The Cont®act

logos hypomnεsıs . . (in YSE#26)

Image by jef safi via Flickr

The word cont(r)act in the title means two things at the same time. The first one is counter-act and the second one is implosion. When these two meanings intersect we get a contact without a contract. In this new form of contact the parties involved agree on the necessity of the absence of a contractual relationship in their contact. For the two meanings of the cont(r)act, counter-act and implosion, to function interactively in the way of sustaining the conditions of possibility for the emergence of a contact without a contract between the self and the other, an affirmative attitude is required. When and if the cont(r)act becomes affirmative, the counter-act and the implosion of the pre-dominant projectionintrojection mechanism, which we can also refer to as the pre-dominant context based on negation and transcendence, intervenes in the situation and interrupts the order of things. Cont(r)action opens a hole in the internal structure of the projection-introjection mechanism and initiates change in the way of opening up new paths towards new modes of being, thinking, and creation.

It is important to note here that every projection-introjection mechanism belongs to the world of unconscious drives. Opening a hole in the world of unconscious drives makes the good objects and the bad objects spiral into the void and the subject escapes oscillation between the paranoid-schizoid position and the depressive position, or between the life and death drives. This also means that the subject’s world turns from being governed by the metaphysical mode of production based on unconscious drives and into the social mode of production based on conscious desiring.

The concept of cont(r)act is the product of an interaction between deconstruction and affirmative recreation. The cont(r)act produces an outside within the pre-dominant projection-introjection mechanism, or context. Cont(r)action connects the counter forces of the inside with the unnameable forces of the outside. The inward explosion creates a turbulence within the projection-introjection mechanism causing the good objects and the bad objects to spiral into the outside within created by the counter forces of the inside and into the void constituted by the unnameable forces of the outside. We must remember that good and bad are concepts that belong not to the material world but to the metaphysical world, not to life but to the beyond of life. As we know, psychotics see everything in terms of a struggle between the forces of good and evil. If we apply this psychotic vision to the polarity of the life drive and the death drive we can understand what I actually want to mean when I make a distinction between the world of unconscious drives and the world of conscious desiring. But by doing this am I not, in a psychotic fashion, dividing the world into two; the bad world of unconscious drives and the good world of conscious desiring? Am I not, in a way, trying to transcend the state of being governed by the unconscious drives? I am indeed, for I still am within the psychotic world of metaphysics trying to create an outside, or an opening to loving without interpretation and identification. To achieve this I have to act self-reflexively, which I think is what I do when say it is necessary to pass from the state of being governed by unconscious drives to the mode of being productive of conscious desiring. This self-reflexivity and these paradoxical statements are the forms this passage takes and they lie at the decentred heart of my epoch.

To sum it up and to clarify it all I shall now say what I merely hinted at right at the beginning. The theory of cont(r)act employs deconstruction and affirmative recreation with the aim of sustaining the conditions of possibility for a fragile and yet affirmative contact not based on a contract between the self and the other, the old and the new, illness and health, the clinical and the critical, the noumenal and the phenomenal,  between that which is in-itself and that which is for-us, the object and the subject, human and non-human, between the Imaginary, the Real and the Symbolic, and even between life and death, the living and the dead.

I don’t know if it is worth mentioning that the counteract and the implosion are the two separate but contiguous and complementary positions of cont(r)action, that is, of the theoretical practice demonstrating an interaction between deconstruction and affirmative recreation. Cont(r)action is that operation which we might as well have presented in such a way as to be the agency splitting and uniting  speculative realism and post-structuralism, if not transcendental materialism and dilacetical materialism.

A tetrahedral array expresses the geometry of both expansion and contraction. A star tetrahedron is made from 8 tetrahedrons pointing out, while the cube octahedron is made from 8 tetrahedrons pointing in. 8 star tetrahedrons put together forms a 64 tetrahedron grid, the fewest number of tetrahedrons needed to form 2 octaves of perfectly balanced cube octahedron geometries nested inside each-other: the first iteration of what becomes infinite fractal octaves of vacuum geometry on all scales, octaves of vector equilibrium.

A tetrahedral array expresses the geometry of both expansion and contraction. A star tetrahedron is made from 8 tetrahedrons pointing out, while the cube octahedron is made from 8 tetrahedrons pointing in.
8 star tetrahedrons put together forms a 64 tetrahedron grid, the fewest number of tetrahedrons needed to form 2 octaves of perfectly balanced cube octahedron geometries nested inside each-other: the first iteration of what becomes infinite fractal octaves of vacuum geometry on all scales, octaves of vector equilibrium.

One thought on “The Cont®act

  1. I’ve just found this essay about the difference between dialectical materialism and transcendental materialism, entitled “Lightening Ontology: Slavoj Zizek and the Unbereable Lightness of Being Free” written by Adrian Johnston for The Symptom > http://www.lacan.com/symptom8_articles/johnston8.html

    And here is a passage from it which I think is of great relevance, and which I could see no reason why not to excise…

    “Schelling, in his Clara dialogue, speaks of the “horror of nature,” [21] claiming that, “within nature there was something nameless and frightful.” [22] He then points to the “hideous” necessity of nature’s transient nature. [23] In The Ages of the World, he maintains that intuiting the “inner life” lying beneath the “peaceful” façade of reality’s appearances is liable to provoke “terror.” [24] This Schellingian theme, which comes to the fore in his later post-idealist texts starting in 1809, is incredibly important for a metapsychologically based transcendental materialist theory of subjectivity insofar as it tacitly advances two axiomatic theses crucial for such a theory: One, the underlying ontogenetic base of the subject consists of the materiality of a certain Real, more specifically, of an internally conflicted libidinal economy at odds with itself from the very beginning (i.e., the Schellingian “vortex of drive” (Trieb) as the volatility of, so to speak, substance against itself); Two, the subject is genetically produced as a consequence of the fact that the disturbing discontent of this initial state prompts efforts at taming and domesticating this “corpo-Real,” [25] efforts that come to constitute and define the fundamental contours of subjectivity itself (as a subject-position characterized by a (pseudo-)transcendence of embodied materiality).

    For the sake of rigorous clarity and precision, it must be asked at this juncture: What is the difference between, on the one hand, dialectical materialism, and, on the other hand, what is here referred to as “transcendental materialism?” Invoking Badiou is again useful. In a seminar from February 7th, 1977 contained in the 1982 text Théorie du sujet, Badiou presents a table succinctly portraying the basic differences between five philosophical paradigms: subjective metaphysical idealism, objective metaphysical idealism, dialectical idealism, metaphysical materialism, and dialectical materialism. [26] Two columns of the table run next to each of these five paradigmatic types: a column under the heading “thought” (pensée) and a column under the heading “being-in-itself” (être-en-soi). In the row for type one (i.e., subjective metaphysical idealism), a circle closing in upon itself is drawn under the heading “thought” and the area beneath the heading “being-in-itself” is crossed out (indicating that this philosophical type represents something along the lines of Berkeley-style solipsism). In the row for type two (i.e., objective metaphysical idealism), a circle closing in upon itself is drawn under the heading “thought,” but with an arrow connecting it to a point of reference under the heading “being-in-itself” (indicating that this philosophical type represents models involving a correspondence between the mental representations of subjective cognition and the material entities of objective reality). In the row for type three (i.e., dialectical idealism), a circle closing in upon itself starts from a point in the domain of “thought,” moves through the domain of “being-in-itself,” and returns to its initial point of departure in “thought” (this philosophical type obviously depicts an orthodox, textbook conception of Hegelianism). In the row for type four (i.e., metaphysical materialism), the area beneath the heading “thought” is crossed out and there is only a relation between points under the heading “being-in-itself” (indicating that this philosophical type represents varieties of severely reductive eliminative materialism in which the existence of everything associated with subjectivity is either denied outright or dismissed as merely epiphenomenal). Finally, there is the fifth type of philosophical paradigm depicted in Badiou’s table, namely, dialectical materialism-its visual schema is one in which a spiral starting from a point in “being-in-itself” loops back-and-forth between “being-in-itself” and “thought.” That is to say (borrowing language from classical German idealism), the core dynamic of dialectical materialism is one in which the ground of the immanent material Real gives rise to the existence of the transcendent more-than-material Ideal (in Lacanian terms, Imaginary-Symbolic reality), with the transcendent more-than-material Ideal then coming to exert a transformative influence altering the immanent material Real-with the thus-altered Real then proceeding to transform the Ideal which altered it, and so on indefinitely. In short, rendered in this way, dialectical materialism posits an oscillating interaction between “being-in-itself” (i.e., the asubjective Real) and “thought” (i.e., the Imaginary-Symbolic subject); through this posited interaction, it asserts that a constant, continual process of reciprocal modification links disparate orders/registers. The Imaginary-Symbolic subject of pensée and the asubjective Real of être-en-soi remain tethered to each other-subjectivity never achieves a self-relating autonomy in relation to its ontological underbelly.

    Apropos Badiou’s five types of philosophical paradigms, transcendental materialism would be a sixth possible position. In terms of his two-column table, transcendental materialism would be depicted as an arrow moving from a point of departure under the heading “being-in-itself” and crossing over into the area under the heading “thought.” But, instead of looping back into “being-in-itself” (as in dialectical materialism), this trajectory departing from the ground of the immanent material Real and entering into the space of the transcendent more-than-material Ideal doesn’t return to the domain in which is situated its point of departure. There’s no going back; this process of genesis is a one-way street (as in, for example, the ontogenetic event of language acquisition-once acquired, language cannot subsequently be un-acquired). The break induced by the more-than-material subject splitting off from its material origins is irreparable, opening up an impossible-to-close gap, a non-dialecticizable parallax split. The transcendental materialist theory of the subject is materialist insofar as it asserts that the Ideal of subjective thought arises from the Real of objective being, although it’s also simultaneously transcendental insofar as it maintains that this thus-generated Ideal subjectivity thereafter achieves independence from the ground of its material sources and thereby starts to function as a set of possibility conditions for forms of reality irreducible to explanatory discourses allied to traditional versions of materialism.

    However, before saying more, it should be admitted that, despite present appearances to the contrary, dialectical materialism and transcendental materialism aren’t diametrically opposed, mutually exclusive paradigms as regards theorizing the nature and formation of subjectivity (in his 1975 text Théorie de la contradiction, Badiou defines dialectical materialism properly conceived as a doctrine according to which, despite the acknowledged fact that the material generally occupies a dominant structuring position in the order of things, there is a negativity that can and does contradict this structuring materiality [27] – transcendental materialism affirms both that this more-than-material negativity arises from materiality as well as that this negativity, once generated, subsequently remains, at least in part, separate from and irreducible to its material base/ground). Although the very rift itself created by the rupture between the Ideal of subjective thought and the Real of objective being is incapable of being healed/sealed by any sort of reconciling Aufhebung, there are indeed facets of more-than-material subjectivity entangled in reciprocal oscillating configurations of movement with material being (as per dialectical materialism) as well as facets of subjectivity that subtract themselves from and achieve autonomy in relation to being (as per transcendental materialism).”

    Adrian Johnston
    • Lightening Ontology •
    Slavoj Zizek and the Unbereable Lightness of Being Free
    http://www.lacan.com/symptom8_articles/johnston8.html

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