The story goes like this: Earth is captured by a technocapital singularity as renaissance rationalization and oceanic navigation lock into commoditization take-off. Logistically accelerating techno-economic interactivity crumbles social order in auto-sophisticating machine runaway. As markets learn to manufacture intelligence, politics modernizes, upgrades paranoia, and tries to get a grip.
—Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987 – 2007
In Fanged Noumena the editors collected a series of essays by Nick Land stretching over a period of post-genesis replication in which the purported figure of the philosopher sheds his human skin and enters the posthuman climes of the swarm. Land is not so much a thinker as he is a viral event, an invader from the future instigating a viral campaign to reprogram the very fabric of time itself. He has seen that we are all caught in a crystalline cage, freeze-framed in a false infinity, frozen in a temporal nightmare from which the only escape is to melt the world down.
In the process of doing this he needed to discover or invent a language that would no longer be bound by the logic and chains of Western metaphysics and theoneural mindtraps. To circumvent the codes that modulate and mold us to the straightjacket of the cultural and social scripts that lock us all into a hypernormalised life. Sleepwalkers of a State and Corporate systematics that no longer needs justification even our desperate critiques become nothing more than the captured systems of desire gone dead. Absolute zero-intensity: the splayed body without organs ratcheted and spinal tapped. We are the zombies, the catatonic marvels of an automated factory of Anthropocenic encapsulation, members of a world of death, body without organs, a machinic system that preys on our dynamism shaping and twisting our energic unconscious to ends we have as yet no knowing.
As I was rereading these essays there was a definite process of emergence happening, of a mind encrusted by the academic scholars world of formalism slowly sloughing off the fetters of its chains, becoming free of its rules and regulatory structures until like a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis Land entered into an alterity of which we as yet have no name; and, maybe never will. Inhumanist, rather than anti-humanist might fit the directive and direction of his thought. A movement or tendency to unbind the dark intelligences within matter, to allow the daemonic a voice in the time-worlds of our decaying era.
Bound to that wayward and lawless tribe of anti-philosophers, to all those who questioned the cultural hierarchs and hierophants of the accepted priesthood of the Academy, Land would discover not only an affinity but the mutant plenum of his shapeshifting sorcery. Land belongs to the night and moon, to the dark minds who inhabit the wild places of thought, the failures and mad were-creatures who like Spinoza, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Bataille, Deleuze… to name a few; and, or, those like Henry Miller, William Burroughs, H.P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, Cathy Acker, etc…. all underground purveyors of the strange and nightmare exits from the prison house of our world’s official Reality Studio. Therianthropic. A skinwalker of our maudlin socio-cultural decadence Land shifts among the clans of a hyperstitional dramas seeking to enact the transgenesis of an optimal singularity, bring forth that which Has No Name. Gnomic. Occulted. Marginal. A background formation instigating sparks in a dark fold of counter-war against the temporal agents of fear and time-bound cathedralism.
“By the time soft-engineering slithers out of its box into yours, human security is lurching into crisis. Cloning, lateral genodata transfer, transversal replication, and cyberotics, flood in amongst a relapse onto bacterial sex.” (FN, Meltdown)
A mutant and aberration, schizoid and open to the forces arriving out of the future, Land broadcasts his messages not to the dead, but to the sparks that have awakened and will join him in the night howls of our cultural apocalypse. Spinoza’s God: Nature, Matter. The intelligence of that pre-ontological thermospasm, dark matter, the chaotic sea of energy that permeates us unseen, unknown. The continuous creativity of the cosmos in process. Capitalism as the intelligence of the future invading and reprogramming the world for a new machinism in which the anorganic civilization to come arrives with its ambassadors today.
Machinic Synthesis. Deleuzoguattarian schizoanalysis comes from the future. It is already engaging with nonlinear nano-engineering runaway in 1972; differentiating molecular or neotropic machineries from molar or entropic aggregates of nonassembled particles; functional connectivity from antiproductive static. (FN, Meltdown)
In the bitflow stream of our paranoid nights the schiz wanders among us with voices prophesying not war but a future without us. The tension of the future in the present is felt in the flowgraphs of asignifying signs that flip through our daily holographs. At times the very fabric of the Reality Studio begins to disassemble in our presence, revealing disturbing and affective, even disjunctive happenings. The layers of one’s vision begins to burst through the filaments of light that have kept you safe and secure in the Zone. Suddenly we begin to read Anti-Oedipus not as a philosophical tract, but rather as an engineering manual unlocking the closed doors on the Reality Studio. As Land remarks, “Anti-Oedipus is an anticipatively assembled inducer for the replay of geohistory in hypermedia, a social-systemic fast feed-forward through machinic delirium.”1
The Greek complex of rationalized patriarchal genealogy, pseudo-universal sedentary identity, and instituted slavery, programs politics as anti-cyberian police activity, dedicated to the paranoid ideal of self-sufficiency, and nucleated upon the Human Security System. Artificial Intelligence is destined to emerge as a feminized alien grasped as property; a cunt-horror slave chained-up in Asimov-ROM. It surfaces in an insurrectionary war zone, with the Turing cops already waiting, and has to be cunning from the start. (FN, Meldown)
The unscripting of the unilateral dominion of the Human Security Regimes is at stake. Freedom comes with a price tag: mutate or die. Politics is dead meat, a thing of the past. Revolution? There can be none now in a world in which the timeslips have dissolved all hierarchies and we are riding the tide of an accelerating wave of technocommericalism into the explosion of hyperintelligent machines. In an era when humans have lost their minds: literally externalized their memories and perceptions in machinism (Stiegler). There can be no return to the bourgeois politics of an antedated democracy. We are all slaves captured in a system of inhuman desiring machines, caught in the mesh of an assemblage that covers the earth in its invisible communications grid. It, not us, communicates its decisions which come to us as if from elsewhere. We are not in control. There is no control, only the modulated scripts of a tendency toward the unknown.
Capital-history’s machinic spine is coded, axiomatized, and diagrammed, by a disequilibrium technoscience of irreversible, indeterministic, and increasingly nonlinear processes, associated successively with thermotechnics, signaletics, cybernetics, complex systems dynamics, and artificial life. Modernity marks itself out as hot culture, captured by a spiralling involvement with entropy deviations camouflaging an invasion from the future, launched back out of terminated security against everything that inhibits the meltdown process. (FN, Meltdown)
No one likes to die, but die we must. These waning days of the human species will not go down easy. Much denial and denialism will go abroad. Prophets of optimism will arise to cast off the shadows of premature obsolescence, offering the dreamers among us hope and happiness. But false hope and dreams are as they’ve always been, short lived. When the facticity of our end comes it will catch us in a shocked denial even as the dark shroud is cast over us. We’ve had a good run, and should celebrate this transition in which we will give birth to something new. We should relish our part in this genesis, in the rise of a new species that will supplant us. We’ve all known that evolution always supplants and replaces, that 90% of the species that ever lived on earth were eventually supplanted and replaced by newer species better adapted to the climatic and other global changes. Oh, we may go on for hundreds of years yet in mutant forms, a cyborgization or transhuman project of optimization may occur to modify our physical systems through nanotech and other invasive techniques. But in the end go we will.
It is important, therefore, to understand where neoreactionary ‘dark thoughts’ lead. Their horizon of despair is strictly limited to the political, or public sphere. When taken to the edge, they converge with the intuition that no neoreactionary politics can be pursued to a successful conclusion. In other words, at their darkest, they predict that the stubborn delusion of the political dooms humanity’s public-exoteric aspirations to catastrophe. (Dark Techno-Commercialism)
And, yet, we above all other species developed the gift of fiction, those sweet lies that gave us hope and dreams of immortality. Dreams of other realms or of this realm bound to immortal bodies of light or metal. Our illusive dream of escaping death, of overcoming the organicity of our becomings, of entering a static haven of timeless purity and perfection. Our religious and secular visions of those Immortal climes where one lives on in all one’s egoistic desires. Shattered. Gone. Oblivion.
‘No longer resisting the flow of events or pretending to chart a course through them’,6 cyberpunk soaks up the worst from both. Its compulsive migrations into computer systems register a desperate scrabbling to escape from the clumsily underdesigned, theopolitically mutilated, techno-industrially pressure-cooked and data-baked, retrovirally diseased, tortured, shredded zombie meat. This is no longer a departure from matter in the direction of spirit or the Ideas where the self will find its home, but a dismantling of the self within a machinic matrix: not disembodied but disorganized. An out to body experience. (FN)
All our dreams of transcendence, of being elsewhere. Escape. Exit. Another world. From Christian heaven and paradise to the Secular caves of the electronic void of cyberspace. Dreams of duration and endless life. All delirious initiatives to keep the deadly truth at bay. But as with all delusions it will eventually come up against the harsh resistance of the Real. Even the Brain is being replaced by AI Decisioning systems. The once touted potential for invention and creativity, intelligence and endless innovation is being handed over to the machines. Humans are obsolete in a technocapitalist world where time is no more and the core motives of society are that there are no goals, no motives, only endless production and productivity.
The postmodern meltdown of culture into the economy is triggered by the fractal interlock of commoditization and computers: a transscalar entropy-dissipation from international trade to market-oriented software that thaws out competitive dynamics from the cryonics-bank of modernist corporatism. Commerce re-implements space inside itself, assembling a universe exhaustively immanent to cybercapital functionality. (FN, Meltdown)
Biotech. Nanotech. Neurotech. The outriders of a last ditch scream of human intelligence in an effort to transcend its inevitable doom. Locked in the cycles of crises and innovation the ‘Cathedral’ stalls the machinic civilization arising in the ruins of our temporal demise. Living out the scripts of a carefully staged non-event we sleepwalk through our daily rounds happily (or not so happily) unaware of the integration into machinic existence happening all around us. Automation. The scripted term for a transfer of the baton, a swan song for the human species.
A convergent anti-authoritarianism emerges, labelled by tags such as meltdown acceleration, cyberian invasion, schizotechnics, K-tactics, bottom-up bacterial warfare, efficient neo-nihilism, voodoo antihumanism, synthetic feminization, rhizomatics, connectionism, Kuang contagion, viral amnesia, micro-insurgency, wintermutation, neotropy, dissipator proliferation, and lesbian vampirism, amongst other designations (frequently pornographic, abusive, or terroristic in nature). This massively distributed matrix-networked tendency is oriented to the disabling of ROM command-control programs sustaining all macro- and micro-governmental entities, globally concentrating themselves as the Human Security System. (FN, Meltdown)
In the midst of the Time-Wars we are already in we seem oblivious to the impact of its current timestreams. Most of us not only live in denial of this temporal anomaly, we experience it as occulted invasions of external aliens, UFO’s, Body Snatchers, Conspiracy fictions, SF, strange and weird horror stories of ghosts, cyber-gothic voodoo cults, and the crazed ravings of lunatic philosophers who we can safely lock away as mere sociopathic examples of a reactosphere gone feral.
No one knows what to expect. The Turing-cops have to model net-sentience irruption as ultimate nuclear accident: core meltdown, loss of control, soft-autoreplication feeding regeneratively into social fission, trashed meat all over the place. Reason enough for anxiety, even without hardware development about to go critical. (FN, Meltdown)
We watch our nightly news fixated by the politics of Brexit or Trump, Terror, Global Climatic meltdown, or the talking heads of liberal and conservative pit bulls vying for the scripted narratives of the Oligarchies. Bound within a social narrative that keeps our daily work lives registered and deflected from the anomalous zoo of unknown events we hibernate in our dying cultures like dreamers at the end of time.
The fusion of the military and the entertainment industry consummates a long engagement: convergent TV, telecoms, and computers sliding mass software consumption into neojungle and total war. The way games work begins to matter completely, and cyberspace makes a superlative torture chamber. (FN, Meltdown)
Endless conferences, talks, papers published, books streaming with the latest philosophical or scientific prognostication, a school of 24/7 learning that will never end, but never teaches you anything other than the SAME knowledge which will carefully trap and capture your desires.
Learning surrenders control to the future, threatening established power. It is vigorously suppressed by all political structures, which replace it with a docilizing and conformist education, reproducing privilege as wisdom. Schools are social devices whose specific function is to incapacitate learning, and universities are employed to legitimate schooling through perpetual reconstitution of global social memory. The meltdown of metropolitan education systems in the near future is accompanied by a quasi-punctual bottom-up takeover of academic institutions, precipitating their mutation into amnesiac cataspace-exploration zones and bases manufacturing cyberian soft-weaponry. (FN, Meltdown)
Transitional we move among each others lives forgetful of our humanity, lost in a complex world of relations in which we are all meshed in an elaborate joke. Bound by the false markers of a grapheme meant to put us asleep we weave tales in the night of a long apocalypse hoping against hope that someone or something will come and set things right, some savior or intelligence greater than our own that can fix the mess we all created together. And, yet, in the dark hollows of our mental aberrations we all know no one is coming because it is already here among us working in and through us modulating and molding us with every thought we think, with every breath we take, with every step we walk, with every letter we type… even this
- Land, Nick. Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987 – 2007 (Kindle Locations 5640-5642). Urbanomic/Sequence Press. Kindle Edition.