Brian Brotarlo on 30 Mar 2001 16:38:49 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> [}])([

Enough of this idiocy. Just go and read Hume and Locke.

----- Original Message -----
From: Alan Sondheim <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2001 1:00 AM
Subject: <nettime> [}])([

> -
> ([{}]) (blurring the distinctions)
> "Difference, being of the nature of relationship, is not located in time
> or in space. We say that the white spot is 'there,' 'in the middle of the
> blackboard,' but the difference between the spot and the blackboard is not
> 'there.' It is not in the spot; it is not in the blackboard; it is not in
> the space between the board and the chalk. I could perhaps lift the chalk
> off the board and send it to Australia, but the difference would not be
> destroyed or even shifted because difference does not have location.
> "When I wipe the blackboard, where does the difference go? In one sense,
> the difference is randomized and irreversibly gone, as 'I' shall be gone
> when I die. In another sense, the difference will endure as an idea - as
> part of my _karma_ - as long as this book is read, perhaps as long as the
> ideas in this book go on to form other ideas, reincorporated into other
> minds. But this enduring karmic information will be information about an
> imaginary spot on an imaginary blackboard." (Gregory Bateson, Gregory
> Bateson's Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity.)
> Perhaps it is in the nature of this particular difference to lie within
> the imaginary, within an intentionality that fulfills a demarcative struc-
> ture or domain: like all difference, it opens to continuous potential, to
> worlds of fantasy, projection, introjection. Let us not stop with Austral-
> ia; let us include, Japan, Mars, the depths of the ocean, the interiority
> of the quark, the swimmerets of Jean-Paul the crayfish. I would argue that
> meaning comes first, difference later - or that both are inextricable. As
> difference slips from tally-board to concept, entity slips from red-dust
> and sinter to constitutionality.
> Let us think further of difference as carried, much as numbers are carr-
> ied in addition or subtraction: leaping among columns. Then distance so
> easily slides from this _particular_ difference to all difference, all
> within the imaginary, that is, all constituted by the nub or slightest
> anomaly detected or created by organisms immersed in always already sym-
> bolic flow. Here is translation into information, 0 -> 1 or 1 -> 0, or in
> a scheme which I worked out years ago, (0-1)0-(1-0)1, a hierarchy of
> transforms. If difference is a consideration of temporality, it breaks
> from strict logic, although memory may be carried as well, and there are
> temporal logics. And what difference isn't, in the process of becoming-
> difference? One moves uneasily among logical/hierarchical schema and im-
> mersive counterparts - among substances and organisms sloughing into and
> throughout ones and others.
> A difference is that which makes a difference; what makes a difference,
> makes it to one or another organism; what is the property of reading, but
> the acknowledgment and presentification of difference. All else is the
> non-purity of the mirror, the no-mirror and no-mind; difference itself
> defers; deconstruction clutters (clatters). Not in Australia, this book,
> hard to come by, exists in pristine condition; I would put out a call for
> the author.
> And imagine, for example, the mark on the board as a zero, encircling Jor-
> dan curve, slightly raised from the surface, characterized as dust in the
> first and last place, the board a slate, archaic: I imagine sea anenomes
> or even stromatolites - why not - leaving their traces. Is a difference a
> distinction without an observer? Years ago I wrote about landscapes, to
> imagine one without a viewpoint, perspective - an absolute landscape, not
> with infinite holographic positionings, but none at all: most of the uni-
> verse surely is without a witness.
> What happens to difference then? Surely, without a witness...
> Back here - around the corner, down the street - What goes on in locked
> cells? For whom? What inscriptions? (Does difference need maintenance, a
> database? The phenomenology of the witness requires a degree of stability,
> quietude, modes of dissemination.)
> ___
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