Also recall Bryant's article (linked on p. 7) using Derrida's transcendental argument of iteration. One relevant passage:
“Derrida’s thesis is thus that every 'sign' contains within it the possibility of breaking with the context in which it emerged, such that it can fall into other and different contexts.... It is only where entities are autonomous and independent substances that they can exceed and escape their context. What Derrida articulates in this passage is a variation of Aristotle’s concept of primary substances; for the very being of primary substance is to exceed and be detachable from every context.... There is no reason, therefore, to restrict this property of iterability to signs. Iterability or the ability to break with all and any context, is an essential feature of every entity such that every entity harbors a volcanic excess over every context.”
With that said, since I've returned to SpinbitZ and have started reading around in it again, as I mentioned the other day that I would, I am wondering if there is a possible relationship between the OOO discussion of substance and Prigogine's notion of 'active matter' -- the idea that matter has "infinite depth of detail" ("infinite depth, activity and modification") (p. 184).
"In the later collaboration between Deleuze and Guttari, the writings of Ilya Prigogine become increasingly important. Prigogine, whose book La nouvelle alliance appeared in 1979, argues for a self-ordering of chemical components into patterns and relationships that cannot be read off from the previous state of chemical disarray.... It is not the introduction of some sort of ordering mechanism that makes the chemical clock appear. It is an inherent capability of the chemicals themselves for self-organization that gives rise to this phenomenon. It is as though there were virtual potentialities for communication or coordination contained in the chemicals themselves, or at least in their groupings, that are actualized under conditions that move away from equilibrium."
Also see DeLanda's chapter 23 in The Speculative Turn. For example:
"The mechanism-independence of singularities implies...that they can become divergently actualized in many different material mechanisms.... The view of the material world that emerges from these considerations is...rather an active matter endowed with its own tendencies and capacities, engaged in its own divergent, open-ended evolution, animated from within by immanent patterns of being and becoming" (392).
The following from Bryant's referenced article helps me to understand his notion of the object:
"Substances are negentropic unities whose identity consists in their operations through which they produce themselves across time. As such, they evolve, change, and mutate in all sorts of ways. The terms 'substance', 'process', and 'dynamic systems' are all synonyms within the framework of my onticology."
Hence the use of Luhmann, as well as D&G who were influenced by Prigogine.
From Bryant's article referring to the mug:
"The power of the mug to produce various colors both never manifests itself and is infinitely inexhaustible—even for God –such that any color the mug 'does' is an effect of the mug’s withdrawn powers. As a consequence, the withdrawn dimension of objects, the pure past, or virtual proper being of substances must be thought as potency or the potentiality to be actualized otherwise or differently under different conditions."
My mind, wyrd as it is, associates this with the old porn movie Debbie Does Dallas. My contemporary philosophical version is now Mug Does Blue. How promiscuous!
To counter the Bo(h)rg, resistance is not only not futile but a necessary condition of autonomy. From
"The word we most commonly use for this withdrawal is 'resistance'. There is always something in the object that refuses or resists complete integration by the other object." *
He then goes into Derrida on interation of the sign (referenced above), a possible response to Balder's point on the mug as a relational sign.
* Also referenced somewhere above, see my discussion of how parts are not completely subsumed in any whole, and how nested hierarchies with their hegemonic and transcendent properties are unaware of ( or ignore or reduce via straw) this sort of critique.