Thursday, November 6, 2014

"Crash and Burn: Debating Accelerationism" (Alex Galloway and Ben Noys interview at 3:AM Magazine)

Link HERE.  I think what's interesting, for me at least, is how at one point in the interview it is suggested that there is a sort of "Existentialist Revival" going on.  But unlike classical existentialism the subject is either annihilated, or it is "evacuated" into an undetermined space of the future.

I think the "evacuation" of the subject puts it best, in the sense that with the always ongoing annihilation of the present out-moded subject a new form of subject is continually being re-created on a basis or "ground" of freedom which is the very possibility of the future.  In this it seems the classical existentialists were right.

The existential moment in Accelerationism seems to be that an existential self, a self-creating "self," is only a self in its light of its continual and future self re-creations.  This is a process of creativity that creates at perpetual telescoping speed until a base line of flight (infinite speed) is achieved.  Here the immanent presence of self-hood and the ground of freedom and creativity upon which self-hood is based would become an indistinguishable one.  At that point time would ultimately be transcended.  So this process accelerates in creativity and intelligence faster and faster, moving and being driven by a form of tension found in a vital negativity that continually uses its own out-moding (or continual "crashing and burning," continual self-revision) to leap over itself again and again in acts of self-recreation until a point of absolute singularity is achieved.

Also, in the interview there is plenty of discussion about the role of the negative - or what in the past I have referred to as "vital negativity."  Here it seems that not only Hegel and Nietzsche are lurking in the background -  Nietzsche for his, what he called "active" nihilism, endorsed over what he called "passive" nihilism - but also Schopenhauer, whose name is brought up with mention of Land, Thacker, and Brassier.

This interview has prompted me to glance at again Schelling in the context of his "proto-existentialism."  What is the role of freedom and vital negativity in Schelling's proto-existentialist work?  How does that sense of freedom relate to the sort of freedom, futurity, and vital negativity that classical existentialists endorse in their discussions of the self and its creative act of determining a future self.  What about Sartre or Jaspers, for example?  Would Schopenhauer here too have a form of proto-existentialism?  And finally, in what sense might "will," or in terms of contemporary metaphysics - agency - come to play in this?

Could we update classical existentialism in this current "revival" and call it agentialism?