The Poememenon: Form as Occult Technology | Amy Ireland

“Hyperstition is the real truth of philosophy—if not the basic, horrific form of reality itself” – Amy Ireland

The folks at Urbanomic regularly put out compelling essays that are both timely and challenging. Their latest doc share is a dynamic piece by experimental poet and theorist Amy Ireland titled “The Poememenon: Form as Occult Technology”. In it Ireland works Landian accelerationism through Yeats to suggest a “techonomic” double process of inversion and assembly that may result in radically novel realities.
Read the whole text, but below are some cut-up excerpts that offer space for provocation and intensive thought:
“Accelerationism is a cybernetic theory of modernity released from the limited sphere of the restricted economy, mobilizing cyberpositive variation as an anorganic evolutionary and time-travelling force.”
“What Landian accelerationism shares with the Judwalis’ system is an acknowledgement that the real shape of novelty is not linear but spirodynamic. Land’s cybernetic upgrade of the gyre reads the spiral as a cipher for positive feedback and, charged with the task of diagramming modernity, locates its principal motor in the escalatory M-C-M’ circuitry of capitalism.”
“A cyberpositive circuit that can sustain itself over a long period of time—a question of the capacity to self-design, ‘but only in such a way that the self is perpetuated as something redesigned’—will reach a state of feedback density that effectively flips extensity into intensity, and thus engineers a change in kind rather than degree: phase shift, or catastrophe (with -strophe derived from the Greek strephein, ‘to turn’). It is here that the cybernetic propensity for ‘exploratory mutation’ finds its vocation as the producer of true novelty and, compressed into the notion of negentropy, dovetails with what Land refers to as ‘intelligence’, that which modernity—grasped nonlinearly—labours to emancipate. It is of little import that such emancipation corresponds to the elimination of the ‘human’ as it is traditionally understood. Viewed indifferently, catastrophe is just another word for novelty… As Plant and Land would put it in ‘Cyberpositive’, ‘Catastrophe is the past coming apart. Anastrophe is the future coming together. Seen from within history, divergence is reaching critical proportions. From the matrix, crisis is a convergence misinterpreted by mankind.”
“The individuation of self-augmenting machinic intelligence as the culminating act of modernity is understood with all the perversity of the cosmic scale as a compressed flare of emancipation coinciding with the termination of the possibility of emancipation for the human. ‘Life’, as Land puts it ‘is being phased out into something new’—‘horror erupting eternally from the ravenous Maw of Aeonic Rupture’, while at the fuzzed-out edge of apprehension, a shadow is glimpsed ‘slouching out of the tomb like a Burroughs’ hard-on, shit streaked with solar-flares and nanotech. Degree zero text-memory locks-in. Time begins again forever’.”
“In its simplest form, then, accelerationism is a cybernetic theory of modernity released from the limited sphere of the restricted economy (‘isn’t there a need to study the system of human production and consumption within a much larger framework?’ asks Bataille) and set loose to range the wilds of cosmic energetics at will, mobilizing cyberpositive variation as an anorganic evolutionary and time-travelling force. A ‘rigorous techonomic naturalism’ in which nature is posited as neither cyclical-organic nor linear-industrial, but as the retrochronic, autocatalytic, and escalatory construction of the truly exceptional.”
And a little bit of Reza Negarestani used by Ireland:
“Openness comes from the Outside, not the other way around. […] Radical openness has nothing to do with the cancellation of closure; it is a matter of terminating all traces of parsimony and grotesque domestication that exist in so-called emancipatory human openness. The blade of radical openness thirsts to butcher economical openness, or any openness constructed on the affordability of both the subject and its environment. […] Economical openness is not about how much one can be open to the outside, but about how much one can afford the outside.”
Ireland continues:
“‘chaos’—shorthand for a cybernetic approach to cosmic processes of becoming—‘reminds us that literature remains a mortal transaction and that we should not deprive ourselves of the pleasure of watching texts die’ benefits from a subtle rephrasing that brings it into better alignment with poememenal insurgency. Chaos reminds us that identity remains a mortal transaction and that we should not deprive literature of the pleasure of watching us die.”
“It is the poememenon’s investment in form over content that testifies to complicity with the spiral. An accelerating poetics that pushes against the crumbling threshold of human intelligibility, edging towards the realization of Bataille’s cyclonic prophecy: ‘what matters is not the enunciation of the wind, but the wind’.”
Embedded within all this Ireland briefly touches on the crucial question for sapient agencies bound to willful primate intelligence:
“Which is the revolutionary path? To avow the subject and repress the process? Or to avow the process and destroy the subject?”

Amy Ireland is an experimental poet and theorist based in Sydney, Australia. She is writing a PhD on xenopoetics at the University of New South Wales, where she also teaches and lectures on Creative Writing and is co-convenor of the philosophy and aesthetics research cluster ‘Aesthetics After Finitude’. Her research focuses on questions of agency and technology in modernity, and she is a member of the technofeminist collective Laboria Cuboniks. Amy is an instructor at The New Centre for Research & Practice, a member of York University’s s Sonic Research Initiative, and has worked closely with the Performing Arts Forum (PAF) in France.

2 responses to “The Poememenon: Form as Occult Technology | Amy Ireland

    by W.B Yeats

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  2. “What ‘the whole’ really means for Hegel, if I may try again to make this difficult concept a little clearer to you, is quite simply that truth does not consist in defining some concept in isolation, treating it in isolation as if it were a mere sector, but rather by taking it in relation to the totality in which it stands. Those of you who are studying the sciences of society can form a really emphatic idea of this whenever you try and understand any specific social sectors– in the sociology of business, for example, any specific relations which prevail within a particular factory or within a particular branch of industry. Then you will soon encounter all of the determinations which have already emerged for you here and now, even though in reality they are not simply grounded in the particular place, the particular site, or the particular branch of industry which is the focus of investigation. For these determinations will lead back to much broader questions, such as, for example, the role of the mining industry or the conditions of mine workers in the entire process of industrial production today, and ultimately to the entire structure of society in which the industrial exploitation of raw materials is involved today. It is only if you reflect upon the whole that you will also be able to understand the individual aspect properly” (Adorno, An Introduction to Dialectics, 23).

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s