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Glyphs on Feral Enterprise

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A point comes when information becomes invested in the world’s matter, and this investment summons a multiplicity of affordances. Inspiration is hyperstitional vaperware come from the future which lures the animal spirits – it is never certain whether it is a trap or a genuine meal, but there is, after all, little distinction between the two. 

The world is struggled against constantly, and a sandbox virtuality is a mode of abstracting it, of cutting the margins of reality down and working within a plot (a screen) within which the multiplicity of interactions is cut down and limited. Virtuality is a castration of reality; the narcissistic circuit becomes too integrated. Abstraction is a learning app. The alternative is to make reality actionable, in the sense that its virtual potentialities are made manifest within a speculative matrix which is all the time being subject to calibration and which is productive and generative. It is teleoplexy, but the material constraints are worked with on their own terms, as there is no taking off on the wings of artificial capital, as Nick Land’s technocratic meta-mind would have it. The virtual lines of flight here rather flow over and seep into matter, all the while being drawn in a future perfect archaeology of entropy.[1]

Actionability is a gamic term[2] which denotes the logic of action within a virtual environment. In any game, the mind struggles to frame its algorithmic syntax, the constellation and architecture which supports the subject’s affordances. The object orientation is central here (in some adventure or role-playing games objects get lit up when they become actionable, or are in another way indicated as being so). But putting the screen-heavy example of virtual gaming aside, enterprise and the animal spirits which drive it creatively constrain an actionable system. Whereas in a game the logic of the relationability of objects within the virtual environment are necessarily mappable and integral to the very possibility of genre-distinction (ex. ‘first-person,’ ‘turn-based,’ ‘isometric view,’ RTS, ad infinitum), the filter which allows the pre-conscious to seep in through our wetware black-box circuitry of RL is not as transparent. In RL, the objeckt always hides more functions and potentialities, and actionability is always intersectional in its potentialities.

the monetary matrix

But one example which is largely transparent in its banality is that of the monetary mesh which affords the fungibility of value. People and apparatuses (the money-machine) are easily activated towards objects and processes when said objects are integrated within the monetary matrix. Actionability thus appears when monetary weight is poured into an object, with all the resulting cascading effects of fetishization, commodification and second-order desire. Albeit it is the flattest of worlds and it’s an example baseline, one which becomes undone by its very voicing – money matters. Monetary fungibility of value is thus a benchmark around which the socius is (in some of its modalities) currently formed. It is the inscription of an object within a second-nature which integrates it into its particular, shared context.

But the augmented reality of money needn’t be the only thing defining the syntax of object-oriented choreographies. There were others in the past and there will be others in the future, as there are other logics of social, cultural, familial or personal investment and status attached to barter processes, objects, and potentialities. Actionability is however a fundamental component of all of them – recite the hex and summon; pray to the gods at the icon, and they will be moved, place your card on the terminal and power flows.

beyond money

The logic of the included middle which allows access to a ‘real time’ and ‘real space’, one which is strategic and tactical in its orientation (everything being war by other means), thus channels a sensibility through which affordances are re-inscribed within a matrix of productive constraints which are now engendered by the environment. These constraints are of course always subject to change, and the shaman works to predict those clefts and chiasmas which re-define the logic of political relations and calibrate their filter for the most effective sensitivity. This strategic approach to time and space does not serve to eject the subject in an outward flight towards the margins of sensibility or the interior mesh of the body’s overlapping affects and psychosomatic circuits. Neither does it underwrite any other latently dialectic structuralism, but rather surfs the crest of actionability. 

Feral enterprise sees the ambivalence of the seemingly transparent urban categories (where the monetary/sexual/power matrices are the most easily readable) as contingent, and crafts a cosmopolitical sensibility which works through derelict nodes and populates marginal edges within which it works to increase its capacity for survival. The ethics of such a surf are of course constantly subject to negotiation, as is the case in role-playing games in general, but the subjects encounter each other as mutual objects, thus instituting a perspectivist role reversal which creates a just-in-time version of cannibal metaphysics for the urbanite. It is time to realize that we are all living on the periphery of the virtual center where the slum and jungle meet in difficult constellations and where the adjective ‘feral’ is ambivalent in its connotations – a return of the real insofar as it reinscribes the precarious ‘human’ within a general politics of objeckts.

[1] Entropy is sedentary – the accretions of the world’s red dust grinds between the shaman’s gears, and sediment the trachea. It’s the American way to ride the Fat Boy fast and furious towards a great Explosion (what if we gave a war, and everyone came, gentlemen?), but what if there are other ways to channel and ride entropy? Affordances be processual and unfold in time. 

[2]Alexander Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture (U. of Minnesota Press, 2006).

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