flesh∞notebook∞network, part two
"Noology, which is distinct from ideology, is precisely the study of images of thought, and their historicity. In a sense, it could be said that all this has no importance, that thought has never had anything but laughable gravity. But that is all it requires: for us not to take it seriously. Because that makes it all the easier for it to think for us, and to be forever engendering new functionaries. Because the less people take thought seriously, the more they think in conformity with what the State wants. Truly, what man of the State has not dreamed of that paltry impossible thing — to be a thinker?" (Deleuze and Guattari, ATP, p.376).
they look like bullet holes . . . 3/8" ≅ 9mm
the holes are not stable "structures". there is already a form of "erosion" taking place.
my pen rapidly slips into the holes if i am going too fast and not paying close enough visual attention to my gesture. quite often i am nervous to write near them, and my available "surface area" for writing becomes significantly diminished . . . am i afraid of the signifier disappearing down their gravity wells?
fragments of paper keep falling out and sticking to my skin or my clothing. my fingers always feel these raised edges as they pass over the surface. turning pages catch on the raised edges of the hole (ruptures of skin tectonics) and must be gently pulled apart.
at other times i plunge happily into their depths . . . the reader may reconstitute the message from context at some later moment.
the deeper the holes penetrate and the more that matter-flow is pushed sideways, the more the topography of the surface is changed or altered. writing, or that simple passage around the holes, becomes far more difficult. striation is disrupted in the process for the gestural act proper, but can we also suggest that it is disrupted for the tracking of metric space itself?
Notebook as machine
There is a qualitative difference between remixing or breaking the machine that is the book proper, and doing the same for one's personal notebook. The former is often understood as the culmination of a long process involving writing, editing, typesetting and printing phases, often under the rubric of a separate "publisher" entity. The notebook, on the other hand, is usually the beginning of a process — the moment of poiesis when thought emerges from the foldings of the flesh to find expression in gesture and inscription.
This notion of writing the body has a lengthy history in feminist scholarship, as seen in such diverse writers as Hélène Cixous, Katherine Hayles and bell hooks. In their own unique ways we might suggest each decribes practices of writing intensively — that is, of capturing affective thought in as urgent a fashion as possible such that thinking and feeling are no longer easily understood as discrete concepts. One captures thought through writing while it is still felt in the body, nullifying any possible understanding of mind-body dualism in the act of recording or making memory prosthetic.
In this sense the notebook becomes a most intimate expression of what Fornssler refers to as affective cyborgism: that is, an understanding of technologies as inseparable from our bodies — indeed they are generated by them — yet more or less proximate to the fleshiness of our lived corporeality. Our notebook is qualitatively different than other books precisely because of this proximity to the body. In this differential proximity, as well as in the interface proper, lie the political and ethical moments of our always-already cyborgian beings.
But these beings should more adequately be referred to as becomings, for they are also emergent from the relations of matrixial intersubjectivity between bodies. This may be understood both in terms of material and immaterial networks and prosthetics, as well as in terms of resonant waves between organic entities. Hence, the political and ethical moments are made explicit precisely in how our technologized selves negotiate a fragile and contingent commons, tottering between repressive, militarized and integrative systems of profit and control on the one hand, and opportunities for agency, poiesis and resistance on the other.
In other words, the "same" technology may offer dramatically different conditions of possibility precisely in how its embodiment enters into movements with other bodies to create space and time. The affective cyborg, then, is not a preconstituted body as such, but rather an always emergent part-subject that becomes individuated as it enters into contingent networks of relation.
It is relation that breaks the machine of the flesh∞notebook. Our ontology is ontogenetic. Our technology is not deterministic.
* * *
"But noology is confronted by counterthoughts, which are violent in their acts and discontinuous in their appearances, and whose existence is mobile in history. These are the acts of a 'private thinker,' as opposed to the public professor: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, or even Shestov. Wherever they dwell, it is the steppe or the desert. They destroy images."