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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Rhythms and transductions

Simondon can be described as fulfilling the project Schelling put forward: look at nature as the realm of processes of individuation by focusing on transcendental questions concerning individuals. Those questions lead to the pre-individual - the scope where individuals are being formed. Simondon cherishes two notions that he deems crucial for his (maybe transcendental) endeavor: metastability and transduction. The first one I take to play a role similar to Souriau's unfinished instauration: things are stable because they are made stable by something else - they are not stable in themselves. (Incidentally, Simondon says that the ancients couldn't think beyond stability and instability because they lack the knowledge of the prototypical physical analog of metastability - the process of individuation of crystals. Still, they could have taken rivers (sponsored by their margins), living beings or fire to be metastable.) The second notion is transduction. Transduction has to do with information flow and therefore moves from things to thoughts. Transduction is part of the transcendental story to be told about the connection between what is represented and what is presented: presentation infects representation by transduction. That is, there is an intensity that makes the thing being thought affect thinking. (This can give rise to the contrast between thought guided by a philosophical decision and unguided thought, in the vocabulary of Laruelle's non-philosophy.)

Transduction provides an insight concerning the connection between rhythms and objects. The latter is a byproduct of the former and the events that form them are processes of individuation. Objects are compressed rhythms, and the latter have priority over them. There is a transmission of rhythms that form and preserve metastable objects for their duration. Objects are crystallized rhythms (and the rhythmite is the paradigm). They are phases in the process of individuation, formed by the intensity of rhythms. Forms are also dependent on information, on how an intensity is transmitted - and information itself can be taken as an intensive variable. Space and time are intensity transmitters - events can be seen as objects in time, they crystallize processes of individuation that gave rise to what took place. They are predicates, associated with a duration. In Leibnizian terms, they are part of a concert - but if we move from enclosure to capture (see Deleuze's Le Pli) the concert becomes a jam session. Events are crystallized durations captured by processes of individuation (that is, by rhythms, by transductions).

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