• federiconietod

Subtracting the Indexical: Depersonalization as patterning and normative excess

Updated: Jun 13

Voiding the Known

The existential pitfalls of trauma are unavoidable. And within this inevitability, trauma must be considered as a forked process of individuation that treads on a set of statistically derived [Price], yet speculative consequences to which we can highlight the following: either the firm layers of representational strata that previously structured and grounded our self-locating attitudes enter a process of decomposition, revealing a scaffolding of vertiginous precipices [i.e. modifying perspectival frameworks] that challenge given beliefs about the onset of our own cognitive wiring and the expansive yet limited feedback processes to which it is grafted on to, or we pathologically rescind in dismay to reinstate ideological constructs [1] that underpin the worst psychologistic and immunological tendencies of humanism. With this in mind, whilst we are facing the decaying morass of global catastrophe cutting across different scales of human and non-human aggregates, one of the governing consequences appears to be the inflation of the very ideological constructs that ward-off the shift of perspective from an exclusionary, western-centric enclosement [Sloterdijk] of the human subject: narcissus born anew through oblique neo-gnosticism (Godposting).

In other words, instead of deploying a risk-all-approach that adjuncts the alienating forces of trauma to which we are subjected to by carrying them to their logical limit and by filtering them through our current planetary crisis, complacent abstraction and beatific quietism swell via bureaucratic trends of thought that stand on a cosmopolitical and holistic worldview, which rather fail gloriously at patching up the rifts washed up by the repressed constraints of the negative. This situated perspective, of which one strand follows the blue-blooded canon of colonialist exclusion that insists on epistemologically weaponizing an imagined subject of analysis that is representationally infantilized as a magical other to decompress and defang a supposedly long lost ethics of a pre-civilized human or pre-civilized non-human is just, plainly put, a dehistoricized chimera when contrasted with the fact that the «right to be human» has been historically negated to the very minorities policed under the boot of both academic and non-academic hegemonies, and most importantly, of how non-humans [be it organic or inorganic sentient entities] have been subjected to long documented sceneries of debasement and cruelty. We must also consider that we, as the verminous undervoices inhabiting the «uncognizable realms» of the diaspora and the periphery, have categorically been unable to claim the status of being part of, an abstractly put, minimal framework of humanity, all while under the strain of differential severity. With this in mind, we think that it would be an obstinate mistake to imperiously mobilize the rigor mortis of a humanist cosmopolitical ethics that still reeks of the chauvinism instated by the west during a «golden» epoch which was nourished with the blood of this now abstracted other, making the wheels of enlightened humanism grind as if it were by the art of magic.

Within this practical and theoretical impassé at hand, or at least while locking-in at the regressive nature of such impassé, we must reject taking diligent cues from the outside or the other as highly abstracted subjects and rather focus on constructing an immanent critique that closely cracks the distorted lens pertaining to the enclosed situatedness of the human subject. This meaning that, if we are to summon the regenerative forces of trauma that are all too ready to displace our human subjectivity, the point of departure must not be the lecherous sub-episcopal theses that look toward ungraspable externalities like transcendent skies, dematerialized infinities or the vast fabric of god [or gods, for that matter] that only ground us back to the apparent solidity of our given mental objects as if it were a perverse experimental routing that would confirm a brain in a vat simulation [Putnam]. To flip the self-centered picturing of our surrounding architecture and our apparently definitive place within it, we must better begin by casting doubt over our set of given beliefs and corresponding mental tokens to be categorized under our de se directionality toward the world, the I think, I believe, I perceive dictum and rather highlight, as Ruth-Millikan would put it, how belittled the minimized framework of the I becomes when immediately contrasted with the set of networked constraints put at work to define the very idea of a de se dictum.

Following this, we would like to highlight that the fixity of the I, the self-name and the ideological reproduction of the I throughout the virtual mirroring of polithestic and monotheistic idolatries, crumbles with virulence under the contrasting set of relations that feed onto our own individuation by way of indexicality. On this note, we would like to highlight that the Millian observation underlying Millikan’s critique of Lewis’ and Perry’s essential indexicality and that considered through and through has the capability of underwriting self-names [Millikan], carries the repercussion of spousing not constitutive and holistic but decomposable and process laden approaches to self-situatedness within the world and the inner-workings and external-networkings that come to be associated with the act of self-naming. Put differently and while borrowing from Patricia Reed’s parallel remarks on this subject, one does not begin from homophily to circumscribe within homophily, but rather when one subjects homophily from the inside to the knifings of immanent critique it unfolds toward xenophily [Fisher, note GM i.e. we fold out from within by way of an implex]. Thus, this act of inward folding that unfolds toward alienation is just another another name for an implex i.e., a tool that feedbacks onto the potential critique of indexicality, forwarding strategies in which human subjectivity can be undermined while situated fully within the material constraints brought upon by our current historical context and cognitive capabilities.

Nevertheless, caution must be advised in that by deploying the implex as a tool we will not remain close to obsolescent theoretical images, and for that we must also consider the advantage point of cannibalistic recomposition as a theoretical labor that forces alien hybridizations out of previously existing concepts. Anthropophagic [de Andrade] strategies have long been in and out of fashion, but they will be put to use in our proposal with pressing urgency and far from the guileless academicism that museographically displays them as an excuse for common-sensical regurgitations that, as has been said earlier, draw a thick line of emplacement rather than looking at the hybrid outcomes at hand. A strict anthropophagic theoretical labor is thus necessary if we are looking to thoroughly string together and then let loose certain robust theoretical assumptions from staunch and barren grounds. The act of maximally ravaging discursive emplacements by utilizing cannibalization is a more productive pathway toward alienation or voiding of the known than colonizing the so-called externalities that end up affirming settled perspectives that loop and reproduce endogenously their virtual imprint on what is left of «critique».

Demonomania in strategic decomposition

The fragmentation of the ego as a consequence of its initial destruction [Ferenczi] is one of the alienating powers of trauma and one of the main processes underlying depersonalization as a force that must be reckoned with, at least as a strategy against the inane hyper-visibility reinforced by the affective-algorithmic platform economy that seems to presently subsume our social field. Following the trails left behind by Freud’s early psychoanalytic project under the lens of «stim-excess» [Fisher, Gothic Materialism], we are to ground the idea of a geotraumatics rethought as a complex laden cross-pollination of distinct yet related conceptions of science:as both the analysis of current socio economic formations that grind a situated human subject down to both constraining and emancipative currents of alienation [Althusser, 2005, p. 168], and the wide spectrum of contemporary scientific theories, that is, we can draw geotraumatics as a materialist theory and praxis that has within its open-endedness the unbinding of the human subject from the strategies of manipulation that intend to screen her out from a compulsive demonomania that would annihilate subjectivity [reducibility of identity as the One, I = 1] and complexify it as a form of insurrectionary trauma capable of putting human givenness into question.

Patterning, Alienation & Excess

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