Friday, October 19, 2012

The gravity of meshy hyperobjects

Continuing the suobstance of the OOO thread:

As to this "drawing into one" business for Bryant and Harman. They both draw this distinction, and both say that both sides of the bifurcation goes both ways. And yet my sense is that both also seem to favor the inside/substance/being as the residence of the withdrawn. Granted Bryant does note that the withdrawn is "not a givenness to a subject" but rather as "appearingness to the world" (TOO, 5). Following he admits that something of the withdrawn appears in local manifestations but not its entirety, with which I agree.

So Bryant is hinting at one point, that the withdrawn differance is not purely subjective. But the way he's setting this up it seems more like lip service, since he didn't develop this point and instead proceeds to reiterate the true but worn claim about something being held in reserve. Whereas what I'm wondering is about the medium in and through which the withdrawn operates as that medium. Or as the act of synthesis itself, explored in a previous post and briefly and inadequately addressed at the end of TOO.

I'm still struggling to articulate an incipient intuition and its not clear yet. In chapter 3.1 of TDOO Bryant makes clear that the virtual proper being of an object is not some general principle applicable to all objects, that it is specific to each individual object. And I get that from Derrida when he agrees that differance is not a foundational or general principle, that it is specific to each instance of application. Hence Derrida always deconstructed any particular metaphysical claim with specifics to that claim, and maintained that the deconstruction was singular and not detachable from that specific work.

And yet he also maintained that there is the undeconstructable. That which is pre-originary and immune from a deconstructive analysis. That which is a-metaphysical, that never enters into the field of the actual, that remains virtual to use Bryant's terms. And Bryant makes a good case for this in TOO. So I'm fishing for this undeconstructable, which is singular to each object, is not a metaphysical ground, and yet is a ground as such that connects all objects. It's a very difficult thing to grasp, to elucidate, without it slipping back into some metaphysical foundation, but a foundation nonetheless.

I must re-read theurj's fine thread "what 'is' the differance?" for fresh insight in light of OOO.

One of the intuitions I had above is that hyperobjects might be a similar way of looking at differance. Per Bryant each suobject creates its own space-time instead of being in some more general, metaphysical space-time container. And yet he also admits that there are 'brighter' objects whose gravitational space-time override to a great degree more dim suobjects. Even more so for hyperobjects, which are so large as to be non-local, whose space-time gravitation is so strong as to strongly influence if not fully determine every other suobject in its 'environment.'* Climate change was one such example.

So if differance is limited to specific instances (suobjects), and if everything is a suobject, then there is a differance for massive hyperobjects as well, even if there is no final and total (hyper)suobject. Even if  it is suobjects all the way up and down, differance is there in each one. See *.

* Recall several pages ago the discussion of endo-relations, suobjects and elements. There was a distinction between the elements of endo-relations and the other suobjects contained in a larger suobject. And the smaller suobjects were "in the environment" of the larger given that they were not elements. It is in this environment of massive hyperobjects that I'm intuiting a more generalized form of differance whose gravity is so much more influential that that of ordinary suobjects.

I commented on Bryant's blog post about class as a hyperobject earlier in the thread. Recall:

"Class as an entity in its own right comes to function as a statistical sorting entity, as its endo-structure functions as a regime of attraction functioning as a gravitational field for those persons or human bodies that find themselves within its orbit. Just as every object is a system that transforms perturbations into system-specific events, contents, or qualities according to its own endo-structure, classes treat human bodies as perturbations that it then molds and structures according to its own endo-structure."

Also recall this post and the one following, where Morton talks about the mesh. From Morton's 10/18/11 blog:

"Now I believe that there is a mesh, that it's totally interconnected (as before)--even that it's nonlocal and nontemporal in some sense. Yet the mesh floats ontologically 'in front' of the strange stranger(s), rather than subtending it/them/her. This works if we think of causation has happening in, even equivalent to, the aesthetic dimension, which is how it must work if we have withdrawn objects..."

Also see Morton's video series on the mesh, linked earlier in the thread.
And yet as Morton says, this hyper-mesh "floats ontologically 'in front' of the strange stranger(s)." It's this 'in front of' that I'm trying to articulate. And it might not subtend or subsume the smaller suobjects but its gravity is such that it really does for all practical purposes. As one broad generalization, no suobject can escape the massive gravity of differance!


  1. Bryant's post on incorporeal machines* is interesting. It's not quite what I'm getting at but is a twist on his usual fare with some similarities to my recent ruminations. A few excerpts:

    "There are two considerations that lead me to resist the move of reducing incorporeal machines to corporeal machines: Iterability and identity. Unlike corporeal machines that are singular and always exist at a particular time and place (while also having a duration), incorporeal machines have the curious feature of being iterable, while remaining identical. As an incorporeal machine, a novel, scientific theory, mathematical equation, grammatical rule, recipe, political ideology, perhaps genetic codes, etc., can exist in countless corporeal machines (books, newspapers, magazines, symphony performances, brains, computer data banks, conversations, etc.), while nonetheless remaining that incorporeal machine.

    "Incorporeal entities possess a potential eternity. Why potential rather than actual? Their eternity is only potential because, as I said, incorporeal machines can only exist with corporeal bodies. If an incorporeal being loses its corporeal body (inscription in paper, smoke, brain neurons, computer data banks, sound-waves, sand, etc.), it ceases to exist. It is lost. Consequently, the condition for the possibility of the eternal is iteration and inscription in some medium. The incorporeal must be repeated through activities of inscription in order to continue to exist."


  2. So using Swimme's universe as an example, the very physical properties inherent since its birth, like differance, are so vast and influential as to be a virtual eternity. But unlike Bryant's examples differance ain't goin' nowhere until the complete annihilation of the physical universe.

  3. Also recall that Derrida's iteration not only repeats but adds something novel with each iteration, so that each loop is singular. The not yet is added to the always already. So here we have the unique differance at the core suobstance of each suobject that is nonetheless the 'universal' differance in the hyperobject. That endo-structural gravity of the latter is inescapable and shapes all interdependent suobjects within its influence. But this is still not a metaphysical or Platonic universe of All, since it is but one of many in a pluriverse where perhaps differance is not a regnant nexus or dominant monad in other hyperobjects?

  4. For the kennilingus meanings of the terms "dominant monad" and "regnant nexus" see Excerpt D:


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