enable “assemblages of subjective self-reference” to develop to their fullest capacity (Guattari, 2012, p. 6). Genosko writes in Félix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction (2002), that Guattari breaks fresh ground in thinking the shift from scriptural semiotics to hypertext and is thought-provoking in explicating the nature of a-­signifying part-signs and how they function in relation to the machinic phylum. Through the prism of the ethico-aesthetic paradigm, Guattari foresaw


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revolutionary potential in tearing asunder the relation of sign and signified, in deterritorializing the domain of signification on the plane of machinic consistency, in leaving behind free-floating signs adrift from context and territory. Whence coupling them with other a-signifying signs, he envisaged the possibility of generating new creations through material flows and fluxes. Movement is all. Capturing this sense of flux, Deleuze describes Guattari’s own writing style as “a schizoid flow that carries all kinds of things along with it” (Guattari & Rolnik, 2007, p. 225). In thinking through the ramifications of the machinic phylum, and forecasting the machines to come, Guattari argues that universes of reference pertaining to the word-processing machine completely change relationships to expression—whether in writing, the alphabet, printing, computing and so on. As new inventions inform incipient universes of reference, Guattari believed, children learning languages from a word-processor are thereby situated in universes of reference, which are distinct cognitively and affectively from previous formats. It follows that young children attuned to use new media and technological devices are learning in singularly new ways. Enthused by this idea, Guattari in an excellent short piece entitled “On Machines” (1995) suggests that the autopoietic and “hypertextual” position of the machine possesses a pragmatic potential to challenge the separation of the subject and objects. The notion of the machinic phylum is made clearer here by understanding the futural way in which different generations of machines open up lines of machinic alterity and virtualities for other machines. Computers and other technologies aid learning through connections. For example, a schizophrenic who struggles to express himself through ordinary speech may in learning to drive find new modes of expression and productive machinic connections as a result. Here the schizophrenic forges a subjective composition according to the hold of consistency of different assemblages. Each new technical machine carries latent possibilities to transform existential territories and engender new universes of reference, new semiotic regimes, and the possibility of “escaping” language. The mechanosphere constantly reengineers and is generative of effects of signification and subjectification, productive of proto or modular subjectivities (2012, p. 2). And to return to the example of the schoolboy, he is insinuated in modes of expression and thought itself in these unheard-of universes of reference. Writing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Guattari goes so far as to claim that mankind, sited at an “unavoidable crossroads,” must confront its fetish with technology to extract the positive momentum from it or risk entering into cycles of repetition of a more deathly variety, into the being of the machine in inertia, a machine in nothingness. While balking at a romantic return to some form of pristine territoriality, he claims it is important to

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think the mechanosphere through the prism of metamodelization as this method does not signify as such, but rather, “diagrams.” Such a move aids the understanding of agencements in ontological heterogeneous universes, in which allopoeitic—machines built from the outside in—and autopoietic— self-creating machines—“live together.” Comprised of ontogenetic elements—pertaining to the developmental history of an organism within its own lifetime—and phylogenetic elements—the evolutionary history of a species—technological machines are caught in a phylum that is preceded by some machines and succeeded by others. New ethico-political universes of reference can help reorganize existential corporeality and promote creative possibilities, but they are equally at risk of being stifled by peddlers of “deadening influence” (1995, p. 5) in the mass media. For Guattari, the question is how to escape the repetitive impasses and invigorate a postmedia era which affirms reappropriation and resingularization of the media. He writes of the necessity to find consistency and self-reference in the “third voice/pathway”—from the consensual to the dissensual era and beyond—to escape from the mass-mediatic pollution of subjectivity. He writes: Only through the consistency of the third voice/pathway, in the direction of self-reference—in the passage from the consensual mediatic era to a dissensual postmediatic era—will each person be able to take on fully his or her processual potentialities; and perhaps to transform this planet, which is lived in as a hell by four-fifths of its population today, into a universe of creative enchantments. (2012, p. 13)

While acknowledging that the refrain can indeed fixate the subject in front of the screen for long periods of time, Guattari argues that computers, expert systems and artificial intelligence also contribute to and assist the process of relieving thought of redundant or inert schemas. But he nonetheless warns of the “age of planetary computerization” (2012, p. 103) which may accelerate headlong into an era of “a monstrous reinforcement of earlier systems of alienation” (2012, p. 103). THE TYPEWRITER Now compare these observations with Heidegger’s Parmenides lectures (1942–1943). In these lectures, Heidegger is more pessimistic than Guattari about embracing a future of plastic universes of references. In his ruminations on ancient philosophy, Heidegger launches an unexpected diatribe against the typewriter and says that through its use all men come to resemble each other; they suffer alienation through the “invasion” of the typewriter into the realm of the word and of the “destruction” and “degradation” of handwriting. If the written word is language exposed to the eyes, the typewriter in some way


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blinds or confounds this essential relation. With modern technology, there is a distortion of the word. Strokes of writing disappear. Somewhat oddly perhaps, Heidegger’s disquisition on the nature of concealment and forgetting asks the question of the identity of Dasein as it relates to the nature of the hand, an “altogether peculiar” thing. The hand entrusts to the word the relation of Being to man. Concealment, for Heidegger, hides the entire essence of man and “tears” man from the unconcealed. The oblivion of being as such “tears” things and man away from unconcealedness (Heidegger, 1992, p. 88). On this account and returning to our example: the hand which entrusts to the word the relation of Being “tears” the boy away from unconcealedness. The hand’s drawing or Zeichnen in calligraphy is disrupted. Heideggerian Zuhanden (ready-at-hand) and indeed Merleau-Ponty’s Praktognosia both begin with the perception of instrumental objectives. Thinking through the meaning of the everyday object that is the typewriter, Heidegger finds an “irruption of the mechanism in the realm of the word” (1992, p. 85). Cybernetics as such “tears” objects from their essential relation to the earth and reveals them as a resource to be exploited. The typewriter degrades the word to a mere means of communication (1992, p. 81). What is unearthed is a pervasive degradation of writing in Western thought. Or, more cryptically perhaps, the typewriter veils the essence of writing and script. It withdraws from man the essential rank of the hand. But if man is torn away from the fabric of soil, from an essential relation to the hand, then what becomes of man and everyday being-in-the-world (Lebenswelt)? If the earth—no longer the place on which man lives—is an infernal machine, how does one make sense of the “tearing” away of the hand from the essential relation to the human? Like Weber, Heidegger links the invention of the printing press with the inception of the modern period but perceives that, as word-signs become type, the writing stroke disappears (1992, p. 80). Modernity bears witness to the triumph of the machine or mechanism qua typewriter—a signless cloud—which veils the essence of writing and script through a signless relation to writing (p. 86). In Heidegger’s What Is Called Thinking? (1952), Derrida finds the notion of the monstrosity of the hand differentiated from prehensile organs such as paws or claws because it is an organ of signing, of pointing. The hand designs and signs, because man is a sign. At root, man is a signing, signifying animal and therefore to speak of the hand one must consider the notion of technics as such. Etymologically, the indication and indexing of the hand is “monstrous” (Derrida, 1987, p. 166). The work of the hand is rooted in thinking, with the Latin monstrum suggesting something of the “monster” in the demonstrative. Derrida claims that for Heidegger hands think. In handiwerk, there is a process of creative engagement with the world. Craftsmanship like calligraphy or penmanship is an expression of thinking—a thinking with hands. The hands perform the task of “inspiring lucidity,” Heidegger says. The hand thinks

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before it is thought. It is a thinking. Indeed, for Heidegger, the profound relation of Denken to the hand is a genuine one, Handeln or activity (Parkes, 1987, p. 120). But to understand the nature of the hand one must speak of technics and as we know, with Heidegger, the hand is imperiled by empty busywork, drawn from the manifestation of a maleficent modern technics—it is in danger. It is Heidegger who maintains that the unique physiology of the hand distinguishes man from other Geschlecht or species, especially the ape, for there is “an abyss” between the hand of the beast and the human. The move is to clearly demarcate the world of man from the world of animal, for even though apes, too, have organs that can grasp, they do not have hands (Heidegger, 1968, p. 16) in which we find the word manifest in handwriting. The loss of handwriting practices therefore is a loss of man’s essential relation with the hand. Technology “enframes” the world through an “ordering” of things that conceals humanity from modes of revelation. Gestell—the enframing of industrial technological systems—is a destining, a banishing of man into a kind of instrumentalism that is destructiverevealing-ordering. When ordering holds sway, it drives out every other possibility of revealing. As such technology delimits the possibilities of poetry because enframing disrupts revealing qua poiesis, that is to say, that which permits a presence to come forth into appearance. Through the mediation of technology, in the Gestell or enframing, there is the emergence of a technological rationalization of vision. Here thinking is torn away from its orientation toward things, from the self’s ownmost relation to itself and its temporality, from its proper object, namely the thinking of Being in general. However, in a discussion on the nature of the supersonic aircraft Concorde, Guattari (1995, p. 47) criticizes the Heideggerian idea that the “standing reserve” of the machine is in some ways the prism through which eternal truths are revealed to the being of man. Rather, and in contradistinction to the overarching structure of Being undergirding the role of techné in Heidegger, he says instead that the ontological domains of the technical object are “singular and precarious.” It is this point which will later inform the notions of the abstract machine and collective assemblage of enunciation. If the hand is enmeshed in thinking, then is thinking itself not imperiled? If the machine “degrades” the word or speech, is there any way back from the abyss of nihilism? For Heidegger, there is. He finds it in the art of Paul Klee—though not without certain caveats. It is with Klee’s method of Gestaltung—experimental, creative figuration (Purdom)—that we become conscious of the visible phenomenon before us. A great work of art is adjudged “the self-exceeding composure” of the movement in the work. For Heidegger it is with Klee that the truth of that which is withdrawn and unconcealed turns into an epiphany of the world. Such art does not merely reproduce thoughts of the visible but renders thoughtful those invisible forces


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(Petzet, 1993, p. 146). There is a “revealing” and “showing” in art’s making which uncovers the latent or invisible forces through the visible. There is an interplay between the viewer and the viewed, a connection between himself and Zen Buddhism. The point is found by Heidegger in What Is Called Thinking?, when he says, in standing before a tree, the tree also stands before us. “We come and stand facing a tree, before it, and the tree faces, meets us” (1968, p. 41).

QUIET VIEWING Yet, isn’t it the case that with tablet devices, smartphones, TV and so on, there is little of what Heidegger called the “quiet viewing,” the thoughtful staying-with, or the “lingering thinking-after”? Indeed, Heidegger says that from the site of the technologically mediated, what is conspicuously missing is “the tenderness and intimacy that flourish between Klee’s lines” (Petzet, 1993, p. 146). Technologically mediated writing silences “the tension of emerging and not emerging,” of emerging and withdrawing; it erases the underlying structure hidden within all art. To put it otherwise, Klee’s late paintings preserve the phenomenological struggle of emerging and withdrawing, and so bring the usually inconspicuous tension between foreground and background itself to the fore, thereby offering us a glimpse of the underlying structure hidden within art. Creativity in Klee’s lines expresses the movement from Earth to cosmos; it brings forth, as Heidegger says, something visible that was never seen before. For Deleuze too, in between Earth and cosmos—the “site of cosmogenesis”—the event readies itself (1992, p. 16). Amid the schizzes and fluxes of the cosmogenesis, we find a nondimensional point, an in-between, an interworld. Yet if technology is an ordering of the world which conceals man’s essential relation to himself, does not Heidegger begin to sound one-dimensionally Luddite? Indeed, Lingis takes issue with this dogmatism because as he insists, hands are much more than attachments, instruments or appendages for tool use, for rapacious seizing and acquiring (Lingis, 1996, p. 69). Rather, hands are also “organs for exploration”: hands apprehend and are apprehensive (Lingis, 2011, p. 127); they are affected with tact and tenderness. Lingis in Abuses on this point writes: The hand that caresses does not communicate a message. It advances repetitively, aimlessly, and indefatigably, not knowing what it wants to say, where it is going, or why it has come here. In its aimlessness it is passive, in its agitation it no longer moves itself; it is moved by the passivity, the suffering, the torments of pleasure and pain, of the other. (Lingis, 2011, p. 31)

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To linger with Heidegger for a moment more, typographic mechanization as such destroys the unity and integral identity of the word. The typewriter dissimulates the word; it “tears” writing from the essential domain of the hand. The machine “degrades” the word or speech as the process of instrumentalization reduces it to a simple means of transport. Word and speech become vehicles of commerce and communication. This tendency hails from the revolutionary movement of the Industrial Revolution, where we find here “tearing away” of man from land and organicity. The history of writing is one of the destruction of the originary word as the word no longer passes through the hand as it writes and acts authentically but operates through the mechanized pressure of the hand. The typewriter tears script from the essential realm of the hand. The hand is deterritorialized from the essential realm of the word. Incisively, in noting the technological changes underway in European societies, Heidegger finds that writing has become a way to process information retrieval systems, which qua resource, are designed to meet the planning needs of “a cybernetically organized mankind.” And, as we know, for him the ultimate question is whether thinking will serve the business of information processing or respond to the call of Being. With “dismembered hands” is thinking possible as an “absolute disruption” (Absoluten Zerrissenheit)? With “dismembered hands” is originary thinking imperiled? Is there not a revealing of truth in the absolute disruption of subjectivity? If thinking is handiwerk, and if the hand and thinking are enmeshed in similar projects, then to think is to do so with the hand. In other words, with “dismembered hands” there is a disruption to thinking but what comes from this is essentially something laden with fresh possibility. Like the Tokyo schoolboy, the earth is no longer the home on which one writes. One writes from a non-place, from a spectral, disembodied eye, a mediating third. This divorce of man from an intimate role in things is explored elsewhere by Franco Berardi, who writes on the radical schism of cerebral language learning and affectivity (Berardi, 2009, p. 9). Yet challenging this perhaps overly pessimistic stance, we can say at least that the “end” of writing may well be some way off. Indeed, in his book, Does Writing Still Have a Future, Vilem Flusser finds in the age of the machine a “stubborn intractability” of handwriting practices. He writes: Those who write by hand find themselves on the outskirts of writing culture, where calligraphy and graphology, these ways of reading that seem medieval, hold sway. Handwriting is closer to ancient manuscript fragments than to computer programs. That people still write by hand, despite print and typewriter, may be attributed to the stubborn intractability of habitual gestures. It suggests


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that out of stubbornness, the gesture of writing will persist, like a useless appendix, for a long time into the informatic situation—a small consolation (Flusser, 2011, p. 112).

It is in Walter J. Ong’s Orality and Literacy (1982) that Heidegger may find a kindred spirit as Ong demonstrates the way in which new technologies alter thought-processes, the sense of reality even, and foster a shift in the mentality of its users over time. Different historical epochs convey different ways of symbolizing, storing and transmitting truths. Ong notes two main shifts in knowledge storage: the oral-to-literate and the chirographic-toprint shifts. The first accounts for how culture moved from an oral-based society to one based on the written word. The second shift follows how handwritten (chirographic) texts are transformed into widely disseminated, mechanically produced printed books. Such transformations seem consistent with Heidegger’s history of Being, as Ong suggests the transformation of oral to literal societies has affected the role of poetry. Indeed, Ong draws the inference that the electronic age is the age of secondary orality because oral cultures flourish more readily when literacy is based less on abstraction and reasoned debate than on stories, images and audio-visual mnemonics. In societies equipped neither with the alphabet nor with ideograms, the inscription upon the body is essentially unrelated to the voice. One learns by hand, led by the master’s hand. One emulates. There is a sense of immediate induction through manual dexterity. There is no prior explanation as one learns by doing, by emulating the demonstration of the demonstrator. The hand of the child reproduces the movements of the hand of elders in monstrous ways. Meanwhile, as the writing machine emerges with the birth of urban megamachines (Mumford, 1934) and as, historically, the tentacles of archaic empires coveted the planet, there is a change in the organization of the organs as the hand operates a grammatological arrangement aligned with the voice to become signs of words spoken. Writing supplants the voice. It is imperialistic and inscribes itself in territories. To subject oneself to the law of a written language is to subject oneself to the law and language of empire. Writing is thus a form of grammatology—reproduced indefinitely in tablets, stones and books. Writing becomes an expression of a transcendent, impersonal and remote voice, a detached one, which no longer resonates with the original meaning of words. Deleuze and Guattari in Anti-Oedipus on this point write: The arbitrary nature of the thing designated, the subordination of the signified, the transcendence of the despotic signifier, and finally, its consecutive decomposition into minimal elements within a field of immanence uncovered by the

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withdrawal of the despot—all this is evidence that writing belongs to imperial despotic representation. (1983, p. 261)

In the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, Marx claims that the processual tendencies of planetary capitalism accelerate the organic decomposition and dismemberment of the body, or more particularly, the organic decomposition of the hand. Yet even the great nineteenth-century critic of capitalism in his more youthful and affirmative moments imagined the reconstitution of species-being (Gattungswesen), the recomposition of limbs and organs attached to the full body of the earth. So here we ask: What are we to make of Heidegger’s and Marx’s comments and how do we connect them with Guattari and his ideas of a-signifying semiotics? Mourning the historical decline of handwriting, Heidegger discerns the withdrawal of the hand, as the typewriter produces signless, a-signifying words. Here he shares some vocabulary with Deleuze and Guattari, echoing their claim that the production of knowledge and information capital requires a machinery for the production of stupidity to absorb surplus knowledge and ensure the integration of groups and individuals. Axiomatized stupidity! Despair indeed. In Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari suggest that capitalism is essentially uninterested in writing as it is “profoundly illiterate.” For them, writing plays the role of an archaism in capitalism because language becomes concrete within the field of immanence peculiar to capitalism itself. As such, the technical means of expression, such as a computer, corresponds best to the generalized decoding of flows. There is no hierarchy among the flows of non-signifying or a-signifying language—phonic, graphic, gestural, etc.—because as Mark Fisher in a blog entitled “Reflexive Impotence” (2006) explains, today’s media, internet-savvy Twitter generation have a radically different (read superficial) relation to language for they operate on a plateau of a-signifying semiotics. In a rather bizarre sense, they no longer need meaning. Young people process “image-dense data” without the need to read. Fisher writes: “slogan-recognition is sufficient to navigate the nettabloid-magazine informational plane.” In the case of electronic language, data processing rejects the ontological primacy of both the voice and writing. SOBRIETY Taking a critical standpoint against the effects of a hyper-capitalistic work ethic upon the brain, and concurring with Deleuze and Guattari, who contend that the computer is a machine for instantaneous and generalized decoding, Berardi, following Christian Marazzi, claims young people are becoming


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increasingly dyslexic primarily because of attention disorders derived from excessive manipulation of technical machines (Berardi, 2009, pp. 40–41). The intrusion of technical machines does several things. It effectively disrupts the formation of abstract machines of drawing and writing, distorts the overarching “enunciative modalities” operative behind statements (as Foucault discusses in depth in The Archaeology of Knowledge), brutally fabulates and fabricates the virtual, and compromises the abstract machine’s existence and efficiency, or “power of ontological auto-affirmation” (Guattari, 1995, p. 35). It is here that we begin to see the difference with the Guattariinflected critique of language, and how this may challenge the Heideggerian conception of the relation of Being to man and of man to beings. With Guattari, we discern an interest in the playful and plastic, a-signifying nature of language. As Heidegger bemoans the production of signless signs, we ask: what does it mean to learn through an initial relationship with computers and other technologies? In Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari reject a return to full plenitude— Marx’s youthful hope of a return to species-being is dismissed—and refuse to mourn the delinking of the body parts. Instead they insist upon a further rigorous, nay brutal, deterritorializing of body parts across the socius, a preparatory move to forge ever more diverse couplings of body parts. They demand more perversion, and more artifice “to a point where the earth becomes so artificial that the movement of deterritorialization creates of necessity and by itself a new earth” (1983, p. 321). They spell out the ramifications of this movement of force that stratifies the subject and tears at consciousness and claim that the freeing of lines of flight demands a meticulous relation with the institutional strata (1983, p. 178). Here, they promote an engagement with the deeper affective investments that are complicit with regimes of oppression. So what are the regimes of oppression that the contraptions and devices of modern capitalism produce? What lines of flight are bound for different, more perilous, trajectories? Let us return now to Japan. In his lengthy dialogues with Claire Parnet, Deleuze finds in the “famous” Japanese line drawings, lines so purified that what remains is nothing but little lines. Comparing the purity of these little lines, Deleuze remarks that he finds in Jack Kerouac’s writing an expression of sobriety, a style in pure form. Writing carries out the conjunction, the transmutation of fluxes, through which life escapes from the resentment of persons, societies and reigns. Kerouac’s phrases are as sober as a Japanese drawing, a pure line traced by an unsupported hand, which passes across ages and reigns. It would take a true alcoholic to attain that degree of sobriety (2002, p. 50). Here Deleuze considers Kerouac’s prose as inhered with sobriety because everything which becomes is in some sense a non-representational “pure

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line” (2002, p. 74). This sense of sobriety or purity of form, we can find in the wild cursive style of Chinese calligrapher Huai Su (懷素), a style emulated to some degree in the mid-1950s by André Masson (1896–1987), a surrealist, modernist painter deeply influenced by Zen Buddhism as well as philosophers ancient and modern—Heraclitus and Nietzsche to name but two. In his last book with Guattari, What Is Philosophy? (1991), Deleuze attaches the task of asking the question, what is philosophy, to the notion of purity. Maturity in this respect attains sobriety, a moment that only manifests late in life when one has done with work and labor and is left to ask what is philosophy? Perhaps then the question is whether technological relationships affect the construction of abstract machines in destructive ways which curtail the articulation of sober lines of flight. For Deleuze and Guattari, Kerouac is a “French-American” writer who creates a minor language, a dialect or idiolect, and who engineers an agent through which major languages become minor. On this point, and according to Ginsberg in his dedication for “Howl,” Kerouac’s style is a “bop prosody” full of the motions of spoken language (as quoted in Miles, 1998, p. 266). Kerouac’s intensity conquers his own language, and in doing so, places it in a state of continuous variation. The intensity of his writing is set to the beat of jazz music. He writes on a preprepared 120-foot roll of tracing paper, so as to be able to type continuously without having to reload the pages. There are no chapters or paragraph breaks in this scroll. In Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari state that Kerouac was the artist with the “soberest means,” who took revolutionary “flight,” and who later was immersed in dreams of a “Great America.” For them, Kerouac encapsulates the contradictions within American ideology, which envisions US society as “future-oriented,” but whose values reterritorialize on nation, religion and “order.” Kerouac, who writes from several minority standpoints (Mexicans, African-Americans, etc., and those whose precarity is “like fabulous roman candles”), uses a hybrid “we” in constant formation and deformation: the “we” French-Canadians, the “we” Catholics, the “we” Americans, the “we” Beat generation. He deterritorializes the “conventional English sentence” with the rhythms of his generation, with the tonalities and polyvocalities of different tongues and tribes. According to Park, citing Kerouac’s 30 Essentials for Spontaneous Prose, his procedure is to sketch language in the form of an undisturbed flow from the mind of secret idea-words, blowing (as per jazz musicians) on the subject of image. Speaking of his own style, Kerouac writes: I got sick, and tired of the conventional English sentence which seemed to me so ironbound in its rules, so inadmissible with reference to the actual format of my mind as I had learned to probe it in the modern spirit of Freud and Jung, that I couldn’t express myself through that form any longer. (Park, 2004, p. 486)


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For Deleuze and Guattari, great style is a non-style; it becomes asyntactic, strained and agrammatical. Great literature is no longer defined by what it says or signifies, but by what it causes to move, flow and explode—the kind of a-signifying style that Guattari affirms. Kerouac is anarchistic: a hammer blow to the laws of English grammar. His spontaneous prose style smuggles its way into page-long sentences where the rules of grammar are plundered. Speech is free-flowing and jazz-like, packed with spontaneity. Spontaneous prose style constitutes a literary machine that produces affects, non-signifying signs. Writing is a-signifying, non-representational and without need of interpretation. We can also detect this stream or flow of consciousness in the writings of Henry Miller, another favorite of Deleuze. In the Tropic of Cancer, the writer says: “I am a writing machine. The last screw has been added. The thing flows. Between me and the machine there is no estrangement. I am the machine” (Miller, 1961, p. 28). In urging sobriety in the proliferation of lines and cautioning against the cult of the machine, Deleuze says that writers speak as someone or something else. Preindividual, radical impersonal singularities speak through them. Writers are mobile singularities. They write in what the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti calls the fourth person singular. So perhaps it is with pure lines that we connect with the fourth person singular, the immanence of the indefinite—a life. Under consideration subsequently is the question of what the nature of a Japanese line drawing has to do with sobriety or purity of style and whether something is lost in the transfer of writing from hand to mouth, from brush to virtuality, or from brush to electronic tablet. CALLIGRAPHY Calligraphy is a question of speed and dexterity; concentration and detachment, an art of penmanship. The schoolboy on the commuter train is engaged in this ancient penmanship albeit quite differently and in some ways quite detrimentally. It demands an understanding of the material of the brushstroke. It is a question of walking, of walking at a slow pace: a movement never found on Tokyo commuter trains. Shodo (書道) is the Japanese way of calligraphy: it is on the way to language. Geido (芸道) is the way of art. It shares an affinity with Klee’s idea of art as being led by the materiality of the canvas, the ink, the hand and bodily comportment or the sensory-motor regime. Indeed, for Foucault, good handwriting demands a gymnastics—“a whole routine whose rigorous code invests the body in its entirety, from the points of the feet to the tip of the index finger. A disciplined body is the prerequisite of an efficient gesture” (2012, p. 152). Klee in his “Creative Credo” (Schopferische Konfession, 1959) famously writes that art “does not

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reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible” (Klee and Abrams, 1959, p. 5). The telos of form is not equal to the essence of the natural process of creation. For the artist it is more a question of formative powers rather than telos. Yet one learns little by mere contemplation as understanding demands an entering into and a joining in the process of its production. Calligraphy is thus an art of rhythmic movement: a question of rhythm and movement of thought and the gestural comportment that sustains it. Lines and characters convey a power and dynamic of their own. For Yuehping Yen, the relationship between the person and handwriting is mutually generative (2004, p. 66). Handwriting and calligraphy treat the dynamics of the body as a vehicle for the mind. Yen describes how the traditional procedure for learning Chinese calligraphy, still adopted in Chinese elementary schools, is comprised of three stages. Novices first learn to copy a model work by placing translucent paper over the model, to then trace the shadows. Next, paper and model are placed side by side, forcing students to reproduce the necessary movements for themselves, rather than being guided by the shadows of the master (2004, p. 116–118). In the final stage of learning, the apprentice tears away from the “hands” of the masters. In this final “de-shaping,” at the culmination of the learning process, “all the learned rules are banished into oblivion and the heart becomes the only guide of the hand” (2004, p. 123). Poetically expressed, Lingis captures this free movement of form in a discussion about the body, kinesics and song. Everything that is palpable, opaque tissue, is gone from his body, which is, I thought, like a mobile Japanese calligraphy: an instantaneously made swirl of strokes is so expressive that you no longer see the hair marks of the brush and the opaqueness of the ink. (Lingis, 1994, p. 145)

No work is ever finished which would submit a line to a point, but is a pluralistic, a-signifying distribution of lines and planes. Writing demands a habituation, a posture, a bodily composure and sustained concentration. For Klee the role of the artist is to join with matter-flow, to bring the form of the work into being. Deleuze and Guattari describe this procedure as “itineration not iteration” (1987, p. 372): a correspondence between matter-flow and creative form-giving: a question of following the lines. For Deleuze and Guattari artisans follow the matter-flow as “pure productivity” (1987, p. 411): So, on this point, it may appear too that the boy on the train is entwined within inaugural forms of itinerant subjectivity. What is the relation of Deleuze to Chinese or Japanese calligraphy? Perhaps one might be right in thinking that the reference to “nothing but little lines” pertains to the Japanese style of ink painting called nanga (from Lamarre, private email communication). These are paintings done in black ink, which consist of tiny brush strokes repeated—a style which comes from the Chinese, through their dissemination in Zen temples. Nanga was


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a difficult practice and it was said to demand much practice to master it. There is a sort of self-cultivation leading to the non-self. We find a sense of emptiness and purity, and the extinction of the self implied in the form, which lends itself to Zen Buddhism and to neo-Confucianism, an idea which the artist Klee talks about in non-Cartesian terms as “taking a line out for a walk.” Merleau-Ponty in The Primacy of Perception citing Michaux (laissé rêver une ligne) says of Klee and the nature of the line that no one before Klee had “let a line muse” (1964, p. 183). Indeed, Heidegger, in his interpretation of East Asian art, views painting as a “movement of the self.” In a seminar discussion with Japanese professor Shinichi Hisamatsu (久松真一), Heidegger thinks of painting as a bringing forth of relations derived from the contact with materials (2013, p. 98). For example, in East Asian art, there is a conception that the line is movement, and in Zen painting, a concern with the bringing of formless self to us. The German master says it is in painting that one performs the movement to the self. Responding, Hisamatsu adds that he discerns in Klee’s work something resembling Japanese calligraphy (2013, p. 99). Although, for Hisamatsu, Western abstract art, despite seeking an obliteration of duality, remains steadfastly bound to the dyad of form and non-form, Zen, on the other hand, seeks a path beyond the binary of form and structure to let the movement emerge. In Copley’s Listening to Heidegger and Hisamatsu, we find suggestions that the notions of fluidity and paradox found in Taoism may yet challenge the rigidity of Western concepts. Indeed, Klee, in his diaries (January 22, 1917), turns toward the East and says: “I am becoming increasingly Chinese.” In a seminar on the topic “Dualism, Monism and Multiplicities” dated March 26, 1973, Deleuze says: “In the end we are all Chinese in Taoism” (p. 97). From these remarks, the rather odd question arises: How does one become Chinese (or Japanese) through piloting devices? If it is the case as Guattari argues, that the concept of abstract machine reaches “far beyond” the technical machine, then to what extent does this latest gadget obstruct the unconcealment of Aletheia, the truth of Being? A negative reading of Heidegger’s critique would discern technology as fundamentally affecting autonomous expression of color and line, the vibratory and pulsatory nature of lines. On this stark reading, the running style of cursive script runs no more. Movement curtailed; Mark Tobey’s “living lines” of calligraphy (Westgeest, 1997, p. 49)—dynamic, mobile, animated—live no more. Flowing, sensitive, swift lines lose their agility and grace. Technologically mediated calligraphy negates the true self. The essence of the line as action or movement is lost in symbolic repetition. Inheriting a mistrust and critique of hylomorphism from Gilbert Simondon, Deleuze is critical of the traditional Aristotelian idea of the imposition of form (morphe or eidos) on inert matter (hyle). With this in mind, we can better understand the observation made by Klee that form or morphe is death.

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For Klee, Gestalt or form-giving is intimate with movement and action (Klee, 1973, p. 269). In accounting for the ontogenesis of things, that is to say how a thing comes into being, Ingold—echoing Heidegger’s examination of the thing—shifts attention away from the objectality of the object to the things themselves, to their material flows and formative processes (Ingold, 2011, pp. 91–102). Ingold considers the merits of Simondon’s idea of individuation in better accounting for ontogenesis or the generation of things. Here we find form as an emergent, expressive property rather than a preformed or preordained notion. Art concerns itself not with reproduction or representation but that which makes the visible visible (Klee, 1961, p. 76). It enjoins with forces that call form into being. The line is already in motion, never a fixed point; it is a forward-jutting vitalism (2007, p. 48). Contra the hylomorphic model of creativity, Deleuze and Guattari insist upon the idea that the essential relation is not between matter and form but in-between materials and forces. Their ontology grants primacy to processes of formation rather than teleological outcomes and to flows and transformations of materials as against states of matter. It is unpredictable flows and lines, and the tracing of lines of deterritorialization which offer the promise of the new. Matter is always a matter of movement, flux and variation. Reflecting upon the nature of “automatic” spontaneous compositions derived from the workings of the unconscious, line drawings, and the search for a universal écriture automatique, Masson also finds in the Japanese aesthetic and Chinese ideograms the idea that one must evacuate the self, one must “tear” the line away from a comportment with the Western self. He exhorts in Le plaisir de peindre: “Make a void in yourself, primary” (Masson, 1976, p. 147). Calligraphy therefore is not just about imitation and copy but is a becoming-intense, an evacuation of the shrink-rapped subject, an emptying of interiority. Producing intertextual flows between texts, the painter learns not to represent, but to become the reality under representation. In the 1959 essay Une peinture de l’essentiel and, again, in a discussion on Chinese painting (1976, p. 173), Masson goes further and says that for the calligrapher his art is a way of existing rather than a way of acting in the Western sense (Masson, 1976, p. 171). Considering his own art and the idea of the line, Masson describes the free juxtaposition of elements as a movement that falls in love with itself. Discussing concepts of Zen and the nature of Chinese painting, Masson in his Le Rebelle du surréalisme writes (as quoted by Foljambe): To “enter” such an art is useless if one does not understand first of all that the main point for the Zen painter has nothing to do with what the Western painter understands by this term. For the Chinese, as for his Japanese follower . . . it’s about a manner of existing (in a deep sense) and not, as for us, a manner of doing. For them, it is a manner of being based in universal life, and for us a way


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of summarizing. For the Asian a vital decision, for the European an aesthetic attitude. (1976, p. 107)

The idea of the “non-mental” can be taken as the sense of sobriety of which Deleuze speaks. Indeed, on the subject of writing, with ideas resonating with those of Klee, Guattari in Molecular Revolution in Brazil (2007) describes his conception of writing as follows: Writing is a field of vibration in which words appear, combine with others, and then separate, combine with yet others, or disappear, according to the flows with which the text is connected. Text is flow. Its movement is physical. (p. 225)

The troubling aspect for this chapter is that, on the one level, it can be construed that Masson’s and Klee’s drawings are abstract machines in a very precise sense as they diagram futural possibilities. In the line drawings of Klee and Masson we find piloting devices which diagram a virtual of the real yet to come. The abstract machine relays between the real and virtual, it is real yet non-concrete, actual yet non-effectuated—an in-between designating matters and functions. Deleuze and Guattari isolate proper names and identify the abstract machine working behind them: there is a Wagner abstract machine, a Webern abstract machine, a Riemann abstract machine or an Einstein abstract machine alongside the proper names of Galileo, Bach or Beethoven (1987, p. 511). Explaining the point further Deleuze and Guattari add: “Not that they refer to people or to effectuating moments; on the contrary, it is the names and dates that refer to the singularities of the machines, and to what they effectuate” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 511). CONCLUSION From these ruminations, it can be seen that in some ways immanent and non-teleological abstract machines diagram the becoming-monstrous of the human and chart the “tearing” of language away from man to serve cybernetics. They are complicit with fabrication of the virtual, and, sometimes work, if left unchecked, for unearthly ends. Intimately bound to the plane of immanence, the abstract machine takes concrete form as mathematical formula, in architectural designs, in the diagrams of philosophers, in the unruly, experimental sketches of writers, thinkers and sculptures of all kinds. They suggest something other, a beckoning directive, something futural—emergent in becoming a preparation for those yet to come—for the people are “missing” as Klee says. They can be found in Masson’s chaotic and transformatory automatic line drawings and in Klee’s notebooks, which contain sketches and drawings that continue to influence artists, academics

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and designers. The Klee-machine grants us a premonition of a world to come as it operates upon a plane of immanence latent with futural becomings. But the question remains: if technical machines intervene or block the concrete articulation of abstract machines, then what does this mean for those yet to come? We have examined the relationship between technology and the violence involved in the tearing away of the hand, the tearing away of the image and writing in calligraphy. In using new technological devices, it is clear that the hand is no longer subordinated to the eye as it once was in traditional means of expression. The hand is deterritorialized from the material of the earth to assume an extraterrestrial vantage point. In a very significant sense, this brutal Zerrissenheit of the hand leads to unpredictable outcomes for subjectivity such as the loss of the quiet responsiveness between hand, brush and paper. Instantaneous communication between people at great distances through email and cell-phones “tears” subjectivity from the world. If the articulation of the abstract machine is no longer found in notebooks but transferred to electronic devices and electronic archive, which consequently takes the hand away from writing, then what becomes of the virtual? With the advent of the writing devices, the hand is piloted away from spontaneity and the control that we find in calligraphy, away from the balance of empty and full found in Taoism (Cheng, 1994). In peering through the lens of Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy it has been found that the “tearing away” of man’s essential relation to being can be both productive and positive, though not without its dangers: and it is these dangers that must be critiqued in full. The violence is a matter of matter-flow and form-giving—coming to and fro in assemblages— engaged in a process of constant variation and processual becoming. The meaning of the tearing away of man’s essential relation to being situates it in relation to collective agencement. The essential relation is not one of matter and form but of material and form-giving. The stripping away of the elemental relation of the hand to writing opens up new ways to think and create in plastic universes of reference. While the differences between the Heideggerian and Deleuze/Guattarian notions of “tearing part” have been highlighted, it is clear that both inadvertently inform their counterpart’s position. Moreover, while the intellectual traditions for the most part appear at odds, one emphasizing the phenomenology of being, the other schizoanalysis and becoming, they do nonetheless ruminate on a shared thematic of tearing and a-signifying signification. While Heidegger thinks that absolute disruption essentially alienates man from his authentic self and the primordial relation of the hand to language, with technology acting to close the eyes and ears which see and hear the world, Deleuze and Guattari consider disruption


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or deterritorialization as a process of invention, an opening up of new possibilities. While the mechanization of writing tears the unity of the word, this sheds light on the tearing of Dasein from the world. In the vignette of the boy googling earth, he is torn from the life-world to become a disinterested spectator. Whence combined, the former perspective determines that subjectivity in our time is one of absolute dismemberment, a detethering of consciousness, the self and the other; the latter proffers a more timely and radical critique on how tearing itself affects the comportment of body in writing, how technology rips away anachronistic mechanisms to expose the potential for creative experimentation in incorporeal universes of reference. Such technology spins off a machinic processuality which, if operative in a fecund milieu, may engender mutant, revolutionary subjectivities to challenge and contest a flattened and deadening capitalistic subjectivity deaf to the other.

REFERENCES Berardi, F. (2009). The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy. Semiotext(e). Cheng, F. (1994). Empty and Full: The Language of Chinese Painting (M. H. Cohn, Trans.). Shambhala. Copley, A. L. (1993). Listening to Heidegger and Hisamatsu. Bokubi. Deleuze, G. (1992). The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (T. Conley, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and Repetition (P. Patton, Trans.). Athlone Press. (Original work published 1968) Deleuze, G. (2001). Dualism, Monism and Multiplicities (Desire-Pleasure-Jouissance) (D. W. Smith, Trans.). Contretemps: An Online Journal of Philosophy, 2, 92–108. (Lecture given on March 26, 1973) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983).  Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1972) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).   A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia  (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Originally published 1980) Deleuze, G., & Parnet, C. (2002). Dialogues II (H. Tomlinson & B. Habberjam, Trans.). Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What Is Philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1991) Derrida, J. (1987). Geschlecht II, Heidegger’s Hand (J. P. Leavey, Trans.). In J. Sallins (Ed.), Deconstruction and Philosophy: The Texts of Jacques Derrida (pp. 161–196). University of Chicago Press.

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Fisher, M. (2006, April 11). Reflexive Impotence. K-punk. Archives. http://kpunk​ .abstractdynamics​.org​/archives​/007656​.html Flusser, V. (2011). Into the Universe of Technical Images (N. A. Roth, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1985) Foljambe, A. (2008). Intimate Destruction: Tantric Buddhism, Desire and the Body in Surreal-ism and George Bataille [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Manchester, UK. Foucault, M. (1972). The Archaeology of Knowledge (A. Sheridan, Trans.). Pantheon. (Original work published 1969) Foucault, M. (2012). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (A. Sheridan, Trans.). Vintage. (Original work published 1975) Genosko, G. (2002). Félix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction. Continuum. Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (1995). On Machines. In A. E. Benjamin (Ed.), Complexity: Architecture, Art, Philosophy. Academy Ed. Guattari, F. (1996). The Three Ecologies (I. Pindar & P. Sutton, Trans.). Athlone. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F. (2012). Schizoanalytic Cartographies (A. Goffey, Trans.). Bloomsbury. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F., & Rolnik, S. (2007). Molecular Revolution in Brazil (K. Clapshow & B. Holmes, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Heidegger, M. (1977). Basic Writings: From Being and Time (1927) to the Task of Thinking (1964) (D. F. Krell, Ed.). Harper & Row. Heidegger, M. (1992). Parmenides (A.é Schuwer & R. Rojcewicz, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1982) Heidegger, M. (1968). What Is Called Thinking? (G. Gray, Trans.). Harper & Row. (Original work published 1952) Ingold, T. (2011). Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description. Routledge. James, W. (1990). Essays in Radical Empiricism. Alex Catalogue. (Original work published 1912) James, W. (2008). Memories and Studies. Arc Manor. (Original work published 1911) James, W. (1987). Writings, 1902–1910 (B. Kuklick, Ed.). Literary Classics of the United States. Kerouac, J. (1995). The Portable Jack Kerouac (A. Charters, Ed.). Viking. Klee, P. (1959). Creative Credo. In The Inward Vision: Watercolors, Drawings, Writings (N. Guterman, Trans.) (pp. 5–10). Harry N. Abrams. Klee, P. (1961). Paul Klee Notebooks: The Thinking Eye, Volume 1. G. Wittenborn. Klee, P. (1973). Paul Klee Notebooks: The Nature of Nature, Volume 2. G. Wittenborn. Lamarre, T. (1997). Diagram, Inscription, Sensation. Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, 3(24), 669–694. Land, N. (2011). Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987–2007 (R. Mackay & R. Brassier, Eds.). Urbanomic. Lingis, A. (1994). Abuses. University of California Press.


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Lingis, A. (1996). Sensation: Intelligibility in Sensibility. Humanities Press. Lingis, A. (1992). The Society of Dismembered Body Parts. In J. Broadhurst (Ed.), Deleuze and the Transcendental Unconscious (pp. 1–20). University of Warwick Press. Lingis, A. (2011). Violence and Splendor. Northwestern University Press. Marx, K. (1964). Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (Dirk J. Struik, Ed; M. Milligan, Trans.). International. Masson, A. (1950). Le Plaisir de Peindre. La Diane Française. Masson, A. (1976). Le Rebelle Du Surrealisme: Ecrits (F. Will-Levaillant, Ed.). Hermann. McLuhan, M. (1962). The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. University of Toronto Press. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1964). The Primacy of Perception: And Other Essays on Phenomenological Psychology, the Philosophy of Art, History, and Politics (J. M. Edie, Ed; W. Cobb, Trans.). Northwestern University Press. Miles, B. (1998). Jack Kerouac, King of the Beats: A Portrait. H. Holt. Miller, H. (1961). Tropic of Cancer. Grove. Mumford, L. (1934). Technics and Civilization. Harcourt, Brace and Co. Ong, W. J. (1982). Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. Methuen. Park, J. (2004). Writing at the Edge: Narrative and Writing Process Theory. Peter Lang. Parkes, G. (1987). Heidegger and Asian Thought. University of Hawaii Press. Petzet, H. W. (1993). Encounters and Dialogues with Martin Heidegger, 1929–1976 (P. Emad & K. Maly, Trans.). University of Chicago Press. Purdom, J. (2000). Thinking in Painting: Gilles Deleuze and the Revolution from Representa-tion to Abstraction [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Warwick, UK. Richardson, R. D. (2006). William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism: A Biography. Houghton Mifflin. Schmidt, D. J. (2013). Between Word and Image: Heidegger, Klee, and Gadamer on Gesture and Genesis. Indiana University Press. Westgeest, H. (1997). Zen in the Fifties: Interaction in Art between East and West. Waanders. Yen, Y. (2004). Calligraphy and Power in Contemporary Chinese Society. Routledge. Zdebik, J. (2007). The Extraordinary Contraction: The Diagram in Deleuze and Guattari’s System [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Western Ontario, Library and Archives Canada.

Chapter 8

Machinic Dopamine Junkies and the (Im)mobile Walk(less)man

As part of a schizoanalytic critique of what one might call the (im)mobile walk(less)man, this chapter considers Gilles Deleuze’s interpretation of Louis Wolfson, Paul Virilio’s idea of piloting devices and Félix Guattari’s conception of miniaturization in relation to the refrain or ritournelle to uncover possible escape routes from so-called deadly cycles of repetition. As the Sony Walkman was first manufactured in Japan, I shall focus on Tokyo. Responding to the aforementioned perspectives on an everyday object such as the Walkman (the “headphone-stereo”) and its more contemporary instantiations—the iPod or smartphone—I shall scrutinize interpersonal communication or the absence thereof in urban technopoles. The psychopathological effects of the Walkman on the populace will be examined with especial focus on disaffected youth in particular. It is the morning of October 4, 2012. The news on the radio leaves me cold. I hear that a teenage girl has jumped to her death from a train platform at Gotanda station in Tokyo. Euphemistically designated as yet another “body accident” (jinshin jiko)! The news is all the more dispiriting as the night before a man in his thirties was killed instantly after he too leapt off the platform at Shinjuku station into the path of an incoming train. Both stations are on the same Yamanote line. I am accustomed to hearing such stories as they are the background noise of a disordered system that is the Tokyo metropolitan underground. Selfishly I thought about the train delays and my own wait inside the train. Inside the jam-packed train, I considered the bout of suicides and they brought flashbacks of Sion Sono’s horror film Suicide Club, which, along with more recent disturbing social critiques in the films such as Gus Van Sant’s Elephant and Steve McQueen’s Shame, acts as an allegory of deathly noncommunication among “transcendental subjects” (Kogawa, 2001), as seen with the mobile phone or smartphone (keitai). 123


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For Kogawa, the mobile phone is a “substitutable otherness,” a form of hibernation from an otherwise severer form of confrontation with people. On top of this, I had also been reading a very one-sided anthropological analysis of Japan’s current woes by Anne Allison entitled “Ordinary Refugees: Social Precarity and Soul in 21st Century Japan” which listed the social, economic, political and spiritual problems currently assailing Japanese youth. In this 2012 paper for the Anthropological Quarterly, Allison describes how Japan is plagued with a depressing and mounting catalogue of social ills. Her theoretical guides for this observation are, among others, Franco Berardi, who claims in Precarious Rhapsody that young and old people are suffering from a generalized anomie, a sense of hopelessness and futurelessness (a precarity of soul). He insists 1977 was the year when modernity moved beyond itself, chiefly because of the spate of suicides by primary school children in Japan. On Allison’s account, Japan is witnessing a growing army of hikikomori or social recluses, frequent cases of bullying and the rise of desperately lonely people. Utilizing Berardi’s notion of social precarity, one can update and extend Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas on the philosophy of desire, the unconscious and the machine in A Thousand Plateaus and align it with Virilio’s idea of the suicidal state in L’insécurité du territoire. These events are what prompted me to think about the humble Sony Walkman. DELEUZE AND THE WALKMAN In Essays Critical and Clinical (1997), Deleuze credits schizophrenic Louis Wolfson, author of the untranslatable Le schizo et les langues, with inventing the prototype of the Walkman. Deleuze significantly identifies Wolfson, a native of the Big Apple, as the device’s “true inventor,” a few years before Nobutoshi Kihara designed the aural device for Sony president Akio Morita in 1978 (Chambers, 1993, p. 49)—principally so that Morita could explore New York while listening to music. A year later, the first cassette Walkman TPS-L2 was introduced by Sony—we are still reeling from its insidious effects. The contraption, engineered from a tape recorder and stethoscope, allowed Wolfson to make “a linguistic barrier between himself and the possibility of hearing his mother tongue” (Fuller, 2005, p. 38)—English—as words caused him quasi-physical, psychosomatic pain. Tormented, he protects himself from this outer chaos of naked words by translating them into several foreign tongues, increasing the amplitude of the radio, playing a music symphony or listening to incomprehensible languages in the immense cosmopolitan city of New York (Wolfson, 1970, p. 33). According to Deleuze (1997, p. 19), Wolfson creates breath-words by transforming the literal syllabic values of words into tonic values. The

Machinic Dopamine Junkies and the (Im)mobile Walk(less)man


schizo’s defense against naked words is not to restore a lost plenitude of meaning but to destroy words themselves, for they torment the schizo. The schizo asks how to stop words from wounding. Moreover, according to Deleuze and Guattari (1987, p. 311), this closing off of the outside acts as a kind of “sound wall” between his world and the outside. The Walkman, the radio and television are embedded in existential territories. Wolfson’s linguistic “procedure”—or transduction method—involves substituting fragments of foreign words for the original English. He writes in French to ward off an allergic linguistic reaction to his mother’s oppressive language. This, in some ways, exhibits a connection between the affective body and the materiality of performative utterances because Wolfson thinks of language as a site for the deployment of material forces or sound particles. As an affective orifice of the body, the mouth is sewn up, blocked from transmitting meaning. Wolfson goes hermetic; he cuts himself off from the world. Utterances are rendered opaque through their transformation into several tongues, by forging an anti-language. This logophilia or language of schizophrenia scrambles the codes. Living precariously in the interstices, in an interlingual space, Wolfson stutters a code between languages, in an impossible non-place. His glossolalic babble is performed in the third person, in a space between himself and himself (Lecercle, 2002). He constructs his own little schizo machines, molecular machines—a process of becomingforeign—but this is de-plugged from other collective machines. It seems he is trapped in “a thousand little monomanias” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 228). Writing at a time before the advent of the iPod or tablet PC, Deleuze describes Wolfson’s makeshift schizophrenic object as a prototype of an apparatus that will spread across the entire planet. Presciently, Deleuze says Wolfson’s contraption will schizophrenize “entire peoples and generations” (Deleuze, 1997, p. 13). On this reading, if you use a Walkman, iPod, mobile phone or smartphone, you go schizo! By plugging into the machinic phylum (into a technological lineage or its internal dynamics), schizos avoid the constant existential headache and exhaustion of forming a relation with alterity. This is a retreat to the botched body without organs (BwO), a closing off of the demands of the other; a kind of machinic autism. The retreat to the BwO is what one might call the Zerrissenheit of subjectivity, the tearing away of the real. On this point, in A Thousand Plateaus (p. 160), Deleuze and Guattari inquire into how it is possible to “unhook ourselves from the points of subjectification that secure us, nail us down to a dominant reality.” They invoke the notion of tearing to spell out the task ahead for schizoanalysis: Tearing the conscious away from the subject in order to make it a means of exploration, tearing the unconscious away from significance and interpretation


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in order to make it a veritable production: this is assuredly no more or less difficult than tearing the body away from the organism. (1987, p. 177)

Pharmacologically, while the Walkman qua schizoid contraption is designed to enhance the world through music, for the schizophrenic it contrives to expunge communication; it numbs the pain emanating from linguistic utterances. In not hearing what his mother says or shouts, in not reading the road signs when he goes for a stroll, in contending with the horror of the English language found in inscriptions of food packaging—pies, cakes, shrimps, French fries, ice cream and so on (Wolfson, 1970, p. 51)—Wolfson goes hermetic and blocks out the outside. So we have a pincer movement: a tearing away from the real and a transhumant becoming—hikikomori (social recluse)—a formation of a paranoiac machine. Literally, hikikomori means a pulling away, a tearing away of consciousness from social life (Saito, 2003). Saito estimates the number of hikikomori in Japan at around one million. Other accounts put the figure closer to 1.6 million. The Japanese government’s figures put the number of hikikomori at around 700,000, with an additional 1.55 million so-called semi-hikikomori. But who really knows! Moreover, it is estimated that there were about 847,000 NEETs (the acronym—the believed coinage of former British prime minister Tony Blair—stands for “Not in Education, Employment, or Training”) in 2006 (Yomiuri Shimbun). Contrary to Scott Wilson’s (2010, p. 392) definition of hikikomori as middle-class Japanese youth, I do not limit the phenomenon to a single class designation for it is quite clear that it has permeated all strata of Japanese society. Here Wolfson is similar to Ōe Kenzaburō’s haunting and hideous figure of a paternal certain party. In Ōe’s novel Teach Us to Outgrow Our ­Madness (1977), the headphone-clad, underwater-goggle-wearing taciturn father, whose name the narrator dare not utter, goes mad and locks himself away to commune with a radio. This “becoming-radio”—the refrain turned deadly and repetitious—is evidence of axiomatic stupidity, an ever-present schizo threat. However, a question arises: while reckoning with this blocking off of the real, what then can we make of Deleuze and Guattari’s famous exhortation in Anti-Oedipus? In contesting the orthodoxies of Freudo-Lacanian psychoanalysis, Deleuze and Guattari suggest that the schizo out for a walk—a “schizo stroll”—traversing a deterritorialized circuit through unplanned délire—is a much better model of health than the neurotic patient lying on the doctor’s couch. As they say, it is in walking and connections with things and other people that one finds a breath of fresh air, a relationship with the outside. Indeed, Deleuze and Guattari cite the strolls of Henry Miller, a writer who knows “how to leave, to scramble the codes, to cause flows to circulate, to traverse the body without organs” (1983, pp. 132–133), as a fine example of a nomadic, intensive trajectory:

Machinic Dopamine Junkies and the (Im)mobile Walk(less)man


Henry Miller in Clichy or Brooklyn is a nomadic transit in smooth space; he makes the city disgorge a patchwork, differentials of speed, delays and accelerations, changes in orientation, continuous variations. (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 482)

The schizo walks about, in a kind of surreal wandering to work things out: it is a way for the mentally ill to lose their institutional bearings. Deleuze and Guattari claim that the schizophrenic stroll operates through laws of boundary and territory quite alien to other people. Confronted with chaos, the schizo sketches or maps a temporary, a portable territory, an existential refrain. Continuing, Deleuze and Guattari explicate the relation between chaos, the refrain and territory through tracings of bodily comportment: “If need be, I’ll put my territory on my own body, I’ll territorialize my body: the house of the tortoise, the hermitage of the crab, but also tattoos that make the body a territory” (1987, p. 320). The conjunction of the schizo to the world is read through the omnipresence of machines: “Everything is a machine. Celestial machines, the stars or rainbows in the sky, alpine machines, all of them connected to those of his body. The continual whirr of machines” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 2). Yet, the Walkman qua schizoid device interrupts fluxes and flows and challenges the principles of nomadic transversality. It jams flows and interrupts connections and conjunctions. There is the blotting out of the outside as a means to ward off the pain and onslaught of alien tongues. It would seem such contraptions make us madder, axiomatically dumber, more addicted to schizoid playthings, like smart-(less)-phones. On this point Deleuze and Guattari say this is because the production of knowledge and information capital requires machinery for the production of stupidity, to absorb surplus knowledge and ensure the integration or control of groups and individuals. It is not so much that people are duped into becoming addicted to mobile phones and the like but that such technologies function as a structure of disavowal. We know we are being conned but we love it all the same: we desire our own repression. VEERING OFF COURSE IN JAPAN Let us look at Virilio’s dromological analysis where we find a generally more pessimistic reading of man’s relation to portable technologies, because it is from this analysis of trajectories of the catastrophic that we may understand how lines of flight can escape and become imperiled. As he says, attention is always elsewhere, permanently veering off course. Piloting devices are refrain devices. In the case of the Walkman, it affords a rhythm, a repetition that makes us feel at home. It hooks us into the cosmos for better or worse.


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Consider Tokyo’s enormous network of railways and subways. This vast metropolis offers a spellbinding visual ethnography of both nomadic and ­sedentary in-existence. Life in Japan’s capital is dominated by a c­ ommuter train network that serves over twenty million commuters a day. Each ­commuter is insinuated into the technological apparatus’s systemic (dys)functioning. Every day, the same frenetic dance to the point of collapse. The point is made very well by Michael Fisch in his article “Tokyo’s Commuter Train Suicides and the Society of Emergence” (2013), when he writes that the commuter train network is “on the verge of perpetual ­collapse” (2013, p. 12). The point resonates with the dromology of Virilio in Un Accident I­ntégral (2011), as he increasingly views the accident as an integral functioning of the system, insofar as suicide—the accident of all accidents—is pre-­programmed. It has a built-in excrescence, a necessary accident of the process. In-existence is crystallized and miniaturized through addiction to mobile phones. The veering off-track of commuters has become so widespread and a real, contemporary problem that in 2012, in the Tokyo ­metropolitan area and beyond, railway companies joined together to warn of the dangers of walking on train platforms while using mobile phones or other portable devices. The campaign called Danger, refraining from using mobile phones on the platform, continues to be featured on TV news bulletins and in newspapers and posters in the Tokyo area. Critical of “communication prostheses” like the mobile phone, Virilio’s grey ecology thinks the adverse effects of information and transportation technologies on human consciousness and the increasingly sedentary body. His phenomenology of the body critiques the pollution of time and the shrinking of distances to disclose the effects of virtual technologies on concrete communal and personal relationships. His is a study of the pollution that reduces to nothing the earth’s scale and size. From this dromological perspective, he will say that the political economy of the speed of time has eclipsed space. In this he detects the irrevocable disappearance of the city through the implosion of urban space and the instantaneity of time and speed. The peak of speed is the extermination of space: time is outlandish, belonging to another order of things. The world, hyper-mediated and subject to laws of accelerating capital development, suffers the mental confusion of near and far, present and future. Indeed, for Virilio in The Art of the Motor (1995), what matters is the speed of light and “nothing else” (1995, p. 35). It follows, according to Virilio, that history, the overseer of the extension of territory, is inscribed within real time, in the “live” moment. He goes so far as to say that we are no longer concerned with real space as such. A striking example of this becoming nomadic of the sedentary and the becoming-immobile of the nomad is found in a recent news story about Tom Stuker, a consultant for a car business, who became the first United

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Airlines and United Express customer to fly one million miles in a calendar year (Sharkey, 2012). Constantly on the go, he is also always at a standstill (Virilio, 2001, p. 2). In a similar vein, we find Karl Marx in the Grundrisse of 1857 presciently forecasting the “annihilation of space by time.” Capital strives, on the one hand, so Marx insists, to tear down every barrier and exchange to conquer the whole earth for its markets, and, on the other, to annihilate this space with time (Marx, 1973, p. 539). In Virilio’s language, geopolitics and geostrategy have been co-opted by chronostrategy. Pessimistically, he compares the instantaneity of communication to death-in-itself because instantaneity and ubiquity increasingly replace memory and history. For example, while instantaneity provides contact with people at great distances through email and mobile phones, this tears subjectivity from the life-world. This is the Zerrissenheit of the “I” or the site of the disindividuated self, according to Stiegler’s reworking of Simondon in Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected Individuals (2012). As Virilio’s phenomenology axiomatically necessitates the primacy of subjective experience and its concrete relations to the earth, it follows that technologies of instantaneous interactivity detach the body from habitual experiences of time, space and the lived environment (Virilio, 1998, p. 129)—from the phenomenological world as such. Such technologies “exile” us from ourselves. The human subject is reduced to a recording device of a beholden sensorium, with the human body rendered a mere functioning part in a dominant technological apparatus, a great refrain. Adamantly materialist on this point, Virilio says the body is “a vector of speed,” a “metabolic vehicle” overwhelmed by increased velocity. Speed pulverizes the human sensorium. In City of Panic (2005), Virilio says that deterritorialization effectively erodes and erases people’s sense of place. Transhuman(t), hyperactive commuters, caught in perpetual motion, lose a sense of belonging to any particular locality. The result: the metropolis is unliveable; without place, a non-place or non-lieu (Augé)—or, put in terms of the social anthropology of Anne Allison in her article “Ordinary Refugees,” without ibasho (a place where one feels at home, where you can be yourself). Yet, and seemingly at odds with the remarks of Guattari in terms of the potential of miniaturization processes, Virilio warns of a “twilight of place,” a veritable collapse of the body. With being as such assaulted from the instantaneity of events, in extremis, the body is de-corporealized, torn apart. Critical of the perceived dissolution of the cityscape, and with the advent of the mobile phone, Virilio claims cities are now us. They have become something like a snail-shell on our bodies— no longer “our places” or our homes. In occupying a temporary “place” of residence, pedestrians are intoxicated with acceleration to such an extent that they become “accidental choreographers” of their own lives. On this point, in Speed and Information: Cyberspace Alarm! (2014) Virilio proclaims


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that mankind is heading toward “a fundamental loss of orientation” and “a duplication of sensible reality.” Put another way, the flâneur is torn away from a relation with the immediate environs. And so is the schizo out for a walk. Described as disabled or handicapped, pedestrians fail to see the city and other travelers. The model of this dys-(ex)topian vision is the equipped invalid, the model of the “healthy over-equipped individual” (Conley, 1997, p. 77). Suffering the inertia of immobility, instantaneous interactivity exiles travelers from real space, from contact with fellow commuters. In everyday life, other people are nothing more than impediments. The hyperactive man, dependent on artificial physiological stimulation, a veritable paragon consumer of cognitive capitalism, is situated amid a population of incommunicable sleepwalkers. Cities inhabit and live within us because we are absorbed in audiovisual fantasies. Indeed, echoing photographer Raymond Depardon in Native Land: Stop Eject (2008), Virilio says sedentary people, armed with cell phones or laptops, are at home wherever they go. Equally comfortable in an elevator, plane or high-speed train, they differ from the nomad who is someone never at home anywhere. Transfixed by the spatiotemporal realm of the audiovisible, the wanderer, the flâneur, the voyeur-voyager and the schizo out for a walk suffer a disturbing loss of vision and are blind to anything ahead—myopically adrift from the co-existence of others. Disconnected from the immediate surrounding and neglectful of life around them, solitary, rambling pedestrians are engrossed in the collective imagination of a “far-away land.” This leaves the “I” more and more disindividuated, adrift and transfixed by industrial temporal objects (TV or Pachinko on your mobile phone). The narcissistic “I” is burst asunder, annexed from its immediate vicinity—left alone to endure a solitary inhumanity, to traverse the striated space of control societies. As disconnected pedestrians are deprived of shared encounters, the result is that lonely individuals “desert the immediacy of their surroundings” (Armitage, 2009). For Virilio, the pedestrian “scarcely sees in front of his nose” (Armitage, 2012). Caught in an attractor beam emanating from a hallucinatory utopia of communication technologies, the solitary “I” is at once “object-oriented” and “subject-disoriented.” Weighed down with Walkmans, iPods and/or mobiles—so-called “technologies of separation” (Bull, 2007, p. 28)—subjects “retreat from urban space” by “neutralizing it.” In veering toward “limit acts,” Virilio insists, movement is transformed into its opposite. In moving toward inertia, toward the sterility of movement, acceleration slashes the expanse of the world. This is what we may call the becoming-hikikomori of the hyperactive man—the man who suffers from the exhaustion of modern life (Berardi, 2011). Against the omnipresence of the non-place without past or grounded identity, without history or geography, Virilio is nostalgic for the world’s magnitude and immensity. As he says

Machinic Dopamine Junkies and the (Im)mobile Walk(less)man


in an interview with Armitage (2001, p. 17), “Our embedding in our native soil, that element of hic et nunc (here and now), ‘in situ’ . . . belongs, now, in a certain way, to the past. It has been overtaken by the acceleration of history.” Mourning the loss of the grandeur of movement and distance, when the locomotive body is at a standstill, Virilio offers a perspective similar to the schizoanalysis of Deleuze and Guattari, who address how lines of flights can sometimes turn out badly, as there is a constant danger of “veering toward destruction, toward abolition” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 299). For Virilio (Armitage, 2009), the traveler is led on a trajectory permanently “veering off” track, through a comportment of the body described as a form of disorientated (dépaysement) funambulistic “postural drift,” a disjointed, unbalanced style of walking. To return to the mobile phone, it would seem that such devices tear the user outside of his or her immediate vicinity, leading to a similar “urban displacement.” For Virilio, in Polar Inertia (2001), the Walkman and mobile phones have created a “simultaneity of place,” a virtual omnipresence, that has uprooted the phenomenology of the body from itself so that there is a sense in which we are “closer to what is far away than to what is just beside us” (2001, p. 83). As Virilio says, we are “becoming progressively detached from ourselves.” Intoxicated and addicted to speed, the dromomaniac is the “deserter of the environment” (2001, p. 83). Here Virilio forecasts a world without cities, without sedentarity, “where everything is in flight and escapes.” Life in terra nullius signifies a loss of belonging, a social homelessness. The city as non-place is non-social. Contra the conventional interpretations of the global city and conceptions of networks of global finance capitalism (Sassen, 1991), Virilio finds in the landscape of speed, a “city-world.” In Le Futurisme de l’instant (2009), he describes the nature of acceleration in the “cities of the beyond,” where instantaneity, ubiquity and immediacy of information and communications technologies are based on electromagnetic waves. Cities of the beyond are “meteo-political” and related to the immediacy, ubiquity and instantaneity of information and communications technologies. This for him petrifies subjectivity. Vision becomes cinematic. Other people are obstacles to avoid, to circumvent. We look at the other in disgust when our private space is invaded. Either as an adversary or competitor, the other is someone that “you only encounter once” (Virilio, 2010, p. 98). It is for this reason that the aesthetics of emptiness is found in communion with the mobile phone, in the maddening buzz of Pachinko balls and arcade centers, in the voyeurism of the city mediated by the Walkman. The Walkman as prosthetic, Virilio claims, adds to humdrum reality through a kind of cinematic derealisation. It grants pedestrians the syncretic construction of their own outdoor realities. Videos and Walkmans are reality and appearance in


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kit form, “[they] make us directors of our own reality” (Virilio, 1989, p. 66). Detailing a bleak landscape of events, a kind of ersatz existence, Virilio says in Landscape of Events (2000) that it is through the use of the Walkman that we abandon our fellow man in the immediate life-world in favor of “unknown and distant beings” who remain “aloof, ghosts of no importance who won’t mess up our plans” (2000, p. 62). Considering the refrain, Virilio will say, if there is no interruption in consciousness, the subject will in some way hallucinate images. In walking down the street staring at a screen, the addicted subject suffers an attention disorder to the outside. Without external interruption the subject, experiencing a trance-like state, is unable to extricate himself or herself from the dominant, petrifying refrain. You walk and walk with no reason to raise your head. You circumnavigate the city by watching and dodging the feet of others. As downcast eyes jitteringly survey the clutter of transgressing feet, attention is always elsewhere. As images dominate the sensorium from luminescent screens, the body is pulverized, forced into a kind of polar inertia, a movement without telos or terminus. Machines of mobility are transfigured into machines of inertia—their immobility sustained through the constant bombardment of luminous images, leading to a loss of direction. The attention of the itinerant pedestrian is held by phatic, luminous images exploding from portable piloting devices. For Virilio a phatic image is “a targeted image that forces you to look and holds your attention” (Virilio, 1994, p. 14). The image is the result of “an ever-brighter illumination, of the intensity of its definition, singling out only specific areas, the context mostly disappearing into a blur.” In the “overexposed” city of Tokyo, a metropolis that burns ever brighter, a city described as the embodiment of “the future’s future” by William Gibson, space is dominated by electronic screens. This is the world of wall-to-wall TV: the city as one gigantic gambling casino. The change in the perception of time—with a sense of the disappearance of local or historical time—is consistent with the increasing dominance of the real, instantaneous time of the PC screen—with space dematerialized through information technologies. The overexposed city is captured photographically and spectrally at speed, in transit, on the move, on the mobile—in a constant blur. The morphogenetic form of the city is not architectural as such but symbolic and hyperreal—derived more from the flow of images in permanent states of composition-decomposition. Virilio says that in skirting surfaces of architecture, we decode an “architexture” as architectonic technologies of space are crisscrossed by an “architectronics” of information time. Much as Ray Bradbury does in his dystopic novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), Virilio isolates the vanishing of walls and gateways as technology becomes, increasingly, the true window to the outside world. Urban boundaries and spaces are obliterated to make way for an atopic cyberspace. As in Ridley Scott’s movie Blade Runner, originally

Machinic Dopamine Junkies and the (Im)mobile Walk(less)man


based on the futural atmosphere of Yurakucho in Tokyo, screens function as posters and are incorporated into buildings—animated façades talk and display video. Subjective attention is momentarily drawn away from the mobile screen to these billboards, TV screens, computer and Video Walls. Bowed heads glance as phatic images compete to capture our ever-briefer attention. This “new industrialization of vision” serves a “veritable market of synthetic perception” (Virilio, 1994, p. 59), in which neuroimaging techniques engender “neural excitation.” Blinded by the luminescence of the screen, the subject suffers from “photosensitive inertia,” an inertia that roots it to the spot. This rooting tears us apart. If cities are indeed uninhabitable, more like concentrations of trajectories, what fills the void is the insubstantiality of screen culture. With eyes focused on miniature screens, we can extend Depardon and Virilio’s description of Tokyo in Manhattan Out as the capital of indifference to foreigners to encapsulate the indifference to alterity in general. Denizens resist exposure to alterity. Those who pass through non-places do so by erasing the face of the other, presenting instead a cool exterior and indifference. Others will quickly pass into and out of consciousness. In the photography of Depardon, the voyeur engages in a conspiracy of silence, with eyes watchful and vigilant. There is a hyper-vigilance of the crowd who demand the right not to be interfered with or interrupted. On this reading, amidst the hypercirculation of phatic images, the black hole of deadly refrains emerges. Staring obsessively at luminous screens is a deadly refrain, infused with virtual affects that deterritorialize oneself from the immediate environment. Without interruption, the distinction between work, life and rest collapses: continuous toil and the madhouse awaits! O! Despair! GUATTARI ON JAPAN It is here that Guattari’s ontological cartography becomes essential as it illuminates the trajectories of machinic phyla and explores the existential territories that have become portable and mobile. In Molecular Revolution in Brazil (2008), Guattari makes several observations regarding the advent of portable listening devices. In particular, he discusses the Walkman in relation to music. The Walkman is not “natural” in any conventional sense, he says, but what is important for the schizoanalyst is the invention of musical universes. Forming part of the creative assemblages are new couplings to musical objects or refrains that possess consistency. With respect to personal identity, Guattari’s view is at odds with Virilio’s dromology, because according to him, the unity of identity can be sustained despite the heterogenic diversity of components of subjectivation that pass through the subject. For Guattari,


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as seen in Chaosmosis (1995), a positive function of the refrain is to maintain this existential consistency, because, for schizoanalysis, the question is how to form mutant, molecular nuclei of subjectivation to challenge dominant capitalist forms of subjectivization. In Stieglerian terms, the Walkman can be read as pharmacological because it is what Guattari calls a “techno-aesthetic drug” that can act as an instrument for the subjection of young people to dominant forms of music and technology. This is palpably the case in the frenzy that erupts when new technologies become available on the market or when new pop bands are marketed aggressively—like the many J-pop band sensations in Japan. Yet in Guattarian terms, the Walkman can form part of a machinic agencement to invent hitherto unheard of musical and auditory perceptions. Existential rhythm is a question of modulation: of how modules plug into each other, of what fits, or what helps to form consistency out of the chaosmosis. It is a question of how to use mobile devices, Walkmans, radios and so on, of how to add style to one’s gait, or produce new enunciations that break away from deadening repetitions. In terms of the revolutionary task of social mutation, collective assemblages of enunciation can affirm, stimulate and sustain new subjectivities to desire their own mutation, to desire their own production, reproduction and replication. A case in point would be the Japanese economic boom in the 1980s and 1990s (the bubble), which may be represented as a subjective redeployment of all sorts of ambiguities and reactionary structures. If machinic evolution cannot be read unambiguously, as Guattari seems to argue, one must first of all situate the problem within collective assemblages of enunciation. Communication and information devices produce subjectivities on both a-signifying and affective registers, form new means of expression and engender “new universes of reference.” “Unprecedented” plastic universes offer the (pharmacological) possibility of new modes of living as well as more dead-ends, more of the same from the steamroller of capitalistic subjectivity (Guattari, 1995, p. 91). The Walkman is theoretically situated in terms of a complex assemblage of affect and the engineering of new forms of subjectivity. And Japan for Guattari was a case in point, albeit excrescent. Questioning Japan’s “miracle cocktail” of “collective subjectivity” (Guattari, 2012, p. 13), Guattari finds subjectivity “totally enslaved” by machinic processes with a passion for production among all strata of the workplace—which borders on the Karoshi, or death from overwork—suicide by insanely jumping onto train tracks is seen as one last act of defiance against an insatiable system—with the molar production of subjectivity working in tandem with molecular processes—desire desiring production and repression. In this huge mechanosphere, “a cyclotron” for the production of mutant subjectivities, Guattari, writing more than two decades ago, believed new centers of extraordinary cultural change could appear.

Machinic Dopamine Junkies and the (Im)mobile Walk(less)man


His appraisal of Japan’s future envisaged the possibility of the formation of “mutant subjectivities” to contest the one-dimensional subjectivity of an Americanized Japan. Some years on now, with the economic bubble of the 1990s burst, what does this mean? For Guattari and Stiegler, this might mean the hikikomori or otaku. Indeed, he was critical of several forms of modern Japanese culture—described as the worst forms of mental pollution (manga, Pocket Monsters, Pachinko). Writing in Le Monde in 1991, Guattari also highlighted the psychopathological symptoms and the emergence of groups of people he labeled the “withdrawn clan” (hikikomori) and the clan de mure (the otaku). Guattari continues this point in his Three Ecologies: “We see it today, for example, in the intensive commercial exploitation of scatological comic books aimed at children” (Guattari, 1996b, p. 39). On this reading, machinic processes are seldom futile or innocent, as there is considerable stupidity in Pachinko and video game addiction. Nevertheless, Guattari admits to finding machinic doping or Eros ambiguous—one could say, in Stieglerian terms, pharmacological. Conjugating the monstrously archaic—such as the animist powers inherited from Japanese feudalism—and the machinic powers of modernity, Guattari was fascinated by the machinic madness of the Japanese. He notes: Overdriven Japanese youths commit suicide upon completing high school; yes, millions of guys practice their golf swings in unison in concrete parking lots at 6 a.m. yes, young workers live in dormitories and give up their vacations. . . . They are machine-nuts. And yet, in Japan, there is a kind of democracy of desire that extends into business. (Guattari, 2009, p. 159)

Interested in the ways in which the construction of assemblages liberates or thwarts the production of the unconscious, schizoanalysis is focused on probing how subjectivity is effectively torn in different directions, how it is reconstituted. It asks how the refrain can aid existential consistency or lead to destructive behavior. It asks how, in Japan, a prototypical s­ ingularity machine, can there be so many people addicted to machines and crazy for a “machinic buzz.” The answer for Guattari is situated at the level of the m ­ echanospheric: it is a matter of producing refrains creatively or d­ estructively. And this brings us back to the Walkman again. As he says, Japanese society sustains itself through the proliferation and disorder of machines. In his article “Japan’s Lost Generation,” writer Ryu Murakami says much the same as he finds the otaku tied to a disastrous existential refrain, slumped in front of screens—bound to a “funk” that can last for months. Similar warnings are present throughout Deleuze and Guattari’s corpus. In a discussion of André Gorz’s work in particular, they cite the nuclear engineer, who returns home in the evening and rediscovers his little desiring-machines by tinkering with a television set (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 236). Elsewhere Guattari writes: “The person


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who comes home exhausted, spent after a draining day, who automatically turns on his television, evidences another personal reterritorialization by totally artificial means” (Guattari, 2009, pp. 101–105). We find a similar criticism in Lazzarato’s article “The Machine” in relation to the deadly refrain of TV watching. He writes: “The television-machine also acts as a device of machinic enslavement by investing the basic functionality of perceptual, sensory, affective, cognitive and linguistic behaviours, and so can work on the most fundamental impulses of human activity and of life itself.” Given his abiding interest in Asia, Guattari’s analysis of the emergence of capitalist subjectivities in Japan remains timely. It is clear that his schizoanalysis is onto something in noting the problems in the void produced in a mass-mediatized and a deformed subjectless subjectivity. For example, he says that cultural life and practices particular to Japan—for example, the etiquette of social relations, the language of the face—are “perfectly integrated” into the process of production of capitalism. This is a point raised by Žižek in For a Leftist Appropriation of the European Legacy, as he discusses the essential integration of traditional cultural practices and ethics with lightning-fast market operations in Asian cities like Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Opposed to the mass media’s “infantalizing” subjectivity, and to what he termed the will to “neuroleptize subjectivity” (1996, p. 215)—to make subjectivity treatable by anti-psychotic drugs—Guattari questioned how the textuality of machinic ontology decenters the subject with a sustainable existential consistency or tears it apart. Writing in the 1980s and early 1990s, Guattari described childhood in Japan as a “torture” given the state of “insolvency” in the education system. Endemic institutional problems have led to disturbing instances of nervous breakdown, suicide and aggression toward teachers. Guattari railed against such a system that forced children to work under an unyielding discipline without concern for their affective problems, their social relations and creativity, their refrains with consistency. Without concern for these problems, hyper-alienation ensues. In Chaosmosis, he speaks of the relationship between desire and existential rhythm. It is in the resingularization of existential rhythm that one finds new ways of breathing, striding, speaking, gesturing and synchronizing oneself with the world. Again this is found in the schizophrenic’s relation to the outside. At odds with Virilio, Guattari claims that the miniaturization of consumer electronics can equip individuals with devices to manage perceptions. In The Three Ecologies, there is enthusiasm for the transformation of the mass media, miniaturization processes, the lowering of cost and the resultant possibility of using them for non-capitalistic ends (1996b, p. 65). Yet Guattari warns that the “age of planetary computerization” (1996b, p. 103) is accelerating headlong into an era of “monstrous reinforcement of earlier systems of

Machinic Dopamine Junkies and the (Im)mobile Walk(less)man


alienation, an oppressive mass-media culture and an infantalizing politics of consensus” (1996b, p. 50). Critical of the acceleration of the rhythm of production, technology and daily life, and wary of the “vicious subjugation of life, wealth, and pleasure to the financial abstraction of semiocapital,” Berardi, in The Future After the End of the Economy, isolates patterns of psychopathologies— waves of fear, insecurity and panic—and claims that 1977 (somewhat idiosyncratically perhaps) was a turning point in the history of modernity. It was at this time that the passage to the post-human appeared without mediation in Japan, as an “unexplainable monstrosity” that quickly became an everyday, prevalent form of collective existence. Japan was blighted by a disturbing increase in incomprehensible mass youth suicide. In that year, Berardi explains, a spate of suicides by primary school children arose primarily from affective disorders engendered by the “inhuman” acceleration of productive and existential rhythms of daily life. Berardi claims that suicide is the pathology of the psychosocial system, with despair “the prevalent way of thinking about the future” (Berardi, 2009, p. 82). He explains suicide through the mind’s reduction to productivity and “the mutation of the cognitive and psycho-social system” (2009, p. 129). The collective psyche suffers from competitive stress, which in turn fosters depression, panic and aggression. Deterministically, it is the nature of our fanatically economic and competitive society that the behavior of the stock exchange or the markets can spark euphoria, panic or depression. This is consistent with Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of deterritorialization. While bemoaning the loss of an intact “organic” mooring, Berardi envisions the possibility of passing from a relationship of mere abstract conjunction between people to one of connection and conjugation. His social critique of runaway pathologies asks how to escape what he sees as widespread exhaustion and despair. In terms of the mobile phone and semiocapital, Berardi argues that the mobile phone is a tool appendage that connects the needs of semiocapital and “the mobilization of the living labor of cyberspace” (Berardi, 2009, p. 33). In After the Future (2011), Berardi claims that the ringtone of the mobile phone calls workers to “reconnect their abstract time to the reticular flux.” Noting the deleterious affective effects of technological addiction, which include psychopathological types of panic, Berardi picks up on the issue of cognitive overload, writing: Individuals are not in a position to consciously process the immense and always growing mass of information that enters their computers, their cell phones, their television screens, their electronic diaries and their heads. (Berardi, 2011, p. 41)


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Elsewhere, Jodi Dean in Blog Theory argues that ceaseless, digital communication addiction locks individuals into compulsive, repetitive loops, which repress the futility of the process. And as Mark Fisher has argued in Capitalist Realism (2009), digital technologies are communicative parasites that destroy other enjoyments. In our fanatically competitive society the body works around the clock to make ends meet. In Félix Guattari: Thought, Friendship and Visionary Cartography (2008), Berardi explains that the constant mobilization of energies produces a kind of “paralysis of the erotic body” (2008, p. 28). The result is a cooling down of social relations. De-eroticized, people are increasingly transformed into functional relations. Berardi’s antidote to the stifling repressions of the everyday and the psychopathology of functional relations (Berardi, 2009, p. 37) echoes Deleuze and Guattari, who suggest that friendship, as a way of repelling depression, helps to develop a common existential rhythm, a common refrain or ritournelle that possesses a consistency to stave off the oppressive effects of abstract, semiotic operators (2009, p. 126). Wistfully perhaps, Berardi calls for the creation of new “social zones of human resistance” (2011, p. 120) to restore a sense of hope in the present and the future. A CONTRARY VIEW Joining the debate, with his do-it-yourself guide to re-interpreting the nonrelation to the other, Žižek views being-at-a-distance at the core of the very social texture of everyday life. As he says: Even if I live side by side with others, in my normal state I ignore them. I am allowed not to get too close to others. I move in a social space where I interact with others obeying certain external “mechanical” rules, without sharing their inner world. (2008, p. 51)

Žižek argues that alienation is not necessarily a problem but even a solution: “a dose of alienation is indispensable for peaceful coexistence.” For internal to the notion of multiculturalist tolerance is a violent “intolerance” to every proximity of the other’s enjoyment. Tolerance of the other signifies: leave me alone, I don’t want to be disturbed too much by you. Much of this idea can be found in Richard Sennett’s work. He argues that one carries the sense that strangers have no right to speak to each other, that each individual possesses “a public right to an invisible shield, a right to be left alone” (Sennett, 1974, p. 27). Alterity becomes tolerable if the other’s presence proves meddlesome, which is to say that the other seeks to divest itself of otherness—the other intrudes. Conversely, toleration toward the other signifies that one should not intrude into his/her space. I should respect the other’s vigilant gaze, the

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other’s intolerance toward my over-proximity. Žižek goes so far as to discern a “human right” in late-capitalist society, a right not to be harassed, a right to be kept at a safe distance from others. In the interview titled “Japan through a Slovenian Looking Glass,” comparing cities in the East and West, Žižek finds in Japan an “art of ignoring” the other. He conveys how he finds little pressure and stress in being packed close to each other on trains and subways. In Japan, he discerns an art of ignoring, which is conspicuously absent on the New York subway. In New York, he remarks, “even when it’s half full, you would have this horrifying experience of the absolute proximity of the Other.” CONCLUSION Yet isn’t there also a kind of looking, an art of seeing surreptitiously? This is found in the photography of Momoko Allard. Allard says of her work that she aimed to capture the muted atmosphere created by crowds of lone travelers subdued by the day’s exhaustion and characteristic of Tokyo-style indifference. If hell is the too-close presence of others, she captures the way commuters look at strangers in close proximity as a sign that he or she has impudently interrupted their quiet repose. In her photography exhibition “Solitary Crowding” (2004–2009), Allard expresses a feeling of numbness and repressed time in Tokyo commuter trains at night. The window of the commuting train is the screen for witnessing life in acceleration. From Guattari’s ethico-aesthetic perspective, we see that the refrain can become neurotic, a mode of entrapment, impoverishment and catastrophe. It can take on reactive religious references or annihilate itself in alcohol, drugs, Pachinko, TV, video games, or endless daily toil. However, it can also make use of other procedures that are more collective, social or political. It has been argued that the Walkman is a heuristic tool to think through the notion of desublimation or the “flattening” of affective subjectivity by accelerating machinic processes, which engineer “pulp” subjectivity. Its deleterious effects have raised the question of why such dreary, flattened subjectivities and bodies are repeatedly turned to pulp. It appears timely therefore to question the apparent cracking up of disaffected youth through addiction to portable communication devices. The notion of tearing in this chapter has been used to rethink the risks involved in the brutal deterritorialization of the self through addiction, obsession and the fetishism of technology. Critique of the Walkman and other industrial temporal objects is the start of an ethics of sorts. When combined with Guattari’s triadic ecology of the virtual, the grey ecology of Virilio—which calls for a new ethics of perception, a new ecology of ideas and images, a noology of sorts—and Stiegler’s industrial ecology of the spirit, such critique might just be the


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beginning of the end of the intolerable. It seems right therefore to write against the “postural drift” toward non-communication, alienation, misery, exhaustion, and suicide. It is also important to update Guattari’s analysis of Japan. A contemporary schizoanalysis of Japan ought to focus on the mental woes currently assailing Japan’s youth—cracking up (kireru), bullying (iijime), social withdrawal (hikikomori), the life of otaku and drastic economic problems faced by freeters and NEETs. It is hoped that this chapter itself is a contribution to the schizoanalysis of Japan. Not to consider such matters would fall prey to, and would condone the deadening spirit of our times.

REFERENCES Allison, A. (2012). Ordinary Refugees: Social Precarity and Soul in 21st Century Japan. Anthropological Quarterly, 2(85), 345–370. Armitage, J. (2009). In the Cities of the Beyond: An Interview with Paul Virilio. Open: Cahier on Art and the Public Domain, 18. Armitage, J. (2012). Virilio and the Media. Polity. Augé, M. (1995). Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity (J. Howe, Trans.). Verso. Berardi, F. (2008). Félix Guattari: Thought, Friendship and Visionary Cartography (G. Mecchia & C. J. Stivale, Trans.). Palgrave Macmillan. Berardi, F. (2009). Precarious Rhapsody: Semiocapitalism and the Pathologies of the Post-Alpha Generation (E. Empson & S. Shukaitis, Ed; A. Bove, E. Empson, M. Goddard, G. Mecchia, A. Schintu & S. Wright, Trans.). Minor Compositions. Berardi, F. (2011a). The Future After the End of the Economy. eflux, 30. https://www​ .e​-flux​.com​/journal​/30​/68135​/the​-future​-after​-the​-end​-of​-the​-economy/ Berardi, F. (2011b). After the Future (G. Genosko & N. Thoburn, Eds; A. Bove, M. Cooper, E. Empson, Enrico, G. Mecchia & T. Terranova, Trans.). AK Publishing. Bull, M. (2007). Sound Moves: Ipod Culture and Urban Experience. Routledge. Chambers, I. (1993). Migrancy, Culture, Identity. Routledge. Conley, V. A. (1997). Ecopolitics: The Environment in Poststructuralist Thought. Routledge. Dean, J. (2010). Blog Theory: Feedback and Capture in the Circuits of Drive. Polity. Deleuze, G. (1997). Essays Critical and Clinical (D. W. Smith & M. A. Greco, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983).  Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia  (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1972) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).  A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1980)

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Depardon, R. (2008). Native Land: Stop Eject. Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. Depardon, R., & Virilio, P. (2008). Manhattan Out. Steidl. Fisch, M. (2013). Tokyo’s Commuter Train Suicides and the Society of Emergence. Cultural Anthropology, 28(2), 320–343. Fisher, M. (2009). Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?. Zero Books. Fuller, M., & Malina, R. F. (2005). Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture. MIT Press. Guattari, F. (1991). Pour une ethique des medias. Le Monde, 2. Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (1996a). The Guattari Reader (G. Genosko, Ed.). Blackwell Publishing. Guattari, F. (1996b). The Three Ecologies (I. Pindar & P. Sutton, Trans.). Athlone. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F. (2009). Soft Subversions: Texts and Interviews 1977–1985 (S. Lotringer, Ed; C. Wiener & E. Wittman, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Guattari, F. (2012). Schizoanalytic Cartographies (A. Goffey, Trans.). Bloomsbury. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F., & Rolnik, S. (2007). Molecular Revolution in Brazil (K. Clapshow & B. Holmes, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Kogawa, T. (August 5, 2001). Mobile Phone and Electro-individualism in Japan. https://anarchy​.translocal​.jp​/non​-japanese​/20010801chiara​_Ilsole24ore​.html Lazzarato, M. (2006). The Machine (M. O’Neill, Trans.). Machines and Subjectivation. http://eipcp​.net​/transversal​/1106​/lazzarato​/en Lecercle, J.-J. (2002). Deleuze and Language. Palgrave Macmillan. Marx, K. (1973). Grundisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (M. Nicolaus, Trans.). Penguin. (Original work published 1939) Murakami, R. (May 1, 2000). Japan’s Lost Generation. Asia Now. http://www​.time​ .com​/time​/asia​/magazine​/2000​/0501​/japan​.essaymurakami​.html Oe, K. (1994). Teach Us How to Outgrow Our Madness (J. Nathan, Trans.). Serpent’s Tail. Saito, T. (2003). Hikikomori bunkaron. Hatsubaimoto Kinokuniya Shoten. Sassen, S. (1991). The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Princeton University Press. Sennett, R. (1974). The Fall of Public Man. Cambridge University Press. Sharkey, J. (December 17, 2012). United’s Top Flier of 2012 has Eye on Global Title. New York Times. http://www​.nytimes​.com​/2012​/12​/18​/business​/meet​-tom​-stuker​ -unitu ni​-million​-mile​-flier​-of​-201​2​.html Stiegler, B. (2009). Acting Out (D. Barison & D. Ross, Trans.). Stanford University Press. Stiegler, B. (2012). Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected Individuals (D. Ross, Trans.). Polity. Virilio, P. (1989). War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception (P. Camiller, Trans.). Verso. Virilio, P. (1993). L’insécurité Du Territoire: Essai. Galilée.


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Virilio, P. (1994). The Vision Machine (J. Rose, Trans.). Indiana University Press. Virilio, P. (March 18, 1995). Speed and Information: Cyberspace Alarm!. Ctheory, 18(3), 8–27. Virilio, P. (1995). The Art of the Motor (J. Rose, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. Virilio, P. (1998). The Virilio Reader (J. Der Derian, Ed.). Blackwell Publishing. Virilio, P. (2000a). Polar Inertia (P. Camiller, Trans.). Sage. (Original work published 1992) Virilio, P. (2000b). A Landscape of Events (J. Rose, Trans.). MIT Press. (Original work published 1996) Virilio, P. (2001). Virilio Live: Selected Interviews (J. Armitage, Ed.). Sage. Virilio, P. (2007). City of Panic (J. Rose, Trans.). Berg. (Original work published 2004) Virilio, P. (2009). Le futurisme de l’instant: stop-eject. Galilée. Virilio, P. (2010). The University of Disaster (J. Rose, Trans.). Polity. (Original work published 2008) Virilio, P. (2011). Un accident intégral. Galilée. Wilson, S. (2010). Braindance of the Hikikomori: Towards a Return to Speculative Psychoanalysis. Paragraph, 33(3), 392–409. Wolfson, L. (1970). Le schizo et les langues. Gallimard. Yomiuri Shimbun (July 24, 2010). Seven hundred thousand hikikomori. Žižek, S. (June 20, 1995). Japan through a Slovenian Looking Glass: Reflections of Media and Politic and Cinema. InterCommunication. http://www​.ntticc​.or​.jp​/pub​/ ic​_mag​/ic014​/zizek​/zizek​_e​.html Zizek, S. (February, 1998). For a Leftist Appropriation of the European Legacy. Journal of Political Ideologies, 3(1), 63–79. Zizek, S. (2008). Violence: Six Sideways Reflections. Picador.

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Schizoanalysis of Pokémon Go

This is a contribution to what I am designating applied Guattari studies builds on previous research on the fourth ecology of the media. It is aided by the suggestion of an interological turn in media studies. My argument is that as an essential component of Guattari’s ecosophy, media is vital to the understanding of not only virtual worlds and augmented realities but also the reality of machinic enslavement, mental pollution and the prevalent saturation of images in our lives. The concept of machinic animism is applied to contemporary social phenomena to eke out points of escape, deterritorialization or rupture, as well as points of capture, reterritorialization and control. I demonstrate this with a focus on the augmented reality game Pokémon Go, to argue that a more nuanced and critical treatment of “animism” is needed. To show this, the first part of this disquisition sets out the contours of the fourth ecology of the media. The second part adopts a Guattarian approach to Pokémon Go. The cybernetic revolution, the famous “third wave” that promised to liberate us, often seems to be synonymous with poverty for the most deprived and intellectual indigence for the most privileged. (Châtelet & Mackay, 2014, p. 149)

In response to the critical spirit found in the above quotation, this contribution to an applied Guattari studies of cognitive capitalism builds on previous research on the fourth ecology of the media (Bradley, 2018; Ueno, 2016; Zhang, 2016). It is aided by the suggestion of an interological turn in media studies (Zhang, 2016). My argument is that as an essential component of Guattari’s ecosophy, media is vital to the understanding of not only virtual worlds and augmented realities but also the reality of machinic enslavement, mental pollution and the saturation of images in our lives. The concept of machinic animism (Lazzarato & Jordan, 2014; Melitopoulos & Lazzarato, 143


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2012; Ramey, 2012) is invoked and applied to contemporary social phenomena to eke out points of escape, deterritorialization or rupture, as well as points of capture, reterritorialization and control. I demonstrate this archaeologically, under the nose as it were, with a focus on the ephemeral fad of Pokémon Go, the online app and augmented reality game which involves finding virtual, fragile, elusive monsters in real-world milieu. I argue that a more nuanced and critical treatment of “animism” is needed if we are to comprehend new semiotic arrangements of perception and affect. To show this, the first part of this disquisition sets out the contours of the fourth ecology of the media. The second part adopts a Guattarian approach to Pokémon Go, animism and augmented reality (AR).

PART 1: FROM THIRD TO FOURTH ECOLOGY How the ecology of media (the fourth ecology) is interfacing with, affecting, and redefining the environmental, social, and mental ecologies is a pressing issue in our age. The interality between these ecologies is an interality of a higher order. (Zhang, 2015, p. 63)

With concepts drawn from what we might term ecosophy 4.0 and acting as a prolegomena to identifying the production and crisis of subjectivity in the contemporary moment, a schizoanalytic map of mobile media is set out to address critically the limits of research on the so-called third digital revolution (Web 3.0). Principally, this is to extend the three ecologies thesis (explicating environmental, social and mental ecologies) of Félix Guattari using the iterations of a fourth ecology proposed by Japanese philosopher Toshiya Ueno (2016) and media philosopher Peter Zhang (2015, 2016; Zhang & McLuhan, 2016). Differentiating these perspectives from the integral “fourth” ecology of Brazilian philosopher Leonardo Boff (2001) and the transversal, ecosophical phenomenology of Korean-American philosopher Hwa Yol Jung (2011), the overall aim is to question the Guattarian-inflected sense of techno-animism or machinic animism (Jensen & Blok, 2013; Melitopoulos & Lazzarato, 2012; Packer & Wiley, 2012). It is found that it is Guattari (1995, 1996, 2000, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016; Guattari & Rolnik, 2008) who is the theoretical precursor of a fourth ecology of the media, especially given his examination and critique of passive modes of subjectivity, mass media pollution, and the control and manipulation of what we might call mobile desire in advanced industrial societies.

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MENTAL ECOLOGY Here let me explain briefly the role of mental ecology in Guattari’s ecosophy of dynamic flux. Alongside the environment or Nature proper, we have social ecology, which I take to mean relationships between men and women, adults and children, able-bodied and disabled people, the domination of one group by another and so on. Interrelated with this is mental ecology, the idea which is concerned with the mental ecology of ideas, good or bad. Gregory Bateson (2000) and his ecology of “bad ideas” is of course significant in this context. In the contemporary moment, mental ecology pertains to the distinct way in which mental life is affected by internet use, gaming, pornography, smartphone addiction, the gig economy, the production of subjectivity as selfie-culture and narcissism, GPS tracking devices, and indeed ephemeral fads like Pokémon Go and live streaming (Bradley, 2018)—algorithmic life in all of its insidious articulations. Such ephemeral realities necessitate the extension and reapplication of Guattari’s three ecologies to understand the increasingly precarious lives of young people and how micro-technologies are affecting the mental life of many people across the globe, exemplified for example in the global phenomena of shut-ins—severe social withdrawal or hikikomori (Furuhashi, 2012; Harding, 2018; Horiguchi, 2014; Saitō, 2005; Wong et al., 2017). The concepts of interality (間 性), schizoanalysis and transversality are important tools here in the critique of new processes of collective subjectivation, which is to say, how one becomes a subject. On the importance of transversality, Guattari writes: “In order to comprehend the interactions between ecosystems, the mechanosphere and the social and individual Universes of reference, we must learn to think ‘transversally’” (2000, p. 3). However, the picture of the contemporary world is incomplete if we do not highlight the importance of emergent media formations. It is right to look, as Peter Zhang does (2015, 2016; Zhang & McLuhan 2016) at how the ecology of the media—what we are designating the fourth ecology—is interfacing with, affecting and redefining the environmental, social and mental ecologies. For Zhang this is a contemporary and pressing issue. For him, it is the interality between these ecologies which must be stressed. Zhang responds to the question of how to think transversely about these relations by invoking the notion of interality. He writes: “Given how far humanity has overreached itself, the human condition is now totally over-determined by this fourth ecology (after Guattari’s environmental, social, and mental ecologies). The interality between humanity and technology is necessarily one of the most pressing ethical problematics today” (Zhang, private communication).


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INTEGRAL ECOLOGY The radical nature of Guattari’s ethico-aesthetic project must be distinguished from attempts to combine Eastern philosophies and Western philosophy into new forms of pacifism. This has been undertaken in the integral ecology of Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian philosopher and theologian who constructs an ecological vision with concerns about the environment, social ecology (democracy, violence, consumerism and so on), as well as deep ecology. It is argued by advocates that as deep ecology investigates the origins of the ecological crisis through an engagement with peace and social justice, ethical praxis is correlative to spiritual transformation, that is, to a root and branch change in attitude, belief and way of being in the world. This can be construed as a fourth spiritual ecology. However, deep ecology’s embrace of the One is not at all present in Guattari’s work. While Boff searches for a new vision of the earth, Guattari is not offering a planetary ecological vision in this respect, that is, opposition to the colonization of the earth through another one-dimensional planetary ontology. Boff’s integral ecology presents a totalizing transcendent vision as it combines Nature, the social and psychical with spiritual or cosmological dimensions. For Japanese philosopher Toshiya Ueno this is clearly at odds with Guattari’s insistence upon atheist and materialist immanence. Indeed, Ueno writes: “Ecosophy cannot embrace the ideal of a horizontal, mutual-helping solidarity of equals and must instead ground itself into a fragile, temporary, and vanishing relationship marked by double turning of absolute betrayal. Guattari’s ecosophy is not a philosophy of planetary civilization” (Thouny, 2017, p. 161). In his Francis of Rome and the Ecology of Saint Francis of Assisi (2013), Boff seeks to find harmony in the array of different ecologies including Guattari’s but admits to uncertainty as to how to proceed: “External violence is a sign of turbulence in our interior ecology, and vice versa. We do not know how to harmonize the ecologies described by Pierre-Félix Guattari and by myself: the environmental, social, mental and integral ecology.” Although he calls for a “new vision of the earth” following Pope Francis, Boff is equally aware of the difficultly in unifying different ecologies belonging to different traditions and eliminating the problem of violence. Indeed, the Pope writes in the Encyclical Letter ‘Laudato Si’: On the Care of Our Common Home (2015) that integral ecology is a means to break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness: “An integral ecology includes taking time to recover a serene harmony with creation, reflecting on our lifestyle and our ideals, and contemplating the Creator who lives among us and surrounds us. . . . An integral ecology is also made up of simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness.” However, Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophical materialism (1983, 1987, 1994) is very

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much concerned with thinking the philosophy of nature immanently, that is affirming this earth as such rather than taking a perspective of someone like Boff who is trying to get beyond the earth itself in his kind of transcendental cosmology. For Deleuze and Guattari, atheism is the philosopher’s serenity and achievement (1994, p. 92). A more critical aspect of the fourth ecology of media is therefore less focused on this cosmological or mystical aspect and more on the mental ecologies or mental pollution that one finds in abundance in the media—both molar and micro. This critical dimension is concerned with the effects of technology and the internet on young people and what is being done to the brain. What needs to be said here is that this is not necessarily a moral or conservative position because, following Bernard Stiegler (2018), it is rather a position which is trying to spell out the consequences of technological use; for example, the deleterious effects of the internet since it became widespread and available in the early 1990s. This view also questions the perceived passivity of deep ecology which is seen as failing to address the underlying social ecological problems, largely driven by global capitalism, at the heart of the current ecological crisis.

COMPLICITY IN THE PRODUCTION OF SIGNS Many writers continue to question how capitalism successfully internalizes in people the desire for the incessant production of subjectivity. Put another way, they probe how our current mode of globalization forces or entices people to participate in the production of signs, symbols and knowledge; in cognitive labor as such. They ask: how are we co-opted to engage in, to selfconsciously engage in, the very production of subjectivity? Michael Peters, a philosopher of education, picks up on the question of transversality and the production of subjectivity in Guattari’s work and especially the critique of integrated world capitalism. He writes of Guattari’s idea of a fourth stage of capitalism: His object of criticism is what he calls Integrated World Capitalism (IWC) that, through a series of technoscientific transformations, has brought us to the brink of ecological disaster, causing a disequilibrium of the world natural environment from which the Earth will take many generations to recover, if at all. Integrated World Capitalism, as Pindar and Sutton explain . . . is “delocalized and deterritorialized to such an extent that it is impossible to locate its sources of power.” IWC is now, above all, a fourth-stage capitalism, no longer oriented to producing primary (agricultural), secondary (manufacturing), or tertiary (services), but now oriented to the production of “signs, syntax, and . . . subjectivity.” (Porter, Mackenzie & Dillet, 2014, p. 77)


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Meanwhile, Graham Harman, an American philosopher with connections to object-oriented ontology, discusses the prospect of a fourth-generation metaphysics, a philosophy that must catch up with technological innovation and acceleration. Though writing on Paul Virilio’s apocalyptic vision, Harman is primarily interested in the non-correlationism and speculative realism of Quentin Meillassoux and the rethinking of the non-correlated object. He writes: The history of philosophy might conceivably limp several decades behind military history. Third-generation maneuver warfare is still being taught in military academies even as a new reality begins to overshadow it. Philosophy is even further behind, since second-generation correlationism remains so dominant that the third-generation thinkers . . . are not even recognized as a coherent school, despite their shared affinity for rhizomes, networks, pulsions, fluxes, affiliations, and their lack of respect for perilous epistemological leaps between human and world. What, then, would a fourth-generation philosophy look like? How close are we to seeing the outlines of a fourth-generation metaphysics? (Demenchonok, 2010, pp. 156–157)

What is interesting about such third- and fourth-generation thinkers is that they are questioning the link, the boundary and the limit of the human and natural world, which is an interest shared by interality studies. Again, a fourth ecology of the media then must remain committed to the analysis of the production of subjectivity. And it is capitalism which is concerned with the production of subjectivity as such. The question of transversal understanding then pertains to what a fourth-generation philosophy or fourth ecology of the media might look like against a backdrop of integrated world capitalism. And to slightly rephrase Harman’s question, are we close to seeing the outlines of a fourth ecology of the media? HWA YOL JUNG At first glance, Hwa Yol Jung is a thinker who appears to have much to offer a fourth ecology of the media. The Korean-American philosopher has been writing consistently on phenomenology and transversal modes of thinking for nearly 50 years (1997, 2002, 2009, 2011, 2014; Park & Jung, 2010) and has much to contribute to interality studies because he explores a multiplicity of sources, from Japanese Buddhism and Vietnamese Buddhism, to Western metaphysics and philosophy (Bacon, Maritain, Vico). In his extensive oeuvre one can find treatises on Merleau-Ponty, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Deleuze and Guattari, Husserl and other Western thinkers, to Watsuji Tetsurō, Wangyang Ming, Mao Tse-tung in Eastern thought. Yet, for Hwa Yol Jung

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the East-West dichotomy is a false one. As a thinker interested in questions of transversality and the sense of interbeing derived from Vietnamese Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, his sense of interbeing clearly connects with ideas of the rhizome, intermezzo and intermonde picked up by Deleuze and Guattari and Paul Klee. This is important because this issue returns us to the question of animism and who or what can access or hallucinate so-called spiritual worlds. Paul Klee will say it is children, the mad and primitives who have access to this interkingdom. This requires a particular mode of comportment to the world. Paul Klee writes of the profundity of this “power of seeing”: I overstep neither the picture’s nor the composition's limits. But I do stretch its content by introducing into the picture new subject matter—or rather, not so much new as barely glimpsed subject matter. Obviously this subject matter, like any other, maintains its ties to the natural world. By natural world I am not referring to nature’s appearance (as naturalism would) but to the sphere of its possibilities: this content produces images of nature's potentiality . . . I often say . . . that worlds have come into being and continuously unfold before our eyes—worlds which despite their connection to nature are not visible to everybody, but may in fact only be so to children, the mad and the primitives. I have in mind the realm of the unborn and the already dead which one day might fulfill its promise, but which then again might not—an intermediate world, an interworld. To my eyes, at least, an interworld; I name it so because I detect its existence between those exterior worlds to which our senses are attuned, while at the same time I can introject it enough to be able to project it outside of myself as symbol. It is by following this course that children, the mad, and the primitive peoples have remained faithful to—have discovered again—the power of seeing. (Lyotard, 2011, p. 231)

VIRTUAL ECOLOGY It is thus evident that animism is an essential sphere of interest for media ecology studies. One finds more and more examples in the literature. For example, animism is reconsidered in Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s (2017) and Philippe Descola’s respective anthropologies (see Kuper, 2006), in Achille Mbembe’s work on African philosophy and animism (2008; Mbembe & Dubois, 2017), in Isabelle Stengers’ work (2012), and the many others who draw on Deleuze and Guattari to redefine the notion of animism. One of them is Brazilian philosopher Peter Pál Pelbart (2014, 2015) who has also developed a unique theory of nonhuman subjectivities, proto-subjectivities or infra-subjectivities which draws not only on Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy but also anthropological and psychoanalytical research. Going forward, these thinkers are essential for interality studies and the study of the fourth ecology as they


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explore a particular interworld excluded by traditional dualistic thinking. It is indeed true that the topic also fascinated Guattari, who studied the Capoeira (music-dance-sport-play activity) and the Candomblé (a hybrid African religion practiced in Brazil), and held a certain view on Japanese animism and the Shinto religion. On this point, it seems clear that a fourth ecology of the media cannot but remain a robust critique of the flattening of subjectivity. This is to say a fourth ecology of the media must be protective of those precarious subjectivities crushed by the powerful organs of the mass media, by advertising, by the collective apparatus that produces the subject like cars, shoes, mobile phones and so on, to paraphrase Guattari. In this respect a fourth ecology of the media is a philosophy of virtual ecology, which is to say, concerned with Nature qua machinic assemblage, concerned with music, cinema, media, art and so on and how these formats interact with other ecologies. In this way, a fourth ecology of the media affords a way to think transversally and interalogically about the mental pollution disseminated by the mass media. ON THE POSSIBILITY OF A FOURTH ECOLOGY OF THE MEDIA I am more inclined . . . to propose a model of the unconscious akin to that of a Mexican Cuandero or of a Bororo, starting with the idea that spirits populate things, landscapes, groups, and that there are all sorts of becomings, of haecceities everywhere and thus, a sort of objective subjectivity, if I may, which finds itself bundled together, broken apart, and shuffled at the whims of assemblages. The best unveiling among them would be found, obviously, in archaic thought. (Guattari, as quoted in Melitopoulos & Lazzarato, 2012, p. 240)

Thus far, a distinction between several paradigms of thought has been made to better understand how a fourth ecology is tied to the notion of interality and the notion of the in-between. By contrasting the social ecologies of Guattari, the integral ecology of Boff, the phenomenology of Hwa Yol Jung and the Guattarianinflected “quadruple ecology” of Ueno, the main argument of this section has been to consider interality as a means to access the intermundia of the world (as articulated in Klee, Lyotard, Deleuze and Guattari). It is argued that interality is the fecund prism through which to refocus thought on these differences. A fourth ecology thesis aims to take into account new technological realities and to provide a theoretical underpinning for how we might make sense of the rapid changes in societies across the planet. In the context of media studies, a fourth ecology thesis is invoked to account for how changes in communication technologies create opportunities for vampiric, info-semio forms of capitalism to extract “the surplus value of life itself.” The project of a fourth ecology of the

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media is to speculate on how media ecologies can foster a sense of something other, a becoming other, a way to create the world afresh, which is to say, a world severed from the stinking, everyday immonde (unworld) of the overly mediated present. Yet in developing a form of applied Guattari studies, the goal is not only some dry and abstract exegesis of Guattari’s oeuvre but to use Guattari’s concepts to rethink contemporary social phenomena. It is important to use the rich array of concepts in Guattari’s work to analyze the present world and the experience of everyday life within it. It seems essential to question how an obsessive work ethic, isolation, depression, burnout (Han & Butler, 2015), endemic indifference and a certain sense of infantilism are escalating out of control. The argument running throughout this treatise makes the case for a critique of what we might call the Deleuze-One assemblage. This means that what a fourth ecology of the media cannot be is a mere form of integral ecology like the one proffered by Boff. The fourth ecology then is a timely concept to account for new technological realities and to provide a theoretical underpinning for how we might discern something beyond exploitation, voyeurism and exhibitionism, narcissism and psychical illness, which are realities disseminated more and more through molar, semiotic apparatuses. Schizoanalysis, transversality and the fourth ecology are thus crucial theoretical tools for determining the nature and politics of media ecological enslavement, the mechanisms of social control and “the normalization of collective labor power” (Guattari, 2011, p. 89). PART 2: ON THE POSSIBILITY OF COUNTER-MOBILIZATION We are no longer the only actants in the cosmos—protosubjectivities swarm everywhere, and even what seemed a mere object of techno-scientific manipulation, such as nature itself, leaps onto the stage, claiming its own means of expression. (Pelbart, in Beltrán, Enguita, Esche & Eilat, 2014)

This section looks at the “logistics of perception” of augmented reality (AR), media technologies, ephemeral fads or memes. To speak in and with multiple Francophone tongues, Deleuzian, Virilian and Baudrillarian, we shall ask to what degree can the current iterations of mass media allow for “creative, affirmative, counter-mobilization,” which is to say, an escape route from estrangement with the real. Or as Genosko says: The question is to what degree can this accommodation of the war’s hijacking by mass mediation allow for some creative, affirmative, counter-mobilization, an escape from this estrangement from the real. This is the Fourth World War. (Baudrillard, 2015; Genosko, 2004)


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UMWELT By considering the concept of in-betweenness or aidagara (間柄, between things), this next section will address the question of animism in everyday life. It looks at Pokémon Go in terms of milieu, relational space, and atmosphere and asks speculatively: can Pokémon Go be understood through the coming into being of the world as Zwischenwelt or interworld? Is the Umwelt or “surrounding world” of Pokémon Go “a unique possible world” in Deleuze and Guattari’s parlance? Do we find schizo voices, a plurality of perspectives, a new perspectivism? In the Umwelt, can we discern a series of different perceptual apparatuses or worlds, a new kind of chaosmosis? Do entities see things differently? In this virtual, mediated and animistic space, it is clear that conventional ways of thinking and seeing the world are decentered by multiple perspectives and vital beings such as Yōkai (妖怪 or the supernatural monsters, spirits and demons found in Japanese folklore). If Pokémon Go can be considered a specific mode of existence, a different mode of mediated animation, a heterogeneous way of life, a blurring of human and nonhuman modes of existence, can we understand it from a fourth ecology of media perspective? If so, Pokémon Go then is neither in nor out of this world but part of an ecology and politics of extimacy, that is, somehow between inner and outer realms, somehow lodged between different planes of existence. It is thus distinct from established hegemonic ontologies and thereby contributes to a plurality of existential reality. In this ecology of extimacy there is a virtual coexistence between the user, the virtual monsters and AR striated landscapes. The user subjectivity is ex-centric, uncanny, both of the “I” and not—a node in and of proto-subjectification. The eccentric user, an assembled subjectivity, is outside and ex-centric, hypnotic, hallucinatory, part of the new arena of machinic eros (Guattari, Genosko & Hetrick, 2015). The question arises here: How can we re-engineer Pokémon Go for the purpose of individual or collective re-singularization?

SCALES OF EXISTENCE It is possible that capitalism, or biopower, or eurocentrism, or our outdated ontology invest precisely in a split between the two [human-inhuman modes of existence], thus interfering in the very possibility of other ways of living, just as they invest in sabotaging, monitoring and profiting from certain planes of existence (to use a ‘childish’ example, the growing production of electronic games and their ubiquity in childhood and adulthood). In order to counter this trend, it would be necessary to become an advocate of those modes of existence that (from our perspective) “do not exist.” (Pelbart in Beltrán, Enguita, Esche & Eilat, 2014)

Schizoanalysis of Pokémon Go


To understand animist ways of thinking, we should appreciate the “scales of existence” and distinguish between different modes of existence. Do we not need to protect threatened or disappearing modes of existence? How can we preserve, defend and experiment with these different modes or planes of existence? Are Yōkai a disappearing mode? Is the mode of existence of Pokémon Go a “weak form” of existence, a different “scale” of existence in the language of Étienne Souriau, who writes in L’instauration philosophique: You suppose, children, that you exist and that the world exists, and you deduce from it your knowledge of that which is, as a simple combination, as a simple mutual adaptation of these two things. Now I am not saying that you do not exist at all, but that you only exist weakly, in a muddled way, half-way between real existence and this lack of reality, which may even entail an absence of existence. For existence itself needs reality in order to be real existence, in order to be the existence of something or someone. Or at least there are many sorts of existences. (Souriau, Beranek, & Howles, 2015, p. 30)

To grant the third ecology of the media a fourth dimension demands that we ask the following: What is the relationship of animism to the fourth ecology? How can interality studies inform this relation? Our conclusion shall be that it is by thinking a fourth ecology of the media through an interological approach that we can come to understand the space or place of the intermundia, the in-betweenness of worlds. Do we need to bring into existence uncanny fictional, virtual beings which drift in and out of consciousness? Do we need a new materialist philosophy to understand the “virtual force within things and objects” qua “monstrous substances”? (Ueno, 2018, p. 57). What are the new compositions of life which can come into the world through new AR experiments of movement and intensity? What modes of existence inhere on this plane of immanence? To what degree are these virtual worlds pregnant with possibility? The challenge thrown down by Deleuze, Pelbart and others is to discover a mode of existence on the plane of immanence “exorcised” of transcendence. With the fusion of animism into late-capitalism, Achille Mbembe argues, it is through ever more conspicuous consumption patterns that commodity fetishism has become a dangerous form of animism, and because of this, a kind of commodity animism occurs. Mbembe argues, “the cycle of capital moves from image to image, with the image now serving as an accelerant, creating energy and drive” (Mbembe & Dubois, 2017, p. 4). Capitalism has become “a religion of objects,” insists Mbembe, a religion which believes in animated objects with a soul through which “we partake” (Blaser, 2013) in consumption. He writes: “The domain of objects and machines, as much as capital itself, is increasingly presented in the guise of an animistic religion” (Mbembe, 2016, pp. 23–24). Interestingly, Mbembe suggests that


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people desire to become such objects, to become objectified, to bask in reification and alienation. Why? Because becoming so is somehow more appealing than being treated as human. Mbembe explains that the effect of capitalism is to make objects assume a spectral, phantasmagorical character; objects summon forth a virtual dimension in and of ourselves precisely in our relations with them. Desire in the age of animism is defined by the desire of subjects to become animist objects transiliently. The antidote to widespread alienation is a perverse becoming object, a plunging ever deeper into commodity fetishism and reification. Can we say that the animated worlds of Pokémon Go, Yōkai characters and so on offer some form of escape from such alienation? DELEUZIAN RESEARCH ON POKÉMON GO Much interesting work is already being done on the work of Deleuze and its interconnection with media studies (Cremin, 2016; Packer & Wiley, 2012; Savat & Harper, 2016; Surin, 2016; Wallin in Jagodzinski, 2018). Ramey for example finds a “generalized necromancy” in Deleuze and Guattari’s “weird spirituality” (Shults & Powell-Jones, 2016, p. 92). There is a certain trace of “animism” haunting Deleuze’s ontology (Ingold, 2000). With respect to Deleuze’s comrade, Guattari, there is substantial scholarship on his solo schizoanalytic works on animism (Glowczewski, 2008; Glowczewski in Alliez & Goffey, 2011; Hetrick, 2014) and their interconnection with media studies (Alliez, & Goffey, 2011; Berardi, 2015; Berardi, 2017; Berardi, Mecchia, Stivale, 2008; Fuller & Malina, 2005; Genosko, 2018). But little of late has been specifically done on Deleuze and Guattari and how their work may explicate upon the nature of Pokémon Go and AR. Yet, Grandinetti and Ecenbarger (2018) in their Deleuzian, non-deterministic approach to Pokémon Go and AR have made such an attempt. They ask of the possibility of AR “disconnected” from the production of capitalist subjectivity. They inquire into the potential for political action and find in Deleuzian ontology the possibility of affirmative political intervention. While they note that AR is part of a capture and axiomatization of desire operative on local, global, glocal and translocal networks, the parameters of which draw the subject ever more inextricably into regimes of control, they find in Deleuze’s thought a way to think beyond “outdated and unproductive” ontological dualisms, a way to map new assemblages, with the potential “for critical play and perhaps even the creation of AR entertainment not concentrated around capitalist subjectivity” (2018, p. 11). They write of AR as a machinic assemblage, a machinic animism: “A Deleuzian approach to AR, through schizoanalytic mapping and an ontological conceptualization of the world in a state of becoming, eschews

Schizoanalysis of Pokémon Go


unproductive determinism to instead view AR as a machinic assemblage” (Grandinetti & Ecenbarger, 2018, pp. 2–3). This research is most timely and much more must be undertaken in this domain, but a caveat must be added. A Guattarian approach to AR and the ecosophic object of flows, machine, value and existential territory has a very different emphasis as it delves into the existential territory of the AR user, a territory at once actual real, actual possible, virtual possible and virtual real (Bradley, 2018). In this complex diagrammatic cartography, the user and the monster form “unnatural participations or nuptials” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 241). In this unholy, unnatural participation, the AR user is always already doublefold—a radical plural interbeing, located in-between, sited in an indefinite space or aidagara. In the atmospheric ambience of Pokémon Go ontological boundaries are porous. The user coexists with Yōkai spirits in plural, “ambient spaces” or atmospheres, in the language of Toshiya Ueno (Wake, Suga & Yūki, 2018, p. 99). Furthermore, monstrous objects coexist in the AR milieu with one another in styles of worlding. And that AR milieu coexists with other sites, objects, things and spaces.

A DIFFERENT GRAMMAR OF EXISTENCE Possible existences, virtual states, invisible planes, fleeting appearances, sketched out realities, transitional areas, inter-worlds, inbetween worlds, can all be combined into a whole different grammar of existence. Pelbart in Beltrán, Enguita, Esche & Eilat, 2014

In this Guattarian animistic approach there is a sensitivity to different worldviews, planes of existence, to different mediatic forms of existence. The Guattarian question concerning the virtual coexistence of animus and humans asks whether the user can skirt across this Umwelt, or experiment surroundings and synaptic connections, to become less “poor in world” (Heidegger, 1995), and therefore more immersed in intensive modes of existence. In these teeming zones of nonhuman becoming, the user’s animist unconscious is transversally crisscrossed by specters, apparitions, spirits, souls and ghosts. The user flows in a world of becomings of ayakashi (あやかし), mononoke (物の怪) and mamono (魔物) and is metamorphosed as such. The user is becoming-Pokémon Go, becoming-Yōkai, part of a relational, transilient ontology of bakemono (化け物), ghosts (お化け), tengu (天狗), yûrei (幽霊), kappa (河童) and so on. The haunted world of the user—filled with witchcraft, sorcery, alchemy—is traversed by all manner of inhuman


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becomings—primitive, folk, savage, animal, virtual, monstrous. A Guattarian approach asks of the possibility of a transmonadism, that is to say, a way to think beyond hermetic, isolated entities, a way to think of movement across existential territories, transversally and transiently, and therefore to incorporate universes of values or what Ramey considers the spatial fourth dimension in Deleuze’s metaphysics (see Shults & Powell-Jones, 2016; Ramey, 2012). This is the political task of schizoanalytic and ecosophical philosophy and is a means to think of the spiritual automata set in train by Pokémon Go. A-SIGNIFYING SEMIOTICS From a Guattarian schizoanalytic perspective, we understand the life of the Pokémon Go user through diagrammatics (Watson, 2011), metamodelization (Watson, 2008) and the use of “a-signifying semiotics.” Why and how and where are young people walking around urban centers looking for monsters? The answers to this are numerous, but I agree with Toshiya Ueno that orthodox, empirical approaches to media studies struggle to explain such bizarre and perverse forms of entertainment or mental pollution (Allison, 2006). It seems necessary to use and update Guattari’s work on postmedia to precisely and critically codify the contemporary daily rhythms of youth—the music, and gestures, the translanguaging and the comportment to the world. Baudrillard too is right to suggest that we have become professional producers of our own subjectivity. He writes: “We have swallowed our microphones and headsets. . . . We have interiorized our own prosthetic image and become the professional showmen of our own lives” (Baudrillard & Zurbrugg, 1997, p. 13). If the ontology of Pokémon Go is productive of so-called transindividual polysemic animist subjectivities, the question at root is whether such subjectivities enrich the world or not. Here, media ecology must be concerned with the possibility of the re-singularization of subjectivity, which means to say, it must critique how the a-signifying semiotics of different music modes, bodily rhythms, clothing styles, dance innovations, gaits, postures, gestures, non-Western subjectifications pulverize or recreate the world afresh. At our most optimistic, media ecology suggests that as Pokémon Go and other AR apps are a-signifying immanent modes of expression, and it is through them that youth can deploy molecular, sub-human figures of expression to form new desiring machines—to experiment in decolonizing the self. Conversely, a fourth ecology of the media must query the endemic infantilization of subjectivities generated through homogenous, global and standard modes of expression.

Schizoanalysis of Pokémon Go


OBJECTS IN A-SIGNIFYING SEMIOTIC SYSTEMS In exploring heterogeneous semiotic worlds (religious, social, magic, animal, animistic), a-signifying semiotics focuses on the interality, the in-betweenness of dominant codifications, the folds within them and the imbrications between hybrid and mixed reality spaces. The object in this interkingdom acquires animistic characteristics, an animist nucleus. Guattari writes in Chaosmosis: Objects constitute themselves in a transversal, vibratory position, conferring on them a soul, a becoming ancestral, animal, vegetal, cosmic. These objectivitiessubjectivities are led to work for themselves, to incarnate themselves as an animist nucleus; they overlap each other, and invade each other to become collective entities half-thing half soul, half-man half-beast, machine and flux, matter and sign. (1995, p. 102)

The emphasis for Deleuze and Guattari on becoming and forms of nondualistic thinking is important. On this point Deleuze and Guattari further discuss the dimensions of becoming, again questioning any simple dualism between inner/outer, inside/outside: “We are not in the world, we become with the world; we become by contemplating it. Everything is vision, becoming. We become universes. Becoming animal, plant, molecular, becoming zero” (1994, p. 169). This emphasis seems to capture very well the becoming-Pokémon Go of the AR user. FOUR ONTOLOGICAL FUNCTORS (F, T, Φ, U) OF POKÉMON GO “I” flow within the incorporeal whatever-flow. Immersed in the video flow, the whatever-flow, attuned to my device, in data streams of uncanny experience, I sub-exist; I inhere in the intersection of an intoxicated perception drawn to the luminous animations, the strange proto-subjectivities bombarding my sensorium. In this hyponotic state my eyes are transfixed by GPS signals, a vast battery of a-signifying semiotics of GIFs, effigies, monsters, 妖怪 (incorporeal Universes). In this grey ecology (Virilio, 2010), the eye—a remodeled technological prosthesis—assumes new weaponry functions. I hear the sounds of the cars and buses rushing by but my eyes are drawn inward ever more into this new virtual realm. I hear a phone call. Off. I see an email. Off. Ditto for the other apps. All off. My eyes are trained to capture and hunt monsters, to be part of a precarious and elusive world of fantasy and folklore, engaged in a semiotics of translocal, animist intensities. This


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preoccupation replaces daydreams of the future (existential Territories). When I sleep I dream of immaculate, digitally designed monsters. My personal identity is schizzed, torn, slashed to pieces. In this pre-signifying or symbolic semiology, Pokémon Go changes my experience of the ordinary world. Suspended between different realms, the affects created change my perception of the world. My usual comportment to the world is affected. I create new coordinates in space and time. Yet I struggle to make sense of this new reality as the algorithms have taken away the necessity to do so. In this strange world of a-signifying semiotics, I am bombarded by impersonal, algorithmically driven advertising campaigns. I pay for the time online, for the latest expensive phone (sustained by complex machinic phyla or technological lineage). In this field of transnational capital, there are liquid flows—flows of money, credit, payment for bespoke design of avatars. I download the app, I receive packets of data, the GPS on my phone connects with nearby phone masts and distant satellites whizzing around the earth. I interpret this phantasmagoric world through images, sounds, icons and information. I search for Togepi, Machamp, Smeargle, Metagross, Gardevoir, Jigglypuff, Pikachu and Mewtwo through virtual maps, vectored diagrams, logistics, GIFs, refrains, vibrations, collaborative dialogue and messaging (constellation of values and reference). None of this is simply symbolic or signifying. My phone beeps, vibrates and flashes when monsters are near (affect, pathic, virtual). Fully absorbed, flowing through this interworld, I do not occupy a central subjectivity as such as I am captured by a dominant, incorporeal refrain, a collective enunciation with manufactured storyline and history. There is no easy escape from these relationships and structures of top-down ordering. Suffering from the pollution of distances, I cannot find a way out of the high-definition screen. Weighed down by virtual prosthetics, I cannot fathom a way to remake freedom, to experiment, to bring something new into the world and to engage in cosmic processes of individual and collective subjectivation of an altogether different order. My attention captured, in a form of real-time mediatization, I am complicit as pre-subjective and pre-individual elements (such as affects, emotions, perceptions) contribute and function in the semiotic machine of capital (flow). I love this mediated enslavement. In this territory, I survey and am surveyed, I monitor and I am monitored. At its most sinister, systems of a-signifying semiotics impinge upon the body (through affects, desires, emotions and perceptions) by means of signs assaulting one’s sensory apparatus. A whole nonhuman network of images, sounds, words, intensities, movements and rhythms are at work, in unison. I am blissfully aware of my complicity, but micro-technologies do not call upon my consciousness as such. Rather, at the level of the unconscious, they have short-circuited my consciousness, my language and attention as Stiegler says. They leave me

Schizoanalysis of Pokémon Go


disindividuated: desire is expunged, exhausted, burnt out. The a-signifying semiotics of Pokémon Go assault my nervous system, engendering impersonal affects, impersonal emotions. A-signifying semiotics function then as a system of machinic enslavement as Lazzarato says. They modulate the preindividual and pre-verbal elements of subjectivity. Moreover, they affect the infrapersonal and infrasocial world through a molecular economy of desire. Affects, perceptions and emotions are a key functional part of this machinic enslavement. Machinic enslavement activates the molecular, pre-individual, transindividual dimension of nonhuman subjectivity (I am no longer I, no longer a subject, no longer an individual, I am not me). An entire network of deterritorialized, machinocentric enunciation and circulation of signs is constantly engineered through machinic devices (TV, cinema, internet, advertising). The Pokémon Go screen is a vibratory, modulating system composed of specific impersonal diagrams and feedback loops, guiding the user, enticing the user and seducing the user. I move, I flow in the whatever-flow, according to intensities, vibrations, rhythms of this nonhuman, inhuman world. But movement and flow, tracing, tracking and circulation as such are organized by a-signifying machines which engineer the images, words and sounds. I am captured and I love my fantasy. I am truly enslaved. Others ask: How can I utilize this micro technology to escape the contemporary control societies? How can I develop new “practices of freedom” or processes of individual and collective subjectification? But I am skeptical. I care little. I love my virtual interkingdom. Collective subjectification seems impossible when the screen is inches from my eyes. But the critics continue: How can disindividuating effects such as dreaming and delirium—a-subjective deterritorialization— change the way of the world? What is the nature of the virtual possibility of the realm of incorporeal universes such as Pokémon Go? To them I answer I care little of changing the way the real world is. DIABOLICAL INTELLIGENCE/L'INTELLIGENCE DIABOLIQUE In a conversation with Kuniichi Uno entitled Chaosmose, vers une nouvelle sensibilité, Guattari writes of a peculiar form of animism and ontological pluralism. For example, a shaman from Okinawa constructs the world from other categories. This is not a question of Being once and for all, a sense of Being which crosses all other beings, but rather ontological production, through universes of reference, through practices, social, analytical, aesthetic. Being, Guattari says, is an evolutionary process, caught in accelerating machinic and historical processes. One can consider this in the context of the plasticity of collective subjectivity (plasticité de la subjectivité collective)


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(Guattari & Nadaud, 2018, p. 98). At the planetary scale even, Guattari is searching for new ways of thinking to counter the chaosmic plunge toward abolition. In the face of this risk and tendency, he calls for collective courage (un courage collectifs). He calls on youth to respond. The plasticity of this collectivity, its body without organs, is capable, he says, with great intensity, great velocity, to leave the old world behind, and rebuild the world anew. It is for him a question of determining the conditions of possibility of change and transformation (déterminer les conditions de possibilité) (Guattari & Nadaud, 2018, p. 92). Guattari insists it is necessary to “reinvent youth” in an aging, hardened and rigidified world—a world of evil. The reinvention of youth is a permanent commitment and a continual questioning of emergence. On the question of the conditions of possibility of an ontological approach, Guattari says, it is contrary to the phenomenological model, as it is necessarily a question of metamodeling, a question of the machinic, creative unconscious. Resistance to planetary catastrophe is not only the resistance of social groups, but of people who rebuild sensitivity, through poetry and music, and people who rebuild the world through a romantic relationship with other urban systems and other systems of education. Guattari’s point is that resistance and recovery stem from the processual reappropriation of world production, rather than from a preexisting world of universal values. This is therefore more a question of radical ethical and pragmatic responsibility. Guattari says of Japanese capitalism that a form of “diabolical intelligence” (l'intelligence diabolique) (Guattari & Nadaud, 2018, p. 97) is at work which preserves archaic and even feudal forms of sociability and sensitivity. This produces an unstable balance between traditional forms and highly developed forms of mechanization. Youth especially are caught in the psychopathology of TV watching, internet and mobile phone addiction, more and more cut off from the world. The consequence is the death drive— people “abolish” themselves psychically in work ( 過労死—Karōshi or death from overwork in Japan). The result is that social relations deteriorate and youth suicide escalates. This puts to the test the persistence of traditional forms of sociability. Yet even in this chaosmic dive and abolition, there is a possibility that other modes of sensibility and other forms of political and ecosophical intervention will manifest. With the acceleration of history, such a plasticity of collective subjectivity can emerge imperceptibly. The process of building a new sensibility, a new aesthetic paradigm, is something that can emerge very quickly. Optimistically, Guattari says the litmus test will be the speed with which women are emancipated in Japan, which may not take decades. Kuniichi Uno, his interlocutor, is more skeptical, looking at the generation of Japanese in the 1980s and 1990s, insisting that in Japan, all movements are twofold: to emancipate and continue with the same order of things.

Schizoanalysis of Pokémon Go


POKÉMON GO THERAPY FOR THE PSYCHOPATHOLOGICAL SYNDROME OF SOCIAL ISOLATION The hikikomori problem is the psychopathological syndrome of social isolation. In simpler words, this is the concern with the widespread ­ ­“withdrawal” of young people from society. Although medical research suggests that Pokémon Go may have benefits of psychological and ­ ­physiological effects, we should be cautious and situate these claims in terms of Guattari’s notion of postmedia or micro-media and his critique of “the worst kinds of mental pollution.” I find little to celebrate in Pokémon Go. I know Japanese youth suffer. I know from reading Teo (2010, p. 184) that “Japan is in the midst of an epidemic of adolescents and young adults who have retreated into their bedrooms, in effect vanishing from the eyes of society.” I know 孤独死 /Kodokushi or “lonely death” (Kato et al., 2017a, p. 206) is a worrying ­phenomenon. I wonder about their connection with the outside. Yet, I hear positive interpretations from psychiatrists and psychologists that Pokémon Go might open up a new field, a new field of possibility, perhaps a new u­ niverse of reference in Guattari’s parlance, but I struggle to accept it completely as I am concerned with the “ontology of withdrawal” (Ueno, 2018) and therefore interested in thinking hikikomori precisely in terms of the “withdrawal of objects” as such. For example, Tateno et al. (2016) argue that Pokémon Go may help to reduce the prevalence of the hikikomori syndrome. They note that Pokémon Go may have a “potential role as an adjunct to conventional psychiatric interventions aimed to reintegrate individuals with hikikomori into society.” But to tell the truth, I have no idea how this fad can be incorporated into cognitive therapies. Elsewhere, Kato et al. express the hope that Pokémon Go will act as a “novel therapeutic tool enhancing the motivation of patients with hikikomori to venture outside” (Kato et al., 2017b, p. 17; Yang, 2017). A relation with the outside? This is intriguing. A walk in the open air? It is hoped Pokémon Go, as a therapeutic tool to counter social anxiety, will become a means to reduce “psychological distress” (Watanabe et al., 2017, p. 1). From a Deleuzian perspective, and positively expressed, perhaps this “evolutionary therapeutic” tool (Kato et al., 2017b, p. 9) may become a schizo motivation to form a new relation with the outside. Continuing, Kato et al. insist that intervention using Pokémon Go may guide hikikomori to go outside and join support organizations. One of course welcomes this “adventure” outside as it is indeed a first step in treatment (Kato et al., p. 9). Indeed, Tateno et al. (2016) claim that for some hikikomori, Pokémon Go could have a role in rehabilitation therapy. In the virtual world of Pokémon Go, they suggest placing PokéStops at hikikomori


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support centers as a supplement to other psychiatric interventions. Seen in this way, “hikikomori Pokémon” is a way for the social recluse to find a new way to comport themselves toward the world. The problem is while Pokémon Go may have motivated the hikikomori to get out of their homes en mass during the early days of the game’s release, the fad, given its nature, soon fades away. What is left? Hundreds of thousands remain entombed within their homes. Moreover, while Pokémon Go continues to be cited as a means to help people with autism, depression and social withdrawal, it remains to be seen whether mobile games like Pokémon Go can create an enduring impact on social life and interactions in the public realm (Adlakha et al., p. 89). It could be the case that the effect of playing Pokémon Go could be limited to psychological distress—“Pokémon Go might be more strongly associated with psychological and emotional aspects of private lives than physical aspects and work among players” (Watanabe et al., 2017, p. 5)—but one wonders about the long-term effects on society. While Pokémon Go may be used for interventions linking active mobile games (exergames) to anything from fitness games to health regimes and therapies, the consequences of the “gamification of health” has yet to become fully clear (King, 2013). Adlakha et al. claim: “Pokémon Go players can incur some musculoskeletal benefits by breaking up sedentary activity with brief bouts of movement from playing the game . . . as well as improve mental well-being by being outdoors, exploring and connecting with the environment and other people” (p. 91). Furthermore, to compound matters, hikikomori is no longer thought of as limited to Japan. It is known that hikikomori-like cases have been reported in countries such as Hong Kong, Spain, India, South Korea, Malaysia and the United States. Kato et al. argue that hikikomori has crossed the limits of a culture-bound phenomenon to become “an increasingly prevalent international condition” (2011, p. 1070; 2018, p. 106). Kato et al. also argue: “Our case vignette survey indicates that the hikikomori syndrome, previously thought to exist only in Japan, is perceived by psychiatrists to exist in many other countries” (2012, p. 1073). And again: “Patients with the hikikomori syndrome are perceived as occurring across a variety of cultures by psychiatrists in multiple countries. Our results provide a rational basis for study of the existence and epidemiology of hikikomori in clinical or community populations in international settings” (Kato et al., 2012, p. 1062). They report that what is important about the global phenomena of “primary hikikomori” is that it acts as an indicator of “a pandemic of psychological problems that the global internet-connected society will have to face in the near future” (p. 1070). More research must be undertaken to clarify the differences between “primary hikikomori” (social withdrawal not associated with any underlying psychiatric disorder) and “secondary hikikomori” (social withdrawal caused by an established psychiatric disorder). There is another worrying dimension. In its rebellious iteration, young hikikomori are seen as a counter-cultural deviant subject, a

Schizoanalysis of Pokémon Go


form of passive protest, “an imploded form of refusal of social norms and expectations” (Berman & Rizzo, 2018, pp. 12–13) rejecting the constraints of Japanese society. Again this is a worrying tendency.

MOLECULAR POSSIBILITIES IN YOUTH CULTURE For Toshiya Ueno, in the present moment, it is not easy to find any positive sense of the “cyclotron of production of mutant subjectivities” which Guattari spoke of in the 1980s during his visits to Tokyo. Why? Because for Ueno, in the contemporary moment, the “Japanization” of soft power has rendered Tokyo “the capital of anti-revolution or a ‘cyclotron’ for a regressive subjectivity” (Ueno, 2012, p. 191; Guattari, Genosko & Hetrick, 2015). This failed cyclotron haunts not only the archipelago but countries across the globe. In Japan, such “cyclotronic” existential symptoms are complicated by recession, mental stagnation among workers, and compounded by the effects of the earthquake and resultant nuclear crisis in 2011. Ueno describes Guattari’s “vertigo of another Japanese way” (2012, p. 190) in the contemporary moment as a “regression or involution in the form of infancy through a series of info-aided addictions and mental illnesses” (p. 190). In the Japanese context, Ueno refuses the standard way to do media ecology (Allison, 2006), which prefers to focus on the fetishism of commodities and the techno-animism of micro-technologies. Both Nihonjinron (Japanese essentialism) and narcissism are avoided. Thinking beyond the stereotypes of Japanese youth as Uber-trendy technowizards, Ueno wants a more critical examination of the kind of molecular changes taking place in Japanese society. He claims it is insufficient to merely examine how young people are using gadgets. Ueno writes skeptically of this molar approach and pessimistically about the prospects of political liberation in molar media technologies. In his “quadruple ecology” (2016) Ueno claims he is not interested in reproducing orthodox media ecology models which lack a critical examination of the kind of molecular changes taking place in Japanese society. He demands that we think differently about how young people use gadgets and how new media is affecting Japanese youth. Again, a fourth ecology of the media has this focus. Ueno writes (private correspondence): Unfortunately I do not find any molecular potentiality in Japanese youth at this moment in time, aside from the underground techno scene etc. Guattarian ecosophy should not be seen as a kind of boring media studies, which can be satisfied with describing empirically how Japanese youth are using new gadgets, applications, because such desires and the usage of media technologies generally are highly “molar.” If there can be something of molecular possibilities in Japanese youth in terms of new media, I would really like to see the example.


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And elsewhere, he adds: “Info-semio-capitalism . . . forces us not only to participate in the production of signs, symbols, and knowledges in our cognitive labor but to engage in the very production of subjectivity” (Thouny & Yoshimoto, 2017, p. 143). We know that in the postmedia era, the production of subjectivity is the number one target of capitalist societies (Lazzarato & Jordan, 2014). This critical sense of a fourth ecology of media connects not only with the notion of transversality in Guattari’s work (2015) but also the more recent work on capitalism and signs (Lazzarato & Jordon, 2014). While Guattari’s understanding of Japanese animism appears increasingly dated, his Marxism and philosophy of Nature are essential to understanding the contemporary moment. Guattari’s work is thought-provoking as he finds in machinic animism—in African, Brazilian, Indian and Japanese traditions and cultures for example—a transindividual and transversal means to explore different formations of subjectivity. According to Guattari, “animist cartographies of subjectivity” should take account of a nonsubjective subjectivity that is distributed in a multiplicity of relations. This considers subjectivities beyond the distinction of the living and the non-living. As such animism is a fundamental ethical and political problem (Ramey in Shults & Powell-Jones, 2016, p. 92). As we know, the dimensions of symbolic semiotics being “transitional, polyvocal, animistic, and transindividual,” they cannot be assigned straightforwardly to individuated subjects, persons, to “I” or “you.” Guattari’s schizoanalysis therefore is steadfast in its commitment to creating new forms of experimental futurally oriented subjectivity and human sociality. ­Schizoanalysis thinks the unconscious as futurally oriented. Such an emphasis needs to be made more explicit in future research. Schizoanalysis is essential to understanding contemporary media technologies as it is a tool which effectively explains the logistics of perception and the way technologies insinuate themselves into everyday life. Schizoanalysis is important for decoding, as Guattari says in Chaosmosis, “polysemic, animistic, transindividual subjectivity” in the worlds of “infancy, madness, amorous passion and artistic creation” (Alliez & Goffey, 2011, p. 46). It asks for the AR user to shake off a detachment to hermetic virtual worlds for a moment, to become a war machine, a different kind of seer, a “seer” demanding the multiplication and amplification of an entangled, planetary world, demanding new modes and relations of existence, unheard of heterogenic becomings of subjectivity, healing the rift between objects and spirit, invoking the possibility of inaugural bifurcations and a “different grammar of existence”—for those yet to come.

Schizoanalysis of Pokémon Go


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Ueno, T. (2012). Guattari and Japan. Deleuze Studies, 6(2), 187–209. Ueno, T. (2016). Yottsu no ekorojī: Ferikkusu gatari no shikō [Four Ecologies: The Thought of Félix Guattari]. Kawade Shobō Shinsha. Ueno, T. (2018). The Ontology of Withdrawal: What is a Withdrawal?. The Bulletin of the Faculty of Representational Studies, Wako University, 47–61. Virilio, P., Burk, D., & Amelunxen, H. (2010). Grey Ecology. Atropos Press. Wake, H., Suga, K., & Yūki, M. (2014). Ecocriticism in Japan. In G. Garrard (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism (pp. 519–526). Oxford University Press. Watanabe, K., Kawakami, N., Imamura, K. et al. (2017). Pokémon GO and psychological distress, physical complaints, and work performance among adult workers: a retrospective cohort study. Scientific Reports, 7, 10758. s41598-017-11176-2. Watson, J. (2008). Schizoanalysis as Metamodeling. Fibreculture Journal, 12. Watson, J. (2011). Guattari's Diagrammatic Thought: Writing Between Lacan and Deleuze. Bloomsbury Publishing. Wong, P. W., Liu, L. L., Li, T. M., Kato, T. A., & Teo, A. R. (2017, December). Does Hikikomori (Severe Social Withdrawal) Exist among Young People in Urban Areas of China? Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 30, 175–176. Yang, C., & Liu, D. (2017). Motives Matter: Motives for Playing Pokémon Go and Implications for Well-Being. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 20(1), 52–57. Zhang, P. (2015). Prologue to Interology: In Lieu of a Preface. China Media Research, 11(2), 57–67. Zhang, P. (2016). The Four Ecologies, Post-evolution, and Singularity. Explorations in Media Ecology, 15(3+4), 343–354. Zhang, P., & McLuhan, E. (2016). The Interological Turn in Media Ecology. Canadian Journal of Communication, 41(1), 207–225. Zurbrugg, N. (1997). Jean Baudrillard, Art and Artefact. Sage.

Chapter 10

On the Disordering Ritornello of Graffiti

May ‘68 taught us to read the writing on the walls, and, since then, we have begun to decipher the graffiti in prisons, asylums, and now in urinals. (Guattari & Genosko, 1996, p. 186) One creates new modalities of subjectivity in the same way that an artist creates new forms from the palette. (Guattari, 1995, p. 7)

INTRODUCTION What does it mean to scratch insatiably and manically? This will be the question guiding the interrogation of the transgressive work of the British artists and brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman. In their virulent graffiti, I find and want to understand the difference between disordering and ordering words. As such, I will look at graffiti as a prime example of the disordering word. But my argument is that the infectious, immoral art of the Chapman Brothers remains solipsistic, hermetic and autistic: it is a virulent deadly refrain; nothing of the “great refrain” and the “great health” of which Deleuze speaks of can be found in their art. As good capitalists, their death drive is mere self-indulgence and satiation. Their excess, delirium, fatalism is a form of apocalyptic jouissance, at once symptomatic of the political pessimism which cannot import any joie de vivre into the great refrain of life. It is widely known that the Chapman Brothers were influenced by the philosophical virulence of Nick Land, a Heidegger and Deleuze scholar, who 171


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later became famous for the “mad, black Deleuzianism” connected to the anti-humanist, accelerationist movement. My point is that the mad scribblings and graffiti of the Chapman Brothers repeated over again and again on the Goya etchings is a prime example of the impotent, apolitical, anti-political and anti-humanist philosophy of this trendy a-philosophical, accelerationist movement. Moreover, my point is we need to look beyond the loathsome Dark Enlightenment and perceived fascistic elements in both the philosophy of Nick land and the second-generation accelerationist movement to assess and distinguish the graffiti qua expression of the great refrain in the Deleuze and Guattari sense, from the nihilistic, deadly refrain found in the Chapman Brothers’ work. WHAT IS GRAFFITI? Graffiti, the meaning of which is derived from the Latin graffito and the French graffio, meaning a scratch, is commonly and contemporarily understood as a drawing or writing scratched or sprayed with aerosol paint or penned with a permanent marker on a wall or other surface. Yet, while graffiti was the scribbling on an ancient wall in Ancient Rome, it also signifies the words or images marked often illegally in a public place. Graffiti has gone underground. For some it is a destructive eyesore, for others it is a subcultural art form. Furthermore, for others it is established art in its own right, as in Banksy’s work. Graffiti is a “scribbling” or scratching, from graffiare “to scribble,” and again from the Greek graphein “to scratch, draw, write.” Graffiti is a politics of art, an inter-semiotic operation, a scratching at the material of the world— it makes a point, makes a mark, makes an incision or inscription. Graffiti is a repetition, a delimiting of existential territory as the realm of dominant and minor refrains, a writing, a drawing, a scribbling, a scratching, a spraying illicitly on a wall or surface in a public place or nomos (from point of order to line of flight). The ritornello or refrain can be heuristically explored through the interrelationship between milieu and territory. The refrain is territorial, territorializing or reterritorializing. There are three aspects of the refrain: a point of order, a circle of control and a line of flight toward the outside. With this in mind, we can say that the refrain of graffiti spraying offers a rhythmic regularity that brings order out of chaos; it marks out a territory and emerges on the level of expression. Graffiti forms a chaosmosis in which a new constellation of a Universe of reference manifests. Graffiti in this sense ensures an element of openness and processual creativity but also carries the risk of plunging out of sense, outside of established meaning and structures.

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The scribbles and scratching of graffiti are crystals of singularization, points of bifurcation outside of dominant coordinates. In the graffiti act, mutant universes of reference can suddenly spring up, like fate, like lightning, almost from nowhere. Graffiti becomes a dark precursor. Graffiti in its most positive expression counters the degeneration of meaning stemming from forms of staid language. In chaotic milieu, its chaoides of art and expression may contribute to new forms and modes of the production of subjectivity. For the graffiti artist, graffiti is part of the struggle against the chaosmic spasm of society and its “spasmogenic rhythm” (Berardi, 2014, 2001). As Guattari says of virtual Universes of reference: The refrain is then like the messenger-bird that taps on the window with its beak, so as to announce the existence of other virtual Universes of reference that can modify the actual state of enunciative dispositions profoundly. (Guattari, 2013, p. 147)

But sometimes instead of intensive regimes of a-signifying experimentation, graffiti spins on its own axes, producing a deadly refrain, a nihilistic implosion of empty speech and empty meaning. An unconscious scratching, for any absurd purpose. Nothing is created but bare, vacuous and redundant repetition. At work is a repetition-refrain hell-bent on nihilistic dissemination. Graffiti is infused with aesthetic intensities, material and energetic flows, with mutant incorporeal universes, with rhythms in the form of refrains, blocs of desire, with pulsations of difference. In the territorial sign of graffiti, there is a tearing of its territory, a cut, a deterritorialization—the refrain is “a selector of choices” (Guattari, 2013, p. 147). The content and expression of graffiti are territorial and expressive and the refrain of graffiti embraces all manner of creative forces, heterogeneous forces and forms of chaos, both terrestrial and cosmic forces. Graffiti cuts and slashes into the material body and structure of the city. Its expressivity is not the same as bare expression because it treats expressivity as creative and constitutive. In graffiti, in its network of relations and forces, the material becomes expressive. Graffiti materializes or is actualized in an assemblage of expressive flows and materials. The signs of graffiti are non-signified and are realized within the plane of immanence of urban settings. Graffiti is a language of flows; its signs belong to the nocturnal refrains of the city. It is tied to music, underground music, at once minor, experimental, exploratory. Music stolen, re-mixed, synthesized, abstracted. Graffiti is part of a minor language and minor sub-culture. Graffiti is tied to singularities that resist calculation. Graffiti belongs to another altogether other enunciation, a collective enunciation, an agencement, an articulation of collective speech and an articulation of collective desire. Speech is deterritorialized, thrown into turmoil and reconfiguration.


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Graffiti resists discrete, calculable quantities. It cannot be put into a preordered structure. It is exceptional and capable of calling the whole into question. The enunciation is not a programmed speech. It is an actual speech that contains the new, which is the possibility of an encounter, with the event as such. Something is brought into the world that is exceptional. We enter a pristine territory for the first time. It is a territory made on the spot, and it unfolds through the action and articulation of collective speech. Graffiti is political through and through; it is a machinic part of a molecular revolution. Graffiti is saturated with political affects and processes. Graffiti is sprayed on walls, on trains and on street signs. Graffiti demarcates a dimensional territory that it claims as its possession. The graffiti refrain is a rhythmic pattern that sets out an existential territory. From this, can we say that graffiti creates a stable point, a consistency, in the midst of chaos, a locus of order? If so, how does the graffiti refrain open out its territory to other milieux and the cosmos at large? How does it reach its outside? How does it explore mutant universes of reference? How does the graffiti-refrain work with the forces of chaos, territory and the cosmos as a whole? This is a question of chaosmosis, schizoanalysis and ecosophy. I want to understand how graffiti can break with what Guattari calls cycles of deathly repetition (répétition mortifère). In The Three Ecologies, Guattari describes this sense of deathly repetition thus: everything must start from scratch, everything must be reinvented, starting from scratch: Everything . . . has to be continually reinvented, started from scratch, otherwise processes become trapped in a cycle of deathly repetition (répétition mortifère). (Guattari, 2000, p. 39)

WHAT IS A RITORNELLO? In an interview entitled “We Invented the Ritornello” with Didier Eribon, Deleuze answers the question “do you think you have created any concepts?” thus: “How about the ritornello? We formulated a concept of the ritornello in philosophy” (Deleuze & Lapoujade, 2006, p. 381). And in the essay “On Philosophy,” Deleuze explains further: “We tried to make the ritornello one of our main concepts, relating it to territory and Earth, the little and the great ritornello” (Deleuze, 1995, p. 137). To understand the ritornello, we must understand that it is inseparable from the concept of territory. The ritornello traces territorial movements. It is the point at which rhythms and melodies— the site of matters of expression—coalesce into a territory. In situ, there is a reordering of functions and the realignment of forces. In a territory, functions are continuously decoded and recoded, and forces gather and regather. This

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grants a territory an extensive and intensive dimension. In terms of the latter, the intensive dimension creates affections and affects. In extension, territory demarks the inside and outside, order and chaos. In some sense then, what graffiti means or does not mean, what it signifies or what the signified is, is not the central issue. It does not need to signify or search for a signifier. But rather it functions and carries forces. It connects and reconnects to transmit intensities. Graffiti becomes a form of machinic literature, a little machine. SCHIZO-REFRAIN-ANALYSIS I want to understand graffiti as an example of Maurice Blanchot’s notion of mots de désordre, the disorderly words which emerged during the May– June events of 1968, which is to say, an exceptional use and expression of language and practice, suggesting the possibility of a different kind of politics and the possibility of a reinvention of politics, a new form and articulation of collective speech. What can we find in contemporary and creative fragments of graffiti that express similar disorderly words or mutant percepts and affects? We shall understand graffiti as an affective relation, an affective intensity and a minor language set against the major code. We shall understand affects as singular and sensible experiences, “liberated from organizing systems of representation” (Colebrook, 2001, p. 22)—part of a “guerrilla semiotic warfare” (Eco, 1990, p. 143). At work in the zero-message of graffiti, in the becoming expressive of the sign, is a material expression constitutive of relations and forces. Joyous acts of scratching and scribbling unfold into the world and enfold the world on a Moebius strip continuum of forces and forms. We can say simply that graffiti as a form of inscription or writing has little connection with signifying and more to do with “surveying, mapping, even realms that are yet to come” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, pp. 4–5). What is the nature of this disorder or dissensus? The disorderly emerges in the events of 1968, in the “irruption” of a becoming, in the “irruption” of a becoming in its pure state as Deleuze says. Something flows beyond signification. The semiotics of Louis Hjelmslev accounts for the “anonymous signature” of graffiti, for the polysemous flows of energy, gestures and melodies without signification. There is where the graffiti and disorderly words of 1968 open out the territory toward the earth, the great Refrain. We can say the protests manifested an outpouring of desire. Desire acted and was free. The slogans, songs and graffiti demonstrated the drive and passion that animated the students and workers alike. Something new was brought into the stultifying world of Parisian life in the late 1960s.


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DISORDERLY GRAFFITI Write to the nth power, the n-1 power, write with slogans. (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 27)

I want to think about the mots de désordre, the “disorderly” graffiti in Blanchot a little further. The writing on the walls and the tracts distributed in the street are “disorderly words” . . . words “free of discourse,” that is to say, they accompanied the rhythm of the marchers and their shouts, and belonged, simply, “to the decision of the moment”; transitory, ephemeral, “they appear, they disappear” (Blanchot, 1988, p. 205). And again: It was not even a question of overthrowing an old world; what mattered was to let a possibility manifest itself, the possibility—beyond any utilitarian gain of a being-together—that gave back to all the right to equality in fraternity through a freedom of speech that elated everyone. Everybody had something to say, and, at times, to write (on the walls); what exactly, mattered little. Saying it was more important than what was said. (Blanchot, 1988, p. 30; Iyers, 2009)

Elsewhere, Jean Baudrillard writes of the explosion, experimentation and transgressive nature of graffiti in New York in the 1970s. Baudrillard speaks of graffiti as transgressive, a detonator of established codes. It acts as an “instantaneous deconstruction of the dominant discursive code” (Baudrillard, 1990, pp. 183–184). Graffiti is transgressive, not because it substitutes another content, another discourse, but simply because it responds, there, on the spot, and breaches the fundamental role of non-response enunciated by all the media. Does it oppose one code to another? I don’t think so: it simply smashes the code. It doesn’t lend itself to deciphering as a text rivaling commercial discourse; it presents itself as a transgression. So, for example, the witticism, which is a transgressive reversal of discourse, does not act on the basis of another code as such; it works through the instantaneous deconstruction of the dominant discursive code. It volatilizes the category of the code, and that of the message. (1990, pp. 183–184)

ANTI-LANGUAGE AND HJELMSLEV In Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari say of Hjelmslev that his model stands in “profound opposition” to Saussurian and post-Saussurian linguistics. Why? It is Hjelmslev who charts how signs cross thresholds of deterritorialization. He develops an immanent theory of language to appreciate the flows of desire inherent in language.

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Because it abandons all privileged reference. Because it describes a pure field of algebraic immanence that no longer allows any surveillance on the part of a transcendent instance, even one that has withdrawn. Because within this field it sets in motion its flows of form and substance, content and expression. Because it substitutes the relationship of reciprocal precondition between expression and content for the relationship of subordination between signifier and signified. Because there no longer occurs a double articulation between two hierarchized levels of language, but between two convertible deterritorialized planes, constituted by the relation between the form of content and the form of expression. Because in this relation one reaches figures that are no longer effects of a signifier, but schizzes, points-signs, or flows-breaks that collapse the wall of the signifier, pass through, and continue on beyond. Because these signs have crossed a new threshold of deterritorialization. Because these figures have definitively lost the minimum conditions of identity that defined the elements of the signifier itself. Because in Hjelmslev’s linguistics the order of the elements is secondary in relation to the axiomatic of flows and figures. Because the money model in the point-sign, or in the figure-break stripped of its identity, having now only a floating identity, tends to replace the model of the game. He tends to fashion a purely immanent theory of language that shatters the double game of the voice-graphism domination; that causes form and substance, content and expression to flow according to the flows of desire; and that breaks these flows according to points-signs and figures-schizzes. Far from being an overdetermination of structuralism and of its fondness for the signifier, Hjelmslev’s linguistics implies the concerted destruction of the signifier, and constitutes a decoded theory of language about which one can also say—an ambiguous tribute—that it is the only linguistics adapted to the nature of both the capitalist and the schizophrenic flows: until now, the only modern—and not archaic—theory of language. (1983, p. 242)

What does Guattari say about graffiti? How can graffiti function as a relay to pass from cliché and order word (mot d’ordre) to the disorderly slogan (mots de désordre)? THE GRAFFITI OF URINALS: ON THE CHAPMAN BROTHERS’ ART Is it really dangerous to let people speak of things as they feel, and with their language, their passions, their excesses? Must we institute a police for dreams and fantasies? For what good do we suppress the public expression of popular spontaneity on the walls—or in the subways, as in New York? (Guattari & Lotringer, 1996, p. 223)

For their work Insult to Injury (2004), the Chapman Brothers Jake and Dinos bought a series of etchings of Francisco Goya’s The Disasters of War for


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£25,000. They systematically defaced them, adding the heads of Mickey Mouse and grinning clowns to the figures. They covered Goya’s etchings with the graffiti of gas masks, insect antennae and the swastika. I am arguing that the art of the Chapman Brothers is not a detournement in the sense of a playful, creative, joyful, open practice. Rather, the Chapman’s graffiti is closed, hermetic, solipsistic and ethically autistic. There is no rhythm of lived experience, but only obsessive refrains. A refrain-analysis of their work reveals only symptom-refrains without the possibility of supersession—offering only the bland and “hysterical, obsessional or paranoid apprehension of the world” (Guattari, 2013, p. 242). In their work, there is no passage from world of signification to the world of a-signifying ritornello. There is no passage to new existential territories and no connection with new collective Universes of reference. There is the only singular refrain of capitalist normalization. There is no transgression or reinvention, no scratching away at the present to bring something new into existence. There is no pulsation, neither rhythmical beat nor vibration. As such, they remain vandals and purveyors of empty speech—practitioners of the chaosmotic spasm par excellence. The scratches and scribbles stem from a repetition-refrain of deadly, nihilistic origin. In their work, the latent risk of deterritorialization, of de-stratifying too rapidly, is realized as they are trapped in a black hole of deathly, empty repetition (répétition mortifère). Their lines of scratches and scribbles are lines of self-immolation and suicidal tendency. The mots de désordre and refrains of 1968 can be clearly contrasted with the spiraling disordering ritornello of the Chapman Brothers’ art. What kind of speech is this? I am arguing that their work is a deadly repetition of fascistic desire. There is no territory as such for deterritorialization; their graffiti refrain does not organize chaos into a milieu, does not assemble a milieu into a territory and does not open out territory toward the earth. They do not embrace the great Refrain. There is no joy in their graffiti, no joy in their repetition-refrain. Their consistent return to Goya is a compulsive, autistic, apolitical disorder. A joy in horror and the mocking of those who condemn it. They madly and desperately scratch away without rhyme or reason. Their work lurks in the darkness, in the void. The Chapman’s deadly repetitions are left spinning on their own axes. Their graffiti is schizophrenic, albeit articulated in a mad private language game, an anti-language which conveys meaning only to themselves in a vicious dyadic relation without cessation. There is no expression or rhythm, no “singing the world.” Nor is there an engagement with the question of virtuality. The Chapmans use Deleuze. They are in some sense Deleuzian artists, but there is nothing of affirmation in their work. There is no outside. Theirs is an anti-language par excellence (anti-language according to M.A.K. Halliday is a way of communicating within a language to the exclusion of outsiders). Polari, criminal codes and password-refrains, and Cockney rhyming slang are other

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examples, where words that are familiar to the larger speech community but are known secretly by “those in the know” in the minority speech community in question. Anti-languages are used by those who do not want to be understood. Anti-language would be that language, which is particular to a certain group, that could be a group of vandals or a group of criminals. My argument is that the Chapman Brothers develop an anti-language because their act of scribbling and scratching on Goya’s work is precisely an act of ethical vandalism. The Chapman Brothers’ work is a scratching and a scribbling over the etchings of Goya. They return to Goya again and again, scribbling madly over his work. The refrain is joyless. It is simply the bare repetition of a self-identical action. The refrain of the Chapmans does not produce intensive difference. It does not leave its own territory to forge for others. It is deadly and autistic. Their work is but a deadly, fascist ritornello offering only closure, solipsism and the most miserable form of ethical autism. Their “monuments” are refrains but deadly, poisonous ones. The Chapmans try to escape the signifier and signified but only produce “fantasmatic” childish refrains. They challenge Goya’s capacity to give meaning to human history through scratching and erasing and escaping meaning, through their deadly repetitions, but what we have left is an exhausted, spent, self-inflicted cut or rupture. There is no break in their deadly repetition. They do not succeed. There is no joy in their repetition. There is no resistive process of resingularization. Again, there is but an exhausted, solipsistic thinking. The refrain of scribbling over Goya returns their work to circulation but only through “ricochet” and “reverberation” as Guattari says. Alphonso Lingis argues that the desecration of Goya’s “The Disasters of War” by the Chapman Brothers was intended to denounce and undermine “the moral instincts” of the so-called autonomous, rational agent living in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, who hypocritically reject “rabid and pointless slaughter” but who nevertheless support the military juggernaut of global empires. Yet I disagree with Lingis (2006, 2008), who laughs at their work, and finds a deeper meaning to their project, a meaning that undermines our moral compass and self-righteousness. Lingis writes in Violence and Splendor that the Chapman’s work Zygotic acceleration, Biogenetic desublimated libidinal model is a “repugnant kind of filth” (2011, p. 107) but one that prompts us to look deeper into our unconsciousness: The laughter that interrupts and decomposes the moral autonomous individuality in us obscurely knows and calls forth a new kind of existence for us. Henceforth the question of what that existence will be hovers before us. The art of the Chapman brothers, radiant and captivating, induces lusty thoughtfulness about the physical objects we are most attached to and the physical substances we are most repelled by. (2011, p. 109)


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However, I think there is not even a mischievous joy in the Chapman Brothers’ transgression. While Lingis finds a shared libidinal economy and intensity between the artists and their purveyors, my view is that theirs is but a laugh which laughs at itself in a deadly repetition which finds itself utterly and miserably ridiculous: The Chapmans’ and our pleasure in these objects, including the intellectual pleasure-excessive, gratuitous, transgressive, convulsive-is libidinal. A dirty pleasure, for there is in these figures exuding an equivocal smell of grease, smoke, and ash, something filthy. (Lingis, 2011, p. 106)

As artists they repeat themselves; they start over and over again from scratch but produce nothing. Their work is closed to the possibility of “creative proliferation.” This is what Bell writes on the question of creation and the refrain: When successful, a refrain creates the stable place amidst the absolutely infinite chaos from which a limited space may be drawn, a home, and it is this stable place that is able to stand up on its own—it is that which is preserved and only preserved in art. (Bell, 2016, p. 226)

Graffiti as ritornello as a rhizomatic practice must be an open, disordering system—a machine of sensation, that is, the whole of the refrain is the being of sensation as Deleuze and Guattari say in What Is Philosophy? (1994, p. 184). And as we know Deleuze points out that philosophy must also be “an open system.” Rhizomatic thought must be an open system. The refrain too must be open. The disorderly words that Blanchot invokes are consistent with Deleuze’s demand to hijack speech, to create “vacuoles of noncommunication,” pockets of openness, because the act of hijacking is precisely a détournement of meaning—forming a relation to the outside of language. On this reading, disorderly words, scratches of graffiti made on the spot, would act as “circuit breakers” that “elude control”—and thus would be consistent with a key Deleuzian refrain. The détournement of meaning transforms artwork or “monuments of art” through creative disfiguration. Again in the Chapman’s graffiti there is no creative disfiguration but only the obliteration of meaning. Moreover, their work fails to foster any sense of dissensus as there is no singularization, no reinvention of singularity: there is no escape from the deadly repetitions of capitalistic subjectivity. There is no desire or aesthetic practice to dismantle dominant subjectivities. Their graffiti, their scribbling over Goya, fails to break or cancel deadening capitalist refrains. To reiterate, there is no connection with the great Refrain; they offer no new relationship to time, desire and the cosmos. They are left spinning in the void.

On the Disordering Ritornello of Graffiti


CONCLUSION The ritornello is a wonderful, melodic, mellifluous concept. It is Deleuze’s most polished concept. As a concept it is an intensity, a meme one may hum when one wades through “the mad, Black Deleuzianism” (Land, Mackay, & Brassier, 2017) which dominates contemporary scholarship. The ritornello is Deleuze and Guattari’s contribution to philosophy. I hum it in an awkward way, but it grants me a certain health and joy—and a way to ward off fascistic desire. Writing graffiti as ritornello delivers “a vital stammering” and a certain charm. Deleuze here speaks of the true meaning of the slogan and the right way to use them: Concepts are exactly like sounds, colours or images, they are intensities which suit you or not, which are acceptable or aren’t acceptable. (Deleuze, 2006, p. 4) In life there is a sort of awkwardness, a delicacy of health, a frailty of constitution, a vital stammering which is someone’s charm. (Deleuze, 2006, p. 5)

There is no charm in the Chapman Brother’s art, only the suggestion of the end of the art, only the desire to fulfill one’s own conflagration. There is only a narcissistic death drive at work, a desire which delights in death, in sublime terror. The Chapman Brothers may well be artists akin to the “wild beasts of the impersonal” of which Nick Land writes in his essay “Aborting the human race”: However else it is possible to divide Western thinking, one fissure can be teased-open separating the theo-humanists—croaking together in the cramped and malodorous pond of Anthropos—from the wild beasts of the impersonal. The former are characterized by their moral fervour, parochialism, earnestness, phenomenological disposition, and sympathy for folk superstition, the latter by their fatalism, atheism, strangely reptilian exuberance, and extreme sensitivity for what is icy, savage, and alien to mankind. (Land, 1992, pp. 97–98)

Yet the argument I have put forward is that their transgression is symbolically consistent with the systemic dynamics of a closed, entropic system of meaning under capitalism. There is little other than mad scratchings and scribblings for any absurd purpose. For they do not bring anything singular or exceptional into the world. Their opera is discordant, a deadly ritornello. Their graffiti opera is discordant, churned out in a deadly recurring and jarring rhythm, which disseminates an infectious little return. The difference emergent from the scratching and scribbling over the Goya’ etchings does not put the limits of the human into question or expose the limits of man’s inhumanity or indeed open up a new constellation of meaning, a new Universe


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of reference pointing toward the overman or post-human, because, simply, no new modalities of subjectivity, no new forms are brought forth. There is no detournement of meaning but precisely its very destruction—the sense of the horrific sublime cannot bring the current way of the world into question or call forth another. There is no humor in their juvenile delinquency. They remain mute and leave the connoisseur of graffiti speechless.

POSTSCRIPT My intervention here comes after two events. The first of which was a workshop delivered at Osaka University in Japan in December 2019. The focus of the workshop was on Felix Guattari and the concept of the refrain. At the time I spoke about what I perceived was an act of graffiti and vandalism by the Chapman Brothers. This event took place smoothly and safely, while some 3400 miles away the students in Delhi risked their freedom and their lives by protesting against the Modi government’s changes to the Indian Constitution. Out of these protests in Delhi, which I saw first-hand months later, was an explosion of creativity. The many graffiti which covered the walls of Jamia Millia Islamia (University) in Delhi critiqued the present order of things and offered another, joyful, peaceful and affirmative way forward. For details of this please consider reading the paper “Gadfly or praying mantis? Three philosophical perspectives on the Delhi student protests” (Manoj NY, Bradley & Lee, 2020) as a supplement to my contribution here.

REFERENCES Baudrillard, J. (1990). Seduction. Macmillan Education. Bell, J. A. (2016). Deleuze and Guattari's What Is Philosophy?: A Critical Introduction and Guide. Edinburgh University Press. Berardi, F. (2014). And Phenomenology of the End: Sensibility and Connective Mutation [Doctoral Dissertation]. Aalto University. Blanchot, M. (1988). The Unavowable Community (P. Joris, Trans.). Station Hill Press. Burkhard, B., Chapman, D., & Chapman, J. (2004). Jake and Dinos Chapman: Insult to Injury. Steidl. Colebrook, C. (2001). Gilles Deleuze. Routledge. Deleuze, G. (1995). Negotiations. Columbia University Press.

Section 3


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Zhibo, Existential Territory, Inter-Media-Mundia A Guattarian Analysis

In undertaking transversal research into the problems of contemporary Japanese urban life, we shall critically examine the production of subjectivities pertaining to live streaming. This is undertaken to conceptualize the changing nature of subjectivity and social relations in contemporary transnational and transcultural capitalism. We shall look to Félix Guattari’s semiotic theory to interpret the era of Integrated World Capitalism (IWC). For Guattari, the production of subjectivity is pivotal to explaining the functioning of contemporary capitalism. As he says, subjectivity has become “the number one objective of contemporary, capitalist society.” Contra the trend to exploit subjectivity for monetary gain, Guattari’s goal is to identify “mutant nuclei of subjectification” which may engender a change in the order of things. His work is applied to new communication technologies like live streaming (Zhibo) to account for the existential breakdowns and breakthroughs which may ensue for individuals who use these technologies. VIGNETTE It is early evening on Boxing Day 2016. My students and I are meeting in Shinjuku in Tokyo for the annual seminar Bonenkai (“forget the year” party). Via Line, and after what seems like hundreds of messages over the previous weeks, we have agreed to meet at the east exit of the world’s busiest train station. I get to Shinjuku in good time because I know how busy the station gets but absentmindedly I follow my commuting pattern and proceed to the wrong exit. Outside, blissfully enshrouded by a vortex of passers-by, dawdling, I wait a while but nobody comes. Then predictably an avalanche of truncated messages, a constant ringing of beeps, pings, vibrations—a 185


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system of communication which operates through a textual and oral mix of broken English, Japanese and Chinese, and the interspersing of emoticons and photographs of local landmarks to direct me to where I am supposed to be. I give up and someone resolves to come and find me among the throng. I am soon relieved to see R (pseudonym of student) coming around the corner but something is different about her person. For one, I discern she is chatting away loudly in Chinese. Upon closer examination I notice that she is loaded with battery packs and other technological prostheses; chief among them and positioned at the end of the arms-length retractable pole she is carrying is an iPhone and protruding below her face is a professional-looking microphone. She beckons me into her world and explains that her fan club is with her this evening on Douyu (斗鱼). I peer into her phone. A constant scroll of questions and comments set in colored Chinese characters flood the screen—“O! Nice teacher” “Can you say something in Japanese?” “Where are you from?” “Did you like China?” R obliges and translates the questions back into Japanese and English and along the way, navigates us to the rendezvous point to meet the other students and explains further about her job. I am stunned as 10,000 fans are watching in on this live stream from afar. I am at a loss. My philosophical antenna is down. My theoretical coordinates—the pollution of distances (via Virilio), スキゾ・キッズ (Asada, 1984), 島宇宙 (island universes or nebularization) (Miyadai, 2007)—(that is to say interior and annexed milieus—those spaces where young people communicate in small networks to the exclusion of others)—the islands of slowness (via Berardi), vacuoles de non-communication (Deleuze, 1995)—all scrambled. I groan inside as this adds to my pessimism regarding the critical potential of mediated “universes of reference.” Yet in the breakdown of my conceptual order, an epiphany, as I remember Guattari forecasting that the future will mirror cities like Bangladesh, Mexico and Tokyo, where millions of people congregate. In this moment I decide to write an ecosophy and schizoanalysis of live streaming. I remember the interview “Postmodernism and Ethical Abdication” in which Guattari says to Nicholas Zurbrugg (Guattari, 1996b): [It] is necessary to reinvent the body, to reinvent the mind and to reinvent language. Perhaps the new telematic, informational, and audio-visual technologies can help us to progress in this direction. (p. 115)

Guattari’s ecosophy is crucial in the endeavor to contest the deleterious transversalist integration of mass mediatized subjectification machines which run in tandem with industrial slave engines, intellectual meme apparati, religious suicide technologies and so on. The question arises: To what extent is R ill at ease with this new media and spatial ecology? To what extent does Zhibo—in terms of interality, interbeing, interology—operate in-between the “planetary immanence” which guarantees the “coexistence of a plurality

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of worlds,” on the one hand, and, on the other, the “annihilating plane of capitalist immanence,” which produces schizo subjectivity “the same way it produces Prell shampoo or Ford cars” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 245)? In his analysis of Deleuze’s essay on Axelos, Kerslake claims that the latter is “most perfectly symbolized in the false, representational monadology of the internet and YouTube, in which the single computer terminal can be connected to an entire, specious ‘world’ of representation” (Kerslake, 2012, p. 254). Indeed, Kerslake’s important distinction between the “transcendental illusion” of technology and “the intensive reality” of immanence helps to inform the analysis of Zhibo (Kerslake, 2012): Technology creates its own spheres of virtuality, which can themselves become sites of transcendental illusion, fundamentally opposed to the properly intensive reality mined by Deleuze in his philosophy of immanence. (pp. 254–255)

The point here is to determine how the Zhibo user can be creative (not merely a passive “terminal” for processes involving mental, social and ecological registers) precisely by inhering these inter-media-mundia zones. Interiority is engineered at this crossroads. Interologically, R traverses the inter-media-penetrated meniscus separating the “transcendental illusion” of technology and “the intensive reality” of immanence. Through prosthetic contraptions, nomadic schizo Zhibo users construct existential territories, experiencing the mental or “chaosmic apprehension” (Watson, 2011, p. 233) of the nondiscursive complexity of the world. The being in the world of the Zhibo user is in the intermediated world, corporeally and affectively. In a space of co-creation, R shares an uncanny symbiosis with a world infused with kinetic images of buildings “traversed from top to bottom by parallel neon bars” as Guattari says in Tokyo Proud (Genosko & Hetrick, 2015, p. 13). Although for some this is another depressing instance of an “island universe”—essentially signifying the end of communication— a worldlessness, a desert (Arendt, 2005, p. 201), I resist this conclusion and adopt a pharmacological view of the “mega-network of miniaturized equipment” (Guattari, 2016, pp. 47–48)—seeing the mobilization and live streaming of affects as both poison and cure. R’s job compels one to rethink any default pessimistic stance toward the communication practices found in the ephemeral fads, fashions and trends of viral, semio-cognitive capitalism. PEEPING TOMS Oh, dear. We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms. What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change. Stella (Thelma Ritter), Jeffries’ nurse, in Hitchcock’s Rear Window


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We are not in the world, we become with the world; we become by contemplating it. Everything is vision, becoming. We become universes. Becoming animal, plant, molecular, becoming zero. (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994, p. 169) There is another world to discover—and more than one! On to the ships, you philosophers! Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Aphorism 289. (2001, p. 163) The acceleration of the technological and data-processing revolutions, as prefigured in the phenomenal growth of a computer-aided subjectivity, will lead to . . . the unfolding, of animal-, vegetable-, Cosmic-, and machinicbecomings. At the same time . . . the formation and “remote-controlling” of human individuals and groups will be governed by institutional and social class dimensions. (Guattari, 2000, pp. 38–39)

The purpose of writing an ecosophy and schizoanalysis of live streaming is to consider the following: (1) Is Zhibo yet another fleeting instance of the “vibrating zones of collective hysteria” in Japan which Guattari much criticized during his many visits to the archipelago (the others being Pachinko, manga) (Genosko & Hetrick, 2015, p. 14); (2) Or is Zhibo of an affective capacity (a far-from-equilibrium “vibration” or chaosmosis)—of an altogether different speed or slowness? (Berardi, 2014, p. 200). Furthermore, on the last point, we shall ask: Is Zhibo of an existential magnitude prompting the body to “vibrate” affirmatively, to a different rhythm or refrain, to search for “chaoids for disentanglement”—ways to free oneself from hemmed-in forms of semiotization—in spaces where new forms of sensibility may manifest (Berardi, 2015, p. 202)? While our focus is on the existential territories of Zhibo users and the widespread sense of loneliness and indifference in generic, transnational, non-places (non-lieux) or urban technopoles of the world, which Virilio names as part of a “desertification of human relations,” it is important to inquire as to whether always-on live streaming is but another expression of the flattening sense of time or indeed the flattening of capitalist subjectivity (Alliez & Goffey, 2011, p. 41). The conclusion will address the following philosophical questions: how does one pass from solipsistic “island universes” (Miyadai, 2007) to “islands of slowness” (Berardi, 2010, 2014)? And how might the latter become sites for the creation of new “social zones of human resistance?” How can slowing down, becoming immobile, possibly resist control (Chiba, 2013)? And how can live streaming be conceived as a form of exit, withdrawal from or resistance to 24×7×365, always-on-demand life in the metropolis? How can live streaming escape the unworld (immonde) or vile world to create new becomings? What are the pre-personal, a-subjective forces, the “non-human affects” that can be extracted from cityscape-mediated any-space-whatevers and how can they be put to use to think transversally and singularly? Can live streaming join other micropolitical agencements (assemblages or

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molecular or atomic “populations”) to subvert—transversally—the dominant “fussification machines” of the mass media (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 345)? And in what way can the reappropriation of the media through live streaming subvert current modes or modelizations of capitalist subjectivity? And we ask the following semiotic questions: What is the nature of the current semiotics of social control? What are the semiotic components of machinic enslavement and the transversal tools to resist it and what is the nature of the “new smoothness,” that is related to new coefficients of transversality (Guattari, 2015), which may lead “to the invention of new constellations of universes”—for better or worse—(processes of becomingrobot, becoming-Pachinko, becoming-Pokémon Go, becoming-hikikomori, becoming-otaku) (Guattari & Rolnik, 2008, p. 417). Lastly, what is the nature of becoming-Zhibo itself? Proceeding through an account of a possible fourth (media) ecology (Ueno, 2016; Zhang, 2015, 2017)—an extension of Guattari’s notion of the three ecologies (social, environmental, and psychical)—this chapter seeks to account for the existential transformation from Asada’s schizo kids (marginal, wild, minor) in his theory of escape (Tōsōron, 逃 走 論 ). In the 1980s, Asada described schizo kids as young people leading nomadic lives, who refuse to follow traditional ways of life. The escape from Japanese civilization necessitated, Asada claimed a paradigm shift from the paranoiac to the schizophrenic type (through a Nietzschean, accelerationist reading of Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus). The Japanese word “toso” usually means “escape,” but it was used as a homonym to suggest “struggle.” To escape means to struggle. Under Asada’s “gay science” of struggle and escape, youth traversed Japan’s lingering sense of “infantile capitalism” (Asada in Miyoshi, & Harootunian, 1989, p. 275), and indulged in the consumer economy as if it were a childlike game. Clearly, Asada wished to accelerate this trend, writing in Tōsōron: “行先なんて知ったことか。とにかく、逃げろや逃げろ、 どこまでも、だ「” (Do you know where to? Just escape! Escape! To wherever.) The schizo lifestyle was defined as irresponsible, a precarious line of flight (逃走線) and adjudged postmodern because it was constructed without deciding any one fixed position or identity–acting as a kind of “vibrating” machine (Guattari, 1996b, p. 205). Capitalism in Japan functioned smoothly despite its infantile characteristic—it passed through the three stages of elderly, adult and infantile capitalism. More currently, and with respect to Miyadai’s work, small groups or “island-universes” adopt exclusive values, lifestyles and beliefs to the exclusion of others. Intimacy leads to indifference to those outside tribes, communication networks or islands. We may perhaps also understand the Zhibo phenomenon in terms of Karatani Kojin’s “counteract” theory (2005) which relies on the strategy of “exiting and transcending” (Choshutsuteki na taiko) “super-capitalism” (Cho-shihonshugi) or what he


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names the trinity of “capital, nation and state.” A counter-act or resistance has less to do with direct confrontation and more to do with “withdrawal,” “disappearance,” “desertion,” “exodus,” or “flight.” A counter-act therefore seeks change, fatally or perversely, through exhaustion with the system—albeit differently from the kind of hyper-consumption “for any absurd purpose” which Baudrillard describes. Karatani invokes a twin-pronged counter-strategy that is “immanent” (Naizaiteki) and “exscendent” (Choshutsuteki) in relation to Japanese capitalism. The term “exscendent” here is a neologism and portmanteau word suggesting “exiting and transcendent” (Cassegard, 2007, 2008; Cazdyn, 2012, p. 58). We may also read Zhibo through the notion of interbeing-in-the-world, following the interological turn in media ecology (Zhang & McLuhan, 2016). As can be seen from the previous remarks, this chapter is principally concerned with addressing the media ecologies and woes impacting upon youth. Technology then is a pivotal component, adding an extra dimension to Guattari’s three ecologies thesis. In particular, and from a transdisciplinary, interological (Zhang, 2015) and Guattarian point of view, we shall address the somewhat paradoxical issue of existential territory in the non-places of the world (Augé, 2008). To this end, the chapter looks at a singular experience of space and time, or more concretely expressed, at the “world” of a female Chinese student learning English in a Japanese university, whose “presence” is often elsewhere, mediated and dominated by attention-grabbing transnational and transcultural media and flows. Through examining her work as a popular Zhibo streamer, recording day-to-day life in Tokyo via mobile phone technology for tens of thousands of followers in China, we shall consider the meaning of alienation, presence, language and, importantly, the belongingness of a subjectivity living a form of inter-mediamundia or interworldliness. The point to be made is that global flows of money and technological miniaturization effectively erase difference and the experience of the Other—as they rip the self away from “deconnected” and “emptied” space (Deleuze, 2013, p. 135), from a relation to the hic et nunc. Media machines thus act to accelerate hyper-alienation from the immediate milieu. As the Chinese student jumps from one metropole to anoth​er—Sh​ angha​i-Tok​yo-Sh​angha​i—suf​ferin​g existential stress in the meantime—she rejects the unknown to instead reterritorialize on an established network and imagined community “back home.” In this way, technology appears to act as an imagined land of security and sanctuary (Conley, 2012). DOUYU R uses the Zhibo streaming phone app Douyu, which has considerable popularity in China (it also has several hundred rivals such as Ingkee). Douyu

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helps streamers to distribute live video and interact simultaneously with viewers. Ingkee says that 50 million users have downloaded their app. Douyu claims its own figure is more than 120 million and claims that its average daily active users total average around 15 million people, with around 200 million active users monthly. It is estimated that Weibo users created 10 million live broadcasts from April to June 2016—a 100-fold increase over the first three months of the year. Weibo claims to have 282 million monthly active users and draws in revenue from video ads and taking a cut from virtual gifts. While new mobile applications like Douyu are not limited to China (live streaming or self-broadcasting is a viral commodity in Southeast Asia also, where for example, Indonesian youth use Bigo Live to share their personal lives, and, in the United States, there are Zhibo services such as Meerkat, Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook Live), the vast and distinctive scale of use in China is noteworthy. In 2016, China’s Zhibo market revenue totaled 15 billion yuan, and research shows that in recent years billions of yuan have been invested in China’s Zhibo websites. The figure is forecasted to rise to 60 billion yuan by 2020. SELF-ENTREPRENEURSHIP We are all encouraged to be self-entrepreneurs. To sell and market what we have—brains, good looks, skills, youth. This attracts those who watch in from the safety of their own homes, who people pay to watch others. Voyeurs look at the world through someone else’s eyes. What is fascinating about Zhibo streaming is how the host and audience interact. Co-creation takes place in-between the Zhibo user and the audience. The production of subjectivity takes place “on the side” of objects (Thouny & Yoshimoto, 2017, p. 151). Viewers, sometimes in the tens of thousands at any one time, send instant messages which are streamed across the screen in real time. We might ask why people watch others so obsessively and pay for the privilege. Is it mere boredom or loneliness? The other side of this is that hosts may feel this sense of boredom and loneliness as well, but something else is happening which needs to be accounted for. The most popular streams are game-focused or those which follow the daily lives of female hosts or “Stream Queens.” R could be given this appellation too. Viewers can buy virtual gifts such as images of flowers or bottles of beer for their favorite hostesses who receive a portion of the revenue stream, with the site owners getting a significant cut. Soon after she became a student, R gave up her part-time job to participate in the virtual world of Zhibo streaming. For R, live streaming pays much more than her dead-end part-time work. What is remarkable about R’s work is that instead of staying in front of her screen at home for six or seven hours


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a day (as a data input clerk for example), she gets out and about, interfacing with the architecture of the city, interacting simultaneously with people in the here and now but also virtually with fans based elsewhere. R says the work can be grueling, always walking around the city, constantly talking with fans and interviewing people, but again she enjoys the attention and escape from 24×7×365 convenience store work. From a Guattarian point of view, her comportment to the world is a kind of involution—interbeing, rhizomatic, intermezzo. Her life is schizzed by transversal or translocal processes characterized by immediate political geographic relations (I am a foreign student expected to be at school, etc.), but also by those affects directed at the body (walking for hours a day), capital flows across the earth (a percentage in the takings from virtual gifts), ideological investments in a social field (a Chinese person in Tokyo discussing Chinese culture and politics), and self-reflexivity itself (who am I, what the hell am I doing here?). The geography of Shinjuku is there physically, but it is also mediated, part of a mental assemblage and ecology. Her iPhone and the interactions with it construct a mental landscape. In some way, the enthusiasm for transhuman(t) live streaming or flaneurship is comparable to the euphoria for GPS-led Pokémon Go, which has done much to blur the distinction between real and mediated gaming environments. Her schizo contraption of microphone-extension pole-iPhone does more than set up a simple sound circuit. Instead of communing with a mobile phone, she engages with the cityscape itself—perpendicular and oblique—through vistas filtered with instant messages and the constant barrage of questions and suggestions. So is not straightforwardly obvious that the live streamer is alone in another world suffering a form of existential autism, as she is also connected with thousands of messages from followers. LIVE STREAMING Live streaming can be understood as a model of new capitalist subjectivities. One performs a service for others in exchange for virtual gifts. Always on call, always online, live streamers act out in immaterial universes and are implicated in the production of subjectivities across nations, cultures and languages. Their ways of working, being and living constitute a statement about interology and interbeing (Zhang, 2015). Immaterial universes are transcultural and transnational. Across the screens of the live streamer flow a-signifying signs of emotion and affect—hearts, fruit, emoticons. Live streaming represents the creation of new worlds of reference, existential territories and collective assemblages of enunciation. But in what way? The Zhibo streamer traverses both concrete locations and territories and is

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transient in virtual spaces of consumption and temporariness devoid of social relation. She could be anywhere in the world, positioned in an anonymous space, “without solidarity, without tomorrow, without commitment, without common interests, a game society” (Lévinas & Aronowicz, 1990, p. 111). In these spaces, affects are not solely of one’s own making. They are impersonal, unnatural, inhuman. They swirl around in a space of unnatural participation and unnatural nuptials. The immanent affects of relays of face-​voice​-scre​en-te​xt-sc​reen-​voice​ -face​-voic​e traverse the streamer herself. The immediate milieu is screened through the microphone-pole-phone arrangement engendering an existential constellation of nonhuman affects. The Zhibo streamer’s communication with fans and with people in the local milieu is part of an existential group nucleus. As an account of social and political relations, this is less a matter of intersubjective relations and more of a turn to the transindividual (Read, 2016). The Zhibo streamer traverses an intermonde or interkingdom. Her presence in the local milieu is one of an unnatural participation in the fusion and contagion of images. In this sense, Guattari’s speculative cartography is able to account for the invention of spaces between existential territories and incorporated universes of values. In this respect, ecosophy is applicable to the phenomenon of live streaming as it is a heuristic cartography of the immediate info-sphere which grasps the relay between subjectivities, environments and the myriad production of subjectivities. The task ahead is to redraw the “inter-monadic transversality” (Guattari, 1995, p. 117) of the Zhibo streamer and to rethink the meaning of a “transmonadic exteriority” (Guattari, 1995, p. 113) in the wake of live streaming. FOUR FUNCTORS Overseeing the concrete instances of Zhibo streaming is an abstract machine of transversality—functioning across nations, cultures, classes and ages. Here let us explain the abstract machine’s operations through Guattari’s four functors schematic. The machinic assemblage of the live streamer can be understood as follows: (F) the economy of fluxes (actual real); (Φ) machinic phyla (actual possible); (U) incorporeal universes (virtual possible); and (T) existential territories (virtual real). Regarding the functor of flux (libido, signifier, capital, labor), the live streamer is embroiled within material streams of fleeting eyes and feet, traffic signals, train lines, station announcements, chat bots, streaming video data, electric signals, translanguaging, interpretation, translation, neon signs, phonetic tones, battery life, work-day-student-life-commuting-time, libidos, desires and financial remuneration. The second functor of machinic phyla creates an


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objective deterritorialization as Zhibo streamers operate within a phylum of smartphones and apps, complex algorithms, powerful processors, expanded RAM, interactive screens, miniaturization, game networks, chat lines, VPN escape routes, extraction of rare earth materials such as coltan, huge factory buildings in China; all of this is intensified by rapacious competition from Twitter, Facebook and the hundreds of competitors on the mainland or in Hong Kong. Live streaming has and will continue to mutate into something else, better platforms, aggressive monetization strategies, amateur pornography, voyeurism, exhibitionism, self-obsession, psychical illnesses– excrescent mental pollution. Connecting incorporeal universes to existential territories is a subjective deterritorialization. In terms of the first, Zhibo streaming sites are incorporeal universes in themselves. Zhibo users and audience members sit at their desks, watch on the train, sing and dance, chat about mundane matters—there is a constant traversing of the virtual-possible with new content. The connection with existential territories, where streamers and their fans form a shared and intimate world, albeit a virtual one, offers some shelter from the psychical excesses of IWC. There, incorporeal universes are singular; viral, frantic, lawless; they quickly come into being and pass away and, in doing so, bring about a change in existential comportment to the world and impact the psycho-sphere of its users. The existential territories of individuals operate in a multi-dimensional, transversal milieu—they engineer repetition and refrains. “I am doing a live broadcast for fans in China—may I interview you?” this refrain is uttered hundreds of times a day by the Zhibo streamer. The refrain takes place in the trendy, youthful, hot-spots of Shinjuku, Shibuya or Harajuku—in restaurants, train stations, on the street. The milieu is heterogeneous. The streamer interfaces with her fans via the screen, via Chinese kanji and Asian multiliteracies (including literacy in the culture of gift-giving in China and Japan). She speaks to machines hundreds and, sometimes, thousands of miles away, via microphones, telephone signals, via data packets, a-signifying semiotics and buffered signals. Le Capitalisme Mondial Intégré In a rare bout of optimism, Guattari believed that new miniaturized technologies could be redirected through molecular, transversal reorganization to positive, life-affirming ends. Interpreting the democratic chaos of Zhibo streaming, Guattari may have concluded that one must work to isolate the “multitude of vectors of resingularization, of attractors of social creativity in search of actualization” (Guattari, 1995, p. 117). The question arises: Is there a possibility of individual and/or collective re-singularization in Zhibo streaming? At first glance, it seems difficult to see how Zhibo streaming is consistent with this radical aspect of Guattari’s thought. Indeed, for Virilio,

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no singular group or community can divert the negative impacts of technology regarding exchange, displacement and communication. He designates the negative impact of technologies as the catastrophe of the “pollution of distances” and asserts that it will not be lonely individuals who reconfigure technology’s subjection. For him, the challenge to technology’s subjection of the earth must emerge at the wider political and philosophical level. Phenomenologically we could say, from Virilio’s perspective, that R and others may suffer from forms of dromospheric pollution, the contamination of “time distances” and the compression of “depth of field” (Virilio, 1997, p. 40). Virilio writes (1995, p. 35): “With acceleration there is no more here and there, only the mental confusion of near and far, present and future, real and unreal—a mix of history, stories, and the hallucinatory utopia of communication technologies.” For Virilio, the colonization of the psyche is the “great catastrophe” and “drama of globalization.” The ecological catastrophe is accompanied by the catastrophe of the pollution of distances, that is to say, “the reduction of the world to nothing” (Schmidgen & Guattari, 1995, pp. 25–37, my translation). Virilio’s remarks are consistent with Heidegger’s pessimistic phenomenology. Indeed, Heidegger claims in the essay The Thing (1950) that the domination of the televisual by the whole machinery of communication will lead to “the abolition of every possible remoteness” (Heidegger, 1971, p. 163). Virilio insists that the ramifications of the concept of one world time have deflated the sphere of the world before our very eyes. Meanwhile, for Berardi (2014), and with clear applicability to Zhibo, psychical phenomena such as depression and panic are psychopathologies that traverse both the social mind and the unconscious, producing an array of maladies such as information overload and competitive stress. From this view, Zhibo can be read as a violent penetration by capitalist exploitation into information technologies. While technologies of cognition, intelligence and sensitivity are possible, for Berardi, the spasms accelerated by new technologies are desperate, painful vibrations as they intertwine with the effects of subjugation whose telos is the continuous increase in productivity and exploitation. More than 20 years after the publication of Chaosmosis (1992), and Guattari’s description of the new millennium as “an age of fog, miasmas, and obscurity,” Berardi describes the fogs as thicker (Berardi, 2014a, p. 183), and the miasmas more dangerous and poisonous than ever. So from Miyadai’s “island universes” of disconnection, indifference and monadic transversality to Berardi’s “islands of slowness,” from connection as control to conjunction as creativity and meaning-making, how should or can we imagine “lines of escape from the spreading universe of unhappiness, in terms of islands of slowness, of convivial corporeality?” (Berardi, 2014b, p. 201). Berardi warns that the acceleration of info-technology infected by “semio-capitalist exploitation” (2014b, p. 201) cannot be easily translated


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into “cosmos, mental order . . . and sympathy” (2014b, p. 201). Indeed, his friend Guattari became increasingly pessimistic regarding creativity through miniaturization in the postmedia era, especially after reading Hans Jonas’s The Imperative Responsibility (Glowczewski, 2016). FROM FOUR FUNCTORS TO THE FOURTH ECOLOGY The fan is not a person but a nickname, a polyphonic sound, an emoticon, a micro-revenue stream, part of the metaphysics or ecology of images, an ecology of technologies or media; in other words, part of the “world picture” (Fry, 2002). This “ecology of the image” can be fittingly described as a fourth ecology. How can the fourth ecology interpret the phenomenon of Zhibo streaming? For one, the relationship is virtual—gifts, messages, requests, words of enthusiasm. The streamer transverses the local milieu through refrains on her phone, and refrains at the station. Her transversality is a (wild) crossing, a going across, a form of walking, travel, sailing, running, flying—a line of flight and deterritorialization. Transversality is thus a journeying. Her agency is machinic, balletic, kinetic, surrounded by wall images, building images, advertisements, train signs, interfaced by nonhuman objects, and machines—communicated by swishing, swirling, prodding, probing—a sweeping, transversal movement . . . “a stream without beginning or end” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 25). To understand this vehicular comportment it is necessary to use the concept of transversality. Contending that a fourth media ecology complements Guattari’s three ecologies thesis, Ueno (2016) argues that this fourth ecology is crucial to understanding the contemporary moment’s relation to ecosophy. It is essential to understand how the fourth ecology of the image affects and redefining the environmental, social and psychical ecologies. Concurring with this stance, we can extract the following observations: Live streaming is a paradigmatic example of collusion with transnational flows of immaterial labor and infosemio-cognitive-capitalism. It expresses the “delirium and delusion of technology” (Thouny & Yoshimoto, 2017, p. 145). On this point Ueno says (Thouny & Yoshimoto, 2017, p. 143): “Info-semio-capitalism in the current era of globalization and neoliberalism forces us not only to participate in the production of signs, symbols, and knowledges in our cognitive labor but to engage in the very production of subjectivity.” The demand to extend and refine the three ecologies thesis has also been taken up by other writers. Zhang is one of them, writing in The Four Ecologies, Post-Evolution and Singularity (2016): It is time for us to make a strategic shift of perspective and envision the world in terms of the ecology of machinic assemblages, which encompasses all four dimensions, namely, the environmental, the technological, the social, and the mental. . . .

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The picture, however, is incomplete if we do not explicitly recognize and take into consideration a fourth ecology, namely, the ecology of technologies or media, which bears significantly upon the three ecologies examined by Guattari. (p. 333)

Such a fourth ecology would extend yet differentiate itself from McLuhan’s analysis of the self-hypnotic Narcissus-narcosis numbness syndrome (McLuhan, 1964, 1995). A fourth ecology would apply McLuhan’s findings to the modern context to test the hypothesis that permanent on-stream intensified stimulation saturates the machinic consciousness of Zhibo users to such an extent that it places the sensitive, living organism in a state of “permanent electrocution.” It would take issue with McLuhan’s claim that the Narcissusnarcosis syndrome is “invisible” as it is “all pervasive and transmogrifies our sensory balance.” A fourth ecology would adopt the critical tenets of this media philosophy but would, through schizoanalysis, continue to search for lines of escape, becoming-other, and moments of resingularization.

ANALYSIS OF MACHINIC ANIMISM AND CINE-TRANCE The live streamer engages in a form of machinic animism (Genosko, 2002), a “strange ecology” which interfaces with the local milieu, with virtual ecologies, and a huge array of semiotic registers. Zhibo streaming produces a virtuality of the world, an inter-world. It reconfigures existentially what Guattari describes in Psychoanalysis and Transversality (2015, p. 112) as the “coefficient of transversality”—a way of altering perception. It allows the users to see the world from a new perspective. In this way, the epiphany with R modified my own intellectual “coefficient of transversality,” that is to say, my own blinkers or “blindness” vis-à-vis the possibilities offered by these technologies. The concept of transversality allows one to see the world afresh. Heuristically then we can decode the recent phenomena of live streaming through the concept of transversality to bring out the ramifications for other relevant media ecologies. Describing the concept as a tool to prise open “closed logics and hierarchies” (2002, p. 78), Genosko outlines the potential of transversal thinking: Transversality belongs to the processual subject’s engendering of an existential territory and self-transportation beyond it. The key concepts involved are: mobility (traversing domains, levels, dimensions, the ability to carry and be carried beyond); creativity (productivity, adventurousness, aspiration, laying down lines of flight); self-engendering (autoproduction, self-positing subjectivity), territories from which one can really take off into new universes of reference. (2002, p. 55)


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Live streaming is thus part of a transversal and transcultural continuum. Through the Zhibo stream, a processual and collective subjectivity creates an existential territory. But more than this, live streaming takes its user beyond the immediate milieu, the hic et nunc: there is a “self-transportation beyond it” to possible new universes of reference as Genosko says. The live streamer, who in engineering impersonal sensations and affects, operates in a virtual atmosphere of ontological and aesthetic chaosmosis: there is a becoming machine-part of a transversal assemblage or construct—transcending the natural/technological dichotomy. The body without organs of the Zhibo streamer is traversed by inhuman perceptions and affects—“nonhuman becomings of man,” “nonhuman landscapes of nature” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994, p. 169). The dogmatic insistence upon the nature/culture, nature/ technology divide is further undermined when we see transversal interactions between ecosystems, the mechanosphere, and social and individual universes of reference (Guattari, 2000, p. 43). Transversality thus disrupts the binaries that organize the world of work and reason. In such a rupture new existential singularizations may emerge which are consistent and supportive of inaugural “coefficients of freedom.” As Deleuze and Guattari declare in Anti-Oedipus (1983): There is no such thing as either man or nature now, only a process that produces the one within the other and couples the machines together. Producing machines, desiring machines everywhere, schizophrenic machines, all of species of life: the self and the non-self, outside and inside, no longer have any meaning whatsoever. (p. 2)

Zhibo streamers mutate into the screens and terminals around them and in their hands. The video camera transforms those to whom it is pointed. Zhibo streamers embrace their local milieu in a form of cine-trance, a psychogeography or tactile synesthesia—or being one “with” the medium. A package of data—from screens and walls to the retinas of Chinese viewers, from screen and walls to the retinas of the live streamer, from the micro portable screen to the walls and screens of Tokyo. Fans, too, are part of a video game, part simulation, part simulacrum. Fans actively direct the interaction of the streamer—requesting, cajoling, seducing—not merely vegetating but actively engaged in consuming, questioning: remote controlling the live streamer like the audience in Gus Van Sant’s Elephant. The live streamer is also a virtual girlfriend, like a character in Final Fantasy. The live streamer’s work is an act of traversing, a flâneur and voyeur in the Sprawl. Traversing Shibuya crossing, crossing between cultures, translating languages and cultures, the live streamer interacts with hyper-phatic and haptic surfaces, not only surfaces in the local milieu but those further afield surfaces mediated by

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Chinese and Japanese characters, Western alphabets, mixed semiotics and different economic regimes. While this may well prove to be another mode of attention-grabbing, it also allows for a more interactive relation with the local milieu. What has become apparent is that R’s interactions with her fans contest any straightforward reading of traditional modes of attentiongrabbing and control. In this strange state of transformation—akin to Jean Rouch’s cine-trance aesthetic—the live streamer becomes a “mechanical eye accompanied by an electronic ear” (Rouch & Feld, 2003, p. 39). The cine-trance of the Zhibo streamer creates an interbeing amid the rapid flow of images; in this we discern a leaking and passing into others (mixed with Kanji, advertising refrains, images of bodies) which produces a hypnosis, a neuro-state induced through the lens of the camera, mutually involving the live streamer, her object of attention and her fan base. The cine-trance of the live streamer grants access to the intermundia—that is to say, access to interactive events that are perhaps visible only to “children, madmen, and primitives” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 264). Elsewhere, Guattari will say that looking at the world through different, collective practices, through the eyes of children, the elderly, and the disabled for example, will break with the standard and dominant mass-mediatized gaze (Guattari, Osborne, Sandford, & Alliez, 2015, p. 134). In terms of R’s interactions, hers is a life in the cracks, a crossroads, an in-betweenness of becoming-Japanese along with the struggle to ward off reterritorializing on an essential Chinese identity. Youth embrace live streaming as a new form of machinic eros (Guattari & Hetrick, 2015). The live streamer’s body pans across the surface of objects and interactive advertising. From a paranoiac perspective, perhaps it is a selfsurveillance camera that functions in complicity alongside the ubiquitous face-recognition surveillance cameras of the Tokyo Metropolitan police. More optimistically expressed, the new technology which ushers in the world of live streaming is a mode of deterritorialization. It produces intensities and the in-betweens of multiplicities. It is the job of media ecologists to chart the ramifications of this fanatical fadism. In interfacing with millions of other faces, traversing the transnational, “technocratic-commercial archipelago of urban techno poles” (Lingis in Sheppard, 1997, p. 190), in spaces occupied by millions of eyes, feet, sounds, words—in movement, and not in thinking as such—new material and semiotic practices flourish and new patterns of interality emerge. The movement of images takes over thinking. The movement thinks through the screen. Ideas are created in the mutual intertwining of micro-interalities (微細間性) (Zhang, 2016), and the neon-Umwelt or neon-world. Ideas and thoughts are directing rather than stemming from the isolated direction of “a subject” with a fixed, prescribed identity. Subjectivity is decentered and impersonal


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intensities and affects compel the movement of thought in this relation to the neon-Umwelt. Such a free-flowing notion is akin to Foucault’s view of the subject as “gradually, progressively, really and materially constituted through a multiplicity of organisms, forces, energies, materials, desires, thoughts, etc.” (Foucault & Gordon, 1980, p. 97). Thought comes from the outside of a current milieu: it is a force that moves through personal enunciation rather than being enshrined within it. The Zhibo streamer thus gives herself over to other forces, to the nonhuman, to the technological. This position is also described, albeit in a precautionary fashion, in “From Chaos to the Brain,” the title of the conclusion of What Is Philosophy? (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994) which invokes the notion of “a little order” as protection from chaos: Nothing is more distressing than a thought that escapes itself, than ideas that fly off, that disappear hardly formed, already eroded by forgetfulness or precipitated into others that we no longer master. These are infinite variabilities the appearing and disappearing of which coincide. They are infinite speeds that blend into the immobility of the colorless and silent nothingness they traverse, without nature or thought. This is the instant of which we do not know whether it is too long or too short for time. We receive sudden jolts that beat like arteries. We constantly lose our ideas. (p. 201)

From Umwelt to Unwelt, from Excrescence to Exscendence If we regard live streaming as the extraction of surplus value from loneliness, we can perhaps consider it better through Jean-Luc Nancy’s stance (2007) regarding the destruction of the world and the dominance of the unworld or vile world. From milieu to unworld, there is an underside to this process, where technological mediation can lead to the loss of collective memory. Providing an interesting example of this which also connects with the experience of R, Begag (Conley, 2012) draws attention to North Africans living in an interworld between Paris and their lives back home. The comportment of immigrants to the world is unreferenced by the local milieu, by the experience of immediate space and time, as they are communing elsewhere. While this is important for the sense of ethnic identity, for Begag, if they do not care to learn the local language, be with local people, embrace local culture and ethnic difference, they risk becoming indifferent. Despite migration they are immobile. In this sense, televised images of an imagined community back home stall the process of becoming-other. This is, as we have seen, what Virilio determines as the pollution of distances. The refrain turns out badly—it exhausts itself. This is the refrain which resists becoming-otherwise, which reterritorializes on the familiar, the safe, the striated order of formalized rules and obligations. This is the refrain which dares not embark on the unknown. There emerges

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a strong sense of resistance to becoming-other. Immigrants, retaining a fixed way of doing things from their homeland, construct a simulacra or mirage of what they have left behind. To ward off existential anxiety, desire here turns to nostalgia and withdraws, to the fictional spaces of cable TV or live streaming. Soap operas act as a reterritorializing agent. Desire turns inward. Foreign students like R may at times follow this model—a fixed way of life, retaining a simulacra of the homeland. Desire for live streaming is not merely the desire for the block of expensive, handheld technology, nor desire for fans, money or mere narcissism. Why? Because, as Deleuze says, one always desires through an ensemble. Desire is always assembled. Desire is not desire for the objet petit-a as such, and it is never a teleology. One doesn’t desire the totality of the ensemble or aggregate from a transcendent point of view. I do not desire Shinjuku in itself, nor do I desire attention-grabbing signification, immersion in neon, crowds or noise. Contra Lyotard (1993, p. 111), I do not enjoy—perversely—soaking up the alienation, loneliness, boredom and indifference, either. Live-streaming desire forms from within an aggregate. And this desire flows within an arrangement of desire . . . walking, make-up, English-Japanese-Chinese, architecture, street signs, sound refrains, train jingles, flows of virtual gifts. The live streamer is an assemblage of identities—foreign student, Chinese woman, fashionable, confident girl. Deleuze tells us what desire is: it is constructing an assemblage, constructing a region or milieu. Desire is a constructivism (Boutang, Deleuze, & Parnet, 2004). The construction of desire manifests in the formation of subjectivity. The engineering of new subjectivities is always an activity of meta-modeling (Guattari, 2013, p. 17). In this respect the task of schizoanalysis is to understand what happens when one inheres in the screens of live streaming or animation. It is to understand how one is captured or hypnotized by the “perceptual fascination” of Zhibo streaming, by the virtual ecology of the imaginary (the “intention” of the unconscious) which desires by infiltrating the most unconscious subjective strata (Guattari, 2000, p. 50). It is a question of appreciating how the subjectivity is torn to bits as a consequence. How does the live streamer retain a sense of self as components of subjectification sweep past? What is the nature of the refrain that fixes the live streamer in front of the screen and what is the nature of the desire that desires this mental pollution, a desire which desires its own repression? Indeed, in his essay Transdisciplinarity Must Become Transversality Guattari asserts that the standard, mass-mediatized gaze of IWC “corrupts our intellect and our sensibility” (Guattari, Osborne, Sandford, & Alliez, 1995, p. 134). But equally, we also deploy his concepts to look for potential moments of resingularization. Schizoanalysis, transversality, and the fourth ecology are thus the theoretical coordinates for understanding the politics of media ecological enslavement, the mechanisms


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of social control and “the normalization of collective labor power” (Guattari, 2011, p. 89). So to grapple with the production of IWC as a modelization of “behavior, sensibility, perception, memory, social relations, sexual relations, imaginary phantoms, etc” (Guattari & Rolnik, 2008, p. 39), we must therefore construct/deconstruct global processes through and with the notion of transversality understood as a “tool box of modelization” (Guattari, 1996a, p. 192). CONCLUSION What is irrational is to think that the present state of affairs should continue. . . . What is much more serious is to try to reflect upon what prodigious changes the youth in Japan will embrace or what changes the hundreds of millions of young people who live in appalling misery will adopt. It is imagined that they will all stay like this, that they will remain in a state of total alienation, of worldwide famine. But it is much more rational to think that something will eventually take place. I cannot predict exactly what it will be, but I can predict that something will happen. Things cannot continue the way they are and we all need to help with this change (Genosko & Hetrick, 2015, p. 37). To monetarize all that lives, semio-capitalism covets movements of immaterial expression and labor, capturing the tendencies and qualities of these movements of immanent machinic expression, to channel them toward the extraction of surplus value of life. In this respect semio-capitalism is verily the immemorial vampire preying upon the isolation and loneliness of youth (Marx, 1973). Even though there appears to be no space, individual or group, exempt from complicity with this aggressive form of semio-capitalism, the resolute question as always is how to inflect the relation, to struggle to create “new possibilities of life.” This is the experimental form or “wild-style” effect of schizoanalysis: it is dogmatically a form of resistance, insatiably searching for “new coefficients of freedom,” for new forms of health—less downgoing and more affirmation. Returning to the R, even as the Zhibo streamer traverses smooth spaces of hyper-consumption in a kind of homeless, isolated drift, with her nomadic subjectivity always in transit, never at home—harboring a homelessness in the body—her embodiment glides across boundaries, cultures, languages and gender positions. Here, Depardon’s distinction between nomadic and sedentary lifestyles informs her behavior: The nature of being sedentary and nomadic has changed. . . . Sedentary people are at home wherever they go. With their cell phones or laptops, [they are] as comfortable in an elevator or on a plane as in a high-speed train. This is the sedentary person. The nomad, on the other hand, is someone who is never at home, anywhere. (Depardon, Virilio & Chandes, 2008, I)

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So here we ask: Aided by virtual technologies, how can this transcultural aspect lead to the reinvention of the other forms of alterity? It is Guattari that we look to for an answer. What Guattari’s schizoanalysis aims to do is to metamodel a different way of being and living today. Through an experimental collage of models, and with them, in turn creating singular maps of psychical life, Guattari is aiming to create the basis for a new kind of politics, a different way of doing things, a new kind of ecology and sensibility which questions the gamut of subjectivity and capitalistic power formations. His form of schizotherapy suggests a way to realign mental activity to “disentangle mental contents and psychic activity from the obsessive refrains that are entangling the activity of the mind” (Berardi, 2014b, p. 209). Guattari is thus the consummate media ecologist striving for a philosophy of dissensus, for a conceptual weapon to think otherwise, and through which to turn orthodox formations and enunciations inside-out—engineering a fourth ecosophical dimension beyond distinct models of ecology, socius, technological and mental life. From Guattari’s ethico-aesthetic perspective, to understand the functions and interrelations of power and technology, we must understand the way power inheres in modes of subjectivation, that is to say, the way in which one is constituted qua subjectivity. The critique of IWC then is premised on the role of technology and the way it produces new ethico-political formations. I began this chapter with the quote by Jeffries’ nurse Stella in Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Why? Because live streaming seems to challenge her observation. We can reformulate the point as follows: Voyeurism abounds in the unworld of capitalism, but as people are essentially always outside their own house or milieu, always transhumant rather than immobile or invalidated, what we need to do perhaps is look outward toward alterity as such—less hermetic loneliness, less indifference, less sedantariness, less hikikomori syndrome or social autism—and more becoming-other. This is a question of a pristine relation to others and the Outside as such. From vacuoles of solitude and silence to conjunctive concatenation, the redefinition of the future and the communism to come. REFERENCES Alliez, E., & Goffey, A. (2011). The Guattari Effect. Continuum. Arendt, H. (2005). The Promise of Politics. Schocken Books. Asada, A. (1984). Tōsōron: Sukizo, kizzu no bōken [On Escape: Adventures of the Schizo Kids]. Chikuma Shobō. Augé, M. (2008). Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. Verso.


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Berardi, F. (2010). Precarious Rhapsody: Semio-capitalism and the Pathologies of the Post-alpha Generation. Minor Compositions. Berardi, F. (2014a). Chaosmic spasm and the Educational Chaoide. In M. Carlin & J. J. Wallin (Eds.), Deleuze & Guattari, Politics and Education: For a People-yet-toCome (pp. 181–194). Bloomsbury. Berardi, F. (2014b). Félix Guattari: Thought, Friendship, and Visionary Cartography. Palgrave Macmillan. Berardi, F. (2015). And Phenomenology of the End: Cognition and Sensibility in the Transition from Conjunctive to Connective Mode of Social Communication. Semiotext(e). Boutang, P. A., Deleuze, G., & Parnet, C. (2004). L' abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze [Gilles Deleuze from A to Z]. Editions Montparnasse. Cassegard, C. (2007). Exteriority and Transcritique: Karatani Kojin and the Impact of the 90’s. Japanese Studies, 27(1), 1–18. Cassegard, C. (2008). From Withdrawal to Resistance. The Rhetoric of Exit in Yoshimoto Takaaki and Karatani Kojin. Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 6(3). Cazdyn, E. M. (2012). The Already Dead: The New Time of Politics, Culture, and Illness. Duke University Press. Chiba, M. (2013). Ugokisugitewa ikenai: Jiru durūzu to seisei henka no tetsugaku. [Don't Move Too Much: Gilles Deleuze and the Philosophy of Becoming]. Kawade Shobō Shinsha. Conley, V. A. (2012). Spatial Ecologies: Urban Sites, State and World-space in French Cultural Theory. Liverpool University Press. Deleuze, G. (1995). Negotiations: 1972–1990. Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G. (2013). Cinema I: The Movement-image (H. Tomlinson & B. Habberjam, Trans.). Bloomsbury Academic. (Original work published 1983) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983).  Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia  (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1972) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).   A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia  (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1980) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What Is Philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1991) Depardon, R., Virilio, P., Chandès, H., & Fondation Cartier. (2008). Terre Natale: Ailleurs commence ici. Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain. Foucault, M. (2015). Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–1977 (C. Gordon, Trans.). Vintage. Fry, T. (2012). Becoming Human by Design. Berg. Genosko, G. (2002). Félix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction. Continuum. Genosko, G., & Hetrick, J. (2015). Machinic Eros: Writings on Japan. University of Minnesota Press. Glowczewski, G. (2015, December). Resisting Disaster: Between Exhaustion and Creation. Spheres. Journal for Digital Cultures. http://spheres​-journal​.org​/resisting​ -the​-disaster​-between​-exhaustion​-and​-creation/

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Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (1996a). Chaosophy: Soft Subversions (S. Lotringer, Ed.). Semiotext(e). Guattari, F. (1996b). The Guattari Reader (G. Genosko, Ed.). Blackwell. Guattari, F. (1996c). The Three Ecologies (I. Pindar & P. Sutton, Trans.). Athlone. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F. (2011). The Machinic Unconscious: Essays in Schizoanalysis (T. Adkins, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Guattari, F. (2012). Schizoanalytic Cartographies (A. Goffey, Trans.). Bloomsbury. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F. (2015). Psychoanalysis and Transversality: Texts and Interviews 1955– 1971 (A. Hodges, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Guattari, F. (2016). Lines of Flight: For Another World of Possibilities (A. Geoffrey, Trans.). Bloomsbury. Guattari, F., & Negri, A. (1990). Communists Like Us: New Spaces of Liberty, New Lines of Alliance. Semiotext(e). Guattari, F., Osborne, P., Sandford, S., & Alliez, É. (2015, September). Transdisciplinarity Must Become Transversality. Theory, Culture & Society, 32, 131–137. Guattari, F., & Rolnik, S. (2007). Molecular Revolution in Brazil (K. Clapshow & B. Holmes, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Heidegger, M. (1971). “The Thing” in Poetry, Language, Thought (A. Hofstader, Trans.). Harper & Row. Karatani, K. (2005). Transcritique on Kant and Marx. MIT Press. Kerslake, C. (2012). Immanence and the Vertigo of Philosophy: From Kant to Deleuze. Cambridge University Press. Lévinas, E. (1990). Judaism and Revolution. Nine Talmudic Readings (A. Aronowicz, Trans.). Indiana University Press. Lyotard, J.-F. (1993). Libidinal Economy (I. H. Grant, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1974) Marx, K. (1973). Grundisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (M. Nicolaus, Trans.). Penguin. (Original work published 1939) McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. McGraw-Hill. McLuhan, M. (1995). The Essential McLuhan. Basic Books. Miyadai, S. (January 1, 2007). Shimauchu ni setsuna ni mureru tokumei nokanojotachi. ['Island universes' and the swarming of anonymous girls]. Passingtime/Tbs. Institute of Media, 68, 2–7. Miyoshi, M., & Harootunian, H. D. (1989). Postmodernism and Japan. Duke University Press. Nancy, J.-L. (2007). The Creation of the World or Globalization. State University of New York Press. Nietzsche, F. W. (2001). The Gay Science: With a Prelude in German Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs (B. Williams, Ed; J. Nauckhoff & A. D. Caro, Trans.). Cambridge University Press. Read, J. (2016). The Politics of Transindividuality. Brill. Rouch, J., & Feld, S. (2003). Ciné-ethnography. University of Minnesota Press.


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Schmidgen, H. (1995). Ästhetik und Maschinismus: Texte von und zu Félix Guattari. Merve. Schmidgen, H., & Guattari, F. (1995). AÄsthetik und Maschinismus: Texte von und zu Félix Guattari. Merve, 25–37. https://www​.academia​.edu​/24769138​/Entretien​ _avec​_Paul​_Virilio​_sur​_F​%C3​%A9lix​_Guattari​_31​_janvier​_1994 Sheppard, D. (1997). On Jean-Luc Nancy: The Sense of Philosophy. Routledge. Thouny, C., & Yoshimoto, M. (2017). Planetary Atmospheres and Urban Society After Fukushima. Springer Singapore. Ueno, T. (2016). Yottsu no ekorojī: Ferikkusu gatari no shikō [Four ecologies: The thought of Félix Guattari]. Kawade Shobō Shinsha. Virilio, P. (1995). The Art of the Motor. University of Minnesota Press. Virilio, P. (1997). Open Sky. Verso. Virilio, P., & Guattari, F. (1995). Entretien Paul Virilio sur Félix Guattari (31 Janvier 1994). Watson, J. (2011). Guattari's Diagrammatic Thought: Writing between Lacan and Deleuze. Bloomsbury Publishing. Zhang, P. (2015). Prologue to Interology: In Lieu of a Preface. China Media Research, 11(2), 57–67. Zhang, P. (January 1, 2016). Interality and Us. Canadian Journal of Communication, 41(3), 379–382. Zhang, P. (2016). The Four Ecologies, Post-evolution, and Singularity. Explorations in Media Ecology, 15(3+4), 343–354. Zhang, P., & McLuhan, E. (January 1, 2016). The Interological Turn in Media Ecology. Canadian Journal of Communication, 41(1), 207–225.

Chapter 12

On Deadly Spirals of Ipseity Hikikomori, Trauma and Resistance

The fundamental task of this chapter is twofold. Firstly, it is to speak up for psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, one of Freud’s favorite students, who much influenced Deleuze and Guattari in Anti-Oedipus (1983) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980). While it should be noted that Deleuze and Guattari ultimately reject some of the wilder theses of Reich, the larger point is whether this seems to go hand in hand with the rejection of the philosophy of affirmation. Reich being conspicuously absent in the contemporary secondary literature on Deleuze and Guattari, this appears to be symptomatic of the movement away from the philosophy of joy. Secondly, to account for this lacuna, I will explore how Reich can be used in the contemporary context with respect to the social recluse or hikikomori syndrome. My task is to understand how the “worm in man” has petrified social relations and sent Japanese society, functioning under the “diabolical intelligence” of hyper-capitalism, on a “chaosmic plunge towards abolition” as Guattari says. What chaosmic spasms loom on the horizon? I am interested in understanding how the plasticity of collective subjectivity (within hikikomori and withdrawal) represents this battle. What new models of desire can emerge? I answer this by looking to Reich’s research on cancer and the question of fascism, the “worm in man” and the coexistence of man with cancerous forms of the body. Is it not slightly embarrassing that Deleuze and Guattari align their thought with Wilhelm Reich’s (1897–1957) views on desire and fascism? In the pages of Anti-Oedipus much reference is made to Reich’s seminal works The Function of the Orgasm, Character Analysis (1980), The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), The Invasion of Compulsory Sex-Morality (1931), and What Is Class Consciousness? (1934) but to what extent do Deleuze and Guattari deviate from Reich’s ground-breaking psychoanalysis, 207


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and how distinct is their libidinal economy from Reich’s theory of sexuality? More than this, is it not the case that the barmy nature of Reich’s work is conveniently silenced in the current research on Deleuze and Guattari? Even the British philosopher Nick Land who says of Reich that he engaged in a “priestless and guiltless politics” (2019, p. 277) alongside Spinoza and Klaus Theweleit does not write at length on Reich’s oeuvre. Even Land’s “mad black Deleuzianism” balks at embracing some of the wilder theses found in Reich’s Sex-Pol thought. In our contemporary moment, with all the talk now less on a transgressive Deleuze and more on a negative Deleuze, “a cynical Deleuzianism” as Badiou says in his A Clamour of Being (2000, p. 86), a wiser Deleuze, a Deleuze of old age, caution, health and conservation, it seems there is nothing more politically insensitive or indeed politically incorrect than to affirm a joyful philosophy, a joyful Deleuze (see Culp, 2016). Frankly, one could say there is equally as much embarrassment with joy as there is embarrassment with Reich. Why bother to read Anti-Oedipus some 50 years after the aftermath of 1968? Isn’t it passé to speak of Sex-Pol and insurrectionary desire? Indeed there is some truth in the idea that Anti-Oedipus is a book few people talk about nowadays because joy is an affect that dare not speak its name. This is at odds with a certain reading of Deleuze. For example, Deleuze says of the “secret link” between his chosen influences: “Between Lucretius, Hume, Spinoza and Nietzsche, there is for me a secret link constituted by the critique of the negative, the culture of joy, hatred for interiority, the exteriority of things, forces and relations, the denunciation of power” (Lotringer, 1977, p. 12). With this in mind, why is it we no longer yearn for a bygone era of experiment and revolution? Why do contemporary readers insist upon a pure Deleuze, a cool Deleuze, an esoteric and exclusive Deleuze, a Deleuze who would rather say no?

JOYOUS REICH I am aware that in an interview with Jacques Pain, Guattari made explicitly clear his disagreement with Reich, but I am interested here in the lingering importance of Reich’s work on the project of schizoanalysis. In the interview, Guattari speaks of the machinic, constructivist nature of desire in the aftermath of the evenements in 1968: For the most part, the intellectuals in question have not read, or do not want to understand, what was said in the post-68 period. Our conception of desire was completely contrary to some ode to spontaneity or an eulogy to some unruly

On Deadly Spirals of Ipseity


liberation. It was precisely in order to underline the artificial, “constructivist” nature of desire that we defined it as “machinic,” which is to say, articulated with the most actual, the most “urgent” machinic types. That is to say, we are far from Reich, far from orgone energy. (Guattari and Genosko, 1996, p. 128)

Against this, and to the chagrin of the naysayers, I claim Deleuze and Guattari consistently affirm much of Reich’s psychoanalysis in their bombastic work Anti-Oedipus. They say, in the name of desire, it is Reich who causes “a song of life” (1983, p. 311) to pass into psychoanalysis. Why? Because he denounces the fear of life, the resurgence of the ascetic ideal and the poison of the bad conscious. Deleuze and Guattari side with Reich even when he is at his nuttiest. They prefer Reich to the God squad of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Yet even those among us with a perverse taste for the mildly bizarre cannot help but blush a little when we hear talk of “electrical storms,” “the blue color of the sky and the blue-gray of atmospheric haze,” the blue of the orgone, “St. Elmo’s fire, and the bluish formations [of] sunspot activity” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 292). Our understanding of Reich’s wilder theses is informed by Woody Allen’s orgasmatron, Reich’s cloudbuster, his orgone accumulator, deadly orgone energy (DOR) and so on. Be that as it may, importantly Deleuze and Guattari say that it is Reich who maintains that the outcome of psychoanalysis should be a free and joyous person, a carrier of the life flows, capable of carrying them all the way into the desert and decoding them. Yet even here there are limits to their embrace. Deleuze and Guattari stop speaking up for Reich when he invents his own machines to counter the so-called deadly forms of energy. In Anti-Oedipus they say of the orgone accumulator: “In the end, he only had his own desiring-machines, his paranoiac, miraculous, and celibate boxes, with metallic inner walls lined with cotton and wool” (1983, p. 119). With this in mind, how embarrassing and sacrilegious it appears to be to utter the name of Reich alongside Deleuze and Guattari in the contemporary moment. There is of course much work in the secondary literature on Deleuze and pleasure. It is here one would expect to find thoughts on Reich aplenty. Slavoj Žižek and Aaron Schuster are names which readily spring to mind. Yet, seldom in their work do we hear in other research Reich’s name. Žižek of course knows his Lacan and Freud and Schuster’s The Trouble with Pleasure: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis (2017), and it is interesting but strange how in his work there is much reference to Anti-Oedipus but never to Reich. Why so strange? Deleuze and Guattari will say it is Reich who goes as far as possible in the direction of understanding political economy (the flows of capital and interest) and the economy of the libido (the flows of desire). These are one and the same economies. It is Reich who Deleuze


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and Guattari turn to on questions regarding madness, desire and the fundamental problems of political philosophy. It is Reich who offers a way to understand the desire for servitude and humiliation, the lingering desire for fascisms of many a different hue—red, black and blue. It is Reich who understands the perverse desire of the masses. It is he who asks why desire can be made to desire its own repression.

PRIMORDIAL WORM Let me begin to turn here to the question of the “worm in man.” But before this let us remind ourselves of the origin of the parasite. In Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone (Kant & Greene, 2011), Immanuel Kant describes the figure of the tapeworm as at once primordial, originary and hereditary. Drawing on natural science, Kant explores the reasoning which suggests that moral evil exists in human nature precisely because of a direct inheritance “from our first parents”: The faculty of medicine would represent this hereditary evil somewhat as it represents the tapeworm, concerning which several naturalists actually believe that, since no specimens have been met with anywhere but in us, not even (of this particular type) in other animals, it must have existed in our first parents. How are we to explain the spread and continuation of moral evil through all members and generations of our species? The clumsiest explanation is that we inherited it from our first parents!

In his explanation of the three “higher faculties” in the Medical, Law and Theology schools of the university, whose remit, Kant argues, is to explore the problem of inherited evil, it is the first which is noteworthy because Kant directly invokes the image of the tapeworm to claim that in terms of inherited disease, the tapeworm is unique to the human, primordial animal. The tapeworm finds its origin in man as such.

PARASITIC TAPEWORM For Bernard Stiegler, this is noteworthy because the question is not one of extirpating the tapeworm from human nature but of accommodating it in terms of its pharmacological possibility. In For a New Critique of Political Economy (2013), Stiegler in a discussion on the nature of the technical milieu argues that the parasite is the condition of possibility of itself. This

On Deadly Spirals of Ipseity


is important for Stiegler because the parasite is henceforth pharmacological with curative as well as poisonous tendencies: A parasite . . . also happens to be the condition of possibility (and of impossibility) of that upon which it is parasitical. In brief, it is a matter of a pharmacological milieu. bearing tendencies which are curative as well as poisonous. (2010, p. 109)

Similarly, Japanese writer Ryu Murakami plays on the dual, paradoxical sense of kyōseichū/kiseichu. The biological term in Japanese kyōseichū (共生) pertains to symbiosis and as a verb it means to live together symbiotically with the living being designated a symbiont. Kyōseichū thus captures the sense of the “worm in man” or as an entity which devours itself or others to serve itself because kiseichu also pertains to the parasite or parasitic worm. Meanwhile, Deleuze and Guattari ask again and again what compels the schizophrenic to withdraw to a BwO that has become deaf, dumb and blind to the universe. Why catatonic, contorted, insomniac, sedentary “postures”? Why such withdrawn, demobilized, extreme physiological states? We might find an answer with respect to the parasite and the “worm in man.” In The Murder of Christ, Reich describes the entrapment of man; man is in a trap suffering the “worm-in-man”: “The trap is man’s emotional structure, his character structure” (1975, p. 3). Let me turn to the Japanese context to explain this in terms of (1) the “celibate machine” of the hikikomori or social withdrawal and (2) the description of the tapeworm by Reich. I will start with the latter to explain the former for reasons which I hope will become apparent. The movement of desire is described by Reich as wavy, serpentine, pulsating across the total area of the body. Desire is the expressive movement of the wriggling tapeworm. Reich describes the tension-charge function (TC function) thus: desire passes from mechanical tension to bio-energetic charge to bio-energetic discharge and then to mechanical relaxation. Jellyfish, snakes and worms demonstrate this uniform, wavelike movement. Reich says plasmatic (mechanical) and orgonotic (bio-energetic) currents in humans have the same rhythmic, wavy and segmentary character. The tapeworm is a slender, creeping, naked, limbless animal, with a soft body divided into a series of segments. It eats, transfigures and becomes its host in a process of mutual infection and unnatural participation. In this strange interkingdom, where there are myriad interworlds, myriad processes of “becoming animal” the worm can turn biopathological and cancerous—it orders the cessation of all movement and flow and puts the death drive to work. It shuts out the world and cuts itself off from others. It is alone, sedentary, adrift. New medical research (Guan, Zhang, Wang, Lu, Yin


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& Zhang, 2019) suggests that tapeworms are able to contract cancer and spread it throughout the body but may also be used as anticancer agents. For example, the host with a weakened immune system can die if the parasitic worm invades the gut and the brain. The tapeworm becomes the tumor. Inside the body, the tapeworm curbs the flow of energy. In its aggressive, malignant transformation, the “worm-in-man” of which Reich speaks in Character Analysis kills the host. Reich writes, “The segmental arrangement of the muscular armour represents the worm in man” (1980). From this Reich will say that at the societal level the emotional plague of fascism—both black and red and blue typologies—is cancerous. Here cancer and fascism are produced by the pestilent character of the host. Reich writes of the tapeworm’s death instinct finding resemblances in Freud himself: “He saps juicy, emotionally rich people, deprives them of their strength, akin to the behaviour of a tapeworm within the host victim. The pestilent character thrives on the energy loss in the victim, but in the end he perishes with the host” (1956, p. 10; Gramantieri, 2016). Why should we be interested in tapeworms, earthworms, jellyfish, serpents and the other concrete examples Reich gives? I am insisting that the figure of the hikikomori exhibits the features of the worm-in-man. A parasite, insignificant, the hikikomori withdraws from the world, suffering from the “wormin-man.” On the funk-laden body of the hikikomori pain waves, but nothing is liberated. The organism is dammed-up, tense; nothing breathes, nothing is released, all is kept at bay by the narcissism of the self. Without extension, the hikikomori is rhythmless, there are no waves, no to-ing and fro-ing between expansion and contraction. The movement of this innermost worm is petrified. Reich says excitation waves in the worm have a pulsatory nature passing from the tail to the head. When the worm is pinched, its rings constrict, choking the natural sinuous flow of longitudinal energy streamings (Stromung). Of fascism, Reich says that it is the life-will of rigid worms which no longer wiggle but only goose-step. The question is to what extent this withdrawal into narcissism is an expression of fascism, a fear of life, a fear of the lost love object. Indeed, the Reich-influenced Klaus Theweleit explains that the aim of Nazism “is not to give free rein to . . . drives, but to escape them. The eruption of . . . drives does not produce ‘satisfaction’; instead it helps stabilize . . . [character] armor” (1989, p. 384). Theweleit insists fascism only allows the masses to express “imprisoned desires” (1987, p. 432). There is thus a fateful battle of forces between the total organism of the worm and the health of the body. The worm gnaws away, sapping the life force in every moment. This is life in its very decline. The worm forms a deadly involution in an act of enfolding and entangling where there is a symbiosis, a coexistence and interaction, a double capture of worm and hikikomori. The worm forms a hikikomori-image: there is a hikikomori-becoming of the worm and a worm-becoming of the social recluse. The worm becomes part of the sexual

On Deadly Spirals of Ipseity


apparatus of the hikikomori as the social recluse becomes the sexual organ of the worm. The worm and hikikomori form a disastrous machinic assemblage. At the heart of this disastrous machinic assemblage we discern a machinic problem, for death is part of the worm’s existence, when and where destructive jouissance is at work. A lifestyle disease, a malady of our comportment to the world, cancer is a biopathic illness caused when the host becomes hysterical, suffering masochistic enjoyment, with exhaustion the goal. There is a thirst for the enjoyment of the mad destruction of organic bodies as Lyotard insists in Libidinal Economy (1974). As all bodies are composed of such parasites, Reich says of fascism that it is present in all societies and is a perennial threat. In terms of insurrectionary, joyful, affirmative desire, it is orgone energy which kills cancer, a disease which Reich describes in The Cancer Biopathy (1977) as emotional resignation—a bio-energetic shrinking, a giving up of hope. The technique of orgone therapy demonstrates that the dissolution of segmental armor liberates expressive movements and plasmatic currents. Simply put, when joyful, we have a strut which carries our head high. When in fear, one pulls it in, as a worm pulls in its front end. We suffer the convulsion of the body. Reich says character armor is a coping mechanism, a defensive structure, a habitual demeanor, stance and attitude. When armored, pulsation is interrupted and movement restricted. As a result, energy flow throughout our body is impeded. With the rigidified and repressive body armor, there is a lack of sensation, aliveness, a stiffness or tension, which can turn into chronic pain. There is a phobia and resistance to the oceanic feeling of which Freud speaks of, to the flows and deterritorializations of existence. Reich argues contra Freud that the oceanic feeling is the intuition of the great ocean of orgone energy streaming throughout the universe, whereas Freud limits the oceanic feeling to sublimation of the sexual instinct. Simply, if you withdraw or resign, you shrink, or contract. For Reich, it is the petit mort of orgasm which is an antidote to cancer, an antidote to the decline of life itself, or what I am naming the death-in-life of the hikikomori or the “impenetrable inner prison” as Theweleit describes fascism: The fascist is a machine component composed entirely of muscle-armor; a whirring, vibrating instrument that contains its inner organs in an impenetrable inner prison. (1989, p. 382)

In Dusan Makavejev’s documentary W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism (2007), we hear of the joys of orgiastic life and the struggle of communism to bring about the liberation of man’s natural impulses and the joy of living: In our sick society, everyone is sick. A human being averages 4000 orgasms per lifetime. Do not turn off this pulsating motor of joy and life energy.


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Orgasmotherapy is the program of Sexpol . . . as taught by the revolutionary doctor and communist Wilhelm Reich. The bioelectric charge and discharge produced by the genital embrace . . . causes the orgasmic reflex—supremely pleasurable muscular contractions. Subjection to social disciplines may cause gastric ulcers . . . respiratory, coronary and vascular diseases. Comrade lovers, for your health’s sake, fuck freely. The communist movement fights for the liberation . . . of man’s natural impulses and joy of living. 4000 liberating orgasms in every woman’s and man’s life . . . are 4000 explosions of liberated life energy. Only by liberating both love and labor . . . can we create a self-regulating workers’ society.

For Reich, sexuality is not just the pleasurable intermingling of human bodies, it is the force that produces life-affirming reality itself. It is through explosions of orgasm and the thousand petit mort of release that one experiences the other, and indeed difference as such. The point is to experiment with as many connections, relations and couplings as one can handle. This is Reich’s guide to a joyful non-fascist life. Or again as Nick Land says there is no revolution without insurrectionary desire, no effective route for insurrectionary desire without integral anti-fascism: No revolution without insurrectionary desire, no effective route for insurrectionary desire without integral anti-fascism. Wilhelm Reich, Georges Bataille, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari are perhaps the most important theoretical loci in this development. (2019, p. 170)

THE LONESOMEST MAN In the section “On the Bestowing of Virtue” in Part 1 of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche speaks of the withdrawing, lonely ones, who are but a prelude to the overman: There are a thousand paths that have never yet been walked; a thousand healths and hidden islands of life. Human being and human earth are still unexhausted and undiscovered. Wake and listen, you lonely ones! From the future come winds with secretive wingbeats; good tidings are issued to delicate ears. You lonely of today, you withdrawing ones, one day you shall be a people: from you who have chosen yourselves a chosen people shall grow—and from them—the overman. (2006, p. 58)

The “worm-in-man” inspires the blackest melancholy, the contempt of man. This is the black snake which hangs out of the young shepherd’s mouth in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The “worm-in-man” explains Nietzsche’s vision of

On Deadly Spirals of Ipseity


the lonely ones, which I find in the figure of the hikikomori and the increasingly detached and abstract lives of Japanese youth. The question is, will a transfigured being, a laughing, joyful being arise from this ontology of withdrawal, from the coexistence of worm and host? How might Reich help us to understand the plight of the hikikomori? My argument is that it is a perverse reading of Reich that helps us to understand the cancerous and toxic life of Japanese society and the microcosm of this chaos—the life of hikikomori. It is Reich’s description of armoring as one of “immobility” or “indifference” which applies to the BwO of the hikikomori. Because of armoring, contactlessness and affect-blockage (all Reich’s concepts) hikikomori lack the will to engineer or experiment with a joyful BwO. In terms of contactlessness, Reich describes its subjective experience of feeling inner loneliness and inner deadness or non-being even in the presence of others. Plagued by deep cravings for anxiety-intensity, the hikikomori flails toward catastrophe, to the deserted empty BwO, where it disorganizes and destroys its own organs, often through excessive communication with machines. Through this autophagy, the BwO turns cancerous. The explanation that the strengthening of the ego in the form of chronic armoring opposed both to the id (primary process, cosmic orgone energy) and the outer world goes some way to explaining the reality of the hikikomori. How? The segmentary arrangement of armoring expresses the immobilization and withdrawal of the body. The withdrawal from the world as a consequence of the blockage of orgone or result of deadly orgone energy (DOR) ensures that waves of desire freeze into segments. Reich’s description of the characterarmor of the mechanistically rigid person begins to sound more and more like the BwO of the hypochondriac. Again, nothing breathes in the universe of the hikikomori. The slightest disappointment leads the hikikomori to retreat from the world. PANGLOSSIAN MACHINIC POTENTIAL— SLAP HAPPY GUATTARIANISM On the occasions that the hikikomori is entombed in funk, affective intensities pass between him and his machines, to and fro. His auto-erotism enjoins with his love object, with his micro-machines. Here we find his lines of escape. The hikikomori is “unblocked” in front of the screen. The hikikomori ensemble lets desire flow. The hikikomori is deterritorializing on the sensory level. But this must be a double bind for Guattari. In Molecular Revolutions, he will say there are desires which clamp down on the joy of the adolescent, cutting her off from the world, cutting off relations, cutting off connections and leading her to turn in upon herself (Guattari, 1984, p. 165).


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More positively, Deleuze and Guattari will say that it is through strategic withdrawal that another configuration may rise, with the libido withdrawing from the capitalist apparatus, and desire finding other ways of spreading itself out, according to other configurations. Other formations of ipseity (from the Latin ipse: self) are possible. ON DEADLY SPIRALS OF IPSEITY Ipseity is the excess or excitation of the self, the essential element of individuality formed in spirals of pleasure. Ipseity is the concrete and particular core of the subject, a unity forged through what Bataille calls “contagions of energy”—a unity arising immanent to libidinal matter. The excesses of pleasures are co-constitutive of this ipseity. Seen in this idiosyncratic way, ipseity is the singularity or unicity of the self. While Levinas will say that the ipseity of the self is formed through ethical relation to alterity, without this relation, there is a “disturbance of ipseity” (see Sass, 2019, p. 7) with the self at odds with itself; it returns to itself, and nestles down deeper into the self. It is not the other or the face which opens the ipseity of hikikomori to the world but the extimacy of the machinic object. In the loss of care for the other, ipseity is not hostage to the other but hostage only to itself. What I am designating as deadly spirals of ipseity is a loss of otherregarding self-mastery, it is a detached auto-immunity as self. At once ipseity is thrown into the world by bodily comportment; ipseity enters the world through the body, but also closes itself to the world through the body. The comportment to the world that forms the sovereignty of the self, ipseity as such, also destroys it, causing the self to turn toward itself. What is the way out for the hikikomori? Positively, through the extimacy of the machinic object, the singularity of the hikikomori is a unique opening onto the world; whereas at the level of individuality, ipseity closes off the world and plunges and spirals into itself. In this way hikikomori, understood as the worm-in-man, can be read as a processual schizophrenia, a diminishing of self-awareness or disturbance of ipseity, an “inner void,” an increasing depersonalization of the field of awareness (Parnas & Sass, 2001, p. 105; Sass & Parnas, 2003). These come under other names—“opacity of consciousness”; a “feeling surrounded by invisible walls.” But how does the above inform our understanding of the hikikomori syndrome? Our concern must be how such spirals of pleasure can turn deadly and cancerous, like the perilous fourth line, the pure line of abolition, as discussed by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus. Here the focus is not so much on the orgiastic excess of Reich as the misery of the

On Deadly Spirals of Ipseity


hikikomori. Deadly centrifugal rings pull the hikikomori inside further as the worm withdraws deeper and deeper into the self, pulling the self away from a relation to the outside. There is a coiling, spiraling and involution of the self. There is a deepening of the spirals of malignant subjectivity. At its worst, the result is spiraling violence, the contraction of sensitivity, the acting out of the drives. This is the point picked upon by Bernard Stiegler who discusses the increasingly uncontrollable nature of control societies. Stiegler insists that the libidinal economy of capitalism leads to lovelessness, to the ruin of desire, to the unchaining of its drives: Control societies exploit that tendency of noetic beings to regress to the level of the drives, to that level at which they become furious. How could it be, then, that control societies are not domesticating societies? How is it that this “control” fails to make possible the submission of the human beast? The answer is that when human beings are controlled, and when this control deprives them of their desire, that is, their singularity, they become bestial and furious, in the sense that their drives are unleashed, until eventually they become radically uncontrollable. (2012, p. 11)

Reich’s remedy to the problem of desire was to let the natural streaming of bio-energy run unchecked: If you have a stream, a natural stream, you must let it stream. If you dam it up somewhere, it goes over the banks. That’s all. Now when the natural streaming of bio-energy is dammed up, it also spills over, resulting in irrationality, perversions, neuroses, and so on. What do you have to do to correct this? You must get the stream back into its normal bed and let it flow naturally again. This requires a lot of change in education, in infant upbringing, in family life. (Reich, Higgins, & Raphael, 1975, p. 52)

And again: “Wherever natural, adequate instinctual impulses are denied direct relationship to objects of the world, the result is anxiety, as the expression of a crawling into oneself and the development of a wall of contactlessness” (Reich, 1990, p. 316). There are thus deadly involutions of feeling and the deepening of the spirals. Hermetically, the movement turns on itself and exists for itself, it gnaws at itself, and it spirals further and further into the black hole of fascist subjectivity and narcissism. This sense of a deadly form of ipseity is therefore clearly at odds with the arguably insurrectionary exoticism of Lingis, who writes: Torments of pleasure separate and turn on themselves, engendering spirals of ipseity. Pulses of pleasure, spasms of pain vibrate on themselves, feel themselves. The eddy of a self is formed in this conjunctive synthesis—multiple,


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vagabond ipseities, here today, gone tomorrow, circulating on the surface of the body without organs. (2002, p. 98)

In our contemporary moment, I think Reich’s sense of vegetative streaming and the notion of affect-blocking can take on new significance albeit in an inverted and perverted form. The desire of the hikikomori in its vegetative stage is petrified and frozen. There is streaming—but there are no streaming sensations of pleasure, no feeling of aliveness because psychic armoring and physical withdrawal work in tandem to prevent the free-streaming of energy. The biophysical armor of the hikikomori blocks emotions and capacity for pleasure and happiness in life. We are all hikikomori. If the elimination of “individual layers” of the armor leads to the final breakdown of the “total armor” (Sharaf, 1994, p. 182), how can one proceed if the hikikomori goes catatonic in the withdrawal from reality? How can one do this if the building of “total muscular armour” generates feelings of “contactlessness” and the “frozen condition” as Reich says, and how can one do this if there is intense fear face to face with the flow of orgiastic excitation? Through the relation between “muscular rigidity” on the one hand and contactlessness on the other, Reich says wherever natural, instinctual impulses are denied a direct relationship to objects of the world, the result is anxiety and the expression of a “crawling into oneself,” the development of “a wall of contactlessness,” a feeling of “inner deadness.” Speaking to the Psychoanalytic Congress in Lucerne, August 1934, Reich speaks of the relation of contactlessness and its relation to schizophrenia and cancer: I was not completely aware of this myself at the time, nor did I realize that the problems of contactlessness, as well as those of vegetative current, also touched upon the core of schizophrenia and cancer in a new [bioenergetic] way. (1976, pp. 249–250)

To explain this in the Japanese context I invoke the Japanese writer Murakami Ryu. This sense of contactlessness expresses the “inner loneliness” of Japanese society. Murakami Ryu says much about the loneliness of the present. There has never been a Japanese person since the beginning of our history who has experienced the kind of loneliness enveloping the children of today. The core emotion of the Japanese people has now shifted from the “sorrow” of the past to the “loneliness” of the present. (Murakami & Tamura, 2010, p. 43)

How might we use Murakami Ryu’s figure of the symbiotic worm (a worm in coexistence and parasitical relation) to explain the loss of desire?

On Deadly Spirals of Ipseity


Ryu Murakami’s novel Symbiotic Worm (Kyōseichū) features Uehara, the protagonist who suffers from hikikomori syndrome. Tormented by internet bullies, this young man in his twenties withdraws into his funk, to understand this worm. Uehara turns to the internet to explore the nature of his parasite, demonstrating that there is no escape from communication—that there must be a pharmacological coexistence with the worm-in-man. The parasite is both poison and cure. The point is that in information societies, no one is free from being somewhat socially withdrawn. The positive task of schizoanalysis is to bite off and spit out the black snake or worm-in-man to construct the self again through new arrangements of desire, new experiments of life streaming. This is to evade the line of abolition and to experiment with the line of variation: This streaming, spiraling, zigzagging, snaking, feverish line of variation liberates a power of life that human beings had rectified and organisms had confined, and which matter now expresses as the trait, flow, or impulse traversing it. (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 499)

In his Nietzschean-inflected reading, Murakami suggests Japan’s socially withdrawn youth may well be a harbinger of a new way of life—from Untergang (sinking, fall, decline) to Übergang (over-going), from the lonely ones to the overman, from the hikikomori and mental implosion to chaosmosis, ethico-aesthetic existence to becoming-other. In this extreme radical passivity, with possibility exhausted, a new vision of health comes fleetingly into being. Even in Murakami’s sometimes bleak prose, the symbiotic worm is therefore symbolic of a new health and hope in the host. CLIMAX Why not continue to speak of the philosophy of affirmation? Why not continue to speak of the “cult of affirmation and joy”? Why the interest in the strange pleasures of failure, collapse, alienation, fatigue, exhaustion, tiredness, boredom and withdrawal? Why the interest in destroying worlds, in catastrophic times, in excruciating cosmic desolation, in pointless cruelty, interruption and poisonous silence? Why no struggle against endemic indifference to the outside world? Why embrace the void, the unexpected, the accidental, the crack-up, the apocalypse? Why not a new sensibility to the cosmos beyond stale forms of thinking, beyond eclipse, extinction and pessimism? Why such hatred of the world? Why not the reinvention of the world? Why not speak of the absolute deterritorialization of our territory? Why not invoke new perverted utopias to come? Why the stupid embrace of crushing vacuoles of non-communication? Why so much narcissism, self-harm and love of the worm-in-man?


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At times Reich speaks of schizophrenia, fascism and psychical cancer in the same breath and it is this which remains timely. If we can define cancer as a lifestyle disease, a malady toward the world, a difficulty of comportment toward civilization, what if the hikikomori process were a form of lifestyle disease exhibiting all of the features of processual schizophrenia, fascism and cancer? If so, schizoanalysis must probe the coexistence of host and worm, and the lifestyles which disseminate deadly life energies and cancerous forms of nihilism. So yes, a celebration of desire even in our bleak historical moment. Yes, schizoanalysis begins at the point where Reich’s political psychology ends. Yes, if the goal of therapy is “the reestablishment of vegetative streaming,” it is the task of schizoanalysis to pursue this joyful goal. The question is one of disarming the rings enveloping the BwO of the hikikomori. What obstacles need to be removed for authentic streaming? Which way to go— “revolutionary mobilization” or “reactionary immobilization”? Yes, it is schizoanalysis which must understand that orgasm anxiety forms the basis of the general fear of life, and that this is productive of fascistic desire. So yes, in exasperation, apoplexy and delirious exhilaration, a rejection of the naysayers and the peddlers of nihilism and instead the affirmation of the sense of insurrectionary desire and the possibility of a nonfascist way of life. Yes, yes, yes! I end with the quote by Reich in Listen, Little Man!: “You plead for happiness in life, but security means more to you,” and I answer this with the dissipating words of Nick Land: “death to the human security system” (as quoted in Stivale, 1998, p. 95) NOTES It is estimated by Tamaki Saitō that the hikikomori population in Japan could reach 10 million as younger people continue to lead secluded lives as they get older. Hikikomori in Japan predominantly tend to be male teenagers aged 18 to 30 years old, who quit school, have no technical skills, are unemployed, and live at home in their parents’ house. The Japanese government estimates that the hikikomori population (aged 15–64) stands at 1.15 million, but Saitō believes the figure could be closer to 2 million in Japan. There are estimated to be some 210,000 hikikomori in South Korea and an estimated 140,000 hikikomori—2 percent of the population—in Hong Kong. Such behavior is also present in many other countries according to research. More and more research suggests the hikikomori syndrome has crossed the limits of a specific culture-bound phenomenon in Japan to become “an increasingly prevalent international condition” (Kato et al., 2011): “Our case vignette survey

On Deadly Spirals of Ipseity


indicates that the hikikomori syndrome, previously thought to exist only in Japan, is perceived by psychiatrists to exist in many other countries.” There is an argument in the psychiatric literature that hikikomori syndrome can be understood as an autism spectrum disorder and in medical research that hikikomori often exhibit forms of schizophrenic behavior. Some philosophers take a different perspective arguing that hikikomori behavior is symptomatic of the trauma of modern society. One such writer is Yoshimoto Takaaki, Japanese poet and philosopher, who argues that hikikomori is a reaction to the woes of hypercapitalist societies: “I cannot by any means give my assent to ideas that ‘social withdrawal’ is bad and that people who withdraw should be dragged back to society” (Yoshimoto, 2006; Cassegard, 2008). Franco Berardi goes further to suggest that hikikomori is a healthy reaction to the trauma of competition: “[Hikikomori] behaviour is not only . . . the symptom of a pathology, but should . . . a form of adjustment to the anthropological and social mutation that is underway, an answer to the unbearable stress of competition, mental exploitation and precarity” (Berardi, 2015a, p. 85). Berardi adds: “hikikomori behaviour is a healthy reaction to the frantic precarious life that late capitalism has provoked: a fully understandable withdrawal from the hell” (2015a, p. 85). And again, “hikikomori behaviour might appear to many young people as an effective way to avoid the effects of suffering, compulsion, self-violence and humiliation that competition brings about” (2015b, p. 160).

REFERENCES Badiou, A., & Deleuze, G. (2006). Deleuze: The Clamor of Being. University of Minnesota Press. Berardi, F. (2015a). And Phenomenology of the End: Cognition and Sensibility in the Transition from Conjunctive to Connective Mode of Social Communication. Semiotext(e). Berardi, F. (2015b). Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide. Verso. Bradley, J. P. N. (2019a). Schizoanalysis of PokémonGo. China Media Research, 15(4), 78–91. Bradley, J. P. N. (2019b). Zhibo, Existential Territory, Inter-Media-Mundia: A Guattarian Analysis. China Media Research, 13(4), 77–89. Cassegard, C. (2008, March 3). From Withdrawal to Resistance: The Rhetoric of Exit in Yoshimoto Takaaki and Karatani Kojin. The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus, 6(3), 1–22. Culp, A. (2016). Dark Deleuze. University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983).  Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1972)


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Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).  A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1980) Gramantieri, R. (2016). Re-emergence of the Death Instinct in Wilhelm Reich’s Last Experiment. Psychoanalysis and History, 18(2), 203–220. Guan, W., Zhang, X., Wang, X., Lu, S., Yin, J., & Zhang, J. (2019). Employing Parasite Against Cancer: A Lesson from the Canine Tapeworm Echinococcus Granulocus. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 10, 1137. Guattari, F. (1996). The Guattari Reader (G. Genosko, Ed.). Blackwell. Guattari, F., & Rolnik, S. (2007). Molecular Revolution in Brazil (K. Clapshow & B. Holmes, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Kant, I. (2011). Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone (T. M. Greene, Trans.). Neeland Media LLC. (Original work published 1793) Land, N. (2011). Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987–2007 (R. Mackay & R. Brassier, Eds.). Urbanomic. Lingis, A. (2002). Libido: The French Existential Theories. Indiana University Press. Lotringer, S. (1977). Anti-Oedipus: From Psychoanalysis to Schizopolitics. Special Issue of Semiotext(e), 2(3). Murakami, R. (2008). Kyōseichū. Kōdansha. Murakami, R., & Tamura, J. (2010). Sabishii kuni no satsujin [Murder in a Lonely Country]. Shingurukatto. Nietzsche, F. W. (2006). Thus Spoke Zarathustra (A. D. Caro & R. B. Pippin, Trans.). Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1883) Parnas, J., & Sass, L. A. (2001). Self, Solipsism, and Schizophrenic Delusions. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology, 8(2–3), 101–120. Reich, W. (1956). Re-emergence of Freud's ‘Death Instinct' as ‘DOR' Energy. Orgonomic Medicine, II(1), 2–11. Reich, W. (1975). The Murder of Christ: Volume One of 'The Emotional Plague of Mankind'. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Reich, W. (1976). People in Trouble. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Reich, W. (1977). The Cancer Biopathy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Reich, W. (1990). Character Analysis. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Reich, W. (1975). Reich Speaks of Freud (M. Higgins & C. M. Raphael, Eds.). Penguin. Saito, T. (2019, September 17). Japan’s ‘Hikikomori’ Population Could Top 10 Million. Nippon. https://www​.nippon​.com​/en​/japan​-topics​/c05008​/japan​%E2​%80​ %99s​-hikikomori​-population​-could​-top​-10​-million​.html Sass, L. (2019). Three Dangers: Phenomenological Reflections on the Psychotherapy of Psychosis. Psychopathology, 52(2), 126–134. Sass, L. A., & Parnas, J. (2003). Schizophrenia, Consciousness, and the Self. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 29(3), 427–444. Schuster, A. (2017). The Trouble with Pleasure: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis. The MIT Press. Sharaf, M. R. (1994). Fury on Earth: A biography of Wilhelm Reich. Da Capo Press.

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Stiegler, B. (2012). Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected Individuals. Polity Press. Stiegler, B. (2013). For a New Critique of Political Economy. Polity. Stivale, C. J. (1998). The Two-fold Thought of Deleuze and Guattari: Intersections and Animations. The Guilford Press. Theweleit, K. (1987). Male Fantasies Vol.1. Polity Press. Theweleit, K. (1989). Male Fantasies Vol.2. Polity Press. Yoshimoto, T. (2006). Hikikomore: Hitori no jikan o motsu to yu koto [Withdraw! Possess your own time]. Daiwa Shobo.

FILM Makavejev, D. (Director). (2007). WR: Mysteries of the Organism [Film]. Criterion Collection.

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On the BwO of the Hikikomori

In the first movement I will look at the contemporary intellectual context surrounding Guattari’s interest in the Japanese archipelago. I address issues of ecosophy, schizoanalysis and critical postmedia in Japan. As my focus is principally on the hikikomori or social recluse, in the second movement I want to offer some thoughts on the possibility of the resingularization of subjectivity and what new forms of subjectivity might emerge after the pandemic. While I find no panacea or easy model ready to hand, in the second movement I am keen to ask the following: What is the schizoanalytic response to the hikikomori phenomenon? Can philosophy adequately respond to it? And if so, what kind of philosophy is possible and necessary to address this social malady? PART I: ON THE HIKIKOMORI OR THE WITHDRAWN CLAN (CLAN DE MURE) In preparing for his second visit to Japan, Lacan studied the Japanese language. During the course of his studies, a singular idea seized him: he began to suspect that because of the inherent nature of their language, the Japanese were neither in need of psychoanalysis nor analyzable. (Shingu, 2010, p. 52; Wilson, 2011)

One surmises Lacan is being mischievous in the above quotation, but even if the Japanese are neither in need of psychoanalysis nor analyzable, one thing is for sure Japanese youth (Akira, 1984) are in dire need of schizoanalysis! While for Lacan there may appear to be an incompatibility of psychoanalysis with Japanese culture and the Japanese language given its mixture of Chinese characters, the native scripts of hiragana and katakana, I continue to believe 225


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the unfinished project of schizoanalysis still has a role in challenging the very worst aspects of the mental pollution of social life. FIRST MOVEMENT: THE ISOLATED HIKIKOMORI The isolated hikikomori (Saito & Angles, 2013; Kato, Kanba, & Teo, 2018) is monadic and impenetrable. One cannot glorify this state. There is no war machine at work. A good proportion of the hikikomori are young Japanese who retire from social life and surrender to isolation and hermetic withdrawal. They are castaways or island universes(島宇宙)—perturbed by a psychotic state of withdrawal into the self. The singularity of the hikikomori has no relation to the outside. There are no windows. Desire turns upon itself; what is left is but an uninterrupted connection to the ether and the void. Hikikomori—a medical condition or label increasingly associated with autism (自閉症 or self-ism; Katsuki et al, 2020)—is a logical effect of anonymous, monstrous city life. Like Lyotard’s depiction of the English working class in Libidinal Economy, the hikikomori bathe in the swamp of alienation and become paranoiac (パラノ人間) as a consequence. The monad has no window to the outside. As such monadic hikikomori are mutually impenetrable. The life of the solitary hikikomori rejects the world but dares not create another. There is not one iota of romance in this isolation. The contemporary Japanese intellectual Masaya Chiba (2017) is interested in disjunction and disconnection but not conjunction per se. He seems to be searching for a pure Deleuze, one not tied to the academic community. And certainly he does not want Deleuze contaminated by those who put Deleuze’s philosophy to work with other disciplines. In this sense the open thought or open system of the rhizome is anathema. Chiba appears gleefully interested in the outside of Deleuze—the icy, perilous, abstract and impersonal Deleuze. Chiba seeks to extract from Deleuze the outside of his master. Like the anarchist Andrew Culp (2016), Chiba is interested in the modes of negativity in Deleuze. Indeed, there is something in this because we find negativity ruminated upon in the societies of control thesis where the Deleuze of old age finds it increasingly hard to say yes. The philosopher of affirmation is late in life a “negative Deleuze,” one wiser in his old age, finding less blind hope, less unthinking affirmation in desiring machines and schizo flows. There is less faith in the figure of the schizophrenic, the “exterminating angel” of capitalism which we find in Anti-Oedipus. All of that euphoria has vanished. Nowadays, the spent nihilist of capitalism can barely speak and can barely muster enough energy to say no never mind yes. The libidinal economy of Masaya Chiba is Lyotardian and at times Baudrillardian as he says he does not resist alienation but rather frolics in

On the BwO of the Hikikomori


it. As he says, our loneliness has been taken away and we want it back. He bathes in the anonymity and deadly refrain of Japanese industrial life. Chiba is right to focus on vacuoles of noncommunication and to those non-relational moments in Deleuze which are at odds with the Panglossian interpretation of the rhizome. Indeed, against this slap happy Deleuze, Chiba constructs a language of non-relation, a-signifying rupture and disconnection. He says we simply have too much connectivity. We connect for any absurd purpose. And therefore he is more interested in separation, in isolation and solitude, and is skeptical of those who read Deleuze for alternative relations, forlorn utopias, folk remedies, or for the over-enthusiastic reconsideration of difference: the remaking of the world as such. One suspects he would have little time for Badiou who says communism is the only alternative hypothesis to the world as it is. From this, I come away thinking people may find in Chiba the philosophical representation of the hikikomori. Here Chiba sings the same dissonant anthem as Andrew Culp. In the language of the latter we find the destruction of worlds, un-becoming, questions of withdrawal rather than acceleration. Culp uses the language of asymmetry and cruelty, interruption and exclusive disjunction. There are also Deleuzian themes such as touching the outside or embracing the powers of the false, but for Culp this is not a question of some pristine, idyllic nomadism but rather of an extreme experimentation, a barbarianism, the embrace of a cataclysmic politics, or what he calls the ethics of immanent communism. Following in the footsteps of another master of his, Nick Land (2002), he makes a monstrous, botched, derivative assemblage of Deleuze and Bataille. But with respect to the sense of separation, what does this mean in the Japanese context? Chiba resists the utopian, foolhardy and blindly optimistic sense of lines of flight and what those possibilities might suggest—as if escape is enough to save us! His is not a new form of tōsōron or the theory of escape à la Asada Akira. Lines of flight will not save us. Rather he is interested in questions of fatigue, old age, dementia, the disorganization of the perceptive, phenomenological experience of the autistic subject. Chiba agrees that autism may well explain Japanese society better than schizophrenia. Is Chiba therefore not the philosopher of “the dreary parade” of subjectivities which Deleuze and Guattari decry in the chapter How Do You Make Yourself A Body Without Organs in A Thousand Plateaus (1987, p. 150), of which one might say the hikikomori is the most miserable, despicable excrescent modern outgrowth. Deleuze and Guattari ask: “Why such a dreary parade of sucked-dry, catatonized, vitrified, sewn-up bodies, when the BwO is also full of gaiety, ecstasy, and dance?” Chiba cautions against the excess of rhizomatic relationships: simply, we have too much relation. And for him, there is too much hope in the rhizome. The open system will not save us. And he questions the pleasure of


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togetherness and community. Against this he prioritizes separateness, and the plurality of separate beings. Bizarrely, he finds this philosophically expressed in Graham Harman’s object-oriented philosophy (2018), that is the realism of the absolute non-relation between objects. Simply, in our own miserable lives, we are ontologically separate. And so he has no need for alternative lifestyles but instead limps from one position of poverty to another, from one position of fatigue to another, from one contingency to another. Blindingly moving in the dark. The restoration of community seems forlorn. In this way, his philosophy becomes Melvillian, Beckettian and Pinterian. And his pretentious nihilism gets the better of him: the human is but a stupid, cruel, lethargic, mean-spirited and foolish animal, he says. Yet Masaya Chiba, Andrew Culp and, indeed, Franco Berardi take a position at odds with the gleeful extremism of Nick Land, who is the Deleuzian scholar who really first literally embraces the antihuman impersonal dimension to runaway capitalism and the K-waves of impending desolation. No one has produced a more extreme form of Deleuzism than Land. For Land (2018), both humanism and the human are all but irrelevant. As he says, the human is a drag on the accelerationist tendency of capitalism. Following Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism (2009) [Fisher was a student of Land], Culp too delights in this accelerationist quasi-fascist tendency, and here, I think Guattari is right to note in his The Machinic Unconscious: “Every time technology claims to be acting on its own, it takes on a fascist hue,” but Masaya Chiba to his credit questions the excess of movement and communication for any absurd purpose. Why mention these thinkers? My research is on what critical postmedia and ecosophy might mean in the twenty-first century. In my own way, I have been researching about hikikomori for a while in Japan and now think it has become something of a planetary phenomenon, and it will be even more so after the Corona virus has died down. In its wake, I am trying to think about what the new form and nature of this subjectivity will be like, a subjectivity which has become reclusive, one which solipsistically mutters madly to itself in that withdrawal. What has happened to desire? What is the low desire society? What is the nature of this miserable ipseity of subjectivity (Nelson et al, 2014)? I would like to try and situate some of the observations about what Deleuze’s philosophy means in Japan. And this is because this is still not terribly well known outside the country. There is Asada Akira, who wrote 逃走論 or the theory of escape, and who became something of a media phenomenon in Japan in the 1980s. Indeed, the word schizo became one of the buzzwords of the year at that time. This idea of escape, escape from the kind of molar categories of Japanese society, escape from the vertical structures of endless debilitating work and the age-related employment system, this idea of escape

On the BwO of the Hikikomori


means to somehow form new relationships—horizontally—new forms of communities, new forms of experimental living. The point is to just escape, just get rid of or escape the old regime. Why? Because Japanese schizo kids are bored to death! But this idea of escape is quite different from the emphasis found in contemporary philosophy in Japan. I am again thinking about Chiba’s Don’t Move Too Fast, which is all about non-relation, a-signifying ruptures, excessive communication and movement. For him, what we perhaps need is a little less movement and a little less communication. A little more withdrawal, and perhaps a little more reflection. And here Chiba sounds like Žižek, who says we need a little less action and a lot more thinking. In other words, for Chiba, we need a pure, hermetic, unadulterated Deleuze. Still, I think I am with Deleuze and Guattari, who say that the idea of literally being outside, not being cooked up, is preferable as a model, to someone who withdraws, who just lies on the couch, who is miserably motionless. As Deleuze and Guattari say (1983, p. 2) “A schizophrenic out for a walk is a better model than a neurotic lying on the analyst's couch.” SECOND MOVEMENT: PANDEMIC The nay-saying of Chiba (2017) can be equally contrasted with Franco Berardi (2011, 2017) who has consistently talked about suicide and withdrawal as a kind of logical reaction to the realism of capitalism. Berardi too uses the language of non-relation, separation and withdrawal but wants something beyond that. And so do I. We must insist upon the promise and pleasure of joy. As Deleuze says in Pure Immanence: “Joy emerges as the sole motive for philosophizing. To valorize negative sentiments or sad passions—that is the mystification on which nihilism bases its power” (p. 84). According to Berardi, the virus acts as a sign of the ecosophical disaster which was present long before the pandemic. The pandemic might be thought of as a way out of the “corpse” of neoliberal capitalism. And Berardi wants to think beyond fascism and cybernetics, and consistently invokes the desperate need for human sensitivity, affectivity, empathy, new bonds of solidarity and a new form of desire. Less connection and more conjunctive concatenation. Recently, Berardi has described the phobic, hyper-sensitization to the body of the other, to partial objects like lips. The lips are the scorn of contact. Behind the mask are lips, lips of transmission, flow, passage and contagion. Here, the pandemic body has no toleration for virus flows and turns hermetic. Because of this Berardi (2020a) fears the emergence of a form of autism which refuses the presence of the other. This is the sense of contactlessness in Reich. It is the figure of the hikikomori in modern societies.


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Berardi writes against the prohibition of conjunction and asks what if an overload of connection somehow could break the cycle of physical fatigue. He wants the youth of today to understand that online life equals sickness, and writes: “We also have to imagine and create a movement of caressing that will compel young people to turn off their connective screens as reminders of a lonely and fearful time” (2020b). Another writer Yoshimoto Takaaki, a Japanese poet and philosopher, argues that the hikikomori phenomena is a reaction to the woes of hypercapitalist societies: “I cannot by any means give my assent to ideas that ‘social withdrawal’ is bad and that people who withdraw should be dragged back to society” (Yoshimoto, 2002, p. 19; Cassegard 2008, p. 7). We perhaps could put it like this: The pandemic is the simulacra of the real to hide the fact that we were all hikikomori before the pandemic started. The pandemic confirms Baudrillard’s thesis—the decentering of the subject, the ubiquity of the simulacrum. The pandemic is a simulacrum of the real. It hides the fact that before the virus began to spread around the world we were all becoming reclusive, isolated, non-related, hermetic, monadic. The thesis goes like this: in disavowal consume for any absurd reason (online shopping, dating, Amazon delivery, Uber eats, convenience store takeaways, Netflix, online gaming, porn streams for any absurd fetish) and isolation for any absurd reason. All the while knowing that the planet is burning outside. The system of physical fatigue pushed toward its limits, to its excess, brings about a critical amortization, that is the death of the system itself. This is a kind of exuberant Baudrillardian-Landian cataclysm. From this excess of virtual, hermetic life, comes an abnormal outgrowth, a new form of cancerous social relation. But from this, some call for homeopathic cures to bring back and restore social relations. This sounds like the early Karl Marx in The Paris Manuscripts who desires the return of man to man, the return of species being, which then like now in our ultra cynical times remains a utopian pipedream. The idea of something like homeopathic cures is consistent with Berardi’s thesis. He advocates more attention to physical and mental pleasure, to immediate enjoyment and pleasure rather than their indefinite protestant postponement. Recently, Berardi speaks of a phobic, hyper-sensitization to the body of the other, to partial objects like lips. Behind the mask are lips, lips of transmission, flow, passage and contagion. The pandemic BwO has no tolerance for virus flows. Berardi fears the emergence of a form of autism which refuses the presence of the other. At worst, a new form of neurosis beckons. Berardi’s answer to this sense of accelerationist growth for any absurd purpose is a utopia of frugality, a degrowth society along the lines of André Gorz: I am not a pessimist . . . from this infinite catastrophe, we will be obliged to find the energy to go beyond capitalism, to go beyond the superstition of growth and expansion.

On the BwO of the Hikikomori


Berardi writes against the prohibition of conjunction and asks what if an overload of connection somehow could break the cycle of physical fatigue. He wants the youth of today to understand that online life equals sickness. Here he presumably would be at odds with the negative meanderings of Masaya Chiba, and writes: “We also have to imagine and create a movement of caressing that will compel young people to turn off their connective screens as reminders of a lonely and fearful time.” Berardi writes against “the eternal nothingness of virtual connection, of distancing and techno-totalitarian integration” and is hopeful that in the post-pandemic aftermath, “people will come out of their houses looking for conjunction.” This new world of creation and change would challenge runaway, excessive movement. Or as Berardi says: “A movement of solidarity and tenderness might arise, leading people toward an emancipation from connective dictatorship.” Again talk of emancipation is against the thesis of a dark, opaque, nihilistic, autistic philosophy—the fashionable nonsense and fashionable pessimism of Andrew Culp, Masaya Chiba, Nick Land, Timothy Morton and their ilk. It is a poor-in-world Deleuzism. CONCLUSION I disagree with Chiba’s and Culp’s ordinance root and branch as I still see in Guattari’s ecosophy a way to respond, and a commitment to constructing new forms of subjectivity and new universes of reference. All in all, there remains a gritty, pertinacious and “desperate optimism” in Guattari’s work. For me, the idea of non-relation and withdrawal as a kind of resistance to excessive communication is a fatal, impotent and brutal one: it condones the imploded model of subjectivity of the hikikomori and the very notion of a non-relation society. I am opposed to this at a fundamental level for one cannot invoke the communism of immanence while embracing non-relation. Schizoanalysis if it is to mean anything must rethink reified models of psychic life. In some respects, the hikikomori and the autistic are “infantile regressions” and not to be celebrated. Although we might imagine the autistic or hikikomori as exploring an imploded form of “chaosmic universe,” we must put such Universes of reference and Universes of production in contact with the outside and with the real of desire itself. We must get the desiring machines working again in new pathic existential milieux, allowing for the recomposition of territory and a new comportment to the world—that is to put the hikikomori and autistic in contact with different social constellations and to proffer a new therapeutics of the machinic Unconscious. Schizoanalysis must respond to the rise of


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psychopathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, panic and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and all in all, we need a diagrammatics of communism (Guattari & Negri, 2010) to account for this implosion of subjectivity.

REFERENCES Akira, A. (1984). Tōsōron–sukizo kizzu no boken [Theory on Escape: Adventures of the Schizo Kids]. Chikuma Shobō. Berardi, F. (2011). After the Future. AK Press. Berardi, F. (2017). Futurability: The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility. Verso Books. Berardi, F. (2020a). Respiración umbral: virus y literatura [Threshold Breathing: Virus and Literature]. Virtual conference. https://autonomies​.org​/2020​/09​/franco​ -bifo​-berardi​-the​-struggle​-for​-new​-subjectivities/ Berardi, F. (2020b). Beyond the Breakdown: Three Meditations on a Possible Aftermath. e-flux Conversations, 31. Cassegard, C. (2008). From Withdrawal to Resistance: The Rhetoric of Exit in Yoshimoto Takaaki and Karatani Kojin. The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 6(3), 1–22. Chiba, M. (2017). Ugokisugitewa Ikenai: Jiru Durūzu to Seisei Henka No Tetsugaku [Don't Move Too Much: Gilles Deleuze's Philosophy of Becoming]. Kawade Shobō Shinsha. Culp, A. (2016). Dark Deleuze. University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983).  Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1972) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).   A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1980) Fisher, M. (2009). Capitalist Realism: Is there No Alternative?. John Hunt Publishing. Guattari, F., & Negri, A. (2010). New Lines of Alliance, New Spaces of Liberty. Minor Compositions. Harman, G. (2018). Object-oriented Ontology: A New Theory of Everything. Penguin Books. Kato, T. A., Kanba, S., & Teo, A. R. (2018). Hikikomori: Experience in Japan and International Relevance. World Psychiatry, 17(1), 105–106. Katsuki, R., Tateno, M., Kubo, H., Kurahara, K., Hayakawa, K., Kuwano, N., & Kato, T. A. (2020). Autism Spectrum Conditions in Hikikomori: A Pilot Case– Control Study. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 74(12), 652–658. Land, N. (2002). The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism. Routledge.

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Land, N. (2011). Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987–2007 (R. Mackay & R. Brassier, Eds.). Urbanomic. Nelson, B., Parnas, J., & Sass, L. A. (2014). Disturbance of Minimal Self (ipseity) in Schizophrenia: Clarification and Current Status. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 40(3), 479–482. Saito, T., & Angles, J. (2013). Hikikomori: Adolescence without End. University of Minnesota Press. Shingu, K. (2010). Freud, Lacan and Japan. In J. K. Vincent & N. Cornyetz (Eds.), Perversion and Modern Japan (pp. 275–285). Routledge. Wilson, S. (2010). Braindance of the Hikikomori: Towards a Return to Speculative Psychoanalysis. Paragraph, 33(3), 392–409. Yoshimoto, T. (2002). Hikikomore: hitori no jikan o motsu to iu koto [Withdraw! Possessing Time of One’s Own]. Daiwa shobo.

Chapter 14

On the Prospects of Virilio’s Pedagogy of the Image

Devoted to the late Paul Virilio (1932–2018) and in the advent of debates surrounding the Anthropocene and, also in light of corresponding changes to conceptions of scale and image, this chapter attempts to extrapolate a Virilian pedagogy of the image. It is Virilio’s work which remains timely and singularly fecund in this area, and it is for this reason that it may help to shape a new pedagogy of scale and image. This is to allow us to better grasp the decentering of human conceptions of time and space as we come to better understand the vastness of cosmological space and time. To demonstrate this, his work is read in tandem with Felix Guattari’s work on ecosophy and Bernard Stiegler’s work on negentropy to show how Virilio’s critique of the diminishment of perspective diverges from their respective approaches to forge an arresting pedagogy of the image vis-à-vis geographical and ecological conceptions of Earthly spatial and temporal scale. The perceived poverty of Earthly perspective is read in the light of a scalar perspectivism which understands the enormity of the universe and humanity’s microscopic place within it. As Virilio is concerned with the changes in scale which manifest with the onset of globalization, the question arises as to how an applied dromology (that is the philosophy of speed) may work alongside both Guattari’s schizoanalytic and ecosophical research and Stiegler’s pharmacology of the image in a way that mounts a robust and unique critique of the mental pollution of the image as such. Here the pedagogical implications are significant as the diminishment of world perspective for Virilio—a consequence of the singular global time of capital—devastates our understanding of the cosmos. This understanding of the poverty of scale and perspective is contrasted with a multiscalar approach to the world, which is itself searching for a philosophical and pedagogical response to the reduction of the world to nothing. 235


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This retrospective on the late French thinker Paul Virilio (1932–2018) addresses the role and effect of the “pernicious industrialization of vision” (Virilio & Rose, 1997, p. 89) in late capitalism. Simply put, for Virilio, the effect of the industrialization of vision signifies a loss in the grandeur and magnitude of the world. This has important ramifications for how a pedagogy of image may shape and inform a transformation of perspective. This work builds on the new research on non-representational modes of the image (Bradley et al., 2017, 2018; Cole & Bradley, 2016). With this in mind, his phenomenological ecology of distances and his grey ecology of the becoming uninhabitable of the hyper-interactive world are examined to shed light on how digital information both distorts, disrupts and diminishes the visual sensorium. Virilio writes against the sense of dromospheric contamination, the perceived contamination of “time distances” and compression of “depth of field” (Virilio & Rose, 1997, p. 40). As we no longer see the world in its full grandeur and immensity, a form of cosmic pessimism ensues (Thacker, 2015). The crux of the matter is the full splendor of scalar existence and Virilio’s critique of its implosion. What does this mean? As the dominance of conjured and constructed images over the naked imagination surrenders the world to a “catastrophic sense of incarceration” (Virilio & Rose, 1997, p. 41) and because humanity is consequently increasingly deprived of horizon, for Virilio, the world can no longer be determined at its true scale. While at first glance and for the most part there is little positive to be salvaged from this ocular aphantasia, the inability to call an image to mind, we shall understand Virilio’s model as one of “philosophical extrapolation” as Sylvère Lotringer names it, and in the manner of Baudrillard’s extreme thesis of extrapolation (Baudrillard & Lotringer, 2007)—perhaps we will arrive at a prescient thesis which may provoke a divergent or disruptive model of the image in late modernity. A pedagogy of the image is thus searching for a disruptive perspective to critique the loss of critical distance. WHO IS VIRILIO? For Sylvere Lotringer, Virilio—a French architect and urban planner by trade—is arguably the most important thinker of technology since Heidegger (Lotringer, 2009). For others like Douglas Kellner, Virilio is “one of the most prolific and penetrating critics of the drama of technology in the contemporary era” because, for Virilio, “the question of technology is the question of our time and his life-work constitutes a sustained reflection on the origins, nature, and effects of the key technologies that have constituted the modern/postmodern world” (Virilio et al., 1999, p. 103). In Virilio and Visual Culture, John Armitage makes the perceptive point that it is Virilio who

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helps us to think precisely about the diminishment of perspective. Armitage rightly underlines Virilio’s warning about the loss of “the scalar integrity of the Earthly horizon”: Virilio has been one of the most militant and nuanced critics of how the ‘grey ecology’ of digital information distorts and diminishes the visual field, and with it the scalar integrity of the Earthly horizon. (Armitage & Bishop, 2013, p. 182)

LOSS OF THE WORLD’S MAGNITUDE AND IMMENSITY What can be derived from Virilio’s extrapolationist model for the philosophy of education? What is the nature of the challenge to the presuppositions governing the dominant mode or image of thought? Can Virilio’s pedagogy of the image dissect contemporary image-culture by spelling out the eschatological, catastrophic and apocalyptic dimensions to the diminished scale and vision of the world? Put another way, with young people more and more given over to the organization and industrialization of the imagination by the marketing and entertainment industries (cinema, YouTube, SNS), this has clear implications for the philosophy of education and the pedagogy of the image. For if the circulation of images drawn from the industrialization of the imagination constructs an imaginary of impending apocalypse and catastrophe, this enframing of futural vision certainly affects how we—as a living being living in and alongside the plenitude of other living beings—can answer questions about how to live in the wake of the scalar understanding of the deep time of the Anthropocene. For some, no doubt it is clear that Virilio’s scopic model of distance has long since lost its moment and focus as we come to terms with the nonhuman time of the Anthropocene. For some the nonhuman time of the Anthropocene is a point in deep time which helps us to speculate beyond the human to both a pre-human and posthuman time, that is a deep time without the human (Meillassoux & Brassier, 2017). For Timothy Morton, for example, hyperobjects—like nuclear radiation—are posited on a scale beyond the human imagination. We simply cannot get at the hyperobject: “We are faced with the task of thinking at temporal and spatial scales that are unfamiliar, even monstrously gigantic” (2018, p. 25). They are determined as having monstrous dimensions because “they so massively outscale us, hyperobjects have magnified this weirdness of things for our inspection: things are themselves, but we can’t point to them directly” (Morton, 2014, p. 12). We simply cannot get at the true scale of things from an introspective, subject-oriented perspective, but it is by thinking the nonhuman of the Anthropocene that we can better understand our ever so slightest and fleeting presence in deep time.


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Clearly, this rather bizarre anti-humanist and misanthropic position has clear and important implications for the phenomenology of Virilio and threatens to derail his subject-centered project and critique. Indeed, much work as of late has been undertaken to understand scalar perspective alongside the new paradigm of thought emerging from research on the Anthropocene. In its wake, Guattari’s postmediatic thinking has been used to highlight the possibilities of new media and new technologies as devices for reconceptualizing the world. Mediated through advanced photography, through technological optical devices—periscopes, microscopes, telescopes, medical devices like stethoscopes—through spectroscopes and radioscopes, infrared, radar devices, X-ray machines, and so on, by zooming in and out of the nature of things, we can come to know the macro and micro nature of the universe. In terms of speculative realism, this sense of scalar magnitude has been examined by Tong (2014), who suggests that object-oriented ontology (OOO) and actor-network theory (ANT) are useful for constructing a new model of scale which can reconceptualize the interrelations of entities in the age of the Anthropocene or the “ecology without scale.” Tong’s critical point is that scale is a limiting concept because it is “merely a way for humans to perceive and comprehend the world” and as such and acting as an epistemological category, “it does not exist outside of the subject” (2014, p. 198). For Tong, to get out of the subject is to begin to grasp the true scale of things. Yet, with respect to what he terms “world zoom” Tong is close to Virilio when he states that visualization technologies effectively enable surveillance and warfare: The age of the world zoom is legitimized in everyday life by the ubiquity and banality of visualization technologies that, in fact, have extensive applications in military operations, intelligence gathering and domestic surveillance. For the wondrous capabilities of Google Earth, we pay the price of treating the planet and the myriad of beings on it as mere data in a system. (2014, p. 201)

How can we make sense of the claim that other “collective possibilities of imagination” (Clarke & Wittenberg, 2017, p. 71) can lead to an epokhe, that is, a suspension of judgment of our normal everyday mode of consciousness (the everyday mode of consciousness torn from local milieu or natural habitat), which as a consequence can open thought to the magnitude and magnificence of the world and cosmos? This could be considered as a conversion of the collective gaze away from the violence of the image. It is a turn toward things themselves. Yet in our present time, the collective gaze is captured by the hallucination of manufactured images; images which are not our own and as such dominate the bare imagination. The conversion of our collective gaze is thus an ethical prescription and precisely a presupposition of the pedagogy of the image. It is a pedagogical task and issue because it is not only

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technology that enables different points of view to emerge but also a question of why such different views are necessary in light of the ramifications drawn from the Anthropocene era. This is a task of “finding a form of thought and care capable of taking the measure” of the crisis of the moment (Ross, 2017). As a cri de coeur, we desperately need to understand the pharmakon of the image itself, to understand its limits and exploitations and to understand that the image is at once poison and cure. And this is why Virilio’s extreme and pessimistic model is timely. Yet, we also need to be cautious about technoeuphoria and any blind, unthinking embrace of technically mediated “collective possibilities of imagination.” The image in itself will not save us. For Virilio, we must return to the question of the human and its plight, an existential plight shared by all other Earthly creatures. This is his pedagogic message. As Virilio criticizes the impact of technology on our appreciation of the magnitude of the world, he argues that portable micro-technologies like cell phones have ripped us out of the phenomenological world only to transplant us into an ethereal nowhere or non-place, to leave us without perspective. In making the world miniature, technological miniaturization contributes to the scaling down of Earthly proportions. As such, it impoverishes the world. This is leading to the pollution of the life-size which “reduces to nothing Earth’s scale and size” (Virilio & Rose, 1997, p. 58). In Open Sky, and through his perverse model of reverse vertigo, Virilio invites his readers to see the world afresh, through a kind of catastrophic thought-experiment. This, in extremis, is to see the world otherwise than the horror of experiencing the world as finite, that is to experience claustrophobia and panic vis-à-vis the thought that the planet is incapable of guaranteeing human life. Virilio consistently warns of the dangers of the trajectory of the present which is leading to an almost uninhabitable planet: Today, we can also see that accelerated transportations and telecommunications force the world to operate under instantaneous conditions that nevertheless have a real impact on geography, history and on our sense of real time and real space. But much more than the end of geography is at stake as the pollution of distances and substances takes hold. For the instantaneity of acceleration also signals the end of history … in the sense that we have come to the end of the natural historical and spatial scale of Earthly things, such as a human-centered sense of distance. As the former enormity of the world is reduced to nothing more than speed-space, then, geopolitics, geo-strategy, the human spatial scale of the city and the nation-state are accordingly obliterated in favor of the realm of the urban instant, a realm that is not simply far removed from the physical geography of the real world, but that is also the province of technologized traceability and contemporary trajectography of, in other words, an almost uninhabitable planet. (Armitage in Conley, 2012, pp. 93–94)


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LA CONVERSION DU REGARD While Virilio and Felix Guattari share similar critical views on the negative aspects of Integrated World Capitalism (Guattari et al., 2010), they differ with regard to whether the transformations of everyday life on a planetary scale will lead to new possibilities and new, flourishing ways of life. While Guattari began to see the pharmacological benefits of new universes of reference and the miniaturization of the technologies in the 1980s and early 1990s, it is Virilio who is more cautious about so-called postmedia textualities, as he questions the scalar integrity (its disintegration) of the Earthly horizon. For some, we can find imaginative benefits in the changing senses of zoom and scale, for example, in the invariant fractals of the Mandelbrot set, real-time images of the Earth from the moon and satellites speeding around the Earth, and indeed through contemporary use of Google Earth and Google Maps. These technologies and visual representations are constitutive of processes of subjectivation as Guattari names it and shape our collective imagination. Even though the image replaces the unadorned human imagination, even art as such, it nevertheless also opens up a different and inaugural universe of reference. Albeit always technological and mediated, such universes of reference take perception away from the isolated, brooding subject and posit it as a third eye, as it were, looking or looming over the Earth and stretching out in manifold, infinite directions to the cosmos and beyond. According to Derek Woods, Guattari’s postmediatic concept of universe of reference can be wielded as a “scale-critical” tool. Woods writes that “the scale-critical subject of the Anthropocene is not ‘our species’ but the sum of terraforming assemblages composed of humans, non-human species, and technics” (2014, p. 134). Such tools can help us to rethink the role of the human and the destitution of the ecological subject, in the time of the Anthropocene. Woods claims that the documentary Powers of Ten by Ray Eames and Charles Eames is a heuristic visual means for rethinking geologic timescales in the time of nonhuman scales. In his chapter on zoom and scala entitled “Epistemic Things in Charles and Ray Eames’s Powers of Ten” (Clarke & Wittenberg, 2017), Woods writes of the movement of the zoom and scala across the textual. This, Woods says, following Guattari, shapes the “collective possibilities of imagination.” Woods argues that the movement across scales constitutes a process of subjectivation, which is to say, how one constitutes different points of view and different identities through changes in zoom and scala. It is through changes in zoom and scala that the subject is brought into being. This has clear implications for a pedagogy of the image because education

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as such is a process of bringing the subject of learning into being. He writes perceptively on this point: The broad archive of texts that use smooth zoom and scala to represent movement across scales constitute a process of subjectivation, in Felix Guattari’s sense of shaping the collective possibilities of imagination in relation to social assemblages and the nonhuman environment. As these texts spread through the populations they reach, they interact with human bodies to create new forms of subjectivity. Subjectivity in this sense distributes across the media technologies and aesthetic forms that support its development across time. How we interpret it depends on the relation of text and epistemic thing. (Clarke & Wittenberg, 2017, p. 71)

Influenced by Pierre Levy’s L’ideographie dynamique (1991) (The Dynamic Ideography) in which we find an exploration of the use of animated, interactive images, Guattari envisaged that new forms of informatic subjectivity were capable of breaking writing away from old script forms to inaugurate hypertextualities, or new cognitive and sensory writings; in other words, new collective imaginations. Levy suggested that new hypertextualities would express mental models as directly as possible. For Levy this is not a question of representation but the presentation of new mental images. Yet, Virilio is more pessimistic regarding the changes to reading and writing practices. He warns of the perilous state of affairs where the images are left without the need of interpretation. This stance is consistent with Susan Sontag’s position in her essay “Regarding the Pain of Others” (2017) and Butler’s “Torture and the Ethics of Photography” (2007), which is to say, in short, that if manufactured, cliched images replace mental images formed in the mind, such images blind the imagination. As a consequence we suffer the “collective HYPNOSIS of pure presentation” (Virilio & Rose, 2010, p. 50). In The University of Disaster, he elaborates on this point: The gray ecology of the contraction of time distances is soon likely to exhaust the vastness of the terrestrial globe that the current globalization is merely trying on, anticipating tomorrow’s collective HYPNOSIS of pure presentation, which will make up for any representation (aesthetic, ethical or otherwise). (Virilio & Rose, 2010, p. 46)

And elsewhere he writes: These are images without interpretation and they stun you like a blinding light, so they have damaged people’s ability to create mental images, to make their own cinema in their heads . . . . And the decline of writing comes principally from the fact that graphic, photographic and videographic images have replaced mental images. (Armitage, 2001, p. 118)


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This is a concern not without precedent. French author Georges Duhamel (1884–1966) warning of the synchronization of cinema-image and the image of the mind bemoans the impossibility of thinking in the wake of the kinetic images on the silver screen: “I can no longer think what I want, the moving images are substituted for my own thoughts” (Decoster & Vansieleghem, 2014; Deleuze, 1989, p. 166). Yet the possibilities opened by this are important for Gilles Deleuze because the image as such may engineer a form of non-thinking, that is, the image may promote a new vista of the world in which thinking can think no more through hitherto derived images of thought. Thinking is jolted from the stupidity of received opinion. In other words, as the kinetic image shocks us into nonthinking, this suggests that thinking then becomes a problem for itself and therefore a new image of thought is called forth. Again, at some distance from this consideration, Virilio takes a more pessimistic view. In an interview with Jérôme Sans, Virilio suggests that if more and more images are “spoon-fed to us” our stupefaction leaves us less responsive to the power of words. As such there is less and less possibility of a punctum of the image. Yet, Virilio warns that once the image takes precedence over the word becomes primary, we suffer the incapacity to form mental images. This is his ultimate dread and is fundamental to his pedagogy of the image. It is a way to balance the techno-euphoria and idolatry of the manufactured image. In other words, Virilio does not see the faint affirmative possibility that Deleuze envisages. Virilio writes: It’s clear that the greatest damage yet done to reading and writing is that contemporary readers have now generally become incapable of forming mental images on the basis of the written word. They’re in the habit of having images that replace interpretation. (Armitage, 2001, p. 118)

ANTHROPOCENE AND RETURN OF SCALA NATURAE Both Virilio and Guattari share common ground on the question of the scale of existence that reduces the world to nothing, in other words “the great catastrophe and drama of globalization.” While Virilio’s pessimism and explicit technophobia can be starkly contrasted with the moment of enthusiasm for technology in Guattari’s work, they do share a similar concern with the question of scale. For Virilio, Guattari’s technophilia got the better of him. Indeed, Virilio claims Guattari was seduced by the euphoria surrounding micro-technologies in the 1980s and the enthusiasm for such technological breakthroughs by the so-called “techno-guerrillas” or technonomads. Guattari enthused over the reappropriation of communicational

On the Prospects of Virilio’s Pedagogy of the Image


and information technology which Virilio finds unfortunately not to have emerged. Virilio claims: Guattari was a little blown away by the techno-guerrillas, that is to say by the possibility of a reappropriation of technique by the population. He believed, and in this sense it was positivist, that new technologies could be diverted from their negative impact by a “popular” appropriation. I remember that was very largely inspired by the thinking of the 70s and 80s in Italy, what we called the “technoguerrillas,” free radios, user-friendly computers used for sociality. Guattari still had the “illusion” that technologies could be diverted from their harmful characters. (Schmidgen & Guattari, 1995, pp. 33–34, my trans)

As we have seen, in Virilio’s work we find that the question of scalar existence can be contrasted sharply with current debates surrounding the geological era of the Anthropocene. Yet, what we find in Virilio’s philosophy is that any solution to the ecological crisis must first understand that the issue is a “phenomenon of species.” It demands a transphenomenal examination of the Earth as such, a zooming in and out of the Earth to return to the crux of the issue: the plight of all livings things on the Earth. For Virilio, the ecological crisis is a phenomenon of the human species as such; it is a major political and philosophical phenomenon of Earthly proportion and scale. To understand this is to grasp the scalar integrity of the Earth. The message of Virilio is this: Technologies may help us to understand our scalar existence—to understand that humans live on a planet in an infinite universe without center—but only in the sense that global problems demand solutions “at the level of the Earth.” This is where Virilio’s perspective differs from the debates concerning the figure of the nonhuman in the wake of the Anthropocene. For example, for Chakrabarty, the Anthropocene can no longer be envisaged in terms of a scalar “anthropocracy.” Such a human-all-toohuman perspective is inadequate for conceiving “human agency over multiple and incommensurable scales” (Chakrabarty, 2012). Again, technologies of scale may help to present such multiple and incommensurable scales, but any pedagogy of the image must understand the diminishment of perspective as a problem of Earthly proportions. Going against the so-called flat ontology of things, Virilio brings back the sense of the scala naturae, that is to say the problem of the Earth is the scalar problem for humankind as the shepherd of all living, natural creatures. This view is similarly held by Guattari who argues in his Three Ecologies that: “The only true response to the ecological crisis is on a global scale, provided that it brings about an authentic political, social and cultural revolution, reshaping the objectives of the production of both material and immaterial assets” (2000, p. 18). While Virilio laments the seduction of Guattari by the “techno-guerillas,” he nevertheless suggests he


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and Guattari found common ground on the concern with the “reduction of the world to nothing,” that is, with the diminishment of perspective that the world picture entails: I believe that the convergence between Guattari and me came from the fact that the sphere of the world has deflated before our eyes and that our points of view have come closer as two points on a balloon that we deflate! I would say that what brought us closer, Felix and me, is the great catastrophe and drama of globalization. The ecological catastrophe is less the catastrophe of the pollution of the substances than the catastrophe of the pollution of the distances, that is to say the reduction of the world to nothing. (Schmidgen & Guattari, 1995, my trans)

From his dromological perspective, Virilio speaks of the postmedia possibility of an ethical slowdown in the speed and velocity of our lives. Indeed, Virilio argues that the purpose of ethics is to slow down the rate at which things happen. This appears consistent with the sense of quiet viewing of the image in Heidegger’s philosophy in the sense that the rapid and excessive zooming in and out of magnitudes disrupts the thinking of Earthly existence as such. It is dromology which questions this disruption. In terms of a philosophy and pedagogy of the image, it is Heidegger who is concerned with the loss of “thoughtful staying-with” and “lingering thinkingafter” (Verweilendes Nachdenken) (Petzet & Emad, 1993, p. 150) brought about through mass communication and the almost hypnotic seduction of television and cinema. In other words, there is almost no time for reflection as images dominate the sensorium. Again, Virilio is resistant to thinking technology as a simple cure for the ecological crisis. Indeed, through a kind of topographical amnesia and loss of quiet viewing, for Virilio instantaneous transmission creates a civilization of forgetting in which real time impoverishes sensory appearances and reduces reflection into a reflex. This degrades deliberative democracy into “the democracy of emotion” (Virilio, 2007). Here we find Virilio’s dromology functioning alongside ecosophy and schizoanalysis. As the search for “dissident vectors of subjectification” is to counter the flattening of subjectivity by the mass media, this remains the preserve and project of schizoanalysis which is concerned with countering rigid refrains of perspective, scale and position. As Franco Berardi claims: Schizoanalysis wants to make lightness possible, dissolving obsessions and rigid refrains through techniques aimed at displacing the focus of attention, through the proliferation of points from which semiotic flows, flows of worlds, can emanate. (Berardi et al., 2008, p. 114)

On the Prospects of Virilio’s Pedagogy of the Image


In his more pessimistic moments during the 1980s and early 1990s, Guattari claimed the “age of planetary computerization” was at risk of accelerating headlong into an era of “a monstrous reinforcement of earlier systems of alienation, an oppressive mass-media culture and an infantalizing politics of consensus” (Guattari, 1996, p. 103). It is this worrying sense of acceleration which is picked up upon by Virilio, who has consistently warned against the effects of speed on the human imagination. In his dromology, Virilio noted the changing definition of the nomadic and sedentary and warned of the societal effects of the becoming-immobile of the nomad and changing sense of the sedentary; with eyes glued to miniaturized screens we are permanently uprooted and forever on the move. As the body witnesses the annihilation of space by time, we lose a critical sense of scale. In his phenomenology, Virilio grants primacy to subjective experience and the body’s concrete relations to the Earth. This for him is under threat from technologies of instantaneous interactivity which impoverish the habitual scalar experiences of time, space and the lived environment. Such technologies “exile” us from ourselves. The body becomes “a vector of speed,” a “metabolic vehicle,” overwhelmed by increased speed and velocity. Again as he says he is nostalgic for the world’s magnitude and immensity, for a true understanding of scale.

PHILOSOPHY OF NEGATIVE HORIZON Both Virilio and Guattari offer a critique of globalization and search for models of perception which can imagine beyond its paradoxically narrow parameters. Virilio claims that with the reduction of the world to nothing, there are no new forthcoming images and thoughts. On the other hand, and from his seemingly more technophilic perspective, and drawing on much from Levy (1998, 1999; Levy & Bononno, 2001) Guattari welcomed the vast databases and digital archives (Google Earth and Big Data would be a contemporary example of this) which can undertake large-scale planetary analyses and therefore engineer different and unheard of scalar imaginations and conceptualizations. This, for Guattari, may help us to rethink the question of the human and to think beyond our Earthly, human-all-too-human perspective and station. That is to say, new planetary arrangements may offer both a differing sense of world scale and a rethinking of geopolitical configurations. Yet, for Virilio, the network of images and information streamed by planetary-wide satellite systems and data-processors is leading to a final, petrifying and petrified image of the world. A deflation of the world. A catastrophe of the world. This follows Heidegger, who, in the essay “The Age of the World Picture” claims that the fundamental event of the modern


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age is the conquest of the world as picture. Here Heidegger coins the noun Gebild to signify thing, formed, creation, structure, image: The fundamental event of the modern age is the conquest of the world as picture. The word “picture” [Bild] now means the structured image [Gebild] that is the creature of man’s producing which represents and sets before. (1977, p. 134)

Indeed, for Virilio, we, who are increasingly subjected to the bombardment by images and information, suffer the pollution of our vision of the world precisely through communication and the trap of temporality of the global instant. To summarize here, from a postmedia and Virilian perspective what is in question is the sense of the diminishment of “the scalar integrity of the Earthly horizon” (Armitage & Bishop, 2013, p. 182) and with it the aphantasiastic consideration of the future of life on Earth. This is especially so in the wake of the Anthropocene. Here Guattari’s work on subjectivation (Guattari et al., 2006)—that is to say, how the subject is brought into being— is offered as a more optimistic alternative to the Virilian philosophy of negative horizon. And this is precisely where their pedagogies of the image differ. It is also at this critical juncture and from undertaking a retrospective of Virilio’s work where a new, extrapolated pedagogy of the image may manifest. While Guattari’s work provides a vocabulary for thinking “molar” and “molecular” trajectories, scalar entanglement, autopoietic ecological assemblages, non-anthropocentric scales and realities which can be construed as both pre- and post-human, it is precisely in the current moment of ecological and existential crisis, the time of the Anthropocene and the hyperobject (Morton, 2014), where Virilio’s eschatological and technophobic phenomenology appears timely in the way it grasps the ecological crisis confronting mankind. Central to the debate here is the inability to form mental images. That is to say, if one cannot form mental images, one cannot imagine otherwise than a petrified, serialized now. This is a form of philosophical autism. What this means for ecological thinking in the wake of the Anthropocene is extremely grave. It is a timely pedagogical task to extract from Virilio’s own extrapolationist, bleak, pessimistic model, other negentropic vistas of thinking (Morin, 1992; Stiegler, 2018), which is to counter the closing off of the world and the entropic curtailing of the true scale and magnificence of the world. While noting Virilio’s objection to the euphoria in both Deleuze and Guattari’s work, it is Guattari’s sole work when read alongside Virilio and Bernard Stiegler (2019)—and once applied to the Anthropocene era upon us—which may offer the prospect of thinking new forms of subjectivity by and through an adjustment of perspective and reconfiguration of gaze. This is a question

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of the meaning of the deterritorialization of the Earth for better or worse. It is a prescription of a pedagogy of the image. In Virilio’s apocalypse and catastrophe of speed, what is envisaged is an ever-increasing acceleration which leads inexorably to the obliteration of territory as such. Let us address the consequences of this extrapolationist model. In such exhausted circumstances when one cannot deterritorialize further (to deterritorialize is exhausting), when territory is exhausted, it is in this state of exhausted possibility, inertia and shock that what is brought forth is the necessity of a scalar magnitude without anthropos (Depardon & Chandes, 2008; Depardon & Virilio, 2008). Taking inspiration from Nietzsche, we can say that this is to find a new image of thought in the face of a new kind of dread. In Anti-education: On the Future of Our Educational Institutions, Nietzsche counsels: “We should provoke terror . . . not just wonder; we must attack . . . not timidly flee” (2016, lecture IV). Put otherwise, in the exhaustion of all hitherto models the negentropic impulse emerges (Bradley, 2019, 2020). This is philosophy’s essential remit as philosophy itself cannot but be a concern for the wonder of the world, a world lost to us or open to us. This is its pedagogical mission. This is resistance to a form of autistic thinking as such. Suffering from deterritorialization fatigue, a deterritorialization for any absurd purpose, we witness the exhaustion of subjectivity and thought as such. Thus in the exhausting of the inexhaustible, what emerges is an impoverished sense of futurity. In this perilous state, we are thus desperately trying to write out of the exhaustion of philosophy, to make philosophy’s anti-production productive. This is to think the “trembling thought” as Edouard Glissant says, (Bradley, 2019) in which every utopian or negentropic possibility must pass through the rejection of system-thinking and systematic-thinking. The question is what form of critical image of thought might bring forth the punctum of the image itself. It is my argument that it is in Virilio’s critical and extreme model that we find a means to puncture the manufactured images of scale, to see again the magnitude of our Earthly horizon. From Guattari’s thinking on (scopic) mutant, incorporeal universes of reference (2000, 2013) one can consider otherworldly scalar dimensions which acknowledge the immensity of the cosmos. As a critical appendage to Virilio’s work this is essential as Guattari’s work allows for new pedagogies of scale, of wonder and resistance. It is therefore by rethinking the Earthly horizon that we can escape “the catastrophic sense of incarceration” of which Virilio speaks. This is to get out of ourselves, our Earthly lot, to engineer new mutant collective subjectivations, to see the world as pristinely different. Yet as Virilio mourns that we are becoming subject-disoriented and object-oriented (Virilio & Rose, 2010, p. 98), it seems nigh impossible to derive a new model from his work. It seems impossible to imagine another model of scalar intensity because


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the instantaneity of communication manifests a kind of “spatial pollution,” a form of mental pollution in and through which we struggle to manifest new images. The question then is: in Virilio’s grey ecology, in his extrapolationist mode, in what ways can we rethink the dromospheric “pollution of distance” (Virilio & Richard, 2012, p. 4) wrought by technical vision to manifest a new mental image of existence in the Anthropocene? Can we rethink the dromospheric “pollution of distance” wrought by technical vision through the pharmakon of technology (through a kind of postmediatic, hybrid VirilioStiegler-Guattari assemblage)? This is to find in new forms of “oblique” scopic vision (Johnston et al., 1996), a means to destabilize the centrality of the subject. It is in this positive reading of Virilio’s “desperate optimism” (optimisme desespere), that one may find a vocabulary to undertake a scalar revisionism, that is to say, to find another image of the world. A desperate optimism emerges in the act of “reverse vertigo” or reverse perspectivism in which Virilio invites his readers to see the world in a fatal and extreme scopic descent to the ground of the Earth. In a kind of philosophical skydiving, in this plummeting to the Earth, he asks us to recapture a sense of depth of field. This is Virilio’s extreme gambit and risk. Virilio argues that the loss of perception of depth and ground is a vertiginous pollution of expanse, a loss of “apparent horizon of the spectacle of the world” (Virilio, 2007, p. 31). The oblique function of his thought compels the body to exit its passive mode and struggle with degrees of inclination. For Virilio, as we are hurled toward the Earth the expanse and magnitude of the Earth is opened up. In this plunging and accelerating state, the body sees the Earthly ground below, as it were, “splitting open.” This one surmises to be the punctum of the image, the risk and promise for Virilio’s fatal and fatalistic dromological model. Virilio here is concerned with the loss of the “deep horizon” of collective imagination and its replacement by a kind of “transapparent horizon” (Virilio, 2007, p. 28). This is to explore in the oblique function of perspective—“a principle of life” (Virilio et al., 2011, p. 95). In Administration of Fear, he writes: The faster we go, the more we look ahead in anticipation and lose our lateral vision … with increased speed, we lose the sense of lateralization, which is an infirmity in our being in the world, its richness, its relief, its depth of field. (Virilio & Richard, 2012, pp. 36–37)

VIRILIO’S PEDAGOGY—TO DIVERGE FROM THE DISRUPTION OF THE IMAGE Although Virilio insists images are necessary to think, what kind of images are these? Are they human-all-too-human images given over to the manufacturing of images by Hollywood and the marketing industries? In what respect, as Virilio

On the Prospects of Virilio’s Pedagogy of the Image


says, do technologically mediated images prevent us from thinking? He insists that images have become an important tool in war and as weapons of war communication as such they take on a reality to effectively pacify and control the masses, that is to stop thinking from taking place. As such we—the masses—are hypnotized by the speed of images. Indeed, his reflections on speed and the loss of perspective vis-à-vis the image led Virilio to say the following: On ne rêve pas, on ne voyage pas, on est voyage, on est rêve (We do not dream, we do not travel, we are traveled, we are dreamed) (Sina, 1996, p. 50, my trans). The point is that we have become so accustomed to ocular violence and speed that we are somehow immune, passive and indifferent to it, yet all the while fully cognizant of the fact and thus complicit, intoxicated and seduced by speed. It is our collective disavowal and the poverty of our collective gaze. Virilio reads this in terms of the loss of spatial sense and the triumph of instantaneous time or global one time. Indeed, for Virilio, the loss of local referents and the intensification of speed compresses time and eradicates the experience of space on a worldwide scale. It is one more visual and mental form of pollution streamed simultaneously without a blink of the eye. And without a blink there is no escape from the seduction of the image. We are left hypnotized and stupefied by deadly repetitions. As such, we suffer total enclosure. Virilio’s explanation of the role of the phatic image—images which capture our attention—helps us to understand the role of speed and kinetic imagery. Contra Deleuze, he insists the kinetic nature offers no reprieve from the hallucination of manufactured images: The phatic image that grabs our attention and forces us to look is no longer a powerful image; it is a cliche attempting, in the manner of the cineframe, to inscribe itself in some unfolding of time in which the optic and the Sina tic are indistinguishable. (Virilio, 1994, pp. 62–63)

Any response to the problem of speed of the image, where we understand speed as absolute violence, that is, as polluting the expanse and the distances of the world, is to think dromology as a question of mental ecology, as an imperceptible ecology, because speed cannot be perceived as it is mental, “not visible” (Virilio et al., 1999, p. 59). From his dromological perspective he insists we must diverge, that is to take an angle or inclination, to critique, to resist and to innovate. This is a form of philosophical skydiving. In an interview with Philippe Petit, Virilio claims: Faced with any technical object, whatever it may be, it is once again necessary to diverge. It is necessary to become a critic. Impressionism was a critique of photography, and documentary film-making a critique of propaganda. So, today, we have to institute an art criticism of the technosciences in order to make the relation to technology diverge. (Virilio et al., 1999, p. 33; Zhang, 2013, p. 254)


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CONCLUSION In the wake of the Anthropocene, a philosophy written not merely in wonder but in dread appears to capture the sense of crisis in the way one sees and experiences the world (Nietzsche, 2016, p. 21). From this, one must ask what new image of thought can or must be called forth from the problems generated from the circulation of images manifest as a consequence. Precisely, it is through this collapse and exhaustion of meaning that another way of seeing is opened up and a conversion of the gaze may manifest (Bradley & Kennedy, 2020). In the “splitting open” of the Earth, thinking begins again, negentropically—that is as resistance to the entropic mode of the image. In the resolution of crisis there is a conversion of the gaze (Stiegler, 2018). There is a conversion of one’s knowledge of the natural world. This ethical gaze tears itself away eidetically from the “natural attitude” of seeing the world. This is to refuse to reduce the world to nothing, to see things altogether as other. The horror we experience facing the vulnerability of the world as it is demands a conversion of our collective gaze, a conversation which is this-worldly, material and resolutely atheist. This is a conversion aware of the misery caused by unfettered, gratuitous and conspicuous capital expansion. We need an epokhe of thought to practice a quiet viewing of the image, a thoughtful staying-with; that is a quiet viewing away from the violence of mass mediatized bêtise or stupidity. But how? The epokhe is a bracketing of the normal gaze and as such it acts as a philosophical punctum. It suggests the origin of a “conversion of the gaze, of a change in the way of thinking” (Stiegler, 2019, p. 12). Yet, our task is to think beyond the sense of mourning or nostalgia for a lost immediacy of phenomenological perceptual experience. Our task is to retrospectively visit Virilio’s work but on the condition that we think prospectively and negentropically vis-à-vis the plight of the planet. This is to understand the perceptual disorder and automation of perception, the sense of disorientation we hypermoderns experience in the era of hypertechnology (Stiegler, 2009). Here both Virilio and Stiegler argue that media, communications and digital technologies fundamentally alter our embodied experience of space and time often in nefarious ways. While Stiegler insists we suffer the disruption of the image (2019), and Guattari demands we must create and experiment with new universes of reference and collective imaginations, it is Virilio who insists we must diverge from the disruption of the image. Writing in the 1990s, in a piece called Cybermonde, la politique du pire, Virilio called for the invention of divergence to contest the disruption of the image (Armitage, 2000, p. 189; Virilio, 1996, p. 37). Virilio found in the work of experimental poets, painters and filmmakers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries not a convergence with the world as such but a divergence from it. Following this practice he was keen to know

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if scientists were capable of producing divergence as well. Now in our collective moment, the time and reality of the Anthropocene, and faced with the horror of such knowledge, it is philosophy which must diversify and diverge its conceptual architecture to manifest a new pedagogy of the image. We shall let Virilio have the last word. For him, this is to plunge fatally and deliriously toward the Earthly image once again, precisely for the sake of the world and its image. REFERENCES Armitage, J. (2000). Paul Virilio: From Modernism to Hypermodernism and Beyond. Sage Publications. Armitage, J. (2001). Virilio Live: Selected Interviews. Sage Publications. Armitage, J., & Bishop, R. (2013). Virilio and Visual Culture. Edinburgh University Press. Baudrillard, J., & Lotringer, S. (2007). Forget Foucault. Semiotext(e). Berardi, F., Stivale, C. J., & Mecchia, G. (2008). Felix Guattari: Thought, Friendship, and Visionary Cartography. Palgrave Macmillan. Bradley, J. P. N. (2019). On the Philosophy of Trembling: Negen-u-topia, Sun Death, Ecosophy. Utopian Studies, 30(3), 361–381. https://doi​.org​/10​.5325​/utopianstudies​ .30​.3​.0361 Bradley, J. P. N. (2020). Negen-u-topic Becoming: On the Reinvention of Youth. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 52(4), 443–454. Bradley, J. P. N., Cole, D. R., & Hunt, J. R. (2017). CLIL-multiliteracies-multiple Literacies Theory: On the Passage from Active Viewing to Active Filmmaking. Stem Journal, 18(2), 179–202. Bradley, J. P. N., Cabell, C., Cole, D. R., Kennedy, D. H., & Poje, J. (2018). From Which Point Do We Begin? On Combining the Multiliteral and Multiperspectival. Stem Journal, 19(2), 65–93. Bradley, J. P. N., & Kennedy, D. (2020). Stiegler as Philosopher of Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 52(4), 332–336. Butler, J. (2007). Torture and the Ethics of Photography. Environment and Planning D: Society & Space, 25(6), 951–966. Chakrabarty, D. (2012). Postcolonial Studies in the Era of Climate Change. New Literary History, 43(1), 1–18. Clarke, M. T., & Wittenberg, D. (2017). Scale in Literature and Culture. Palgrave Macmillan. Cole, D. R., & Bradley, J. P. N. (2016). A Pedagogy of Cinema. Sense Publishers. Conley, V. A. (2012). Spatial Ecologies. Liverpool University Press. Decoster, P.-J., & Vansieleghem, N. (2014). Cinema Education as an Exercise in ‘Thinking Through Not-Thinking’. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 46(7), 792–804. Deleuze, G. (1989). Cinema: 2. Athlone Press.


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Depardon, R., & Chandes, H. (2008). Donner la parole: Hear Them Speak. Steidl. Depardon, R., & Virilio, P. (2008). Native Land: Stop Eject. Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. Guattari, F. (1995a). Asthetik und Maschinismus: Texte von und zu Felix Guattari (H. Schmidgen, Trans.). Merve-Verlag. Guattari, F. (1995b). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (1996). The Guattari Reader (G. Genosko, Ed.). Blackwell Publishers. Guattari, F. (2000). The Three Ecologies (I. Pindar & P. Sutton, Trans.). Athlone. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F. (2013). Schizoanalytic Cartographies (A. Goffey, Trans.). Bloomsbury. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F., & Negri, A. (2011). New Lines of Alliance, New Spaces of Liberty. Autonomedia. Heidegger, M. (1977). The Question Concerning Technology: And Other Essays (W. Lovitt, Trans.). Garland. Johnston, P., Parent, C., & Virilio, P. (1996). The Function of the Oblique: The Architecture of Claude Parent and Paul Virilio 1963–1969. AA Publications. Kellner, D. (1999). Virilio, War and Technology: Some Critical Reflections. Theory, Culture & Society, 16(5), 103–125. Levy, P. (1991). L’ideographie Dynamique: Une cine-langage pour le XXIe siecle. La Concept moderne/Editions. Levy, P. (1998). Becoming Virtual: Reality in the Digital Age. Plenum Press. Levy, P. (1999). Collective Intelligence: Mankind’s Emerging World in Cyberspace. Perseus Books. Levy, P., & Bononno, R. (2001). Cyberculture. University of Minnesota Press. Lotringer, S. (2009). Paul Virilio: The Itinerary of Catastrophe. https://artwriting​.sva​ .edu​/lecture​-series​/year​/2009​/sylvere​-lotringer Meillassoux, Q. (2017). After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency (R. Brassier, Trans.). Bloomsbury Academic. Morin, E. (1992). The Nature of Nature. P. Lang. Morton, T. (2014). Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. University of Minnesota Press. Morton, T. (2018). Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence. Columbia University Press. Nietzsche, F. W. (2016). Anti-Education (D. Searls, Trans.). New York Review Books. Petzet, H. W., & Heidegger, M. (1993). Encounters and Dialogues with Martin Heidegger, 1929-1976 (P. Emad & K. Maly, Trans.). University of Chicago Press. Ross, D. (2017, December 13). Stiegler's Third Conversion [Conference session]. Technology, Knowledge, Truth Conference, Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy, Australia. Sina, A. (1996). L’urbanite virtuelle, l’etre-au-monde au temps reel: Entretien avec Paul Virilio. Inter: art actuel, (65), 48–51. Sontag, S. (2017). Susan Sontag: Later Essays. Literary Classics of the United States.

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Stiegler, B. (2009). Technics and Time 2: Disorientation. Stanford University Press. Stiegler, B. (2018). The Neganthropocene. Open Humanities Press. Stiegler, B. (2019). The Age of Disruption: Technology and Madness in Computational Capitalism. Polity Press. Thacker, E. (2015). Cosmic Pessimism. University of Minnesota Press. Tong, C. (2014). Ecology without Scale: Unthinking the World Zoom. Animation, 9(2), 196–211. https://doi​.org​/10​.1177​/1746847714527199 Virilio, P. (1994). The Vision Machine (J. Rose, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1989) Virilio, P. (1996). Cybermonde, la politique du pire. Interviews with Philippe Petit. Les Editions Textuel. Virilio, P. (2007). City of Panic. Berg. Virilio, P., Brausch, M., & Turner, C. (2011). A Winter’s Journey: Four Conversations with Marianne Brausch. Seagull Books. Virilio, P., Petit, P., & Lotringer, S. (1999). Politics of the Very Worst: An Interview by Philippe Petit. Semiotext(e). Virilio, P., & Richard, B. (2012). The Administration of Fear. Semiotext(e). Virilio, P., & Rose, J. (1997). Open Sky. Verso. Virilio, P., & Rose, J. (2010). The University of Disaster. Polity Press. Woods, D. (2014). Scale Critique for the Anthropocene. The Minnesota Review, 83, 133–142. Zhang, P. (2013). Media Ecology and Techno-ethics in Paul Virilio. Explorations in Media Ecology, 12(3), 241–257.

Chapter 15

A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference

Utilizing Félix Guattari’s ecosophical ideas, the media critiques of Bernard Stiegler and Franco Berardi and the neuro-philosophy of Catherine Malabou, I shall examine schizophrenia and describe the case of hikikomori or social recluse in Japan as a striking schizoanalysis excrescent effect of the media’s collusion in engineering sad affects. With reference to Deleuze, Guattari, Stiegler post-Fukushima Japan, and through the prism of contemporary literature, manga, anime and film, this chapter tests the propensity for loneliness among youth and how the media is complicit in crushing hikikomori subjectivity through the veneer of “connection.” Hope itself has fled this hopeless, hapless, grey world. Beyond malaise, life sinks into sadness, boredom and monotony, with no chance to break out of the morass of absurdity. Communication—speech, conversation, banter, even conspiracy has all been taken in by the discourse of mass media. Interpersonal relations likewise have spoiled, and are now characterized by indifference, disingenuous disgust and self-hatred—in a word, we’re all suffering from bad faith. (Guattari et al., 2010, p. 28)

Following Teo and Gaw (2010), we define hikikomori as those who: spend most of the day and nearly every day at home; persistently avoid social situations; avoid social relationships; experience distress in everyday routines; stay indoors for at least six months; and do not fall under other psychiatric disorders such as social phobia, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and so on. Literally, hikikomori means a pulling away, a tearing away of consciousness from social life (Saitō, 2003). Saito estimates the number of shakaiteki hikikomori or those suffering from acute social withdrawal in Japan as standing at around one million. Other accounts put 255


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the figure closer to 1.6 million. But who really knows! Japanese government figures put the number of hikikomori at around 700,000, with an additional 1.55 million so-called semi-hikikomori. Moreover, it is estimated that there were about 847,000 NEETs (the acronym is usually associated with the coinage of former British prime minister Tony Blair, which stands for “Not in Education, Employment, or Training”) in 2006. Now, hikikomori appears as a phenomenon that has permeated all strata of Japanese society. What we have for almost two centuries called “nihilism” is the exact opposite of what we had hoped to achieve by technology, mastery over fate. Communication becomes contamination; transmission becomes contagion (Nancy, 2015, p. 34). This contribution to the schizoanalysis of indifference explores the claim that the mass media and technological addiction are implicated in the dissolution of hope in advanced industrial societies. Utilizing the ecosophical ideas of Félix Guattari, the media critiques of Bernard Stiegler and Franco Berardi and the continental neuro-philosophy of Catherine Malabou, we will examine the case of ひきこもり—hikikomori or social recluse in Japan—as a striking excrescent outgrowth of the mass media’s collusion in engineering sad, impersonal affects (as opposed to personal feelings). With especial reference given to post-Fukushima Japan, and through the prism of contemporary Japanese literature, manga, anime and film, this chapter tests the propensity for loneliness among youth and the way the mass media is complicit in “neuroleptizing” subjectivity through the veneer of “connection.” Under particular scrutiny is a selection of Japanese thinkers including the Murakamis—Ryū (村上龍) and Haruki (村上春樹)—the filmmaker Sion Sono (園子温) and the novelist of Tatsuhiko Takimoto (滝本竜彦). In their own unique way, the Murakamis Ryū and Haruki make very important social comments about loneliness and the question of hope, however frail. Enveloping the present, Ryū Murakami claims, is a loneliness that has never hitherto existed. As the level of loneliness is without precedent, Ryū Murakami writes, “There has never been a Japanese person since the beginning of our history who has experienced the kind of loneliness enveloping the children of today” (Murakami & Tamura, 2010, p. 59). And in The Sputnik Sweetheart, Haruki Murakami (Murakami & Gabriel, 2001) questions the reality and meaning of loneliness. He writes of the millions of isolated individuals yearning for connection. In Ryū Murakami’s Kyo¯seichu¯ or Symbiotic Worm (2000c), it is a mysterious symbiotic worm, Inter-Bio, that, as an internet portal, cultivates sad affects and negates joyful passions. With Sion Sono, it is a subliminal message disseminated on mobile phones which causes young people to commit suicide. And in Takimoto’s Welcome to the N.H.K. (Takimoto, Tatsuhiko et al., 2007), it is the Japanese broadcaster NHK that engineers shut-in.

A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference


As we shall see, all four intellectuals contest mass mediatic subjectification and call for a change in the order of things. The tropes of hope and loneliness are used in the conclusion to reflect on the assertion that withdrawal is also a timely undergoing, in preparation for the new. We shall examine how those engaged in extreme forms of social withdrawal can become a harbinger of the new, as Ryū Murakami (2000a) argues. Indeed, the Japanese novelist and filmmaker has insisted that if Japanese culture cannot face up to the trials and tribulations ahead, it may well drown in “a tsunami of technology” and sink ever deeper into a “labyrinth of confusion” (see Bradley, 2013).

FRAIL HOPE Put into anecdotal context, these preliminary vignettes haunt the writer of this chapter. As a teacher at universities and high schools in Tokyo for many years, the writer regularly witnesses the onerous and conspicuous stresses imposed on young people. Empathizing with their plight, he questions the pointlessness of it all. It seems that what young people face today is even more ominous and exhausting than the endurances and trials he faced as a young teenager. Indeed, this was true before the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident on March 11, 2011, but the nuclear meltdown has transformed the arena of possibilities for generations ahead. It is and will be a sad, indelible blot on the ecological, social and mental landscape of generations yet to come. However, this chapter is about the hope of hope, the dialectic of Zerrissenheit or tearing, or how to “keep your mind in hell and despair not” (in the words of Gillian Rose). So lest we succumb to despair, let us resist this tendency. Indeed, even among the severest critics of Japanese culture, there are always signs of optimism. Writing in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and nuclear meltdown, in his article entitled “Amid shortages, a surplus of hope,” and in an apparent moment of Zerrissenheit—sundered, terrified, torn to bits and full of foreboding—Ryū Murakami senses a renewed sense of possibility. He writes, But for all we’ve lost, hope is in fact one thing we Japanese have regained. The great earthquake and tsunami have robbed us of many lives and resources. But we who were so intoxicated with our own prosperity have once again planted the seed of hope. So I choose to believe. (Murakami, 2011)

This is an opinion shared by Slavoj Žižek, who finds in despair the possibility of hope. Contributing to The Possibility of Hope, a 2007 documentary short


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film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, added to the DVD version of the dystopian film Children of Men, he says, Hope is only where despair is. Something truly new happens only when you are in such a deep shit that, within the existing coordinates, you can find no way out, and then in order to survive, you have to invent something new. The magic is to turn a desperate situation into a new beginning. (2007)

自殺サークル ( SUICIDE CIRCLE) In Sion Sono’s Suicide Club (Sono et al., 2003), it is the mass media as progenitor of shrink-wrapped J-pop idol worship, inane lyrics and messages that compels youth to jump to their deaths. In 2002, the Japanese filmmaker wrote and directed the horror film that featured a wave of seemingly unconnected deaths committed by young students. A suicide epidemic grips the country. Despite unheard of levels of communicative saturation—with everybody talking constantly on cell phones and messaging on primitive forms of social networks—no one is connected to themselves (see Bradley in Chiu et al., 2014). This deeply disturbing film goes something like this: it begins with several dozen high-school girls chatting on a train platform. As the train whizzes into the station, this everyday event is changed forever as teenagers jump in unison onto the tracks to gratuitous, gruesome deaths. Shocked commuters look on as geysers of blood wash spirals and arcs of red onto the concrete platform. The familiar refrain begins: a traffic accident with human causalities on the Chuo line. What ensues is a narrative detailing the spate of mass suicides across Japan, which flummox the police and panic the populace. As the plot unfolds, the origin and cause of the suicides is revealed as a website for Dessart, a trendy pop band, whose hit single has literally hypnotized the nation. Through internet and mobile phones, the band’s fans connect. Elsewhere, high-school friends blissfully play with their mobile phones while walking along the street—in silent communion—entranced by the impersonal and anonymous nature of mobile technology, by what Virilio calls collective audio-visual fantasies. This dystopic horror scenario acts as an allegory to explain a reality all the more harrowing and real. After an hour into the film, and as the detectives encounter more and more self-inflicted deaths, their investigation gradually exposes the hollowness of their own existence. When a family suicide claims the wife and children of one of the leading detectives, he himself receives a mysterious phone call from a young boy who asks him if he is “connected with himself”–繋がっていますか. Throughout the film there is a constant refrain referencing communication and connection—Do you know if you

A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference


are connected to yourself?–あなた自身と繋がっているかわかりますか? The caller interrogates the detective with a barrage of questions. The policeman is asked: why couldn’t you feel the pain of others as you would your own? Why couldn’t you bear the pain of others as you would your own? Upon hearing this, the detective shoots himself in the head. In the sequel to Suicide Club– Noriko’s Dinner Table—紀子の食卓 (Sono et al., 2008)—events are depicted before and after the event of the band’s formation. The script of the film reads: He put his hand on Hatori’s cheek and stared at him. I have to know . . . are you connected to yourself? You are connected to Shigure, Akito, Momiji, Shishou and even Yuki. You are connected to Tohru, Kyo, and me. You are connected to everyone around you even if they are dead. But are you connected to yourself?

As we shall see, this is precisely Franco Berardi’s point (2009), because connection without conjunction and concatenation can lead to disastrous results. It is a mental ecology tipped out of balance. 共生虫 In Ryū Murakami’s Symbiotic Worm (2000c), the reader comes to know of a website called interbio​.ne​.​jp, which details the workings of a strange symbiotic worm. Pharmacologically, the website simultaneously both promises release from the hell of a socially reclusive life while further poisoning human relations. The biological term in Japanese 共生 pertains to symbiosis. As a verb it means to live together symbiotically, with the living being designated a symbiont 共生生物. This being the case, kyôseichu cannot, strictly speaking, signify a parasitical relation, if we mean by that term someone or something that devours the other to serve itself. Symbionts cannot be parasitic in this sense. Yet, if we understand the wordplay in Japanese a little more, the fuller paradoxical meaning becomes clearer because we may derive the sense of 寄生虫 (kiseichu), which does indeed mean a parasite, or a parasitic worm. In this sense, symbiosis between two bodies is self-supporting, even life-affirming. And yet, in terms of a mass mediatic eco-noology, the internet and its users in symbiotic relation are mutually parasitic. It is the story of Uehara, who at twenty-two, unemployed, a junior-highschool dropout and a hikikomori, has not worked or attended school since that time. At fourteen, Uehara eats away his own life inhabiting a cloistered world of antidepressants and self-loathing. Living a bare existence in seclusion for several years, he survives with support from his mother who effectively feeds him and takes him from time to time to the psychiatrist. This long-term social recluse eventually finds a connection with the outside world through


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the internet. In desiring a “flow,” beset on a line of flight or deterritorialization, it would seem his seclusion is preparatory for a line of abolition. Adrift, engrossed in digital “funk,” pulverized and stupefied by it, the recluse wastes his youth (himatsubushi—暇つぶし) watching TV and playing video games. Spotting a sudden spurt of interest in her son, Uehara’s mother provides him with a laptop to research the ideas of Yoshiko Sakagami, a TV journalist who discusses an unknown disease infecting the unconsciousness of young people. Unbeknownst to Uehara, the disease has already penetrated his body. Gradually, he becomes aware that the strange worm is the cause of his selfimposed isolation. After he chances upon a strange website that puts him in touch with a cyberbullying body called Inter-Bio, and through numerous e-mail exchanges, Uehara decides to leave his home to find out what lies beyond. He finally gains a self-understanding of the symbiotic worm and through it slakes his vengeance upon the world. Uehara’s self-realization leads to the acting out of his most repressed impulses and drives. In the postscript to the French edition of 共生虫 (Parasites) (2002), Ryū Murakami reflects on the concept of hope, which he says is not something any institution or government can offer. Rather it is that which individuals must make and discover for themselves. While his repeated discussions on hope are not without contradictions or paradox, his point here is that contemporary Japanese society believes hope is futile at root and only an issue determined in extreme circumstances, when the question of the future becomes pressing, when one has to choose. His point is that children desperately need hope because it is they who see the future as pristine virgin territory. Their future. Ryū Murakami concludes by insisting (Murakami, 2002, pp. 397–398) “Les individus contraints de vivre (en entrait du monde) refusent probablement ce monde de fausses esperances,” which can be translated as “People who are forced to live back in the world, invariably refuse worlds of ‘false hope’ like the Internet.” In other words, hope is not found in mere connection but in conjunction with others. Despite the affirmative moment at the end of the book, Murakami regularly depicts Japan as locked in a state of precariousness—a world of hyperconsumption, gratuitous violence and which—although ultra-modern and cutting-edge—is stymied by the breakdown of traditional mores. In Symbiotic Worm (2000c), killing time only makes sense for those who “have no hope, no expectations for the future.” Thanks to the internet, Uehara gains a relation to the outside but at a price, as his project is the destruction of the weak, those subject to the orderliness of “automated” life. It is Inter-Bio that compels him to commit murder. The internet acts pharmacologically as a remedy and as poison, a promise and threat. It gives Uehara the chance to break free of his isolation but at a price. The nature of Uehara’s infection is such that thoughtless, nihilistic rage can erupt in murderous violence at any time. The

A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference


worm empowers. It is a communication tool that allows hikikomori to open up to the world, to explore and share personal problems, but Uehara’s world is an unworld (immonde), a non-place, full of foreboding and menace. His character is desperate, or what Stiegler (2010) designates dis-individualized. The symbiotic worm reduces its host to an idiotic, hideous beast (la bête immonde) as Stiegler says (2012, p. 48), living without remorse. The worm proclaims a new hope for its carriers, albeit through self-annihilation and a carnival of violence. Ultimately, Inter-Bio follows the path of information— further dissemination—negation of life as such. Inter-Bio is the body that lives to destroy but who needs others to exist. It shocks its users into a stupor or bêtise. The parasite is Uehara himself, who at the beginning of the story is a parasite on society, useless, but at the end is in harmony with a schizoid society endemically alienated from its inhabitants. Uehara encapsulates what Stiegler describes as a state of disaffected being—the state of an overcoded or de-individualized self. In terms of the perceived becoming-inhuman of civil society, Stiegler says on this matter: We urban dwellers . . . we suffer from this psychic and collective congestion, and from the affective saturation that “disaffects” us, slowly but ineluctably, from ourselves and others, dis-individuating us psychically as well as collectively, distancing us from our children, our friends, our relatives, from our own, all of whom are constantly moving away from us. . . . We, we others, we who feel ourselves being distanced from our own, feel ourselves irresistibly condemned to “live and think like pigs.” (2012, pp. 89–90) In Ryū Murakami’s novel 希望の国のエクソダス—Exodus to the Land of Hope (2000b), the story begins in 2001 when a Japanese youth appears on CNN armed with a rifle in Pakistan and tells the world, “There’s nothing in Japan. It’s a dead country. There’s nothing to say about Japan” (2000b, p. 9). Inspired by his example, junior-high-school students en masse organize via the internet and stop going to class. Published in the same year as Symbiotic Worm (2000c), the storyline again points to the loss of hope for Japan’s youth. The disgust with the status quo promotes young people to move to Hokkaido in northern Japan. Their diaspora is premised on a desire to forge a new utopos—理想郷. In the book, we hear the statement, “This country’s got everything except hope”​—この国には何でもある。本当にいろいろ なものがあります。だが、希望だけがない (2000b, p. 409). According to Ryū Murakami, it is this paradox that remains unresolved because outside the secluded life of isolated individuals like the hikikomori is a “prison” of a prefabricated world, made of consumer wants and desires (1998, p. 317). Mirroring Baudrillard’s thesis on the simulacra, in Coin Locker Babies (1998) Ryū Murakami has his narrator describe the world as prison-like with walls concealed behind enjoyments and consumer articles. Reality is hidden behind “potted plants and sparkling pools, behind cuddly puppies and tropical fish,


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movie screens and exhibitions and layers of smooth lady-skin.” Behind this veneer is a wall, a heavily protected barricade, a panopticon. His solution to the suffocating hypocrisy is extreme and violent: “There’s only one solution, one way out, and that’s to smash everything around you to smithereens, to start over from the beginning, lay everything to waste . . .” (1998, p. 317). This is perhaps where the individual work of Ryū Murakami and Guattari share common ground, the latter of whom writes, To give fresh power to our segments, we must withdraw our being-segment from the totality in which it is imprisoned. Unless we destroy the totality to which we have been forced to comply, no proclamation of our contingent character and particularity will suffice, as it has done in the past, to rebuild the world. (Guattari, 2010, p. 132)

Now, the point is that such a shrink-wrapped world of consumer wants and desires enshrouds a subjectivity stultified by deep-seated loneliness. To escape this barren psychological landscape through an act of diaspora is a fatal strategy. It is the stuff of cults. The mindset is to think it is better to live apart from the world to escape its corruption, than play a part in its transformation. It is a moment of schizophrenia and withdrawal. We also find this strange paradox ruminated upon in literature, often through the vehicle of utopia. A case in point is H. G. Wells’s 1898 masterpiece The Time Machine, in which the time traveller observes members of the Eloi society who care not one iota for the other. The narrator writes: And the little people displayed no vestige of a creative tendency. . . . They spent all their time in playing gently, in bathing in the river, in making love in a half-playful fashion, in eating fruit and sleeping. I could not see how things were kept going . . . I was watching some of the little people bathing in a shallow, one of them was seized with cramp and began drifting downstream. The main current ran rather swiftly, but not too strongly for even a moderate swimmer. It will give you an idea, therefore, of the strange deficiency in these creatures, when I tell you that none made the slightest attempt to rescue the weakly crying little thing which was drowning before their eyes. (1995, pp. 35–36)

In one film version of The Time Machine (1960) (Pal et al., 2000), we hear the narrator speaking in a manner similar to Stiegler and Berardi regarding the current state of his world and time: “I’d hoped to learn such a great deal. I hoped to take back the knowledge and advancement man had made. Instead, I find vegetables. The human race reduced to living vegetables.” The vision of H.G. Wells is in keeping with the likes of Stiegler and Ryū Murakami because the latter also describes the spread of human and industrial wastelands across the world. Furthermore, it is Ryū Murakami who traces the

A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference


passage from the “sorrow” of the past to the “loneliness” of the present. He writes brilliantly on this portentous state of affairs: It is of course risky to lump all of these people together, but I believe that what they all share is an unawareness that the core emotion of the Japanese people has now shifted from the “sorrow” of the past to the “loneliness” of the present. 彼らを一括​りにするこ​とは危険だ​が、共通し​ているのは​、日本国民​ の中心的感​情 が「悲し​み 」から「​寂 しさ」に​移 行してい​る のに気づ​ いていない​ことだと思​う. (Murakami & Tamura, 2010, p. 49)

We can also find this pessimism running through Haruki Murakami’s work in the 1980s, when Japan was just beginning to enjoy the Bubble years of conspicuous consumption. Indeed, Tamotsu Aoki claims Murakami's heroes display “an intense indifference; neither happy nor sad, replete nor empty, lonely nor loved, he simply exists. This is life in the 1980s” (1996, p. 271). This is the sentiment and the sense of the indifference to indifference found in Stiegler, who writes that in the hyper-industrial epoch such disaffection— the loss of psychic individuation—and disaffectation—the loss of social individuation—threaten the very fabric and being of childhood. Children are tending to become more and more disturbed and disaffected through human audio-visual and informatic psychotechnologies, which, he claims, break up the long circuits of generational time at the behest of speculative capital. He writes in a tone full of anger, frustration and resolution: The slow decomposition of the motives for living, in the ruined milieu of what had previously contained possibilities of existing, signify that the reign of despair, that is, the destruction of every reason to hope, has now become immense and terrifying. (2012, p. 62)

Indifference to indifference is generated and sustained by a media conspiracy called the NHK. In the novel Welcome to the N.H.K. (2007), written by Tatsuhiko Takimoto (滝本竜彦), university dropout Tatsuhiro Satō realizes in a drug-induced dream that the NHK, the acronym that usually stands for the Japanese Broadcasting Association—日本放送協会–is in fact an organization called the Nippon Hikikomori Kyoukai—日本ひきこもり協会 or the Japanese Society of Social Recluses. In its parasitic form, the Japanese media works upon the mind of hikikomori, keeping youth away from life, enforcing shut-ins or self-enclosure. Upon uncovering the conspiracy, a planetary-scale strategy of the mass media, the anti-hero says, I see! At this point, the direct connection between NHK and hikikomori finally should be obvious to everyone. In short, broadcasting such interesting anime, NHK mass-produced anime otaku, thereby essentially creating hikikomori on a large scale. Dammit! What a dirty thing to do! (2007, p. 18)


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Alone in their rooms, hikikomori are systematically destroying any trace of themselves. NHK—one might even say in Guattari’s language, Integrated World Capitalism—is determined as the name of the evil organization and secret society that tortures, “the terrible God” (2007, p. 220). It paralyses, panics and disseminates sad affects and encounters. Pulverized into nonactivity, Sat struggles to break free of his hermetic lifestyle: “Ah! I can’t go on! It’s a psychic attack by the NHK!” (2007, p. 222). NHK promotes the death-in-life of hikikomori. It stops them from forging friendships, giving meaning to life—hoping. As a weapon of propaganda and communication wielded for political aims, its nature is to curb desire, to pacify the masses. It is a machine serving a subjectification process that feeds on mass fear. In summa, NHK rots the spirit or what Stiegler calls the industrial ecology of the spirit. With more than one million hikikomori in Japan, tens of thousands of whom have given up on schooling, what we find is a youth “profoundly cut off from the world” (Stiegler, 2012, p. 88), “living a kind of social autism, ensconced in their domestic and televisual milieu, and hermetically sealed away from a social environment that is itself largely ruined” (2012, p. 88). Welcome to the N.H.K. (2007) mirrors this psychoanalytic account. It follows the progress of a hikikomori who searches for a way to escape attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity, depression and anxiety. Through the intoxication with industrial temporal objects and the proliferation of sad affects aired on TV, Stiegler claims, the libido is diverted from love objects toward objects of consumption. This in turn provokes indifference toward parents and the world at large. Festering in funk, this form of non-activity produces “a general apathy, overlaid with a sense of threat” (2012, p. 88). It is this that Satō tries to escape. His escape encapsulates the pharmakon of the media, at once poison and cure. Put in Guattarian ecological terms, we can say that NHK works as a cloak to neuroleptize subjectivity (2000, p. 68) in the sense that it is akin to an anti-psychotic drug; it grips the nervous system. It produces a “somnolent” population. Moreover, as it “infantalizes subjectivity” (2000, p. 50) this acts as a breeding ground for repression after repression—religious fundamentalism, racism, the oppression of women (2000, p. 28). Again, the process is the perfect breeding ground for cults. NHK works through “the transduction of prepersonal” or impersonal forces. For Stiegler, disaffected otaku, who live in a closed, virtual world of computer games and comics, are dis-individuated psychically and socially and as such are “perfectly indifferent to the world” (2012, p. 89). We can say they suffer from sad mediatic affects and encounters—a cruel system to ensure the death-in-life of its practitioners.

A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference


MEDIATIC AFFECTS Mediatic affects can be so construed as a cruel “logic of affects” (Guattari, 1995, p. 9). They conspire to control the micropolitical events of everyday life—to produce an affection of the body, leaving it petrified and stilted. The destructive refrains of the media structure the affective toil of existential selves. Affects are left stripped of intensity. Deadly refrains recycle more dead time, prefabricated mass media highs which lack any relation to chaos, to the becoming-other or becoming-otherwise, to the true passage of joy. This mediatic affective intensity pulverizes subjectivity. As all affects are weapons in some sense, here mediatic affects act as a weapon against the body. Spinoza’s Ethics (1994), a work of practical philosophy of joy and affirmation, exposes the causes of sorrow and that which is complicit in the corrupt performance that sustains it. In Book III, definition 3, we read affectus as the power to affect and be affected. They are degrees of power to which correspond to active or passive affects or intensities. Spinoza writes, “By affect I understand affections of the body by which the body’s power of acting is increased or diminished, aided or restrained, and at the same time, the ideas of these affections” (1994, p. 154). For Deleuze, affectus pertains to a state of the affected body and implies the presence of the mechanism of affecting. Encounters with the outside are divided into two categories: joyous encounters, which increase the body’s ability to act or think—and sad ones, which lessen the body’s or mind’s ability to think or act. Joy is therefore produced when a body comes into contact with another and enters into composition with it, and sadness when a body or idea threatens its coherence. Considering that the role of philosophy is the prevention or warding off of sad affects, Deleuze writes, [The task of philosophy is] denouncing all that is sad, all that lives on sadness, all those who depend on sadness as the basis of their power. (1990, p. 270)

THE BRAIN AND AFFECT Affects are transitions between states, and possess an actual and virtual side. The actual is found in sensations or emotions but this coming to transition as Massumi describes it (2002, p. 35) is the virtual aspect that conveys “unactualized capacities to affect and be affected” (De Landa 2002, p. 62). The media works to stifle, harness and rechannel virtual possibilities. Refrains become enclosed within a designated field of possibilities. They are deprived of a relation to “the forces of the future” (Deleuze & Guattari


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1987, p. 311)—to the outside. Affect is hemmed in, without escape. And so the media or NHK prefigures existential territories, disseminates insecurity and fear and entices paranoia. The media circulates sad affects and existential territories of insecurity servicing paranoid visions, which in extreme cases can foster rage and panic—that is to say, the evacuation of the subject when “automatic life” responses takeover. Drastic episodes of rage and fear are de-subjectivizing, with affect freed from any subjective feeling. NHK and Inter-Bio takeover. Agency and subjectivity are burst asunder. In post-disciplinary societies or control societies, the semio-capitalistic order of things is the progenitor of spiritual loss—that is to say, of reasons to believe, trust and hope. The point is also shared by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, in his What Is an Apparatus? (2009), as he reflects on the political proclivities of the contemporary milieu and finds a similar sense of stasis and passivity. He argues that the current era is witnessing the presence of the “most docile and cowardly social body that has ever existed in human history” (p. 22). With respect to control societies, according to Catherine Malabou (2012), it is the dissemination of sad affects that serves those in power. In her interpretation of Spinoza, the more sad affects abound, the more docile the masses become. Sad affects keep the populace on its knees through a flattening of emotional subjectivity (2012, p. 53), festering in indifference to indifference—feasting on connection without conjunction—a disconnection of the loop of desire and hope. In recent years, Malabou’s research on “plasticity” (2005)—a key concept she derives from Hegel and her former teacher Derrida—has looked to bridge the gap between continental philosophy and neuroscience, to pave the way for a new cartography of affect—to account for the relationship between trauma, indifference and the overall loss of affect. Her recent focus—utilizing the neuroscience research of Antonio Damasio and Thomas Metzinger—has been on the societal engineering of cold, indifferent, disengaged subjects who lack empathy toward others—which she claims is brought about through brain injury or the experience of severe trauma. The latter may well serve to explain postFukushima Japan’s “mass-mediatic pollution of collective subjectivities” (Guattari, 2012, p. 42). Here we ask: why does the mass media (NHK or Inter-Bio) inspire such sad passions? In terms of Spinoza’s philosophy, Malabou explains that this is always a matter of control by the priest or despot. She replaces Deleuze’s dictum vis-à-vis Spinoza—namely, the statement “inspiring sad passions is necessary for the exercise of power” with the statement that “inspiring indifference has become necessary for the exercise of power” (2013). On this point, it is worth recalling Deleuze who claims that one of the central themes of Spinoza’s Ethics (1994) is that all things that involve sadness express tyranny in some way (Deleuze, 1990, p. 270). In a sense then, we could

A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference


add that the media conspires to diminish the power of acting. The media is tyrannical. It negates wonder. For example, Malabou discerns in modern societies a fundamental loss of wonder. Regarding Spinoza’s Ethics (1994), Part III on the emotions, Deleuze in his 1978 lecture briefly addresses the nature of wonder, which is described as manifesting through the destruction of the power to be affected or, said otherwise, the indifference to indifference. Sadness proliferates to the extent that there is a corresponding abnegation of affect, which Malabou determines as a hallmark of contemporary subjectivity. As a tool in the exercise and exertion of power, we can say that the media accelerates this indifference. Through the impairment of emotion in the brain this leads to the loss of wonder and the destruction of the possibility to be transformed. There is a loss of all affect. Suffering a diminishment of power, of the bodily power to be affected, hikikomori, for example, suffer a loss of wonder, a loss of interest in the outside, the new or different. The loss of the feeling of wonder evokes a disinterest in the exceptional and unexpected. In extremis, this can lead to catastrophic results—action in cold blood, without remorse or feeling. The 1996 Dunblane massacre in Scotland, the 1999 Columbine High School, the 2008 Akihabara massacre in Japan, the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and the 2014 Washington State High School shootings are tragic examples that ought to give reconsideration for radical theories that criticize the organization of society left to feed on its own lust, greed, aggression and mad appetites. Contemporary subjectivity—autistic, without affective engagement, a disengaged de-libidinalized subject—exudes indifference to strangers. This emotional detachment can lead to social withdrawal. Without emotion, there is a corresponding loss of interest in politics, as Malabou says. This is the libidinal economy of contemporary life. The new wounded, as Malabou labels them, are those suffering from sociopolitical trauma who act in the form of “indifference to suffering” (2012, p. xii) and proceed through the affective withdrawal from the world. Cut off from affect, there is no symbolic cure, or possibility of thinking, doing and loving otherwise. There is a corresponding renunciation of hope, an absence of hope. The loss of feeling leads to the impairment of consciousness. There is no time to be unsettled by the anxiety that wonder invokes. Responding to the sense of widespread indifference and drawing on Guattari’s Three Ecologies (2000), Rick Dolphijn (2013) throws down the gauntlet for others to respond to the mass mediatic or eco-noological crisis. As schizoanalysis is a praxis to free the flows of desire that remain blocked, he says (2013, p. 6): “Ecosophy demands us to open ourselves up to the coldness and indifference that has taken over some of the ecosystems today, that has traumatized them, disturbed their presence, their ideas with which we live.” In other words, as sad encounters make us ill, ecosophy is an experimental project to promote a new vitality


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through the creation of joyful encounters. Deleuze and Guattari consider the demands of schizoanalysis on this point and ask for a relation to the outside, “a little real reality” (1983, p. 334). In Chaosmosis (1995), Guattari calls for others to prepare for the “ordeals of barbarism” and “the mental implosion and chaosmic spasms looming on the horizon.” Unpacking this terminology, Berardi (2014) suggests that chaosmosis is the overcoming of the spasm, the relaxing of the spasmodic vibration. The Italian theorist writes that consciousness inhabits a “psychopathogenic atmosphere” that toils from an acceleration of stimuli, constant attentive stress, immediate access to the info-sphere and permanent connectivity—or what we have called Inter-Bio. In this new form of semio-capitalism, following Guattari, the frenetic world of concrete human beings is thrown into a chaosmic spasm until collapse. In his increasingly influential work, Berardi—an old friend of Guattari’s— claims that semio-capitalism intensifies mental suffering to social epidemic, pathological levels. This is produced through constant demands for attention, a world without time for affection (Berardi, 2014, p. 38). Mental suffering is normalized in a system driven by the exploitation of precarious cognitive work. Here Japan may well prove to be the archetypical case in point, because it is seen as a society increasingly precarious, “haunted by depression, loneliness and suicide” (Berardi, 2014, p. 86). Discerning widespread loneliness, stress, competition, a sense of meaninglessness, compulsion and failure in advanced capitalist societies, Berardi finds this mutation not only in the West but across the planet. He cites Japan’s neighbor South Korea as a striking case where digitalization has deeply affected the psychological lives of its inhabitants. Suggesting a causal connection between connectivity and suicide, he asks the question on everybody’s lips—namely, is there a link between high connectivity and suicide? Thirty years of precariousness and competition have destroyed social solidarity. Media virtualization has destroyed empathy among bodies, the pleasure of touching each other and the pleasure of living in urban spaces. We have lost the pleasure of love, because too much time is devoted to work and virtual exchange. In his doctoral defense at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, in 2014, Berardi made the connection between media connectivity and the prospect of a suicide epidemic that he describes as a “devastating psychic bomb.” Questioning the interrelationship between connectivity and the flux of semio-capitalist production, he writes in Precarious Rhapsody (2009, p. 129), “A gigantic wave of desperation could soon turn into a suicidal epidemic that will turn the first connective generation into a devastating psychic bomb.” This is the problem of our time and he is right to ask what is to be done. The virtualization of communication and the precarity of work have combined to disconnect people from themselves, from the capacity to

A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference


feel empathy. The way out, for Berardi, is the development of strategies of withdrawal, refusal and the negotiation of inaugural “lines of flight”—the creation of velocity transformers. Wistfully perhaps, Berardi often calls for the creation of “social zones of human resistance” to restore a sense of hope in the present and the future. Questioning the aforementioned lost pleasure of being in communion, he writes (2014, p. 40), “Electronic media act as an accelerator of info-stimulation and simultaneously as a desensibilizer of the collective psyche and the collective skin.” Constant premanufactured excitement or intensified stimulation permeates the “Mediascape” and places the sensitive organism in a state of “permanent electrocution,” much like the becoming-Narcissus-narcotic-numb from technology that McLuhan (1964) explores in “Gadget lover,” Chapter 4 of Understanding Media. The point is made well in a 1961 interview for Playboy Magazine. Regarding media-induced environments, McLuhan (McLuhan et al., 1995, p. 226) says on this point that when this syndrome becomes “all pervasive and transmogrifies our sensory balance” it also becomes “invisible.” Moreover, this self-hypnotic Narcissus-narcosis syndrome fits well into the mental ecology paradigm developed by Guattari, which is described above. The scenario is also brilliantly described by sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury in a reflection on the dystopian trends in 1950s America. The world of Fahrenheit 451 was an immediate threat and possibility, as he explained: Only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap opera cries, sleep walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction (quoted in Amis 1960, p. 112). Put another way, this is the state of the characters in Welcome to the N.H.K. (2007) and Symbiotic Worm (2000c). If emotion is the concatenation of unconnected things, events and perceptions, what frustrates this natural process is digital, abstract connection, NHK or Inter-Bio—that is to say, that which prefigures outcomes and options and leads to dissociation of understanding from empathy. Berardi insists that the passage from conjunction to connection between organisms stems from the digitalization of signs and the mediatization of relations. Much like Inter-Bio, connection introduces pathological contractions in the flow of conjunction, while simultaneously opening new horizons of communication. Writing from the perspective of a phenomenology of the sensible, Berardi is right to note the mutation in sensibility that is producing unprecedented levels of mental suffering such as ADHD, mental exhaustion,


Chapter 15

depression and at its worst, violence and suicide. It would seem that the speed of signs and the avalanche of information have transformed the perception of time, but more than this the dromology of information impoverishes experience as such, as pleasure and knowledge are left exhausted in turn. Virtual communication, the precarity of work, and a range of other contemporary phenomena have disconnected the capacity to feel empathy toward each other. On this bleak reading, the world is hyperactive, spasmodic and brimming with attention-deprived “zombies,” who suffer from all manner of pathological effects from the sad affects generated by the schizoid organization of society. When read alongside writers such as Stiegler and Malabou, we can begin to better understand Berardi’s point. Strangers pass us on the street, conveying a blank exterior that conceals inner turmoil and sadness. Behind “disconnected” eyes, there lurks a teeming volcano of angst and convulsion. The hikikomori or social recluses in Japan are similarly describable in these terms as they find themselves assaulted by Weltschmerz or world-weariness. In post-Fukushima, it seems quite clear that more and more young people in Japan are locked in this state of Zerrissenheit and seemingly, unable to break free of it. The solution? For his part, Stiegler (2012) argues that school constitutes the primary pharmacological site of the “battle for intelligence.” It is for teachers to find a space beyond the reach of control, the media, NHK or Inter-Bio. Stiegler proposes a new politics of attention, information and knowledge—a “noopolitics” to oppose what he calls the globalized market of fools or conspiracy of imbeciles. So says Stiegler the “battle for intelligence” is the political question of our time because now given over to “attention capture” devices, with brains “stripped not merely of critical consciousness but of consciousness itself” (2010, p. 43), children are no longer being educated. As such, they are cut off from an intergenerational “sense of culture and community.” In summa, people have given themselves over to these industries. Describing what he calls the industrial ecology of the spirit, Stiegler insists that as a consequence of cognitive and affective saturation, and through the loss of consciousness and affect, disaffected beings abound. As he says, disaffected people and human wastelands are as conspicuous as disused factories and industrial wastelands. Yet, in his recent work, he makes the point that, although young people appear diffident, distant from the authority of their parents, and are confronted with the structural cynicism of their society to the extent that they find no other avenue than antisocial withdrawal, there still remains a genuine possibility of sublimation through the reconstitution of the life of the spirit—comprising an ecological economy of cognitive and affective functions. If you like, a new media ecology.

A Contribution to the Schizoanalysis of Indifference


CONCLUSION It has been found through a variety of philosophical and literature resources that disaffection and withdrawal are engineering effects on the body through technology and the mass media as such. They are the result of promiscuous sad encounters. The internet and mass media are both disease and cure . . . parasite and pharmakon. They agitate a whirlpool of non-human affects and sad encounters, which we still have yet to fully chart. Through the prism of ecosophy, we have also seen that withdrawal is a form of undergoing, Untergang, a preparatory time ahead of the new. But it is through Guattari’s mental ecology that we can come to better understand how the construction of new existential assemblages and refrains can help ward off the descent into despair and dissolution. Critical of the semiotic operations of capital, which generate a flattening of subjectivity, ecosophy remains a thought-provoking critique of the engineering of sad affects and obsession with machinic “funk” among young people. It calls for “the seizing of society by society itself” (Guattari et al., 2010, p. 126)—a “social cyclotron” to change the order of things. This reading of ecosophy remains staunchly opposed to the intoxication with technologies and the becoming-hikikomori of youth. It remains steadfast in its fight against the mindlessness of youth turned to pulp. At the end, there is a beginning. It is the hope of hope itself, of a peopleyet-to-come, and the trial that awaits them. Guattari’s search for a third voice/ pathway, from the consensual mediatic to a dissensual postmediatic era, is important for this project as he aims to liberate the processual potentialities of each singularity and, as he says, transform the earth—“a living hell for fourfifths of its population”—into “a universe of creative enchantments” (2012, p. 13). This is all we have left—a trial for the sake of the poor, dispossessed, for those among us living precarious lives, for those yet to come. I end with Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 (Murakami & Gabriel, 2011, p. 744), in which Aomame says in one of the rare optimistic moments in the majestic novel: It’s a tough world. . . . Wherever there’s hope there’s a trial​ —ひとりぼ​ っちではあ​る けれど孤​独 ではない​。 希望のあ​る ところに​は 必ず試練​ があるもの​だから.

REFERENCES Agamben, G. (2009). What Is an Apparatus?: And Other Essays. Stanford University Press. Amis, K. (1960). New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction. Harcourt, Brace.


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Aoki, T. (1996). Murakami Haruki and Japan Today. In J. W. Treat (Ed.), Contemporary Japan and Popular Culture (pp. 265–274). University of Hawaii Press. Berardi, F. (2009). Precarious Rhapsody: Semiocapitalism and the Pathologies of the Post-Alpha Generation. Minor Compositions. Berardi, F. (2014). And Phenomenology of the End: Cognition and Sensibility in the Transition from Conjunctive to Connective Mode of Social Communication. Semiotext(e). Berardi, F., & Lovink, G. W. (2011). A Call to the Army of Love and to the Army of Software. Institute of Network Cultures. http://networkcultures​ .org​ /wpmu​ /geert​/2011​/10​/12​/franco​-berardi​-geert​-lovink​-a​-call​-to​-the​-army​-of​-love​-and​-to​ -the​-army​-of​-software Bradley, J. P. N. (2013). Is the Otaku Becoming-Overman?. 東洋大学人間科学総合研究所紀要= The Bulletin of the Institute of Human Sciences, Toyo University, 15, 115–133. https://www​.toyo​.ac​.jp​/uploaded​/attachment​ /10071​.pdf Chiu, H., Yu-lin, L., & Bogue, R. (2014). Deleuze and Asia. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Cuarón, A. (Director). (2007). Les Fils de l’homme [Children of Men] [Film]. Universal Studios Canada. De Landa, M. (2002). Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy. Continuum. Deleuze, G. (1990). Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza (M. Joughin, Trans.). Zone Books. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. Dolphijn, R. (2013, September 6). Insanity and Ecosophy from Guattari and Bateson to Malabou and back to Spinoza. In Society for European Philosophy/Forum for European Philosophy Annual Conference, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road Campus. Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm. Indiana University Press. Guattari, F. (2000). The Three Ecologies. Athlone Press. Guattari, F. (2012). Schizoanalytic Cartographies. Bloomsbury. Guattari, F., Shukaitis, S., & Negri, A. (2010). New Lines of Alliance, New Spaces of Liberty. Minor Compositions. Malabou, C. (2005). The Future of Hegel: Plasticity, Temporality, and Dialectic. Routledge. Malabou, C. (2012). The New Wounded from Neurosis to Brain Damage. New York: Fordham University Press. Malabou, C. (2013, October 22). Provost Lecture – Catherine Malabou: From Sorrow to Indifference [Video]. YouTube. https://www​.youtube​.com​/watch​?v​ =KoAd1lQ1bXM Massumi, B. (2002). Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Duke University Press.

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McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. McGraw-Hill. McLuhan, M., McLuhan, E., & Zingrone, F. (1995). Essential McLuhan. Basic Books. Murakami, H. (2001). Sputnik Sweetheart (P. Gabriel, Trans.). Alfred A. Knopf. Murakami, H. (2011). 1Q84 (J. Rubin & P. Gabriel, Trans.). Alfred A. Knopf. Murakami, R. (1998). Coin Locker Babies. Kodansha International. Murakami, R. (2000a, May 1). Japan’s Lost Generation. Time. http://www​.time​.com​ /time​/asia​/magazine​/2000​/0501​/japan​.essaymurakami​.html Murakami, R. (2000b). Kibō no Kuni no ekusodasu [Exodus to the Land of Hope]. Bungei Shunju¯. Murakami, R. (2000c). Kyoseichu 共生虫 [Symbiotic Worm]. Kodansha International. Murakami, R. (2002). Parasites. Éditions Philippe Picquier. Murakami, R. (2011, March 16). Amid Shortages, a Surplus of Hope. New York Times. http://www​.nytimes​.com​/2011​/03​/17​/opinion​/17Murakami​.html?​_r=0 Murakami, R., & Tamura, J. (2010). Sabishii kuni no satsujin [Murder in a Lonely Country]. Shingurukatto. Nancy, J.-L. (2015). After Fukushima: The Equivalence of Catastrophes. Fordham University Press. Nojiri, E. (2013). ‘否定性、歴史、資本の有機的構成: 主体性変容の原理論 のための試み’ (Negativity, History, and the Organic Composition of Capital: Toward a Principle Theory of Transformation of Subjectivity). 会理論研究 / 社会 理論研究編集委員会 編, 14(4), 89–110. Pal, G. (Director). (1960). The Time Machine [Film]. Warner Home Video. Saito, T. (2003). Hikikomori bunkaron [On Hikikomori Culture]. Hatsu-baimoto Kinokuniya Shoten. Sono, S. (Director). (2002). Jisatsu sa¯kuru (Suicide Club) [Film]. TLA Releasing. Sono, S. (2005). Noriko no shokutaku [Noriko’s Dinner Table] [Film]. Tidepoint Pictures. Spinoza, B. (1994). A Spinoza Reader: The Ethics and Other Works (E. Curly, Ed. & Trans.). Princeton University Press. Stiegler, B. (2010). Taking Care of Youth and the Generations. Stanford University Press. Stiegler, B. (2012). Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected Individuals. Polity. Takimoto, T. (2007). Welcome to the N.H.K Vol. 1. Tokyopop. Teo, A. R., & Gaw, A. C. (2010). Hikikomori, a Japanese Culture-bound Syndrome of Social Withdrawal?: A Proposal for DSM-5. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 198(6), 444–449. Wells, H. G. (1995). The Time Machine. Dover Publications. (Original work published 1895)

Section 4


Chapter 16

The Delirious Abstract Machines of Jean Tinguely

By focusing on Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s appreciation of Swiss kinetic sculpture artist Jean Tinguely (1925–1991), this chapter will explore— pataphysically and ecosophically—the relation between joy, uselessness and the madness of Integrated World Capitalism. Especial attention is given to Tinguely’s notes and drawings to illuminate how they function as abstract machines which diagram the “techno-scientific state of things” (Guattari, 2012, p. 142), that is to say, the uselessness of concrete instantiations, and the futural becomings which gently mock the threat of total annihilation (Tinguely’s Suzuki/Hiroshima, 1963). I shall contend that the “initial domain” of Tinguely’s machines exhibits in germinal form what Guattari (2012, p. 142) describes as the “vital drives of modern societies.” It will be seen that Guattari finds in Tinguely the passage from a diagrammatics of the dreams and fantasies of “slightly mad inventors” to existential mutations in general (142). Functioning within concrete assemblages, Tinguely’s hyperlogic abstract machines take on consistency, acquire a collective enunciation, albeit in a barmy way, to designate “the cutting edges of decoding and deterritorialization” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 510). Despite Deleuze and Guattari’s (1994, pp. 55–6) critique of Tinguely’s machinic portraits of philosophers in What Is Philosophy? I shall defend Tinguely on two fronts. The first defence regards the mad dance of his kinetic constructions—their creative–destructive, function–malfunctioning tendencies. Here we find a powerful critique—a mental ecology—of the madness under which we live. The second defence regards his Les Philosophes ­ collection (1999) and the peculiar diagram of James Watt in particular. The Watt diagram will be read using the conceptual architecture of Guattari’s solo work (Schizoanalytic Cartographies, 2012; and The Anti-Oedipus Papers, 2006) to highlight the shared common ground regarding facets of 277


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speed and acceleration in contemporary life. “They know that there is no liberation, and that a system is abolished only by pushing it into hyperlogic, by forcing it into an excessive practice which is equivalent to a brutal amortization” (Baudrillard, 1983, p. 46). Upon reading the latter pages of What Is Philosophy? (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994) one finds the somewhat surprising claim that Tinguely’s kinetic portraits of philosophers are lacking in several respects. Discussing portraiture’s philosophical and aesthetic sense, Deleuze and Guattari insist that what matters above all is the separation of the instituted plane of immanence and the new concepts created. The former is key to understanding the movement of philosophy. What I take from this is that Deleuze and Guattari think Tinguely’s portraits do not move or “dance.” Nothing “dances” in Nietzsche, something indecisive haunts the Schopenhauer, the Heidegger fails to retain any veiling—unveiling on an unthinking plane of thought. The portraits do not quite get to the “thingyness” of the philosopher in question. They do not quite draw the distinctive planes and concepts of each thinker. But perhaps we can put it another way. In the piercing sounds, lightning flashes, substances of being, images of thought of complex curved planes, in the “continual whirr of machines” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 2), Tinguely’s machinic portraits articulate an infinite movement, an absolute deterritorialization, a visionary even playful eskhatos. With the rather bizarre diagram of Kant in What Is Philosophy? continuing to confound, not least because the bepuzzlement begs the question what a diagram has got to do with the thinking of a philosopher and the question of what is philosophy, the above prompted a closer look at the Nouveau Realiste art of Tinguely, especially his notebooks, drawings and sketches, in which lo and behold diagrams do indeed dance and do get to the essence of the philosopher. In a certain pataphysical respect, Tinguely’s drawings diagram the ethico-aesthetic and ecosophical or schizoanalytic dimension of the philosopher. Through a kind of absolute deterritorialization or utopian world-​building they map virtualities, put into movement possibilities of existential assemblages and refrains. The proviso is that they dance to a different, dissonant tune. A Tinguely abstract machine is a singularity manifestly out of time, signaling something yet to come, in constant variation, in perpetuum mobile, veering useless, for any absurd purpose. In the becoming-Tinguelyean of the machine and the becoming-​machine of Tinguely, a singularity pursues an ordinance of virtual possibility. Tinguely’s diagrams are “piloting devices” from which it is possible to extract from the actual a virtuality of becoming. His numerous sketches, jottings and diagrams point to the orchestration of factory workers by Engels, the black soil of Heidegger, the wry smile of Bergson, the singular demand for freedom in Stirner, the Buddha–machine of Schopenhauer,

The Delirious Abstract Machines of Jean Tinguely


the eternal return of difference in Nietzsche—Kropotkin’s oil canister and arching crane thinks the future in terms of mutual aid without exploitation and greed. In his unique note-taking style, Tinguely’s diagrams or abstract machines are an event, a creation, which if manufactured into kinetic contraptions, work in delirious connection with the plane of immanence and the collective assemblage of enunciation. So the critical remarks of Deleuze and Guattari are all the more perplexing when Guattari’s lifelong preoccupation with delirious machinism, Dada and the French avant-garde (including Roussel, Duchamp and Tinguely—see Doerr, 1998; Violand-Hobi, 1990; Hanor, 2003) is taken into consideration. Supporting this view, Franco Berardi (2008, p. 34) insists that Guattari took as a given “the becoming true of the Dadaist revolution, its definitive realization in daily life.” Moreover, it can also be argued that Anti-Oedipus, a book infused with the spirit of 1968 was equally inspired by the kinetic energies of Tinguely machines. Indeed, Tinguely’s self-destroying machines, according to Brian Holmes (2007), influence the overall flow of Anti-Oedipus, probably “more than any philosophical or scientific source.” This is spotted too by Berardi, who makes the connection with the event of Tinguely’s kinetic art and the événements of May–June 1968. The year 1968 was Tinguelyian, Berardi (2008, p. 86) writes: “A gigantic mechanization of Tinguelyian cogwheels that together conjure up a universe of non-necessary, but possible events. ‘68 was in this sense the first movement without necessity, without lack, without need.” Entranced by Tinguely’s art at a Pompidou Centre exhibit, probably sometime in 1988 or 1989, Berardi says of Guattari that he discerned in Tinguely’s sculptures a metaphor of the ritournelle or refrain— that is to say a process of creation, of new ways of living, breathing, being and thinking. In some way, the whirling rhythms of the cosmic cogwheels hook you into the chaosmosis (Berardi, 2014, p. 85). Gushing through Tinguely’s spasmodic, self-annihilating machines is a Dadaesque urge to accelerate the ripping and tearing away of sclerotic social institutions. Schizoanalytically or ecosophically expressed, Tinguely’s excessive and unrelenting machines deliriously desire the terrible curettage of the socius. On this account, the Dadaesque aspect of Tinguely’s early kinetic work is affirmed. Much like capitalism itself, Dada’s “only function is to have no function,” a failure or corruption of function. Like a Rube Goldberg machine, which functions despite having no goal or relation, Tinguely’s machines so construed are constructed from heterogeneous parts with zero goal. They produce nothing for any purpose. Yet, in their own inimitable Dadaist way, Tinguely’s delirious machines carry on the practice of ecosophical chaosophy by seeking out a “singularity, a rupture of sense, a cut, a fragmentation, the detachment of a semiotic content” to engineer “mutant nuclei of subjectivation” (Guattari, 1995, p. 18).


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In Anti-Oedipus, capitalism is depicted as a machine beset on a revolutionary journey. Its fuel is desire and with it the socius goes nuts, much like Tinguely’s self-destroying machines. This is Mumford’s megamachine—a pointless operation which propels itself forward—in a mad dance or trance—in elemental, disjointed terms. Deleuze and Guattari (1983, p. 373) write: “The capitalist machine does not run the risk of becoming mad, it is mad from one end to the other and from the beginning, and this is the source of its rationality.” And again, on the other side of reason there is but lies, delirium and drift, according to Guattari (2008, p. 36): “Everything is rational in capitalism, except capital or capitalism itself.” In the avant-garde kinetic designs of Duchamp and Tinguely, Guattari unearths a delirious machinic metamodeling (at odds with the normative universal diagrams of Freudian psychoanalysis and Lacanian structuralism). Less surreal, less Freudian, more Dada because: “Surrealism was a vast enterprise of Oedipalization of the movements that preceded it” (Guattari, 2008, p. 104). In Chaosophy, Guattari asks: How does one obtain a functional ensemble, while shattering all the associations of Freudian psychoanalysis? His partial answer is to look to Dada, Goldberg’s drawings, and the machines of Tinguely, because in terms of the latter, Tinguely’s machines are consistent with the revolutionary trajectory of Anti-Oedipus, which depicts desire desiring the destructive, deterritorializing processes of capitalism. Desire acts as violence without purpose, or as Deleuze and Guattari (1983, p. 346) put it, “A pure joy in feeling oneself a wheel in the machine, traversed by flows, broken by schizzes.” This is the joyful refrain which Guattari finds in Tinguely’s machines. With respect to this sense of the capitalist mindset, Deleuze and Guattari discuss the deadly cycle of repetition, those refrains which crystallize into “hardened” representation, such as obsessive ritual. They add: Oh, to be sure, it is not for himself or his children that the capitalist works, but for the immortality of the system. . . . Placing oneself in a position where one is thus traversed, broken, fucked by the socius, looking for the right place where, according to the aims and the interests assigned to us, one feels something moving that has neither an interest nor a purpose. (pp. 346–347)

Despite the underlying serious and committed critique of the nature of capitalism, Tinguely’s work recycles absurdity, uselessness and waste in an affirmative sense because he makes everyday objects such as cogs, mannequins, wheels, drums and dolls exude a joy in their very malfunction. His is a joy which teases, prods and provokes the structural overproduction and emptiness of capitalism. His remedy is a healthy scorn, a mocking of

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grand plans and big ideas, especially that big red button to blow up the world. His machines ridicule the threat of total annihilation. On the bombing of Hiroshima (and Nagasaki) by the American military, he tells Dominique de Menil: After all there was this fateful, extraordinary date which was 1945. After that moment when the atom bombs started falling on this world, that changed the world. Before or after the atom bomb, it’s different. Because it was the first time that human beings had the chance to commit suicide as a collective body. This time humanity can do away with itself, if it wishes. It has the technology. (Klein et al., 1999)

Tinguely’s kinetic contraptions are clearly beset on a path of self-​annihilation. Yet, even here, Tinguely’s art remains resolutely liberatory, and especially Nietzschean. Nietzsche (1996, p. 178) says, in a letter to Peter Gast, marked August 14, 1881, of his “extremely, dangerous life”: “I am one of those machines which can explode.” Like Nietzsche then, Tinguely’s art explodes everything, including the blackest melancholy. It is this point which is important for schizoanalysis, where his ideas resonate with Deleuze, who finds a necessary joy in creation. In an interview with Madeleine Chapsal, Deleuze describes the essence and purpose of art as joy. As such, Deleuze (2004, p. 134) argues, following Nietzsche, that there can be no “unhappy creation”: “There can be no tragic work because there is a necessary joy in creation: art is necessarily a liberation that explodes everything.” This is further ruminated upon in an interview with Jeanette Colombel (144), in which Deleuze discusses the nature of power and philosophy itself, again with a discernible Nietzschean tone, and argues that the power of destruction in Nietzsche and Spinoza always emanates from affirmation, “from joy, from a cult of affirmation and joy, from the exigency of life against those who would mutilate and mortify life.” On this account, Tinguely could be distinguished from those whom Foucault famously labeled the political ascetics, sad militants and terrorists of theory in the preface to Anti-Oedipus (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. xii), those preservers of “the pure order of politics and political discourse,” or “bureaucrats of the revolution and civil servants of Truth.” The joy in Tinguely’s work is therefore Nietzschean. Contra the naysayers, Tinguely’s self-creating, self-destroying artifacts convey a malevolent operation and activity but through a joyousness less to do with the morbidity of the anarchist’s desire, away from what Nietzsche (1974, p. 329) talks of in Book 5 of The Gay Science, from “the hatred of the ill-constituted, disinherited, and underprivileged, who destroy, must destroy.” Rather, the thirst for self-destruction is Dionysian, the effect of an “overflowing energy” pregnant with futural becoming.


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Exhibiting the sense of “little joy” found in schizophrenia qua process, Tinguely’s notebooks diagram the nihilistic tendencies of the Cold War era and the widespread obsession with machines. In a word his notebooks and diagrams do “dance.” In the notebooks and scribbling, what inheres is a futural diagrammatics of auto-destruction. Reading Tinguely’s diagrams pataphysically, that is to say, in the sense of their molecular (de)construction— subject to chance, accident, haphazard happenings, flows and fluxes, the work of Jarry’s clinamen—the unpredictable swerve of atoms, tychism or absolute chance—and in thinking his useless machines as a science of imaginary solutions (Jarry, 1923), questions arise regarding the emergent properties which come into being when logic breaks down (Bok, 1997, pp. 99–100)—when the machine operates autopoietically (Bolt, 2004, p. 83). Here he is in agreement again with Deleuze and Guattari who claim that the process of breaking down and malfunction through wear and tear, accident and death is part of the very functioning of desiring-machines, or the “fundamental” element of the machine, as Guattari says. The processual aesthetic of Tinguely is insinuated with, and affected by, the scientific and ethical paradigms of his day. His sculptures are traversed by machinic phyla. To account for the machinic phyla of sculpture, we can say that the positive feedback from self-immolating machines sustains the smooth functioning of the technical assemblage. His jarring contraptions crawl, whistle, whine, swing, twitch, rock and pulsate. And amid this universality of cacophonous malfunction, breakdown, collapse, confusion and crisis, machines dissonantly burp, ping, sing, screech, tick, cry, ache and dance frenetically—all to the tune of an unpredictable telos. For example, in the rebirth, recycling and “explosive” detritus of Homage to New York in the Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1960, what comes into being in the mindless mayhem is the self-orchestrated suicide of the machine. The Big Apple is designated a “city-machine,” with destruction, planned obsolescence deemed the very fabric of urban life. Tinguely writes of his desire to explode the city. Amazed by the energetic mayhem of New York, Tinguely—the co(s)mic artisan, the homemade atom bomb (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 345)—finds in the skyscraper a microcosm of a little machine conceived like Chinese fireworks “in total anarchy and freedom”: The skyscraper itself is a kind of machine. The American house is a machine. I saw in my mind’s eye all those skyscrapers, those monster buildings, all that magnificent accumulation of human power and vitality, all that uneasiness, as though everyone were living on the edge of a precipice, and I thought how nice it would be to make a little machine there that would be conceived, like Chinese fireworks, in total anarchy and freedom. (Tomkins, 1965, p. 166)

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Art expresses this revolutionary aspect. Underscoring this point, in a radio debate for Radio Télévision Belge, Brussels, on December 13, 1982, Tinguely described art as a form of “manifest revolt, total and complete” (Hultén & Tinguely, 1987). The celebration of destruction is no surprise perhaps given the intellectual inheritance from the anarchist tradition of Kropotkin, Stirner and Bakunin, the latter of which famously invokes the slogan “the urge to destroy is also a creative urge.” This reckless spirit of destruction—contra Oedipus—is found in the revolutionary momentum which builds up in Deleuze and Guattari’s (1983, p. 311) Anti-Oedipus, an imperative, a malevolent one, to abolish conservative beliefs and theatrical scenes: “Destroy, destroy. The task of schizoanalysis goes by way of destruction. . . . Destroy Oedipus, the illusion of the ego, the puppet of the superego, guilt, the law, castration.” Elsewhere, for Deleuze, resistance to the intolerable is a matter of creation. In finding a great energy from the work of Gérard Fromanger, Deleuze concludes that the French artist loves the very world he wishes to destroy, adding: “There are no revolutionaries but the joyful and no politically or aesthetically pleasing revolutionary painting without delight” (Deleuze et al. 1999, pp. 76–7). Although Tinguely’s mechanical assemblages of irrational function are “anti-machines”—intentionally set on a course of unpredictable breakdown, and suicide—it is through their humor and irony—from thinking the involution of man and machine, the irrational and nonfunctional—that his art satirizes and mocks the mindless overproduction of material goods in advanced industrial society. But it is this perspective which allows Tinguely to engage in the dynamism and poetry of life itself. As he writes: “I try to distil the frenzy of our joyful industrial confusion” (LucieSmith, 1987, p. 87). Here Tinguely’s work trundles on alongside Deleuze and Guattari’s desiring machines. Tinguely’s machines engineer difference in cycles and revolutions of repetition in which the outcome is never certain. The freedom for which Tinguely searches is precisely the escape from restrictive deadly repetitions, restrictive deadly ritournelles. So again his notebooks and diagrams “dance” because Tinguely’s automata perform a joyful schizo waltz to the background noise of useless, incessant machines. His notebooks detail the senselessness of the industrial world, and his sculptures prepare for the end of the world. They blow up. Burn. We find in Tinguely’s work, a sense of the kinetic movement of concepts—the free and joyous mechanic contra the dogmatic, nihilistic Stalinist. In his delirious machines, a creative spark, a joy irreducible to psychosis. As Tinguely says in a discussion of Homage to New York: “The machine is an instrument that allows me to be poetic. If you respect the machine, if you enter into a game with the machine, then perhaps you can make a truly joyous machine—by joyous I mean free.” I think Tinguely would find a great dance partner with anarchist Emma Goldman, who famously declared she did not believe that


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“a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from convention and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy” (2008, p. 56). In other words, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” Both, one might surmise, would not wish to join a revolution which did not dance. Tinguely’s dance, one imagines, would be schizoid. Unbalanced, Stumbling. Frenetic. We can invoke Bergson’s (1911b, p. 11) theory of laughter here to explain the evocative gait of Tinguely’s Tokyo Gal in particular: “The attitudes, gestures, and movements of the human body are laughable in exact proportion as that body reminds us of a simple machine.” The frenetic body of Tokyo Gal is hooked up to the performance principle of ascesis and ecstasis. Like Baudrillard’s (1993, p. 47) description of the machinic comportment of the jogger in The Transparency of Evil, the body of Tokyo Gal is “hypnotized by its own performance and goes on running on its own, in the absence of a subject, like somnambulist and celibate machine.” The perspective of Tinguely and Baudrillard who object to the death-inlife stasis of the frigid industrial body is shared by Donna Haraway (1999) in A Cyborg Manifesto, when she claims that contemporary machines are “disturbingly lively” yet masochistic bodies intoxicated with reification processes, remaining “frighteningly inert.” Tinguely’s machines certainly embrace this carnivalesque-grotesque sense of laughter. They laugh at the laugh that laughs at its uselessness. But this is not so much a gleeful embrace of final planetary heat death as a joyful apocalypse, a positive affirmation of the madness of becoming-other. ECOLOGY YET TO COME Eco-aesthetically read, Tinguely’s sculptural diagrams, jottings and sketches are bound for a new earth, people and ecology. In Deleuzian parlance, they invoke a world yet to come. And that is why the notions of the abstract machine and the ethico-aesthetic paradigm are important for thinking Tinguely’s art. Indeed, it is vital for thinking “beyond the frontier of the possible,” as Tinguely says (quoted in Lee, 2004, p. 97). His art aims to meet the scientist and get a little ahead of him. As Tinguely says: “That’s the world I’m trying to live in.” In listening closely to Tinguely’s schizo-laughter, what we learn is a gentle mocking of our own schizoid lives. Such a joyful wisdom leaps over entrenched dogma and hearsay. In a discussion on the notion of schizo-laughter in Balance Sheet-Program for Desiring-Machines?, Deleuze insists such revolutionary joy springs from great books. It derives not so much from the torture of a pathetic narcissism, or the fear of guilt, but the “comedy of the superhuman,” or the “clowning of God.” Deleuze (2004, p.

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258) writes: “There is always an indescribable joy that springs from great books, even when they speak of ugly, desperate or terrifying things. The transmutation already takes effect with every great book, and every great book constitutes the health of tomorrow. You cannot help but laugh when you mix up the codes.” This is a fabulation of the future, from which it is possible to think anew. Indeed, in this way and just like the great aesthetic figures of thought, Tinguely as kinetic sculpture artist produces affects that go beyond ordinary affections, perceptions and opinions: they speak of a world not yet here (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994, p. 65). All engineer their craft from sensations. As they say: “We paint, sculpt, compose, and write with sensations. We paint, sculpt, compose, and write sensations” (166). And sounding remarkably Deleuzian, Tinguely contends (Delehanty, 1981, p. 2): “Everything changes, everything is modified without cessation; all attempts to catch life in its flight and to want to imprison it in a work of art, sculpture or painting, appear to me a travesty on the intensity of life!” So Tinguely aims not to represent, or think with signification, but to enjoin with the intensity of flight, to follow the matter-flow, and to contribute to its intensity. If Tinguely’s machines are idiotic, this is of little consequence as the “new idiot” turns the absurd into the highest power of thought, namely, the compulsion to create. As Deleuze argues, those thoughts that are worth thinking always border on the stupid. Faced with the intolerable, the idiotic contraptions playfully contest the frustration of the encounter with the Real of capital, the event of the Cold War, nuclear bombs and the threat of the total extinction of the human race. ABSTRACT MACHINES The abstract machines found in Tinguely’s wonderful notebooks and letters envisage sculptures yet to come. Nonrepresentative, and as a “science of the sensible,” they entrain a transcendental empiricism of sorts, that is to say, an empiricism that exceeds everyday experience to encounter the unknown. His notebooks thus struggle with the unthought (Parr, 2003, p. 35). If they embark on an adventure of “disorder” (2), to partake of “the wild production of difference” (140), perhaps we can say Tinguely’s notebooks are thoughtexperiments embedded on the immanent plane of creative production, charting malfunctioning kinetic movements, and mapping a mobile machinic nature in constant variation. It is as if Tinguely, like Da Vinci, traces “the haecceities of molds and cracks,” which are the progenitor of form (Sauvagnargues, 2013, p. 215). They themselves are a pataphysical solution to the madness of industrial machines. They rail against the fascism of the Cold War suicidal machine. In the orchestral din of machines thoroughly


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beset on malfunctioning, Tinguely’s dissonant machines connect trash with other trash to construct-deconstruct useless megamachines. These useless, joyful contraptions disrupt the flows of consumption and overproduction. Their overriding organizing principle is the exposure of the madness of the desiring machines of the human unconscious and the schizophrenic leviathan under which we toil. Reaching an atonal screech, we can add Tinguely to Deleuze’s list of thinkers—Lucretius, Hume, Spinoza, Nietzsche and Bergson—who share a “secret link constituted by the critique of negativity, the cultivation of joy, the hatred of interiority, the exteriority of forces and relations, the denunciation of power” (Lotringer, 1977). Tinguely the schizo is therefore a paragon of the irresponsible free man, at once “solitary, and joyous,” who given his nature is “able to say and do something simple in his own name, without asking permission, a desire lacking nothing, a flux that overcomes barriers and codes, a name that no longer designates any ego whatever” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983 p. 131). Tinguelyian sculpture machines ultimately disrupt the flows of use-value and perform a détournement of our own barmy desiring-machines. The task in the next section is to show how. Tinguely, like Deleuze, Guattari and indeed Marx himself, was fascinated by capitalism precisely because it worked by feeding back its breakdowns and malfunctions to ensure smooth functioning and repetition. In response to claims that his work is a dogmatic critique of capitalism, he tells Monique Barbier-Mueller in 1993 (Perlmutter & Koppman, 1999, p. 88): “How can I reject a system that is so remarkably dynamic.” When we consider his finished and unfinished sketches—works which continue to inspire and intrigue generations of artists and thinkers—we can say they constitute and name an abstract machine (a Tinguely machine). It is through this abstract machine that we gain access to his thoughtprocesses as a consequence, through the plane of immanence that links us with the joyful, deterritorializing machines, which trundle on without rhyme or reason. The abstract machine functions by placing variables of content and expression in “continuity” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 511), in constant variation. For example, with respect to the Galileo abstract machine, Tamsin Lorraine explains: “It . . . emerges when variables of actions and passions (the telescope, the movement of a pendulum, the desire to understand) are put into continuous variation with incorporeal events of sense (Aristotelian mechanics and cosmology, Copernican heliocentrism), creating effects that reverberate throughout the social field” (Parr, 2005, p. 208). To rework Deleuze and Guattari a little, the Tinguely machine is abstract, singular and creative. It is real yet nonconcrete, actual yet noneffectuated. Somehow “prior to” history, the abstract machine does not represent the real, but rather constructs the real yet to come (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 142). The abstract machine

The Delirious Abstract Machines of Jean Tinguely


pilots the flows of absolute deterritorialization (56). This piloting role of the abstract machine is explained in the plateau “On Several Regimes of Signs”: Defined diagrammatically in this way, an abstract machine is neither an infrastructure that is determining in the last instance nor a transcendental Idea that is determining in the supreme instance. Rather, it plays a piloting role. The diagrammatic or abstract machine does not function to represent, even something real, but rather constructs a real that is yet to come, a new type of reality. (p. 142)

The Tinguely machine joins the collection of named abstract machines: the Einstein abstract machine, the Webern abstract machine, the Galileo, the Bach, the Beethoven and so on (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 511). The abstract machines—not technical objects as such but diagrammatic as they are inhabited by diagrams, plans, equations—transcend the names and dates of the inventor and refer “to the singularities of the machines, and to what they effectuate” (p. 511). Abstract machines have proper names and are datable but this is not a question of possession but matters and functions. Deleuze and Guattari write: The double deterritorialization of the voice and the instrument is marked by a Wagner abstract machine, a Webern abstract machine, etc. In physics and mathematics, we may speak of a Riemann abstract machine, and in algebra of a Galois abstract machine (defined precisely by an arbitrary line, called the adjunctive line, which conjugates with a body taken as a starting point), etc. There is a diagram whenever a singular abstract machine functions directly in a matter. (p. 142)

This point is expounded upon in Molecular Revolutions, in which Guattari (1984, p. 154–155) claims that the blueprints for the SST Concorde relate to a mixed semiotics, a set of essential becomings, specifications and articulations, which activate negotiation between different semiotic and material registers. The Concorde abstract machine—one more useless machine— “does not belong in some transcendent reality, but at the level of the ever-present possibility that they may appear: the essence of the possible” (156). On this level, the abstract machine of Tinguely unlocks the not-yet, the emergent generative properties operative in the “virtual” critique of capitalism. Tinguely’s sketches are chaotic and catastrophic but also contain “a germ of order or rhythm” (Deleuze, 2003, p. 102). Buried in Tinguely’s sketches of philosophers and thinkers, we find the curious inclusion of a James Watt drawing, which was unconstructed as a kinetic sculpture. Thinking this in terms of the prism of metamodelization (Watson, 2009), the Watt sketch, opposed to mimetic representation,


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consists of a cartography which does not merely illustrate, but also creates and produces. The Watt sketch evokes the invention of the steam engine, which did and continues to do so much to change the world, especially in the anthropocene. Marx too has much to say about Watt. In chapter 15 of the first volume of Capital, Marx finds in the patents of the spinning jenny a premonition of universal capitalism. The notebooks of Watt’s diagrams summon forth the machine age. In terms of Tinguely’s diagram, we can say the Watt abstract machine prepares the useless machines of the twentieth and twenty-first century. Marx (1981, p. 499) writes of the “greatness of Watt’s genius”: in Watt’s patent his steam engine is not presented as an invention for specific purposes only, but as “a universal engine for heavy industry” (499). The patent is an abstract machine. A diagram charting what is to come. On the steam engine in particular, Marx writes: “The steam-engine itself, such as it was at its invention during the manufacturing period at the close of the seventeenth century, and such as it continued to be down to 1780, did not give rise to any industrial revolution. It was, on the contrary, the invention of machines that made a revolution in the form of steam-engines necessary” (pp. 496–7). This remark explicates what Guattari designates as the collective agencement of enunciation. Concorde Guattari’s (1995, p. 65) example of a technologically dated model—has its ontological consistency formed through a point of constellation and pathic agglomeration of incorporeal Universes. It comes into being through “a diagrammatic Universe with plans of theoretical ‘feasibility’” (p. 48). There are technological Universes transposing this “feasibility” into material terms. These are as follows: industrial Universes capable of effectively producing it; collective imaginary Universes corresponding to a desire sufficient to make it see the light of day; political and economic Universes leading, among other things, to the release of money for its construction (pp. 47–8). Yet, the final, material, formal and efficient causes are insufficient because a machine such as Concorde demands an ontological consistency vis-à-vis the machinic phylum of future supersonics, a collective imaginary and the financial markets of Integrated World Capitalism. Although a technological miracle, it has failed in commercial terms. Why? Because it never attained its full existential potential, says Guattari (1995, p. 47), “The Concorde object moves effectively between Paris and New York but remains nailed to the economic ground. This lack of consistency of one of its components has decisively fragilized its global ontological consistency.” Compare this to Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches and plans, where we find dreams of flying machines. While such ideas are found “bubbling away” in

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da Vinci’s head they have “no bite on the techno-scientific state of things of his epoch” (Guattari, 2012, p. 142). Of course, in our time, such ideas have taken on ontological consistency in collective assemblages of enunciation. Guattari writes: “Across chains of researchers, inventors, Phyla of algorithms and diagrams that have proliferated in technological programmes, books, teaching, forms of know-how, immense Capitals of knowledge have accumulated within institutions and apparatuses of every kind, now assisted with a formidable efficiency by computers” (p. 142). Diagramming flows from the dreams of inventors to be incarnated in the “vital drives of modern societies” (p. 142), Tinguely machines live interstitially between art and technology, aesthetics and technoscience. They hint at exhaustion and breakdown but also schizophrenic breakthrough. They present a new image of thought. His contraptions are not eschatological or apocalyptic as such but rather joyful, and affirmative of the deterritorialization of the machine. There is no idea of final heat death in Tinguely but rather an endless becomingother. In a discussion on the nature of the machinic phylum, De Landa defines it thus: The set of all the singularities at the onset of processes of self-organization— the critical points in the flow of matter and energy, points at which these flows spontaneously acquire a new form or pattern. All these processes, involving elements as different as molecules, cells or termites, may be represented by a few mathematical models. Thus, because one and the same singularity may be said to trigger two very different self-organizing effects, the singularity is said to be “mechanism independent.” (1991, p. 132)

On this reading, a mechanical contraption—let’s say a Tinguely kinetic sculpture—reaches the level of the abstract machine when it becomes “mechanism independent” because this takes place as soon as it can be thought of independent of specific physical embodiment. Like Marx’s idea of universal applicability with reference to Watt’s patent for the steam engine, De Landa argues that da Vinci’s invention of geared mechanisms became available for manifold applications when it was freed from specific embodiments. When Tinguely dreams delirious machines, he sketches them out, makes plans of them. The contraption-machines bubbling away in his head collude with the techno-scientific state of things. Aided by the “formidable efficiency of computers” (Guattari, 2012, p. 142), they have taken on ontological consistency, acquired a collective enunciation. Across teams of cognitive workers (immense Capitals of knowledge), call center staff, robots mesmerically producing mobile phones and cars on conveyor belts in manufacturing plants, machines produce machines for any absurd purpose. From dream, to fantasy, to the incarnation in the useless consumerism of modern societies, the repercussions of Tinguely’s “meta-machanic” machines


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have become apparent, to the point that their “trees of implication” constitute a veritable forest! (p. 142). It is argued now that without the “the slightly crazy desire” (Guattari, 1996, p. 126) of U.S. president John Kennedy, the Apollo program would never have gotten off the ground. While necessary, the political will is not sufficient. It also needs the universal dream of leaving the earth. The Apollo technical machine engages consensual machines that are semiotic, economic, political and institutional. Moreover, as Guattari says in an interview with Jacques Pain, before being technical, the machine is diagrammatic (p. 126), hence abstract. Combining with, linking up with, coupling up with technical, chemical and biological machines are myriad forms of semiotic or diagrammatic, theoretical and abstract machines, economic and political machines. It too is entrained in the passage from a diagrammatics of the dreams, fancies and reveries of “slightly mad inventors” to existential mutations in general. CONCLUSION The movement one finds in Tinguely’s machines engineers new existential assemblages within the world of work and reason, in everyday urban life. Machines are driven by flows: real or virtual. Desire in full flow is a runaway process which hurls the megamachine to its joyous end, to catastrophe. Much like the excesses of overproduction, Tinguely makes his barren machines run blindly, impotently: a meaningless telos. Tinguely’s Dada-machines desire the absurd. Partial objects connect and disconnect, build and collapse with other useless objects, the jetsam and flotsam of discarded objects. The recycled objects are held together by the absurd desire for the constant revolutionizing of the instruments of reproduction: a deadly repetition. Tinguely machines join with other machines AND AND AND, producing chains of anti-machines, over-producing machines. The abstract machine of Tinguely takes on consistency in a collective assemblage of enunciation; self-annihilating, self-immolating to accelerate the schizophrenia of capitalism. Pushing the system to the limits of its madness, forcing an amortization and excrescence of the system itself, absolute deterritorialization calls for revolution, a new earth, a people-yet-to-come, in “total anarchy and freedom.” Let me here explore the point about the suicidal tendency of the machine further. The kinetic reproduction of Kamikaze by Tinguely in the 1969 “Memorial to the Sacred Wind” does not engineer sad affects as such but exudes joy in its becoming. In J for Joy in L’Abécédaire, Deleuze explains the point: The typhoon is a power (puissance), it enjoys itself in its very soul but . . . it does not enjoy because it destroys houses, it enjoys because it exists. To enjoy is to enjoy being what we are, I mean, to be “where we are.” Of course, it does not

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mean to be happy with ourselves, not at all. Joy is the pleasure of the conquest as Nietzsche would say. But conquest in that sense, does not mean to subjugate people. Conquest is for example, for the painter to conquest the color. Yes, that is a conquest, there is joy. (Boutang et al., 2004)

As James Bridle (2001) puts it so poetically, it is worth quoting in full: Like a city at night, beautiful, terrible, it lies dormant, surges to life, shudders, roars, heart-stoppingly passionate, cranks, gears, cams, shafts and axles rattle, rotate and grind. When it moves, I feel alive, I flush, blood rushes through my chest, my stomach flutters, vision jumps, temples throb. When it is at rest, so am I too, but still alive, still breathing, resonant with the machine, awed by its beauty. Having seen its power, majesty, sheer force of everything tearing itself apart, await its resurrection. It’s every machine that’s ever been built, every wreck and rusting heap, memorial to junkyards, destruction destructured, and yet inspiring, uplifting, impossibly alive, shockingly beautiful and godlike. When it moves it aches, cries out in pain, cackles with mirth, laughs loudly and at length and then is silent again. My heart aches with it.

The Tinguely machine—Grabplatte für Kamikaze—becomes typhoon—a power (puissance), which enjoys itself “in its very soul.” It is not so much that it enjoys because it destroys, but because it exists. To enjoy is to enjoy being what we are. Nietzsche joins in: become what you are, embrace your mad fate. In Japan in 1969 Tinguely creates Memorial to the Sacred Wind or the Tomb of the Kamikaze, a kinetic sculpture which thinks the figure of the kamikaze or “divine wind,” a term which was first used in Japan to describe a typhoon in 1281, which is said to have saved the country from invasion by the Mongol fleet headed by Kublai Khan. Kamikaze (神風) means typhoon in standard Japanese, while Tokubetsu kougekitai (特別攻撃隊) or Tokkoutai refers to the suicide corps. Tinguely’s ephemeral and self-destroying machines are not sad or malicious as such, although they are bound for annihilation, but enthuse a machinic joy, the effectuation of a power of puissance. The work of the work of art is not memory but rather “fabulation” or “the power of the false.” On this point, one perhaps may resist the claims of Emerling (2014) who argues that Tinguely’s philosophers fail in Deleuze and Guattari’s What Is Philosophy? Instead, we argue that in a nutshell, and pataphysically put, Tinguely’s machines mirror the perfect reproduction of Japanese society, following Guattari, where the Japanese populace structures its universe and orders its emotions with “the proliferation and disorder of machines” (Genosko, 2002, p. 128). They are “crazy for machines and a machinic kind of buzz” (p. 128). In terms of schizoanalytic metamodeling, Watson (2009, p. 9) claims that to build new models is in effect to build new subjectivity. So subjectivity is a metamodeling activity, a process of singularization. Such a machinic version of subjectivity and singularization


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revolutionizes the world and completely recreates it, according to Guattari (Watson, 2009, p. 161). This is perhaps the pataphysical solution to the madness of industrial machines. Thinking through Hiroshi Teshigahara’s 2002 documentary Moving Sculpture: Jean Tinguely we can determine that in Tinguely’s kinetic art is “an open, free spirit, which is the root of all creation” (my trans.). The kamikaze spirit of his junk machines “returns a grand smoothness to movement” in terms of smooth spaces traversed by all manner of weird becomings.

REFERENCES Baudrillard, J. (1983). In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, or, The End of the Social, and Other Essays (P. Foss, J. Johnston, & P. Patton, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Baudrillard, J. (1993). The Transparency of Evil: Essays on Extreme Phenomena (J. Benedict, Trans.). Verso. Berardi, F. (2008). Félix Guattari: Thought, Friendship and Visionary Cartography (G. Mecchia & C. Stivale, Trans.). Palgrave Macmillan. Berardi, F. (2014). And Phenomenology of the End: Cognition and Sensibility in the Transition from Conjunctive to Connective Mode of Social Communication [Doctoral Dissertation]. Aalto University Publication. Bergson, H. (1911). Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic (C. Brereton & F. Rothwell, Trans.). Macmillan. Bok, C. (1997). Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science [Doctoral dissertation]. York University, Canada. Bolt, B. (2004). Art Beyond Representation: The Performative Power of the Image. I.B. Tauris. Boutang, P.-A., Deleuze, G., & Parnet, C. (2004). L’Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze. Editions Montparnasse. Bridle, J. (2001). On Two Pieces – Tate Modern 30/​6/​2k1. Short Term Memory Loss. Byron, W. R. (1962). Wacky Artist of Destruction. Saturday Evening Post, 235(16), 76–79. De Landa, M. (1991). War in the Age of Intelligent Machines. Zone Books. Delehanty, S. (1981). Soundings, Neuberger Museum, SUNY Purchase. http://www​ .ubu​.com/ papers/delehanty​.ht​ml Deleuze, G. (2003). Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation (Daniel W. Smith, Trans.). Continuum. Deleuze, G. (2004). Desert Islands and Other Texts, 1953–1974. Semiotext(e). Deleuze, G., Foucault, M., & Rifkin, A. (1999). Photogenic Painting: Gérard Fromanger. Black Dog Publishing Limited. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983).  Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia  (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1972)

The Delirious Abstract Machines of Jean Tinguely


Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).   A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia  (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1980) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What Is Philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). Columbia University Press. (Original work published 1991) Doerr, A. A. (1998). Jean Tinguely: Technology and Identity in Postwar Art, 1953– 1970 [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of California, Santa Barbara. Emerling, J. (2014). Machinic Portraits of Philosophers or Tinguely’s Missed Encounters, University of North Carolina, Charlotte. [In The Métamatic Research Initiative: A New Model for Art Historical Research, 3, Heidelberg: Kehrer Verlag]. Genosko, G. (2002). Félix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction. Continuum. Goldman, E. (2008). Living My Life. Knopf (Original work published 1931) Guattari, F. (1984). Molecular Revolution: Psychiatry and Politics (R. Sheed, Trans.). Penguin. Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (1996). The Guattari Reader (G. Genosko, Ed.). Blackwell Publishers. Guattari, F. (2006). The Anti-Oedipus Papers (S. Nadaud, Ed; Kélina Gotman, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Guattari, F. (2008). Chaosophy: Texts and Interviews 1972–1977 (Sylvère Lotringer, Ed; D. L. Sweet, J. Becker & T. Adkins, Trans.). Semiotext(e). Guattari, F. (2012). Schizoanalytic Cartographies (A. Goffey, Trans.). Bloomsbury. Hanor, S. J. (2003). Jean Tinguely: Useless Machines and Mechanical Performers, 1955–1970 [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Texas, Austin. Haraway, D. J. (1999). A Cyborg Manifesto. In S. During (Ed.), The Cultural Studies Reader (pp. 271–291). Routledge. Hiroshi, T. (Director). (1981). Sculpture mouvante - Jean Tinguely [Moving Sculpture: Jean Tinguely] [Film]. Youtube. https://www​.youtube​.com​/watch​?v​ =bXg3YOH5A0U Hiroshi, T. (Director). (2002). Teshigahara hiroshi no sekai [DVD collection]. Asmic Ace Entertainment. Holmes, B. (2007, July 20). Escape the Overcode: Guattari’s Schizoanalytic Cartographies, the Pathic Core at the Heart of Cybernetics [Blog post]. http:// brianholmes​.wordpress​.com​/2007​/07/ 20/escape-the-overcode/ Hultén, P., & Tinguely, J. (1987). Jean Tinguely: A Magic Stronger Than Death. Abbeville Press. Jarry, A. (1923). Gestes et opinions du Docteur Faustrol, pataphysicien. Stock. Lee, P. M. (2004). Chronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960s. MIT Press. Lotringer, S. (1977). Anti-Oedipus: From Psychoanalysis to Schizopolitics. Special issue of Semiotext(e), 2(3). Lucie-Smith, E. (1987). Sculpture Since 1945. Universe. Marx, K. (1981). Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. 1 (B. Fowkes, Trans.). Penguin Books in association with New Left Review.


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Müller-Alsbach, A., & Stahlhut, H. (1999). Tinguely’s Favorites: Yves Klein. Museum Jean Tinguely Basel. Nietzsche, F. W. (1974). The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs (W. Kaufmann, Trans.). Vintage Books. Nietzsche, F. W. (1996). Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche (C. Middleton, Trans.). Hackett Publishing. Parr, A. (2003). Exploring the Work of Leonardo da Vinci within the Context of Contemporary Philosophical Thought and Art. Edwin Mellen Press. Parr, A. (2005). The Deleuze Dictionary. Edinburgh University Press. Perlmutter, D., & Koppman, D. (1999). Reclaiming the Spiritual in Art: Contemporary Cross-Cultural Perspectives. State University of New York Press. Sauvagnargues, A. (2013). Deleuze and Art. Continuum. Tinguely, J., & Picasso, M. (1999). Jean Tinguely: Les philosophes. Musée Picasso. Tomkins, C. (1965). The Bride and the Bachelors: Five Masters of the Avant-Garde. Viking Press. Violand, H. E. (1990). Jean Tinguely’s Kinetic Art or a Myth of the Machine Age [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. New York University. Watson, J. (2009). Guattari’s Diagrammatic Thought: Writing between Lacan and Deleuze. Continuum.

Chapter 17

Ango the Schizo Deleuze, Daraku, Downgoing

This chapter diagrams the Body without Organs (BwO) of the Japanese post-war existentialist and literary writer Sakaguchi Ango (坂口安吾) (1906–1955)—henceforth designated by his nom de plume, Ango. His BwO will be informed through an interpretation of “decadence”—and read in the light of Deleuze and Guattari and Nietzsche. The purpose of this is twofold. First, in order to understand Ango’s heterodox interpretation of decadence vis-à-vis Buddhist thought, a schizoanalysis of the immediate chaos experienced in post-war Japanese society is undertaken to show how Ango’s iconoclastic, counter-discourse against institutionalized Buddhism and Emperor worship illuminates a conspicuous lacuna regarding the notion of decadence in Deleuze and Guattari’s own work, although Deleuze explores decadent sexual forms in Masochism (1989) too. This is important because while we may discern an overall philosophy of affirmation in Deleuze’s oeuvre, the concept of decadence receives little explicit treatment or reference. While there is a hint of it in the overall tone of Anti-Oedipus (1983) this is expunged somewhat in A Thousand Plateaus (1987), given the latter’s caveats against too-rapid destratification. To make this point clear, this chapter will hone in on Ango’s conception of the body and decadence (daraku) in order to explore the extreme limits of Deleuze’s reformulated Kleinian-Artaudian notion of the BwO. Second, the passage from becoming-fascist to becomingdecadent in post-war Japan is explained using the philosophical vocabulary in Deleuze’s and Guattari’s singular and collaborative works. It is argued that their philosophy is heuristic in explaining the movement away from the pre-war focus on the national body (kokutai) to the body or flesh itself (shintai). This is the passage from the abstract machine of overcoding (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983) or, in extremis, suicidal fascism (Virilio, 1998) to decadent existence as such. 295


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PRELIMINARY REMARKS ON SCHIZOANALYSIS AND THE BWO As mentioned above, in this chapter I undertake a schizoanalysis of Ango’s writings. To set the stage as it were, below are some remarks which will guide what is to come. Discussing the sense of a “schizoanalytic program of depersonalization,” Holland (2013, pp. 96) describes the BwO as a bodywithout-organization, that is to say, “an inclination to disorganize the body, to destratify it, to free it from stratification, unification, identification.” In an interview with Jacques Pain, Guattari (1996, p. 132) describes the project of schizoanalysis as a kind of symptomatology. It offers no instant panaceas, but, he says, it does engage in a process of metamodelization, that is to say, it constitutes networks and rhizomes to escape “the systems of modelization in which we are entangled and which are in the process of completely polluting us, head and heart.” Ian Buchanan (2015, p. 4), for his part, says schizoanalysis is a process which conjoins with other practices to understand and in some ways “challenge and transform,” “the relations between theory and practice in any given field.” According to François Zourabichvili in the essay “Six Notes on the Percept (On the Relation Between the Critical and The Clinical)” (1996), the schizophrenic lives “the unlivable on the edge of total disintegration” precisely because “he affirms his fracture and lives on its edges.” As a form of limit experience or experimentation, and at its most positive, the schizophrenic process “carries life to unheard of intensity,” but is all the while threatened by “psychotic and autistic collapse” (see Patton, 1996, p. 203). ON THE BECOMING-DELEUZE OF BUDDHISM AND THE BECOMING-BUDDHA OF DELEUZE Thinking in-between the becoming-Deleuze of Buddhism and the becomingBuddha of Deleuze poses four chief challenges. The first is easily dealt with. The challenge comes from the naysayers. Responding to them, this chapter insists that the continuing dialogue between Deleuze studies and Buddhism in general is a fecund one. The second challenge concerns the question of transcendence as this does seem to jar with the thematics of immanence, materialism and atheism which pervade Deleuze and Guattari’s work. Indeed, in What Is Philosophy? (1994, p. 92) Deleuze and Guattari insist that atheism is not a problem for philosophers. As they say, it is “not a drama but rather the philosopher’s serenity and philosophy’s achievement.” So how does one work through this apparent problem regarding atheism and Buddhism? I shall aim to overcome this objection by presenting a radical, materialist and

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atheistic reading of Buddhism, undertaken in light of the “extreme” perspective in Ango’s work. Third, at first glance and for the most part, because suffering is desire, according to the Second Noble Truth (Samudāya), the positive affirmation of desire in Deleuze and Guattari’s work seems contrary to this caricature of Asiatic forms of Buddhism. For some, the relationship between Buddhism and desire is far less antagonistic because although Buddhism warns against attachment-based desire, it does not banish desire as such. Desire arises naturally from the body and is satiated after the desired object is attained. Desire flows from one state to another, without attachment. It is only when desire is compulsive, when it attaches itself to something that suffering stirs. As we know, suffering ceases when its cause—craving—ceases. Again, the radical reading of Buddhism by Ango is at hand to affirm the reality of earthly desires, such as sex and the flesh, and the necessity of downgoing through decadence. The last issue pertains to Ango’s scathing attack on the desire for the state of Zen Enlightenment or what Žižek (2014) decrees “the most precious secret of Buddhism.” In our terms, the void qua furusato is the lonely space and sanctuary of the self. This chapter therefore resists Žižek’s idiosyncratic Lacanian interpretation of the act of falling or withdrawal as a straightforwardly redemptive process. IKI YO, OCHI YO Let us start with Ango’s much celebrated and impassioned dictum “live, fall”— 生きよ、落ちよ in Darakuron (On Decadence, 1946). Falling is not taken in the sense of the Christian fall from grace. Nor is it understood in the sense of Dasein’s falling away from authentic modes of being-in-theworld, as in Heidegger. Falling is authentic. It is our lot. It is both the real and necessary. For our purposes, we shall read “live, fall” as a plunging into oceans of desire, taking desire as an uncoded, liminal experience, a precarious experiment, a schizoanalysis of embattled subjectivity, an assault upon the very identity of Japan. Here, the exploration of desire is pitted against the practice of abstinence. With the spirit of the national subject fettered, torn apart, ripped to bits, split asunder, full of existential angst, “live, fall” represents a singular moment, a fall into the depths of the dark, cold sea, that is to say, into an object deprived of preestablished subjectivity. This movement signifies rather the dissolution of identity, perhaps even a war machine turned suicidal. I shall try to make this point in this chapter through an exegesis of the literary tropes of ocean, waves and falling. “Live, fall” signifies the fall into the brute in-itself: the ocean, the woman, the flesh stone cold. Howling for a body without sentimentality, Ango writes


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in 1947: “Watashi wa umi wo dakishimetai” (I want to embrace the ocean) (Sakaguchi, 1998; Slaymaker, 2004). This is the impersonal desire to embrace the corporeal other, the body of alterity as such. It is grasped in the sense of the ocean as infinite expanse, a fall into or return to furusato or birthplace. Given the inhospitable nature of furusato, one cannot provide a straightforward reading of redemption. We do not, as it were, hit rock bottom to be saved in any transcendent sense. This is the point made in Kojin Karatani’s History and Repetition (2012), in an essay entitled “Buddhism and Fascism,” where the author reads furusato as lacking intimacy or the familiar, as more akin to a state of being “thrust into alterity.” What is thought provoking about Karatani’s reading (2012) is that it situates Ango’s work within the “radical core of Buddhist thought.” Despite Ango’s maverick perspective, Karatani writes that Ango’s criticism was “truly” and “eminently” Buddhist (2012, pp. 196–7). This view I believe puts Karatani at odds with Žižek regarding the issue of redemption and withdrawal (Žižek, 2014). It is the contention of this chapter that the words of Ango’s flesh literature (nikutai no bungaku) resonate clearly with Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalytic project. To plunge into the forsaken wilderness of Ango’s furusato the body is diagrammed “without volition, emotionless, a mannequin,” according to Michihiro Yajima (Moriyasu & Takano, 1973). Rationality and patriotism toward the state are ripped away from the singularity of the body; the latter is liberated from a singular, brooding consciousness. Karatani (2012) suggests that this is the space of exteriority and historicity or “singularity.” We too shall designate this site philosophically but rather as the indifferent elemental, an unwelcome homecoming. Furusato, usually taken as a place dear to one’s heart, a spiritual home, or a rural idyllic spot, which in the Japanese context sometimes carries the connotation of an idealized national past, is rethought here in terms of “one’s bodily home”—or what Ango calls the true home of literature. Such a reading is at odds with John Dower (1999) who suggests that Ango was looking for a genuine shutaisei—a true “subjectivity” or “autonomy” at the individual level. This emphasis is also noted by Karatani, who contrasts the loss of the transcendent with the recovery of an “authentic humanity” (2004, 2012). Moreover, the argument of the author of this chapter differs from these views and the one held by Maruyama Masao in his critique of Ango and Tamura Taijiro (1911–83) et al. in terms of their perceived political irresponsibility—that is to say, a failure to respond to the material plight of the Japanese people after the war. Put another way, the argument in this chapter is more Landian. It is not so much the recasting of subjectivity but more the “dissolution of identity.” Land et al. (2011) write about schizoanalysis of its need to “extinguish all nostalgia for belonging” (2011, p. 264) to contest “icons of molar identity” (2011, p. 285), to embrace the idea of a “molecular dissolution.”

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For Ango, a body is at once isolated, lonely and anguished; reaching it, we might say, following an unforgiving reading of schizoanalysis by the British philosopher Nick Land in his seminal essay “Making It With Death: Remarks on Thanatos and Desiring-Production” (1992, 2011), is a perilous and impersonal journey. Why? Because daraku is death-in-itself; it is the drive to dissolution. Therefore to swim in its abjection is to persist or subsist in an impersonal state at odds with the trappings of civilization. In his essay “From Pearls to Swine: Sakaguchi Ango and the Humanity of Decadence,” Alan Wolfe describes the sense of daraku heuristically as the move away from “a transcendental resolution (a rising/risen/sus-pended body) in favor of a thoroughgoing immanence (a sinking/falling body or a sinking into the body)” (see Mayo et al., 2001, p. 368). The sense of swimming in the sea of immanence may be construed as the plunging of oneself into the becoming of “original Enlightenment” (hongaku). This idea is developed in the essay “Deleuze and Mahāyāna Buddhism: Immanence and Original Enlightenment Thought,” in which Tony See (Bogue et al., 2014) highlights the similarities between Deleuze’s notion of immanence and the idea of “original Enlightenment” in Mahāyāna Buddhism. See contends that Deleuze’s notion of the “univocity of being” can be read in the light of the teachings of Mahāyāna Buddhism and shares interesting similarities. Taking another view, James M. Shields (2011a) contends that Mahāyāna and Zen Buddhist concepts inform and are consistent with Ango’s notion of daraku. Shields argues that Ango’s 1942 essay “A Personal View of Culture” (Nihon Bunka Shikan) and even the essays On Decadence and Discourse on Decadence, Part II (Zoku Darakuron) (1946), whence read together, form the foundation for a “post-metaphysical Buddhist critique of culture” whose features are “pragmatic, humanistic, and nonreductively physicalist” (Shields, 2011b). Indeed, one of the arguments of this chapter states that by reading Ango through the prism of schizoanalysis, it can be seen that Ango’s work demonstrates a radicalism that critics hitherto have overlooked or attempted to tame through textual interpretation. As we shall see, there is a dispassionate, impersonal and immanent materialism running throughout his work which is at odds with institutionalized statist forms of Mahāyāna Buddhism (“Great wheel”) promulgated during the Meiji period (1868–1912) and thereafter. Ango takes a contrary stance. His project is rather an extreme and traumatic encounter with the real. In this respect, the concept of furusato can be read in schizoanalytic terms. On this view, Ango’s affirmation of the oceanic (nikutai, carnal body) is an exploration of carnality as a reaction to the trauma of war or the unhappiness of youth. As an unsentimental descent into debasement, it appears to take quite a different direction from the usual stance on


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Buddhism as the denunciation of desire, or the mental striving for liberation from “suffering” of the carnal self (satori). Buddhist philosophy is usually read as noting imperfection, emptiness and in Dukkha, the first principle of the Four Noble Truths (Dukkha, Samudāya, Nirodha, Magga)—the impermanency of all worldly things. Ango here has a different take on things, suggesting that satori had to be physically expressed, thinking through the body, opposing those forces which stultify it—in Spinoza’s language, thinking corporeally, through affects, asking the question “What can a body do?” As Ango says, if one cannot abandon sexual desire, perhaps there is another path to Enlightenment, away from what would become deemed a hypocritically led, crippling ascetic life. The point regarding “common desires” is made forcefully and affirmatively in his 1927 essay “My Thoughts on the Future of Temple Life” (Kongo no jiin seikatsu ni taisuru shikō), in which he says: The people of the temple are prone to overvalue the ascetic life while forgetting that a life that, as it were, follows the earthly passions also contains the power of the moral code and knowledge. There is no reason that the ascetic life is morally superior, nor any reason it should lead more quickly to Enlightenment. Life is something that should follow each person’s principles and can essentially take any form, but I cannot abandon the bonds of sexual desire. The wish to maintain even the appearance of the ascetic life seems rather shallow. If anything, the true path is to start a new life that follows common desires. (Karatani, 2004)

Daraku Before we explore the BwO of Ango in more detail as an immanent field of desire, let us note the etymological root of the word daraku. For some, daraku connotes moral decadence or corruption as the root of the English term decadence is derived from the Latin decadere “to decay” which has the roots de- “apart,” “down” and cadere “to fall.” Furthermore, in his late writings, Nietzsche understands corruption (Verdorbenheit) in the sense of the French word décadence, which he uses alongside the concept of ressentiment. And he insists that all the values of mankind are presently decadence-values. However, while the western term is often associated with libertinism, sexual depravity and debauchery, in Japanese, 堕 (da), the first character of the term 堕落 (daraku) signifies “to fall” or “to collapse” while the second character, raku, (落, ochiru), retains both the sense of the verb “to drop,” or in the noun form “surplus,” that is to say, a residue, something is “left behind” (Shields, 2011a, p. 230). In terms of Buddhist philosophy, the genealogy of daraku can be traced to the theory of reincarnation in Zen forms

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of Mahāyāna Buddhism, by which Ango, a student in the department of Indian Philosophy at Toyo University in his youth, was clearly influenced. Indeed, Ango will have known that decadence originally referred to the behavior of Buddhist priests who had succumbed to earthly desires (Steen, p. 158). One can therefore read Ango’s On Decadence as a Buddhist response to the chaos of war and the loss of spiritual meaning in religion itself in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. On this view, decadence emerges historically from changes in the Japanese Buddhist world in the Meiji era (1868–1912) and at the end of Japan’s seclusion from the world during the Edo or Tokugawa period (1603–1868). For example, there is ample work on Tokugawa Buddhist decadence, crisis and corruption (Tsuji, 1919) and the resultant new forms of Buddhism which emerged (Borup, 2008, p. 23; Klautau, 2008). Shields (2011a) makes the interesting point that Ango’s sense of daraku resembles the Buddhist doctrine of “emptiness” (kuu)—a view consistent with the bleak reading of the void or furusato in this chapter. Although daraku clearly connotes a sense of corruption or depravity, it is also likely that Ango’s sense of daraku was derived from several sources. Although he majored in Indian philosophy, Ango attended lectures at the Athene Français in Tokyo and concentrated his research on the works of Voltaire, Moliere and Beaumarchais (Shields, 2011a), as well as Jean Cocteau and Andre Gide. Indeed, many commentators make a comparison between On Decadence and the popularizing of Sartre’s work in the post-war years. Slaymaker (2004, p. 24), for example, claims Ango was influenced by Sartre’s 1938 short story Intimité which Ango interpreted as a certain “thinking through the physical.” According to Ango in The Body in Itself Thinks (Nikutai jitai ga shiko suru), Lulu, the main character in Sartre’s work, “thinks only through her body” (Slaymaker, 2002, p. 78). As such nikutai thinks. Ango suggests that Sartre’s embodied existential motif carries revolutionary meaning. Ango writes: “In ethics we have come to think of the spirit thinking through the body, but people have forgotten that the nikutai itself thinks and speaks. People don’t know this. They’ve never thought about it” (Sakaguchi, 1975, 7, p. 239). Writing in 1947, Tamura Taijiro (1911–83), a key representative of the buraiha faction (the so-called school of irresponsibility and decadence) also expresses the distrust with unembodied “thought” (Slaymaker, 2002, p. 92): We now believe in nothing but our own bodies. Only the body is real. The body’s weariness, the body’s desires, the body’s anger, the body’s intoxications, the body’s confusion, the body’s fatigue—only these constitute reality. It is because of all these things that we realize, for the first time, that we are alive.

In Ango’s eight-page après-guerre essay On Decadence, written a year before Tamura’s work, the chief thematic is presented as a return through falling to


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the root of existence; if you like, falling as a response to the defeat of Japan, the fall from grace of the Emperor, the loss of meaning of morality and sacrifice. Again desire is central. According to Ango, the people of Japan had to discover their humanity before they could rebuild their country and the only way to do that, for him, was to plunge to the very depths of decadence. It is therefore in the derobing of ideology, social mores and the like that the solitary individual finds authenticity. Falling and failing are inevitable. Authenticity is fallenness itself. As Ango says, stopping this process will not save you. Live, fall! There is no ready at hand shortcut to human salvation. As he says, in The Birthplace of Literature (Bungaku no furusato, 1941), “the cruelty of no salvation is the only salvation” (Sakaguchi, Zenshu 3, p. 269). Yet, while there is no escape, Ango says a transformation occurs in the acceptance of this condition. Writing a kind of schizoid analytic, he suggests it is impossible to arrest the process: And, as with individuals, it may be necessary for Japan as a whole to fall once again. By falling to the extremes of decadence, we can discover ourselves, and find salvation. It is the height of absurdity to imagine that such a superficial thing as politics can save us. (Shields, 2011a, p. 233)

In an apparent moment of Zerrissenheit or schizophrenic collapse in the experiencing of an extraordinary love arising out of the “fantastic destruction” in the bombed-out, smooth spaces of Tokyo, Ango saw that “a vacant beauty had bloomed.” He writes: “But I loved the fantastic destruction that took place in Tokyo. Though I shuddered in fear as the bombs and incendiaries rained down, terrified and panic stricken as the destruction raged, at the same time I felt as though I had never loved or felt such longing for humanity as I did during the firebombing” (Smith, 2014). Amidst the chaos, Ango finds a “curiously beautiful thing,” “the sight of humanity meekly resigned to its fate.” It is here that his description resonates with Deleuze and Guattari’s words on the possibilities lurking in smooth spaces. They describe smooth spaces thus: the “struggle is changed or displaced…life reconstitutes its stakes, confronts new obstacles, invents new paces, switches adversaries” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 500). The point here is that it is only through an absence of morality that life or indeed bare and brutish life takes on ethical meaning. It is in this space of despair that a frail hope manifests. In the nikutai (meat) of the furusato (sanctuary or home), where subjectivity is peripherally situated, the real is grasped: “with no fixed identity, forever decentered, defined by the states through which it passes” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 20). So daraku dissolves subjectivity, leads to an encounter with the real and the furusato as such; it is through the furusato, despite its “harsh,” “unpredictable,” and unforgiving nature, that the real is known. There is thus an inevitable, deliberate falling into vast seas and oceans of desire. In furusato, there is no space for sentimentality. As Steen writes

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(1995, p. 119), the furusato is “a brute event, an unassimilable, traumatic encounter with the real. Literature must not provide the reader with the hope of ‘rescue or comfort’ from his essential solitude.” Indeed, Ango refuses to give a straightforward reading of the furusato as solitude: it is rather an inescapable curse. Deleuze and Guattari seem to capture this sense of the furusato very well, albeit in another historical context and time. In their view the BwO, the deterritorialized socius, is “the wilderness where the decoded flows run free, the end of the world, the Apocalypse” (1983, p. 177). THE BUDDHIST PRECEPT OF CONTINGENCY In On Decadence, in one go, Ango’s exposure of the arbitrary nature and folly of social organization mirrors the Buddhist precept of contingency: The emperor system did not come into being because of the emperors . . . just when it had been forgotten by society, it would be hauled out by politicians; its political raison d’etre was something sniffed out by politicians who had observed the idiosyncrasies of the Japanese people. In response they came up with the emperor system. What they proposed did not have to be the imperial house. It could very well have been the family of Confucius, Gautama the Buddha, or even Lenin. It was pure coincidence that things didn’t turn out that way. (Sakaguchi, quoted in Dorsey, 2001, pp. 376–377)

The once valorized kamikaze or Special Attack Forces (Tokubetsukougekitai) soon turn to black-marketeering to make ends meet. The kamikaze hero becomes “a mere illusion” (Shields, p. 230). In a similar manner to Deleuze and Guattari, who write against the “illusion of transcendence” in A Thousand Plateaus, Ango continues: That the widow as devoted apostle is mere illusion, and that human history begins when the image of a new face enters her breast? And perhaps the emperor too is no more than an illusion, and the emperor’s true history begins from the point where he becomes an ordinary human. (Shields, p. 232)

In the immediate chaos of post-war Japan, there is only meat and abstract equivalence—a fluid economy of drugs, prostitution, illicit goods. This is a point made by the pan-pan prostitutes in the film, The Gates of Flesh, directed by Seijun Suzuki (Nikutai no mon, 2005): Meat costs 40 yen per pound? So do we . . . Human flesh is the same price as meat! Eat 40 yen’s worth of meat, sell ourselves for 40 yen—isn’t that fucked? Do we eat to sell or sell to eat? So what the hell are we living for? (my translation)


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MORE PERVERSION! MORE ARTIFICE! At this juncture, let us say this: this chapter considers Ango’s search in On Decadence for “the spirit of the flesh” (nikutai no seishin) as part of a schizoanalytic process of constructing a BwO. It is a corporeal liberation from what Deleuze designates the body’s organization of the organs. In A Thousand Plateaus, the BwO is articulated as opposed not to the organs themselves but to the organization of the organs or what Deleuze and Guattari designate the organism (1987, p. 158). Put well by Best and Kellner, the BwO is torn away from its “socially articulated, disciplined, semioticized, and subjectified state” (1991, pp. 90–91). Fetterless it is “dis-articulated, dismantled, and deterritorialized, and hence able to be reconstituted in a new way” (pp. 91). Writing against the very organism which Deleuze and Guattari describe as “a stratum that blocks the flows and anchors us in this, our world” (1987, p. 158), Ango forges a minor literature which gets the juices flowing, as it were. His writing comes as a thunderbolt without warning, a dark precursor for his own troubled times. Like Nietzsche’s aphoristic form of philosophy, Ango’s thought—minor, nomadic, bastard, inhuman—acts as “a battering ram” (Allison, 1985, p. 149) to dismantle a sclerotic, overcoded stratum. With no essence, no originary substance, Ango no longer abides by the values, mores, homelands, religions and private certitudes of his devastated country. In an affirmative moment of downgoing, he insists “I yearn for those who live true to their desires” (Dorsey & Slaymaker, 2010, p. 6). He exhorts his readers “We must be decadent.” But this decadence is without limit or respite. Not for the faint hearted, and full of risk, it is an extreme position or, in its bleakest form, the full BwO posited by Deleuze and Guattari as absolute Cold = 0, anti-production: mutant lines of flight, pure, cold lines of abolition, a perilous line of descent. Ango’s sewn-up, masochist body is composed of intensities and pain modes based on degree 0. The question here is whether one can affirm this extreme composition of desire and if so, what composition or ecology of affects is necessary to sustain a new health in becoming otherwise. OZEANISCHES GEFÜHL Before we get into the meat of the matter let us consider the notion of the ocean a little further in order to differentiate the sense of the ocean in Ango’s writings from that of Freud’s (1930) notion of oceanic feeling. Rather than simply equating the oceanic feeling with that sense of intimate interconnectedness found in the religious impulse, for example in Buddhist thought, one might instead follow Deleuze to consider it differently, as

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a depersonalized feeling, as that which transcends nature, bios and zoe (Braidotti, 2002), that is to say, as something to be read machinically, as a kind of transgenic mutual reliance upon a living territory or milieu (Braidotti, 2006). Oceanic feeling is akin to a deterritorialized cosmos, an indeterminate openness: but this opening to the cosmos is not a religious oceanic feeling per se; it is not the desire for oneness—the feeling of the unbounded or fading into the vastness of the world. It is not taken in the sense of a primary narcissism. Here the oceans are schizoid, hellish for psychoanalysis. Why? Because they are too vast, impossible to encode, decode, recode. Put another way, schizoid oceans flow endlessly, without signification. From this perspective, Ango’s yearning, “I want to embrace the ocean,” can also be differentiated from the oceanic feeling of which Freud explains in Civilization and Its Discontents (1930) as “a sensation of eternity, a feeling as of something limitless, unbounded, something ‘oceanic’.” On Freud’s interpretation, the oceanic feeling is the lack of an ego, the “I” of the infant. He speculates that religion may have its roots largely in this state, and the desire to return to it. Oceanic feeling is the primary source—the “fons et origo”—source and origin—of the religious sentiment (Freud, 1930). It is a psychic remnant of the narcissistic ego. From this, Freud concludes that the source of religious feeling is not simply the memory of primary narcissism but rather, from the helplessness of the infant, the need for protection by a powerful force. The paternal figure in religion alludes to the desire for such a protective figure. In the oceanic feeling of oneness with the mother, Freud categorizes the oceanic feeling as being a regression to an earlier state of consciousness prior to the ego’s differentiation from the world of objects. On this reading, Eastern thought and indeed Buddhist philosophy can be described as evincing this sense of oceanic feeling. Indeed, upon first reading The Future of an Illusion (1927), novelist and dramatist Romain Rolland wrote to Freud concerning his own studies on Indian mysticism and suggested that the oceanic feeling pertains to the subjective, “the eternal,” to “contact” as such (Vermorel et al., 1993, p. 304). The point to be made is that Ango’s image of the ocean is clearly distinguishable from this view. The ocean is rather an altogether dark, impersonal, brutish, hellish even, irremediably schizoid matter. JAPANESE ICONOCLASM AND THE “CHINAMAN FROM KÖNIGSBERG” While the fortified sea boundary may be construed as supporting the ossified order of the Japanese fascist state, Ango dares to embrace the violence of the waves. In another context, one pertaining more to Bataille and to dissolution as such, but nevertheless thought-provoking in terms of this chapter, Land


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(1992) spots this resistance to flow and fluidity in the critical project of Kant. He interprets it thus (1992, p. 77): For Kant it is not enough to have reached the ocean, the shoreless expanse, the nihil ulterius as positive zero. He recognizes the ocean as a space of absolute voyage.… Thus speaks Kant: “We are not amphibians, but belong upon solid earth. Let us renounce all strange voyages. The age of desire is past. The new humanity I anticipate has no use for enigmatic horizons; it knows the ocean is madness and disease. Let me still your ancient tremors, and replace them with dreams of an iron shore.”

If schizoanalysis—as a universal, materialist theory—shares in the delicious irresponsibility of everything “anarchic, inundating and harshly impersonal,” as Land insists, then can we not find this very same trajectory in Ango? Perhaps we can say that his proto-schizoanalysis shares in the delicious irresponsibility of the furusato. Unsurprisingly, Kant warns of such lunacy as the desire of the ocean is deep, dark unwelcoming, ominous, and the waves, revengeful. Better to stay on shore, build flood gates, batten down the hatches, make walls everywhere, wait for tsunami warnings. Ango dismisses this. Pulverized existentially by Japan’s suicidal fascist state, finding life absurd, farcical, contradictory (tonchinkan), Ango ignores the warnings and insists he wants to embrace the ocean. The farcical is what compels one to fall ever deeper into decadence. Contra the Christian description of decadence as a symptom of declining life, Ango finds in decadence affirmation as such. At the limit, this is what remains—“live, fall”—or in Nietzsche’s view, amor fati. Ango celebrates the irresponsibility of Dionysian impulse and spontaneous flow. Unredeemed expenditure is pitted against the cold, brutal, rationality of conservation and power. In The Critique of Pure Reason, Kant describes the territory of the pure understanding, where stormy oceans appear as “the true seat of illusion.” Kant writes of this true seat of illusion—the land of pure understanding—as a site “where many a fog bank and rapidly melting iceberg pretend to be new lands and, ceaselessly deceiving with empty hopes the voyager looking around for new discoveries, entwine him in adventures from which he can never escape and yet also never bring to an end” (Kant et al., 1998, p. 339). Perhaps we can say that Ango encouraged his generation to plunge themselves ever deeper into decadence or downgoing. In Nietzschean terms, through a “reverse” perspectivism which explores “the secret doings of the instinct of decadence,” decadence is an expression of life’s falling, a sign of “weakening” life, a nihilism of the decadent will, with the decadent man given “a terrifying proximity of animality, and animality that is poorly constrained by a frail film of civilization, of civility and good

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manners, and which is on the verge of breaking out” (Harr in Allison, 1985, p. 20). According to Sommer, nihilism thus denotes a symptom of decadence, “a pathological loss of trust in the world” (Ansell-Pearson, 2006, p. 250). Nihilism is this logic of decadence. Nietzsche writes (2003, p. 233): “Decadence … belongs to all human epochs: everywhere there is waste, decayed matter; the excretion of the products of decline and decay is itself a life process.” But it is here that Ango and Nietzsche part company. While for Nietzsche, modernity suffers from the disease of nihilism and decadence and is in need of an antidote, Ango says the remedy to this pathology is a descent further into chaos. As mentioned earlier, the circumspection of A Thousand Plateaus contrasts starkly with the wild abandon of Anti-Oedipus. In the former book, in the chapter “How to make yourself a Body without Organs,” Deleuze and Guattari offer the following counsel: Staying stratified—organized, signified, subjected—is not the worst that can happen; the worst that can happen is if you throw the strata into demented or suicidal collapse, which brings them back down on us heavier than ever. This is how it should be done: Lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flow conjunctions here and there, try out continuums of intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times. (1987, p. 161)

I imagine Ango would have none of the compromises, caveats and provisos of A Thousand Plateaus. For him, it is better to plunge further into the flesh, however cold and unwelcoming—to affirm the nikutai or meat of the body over the national body of Japan (kokutai). Kokutai can be read as Emperor worship, the total colonization of the body of the soldier, the image of the devoted mother and wife (Hitchinson & Williams, 2007, p. 199). In some ways, Ango’s take on the revolt against the government’s control of desire is akin to the point made by Min’an (2013), who views the Chinese revolution as a total war against desire, a war with one goal—the abolition of individual desire. Min’an writes: What the Cultural Revolution demanded was nothing short of abandoning desires; the revolution that impacted people’s souls was intended to eradicate their innermost desires. People no longer presented themselves as fluid desiringmachines; instead, they identified themselves as fixed screws contentedly stuck to their assigned social positions.

There are no compromises, health checks, no islands of convalescence. Such downgoing is extreme and relentless because it must be so, as it is a reaction to the line of pure destruction and abolition found in Japanese fascism. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra (2006, p. 7), Nietzsche too writes of the necessity of


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this downgoing: “I love those who do not know how to live unless by going under, for they are the ones who cross over.” And again: “Whomever you cannot teach to fly, him you should teach—fall faster” (2006, p. 168). Yet, to philosophize with a hammer, to smash false idols, one cannot help but read Ango as viewing daraku in the light of Nietzsche’s self-overcoming of morality, with decadence perceived as a necessary feature of life. On this very point Nietzsche says in The Will to Power (1968), in a note dated March–June 1888: The concept of decadence—Waste, decay, elimination need not be condemned: they are necessary consequences of life, of the growth of life. The phenomenon of decadence is as necessary as any increase and advance of life: one is in no position to abolish it. Reason demands, on the contrary, that we do justice to it.

And again in a fragment dated spring–fall 1887: “Every major growth is accompanied by a tremendous crumbling and passing away: suffering, the symptoms of decline belong in the times of tremendous advances; every fruitful and powerful movement of humanity has also created at the same time a nihilistic movement. It could be the sign of a crucial and most essential growth, of the transition to new conditions of existence that the most extreme form of pessimism, genuine nihilism, would come into the world” (1968, p. 69). It is here, regarding the will to rationality and the critical project of autonomous freedom in Kant, that Ango and Deleuze share a black joke. They laugh when the codes—especially Kant’s proscriptions—are confounded. Ango becomes “the wild beast of the impersonal” (Land, 1992, p. 97). Akin to Land’s description of the artist, Ango exudes a “fatalism, atheism, strangely reptilian exuberance, and extreme sensitivity for what is icy, savage, and alien to mankind” (1992, pp. 97–8). Ango’s writing is an anti-personalistic war machine, which in its own way continues to resist recuperation into the canon of Japanese literature. If Nietzsche’s writings are “the most powerful eruption of impersonality in the Occidental world” (Land, 1992, p. 98), the same could be said of Ango’s in the Orient, for Ango writes against the will to transcendental illusion or the will to Empire illusion, seeking instead the infinite expanse of the body, meat or flesh as immanence as such. Land (1992) again is aligned with this anti-human project. Against the will to transcendence, he writes “a dark fluidity at the roots of our nature rebels against the security of terra firma” (p. 75). In Ango, we find a similar embrace of perilous journeys, an affirmation of nikutai or embodied subjectivity. Rather than viewing decadence as “the true seat of illusion,” Ango describes it as “the womb of the true”—the progenitor, “for the first time,” of a new humanity (Dorsey & Slaymaker, 2010, p. 87). This new humanity is a yearning for the ocean as

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“shoreless expanse,” hopelessness and waste, madness and disease (Land, p. 77). In plunging into oceans of desire, the BwO, as a surface or circulation of desire unfixed to a single object, is a field of immanence of desire, a plane of consistency specific to it. Ango loses himself in the desolation of zero, that is to say, zero as “the vortex of a becoming inhuman that lures desire out from the cage of man onto the open expanses of death” (Land, p. 89). This is our lot, it would seem, as Ango affirms the fall to the very pit of decadence. In his view, the experience of descent would help the Japanese people divorce themselves from systems that overdetermined wartime Japan, from the kokutai of the state. Yet, while Nietzsche qua symptomatologist of his age searches for signs of new health, vigor, self-overcoming, the despair we detect in Ango’s prose does not afford us any straightforward philosophy of affirmation. With this caveat taken on board, Ango’s nihilism is close to Nietzsche’s conception of active nihilism in the sense that Ango perceives the goal of life as a striving to understand and identify the systems (seido) that territorialize and terrorize society. Furthermore, in Nietzsche’s distinction between active and passive nihilism (Hardt, 1993), Buddhism is considered pertaining to the latter form. And as mentioned earlier, this is consistent with Nietzsche’s interpretation of “European Buddhism” as passive or weary nihilism, which we find in his late notebooks (Nietzsche, 2003, p. 146). Yet, in the slogan “live, fall” much of our human all-too-human condition is found. Much like the anarchists of old, Ango insists that the urge to destroy is the creative one. Desire acts as a creative force; both productive and destructive. Ango’s Buddhism here is very odd. In the desire for loss of structure and hierarchy, daraku heralds a cultural twilight—a twilight of Emperors and idols. Yet it is here that Ango goes schizo. Read in the light of Anti-Oedipus, Ango declares, to hell with the symbolic order, paternal rules, injunctions, ideology, macro and micro-fascisms. Daraku opposes hypocrisy, counterfeit morality, transcendental Imperial and despotic will. Ango wildly deterritorializes: his task, to paraphrase Anti-Oedipus is the decomposition of the socius. Ango is the “exterminating angel” of the Imperial state. Reinforcing this view, Deleuze and Guattari describe the schizophrenic (1983, p. 35) thus: “[he] deliberately seeks out the very limit of capitalism: he is its inherent tendency brought to fulfillment, its surplus product, its proletariat, and its exterminating angel.” Down with the organization of the organs, blind submission to authority, the fascism inherent in the abstract machine of overcoding—Shinto religion, Emperor-system, Buddhist dogmatism, Bushidō doctrine, military aesthetics (mono no aware or the pathos of things; wabi-sabi—found in the falling of cherry blossoms). In his paper “Fascists Lines of the Tokkoutai,” Michelsen states that Shintoism was “increasingly over-coded by a molar-totalitarian function” (Michelsen in Evans, p. 164). In this form of flesh literature (nikutai


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bungaku), we find that literature becomes an abstract machine of mutation; it is daraku which scrambles the codes. There is an absolute deterritorialization of morals and law. The subjugated learn to question the Emperor system. Ango’s vision is neither a nihilistic collapse into the sea of death and immolation as such, nor is it an unthinking affirmation of rationality and subjectivity, but a celebration of the powers of the body and flesh, perhaps a desperate joy but a joy nonetheless. His project is “raising hell” (ranchiki sawagi), a composition of desperate desires, a ceaseless falling, endless flows of desiring-production. He aims to construct a new agency or assemblage through the dissolution of molar identity, through an experiment with the body. From this cursory examination we have found that the downgoing to the elemental is the beginning of the new. In the tumultuous early days of post-war Japan, Ango’s On Decadence paves the way for the youth of Japan to rethink subjectivity in embodied, non-subjugated ways. Tearing away at the sacred fabric of the Tennosei system (The Emperor system) Ango highlights the ruse and folly of power. This also notes the utter contingency and impermanence of institutions. The iconoclast suggests that if we were to tear down the old temples of Kyoto and replace them with train stations no one would bat an eyelid, but that if the trains stopped, life as we know it would come to an end. This act is the tearing down the social field to make it a means of exploration. This is the tearing down of Hōryūji temple—to replace it with car parks. We must tear down everything to begin again. At odds with Bruno Taut’s essentialist analysis in The Rediscovery of Japanese Culture, Ango writes in his 1942 My View of Japanese Culture (“Nihon Bunka Shikan”): It makes no difference whatsoever if the Hōryūji or Byodoin temples are burnt down. If necessary, it would be best to destroy Hōryūji and build a parking lot in its place. . . . If that were truly necessary, then true beauty would certainly emerge there as well, for true everyday life exists there. (Dorsey & Slaymaker, 2010; Calichman, 2005)

And again: “Society constructs mechanisms only to tear them down. All social or political systems and morality or ethics, real or otherwise, from the family system to Cosmopolitanism, are all ‘automata’ or ‘karakuri.’” In schizoanalytic terms, Ango’s literature explores the limits of the BwO—the model of the death-drive treated as catatonia. Convulsed by the operations of the abstract machine of overcoding, the schizo stops communicating with the world. Why? Because the BwO is reached when the body shuts down: it rejects the demands of the outside world, the mores and values of the suicidal war machine. The schizo says no more and goes hermetic; its BwO sewn up. The BwO is this limit of endurance. At the limit, the body breaks down into intensities and becomings. The schizo disintegrates under the pressure of the outside chaos, into intensities and becomings. The schizo says I would

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rather go mad than conform. Daraku, the nikutai of the body, is the BwO. This point is demonstrated in Ango’s The Idiot (Hakuchi 1946), where we find an interesting model of the BwO in Ango’s conception of femininity. In The Idiot, we find an indeterminate zone between life and death, spirit and flesh/meat, human and animal, organic and inorganic—the living dead. During an air raid “a life” (Deleuze, 2001) hangs in the balance. Clearly influenced by Mahāyāna Buddhism, Ango indeed explores the traditional concepts of death and rebirth, of downgoing and overcoming, but in The Idiot we find a process of becoming nonhuman in those zones of indiscernibility or indifferentiation. The word hakuchi literally means blank intellect or blank foolishness. She represents a “caterpillar’s solitude”—ultimate wretchedness, the unwelcoming, unthinking furu-sato—an island of isolation and noncommunication. In schizoanalytic terms, the BwO of the character Osayo, refuses to speak, refuses the law of the father and Emperor. Ango writes: People talk of absolute solitude, but absolute solitude can exist only by one’s being aware of the existence of others. Absolute solitude could never be such a blind and unconscious thing as what Izawa was now witnessing. This woman’s solitude was like a caterpillar’s—the ultimate in wretchedness. How unbearable it was—this anguish entirely devoid of any thought! (Morris, 1961, p. 403)

Furusato As mentioned earlier, the concepts of daraku and furusato are closely intertwined. But the latter needs explaining further to shed light on the notion of the BwO. Furusato is the site for daraku, the space of the solitary self; it is in itself the nikutai of a woman, emotionless, unthinking. At the limit, the schizo says this is all there is left. In Deleuzian terms, this becoming-decadent is an active nihilism, perhaps even preparatory for a people-yet-to-come. Although Okuno Takeo (Slaymaker, 2004, p. 105) insists that daraku is the search for the limit, it can be said that it is equally the limit of the schizo process—a non-place place, a salvationless salvation. Furusato is not a restored transcendent site of immutable ideals, an idealized community or plenitude but the desolate site of the marooned self—a search for identity when one has been pitted against one’s own physical limits—“pushed to that place where one has only oneself and one’s most basic—therefore most ‘real’—desires” (Slaymaker, 2004, p. 109). It is a brute, unforgiving loneliness, an absolute one. Both daraku and the furusato are experiences and situations of the solitary and lonely. And it is in this loneliness that humans are constituted. Ango’s point is that falling into decadence and loneliness is without limit. The


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question posed is a Nietzschean one: can one will this infinite descent? For Ango, the descent is into the flesh as such. To show this let us return to The Idiot, where Osayo, the other, the sexualized woman, is incapable of rational thought. Here, the body is an absolute solitude. Read in this way, furusato is the cold, barren, lonely expanse of the self, a radical existential loneliness. Ango’s women subsist in this furusato, where identity is threatened with selfdestruction (jikohoukai) and dispersion; a frigid place of extreme loneliness and isolation. But for Ango this extreme loneliness is at once a brute facticity, a naked intensity. It is all there is left. And one is compelled to plunge into it. Furusato—empty and void—this is the woman’s body; lingering physical pleasure, a machine, a toy. In The Idiot, the mute Osayo represents “a coma of the mind combined with the vitality of the flesh—this was the sum and total of the woman” (Amano, 2013, p. 136). Again, in “I want to embrace the ocean,” the narrator wishes for a doll that does not speak, a woman in whom he could be consumed and liberated. The ultimate abode for a human is this furusato, Ango writes of the desolate shadow which is the woman’s body: The more carnal desire I feel, the more it seems that the woman’s body becomes transparent. This is because her body does not feel any sexual pleasure. This desire has me very excited, at times makes me giddy, at times causes me to despise this woman, at times I love her more than anything. But since the only one who is stimulated is me, there is no response [from her]; what I find myself loving is that solitude, that desolate shadow [kage] which I am embracing. (Slaymaker, 2004, p. 113)

Downgoing Destroy, destroy. The task of schizoanalysis goes by way of destruction—a whole scouring of the unconscious, a complete curettage. Destroy Oedipus, the illusion of the ego, the puppet of the superego, guilt, the law, castration. It is not a matter of pious destructions, such as those performed by psychoanalysis under the benevolent neutral eye of the analyst. (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 311)

In daraku, in ruination and demise, Ango dares to countenance his own Untergang. This dynamic is at once Untergang and Übergang—going under and over. If this Untergang can be read as decline, decay, collapse, destruction, downfall—a sinking into a vast ocean of annihilation—is not Ango’s downgoing or anti-production a means to reach the “full body without organs,” the site of the “unproductive, the sterile, the unengendered, the unconsumable” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 8)? Do the tropes and metaphors of the ocean, waves and bodies paint a picture of the catatonic state of inertia, a lack of intensities par excellence? In the undulations of Untergang and Übergang, does Ango not search for illimitable plenum of the ocean?

Ango the Schizo


In writing against the becoming-fascist of Japan, Ango adopts an extreme and unrelenting position, celebrating the fall into disarray and waste. This is because his writing is a work of schizoanalysis. His radical Buddhism makes Ango a schizoid man of desire. Such schizos, such “men of desire” know “incredible sufferings, vertigos, and sicknesses” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 131). Such free men are “irresponsible, solitary, and joyous” (p. 131), able to say and do something simple in their own name. Theirs is a “desire lacking nothing, a flux that overcomes barriers and codes, a name that no longer designates any ego whatever” (p. 131). Deleuze and Guattari claim that such a schizo has ceased being afraid of becoming mad because he experiences himself and lives as “the sublime sickness that will no longer affect him” (p. 131). In terms of literary decadence, Ango’s oeuvre has been described as a form of “literary schizophrenia” (Steen, 1995, p. 36). As such, his style— both destructive and creative—resists easy incorporation into the canon of Japanese literature. Why? Because Ango’s desiring machines engineer the real. Extreme, excessive; celebrating flow, connection, propagation, dismantling the organization of the organs, struggling against transcendence and received orthodoxies, the BwO exists through the furasato or chaosmos: an intensive continuum, a spatium; always already chaotic and uncontrollable. The BwO goes AWOL, a movement of absolute deterritorialization: fleeing organization and suppression. It acts as a death-knell to stratification, totality, transcendence. Ango rejects the dominant reading of Buddhism, the fallen Emperor system, repression, domination of the superego, paternal law, botched assemblages, the total war against desire, the macro-political that banishes it. What Ango’s model of literature affirms is a productive desire as this pertains to the real world and, we can say, to the bare life experienced in the aftermath of the war. Ango’s BwO qua disindividualized delirium is belligerent, pitting itself against the fascist organization of life. THE BATTLELINES OF ANGO THE SCHIZO Yet, what kind of lines does Ango draw? How different are they from the third line of fascistic impulse? In devastation, a true form of decadence emerges but as a line of flight all the while precarious and transgressive. But more than this, the task for Ango is brutal and deterritorializing. His writing conveys its own terrible curettage, a gruesome ripping away of social institutions, even at the nikutai of the body itself: a malevolent activity as such (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 381). This is Ango’s violent schizoanalysis “brutal: defamiliarizing, de-oedipalizing, de-castrating” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 381). The


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same spirit of unbending affirmation is found in abundance in Anti-Oedipus. There is a headlong fall, without compromise, and therefore with few of the warnings, caveats and cries for consistency found in A Thousand Plateaus. The thrust of this chapter has been to view Ango as constructing a BwO other than empty vitreous, cancerous, totalitarian and fascist bodies (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 165), but in the end Ango’s lines of experimentation exude their own risks. While such a BwO may repel the proscriptions of a “totalitarian state apparatus” (Michelsen in Evans, 2013, p. 164), it oscillates perilously between poles of anarchy-schizophrenia and fascist paranoia (Massumi, 1992, p. 118), between furusato as experimentation or black hole. Or as Land explains in “Making it with Death” (2011, p. 277): Revolutionary desire allies itself with the molecular death that repels the organism, facilitating uninhibited productive flows, whilst fascist desire invests the molar death that is distributed by the signifier; rigidly segmenting the production process according to the borders of transcendent identities. (2011, p. 277)

We can say in conclusion that the formulation of daraku succumbs to the “dreary parade of sucked-dry, catatonicised, vitrified, sewn-up bodies” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 150) as is evidenced in The Idiot. In the last analysis, one wonders how successful Ango’s body is in breaking free from the organism of the organs. While Ango writes against the taibou seikatsu)— the austerity measures imposed on the populous during the Pacific War—and contests the “national polity” or kokutai of the state and the war-time overcoding of the spirit (seishin yamato damashii) of the nation, his own life ends in chaos and plunges into the black sea of nihilism. Against a state turned suicidal and fascistic, and poised for total war (Virilio, 1997), which compels its kamikaze pilots to self-immolate, and, like Deleuze and Guattari’s affirmation of brutal destratification in Anti-Oedipus, Ango’s schizoanalysis tears at the organism of the organs to explore strange becomings. While in A Thousand Plateaus there is caution against too-sudden destratification, Ango’s own destratification ends in chaos and destruction. His own fall into decadence loses consistency and turns out badly. He dies young, on drugs, alcoholic, manic, succumbing to l’appel du vide, “the call of the void.” Without the necessity of an “island”—a reterritorialization—to ward off the excesses of oceans and waves, it seems difficult to sustain a consistency from the cold undulations and waves of abolition, from the brutal deterritorialization of the self. While some may choose to read the furusato as an island of respite, or path to redemption, this chapter has robustly avoided this view, choosing instead to read it in more impersonal, brutal and carnal terms. On this reading, salvation is found through the body, in engineering new affects, but in nonhuman, machinic terms. We can surmise that furusato is the full

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BwO, the moment when the body and mind, in taking no more, shut off prewar martial law and the Emperor system, the morals and edicts of the fascist state—the outside as such. The BwO is this rejection of the moral demands placed upon it. The limit of the BwO is when everything shuts down. It is when the limit of endurance, social mores, the devastation of post-war Tokyo is reached. The BwO is the limit of what you must do to serve the regime—do not fraternize with the enemy, be loyal to the Emperor, honor your husband or wife. Finding once proud loyal servicemen fencing goods on the black market, Ango prefers social schizophrenia to this sclerotic and anachronistic moral straightjacket. In the wake of Ango’s desire to excite the schizophrenic process, he has the courage to flee rather than live “quietly and hypocritically in false refuges” (Blanchot, 1997, p. 205; Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, pp. 374–5). Better to flee to the body without organs and hide out there, closing himself up in the flesh of the body. Ango—paraphrasing Anti-Oedipus—continually strives to undo social codes and to carry them in every direction to create unheard-of desires (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 40). Such uncoded desires threaten the very existence of the fascist state. This is “the little joy” in schizophrenia qua process. I end affirmatively by wishing to add Ango to Deleuze’s list of great thinkers—Lucretius, Hume, Spinoza, Nietzsche—in whose writings we find “a secret link which resides in the critique of negation, the cultivation of joy, the hatred of interiority, the exteriority of forces and relations, the denunciation of power” (Lotringer, 1977, p. 112).

REFERENCES Allison, D. B. (1985). The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation. MIT Press. Amano, I. (2013). Decadent Literature in Twentieth-century Japan. Palgrave Macmillan. Ansell-Pearson, K. (2006). A Companion to Nietzsche. Blackwell Publishers. Baudrillard, J. (1983). In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities or the End of the Social, and Other Essays. Semiotext(e). Best, S., & Kellner, D. (1991). Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations. Guilford Press. Blanchot, M. (1997). Friendship (E. Rottenberg, Trans.). Stanford University Press. Bogue, R., Chiu, H., & Lee, Y. (2014). Deleuze and Asia. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Borup, J. (2008). Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism: Myōshinji, a Living Religion. Brill. Braidotti, R. (2002). Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming. Polity.


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———. (2006). Posthuman, All Too Human: Towards a New Process Ontology. Theory, Culture and Society, 23(7–8), 197–208. https://doi​.org​/10​.1177​ /0263276406069232 Buchanan, I., Matts, T., & Tynan, A. (2015). Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Literature. Bloomsbury. Calichman, R. (2005). Contemporary Japanese Thought. Columbia University Press. Deleuze, G., & Sacher-Masoch, L. (1989). Masochism (J. McNeil, Trans.). Zone Books. Deleuze, G., & Boyman, A. (2001). Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life. Zone Books. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Originally published 1972) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Originally published 1980) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What is Philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). Verso. (Original work published 1991) Dorsey, J. (2001). Culture, Nationalism, and Sakaguchi Ango. Journal of Japanese Studies, 27(2), 347–379. Dorsey, J., & Slaymaker, D. (2010). Literary Mischief: Sakaguchi Ango, Culture, and the War. Lexington Books. Dosse, F., & Glassman, D. (2010). Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari: Intersecting Lives. Columbia University Press. Dower, J. W. (1999). Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. W.W. Norton & Co. Evans, B., & Reid, J. (2013). Deleuze & Fascism: Security, War, Aesthetics. Routledge. Freud, S. (1930). Civilization and its Discontents (J. Rivier, Trans.). Cape & Smith. Freud, S., Vermorel, H., & Vermorel, M. (1993). Sigmund Freud et Romain Rolland: Correspondance 1923–1936. Presses universitaires de France. Gibson, W. (1984). Neuromancer. Ace Books. Guattari, F. (1996). The Guattari Reader (G. Genosko, Ed.). Blackwell Publishers. Hardt, M. (1993). Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy. University of Minnesota Press. Holland, E. W. (2013). Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus: A Reader’s Guide. Bloomsbury. Hutchinson, R., & Williams, M. (2007). Representing the Other in Modern Japanese Literature: A Critical Approach. Routledge. Kant, I. (1998). Critique of Pure Reason (P. Guyer & A. W. Wood, Eds. & Trans.). Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1781) Karatani, K. (2004). Karatani Kōjin shū: Teihon. Iwanami shoten. Karatani, K. (2012). History and Repetition (S. M. Lippit, Ed.). Columbia University Press.

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Klautau, O. (2008). Against the Ghosts of Recent Past: Meiji scholarship and the Discourse on Edo-period Buddhist Decadence. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 35(2), 263–303. Land, N. (1992). The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism: An Essay in Atheistic Religion. Routledge. Land, N. (2011). Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987–2007 (R. Mackay & R. Brassier, Eds.). Urbanomic. Lotringer, S. (1977). Anti-Oedipus: From Psychoanalysis to Schizopolitics. Special issue of Semiotext(e), 2(3). Massumi, B. (1992). A User’s Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari. MIT Press. Mayo, M. J., Rimer, J. T., & Kerkham, H. E. (2001). War, Occupation, and Creativity: Japan and East Asia, 1920–1960. University of Hawai’i Press. Min’an, W., & Xie, S. (2013). The Chinese Cultural Revolution, Deleuze, and Desiring-machines. Theory and Event, 16(3). https://www​.muse​.jhu​.edu​/article​/520032 Moriyasu, M., & Takano, Y. (1973). Sakaguchi Ango kenkyū. Nansōsha. Morris, I. I. (1961). Gendai Nihon: tanpenshū [Modern Japanese Stories: An Anthology]. C. E. Tuttle Co. Nietzsche, F. W. (1968). The Will to Power (W. A. Kaufmann, Ed; W. A. Kaufmann & R. J. Hollingdale, Trans.). Vintage Books. (Original work published 1901) Nietzsche, F. W. (1976). The Portable Nietzsche (W. A. Kaufmann, Ed. & Trans.). Penguin Books. Nietzsche, F. W. (2003). Writings from the Late Note-books (R. Bittner, Ed; K. Sturge, Trans.). Cambridge University Press. Nietzsche, F. W. (2006). Thus Spoke Zarathustra (A. D. Caro & R. B. Pippin, Eds; A. D. Caro, Trans.). Cambridge University Press. Patton, P. (1996). Deleuze: A Critical Reader. Blackwell Publishers. Sakaguchi, A. (1998). Sakaguchi Ango zenshū [The Complete Works of Sakaguchi Ango]. Chikuma Shobō. Sakaguchi, A., & Ishikawa, J. (1975). Teihon sakaguchi Ango zenshū. Tōjusha. Shields, J. M. (2011a). Smashing the Mirror of Yamato: Sakaguchi Ango, Decadence and a (post-metaphysical) Buddhist Critique of Culture. Japan Review, (23), 225–246. ———. (2011b). Critical Buddhism: Engaging with Modern Japanese Buddhist Thought. Ashgate. Slaymaker, D. (2002). When Sartre was an Erotic Writer: Body, Nation and Existentialism in Japan after the Asia-Pacific War. Japan Forum, 14(1), 77–101. ———. (2004). The Body in Post-war Japanese Fiction. Routledge. Smith, I. (2006). Sakaguchi Ango and the Morality of Decadence. Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast. http://mcel​.pacificu​.edu​/aspac​/papers​/scholars​/Smith​/SAKAGUCHI​.html. Accessed on October 5, 2015. Steen, R. A. (1995). To Live and Fall: Sakaguchi Ango and the Question of Literature [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Cornell University. Tsuji, Z. (1919). Nihon Bukkyō shi no kenkyū. Kinkōdō Shoseki. Virilio, P., & Lotringer, S. (1997). Pure War. Semiotext(e).


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Virilio, P. (1998). The Virilio Reader (J. D. Derian, Ed; L. Osepchuk, M. Degener & J. D. Derian, Trans.). Blackwell Publishers. Zizek, S. (2014). Event: Philosophy in Transit. Penguin Books. Zourabichvili, F. (1996). Six Notes on the Percept (On the Relation Between the Critical and The Clinical) (I. H. Grant, Trans.). In P. Patton (Ed.), Deleuze: A Critical Reader (pp. 188–216). Blackwell Publishers.

Chapter 18

On Nonhuman Machinic Love

The new planetary consciousness will have to rethink machinism. We frequently continue to oppose the machine to the human spirit. Certain philosophies hold that modern technology has blocked access to our ontological foundations, to primordial being. And what if, on the contrary, a revival of spirit and human values could be attendant upon a new alliance with machines? (Guattari & Genosko, 1996, p. 267)

This transversal and transdisciplinary thought-experiment aims (1) in and through specific fragments of literature to explicate upon the complicated notion of the Body without Organs (BwO); (2) to present a reconsideration of the idea of love in Deleuze and Guattari's philosophy; and (3) through several instances of science fiction to map out an ontology and ecosophy of machinic desire or eros. The examples of construable science fiction which have been chosen are Tong Enzheng’s The Death of the World’s First Robot; and Félix Guattari’s film screenplay A Love of UIQ. These have been chosen as they explore in their own ways the possibility of inhuman or nonhuman forms of love. We shall also reflect on the possibility and nature of the neologism—the machine without organs (MwO)—that is to say, a sense of robot or machinic love beyond the collapsed or exhausted body without organs. The MwO is invoked to question the limits of explanation of the BwO in the posthuman milieu. The focus on the MwO connects with Tong Enzheng’s fourth law of robotics: A robot may not fall in love.



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THE DEATH OF THE WORLD’S FIRST ROBOT Using a short, modern science fiction story which draws on a rich tradition in Chinese literature, let us think about how to move from making ourselves a BwO to making a MwO. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy, we shall examine the short story The Death of the World’s First Robot (Shiie shang di yi ge jiqiren zhi si, 世界上第一个机器人之死) by Tong Enzheng (童恩正, 1935–1997). The BwO/MwO distinction will serve as a literary device to reinterpret the social, cultural and textual meaning of this piece of modern Chinese science fiction. We shall first undertake a comparative analysis of Tong Enzheng’s short text to note its differences with the original drawn from the Daoist classic, the Liezi (列子, compiled in the fourth century). SYNOPSIS In the spring of 930 B.C. King Zhou Muwang (周穆王) and his entourage traveled to Yanshan in the mountainous western territories. Accompanied also by his favorite concubine Chengji, the king entered the city of Liuquan. Bored to death, Chengji pleads with the king to make arrangements for evening entertainment. There is scant choice, but a craftsman called Yan is asked for. After dinner in the great hall of Liuquan, Master Yan enters with what appears to be a handsome young man. The artisan tells the king: “This is a robot I’ve made, capable of singing and dancing. I’ve brought it here especially for Your Majesty, to entertain you this evening.” The intelligent and expressive robot is spellbinding as it can do a myriad of things—speak, sing and dance to name but a few. In the Liezi, it is Master Yan who demonstrates such a repertoire. The story reads: “When the craftsman touched its cheek, it sang in tune; when he clasped its hand, it danced in rhythm; it did innumerable tricks, whatever it pleased you to ask.” Listless after the long journey, Chengji suddenly is enchanted. In the presence of such a good-looking young man, the flirtatious young woman perks up and contrives to seduce, unbeknownst to her, a robot, who knows little of the real world and has never experienced the female sex’s “magical power of tantalization.” The robot’s heart is now filled with the “entirely alien emotion” of love. The king, who soon realizes this, becomes insanely jealous and orders the beheading of both Master Yan and the robot. The artisan protests his innocence and explains that the robot is really what it is. The curious king relents after Yan, with a few tools at hand, derobes the robot and dismantles the body. All those present can see that the robot’s internal organs are what they are, that is to say, distinct machine parts. On the outside, the robot possesses muscles, bones, limbs, joints, skin,

On Nonhuman Machinic Love


teeth and hair—yet they are all artificial—all extracted organs without a body. As we shall see it is desire itself that is evacuated from the machine’s functionality. The king plays with the individual machine parts, sometimes preventing the robot from speaking, sometimes from seeing and sometimes from moving. On this point, the Liezi reads: “The King tried taking out its heart, and the mouth could not speak; he tried taking out its liver, and the eyes could not see; he tried taking out its kidneys, and the feet could not walk.” The innards were made of leather, wood, glue and lacquer, the body parts—a liver, a heart, lungs, a spleen, a kidney, intestines and a stomach— colored white, black, red and blue. All artificial, but the body is replete, a body-in-itself or as Tong Enzheng says “without missing a single organ.” The king is astounded and praises the artisan: “Your superb craftsmanship really excels nature.” The disappointed, man-hunting Chengji curses her luck and leaves. The wonderstruck king decides to take Yan and the robot back to the capital of Haojing to show off his new plaything. After a sumptuous banquet, the robot begins his performance again yet with eyes only for his beloved Chengji. He dances magnificently with intricate, graceful, seductive steps. But the finicky Chengji does not return his overtures leaving the robot bewildered. Embittered, his body pulverized by these new impersonal sensations and affects, the robot dances out its last movements and ends downcast. At the end of this short story, Tong Enzheng writes: “With the crack of something breaking in his chest, the robot fell down to the ground and never moved again.” The robot is perplexed by the question: What does it mean to love? Despite his dance, Yan’s robot cannot seize Chengji from the courtly existence she is enclosed within. There is no promise of posthuman, heavenly nuptials, no “multiplicities of multiplicities,” as Deleuze and Guattari say, no delirious dissolution of corporeal boundaries (technological or digital), no embrace of the nonhuman other which would move the robot toward forming a new body without organs. The crack of something breaking in the chest needs to be explained further. Robotic desire when it is not compromised by molar formations of sexuality, class, nation, genus, taxonomy or court is transgressive of the formal constitution of the BwO. Its dance knows nothing of the division of the sexes; the BwO is indifferent to nature or species. Robotic desire makes love with humans, with flowers and fauna, with other machines, with gods, with cosmic rays. In its joyous mode, it is transgressive of codes, becoming asexual, even transsexual and multispecies. The robot’s dance is trans-subjective: it dances to please humans but becomes otherwise in the process. Its virtuality takes on unprecedented dimensions. Its life extends beyond machinic determination and exceeds the realm of the artifactual. In its hybrid state—in its becoming— in its inaugural love throws—it risks and suffers the trauma of eros. The robot performs to co-create an “atmosphere,” a “world,” re-organizing space and


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time. The robot exceeds the BwO’s organic-artifactual divide, exploding notions of consciousness and intentionality, unpicking the ontological processes that organize the organism. This nonorganic matter is an active participant in a new form of ontogenesis or machinic development. It alters the world of the human and brings forth another. This is what Guattari calls the “ecology of the virtual.” It operates on the level of the infra-bodily and infra-human. There is a machinic refiguring of notions of personhood, life and the human. This is Guattari’s generalized ecology of inorganic life and artifactual personhood. To understand the dance we must know of the ecology of the virtual and the performative modalities of robotic or machinic eros. The desiring machines of the robot itself are depopulated from the body. The desiring machines function as both a producer and a product of desire. Schizo love becomes the universe of productive and reproductive desiringmachines or universal primary production. In William Gibson’s Idoru, the concept of desiring machine is invoked to describe Rei Toei’s function as both a producer and a product of desire. Desire is a machine that produces reality itself. In our story, Master Yan’s robot produces reality itself, produces love itself, produces love sickness: it suffers as a force to love. (See Gibson, W. & Cuijpers, P. Idoru [Meulenhoff-M Science Fiction, 1997].) Tong Enzheng explains the morale of the story, arguing that a new law is needed to supplement Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, which are: (1) a robot may not injure human beings; (2) a robot must obey the orders of human beings except when; (3) a robot must protect its own existence. Tong Enzheng’s fourth law states that a robot should not fall in love. The argument thus far is to state that without the fourth law to protect the machinic as such, the robots toil from a kind of schizophrenic catatonia. Here artificial death demonstrates the applicability of the BwO in terms of science fiction literature. (There is also a Luddite twist to the tale as the Chinese Daoist sage Zhuangzi warned that those who are too fond of artifice would grow their hearts like mechanisms, presumably cold, indifferent, insensitive and without human emotion. This would be the actual human that moves like a machine.) Put another way, if the robot made of his body a BwO, a decoded body, and on that body manifests a kind of “nullification of the organs” (Deleuze, 2018), how can Tong Enzheng’s story help us to grasp the sense of decoded flows? On this point and hinting at a kind of Gothic materialism, which takes on a wholly other form of non-dialectical becoming, Deleuze explains this point in a lecture entitled “The Nature of Flows” (2018): Horror-story writers have understood, after Edgar Allan Poe, that death wasn’t the model for schizophrenic catatonia, but that the contrary was true, and that the catatonic was one who made of his body a body-without-organs, a decoded body, and that on such a body there is a kind of nullification of the organs.

On Nonhuman Machinic Love


However, that there is a break in the chest and that Yan’s robot no longer moves seems to problematize Deleuze’s reading. One wonders if the break in the chest is a final denouement or a fatal act of retaliation or resistance— following a deluge of affects. The break in the flow leaves the code undecodifiable. Death, exhaustion, collapse is the final escape, bringing the story closer to tragedy than to Gothic or Horror. The robot simply prefers not to. Deleuze will say at this moment that nothing can be subtracted from this. We cannot break into the codes. There can be no rewriting or reorientation of the flows. There are noncodable flows which constitute “a thing, an unnameable thing”—a mixture of sad and great joys. The point to be made, and it is at odds with Deleuze’s view, is that the robot finishes exhausted, depleted or spent, with no great joys or great loves ahead. There is a fatal crack in the chest. DESIRE, COSMOLOGICAL FORCE AND HUMAN NATURE IN THE LIEZI Tong Enzheng himself explained that he based his story on a traditional account called Master Yan Creates a Man (Yanshi zao ren 偃師造人) which is included in the chapter “Questions of Tang” (Tang wen 湯問) in the philosophical compilation Liezi. A comparison with this old Daoist didactic parable reveals that Tong Enzheng was indeed heavily inspired by the account’s presentation of anthropomorphic construction, but changed its focus to a discussion of the question of artificial humanity, that is, robotic emotion. In his account, he inverted the meaning of human nature as presented in the classical parable. In the Liezi, the story develops as follows: On his journey home, King Mu encounters the craftsman Master Yan. After a first exchange, the master presents a singer (Changzhe 倡者) which he claims to have made himself, to the king. As its movements and appearance are extremely lifelike, the king perceives it to be a man. After the display of the singer’s movement, the singer beckons toward Chengji and the other concubines, which causes the king to sentence Master Yan to death. Quickly, the master dissects his craft and reveals its artificial nature. Only then is the king conciliated and keeps the curious device for himself. Whereas the resemblance is obvious in this brief summary, the devil is in the detail—especially in terms of Tong Enzheng’s perception of the moment of desire. In the Liezi, the moment of the singer’s transgression is intrinsically tied to humanity’s relation toward nature. As the third and fourth century in China was a time of civil war and instability, this shows a rather skeptical view of the world as a whole, presenting fluidity, instability and chaos (Hunlun 渾淪) not as simply disruptive states, but as productive quality


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(Littlejohn & Dippmann, 2011, p. 78, p. 116). Ultimately, the work is less occupied with the concept of “doing nothing” (Wu wei 無爲) as in other Daoist philosophical classics like the Zhuangzi, but “not-knowing” (Wu zhi 無知) or respectively “knowing [out of] itself” (Zizhi 自知) (Graham, 1990, pp. 4–8). In the Liezi, the Way (Dao 道) is found through accepting the relativity of knowledge and the experience of being: as everything in existence is fluid and changing, subjective perception necessarily presupposes limitation. This means that nature, that is to say, the perceivable state of phenomenal existence, underlies and causes constant change and flux. In the Liezi, this is called Ziran (自然), “being [out of] itself.” As heaven and earth act without conscious “knowing,” the spontaneous “self-being” of the human being, who searches for a state of ideal harmony with the cosmological Dao, should pay full attention to natural change and respond respectively to it. But as he/she engages in conscious contemplation and action, that is, following inner desires (subjective perception) than outer influences (objective circumstances), he/she disrupts the ontological harmony of natural change. This means that to reach the ideal natural state of spontaneous (Ziran) (re) action, the human individual has to distance itself from personal desires and cultivate spontaneous, instinctive knowledge (Zizhi). This ideal state of “being without knowing” is perfectly exemplified in the image of Master Yan’s singer. In the text, the performance is described thus: “When the artisan pushed its [lower] cheek, it sang in tune; when he clasped its hand it danced in time; it [moved] in innumerable variations, whatever it [was] asked, [it] would do. King Mu thought it was a real . . .” (Graham, 1990, pp. 110–112; Lie, 1985, pp. 70–71). Where Tong Enzheng presents an autonomous, self-moving or “programmed” robot, the Liezi describes a sophisticated puppet. Note that the movement and display is the direct result of Yan’s control; it is a situation of pure “input-output.” That this is indeed an image of the desired state of “unconscious” knowledge and action as spontaneous reaction (Ziran) and not as a simple marionette display, is emphasized in King Wu’s misconception that “it was a real man” (Graham, 1990, p. 111; Lie, 1985, p. 70)—underlining the comparison of the machine-nature with human nature and the story’s overall moral. After the king was convinced of the dancer’s artificial nature, he asks rhetorically: “Is it then possible for human ingenuity to achieve as much as the [natural forces which] create the [things that] transform [Zaohua Zhe 造化者]?” Given the Liezi’s philosophical basis, this does not compare Master Yan’s skill with cosmological creation but implies a description of the achievement of Ziran. The natural forces, which are the cosmological origin of spontaneous being, bring forward everything that is “out of itself.” Only humanity, in conscious action, distances itself from nature, therefore producing the need of “achieving” what is done by cosmological forces. Ultimately, King Wu’s question does not

On Nonhuman Machinic Love


point toward artistic hubris, but the concern over whether human existence is really able to regain its state of “being out of itself.” And this makes the dancer a personified image of the ideal state of human nature and being. This also suggests that the ideal state of humanity lies in its becoming machine-like. This is stressed in the moment of transgression. The winking of the eye of the dancer is the only moment where it acts on its own—in the original text, there is no mentioning of Master Yan ordering him to do so. Here, emotional longing caused the object to behave without wuzhi: in a moment of subjective intent, it acts not in accord to its environment, but egocentrically according to its own desire. This immediately causes its doom (immediate reversion to puppet nature, which is represented in its disassembled form) and puts into bold relief by King Wu’s final unanswered dilemma. Even if something resembles a man, and seems to have achieved a state mirroring the ideal presented by the natural forces—will not its human nature (subjective desire) ultimately cause it to fail? This identification of humanity with a puppet nature, including the understanding of subjective desire as unnatural affront, is inverted by Tong Enzheng. This ultimately changes the focus of the whole story, as Tong Enzheng makes no reference to cosmological forces. Instead, he develops the figures of the robot and Chengji as acting characters: Chengji in her flirtation and final embarrassed rejection, and the robot in his desire and conscious effort. Tong Enzheng says: “How pleased and excited the robot became when he saw his beloved one again! He danced enthusiastically and executed some intricate, graceful steps which even Master Yan could not have imagined. The robot wished that Chengji would look at him more and reveal her fascinating expressions as she had done the last time” (Wu & Murphy, 1989, p. 41). Based on the Liezi’s image of action caused by inner desire than outer influences, Tong Enzheng develops a scene of romantic passion. The puppet becomes an agent of conscious awareness, being actually able to “wish” and to become “enthusiastic.” But Tong Enzheng goes a step further in making the robot’s passion the reason for its ability to transcend its artificial nature. In its overwhelming emotion, the robot is able to exceed the boundaries of its original program, freeing it from the status of a simple piece of craftsmanship. In being able to feel and express its desire, the robot distances himself from his creator, reaching into the realm of humanity. This is the exact opposite of the Liezi, in which the moment of desire serves as an example of human alienation from ideal nature. To summarize here then, for Tong Enzheng, love and emotion embody the human quality of evolution, that is, the key to a higher state of existence; in the Liezi, it relates to subjective desires, which hinder man in achieving harmony with nature, that is, obstructing the way to a higher state of existence.


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LOVE AND DEATH However, if Tong Enzheng allows the robot the freedom to feel, why is there a tragic end? Is this meant to suggest that as soon as an object has achieved the desired humanity, it is doomed to the fate of all natural life: death? This might be one reading, as the dancer in the Liezi is denied the signifier of life. To clarify this let us return to Deleuze and Guattari, since the tragic heartbreak and crack allows another reading in the context of the fatality of a denied new world. In Anti-Oedipus (p. 294) they say, “we always make love with worlds.” They add (p. 294): “Our love addresses itself to the libidinal properties of our lover. We either close ourselves off or open ourselves up to more spacious worlds, to masses and large aggregates.” We desire or love with the world, we love the agencement or assemblage of another person. The world of the loved is an expressive milieu, a disjunctive synthesis, a “relation of non-relation.” In Deleuze’s technical vocabulary, a disjunctive synthesis is a synthesis of divergent series that does not converge yet somehow manages to communicate by virtue of a difference that passes between them like a spark. In the robot’s case it is an impersonal affect, a spark of love, which comes out of nowhere, for the first time, without pretext or warning. From the perspective of the first person singular, we can say that the world of the loved one is shared with me. I inhabit it. I love it. I love the smells, the thoughts, the caresses and the habits of the loved one. I love the process and the imagination tied to making love with this world. I fall in love with a singular style, with the world that she or we co-create—the singular music tastes, choice of clothes, shoes, the way she walks, talks, breathes, shits, cries and screams. That something, this haecceity or thisness, that je ne sais quoi of a unique and individual thing. The je ne sais quoi is the agencement of desire. If I am lucky the loved one reciprocates: she loves my worlds too—my irrational feuds, tantrums, depressions, rages, my destructive tendencies, self-loathing, misogyny, misanthropy, and my curse against the nihilism of the everyday . . . . We are entangled with one another. Yet, there is no union of souls, no conjunctive synthesis. There is no desire for such an arrangement. We are not the same. Nor is there a desire to be so. But the disjunctive synthesis of our bodies, desires and ways of comporting ourselves to our co-worlding as a “relation of non-relation” means there is an interbeing between our bodies. Love is deterritorialized as it breaks with the misery of deadly repetitions. It refuses to serve a master. Master Yan’s robot too finds in Chengji another world. It asks itself, is another world possible? It desires to make love to her, to really make love; it desires to constitute a BwO or a MwO—to be free of machinic facticity. It desires to live, like Frankenstein’s monster. As this love opens up another world of metamorphosis, transformation and possibility, the MwO dances, aiming to

On Nonhuman Machinic Love


get out of its artificial skin, to caress the other, love the other, make a new world. It desires a MwO which is not emptied or stripped of organs, but a gleaming body upon which is distributed a multiplicity of organs. Its MwO is, as Deleuze and Guattari say in A Thousand Plateaus (p. 34) a “crowd phenomena, in Brownian motion, in the form of molecular multiplicities.” The MwO is crowded with possibilities, different perspectives and worlds. Thus the MwO stands opposed to the organization of the organs by both its master Yan and the king’s desire for a plaything. The robot does not want to become an organism, but rather to become-love, become-hybrid, becomemolecular, become-interhuman, to become a dancing machine, a great lover of interbeing. It wants a full BwO, a body teeming and replete with multiplicities like “lice hopping on the beach” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 30). On this point, Deleuze and Guattari add: “The body without organs is not a dead body but a living body all the more alive and teeming once it has blown apart the organism and its organization” (p. 30). HOW TO MAKE A ROBOT WITHOUT ORGANS? It is worth reflecting here, what would Tong Enzheng have made of the schizoanalysis found in A Thousand Plateaus and its explanation of the BwO of the lover? And why is this important? Because the robot must make a BwO; for without it, it cannot desire. It is the field of immanence of desire. The robot experiments with it and upon it. At the end of the story, Yan’s robot botches it, experiencing a miserable defeat. It is on the BwO that the robot both loves and suffers this defeat. At this breakdown, the robot’s BwO turns hypochondriac. Yan’s robot organs are literally destroyed; the damage of love is already done, nothing happens anymore. There is a crack in the body. The robot’s body is emptied—organs without machine (OwM) instead of being kept full. Tong Enzheng could have chosen to have the robot’s body love again, to open up a new way of communication, a new line of flight—the full realization of the BwO. But no. In the end, the robot cannot make a BwO and so the specter of death and sadness looms. It can desire, but cannot transcend the limitations of the predetermined organismal structure. There is a crack in the chest: a breakdown with no breakthrough. The body is torn to bits, a veritable moment of Zerrissenheit or torn-topieces-hood of subjectivity. The plane of consistency turns inconsistent— the MwO is sewn up, cooled, tied together—all in one go. Tong Enzheng may have considered another ending if he had understood the ramifications of his own insight that Yan’s robot has a body “without missing a single organ.” Deleuze and Guattari explain this point in A Thousand Plateaus (p. 182): “There are not organs in the sense of fragments in relation to a lost


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unity, nor is there a return to the undifferentiated in relation to a differentiable totality.” As we have seen, Deleuze and Guattari will add that the body has no need of organs. The problem is the organism, the enemy of the body. It is not a question of Yan’s robot lacking organs. Strictly speaking, it does not lack anything. The organs of the robot are coupled with indefinite articles, a robot body, a stomach, an eye and a mouth, expressing “the pure determination of intensity, intensive difference.” The removed organs symbolize that the intensities no longer flow, that nothing is produced. It is thus not a question then, as Deleuze and Guattari (1987, p. 182) will clarify, of “a fragmented, splintered body, of organs without the body (OwB).” Rather, Deleuze and Guattari will argue that at stake is a matter of intensity: There is a distribution of intensive principles of organs, with their positive indefinite articles, within a collectivity or multiplicity, inside an assemblage, and according to machinic connections operating on a BwO. (1987, p. 165)

Dismantling the organism or organization of love does not lead inevitably to suicide, but rather the opening of the body, as Deleuze and Guattari say (1987, p. 177)—“to connections that presuppose an entire assemblage, circuits, conjunctions, levels and thresholds, passages and distributions of intensity, and territories and deterritorializations measured with the craft of a surveyor.” If the fantasy of love botches the robot’s BwO, if love stops life, prevents the engineering of monstrous, machinic crossbreeds, then Deleuze and Guattari are right to ask (1987, p. 167): “Why such a dreary parade of sucked-dry, catatonicized, vitrified, sewn-up bodies, when the BwO is also full of gaiety, ecstasy, and dance?” In terms of our story, the robot stops dancing, refusing the “pain waves” of love that skate across its surface. According to the principles of production, its body instead reaches an intensity of zero, or more precisely, absolute cold. Suffering a kind of catatonia, the schizo body of Master Yan’s robot struggles against the organization of organs, against the organism—its chest cracks and it grinds to a halt. Consistent with his fourth law of robotics, Tong’s answer to this conundrum is to fabricate a robotic BwO without love so as to stop the cancer, the fascism of love, to prevent the empty BwO of paranoiac, catatonic, hypochondriac loves.

ALIEN LOVE: UNIVERSE INFRA-QUARK The intrusion of this “machinic” unconscious dimension into ordinary subjectivity will produce significant upheavals. (Guattari, 2016, p. 58)

On Nonhuman Machinic Love


Let us turn to Félix Guattari’s film script A Love of UIQ. In 1987, a few years after Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) first hit the cinemas, Guattari sent a film script entitled A Love of UIQ to the National Centre of Cinematography in France. It failed to attract backers but the script has recently been translated by Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni and published by Univocal and is worth looking at—in the context of science fiction studies, in connection to machinic eros and Guattari’s overall conception of the unconscious. Why? Because in this script Guattari ties the question of machinic subjectivity or the machinic unconscious (desire itself) to both fluctuating schizo identities and the technological phylum or lineage. Guattari is concerned with the “machinic unconscious” as one “turned towards the future”—and one shaped by new information and communications technologies. This is what Nick Land describes in his essay “Machinic Desire” (2008) as the transcendental subject of the machinic unconscious, a subject beyond the brooding autonomous subject in Kantian philosophy. Because Guattari is concerned with “the rise of computerized forms of thought, sensibility, imagination and decision-making,” as well as “the digitization of a growing number of material and mental operations” (Guattari, 2016, p. 58), he undertakes a kind of schizoanalysis of cyborg subjectivity and nonhuman sex. This machinic unconscious is nonhuman, transhuman and deterritorialized—free from boundaries, physical, spatial or conceptual. Its body is decoded. It is a cyborg MwO par excellence. In its alien form it knows nothing of the trials and tribulations of human love. SYNOPSIS A Love of UIQ (2012) explores the hyper-intelligent, infra-cellular life substance called UIQ (universe infra-quark)—represented by three black holes for eyes and a mouth on a TV screen. Janice, or what is left of her—as she is “condemned to drift eternally outside the realm of human communication and affect” (p. 59)—attempts suicide by jumping off a building, only to discover that UIQ has made her immortal. Raising a bloodied skull from the pavement she pronounces the film’s last line: “May he give her back her death.” Whatever the merits of the script are, it is clear that Guattari inverts the standard love angle between man and machine. The story is less about a human subject falling in love with a computer (Spike Jonze’s 2013 film Her for example) but the opposite. In A Love of UIQ, the central trope is about machines becoming human. In love, UIQ “imprisons” itself and others. As love is unreciprocated, love throws the lover back into a world of anxieties, perversities and traumas. UIQ is trapped within its virtual subjectivity, unable to relate ethically to the other. Yet, love is invoked as a means to


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create a posthumanity, a transhuman community—neither machine nor human—and although the film script does have warnings and provisos of this new species as it highlights the horrors when the unconscious turns machinic (Janice’s schizophrenia is a case in point), Guattari is concerned with the role of emotion in technological transformation—from interspecies sex, from interbody mingling to interbrain communication. He suggests that human emotions such as beauty, sensuality, jealousy and love may propel machines and men to create a new type of character, “a manifold entity that calls into question the very notion of the individual.” This is consistent with his philosophical and psychoanalytical work, in which Guattari writes to destabilize the dualisms of nature and culture, man and machine, organic and inorganic. In A Love of UIQ too, Guattari is searching for a new kind of subjectivity, which contains the possibility of new openings to the socius and the cosmos—a new kind of machinic ecosophy and new universes of reference, utopias and tomorrows. Guattari writes passionately on this point (2016, p. 15): Tomorrow, these alternative forms of existential reappropriation and of self-valorization may become the reason for living of human collectives and individuals who refuse to give themselves up to the deathly entropy characteristic of the period through which we are passing.

For Guattari, ecology must turn machinic. In cyberpunk fiction love is the test of new forms of humanity, and Guattari uses the love between machine and human to raise questions about posthuman, mutant interlock. For example, the machinic and robot serve as tropes to hone in on the vulnerability of feeling for others, for the kind of love which transgresses ontological boundaries, across the human-cyborg divide (across the ontological “iron curtain” as Pierre Lévy calls it). In A Love of UIQ, Guattari explores mutational forms of subjectivity which emerge from the blurring of the human, the animal and the inhuman and the dangers which may ensue from the machinic unconscious (psychosis). The film script points to the way in which digitalization affects existential territories or stalls the production of desire. UIQ mirrors the way planetary computerization is set on a course of worldwide delocalization and deterritorialization in terms of both extension and “intension,” that is to say, “by infiltrating the most unconscious subjective strata” (Guattari, 2000, pp. 49–50). Yet Guattari is no Luddite. He is not asking for a return to the good old days of pre-technological existence. Rather he is keen to extend the machine’s scope of perception and the complexity of human behavior. He is arguing for the application of the full panoply of machines—concrete or abstract, technical, scientific or artistic—to not only revolutionize the world but to “completely recreate it” (Guattari, 2009, p. 74). In its science fiction formation, UIQ is articulating

On Nonhuman Machinic Love


“the immense machinic revolution sweeping the planet” (Guattari, 2006, p. 54) but also “the molecular revolution” of the unconscious (intention). In calling for the reconfiguration and control of what he terms the mechanosphere (the dissolution of the boundary between man and nature), Guattari is insisting that the mastery over the mechanosphere must begin before it is too late (Andersen, 2016). Represented cinematically, the spiritual automaton and unknown being of UIQ seeks to become quasihuman, a monstrous becoming. In this sense, love for the alien for Deleuze would be akin to thought outside itself, an unthinkable machinic love inside thought. UIQ is thus a paragon of the alien within the human, the impersonal other. The hyper intelligence is a spiritual automaton, working within the human mind, defamiliarizing the idea of love: the unconscious in thought is the spiritual automaton of UIQ, with UIQ the alien, a spiritual automaton transforming the mode of thinking of love. That the machine comes to love the human is a Deleuzian mode of thought explored within Guattari’s own experimental science fiction as a futural form and expression of the spiritual automaton. THE END OF THE MASSACRE OF THE BODY That Guattari writes a kind of science fiction is entirely in keeping with his search for new modes of valorization, new worlds and utopias, which all have a different relation to desire. In Chaosophy (1996), Guattari says, in his essay “To Have Done with the Massacre of the Body,” that to think beyond capitalist formation (family, school, factories, army, codes, discourse) is to confront the subjugation of our desires in everyday life. This is to write against exploitation, property greed, male power, the delirium of profit, pointless and endless productivity and so on. He exhorts us to think beyond the castration of desire and the torture of the body and to unpick the mechanisms in our subconscious which reproduce our enslavement. This is to unite desire, the unconscious and the body in new arrangements beyond the status quo. This expresses a quintessential science fiction impulse. To think beyond “capital, exploitation, and the family” would be to redirect the nervous system to inhuman, nonhuman, transhuman communication networks of growth, pleasure and becoming—which is what is searched for in A Love of UIQ. In terms of cinema, Guattari believes that because cinema is a machine which puts normal communication modes into brackets, it thereby opens up new models. This would be to return pleasures to ourselves, those pleasures, as Guattari puts it in Chaosophy, “ruthlessly quashed by educational systems charged with manufacturing obedient worker-consumers” (p. 212), those pleasures which have the capacity to explode systems of oppression. Without


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explosions and cadences of a different order, he insists, we remain at the “level of dogs” (p. 214). SCIENCE FICTION AND GUATTARI United, ecosophy, schizoanalysis and science fiction can help us to understand new ways of combining ethical values with a changing futural, technological and machinic landscape. This unity can help us to understand how subjective destructions are attained through the passions of cybernetic love. Interested in the creation of mutant existential virtualities, Guattari writes in A Love of UIQ (p. 50): “Unlike traditional science fiction models, what we have here is a Universe that, though all-powerful and prodigiously intelligent, is completely helpless when confronted with human realities such as beauty, sensuality, jealousy, and love. This leads to the creation of a new type of character, a manifold entity that calls into question the very notion of the individual.” Guattari placed great importance on what he called “incorporeal species” for example music and the arts and, of course, cinema. Such incorporeal forms function to engineer new sensual perceptions and engender new modes of being in the world, and beyond this to create new worlds themselves. From this we can argue that science fiction as a genre is an especially productive “incorporeal species” of world-building. In terms of kinetic images, Guattari thinks cinema is an extraordinary instrument for producing subjectivity. His science fiction vision again is turned toward the production of new subjectivities because he is insisting that cinema is the machine of eros; it can condemn desire to oedipal triangulation or smash the constraints to liberate desire. He states that there is no difference between the political and the erotic. Cinema is political and expresses the micro class struggles concerned with reproduction of models of desire. The genre of science fiction then is a medium to fabulate “new form[s] of life,” counter-actualizations of the present. Schizoanalysis, ecosophy and science fiction whence combined can work to analyze the unconscious of the future because when ecosophy is turned toward the future rather than “fixated upon the stases of the past,” it finds a natural ally in science fiction. Guattari will say that we must negotiate the present “in the name of the future.” This is entirely consistent with the axioms of science fiction. In science fiction cinema there is a search for new universes of reference. Science fiction acts not to preserve the endangered species of the human but to engender conditions for the creation and development of unprecedented formations of nonhuman subjectivity never seen, never felt and indeed never loved. As Guattari says in his essay “Pratiques écosophiques et restauration de la cité subjective” (in Ecosophic Practices and Restoration of the Subjective City), this would lead it to a

On Nonhuman Machinic Love


generalized ecology, which can form ethical, aesthetic and analytic machines of engagement, creating new systems of valorization, “a new taste for life, a new gentleness” (Guattari, Genosko, & Hetrick, 2015, p. 111). CONCLUSION Through outlining several forms of nonhuman, interspecies machinic eros, and specifically interpreting this through Deleuze’s and Guattarri’s philosophy of machinic desire, extending their concept of desiring machines to the desiring robot machine itself, we have shed light on the manifold connections between Chinese science fiction and the Liezi. The goal has been to explore the limit of the BwO and its transformation into the MwO and to highlight the dangers and possible botch of machinic love in this new formation. In our attempt to read machinic love from a nonhuman and indeed nonhumanistic perspective, we have distinguished the BwO from its machinic, inhuman counterpart, the MwO. Developing Guattari’s unique perspective, this has been to demonstrate the play of creation and destruction, breakthrough and breakdown and to underscore new variants of machinic love, desire and the role of the drives in modern literature, cinema and TV. Both Tong Enzheng’s The Death of the World’s First Robot and Félix Guattari’s screenplay A Love of UIQ are concerned with nonhuman sex and the desire of the robot as a force to love. Master Yan’s robot gives, produces and engineers love. Yet the desire collapses as it cannot exceed the “sniveling desire” to have been loved. Its failure is a failure of the BwO and a failure of consistency in Deleuze’s sense. Although it carries the prospect of a distinct new possibility of machinic desire, it is in the last instance, one that remains trapped in all-too-human molar identities, shrinkwrapped subjectivities and all-too-humanistic love. It suffers from the sickly desire of binary love. The robot closes down its limbs and says no more; it turns catatonic. It robs itself of imagination, returns to man’s double, bereft of interiority and reterritorializes on a mythic past and imaginary state of death. The robot’s love is the index of the reactionary character of the social investments of the libido (Oedipus), of the priest, of lack, of transcendent ideals. On the other hand, in its reengineered form UIQ is a (masculine) love that says yes to venting anger and hating the world. UIQ is an index of a revolutionary pole of the investment made by an oedipal libido. Yet the argument here is to claim that as science fiction is drawn from a specific sociohistorical or geographic field (the future), the machinic unconscious is also turned more toward the future, and because of this it embraces decoded flows of desire, new lines of vibration, where schizzes engineer new circuits of singularization. In Guattari’s science fiction, before it acquires human


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emotions, UIQ has never heard of Oedipus and the organization of desire. This machinic form of desire is of a pristine form. And for Deleuze, love is deterritorialization as it changes the material flows and affects of the organism or organization. It disrupts the preformatted identity of the Oedipal subject. It is experimentation and adventure as it engineers new bodies, flows and affects. In this way, desire and creativity are the processes of life itself. Experimentation is the breaking down of old subjectivities, love the challenge to the organization of the organs. To risk love means to experiment with engineering new bodies and body parts: it is to risk the construction of new societies of dismembered body parts. Philosophy and science fiction here continue to offer thoughts, a method and multiple paths on how to proceed.

REFERENCES Andersen, G. (2016). Guattari and Planetary Computerisation. Deleuze Studies, 10(4), 531–545. Deleuze, G. (2018). The Nature of Flows. Deleuze Web (K. I. Ocana, Trans.). http:// www.imaginetfr/deleuze​.sommaire​.h​tml Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983).  Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia  (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1972) Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987).   A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. (Original work published 1980) Enzheng, T. [童恩正] (2010). The Death of the World’s First Robot [世界上第一个 机器人之死]. Invention & Innovation [发明与 新], 6, 39–41. Graham, A. C. (1990). The Book of Lieh-tzǔ. Columbia University Press. Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm (P. Bains & J. Pefanis, Trans.). Indiana University Press. (Original work published 1992) Guattari, F. (1996a). Chaosophy: Soft Subversions (S. Lotringer, Ed.). Semiotext(e). Guattari, F. (1996b). The Guattari Reader (G. Genosko, Ed.). Blackwell Publishers. Guattari, F. (1996c). The Three Ecologies (I. Pindar & P. Sutton, Trans.). Athlone. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F. (2012). Schizoanalytic Cartographies (A. Goffey, Trans.). Bloomsbury. (Original work published 1989) Guattari, F. (2015). Machinic Eros: Writings on Japan (G. Genosko & J. Hetrick, Eds.). University of Minnesota Press. Guattari, F. (2016). A Love of UIQ. Univocal Pub. Guattari, F., & Lotringer, S. (1996). Chaosophy: Texts and Interviews. 1972–1977. Semiotext(e). Guattari, F., & Rolnik, S. (2007). Molecular Revolution in Brazil (K. Clapshow & B. Holmes, Trans.). Semiotext(e).

On Nonhuman Machinic Love


Huss, M. (2000). Journey to the West: SF’s Changing Fortunes in Mainland China. Science Fiction Studies, 27(1), 92–104. Land, N. (2008). Machinic Desire. Textual Practice, 7(3), 471–482. Liè Yùkòu [列御寇] (1985). Liezi[列子]. Zhonghua Shuju. Littlejohn, R., & Dippmann, J. W. (2011). Riding the Wind with Liezi: New Perspectives on the Daoist Classic. State University of New York Press. Liu, L. H. (2010). The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious. University of Chicago Press. Wu, D., & Murphy, P. D. (1989). Science Fiction from China. Praeger.


1Q84 (Murakami), 72, 271 30 Essentials for Spontaneous Prose (Kerouac), 113 abhayā, 44 “absolute disruption” (Absoluten Zerrissenheit), 109, 119 abstract machines, 65, 76, 82, 87, 91, 99–101, 107, 112, 113, 116, 118, 119, 193, 277–90, 295, 310, 311 Abuses (Lingis), 108 actor-network theory (ANT), 238 ADHD. See attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) The Administration of Fear (Virilio and Richard), 248 Adorno, T., 34, 51; Negative Dialectics, 39 aesthetic japonisme, 4 affect-blocking, 218 After the Future (Berardi), 137 Agamben, G., 16–17; What Is an Apparatus?, 266 agencement, 42, 85, 90, 92, 105, 119, 134, 173, 188, 326 “The Age of the World Picture” (Heidegger), 245–46 aggression, 136, 137, 267 Akira, A., 25, 227 Aletheia, 116 alien love, 328–29

Allard, M., 139 Allison, A.: “Ordinary Refugees: Social Precarity and Soul in 21st Century Japan,” 124 Althusser, L., 37; Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists & Other Essays, 36 America. See United States Americanization of Japanese society, 12 Americanized Japan, 135 anachronism, xxiv, 14, 16, 58, 120, 315 angelology, 52, 55, 58 Ango, S., 298–300, 306–13; The Body in Itself Thinks (Nikutai jitai ga shiko suru), 301; On Decadence, 301–3, 310; Deleuze and Buddhism, 21; The Idiot, 311, 312; “My Thoughts on the Future of Temple Life” (Kongo no jiin seikatsu ni taisuru shikō), 300; My View of Japanese Culture (“Nihon Bunka Shikan”), 310; “A Personal View of Culture,” 299; and schizo, battlelines of, 314–15 animality, 7, 13, 17, 306 animalization, 4, 11, 13, 16, 17 animism, 22, 59, 84, 149, 150, 152, 153, 159; commodity, 153; machinic, 143, 144, 154, 164, 197–202; technoanimism, 144, 163 ANT. See actor-network theory (ANT) 337



Anthropocene, 235, 237–40, 242–46, 251; geophilosophy and, 66–73, 76, 77 Anthropological Quarterly, 124 anticipatory theory, 87 Anti-education: On the Future of Our Educational Institutions (Nietzsche), 247 anti-language, 176–77 Anti-Oedipus (Guattari and Deleuze), xxiii, xxiv, xxvi, xxxi, 34, 40–41, 47, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 62, 67, 69, 92, 93, 102, 110–13, 126, 176, 189, 198, 207–9, 226, 279–81, 283, 295, 307, 309–10, 314, 315, 326 Aoki, T., 263 AR. See augmented reality (AR) arborescent tree model, 14 The Archaeology of Knowledge (Foucault), 112 Arendt, H., 51 Armitage, J.: Virilio and Visual Culture, 236–37 The Art of the Motor (Virilio), 128 Asada, A.: gay science, 189; schizo kids, 189 a-signifying semiotics, 156, 159; systems, objects in, 157 assemblage theory, 32 Astro Boy/Mighty Atom, 68, 72 atheism, 43, 147, 181, 297, 308 Athene Français, 301 attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), xxvii, 232, 269 Aufhebung, 36 Aufreissen, 101 augmented reality (AR), 144, 151, 152, 154–57 Aum Shinrikyo, 13, 88 autism, xxvii, 162, 192, 221, 226, 227, 229, 230, 232; ethical, 179; machinic, 125; philosophical, 246; social, 203, 264 automatic suicide machine, 82 axiomatic stupidity, xxix, 87, 126

Azuma, H., 4; “The Disaster Broke Us Apart,” 27; otaku theory, 10–15, 17 Badiou, A., xxxiii; A Clamour of Being, 208 Balance Sheet-Program for DesiringMachines? (Deleuze), 284–85 Barbier-Mueller, M., 286 Barefoot Gen, 72 Bataille, G., 11, 227, 306 Bateson, G., xxxiii, 145 Battle of Jena (1806), 5 Baudrillard, J., 176, 236; aesthetics of meaninglessness, 5; Coin Locker Babies, 261; site of hyperreality, 13; on snobbery, 8; on techno-oriental stereotypes, 9; theory fiction, 87; The Transparency of Evil, 284 Bauman, Z., 16 BBC: Hard Talk, xxxiii Being and Time (Heidegger), 69 Bell, J. A., 180 Benjamin, W., 51, 53, 61; angelology, 55 Berardi, F. B., xxvi, 86, 111–12, 124, 195, 221, 228–31, 244, 256, 259, 262, 268–69, 279; After the Future, 137; Félix Guattari: Thought, Friendship and Visionary Cartography, 138; The Future After the End of the Economy, 137; Precarious Rhapsody, 268 Bergson, H., 51, 72, 278, 284 Berlin Wall, fall of, xxxi, 3 Bezos, J., xxiv Big Data, 245 biopower, 152 The Birthplace of Literature, 302 Blade Runner (Scott), 48, 133, 329 Blair, T., 256 Blanchot, M., 175 Blog Theory (Dean), 138 Bloom, A., 7 boat, 76


The Body in Itself Thinks (Nikutai jitai ga shiko suru) (Ango), 301 body without organs (BwO), 41, 82, 92, 125, 211, 215, 220, 225–31, 295, 296, 300, 303, 304, 309, 311, 313–15, 319–22, 326–28, 333; schizoanalysis of, 296 Boff, L., 144, 147, 151; Francis of Rome and the Ecology of Saint Francis of Assisi, 146 Bogue, R., 71, 72 Bookchin, M., xxxiii Boutang, P.-A.: L’Abécédaire, 290–91 Boyle, D.: T2 Trainspotting, xxv–xxvi Bradbury, R., 269; Fahrenheit 451, 132 Braidotti, R., 36, 37; Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics, 72–73 brain and affect, 265–70 Branson, R., xxiv Brassier, R., 57 Brazil, 23, 24 Bridle, J., 291 The Broken Middle (Rose), xxxi–xxxii, 52 Buchanan, I., xxiv, 296; Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Literature, xxx Buddhism, 11, 16, 24; becomingDeleuze of, 296–97; and desire, relationship between, 297; European, 309; Four Noble Truths, 300; Japanese, 148; Mahāyāna, 299, 301, 311; Second Noble Truth (Samudāya), 297; Shinto, 22; Vietnamese, 148; Zen, 90, 113 Bushidō, 310 Butler, J.: “Torture and the Ethics of Photography,” 241 BwO. See body without organs (BwO) calligraphy, 5, 99–101, 103, 106, 109, 113–19 The Cancer Biopathy (Reich), 213 Candomblé, 150 capital deterritorialization, 4 capitalism, 15, 52, 70, 71, 83, 152, 190, 280, 288; angel of, exterminating,


53–54, 59, 70; cognitive, 130; contemporary, 185; global, 51; infantile, 189; Integrated World Capitalism (IWC, Capitalisme Mondial Intégré), 48, 78, 87, 147, 148, 185, 194, 201–3, 240, 264, 277, 288; late, 86, 153, 221, 236; libidinal economy of, 217; nuclear, 26, 68, 73, 76, 78; planetary, xxvii, xxviii, 17, 131; semio-capitalism, 268; supercapitalism, 189; Western, 16 Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium (Deleuze and Guattari), 83 Capitalisme et schizophrénie: L’antiŒdipe (Guattari and Deleuze), xxiii capitalist mode of production, 71 Capitalist Realism (Fisher), 138, 228 Capoeira, 150 cartography, 88, 92–94; schizoanalytic, xxiv Castro, E. B. Chakrabarty, D., 243 Chaosmose, vers une nouvelle sensibilité, 159 Chaosmosis (Guattari), xxx, 103, 134, 157, 164, 195, 268 chaosophy, 87, 279; ecosophical, 279 Chaosophy (Guattari), 55, 59, 331–32 Chaplin, C., 82 Chapman, D., 171, 172, 178, 179, 181, 182; Insult to Injury, 177; transgression, 180; Zygotic acceleration, Biogenetic desublimated libidinal model, 179 Chapman, J., 171, 172, 178, 179, 181, 182; Insult to Injury, 177; transgression, 180; Zygotic acceleration, Biogenetic desublimated libidinal model, 179 Chapsal, M., 281 Character Analysis (Reich), 207, 212 Chiba, M., 89, 226–28, 231, 296; Don’t Move Too Fast, 229 Children of Men (Cuarón), 76, 258 Chinese revolution of 1949, 6



Chomsky, N., xxxiii chronostrategy, 129 cine-trance, 197–202 Civilization and Its Discontents (Freud), 305 A Clamour of Being (Badiou), 208 Cocteau, J., 301 cogito, 67 Coin Locker Babies (Baudrillard), 261 Cold War, 91, 282, 285 collective courage (un courage collectifs), 160 commodity animism, 153 communication prostheses, 128 communism, xxxi, 3, 55, 60, 203, 213, 227; diagrammatics of, 232; of immanence, 231 Confucianism, 11, 24, 296 conspicuous consumption, 15, 153, 263 consumerism, 7, 13, 15, 146, 289 contingency, Buddhist precept of, 303–4 Contra-Power (Potestas), 38 A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (Marx), 35 Cooper, D., xxvi corporeal facticity, 78 cosmology, 58, 146, 147, 235, 286, 323–25 Cosmopolitanism, 311 “counteract” theory, 189–90 counter-mobilization, 151 craftsmanship, 106, 321, 325 The Critique of Pure Reason (Kant), 306–7 Cuarón, A.: Children of Men, 258; The Possibility of Hope, 257–58 Culp, A., 89, 227, 228, 231; Dark Deleuze, 25 Cybermonde, la politique du pire (Virilio), 250 A Cyborg Manifesto (Haraway), 284 Cyclonopedia (Negarestani), 74 Damasio, A., 266 daraku (decadence), 21, 73, 295, 297, 299–304, 306–14

Darby, T., 4 Dark Deleuze (Culp), 25 database model, 14, 15 da Vinci, L., 285, 288, 289 Dean, J.: Blog Theory, 138 The Death of the World’s First Robot (Enzheng), 319, 320, 322, 333 De Landa, M., 45–46, 289 Deleuze, G., xxvii, xxviii, xxix, xxxiv, 21, 51, 123, 266; affect as thought, 31–32; Anthropocene, 66–70; AntiOedipus, xxiii, xxiv, xxvi, xxxi, 34, 40–41, 47, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 62, 67, 69, 92, 93, 102, 110–13, 126, 176, 189, 198, 207–9, 226, 279–81, 283, 295, 307, 309–10, 314, 315, 326; on atheism, 147; Balance SheetProgram for Desiring-Machines?, 284–85; becoming-Buddha of, 296–97; Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium, 83; Capitalisme et schizophrénie: L’anti-ŒEdipe, xxiii; in conferences, 22; Desert Islands, xxiv; Difference and Repetition, 35, 71, 72, 103; “Dualism, Monism and Multiplicities,” 116; essay on Axelos, 187; The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, 99; Foucault and, 35; geophilosophy, 65–70, 73, 75, 78; on hope, 33, 34; “I Have Nothing to Admit,” 38; On the Line, 48; Logic of Sense, xxiv; The Logic of Sense, 72; Masochism, 295; materialism, xxviii; “The Nature of Flows,” 322; Negotiations, 45; Nietzsche and Philosophy, xxxii, 34; “On Philosophy,” 174; perspectivism, 32; philosophical materialism, 146; philosophy, 34–35; Pure Immanence, 229; Qu’est-ce que la philosophie? (What Is Philosophy?), 43, 66; radioactive world, 24–25; research on Pokémon Go, 154–55; ritournelle, 81, 82, 86, 88–91; schizoanalysis. See schizoanalysis; societies of


control, 31; on Spinoza’s scalpel, 45–47; Spinozism, 31, 34, 36–38, 43, 67; A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, 25, 31, 39, 41, 48, 52, 66, 68, 74, 77, 92, 102, 124, 125, 207, 216, 227, 295, 303, 304, 307, 314, 327–28; transcendental empiricism, 65; and Walkman, 124– 27; What Is Philosophy?, 27, 58, 60, 61, 65, 67, 70, 74, 113, 180, 200, 277, 278, 291, 297 Deleuze and Buddhism (Ango), 21 Deleuze and Guattari Studies (University of Edinburgh), 23 “Deleuze and Mahāyāna Buddhism: Immanence and Original Enlightenment Thought” (See), 299 Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Literature (Buchanan), xxx Deleuzism, 57, 228, 231 Depardon, R., 202; Manhattan Out, 133; Native Land: Stop Eject, 130 depression, xxvi, xxviii, xxxiii, xxxiv, 24, 60, 86, 88, 137, 138, 151, 162, 195, 264, 268, 270, 326 de Robespierre, M. de, 5 Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature) (Munch), xxxi, 60 Descartes, R., 67 Descola, P., 149 Descombes, V., 5, 57 Desert Islands (Deleuze), xxiv desiring machine, xxiii, xxiv, 55, 57, 58, 87, 88, 91, 100, 135, 156, 198, 209, 226, 231, 282, 283, 286, 313, 322, 333 Dessart, 258 deterritorialization, 47, 54, 66, 67, 69, 75, 102, 104, 109, 112, 113, 117, 119, 120, 126, 129, 133, 137, 143, 144, 147, 173, 176–78, 194, 196, 199, 213, 215, 247, 260, 277, 280, 286, 289, 303–5, 307, 309, 314, 326, 328–30, 334; absolute, xxxii, 39, 42, 61, 62, 65, 75, 78, 219, 278, 287,


290, 310, 313; brutal, 100, 140, 315; capital, 4; objective, 194; singular, 93; subjective, 159, 194; violent, 101 détournement, 91, 178, 180, 182, 286 “diabolical intelligence” (l’intelligence diabolique), 159–60 diagrammatics, 27, 89, 156, 232, 277, 282, 287, 288, 290 dialectical dualisms, 38 dialectical materialism, 35, 36, 44 Dialectics of Nihilism (Rose), 51 Difference and Repetition (Deleuze), 35, 71, 72, 103 disaffectation, 263 “The Disaster Broke Us Apart” (Azuma), 27 The Disasters of War, 177–79 disjointedness, 101 dismemberment, 101 dissensus, 175, 180, 203 Does Writing Still Have a Future (Flusser), 109–10 Dolphijn, R., 88, 267 Don’t Move Too Fast (Chiba), 229 Douyu, 190–91 Dower, J., 298 downgoing, 312–13 dromology, 127, 128, 133, 235, 244, 245, 248, 249, 270 Duhamel, G., 242 Eames, C.: Powers of Ten, 240 Eames, R.: Powers of Ten, 240 ecology, 284–85; grey, 128, 140, 157, 236, 237, 248; media, 21, 27, 144, 149, 151, 156, 163, 189, 190, 196, 197, 201, 270; mental, xxx, 40, 89, 91, 144, 145, 147, 249, 259, 269, 271, 277; social, xxx, xxxiii, 23, 40, 144–47, 150; spiritual, 146; virtual, 149–50, 201 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (Marx), 111 ecosophy, xxv, xxviii–xxxi, 22, 24, 65, 87, 88, 91, 143–45, 155, 156, 160,



163, 174, 186, 188, 193, 196, 203, 225, 228, 229, 231, 235, 244, 255, 256, 267, 271, 277–80, 330, 332 Edo, 4, 11; culture, 6; postmodern, 12 Elephant (Sant), 123, 198 Emerling, J., 291 emotions, 267 emptiness, 301 empty repetition (répétition mortifère), 178 The End of the Fictional Age (Masachi), 13 Enlightenment, 4, 12, 57, 300; Dark, 172; original, 299; Western, 6; Zen, 297 enslavement, 87, 134, 158, 331; machinic, 84, 136, 143, 159, 189; media ecological, 151, 201 environmental ecology, 23, 144–46 Enzheng, T.: The Death of the World’s First Robot, 319, 320, 322, 333; Liezi, 320, 321, 323–27; Master Yan Creates a Man, 323 Eribon, D., 174 eschatology, 3, 15, 38, 58, 237, 246, 289 ethics, xxv; of immanent communism, 227 The Ethics (Spinoza), 38, 41, 45, 265–67 Eurocentric Cartesianism, 67 eurocentrism, 152 European Buddhism, 309 exhibitionism, 151, 194 existential territory, 26, 83, 87, 88, 90, 104, 125, 133, 155, 156, 158, 172, 174, 178, 187, 188, 190, 192–94, 197, 198, 266, 330 Exodus to the Land of Hope (Murakami), 261 exploitation, xxvi, 93, 135, 146, 151, 195, 279, 331; media ecology of, 21; mental, 221; of precarious cognitive work, 268 extrapolationist model, 237 eye-thinking (Bilddenkerische), 58–59

Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury), 132 Fanged Noumena (Land), 75 fascism, 212, 285, 308; suicidal, 295 Félix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction (Genosko), 103 Félix Guattari: Thought, Friendship and Visionary Cartography (Berardi), 138 Ferlinghetti, L., 114 feudalism, 10, 13, 135 Final Fantasy, 198 First World War, 17 Fisch, M.: “Tokyo’s Commuter Train Suicides and the Society of Emergence,” 128 Fisher, M.: Capitalist Realism, 138, 228; “Reflexive Impotence,” 111 flâneur, 130, 192, 198 flower arrangement, 5 Flusser, V.: Does Writing Still Have a Future, 109–10 The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (Deleuze), 99 Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left (Scruton), xxxiii For a Leftist Appropriation of the European Legacy (Žižek), 136 For a New Critique of Political Economy (Stiegler), 210–11 Foucault, M., 21, 34, 60; The Archaeology of Knowledge, 112; Deleuze and, 35; The History of Sexuality, Volume 1, 32 The Four Ecologies, Post-Evolution and Singularity (Zhang), 196–97 frail hope, 257–58 Francis of Rome and the Ecology of Saint Francis of Assisi (Boff), 146 Frankfurt School: critical theory of, 51 Freud, S., 212; Civilization and Its Discontents, 305; oceanic feeling, 305–6 “From Pearls to Swine: Sakaguchi Ango and the Humanity of Decadence” (Wolfe), 299


FTФU, 89–91; in Pokémon Go, 157–59; Zhibo, 193–97 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), 26–27, 65–79, 83, 257; and Anthropocene, 66–70; futural wave, 70–74; geo-trauma, 74–76; irradiating plane, 70–74 Fukuyama, F., 3, 51; biological turn, 17; specter of, 16–18 The Function of the Orgasm, Character Analysis (Reich), 207 furusato, 297, 298, 300–3, 306, 311–12, 314, 315 The Future After the End of the Economy (Berardi), 137 The Future of an Illusion (Rolland), 305–6 Gandhi, M., 32; Satyagraha, philosophy of, 42–44 The Gates of Flesh (Suzuki), 304 Gaw, A. C., 255 gay science, 189 The Gay Science (Nietzsche), 281 Geido, 114 Genosko, G., 151, 198; Félix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction, 103; Machinic Eros: Writings on Japan, 23; transversal thinking, 197 geophilosophy, 65–70, 73, 75, 78 geopolitics, 129, 239, 245 geostrategy, 129 geo-trauma of Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), 74–76 Gestalt (form-giving), 117 Gestaltung, 107 Gibson, W., 10, 81, 132; Idoru, 322 Gide, A., 301 Ginza, 8, 15–16 Glissant, E., 247 Gōda, M., 23 Goldberg, R., 83 Goldman, E., 283–84 Google Earth, 100, 240, 245 Google Maps, 240


Gorz, A., xxxiii, 91–92, 135–36 Goya, F., 56, 180; The Disasters of War, 177–79 graffiti: anti-language, 176–77; definition of, 172–74; disordering ritornello of, 171–82; of urinals, 177–81 Grajdian, M., 76 Greer, G., xxxiii grey ecology, 128, 140, 157, 236, 237, 248 Grundrisse (Marx), 129 Guattari, F., xxvii, xxxiv, 65; Anthropocene, 66–70; Anti-Oedipus, xxiii, xxiv, xxvi, xxxi, 34, 40–41, 47, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 62, 67, 69, 92, 93, 102, 110–13, 126, 176, 189, 198, 207–9, 226, 279, 280, 283, 295, 307, 309–10, 314, 315, 326; on atheism, 147; Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium, 83; Capitalisme et schizophrénie: L’anti-Œdipe, xxiii; Chaosmosis, xxx, 103, 134, 157, 164, 195, 268; Chaosophy, 55, 59, 331–32; ecosophy, xxv, xxviii–xxxi, 22, 24, 87, 91, 143–46, 155, 160, 163, 186, 188, 193, 203, 225, 231, 235, 255, 256, 267, 271, 277, 330, 332; ethico-aesthetic perspective, 139, 203; geophilosophy, 65–70, 73, 75, 78; on graffiti, 173; incorporeal universes, 87, 88, 90, 100, 120, 157, 159, 173, 193, 194, 247, 288; on Japan, 133–38; Japanese studies, 21–27; On the Line, 48; A Love of UIQ, 319, 329–34; The Machinic Unconscious, 228; materialism, xxviii; on miniaturization, 123; Molecular Revolution in Brazil, 118, 133; Molecular Revolutions, 215, 287; New Lines of Alliance, Spaces of Liberty, 89; oeuvre, 27, 148, 151; “On Machines,” 103; philosophical materialism, 146; postmediatic thinking,



238; “Pratiques écosophiques et restauration de la cité subjective” (in Ecosophic Practices and Restoration of the Subjective City), 332–33; Psychoanalysis and Transversality, 197; Qu’est-ce que la philosophie? (What Is Philosophy?), 43, 66; radioactive world, 24–27; ritournelle, 81, 82, 86, 88–91; scarecrow, 54–58; schizoanalysis. See schizoanalysis; Schizoanalytic Cartographies, 89; on social control, 23; speculative cartography, 193; on Spinoza’s scalpel, 46–47; on techno-oriental stereotypes, 10; A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, 25, 31, 39, 41, 48, 52, 66, 68, 74, 77, 92, 102, 124, 125, 207, 216, 227, 295, 303, 304, 307, 314, 327–28; The Three Ecologies, xxxiii, 135, 136, 174, 243, 267; Transdisciplinarity Must Become Transversality, 201; triadic ecology of the virtual, 140; une vertige de mort collectif (collective vertigo of death), 61–62; What Is Philosophy?, 27, 58, 60, 61, 65, 67, 70, 74, 113, 180, 200, 277, 278, 291, 297 The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (McLuhan), 103 Haigh, S. P., 4 haiku, 5 hakuchi, 311 Halliday, M. A. K., 178 handwriting, 115 Haraway, D.: A Cyborg Manifesto, 284 Hardt, M., 36, 43 Hard Talk (BBC), xxxiii Harman, G., 148, 228 Haruki, 256 Hegel, G. W. F., 3–7, 16, 17; historical perspective, 14; Phenomenology of Spirit, xxviii; Philosophy of History, 5; Philosophy of Right, 56–57

Hegelianism, 37, 38, 57 Hegelian-Marxism, 38 Heidegger, M., 89, 100, 117, 119, 148, 244; “The Age of the World Picture,” 245–46; Being and Time, 69; history of Being, 110; “The Origin of the Work of Art,” 101; Parmenides, xxviii; Parmenides lectures, 105; phenomenology, 34; on quiet viewing, 108–11; The Thing, 195; On The Way to Language, 101; What Is Called Thinking?, 106–8 Her (Jonze), 329 Hidetoshi, K., 83 Higaki, T., 23 himatsubushi, 83–86, 90 history: end of, 4–5, 11, 17; philosophy of, 55–56; posthistoire, 16; protohistory, 16 History and Repetition (Karatani), 298 The History of Sexuality, Volume 1 (Foucault), 32 Hitchcock, A., 187–88, 203 Hjelmslev, 176–77 Holland, E. W., xxix, 38, 296 Homage to New York, 282, 283 Homo sapiens, 7 Hong Kong, 136 hope, as worst of evils, 33–34 Human, All Too Human I (Nietzsche), 33 human existence, 4, 325 humanity, 16 Husserl, E., 148 hypermodernity, 4 hyperobject, 76, 237, 246 The Idiot (Ango), 311, 312 Idoru (Gibson), 322 “I Have Nothing to Admit” (Deleuze), 38 ikebana, 5 iki, 8, 11 iki yo, ochi yo, 297–303 I Live in Fear (Kurosawa), 72


immanence, 41, 53, 65, 66, 77, 94, 110, 111, 114, 146, 177, 187, 297, 299, 309, 327; communism of, 231; plane of, 39, 43, 45, 118, 119, 153, 173, 278, 279, 286; planetary, 186 The Imperative Responsibility (Jonas), 196 in-betweenness (aidagara), 152, 153, 155, 157, 199 incorporeal universes, 87, 88, 90, 100, 120, 157, 159, 173, 193, 194, 247, 288 India, 23 indifference, schizoanalysis of, xxvii, xxxiv, 17, 21, 24, 38, 41, 42, 75, 88, 90, 133, 139, 151, 188, 189, 195, 201, 203, 215, 219, 255–71; brain and affect, 265–70; frail hope, 257– 58; mediatic affects, 265; Parasites, 259–64; suicide circle, 258–59 industrial ecology of the spirit, 264 industrial temporal objects, xxix, xxxi, 81, 85, 91, 130, 140, 264 “infantalizing” subjectivity, 103–5, 136, 264 infantile capitalism, 189 information and communications technologies, 131 infra-subjectivities, 149 Insult to Injury (Chapman and Chapman), 177 integral ecology, 146–47 Integrated World Capitalism (IWC, Capitalisme Mondial Intégré), 48, 78, 87, 147, 148, 185, 194, 201–3, 240, 264, 277, 288 interality, 144, 145, 148–50, 153, 157, 186, 199 inter-media-mundia, 190 intermundia, xxxi, xxxii, 52, 58, 59, 61, 150, 153, 199 interworld, 58, 59, 108, 149, 150, 152, 158, 190, 200, 211 interworldliness, 190 Intimité (Sartre), 301


Introduction to the Reading of Hegel (Kojève), 7 The Invasion of Compulsory SexMorality (Reich), 207 ipseity, 216–19 isolation, 24, 89, 90, 151, 202, 226, 227, 230, 260, 311, 312 IWC. See Integrated World Capitalism (IWC, Capitalisme Mondial Intégré) James, W.: Memories and Studies, 101–2 Japanese Broadcasting Association, 263 Japanese Society of Social Recluses, 263 Japanization, 6, 13, 16, 163 “Japan’s Lost Generation” (Murakami), 135 Japonisme, 22 Jarry, A., 87, 282 Jonas, H.: The Imperative Responsibility, 196 Jonze, S.: Her, 329 jouissance, 69, 81, 83–87, 94, 171, 213; of alienation, 87 Jung, H. Y., 144, 148–50 Kafka on the Shore (Murakami), 72 Kant, I., 278, 306, 308; The Critique of Pure Reason, 306–7; Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone, 210 Karatani, K., 9–10, 26; History and Repetition, 298 Karōshi, 160 Kato, T. A., 161, 162 Kellner, D., 236 Kennedy, J., 290 Kerouac, J., 112–14; 30 Essentials for Spontaneous Prose, 113 Kerslake, C., 187 Kierkegaard, S., 51, 148 kiseichu, 259 kizuna (friendship or “bonds between people”), 27, 77–78



Klee, P., 99, 107, 108, 116–19, 149, 150; Angel of History, 55; Angel Overflowing, 59; Angelus Dubiosus (Doubting Angel), 52–53, 56, 61; Angelus Militans (the Militant Angel), 53, 55–60; Angelus Novus (New Angel), 52, 53, 56, 61; Archangel, 59; “Creative Credo,” 114–15; eye-thinking (Bilddenkerische), 58–59; intermundia or interworld, 58; Vigilant Angel, 59; Watchful Angel, 59 Kogawa, T., 124 Koichiro, K., 27 Koizumi, Y., 23 Kojève, A., 4, 5, 51; aesthetic turn, 1; on Edo culture, 6; on end of history, 4–5, 11, 17; fantasy, 14; Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, 7; Marxist convictions, 17; omnipresence of simulacra, 13; posthistoire, 13; postscript, 7, 17, 18; “protoman” concept, 16; snobbery, 4, 6–8, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17; stages of history, 4 Kojin, K., 189–90 kokutai, 307, 309 Kublai Khan, 291 Kurosawa, A.: I Live in Fear, 72; To Live, 84 kyōseichū, 211 L’Abécédaire (Boutang), 290–91 La conversion du regard, 240–42 Laing, R.D., xxvi Lamarre, T., 115 Land, N., 57, 74, 171–72, 208, 214, 227, 231, 306, 308, 309, 314; Fanged Noumena, 75; “Machinic Desire,” 329; “Making It With Death: Remarks on Thanatos and Desiring-Production,” 299 The Land of Hope (Sono), 76 Landscape of Events (Virilio), 132 landscapification, 77 Lapouge, G., 6, 7

Laruelle, F., xxxi; Struggle and Utopia at the End Times of Philosophy, 42 The Last Samurai (Zwick), 8–9 late capitalism, 86, 153, 221, 236 Lawrence, D. H., 61, 93 Lazzarato, M., 159; Life of Particles, 74; “The Machine,” 136 Le Capitalisme Mondial Intégré, 194–96 Le Futurisme de l’instant (Virilio), 131 Le Monde, 135 Le plaisir de peindre (Masson), 117 Le Rebelle du surréalisme (Masson), 117–18 Les Philosophes (Tinguely), 277 Levinas, E., 25 Lévy, P., 21, 330; L’ideographie dynamique, 241 liberal democracy, 3, 16, 17 Libidinal Economy (Lyotard), 57, 87, 213, 226 L’ideographie dynamique (Levy), 241 Liezi, 320, 321, 333; cosmological force, 323–25; death, 326–27; desire, 323–25; human nature, 323–25; love, 326–27 Life of Particles (Lazzarato and Melitopoulos), 74 Lingis, A., 25, 102, 115; Abuses, 108; insurrectionary exoticism of, 217; Violence and Splendor, 179 Listen, Little Man! (Reich), 220 The Logic of Sense (Deleuze), xxiv, 72 loneliness, xxvii, xxix, 21, 24, 60, 86, 188, 191, 200–203, 215, 218, 227, 255–57, 262, 263, 268, 312 The Lonesomest Man, 214–15 Lorraine, T., 286 Lotringer, S., 236 A Love of UIQ (Guattari), 319, 329–34 Lyotard, J.-F., 84–85, 150, 201; Libidinal Economy, 57, 87, 213, 226 “The Machine” (Lazzarato), 136 machine without organs (MwO), 319, 320, 326, 327, 329, 333


machinic animism, 143, 144, 154, 164, 197–202 “Machinic Desire” (Land), 329 machinic enslavement, 84, 136, 143, 159, 189 Machinic Eros: Writings on Japan (Genosko), 23 machinic ontology, 136 machinic phylum, 40, 87, 90, 100, 103, 104, 125, 288, 289 machinic unconscious, xxiii, xxxiii, 82, 83, 231, 328–30, 333 The Machinic Unconscious (Guattari), 228 Magazine Littéraire, 66 Mahāyāna Buddhism, 299, 301, 311 Makavejev, D.: W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism, 213–14 “Making It With Death: Remarks on Thanatos and Desiring-Production” (Land), 299 Malabou, C., 255, 256, 266, 267, 270 Manhattan Out (Depardon and Virilio), 133 Mao Tse-tung, 148 mare incognitum (unknown sea), 75 Marx, K., xxx, 16, 51, 286; A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 35; Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, 111; Grundrisse, 129; The Paris Manuscripts, 230 Masachi, O.: The End of the Fictional Age, 13 Masaya, C., 24–25, 27; Ugokisugite wa ikenai: Jiru Duruzu to seiseihenka no tetsugaku (Don’t Move Too Much: Gilles Deleuze and the Philosophy of Becoming), 24 Masochism (Deleuze and SacherMasoch), 295 massacre of the body, end of, 331–32 mass mediatized subjectification, 186, 257


Masson, A., 113; Le plaisir de peindre, 117; Le Rebelle du surréalisme, 117– 18; Une peinture de l’essentiel, 117 The Mass Psychology of Fascism (Reich), 207 Massumi, B., 39, 265 Master Yan Creates a Man (Enzheng), 323 materialism, xxviii; dialectical, 35, 36, 44 materialist philosophy, 36, 55, 153 McLuhan, M., 197, 269; The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man, 103 McQueen, S.: Shame, 123 media ecological enslavement, 151, 201 media ecology, 21, 27, 144, 149, 151, 156, 163, 189, 190, 196, 197, 201, 270 mediatic affects, 265 mediatic eco-noology, 259 medical instrument, metaphor of, 37, 38 Meillassoux, Q., 148 Melitopoulos, A.: Life of Particles, 74 Memories and Studies (James), 101–2 Menil, D. de, 281 mental ecology, xxx, 40, 89, 91, 144, 145, 147, 249, 259, 269, 271, 277 mental exhaustion, 269 mental sanity, 90 Merleau-Ponty, M., 25, 148; Praktognosia, 106 metamodelization, xxi, xxix, xxx, xxxiii, 105, 156, 287, 296 Metzinger, T., 266 Mexico, 24 Miller, H., 126–27; Tropic of Cancer, 114 Min’an, W., 308 miniaturization, 123, 129, 136, 190, 194, 196, 239, 240 Miyadai, S., 195 Miyazawa, K., 25 mobile desire, 144 mobile phone, 124



modernity/modernization, 3, 12, 13; hypermodernity, 4; postmodernity, 11, 14, 56–57; scientific, 10; technological, 10 Modern Times, 82 Molecular Revolution in Brazil (Guattari and Rolnik), 118, 133 Molecular Revolutions (Guattari), 215, 287 monism, 38 Morita, A., 124 Morley, D., 9 Morton, T., 231, 237 mots de désordre, 175–78 Moving Sculpture: Jean Tinguely (Teshigahara), 292 multiculturalist tolerance, 138 Mumford, L., xxxiii, 280 Munch, E.: Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature), xxxi, 60 mundus imaginalis, 58–59 Murakami, H., 211, 263; 1Q84, 72, 271; Kafka on the Shore, 72; The Sputnik Sweetheart, 256 Murakami, R., 257, 259–63; Exodus to the Land of Hope, 261; “Japan’s Lost Generation,” 135; Symbiotic Worm, 218–19, 256, 259–61 Murakami, T., 13, 15 The Murder of Chris (Reich), 211 Muwang, Z., 320 MwO. See machine without organs (MwO) “My Thoughts on the Future of Temple Life” (Kongo no jiin seikatsu ni taisuru shikō) (Ango), 300 My View of Japanese Culture (“Nihon Bunka Shikan”) (Ango), 310 Nancy, J.-L., 77, 200 Napoleon, 5, 6 Napoleonic Code, 6 narcissism, 12, 13, 145, 151, 163, 201, 212, 217, 219, 284, 305 narrative consumption model, 14

Native Land: Stop Eject (Depardon), 130 “The Nature of Flows” (Deleuze), 322 Nazism, 212 NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training), 88, 126, 140, 256 Negarestani, R.: Cyclonopedia, 74 Negative Dialectics. (Adorno), 39 negative horizon, philosophy of, 245–48 negentropy, 235, 246, 247, 250 Negotiations (Deleuze), 45 Negri, A., 36, 37, 47; New Lines of Alliance, Spaces of Liberty, 89 neuroleptize subjectivity, 136 New Lines of Alliance, Spaces of Liberty (Guattari and Negri), 89 New York, 139 Niethammer, L., 3, 6 Nietzsche, F. W., 6, 21, 25, 32, 278, 279, 281, 295, 300, 307–9; Antieducation: On the Future of Our Educational Institutions, 247; The Gay Science, 281; on hope, 34; Human, All Too Human I, 33; overman, 1; Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 214, 308; The Will to Power, 308 Nietzsche and Philosophy (Deleuze), xxxii, 34 nihilism, 73, 107, 220, 228, 229, 256, 307–9, 312, 314, 326 nikutai, 301, 303, 309, 311, 314 Nippon Hikikomori Kyoukai, 263 Noh play, 5 nonhuman machinic love, 319–34 nonhuman subjectivities, 149 noopolitics, 270 nuclear capitalism, 26, 68, 73, 76, 78 object-oriented ontology (OOO), 148, 238 objet petit-a, 201 oceanic feeling, 305–6 Oe, K.: Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness, 126 oeuvre, 27, 148, 151, 208, 313


Okada, T., 12; Oriental culture, 11 On Decadence (Ango), 301–3, 310 Ong, W. J.: Orality and Literacy, 110 “On Machines” (Guattari), 103 “On Philosophy” (Deleuze), 174 “On Several Regimes of Signs,” 287 On the Line (Deleuze and Guattari), 48 On The Way to Language (Heidegger), 101 ontology, 117, 152, 154, 243, 319; of bakemono, 155; of the common, 47; of the interworld, 58; machinic, 136; object-oriented, 148, 238; planetary, 146; of Pokémon Go, 156; of withdrawal, 161, 215 OOO. See object-oriented ontology (OOO) Orality and Literacy (Ong), 110 “Ordinary Refugees: Social Precarity and Soul in 21st Century Japan” (Allison), 124 organology, 57–58 organs without machine (OwM), 327 organs without the body (OwB), 328 Osaka International Expo (1970), 11 otaku, 83, 135, 139; Azuma’s theory of, 10–15, 17; becoming-overman, 3–18; pseudo-Japan and, 12; thirdgeneration, 11 Otsuka, E., 14 Overbeck, F., 32 OwB. See organs without the body (OwB) OwM. See organs without machine (OwM) oyabun-kobun relations, 4 Pachinko, 135; functors of, 89–90; industry, 171; machine, 91; noise, 81–86; pataphysico-ontological account of, 87; on phone, schizoanalysis of, 87–89 Pacific War, 314 Pain, J., xxx, 208, 290, 296 pandemic, 229–31


Panglossian machinic potential, 215–16 panic, 137, 195, 232, 239, 258, 264, 266, 302 Parasites, 259–64 parasitic tapeworm, 210–14 The Paris Manuscripts (Marx), 230 Park, J., 113 Parmenides (Heidegger), xxviii Parmenides lectures (Heidegger), 105–6 Parnet, C., 112 passive democracy (omakase minshushugi), 26 pataphysics, 87 Peeping Toms, 187–90 Pelbart, P. P., 48, 149 Perry, C., 8 “A Personal View of Culture” (Ango), 299 perspectivism, 32, 152; reverse, 248, 307; scalar, 235 Peru, 23 Peters, M., 147 Petit, P., 249 pharmakon, 271 phenomenology, 34 Phenomenology of Spirit (Hegel), xxviii philosophical materialism, 146 philosophy: as conceptual “tool box,” 34–35; of history, 55–56; as revolutionary weapon, 37 Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists & Other Essays (Althusser), 36 philosophy-as-dialectics, 35 Philosophy of History (Hegel), 5 Philosophy of Right (Hegel), 56–57 photosensitive inertia, 133 phylum, 105, 194; machinic, 40, 87, 90, 100, 103, 104, 125, 288, 289; technological, 329 Planetary Atmospheres and Urban Society After Fukushima (Thouny), 27 planetary capitalism, xxvii, xxviii, 17, 131



plasticity, 159, 160, 207, 266 plasticity of collective subjectivity (plasticité de la subjectivité collective), 159 Playboy Magazine, 269 Pokémon Go, schizoanalysis of, 143–64, 192; a-signifying semiotics, 156; complicity in production of signs, 147–48; counter-mobilization, possibility of, 151; Deleuzian research, 154–55; “diabolical intelligence” (l’intelligence diabolique), 159–60; fourth ecology, possibilities of, 150–51; FTФU, 157– 59; grammar of existence, 155–56; integral ecology, 146–47; mental ecology, 145; molecular possibilities in youth culture, 163–64; objects in a-signifying semiotic systems, 157; scale of existence, 152–54; social isolation, psychopathological syndrome of, 161–63; Umwelt, 152; virtual ecology, 149–50 Poland, 24 Polar Inertia (Virilio), 131 Pope Francis: Encyclical Letter ‘Laudato Si’: On the Care of Our Common Home, 146 The Possibility of Hope (Cuarón), 257–58 The Possibility of Hope (Žižek), 76 posthistoire, 13 postmedia, 103, 105, 156, 161, 164, 196, 225, 228, 238, 240, 244, 246, 248, 271 postmodernism, 10, 12, 13 postmodernity, 11, 14, 56–57 poststructuralism, 37, 51, 56 post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 232 Powers of Ten (Eames and Eames), 240 Praktognosia (Merleau-Ponty), 106 “Pratiques écosophiques et restauration de la cité subjective” (in Ecosophic Practices and Restoration of the Subjective City) (Guattari), 332–33

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Precarious Rhapsody (Berardi), 268 Present Tense (Radiohead), 48 primordial worm, 210 proletarianization, 85 protohistory, 16 protoman, 16 proto-subjectification, 152 proto-subjectivities, 149 pseudo-Japan, 12 psychical illness, 151, 194 psychoanalysis, xxiii, xxiv, 27, 40, 126, 207, 209, 225, 280, 305, 312 Psychoanalysis and Transversality (Guattari), 197 psychosis, 74, 283, 330 psycho-sphere, 86, 194 PTSD. See post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Pure Immanence (Deleuze and Boyman), 229 Qu’est-ce que la philosophie? (What Is Philosophy?) (Deleuze and Guattari), 43 quiet viewing, 108–11 radioactive world, 24–27 Radiohead: Present Tense, 48 Radio Télévision Belge, 283 rationality, 56, 83, 280, 298, 306, 308, 310 Rear Window, 187–88 rebarbarization, 6, 13, 16 The Rediscovery of Japanese Culture (Taut), 310 “Reflexive Impotence” (Fisher), 111 “Regarding the Pain of Others” (Sontag), 241 Reich, W., 207–10, 219; The Cancer Biopathy, 213; Character Analysis, 207, 212; The Function of the Orgasm, 207; The Invasion of Compulsory Sex-Morality, 207; joyous, 208–10; Listen, Little Man!, 220; The Mass Psychology

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of Fascism, 207; The Murder of Chris, 211; remedy to the problem of desire, 217; sense of vegetative streaming, 218; theory of sexuality, 208; What Is Class Consciousness?, 207 Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone (Kant), 210 Renton, M., xxv–xxvi resingularization, 88, 89, 105, 136, 139, 152, 156, 179, 194, 197, 201, 225 ressentiment, 12, 34, 35, 44, 59, 300 reterritorialization, 65–67, 75, 77, 78, 93, 113, 136, 143, 144, 172, 190, 199–201, 315, 333 reverse perspectivism, 248, 307 rhizome, 13, 14, 23, 42, 87, 148, 149, 180, 192, 226, 227, 296 Richard, B.: The Administration of Fear, 248 Richardson, R. D.: William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism, 102 Richie, D., 90 Riss, 101–2 ritornello (ritournelle or refrain), 21, 22, 81, 82, 86, 88–91, 105, 123, 126–29, 132–36, 138, 139, 188, 194, 196, 199–201, 203, 227, 244, 258, 265, 271, 278–81, 283; capitalistic, 89; definition of, 174–75; devices, 127; of graffiti, disordering, 171–82; incorporeal, 158; territorial, 172 Robins, K., 9 robotics, 319 robot without organs, making, 327–28 Rolland, R.: The Future of an Illusion, 305–6 Rolnik, S.: Molecular Revolution in Brazil, 118, 133 Rose, G., 52, 56, 61, 257; The Broken Middle, xxxi–xxxii, 52; Dialectics of Nihilism, 51 Rose, J.: The University of Disaster, 241 Rouch, J.: cine-trance aesthetic, 199


Russia: as lands of the future, 5 Ryū, M., 21, 218, 256 Sacher-Masoch, L.: Masochism, 295 Sackur, S., xxxiii Saint Hilaire, G., 69 Saitō, T., 220, 255–56 Sakagami, Y., 260 Saldanha, A., 77 Sans, J., 242 Sant, G. V.: Elephant, 123, 198 sararīman, 81–87, 90, 91, 94 Sartre, J.-P.: Intimité, 301 Satyagraha, philosophy of, 42–44 scalar anthropocracy, 243 schizoanalysis, xxiii–xxv, xxvii–xxxi, xxxiii; of body without organs, 296; defined, xxix, xxx; of indifference, 255–71; of Pachinko on phone, 87– 89; of Pokémon Go, 143–64, 192; see also individual entries Schizoanalytic Cartographies (Guattari), 89 schizoanalytic cartography, xxiv schizoanalytic metamodeling, xxix, 291 schizophrenia, 52 schizo-refrain-analysis, 175 Schuster, A.: The Trouble with Pleasure: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis, 208 science fiction, 332–33 Scott, R.: Blade Runner, 48, 133, 329 Scruton, R.: Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left, xxxiii; Thinkers of the New Left, xxxiii Second World War, 12, 69 See, T., 21; “Deleuze and Mahāyāna Buddhism: Immanence and Original Enlightenment Thought,” 299 Seem, M., 60 self-entrepreneurship, 191–92 self-hypnotic Narcissus-narcosis numbness syndrome, 197, 269 semio-capitalist exploitation, 195


semiotization, 81, 188 Sennett, R., 138 Seoul, 86 seppuku (ritualized self-sacrifice), 14 Serres, M., 71 Shame (McQueen), 123 Shields, J. M., 299, 301 Shinto Buddhism, 22 Shintoism, 310 Shodo, 114 Shūzō, K., 8, 25 simulation, 8, 9, 87, 198 Singapore, 136 singularization, xxix, 173, 180, 198, 291, 333; resingularization, 88, 89, 105, 136, 139, 152, 156, 179, 194, 197, 201, 225 “Six Notes on the Percept (On the Relation Between the Critical and The Clinical)” (Zourabichvili), 296 Slaymaker, D., 301 snobbery, 4, 6–8, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17 snobbism, 3–5, 17 sobriety, 99, 111–14, 118 social control pachinko, 22 social ecology, xxx, xxxiii, 23, 40, 144–47, 150 social isolation, psychopathological syndrome of, 161–63 social recluse/social withdrawal (hikikomori), xxvii, 14, 15, 42, 83, 86, 124, 126, 130, 135, 139, 145, 161–62, 207, 211–16, 218, 220–21, 255–56, 264, 270; BwO of, 225–32; isolated, 226–29 social withdrawal, 15 soft power, 22, 163 “Solitary Crowding” exhibition (2004– 2009), 139 Sommer, A., 307 Sono, S., 256; The Land of Hope, 76; Suicide Club, 123, 258 Sontag, S.: “Regarding the Pain of Others,” 241 South Africa, 23


South America, 23 South Korea, 268 spasmogenic rhythm, 173 Special Attack Forces (Tokubetsukougekitai), 303 Speed and Information: Cyberspace Alarm! (Virilio), 129–30 Spinoza, B. D., 25, 32, 37, 68, 208, 281, 300; affect as thought, 31; affirmation of life, 43; The Ethics, 38, 41, 45, 265–67; on hope, 33; as infinite becoming-philosopher, 43; “Letter to Schaller,” 67; Nature, philosophy of, 66; scalpel, 45–47; Tractatus Politicus, 44 Spinozism, 31, 34, 36–38, 43, 67 Spinozist weapons, “schizophrenic taste” for, 31–48; circumstances, 40; dialectical dualisms, 38; Gandhi’s philosophy of Satyagraha, 42; against hatred, 43–45; hope, 33–34; monism, 38; Spinoza’s scalpel, 45–47; thought as weapon, 39–40; thunderstruck Pharaohs, 40–41; tool box, 34–38 spiritual ecology, 146 The Sputnik Sweetheart (Murakami), 256 Stalin, J., 6 Steen, R. A., 303 Steinberg, M., 11 Stengers, I., 149 Stiegler, B., xxxi, 21, 57, 89, 135, 140, 147, 216, 246, 250, 255, 256, 262, 270; on dis-individualization, 261; industrial ecology of the spirit, 264; negentropy, 235; For a New Critique of Political Economy, 210–11; Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected Individuals, 129 strata, 69–71, 93, 126, 134, 201, 256, 307, 330; institutional, 112 Struggle and Utopia at the End Times of Philosophy (Laruelle), 42 Stuker, T., 128–29


Su, H., 113 subjectification, 84, 93, 102–4, 125, 156, 201, 264; collective, 159; dissident vectors of, 244; mass mediatized, 186, 257; mutual nuclei of, 185; proto-subjectification, 152 subjectivation, xxix, 87, 134, 145, 158, 203, 240, 241, 246, 247, 279 subjectivity, Zerrissenheit of, xxix, 99–120, 125; calligraphy, 114–18; “infantalizing” subjectivity, 103–5; quiet viewing, 108–11; Riss, 101–2; sobriety, 111–14; tearing, 100–101; terrible curettage, 102–3; typewriter, 105–8; vignette, 99–100 Sublime Object of Ideology (Žižek), 14 suicidal-societal-Tinguely machine, 81–94 suicide, xxviii, 7, 21, 86, 88, 123, 124, 128, 134–37, 140, 16