Excessive Subjective Transversalities. Thought of the Day 33.0

In other words, object and subject, in their mutual difference and reciprocal trajectories, emerge and re-emerge together, from transformation. The everything that has already happened is emergence, registered after its fact in a subject-object relation. Where there was classically and in modernity an external opposition between object and subject, there is now a double distinction internal to the transformation. 1) After-the-fact: subject-object is to emergence as stoppage is to process. 2) In-fact: “objective” and “subjective” are inseparable, as matter of transformation to manner of transformation… (Brian Massumi Deleuze Guattari and Philosophy of Expression)


Massumi makes the case, after Simondon and Deleuze and Guattari, for a dynamic process of subjectivity in which subject and object are other but their relation is transformative to their terms. That relation is emergence. In Felix Guattari’s last book, Chaosmosis, he outlines the production of subjectivity as transversal. He states that subjectivity is

the ensemble of conditions which render possible the emergence of individual and/or collective instances as self-referential existential Territories, adjacent, or in a delimiting relation, to an alterity that is itself subjective.

This is the subject in excess (Simondon; Deleuze), overpowering the transcendental. The subject as constituted by all the forces that simultaneously impinge upon it; are in relation to it. Similarly, Simondon characterises this subjectivity as the transindividual, which refers to

a relation to others, which is not determined by a constituted subject position, but by pre-individuated potentials only experienced as affect (Adrian Mackenzie-Transductions_ bodies and machines at speed).

Equating this proposition to technologically enabled relations exerts a strong attraction on the experience of felt presence and interaction in distributed networks. Simondon’s principle of individuation, an ontogenetic process similar to Deleuze’s morphogenetic process, is committed to the guiding principle

of the conservation of being through becoming. This conservation is effected by means of the exchanges made between structure and process… (Simondon).

Or think of this as structure and organisation, which is autopoietic process; the virtual organisation of the affective interval. These leanings best situate ideas circulating through collectives and their multiple individuations. These approaches reflect one of Bergson’s lasting contributions to philosophical practice: his anti-dialectical methodology that debunks duality and the synthesised composite for a differentiated multiplicity that is also a unified (yet heterogeneous) continuity of duration. Multiplicities replace the transcendental concept of essences.

Unformed Bodies Without Organs (BwO) and Protevi’s Version of Autopoiesis Spreading Rhizomatically. Thought of the Day 32.0


Protevi’s interpretation of autopoietic organisation as equivalent to the virtual, unformed, unorganised BwO is in many ways radical. For many, the theory of autopoiesis is a ‘closed’ system theory in contrast to virtuality which signals the third wave cybernetics of open systems. One’s position on this issue, though distinctions are indeed ‘fuzzy’, dictate the descriptives of discourse. The preference here favours the catalysis of human-machinic interplay as it veers towards the transductive and transversal. But these terms of fluidity should remain fluid. Despite a nearly universal theoretical disavowal of the Cartesian paradigm, is it still problematic to surrender the Enlightenment’s legacy of the liberal humanist subject? To surrender the notion of identity, of self and other as individually determined? Does the plausibility of the posthuman send silent shivers down the vertebrae of the elitist homo sapien? Are realities constructed from an always already individual being or is it that, “autonomous will is merely the story consciousness tells itself to explain results that actually come about through chaotic dynamics and emergent structures”? To in any way grasp the dimension of the collective through collaborative practice, a path must be traversed through the (trans)individual. The path explored here is selective. It begins with Bergson and spreads rhizomatically.