Image creds: Darya Kulbashna
This essay investigates the instances of cultural criticism that involve both language and music. It argues that since there is an undeniable connection between philosophy and criticism, the latter acquires the characteristic features of philosophy, some of which can be problematic in the context of parallel discussion of music and language. The essay concentrates on the proliferation of binaries and hierarchies in both philosophy and criticism and attempts to counter them with the help of Laruellean non-philosophy.
The discussion of music and language in cultural criticism is a popular and with that problematic endeavour. It is difficult to investigate the properties of music and language when they are regarded alongside each other, simultaneously, and the task is even more complicated because of the tendencies that certain philosophical traditions impose on the acts of criticism. The present essay attempts to identify and critically evaluate such tendencies in order to construct a common plane on which the discussion of music and language can be facilitated. Since music and language are frequently grouped together, they are discussed in relation to each other. This, however, leads to the formation of binary oppositions — in such a way that music and language are merely seen as opposites or, even hierarchically: with either music or language being regarded as superior to the other. In case when language domineers the hierarchy, music is discussed according to the innate characteristics of language, its structures and laws of signification; conversely, if music is understood as being superior to language, it is elevated to the domain of indescribable, chaotic, and in extreme cases is equaled to silence. Both cases represent the diminishing of the importance of the individual essential qualities of music and language as they are seen through the constructed binary or hierarchical relationships. By adopting François Laruelle’s approach to standard philosophy, the present essay attempts to revise and reevaluate the said tendencies in cultural criticism that take their roots in the philosophical traditions. Laruellean non-philosophical approach allows cultural critics and theorists to engage with both music and language and develop an individual theory in accordance with the essential qualities of both as well as to transform the act of criticism into an act of creation by eliminating the limitations established by the traditional philosophical thought.
Philosophy and Cultural Criticism
The work of cultural criticism begins with a theoretical approach, which in its turn derives from a tangential field, that is philosophy. While criticism can be seen as a practice, it is inseparable from theoretical grounding that both helps to navigate the contents and contexts of cultural works and establishes a perspective from which the works are viewed. It can be argued that theoretical approaches that directly stem from philosophy are responsible for unnecessary complications of cultural works, however, when the influence of philosophical theories are minimised or neutralized, cultural criticism turns into a study of history and biography. This approach is responsible for dangerous distancing from discussed works of art as well as shifted attention to the circumstantial details instead of being focused on the essence of the cultural works in question.
The greatest problem of criticism is its persistent attempt to create a universal method, which would be balanced enough to encompass both historical ‘objectivity’ and centuries of philosophical thought that ground particular contexts. While cultural theory is concentrated on the part of the balance, the real issue lies in the word ‘universal’. There can be no approach fitting each and every instance of cultural criticism as each work of art gives rise to unique theoretical and practical approaches. However, it is not impossible to develop a practice that would allow access to this freer, work-specific approach with a potential to engage cultural criticism in a direct discussion with works of art and their essence. This, once again, is a question that pertains to philosophy, albeit on a different level.
The need to develop such an individual approach is even more pressing in view of the ever-increasing number of criticism of different media alongside each other, where individual differences of the works of art are further complicated by crucial differences in their media. The centre of the present discussion, simultaneous criticism of music and text/speech, is a vivid example of the necessity to consider each of the subjects individually in order to preserve their unique qualities. The search for the solution to the problem should start from philosophy that conditions reasoning and is responsible for decision making done prior to criticism itself. If the applied philosophy is deemed unnecessary complicated, or inversely too simplifying, circular, or self-absorbed, then the change in the approach to cultural works should start with a change in philosophy that instead of being discarded, should be made more flexible, adjusted to the emergent needs of cultural criticism.
Binarism in the Discussion of Music and Language
The investigation of the problematic approach to music and language in criticism begins with the identification of the dependence of music on language: the determination of musical qualities by means of linguistic ones and general discussion of music through language. There exist direct comparisons of music and language, particularly, and the most obvious of all, are comparisons of musical scores to texts — among other examples, these can be observed in Lévi-Strauss’s Structural Anthropology, or in a more focused manner in Adorno’s works. The latter’s approach seems to be more complicated and with that controversial, since not only does Adorno extend the comparison from the written forms to signification and interpretation, he also refuses to acknowledge the equivalence of music and language only to practically prove the difficulty of his endeavour, thus, returning back to the comparison he aimed to avoid.
In his essay ‘Music, Language, and Composition’, Adorno writes that ‘the relationship of language and music has become critical.’ From the very beginning of the essay, he refuses to equate music to language and states that ‘[m]usic is similar to language […] [b]ut music is not language.’ However, as his further examinations of the subject presented in the same essay show, it is difficult to abandon the framework within which music and language are discussed through one another and by that denied the status of independent subjects. Notwithstanding his initial reservations as to the equivalence of language and music, Adorno continues with the following words: ‘In comparison to signifying language, music is a language of a completely different type. […] What music says is a proposition at once distinct and concealed.’ He adds: ‘Music aims at intention-less language, but it does not separate itself once and for all from the signifying language, as if there were different realms’. Adorno resolves the tension between the arguments in a conventional way, that is dialectically.
In ‘Music, Language, and Composition’ one can register three possible approaches to the problematic of music and language: music is similar to language, music is ‘hostile’ to language, music is ‘on the road to language’. The last option, the one Adorno synthesises from the first two, is the approach chosen by the author in order to explain the ‘critical relationship’. It is here that it becomes evident that the expressed thought stems from a series of binaries (i.e. music vs. language, art vs. logic, absence of signification vs. absolute signification etc.); moreover, Adorno never escapes the identification of music and language by means of their relation to one another.
From Binarism to Hierarchical Organisation 1: Language Over Music
The proliferation of binarism in the discussion of music and language is responsible for the hierarchical organisation of their representation. This, in its turn, leads to the prioritisation of linguistic characteristics over musical and vice versa, as well as the artificial imposition of their individual qualities on each other. One of the areas, in which the hierarchical position of language over music is not unheard of is semiology. Although it is important to stress that not all semiologists tend to reduce music to textuality, or at least they attempt to avoid such a practice, there are those who, finding themselves in a semiological cul-de-sac, cannot but fall back into the definition of musical qualities through language.
Raymond Monelle, with his The Sense of Music: Semiotic Essays, is among the representatives of philosophy of music that supports the semiological model of musical interpretation; his is based on the works of Jean-Jacques Nattiez. It is important to note that from its very initiation, semiology of music is destined to defend itself against the automatic objections as to its attitude towards the relationship of music and language. This original theoretical dissonance (as old as the subject itself) — the denial of prioratization of language and its structures over the essence of music, despite the nature of semiology itself — makes semiology of music dependent on the formulation of counterarguments and in some cases leads back to the usage of language as a helping tool for the interpretation of music. Despite taking its roots in the theory developed by Nattiez, Monelle’s essays are a good example of the mentioned issues. While in the very preface to Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music Nattiez argues that ‘the musical work is not merely what we used to call the ‘text’ and ‘[t]he essence of a musical work is at once its genesis, its organization, and the way it is perceived’, Monelle, despite grounding his work in the theoretical thought of Nattiez, practises the opposite.
One can illustrate the tendency in Monelle’s work by looking at the instances of his comparison of musical score to text, or, so as to touch upon topics different from those already discussed in connection to Adorno and Lévi-Strauss, one can observe more subtle signs of musical dependence on language within Monelle’s semiological discourse. ‘Students of meaning,’ writes Monelle in the introductory essay to The Sense of Music, ‘have been historically prejudiced towards linguistic meaning; failing to find it in music, they have called it “vague”.’ The direction of thought Monelle expresses here implies a break with language, however, his practice illustrates the opposite in the next paragraph where he declares that the solution to the problem of the previous quotation is ‘to watch how music performs in the setting of words’. If music and its meaning continue to be seen by means of linguistic structures and alongside language, the latter will always be referred to as a clearer and more accessible standard, which will reinforce the initial binary. Semiology of music will always be fighting against the natural textualization (aliquid stat pro aliquo) of musical experience and the effects of the hierarchical position that fixes language and music on different planes with the latter being dependent on the original.
From Binarism to Hierarchical Organisation 2: Music Beyond Language
There, however, exists a reversed hierarchy that elevates music above language and not vice versa. In order to explore this instance of hierarchical relationship of music and language in philosophy, one can take a closer look at the notions of the Apolline and the Dionysiac in The Birth of Tragedy. Nietzsche begins his investigation of the Greek tragedy by outlining the fundamental opposition of the ordered and the chaotic, respectively, as:
two different drives (Triebe) [that] exist side by side, mostly in open conflict, stimulating and provoking (reizen) one another to give birth to ever-new, more vigorous offspring in whom they perpetuate the conflict inherent in the opposition between them […] until eventually, […] they appear paired and, in this pairing, finally engender a work of art which is Dionysiac and Apolline in equal measure: Attic tragedy.
The two distinct components of Greek tragedy are, according to Nietzsche, responsible for different aspects of theatrical presence. While the Apolline is associated with the art of ‘the image-maker or sculptor’, the Dionysiac is, on the other hand, ‘the imageless art of music’. Reduced to the application in tragedy, the Apolline is responsible for images and concepts, that is for words, while the Dionysiac — the musical counterpart — brings the element of chaotic expression and uncontrollability. The combination of the Apolline and the Dionysiac in Greek tragedy forms a perfect synthesis born out of a dialectical operation on the two opposites — words and music — that confirms the nature of the relationship of opposition between the said subjects. In this particular binary, music is beyond the signification of language and its images, it reflects that, which yields to interpretation with considerable difficulty (if ever) and stands in opposition to the down-to-earth clarity of language and the images it suggests.
This is further supported by Nietzsche’s discussion of lyric poetry that is sometimes grasped as the most musical of the languages available to human creativity. Nietzsche writes:
whereas lyric poetry depends utterly on the spirit of music, music itself, in its absolute sovereignty, has no need at all of images and concepts but merely tolerates them as an accompaniment […] it is impossible for language to exhaust the meaning of music’s world-symbolism, because music refers symbolically to the original contradiction and original pain at the heart of the primordial unity, and thus symbolizes a sphere which lies above and beyond all appearance. In relation to that primal being every phenomenon is merely a likeness, which is why language, as the organ and symbol of phenomena, can never, under any circumstances, externalize the innermost depths of music, whereas the deepest meaning of music, for all the eloquence of lyric poetry, can never be brought even one step closer to us.
Language, thus, becomes a mere imperfect tool in comparison to music and occupies the position lower to that of music in the hierarchical relationship within the binary. What are, then, the specificities of this superior position of music and what is the role it plays in such a hierarchy?
A parallel to what an answer to this might be can be retrieved earlier in the text, where Nietzsche relates the story of King Midas and his captive — Silenus, whom Nietzsche describes as a ‘daemon’ and a ‘companion of Dionysos’. Upon being captured by Midas, Silenus is forced to answer the king’s question: ‘what is the best and most excellent thing for human beings’? Reluctantly, Silenus gives an unsurprisingly Dionysiac answer: ‘The very best thing is utterly beyond your reach not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. However, the second best thing for you is: to die soon.’ Within the Apolline/Dionysiac binary, where musical qualities are viewed as superior to those of language, the Dionysiac is that, which does not create images or concepts, or, in other words — it does not signify in a linguistic manner. Silenus’s words, thus, are illustrative of the entire Dionysiac aspect in Nietzsche’s understanding as it forms the ‘beyond’ of the linguistic coordinate system, for which the Dionysiac, as well as its prominent representation — music — is as ungraspable as nothing.
Another instance of the unique qualities of music being viewed as indescribable in comparison to language can be found in the works of Deleuze. While Nietzsche uses the Apolline/Dionysiac dichotomy in order to describe the synthesis of the two, that is later applied to tragedy, Deleuze’s positioning of music as being ‘beyond’ language leads to different results. In his discussion of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s writing, Deleuze stresses the following:
Masoch makes language ‘‘stammer’’: ‘‘stammering’’ is a putting into suspense, whereas ‘‘stuttering’’ is a repetition, a proliferation, a bifurcation, a deviation. But this is not the essential difference. There are many diverse indications and procedures that the writer can apply to language in order to create style. And whenever a language is submitted to such creative treatments, it is language in its entirety that is pushed to its limit, to music or silence. This is what Quignard shows: Masoch makes language stammer, and in this way he pushes language to its point of suspension, a song, a cry or silence.
Here, music, in contrast to language, is similar to the Dionysiac suggested by Nietzsche, however, the latter’s dichotomy leads to a synthesis, where music with the help of the Apolline opposite participates in the creation of tragedy, while in the mentioned Deleuzian discussion of music alongside language, music is seen as the ultimate limit of expression and perception. This limit is beyond words and signification and, therefore, is unavailable for any further discussions, not to mention analyses.
The perspective adopted by Deleuze in his essays is also reflected in his work with Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus discusses music and language on numerous occasions, often separately; however, in contrast to detailed discussions of language and its concomitant, signification, music is treated as the inexplicable and is regarded as an opportunity to avoid the constraining effects of language as well as the regimes of signification. Music stands in opposition to language and is presented as an accumulation of desired ‘liberating’ qualities: ‘[f]or it is through writing that you become animal, it is through color that you become imperceptible, it is through music that you become hard and memoryless, simultaneously animal and imperceptible’. ‘Blow apart the strata’ ,’deterritorialize’ ,‘become imperceptible’ — these expressions are used throughout Thousand Plateaus to set the direction of liberation from signification. However, just as it is the case with music and silence seen as the limits of language, there follows no discussion of where this ‘liberation’ leads or what is beyond the limit of language. The hierarchical binary yields no answers as to how music can be approached and discussed alongside language without being elevated to the domain of indescribable and not in terms of its relation to language and its ways of signification.
Approaching Music and Language Non-Philosophically
The described instances of the music/language discussion show that standard philosophical thought, thus, does not answer the need of criticism, that is, the necessity to view different media side by side with the preservation of their essential qualities. In order to be able to view language and music on one theoretical plane without substantial losses on the part of any side, it may be beneficial to investigate what non-standard philosophy, or non-philosophy has to offer.
Laruelle suggests that is futile to revolutionize or deconstruct the traditional philosophical thinking with its undeniable monopoly over arts and sciences. In A Biography of Ordinary Man: On Authorities and Minorities he writes: ‘What is necessary is to change the paradigm of thinking; to move from a philosophical paradigm […] to a paradigm we call minoritarian or individual, which is based on a transcendental but finite experience of the One as distinct from Being, the World, and their attributes’. To built this paradigm Laruelle develops a non-philosophy that questions the impossibility of determinability of the real by means other than philosophical. In other words, non-philosophy is not a negation of philosophy, but the reconsideration of its usage through the prioritization of the experience of the One and a prioris over philosophical decisions and general philocentrism. Laruellean thought supposes that philosophy ‘has become a conservative and repetitive activity deprived of imagination’, that it ‘has ‘‘decided’’ once and for all upon the essence of thought and of man’ and, thus, occupied by the unity of contraries and relations between terms instead of their essences, it is unable to escape its circular investigations. The domineering Greco-philosophical tradition, according to Laruelle,
incapacitates philosophy and prevents it from carrying out the theoretical and technical mutations which the sciences and the arts — above all painting and music — have carried out since the beginning of the 20th century. This is why non-philosophy will discover in these scientific and artistic mutations if not its raison d’être, then at least its strongest encouragement.
This particular approach to philosophy enables one to gain an alternative perspective on cultural criticism as a symbiosis of theory and its subjects as well as to avoid the incessant philosophical resort to the creation of opposites and their interdependence.
The interdependence of two subjects in a philosophical discussion is conditioned by the tendency to define and investigate the said subjects according to their relation to each other as if they are not determined or self-sufficient as they are prior to any philosophical involvement. This principle is exemplified and confronted by Laruelle in the original ‘relative combination of two philosophical parameters: immanence and transcendence’ that, according to the traditional philosophy, are defined only reciprocally, separately being ‘partially indeterminate’ without the ever-present ‘circularity of these two dimensions’. The solution to this problem is explained in the self-sufficiency of each of the two dimensions and proceeds as follows:
Minoritarian or individual thought is the experience of these entities that do not fall under the scope of unitary field and are determinable not by that relative combination, but rather by a single dimension thought independently of its unity with the second; and only after, by a combination — but not reciprocal, not relative — of the two. These entities are not determinable in a unitary manner because they are already determined through themselves, or as terms prior to any relation or reciprocity.
This non-philosophical understanding of relation is crucial to the present discussion, especially when the individual qualities of both music and language are at stake. In Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, Laruelle continues the thought and writes that philosophers prioritize relations and functions over the One and a prioris, leaving the essence of the objects of their philosophical investigations undetermined. In the conditions, where philosophy supposes that each term corresponds to ‘one and only one term or type of term, along with a relative, opposed or even contrary term,’ a radical or non-philosophical thought becomes a ‘thought of terms, not a thought of relations’ and ‘[a] thought of terms,’ in its turn, ‘before all relation is a thought of the One’.
Following to the principle described above, it is logical to conclude that non-philosophy is partially directed at the avoidance of binary oppositions and, as a result, dialectics. The latter, in consistency with Laruellean thought, ‘decides in advance that reality is subjected to the jurisdiction of the decision of contraries, of their scission, and of their unity’. In case of the present discussion, the liberation from binarism and its consequences, as well as the refusal to employ the dialectical principle, leads to the access to the essential qualities of music and language that cease to rely on their definitions through the characteristics of the other of each of the subjects. This is followed by the destruction of the hierarchical relationship between music and language regardless of the positions of each of the subjects discussed. There is no need to look for the opposite, to address the other, or the outside-of-the-system, which is the preferred route of philosophy. To be real, and, therefore, determinable, it is enough for ‘an experience to precede every decision,’ to stem from the One that ‘is itself and [is] manifested as such before any constitution’ without alienation or separation from itself.
Having established that non-philosophy concentrates on individual qualities of the subjects of its discussion, and denies the usage of binaries and dialectical outcomes, it is now important to observe what makes non-philosophy a ‘scientific process’ in the Laruellean sense and what is the practical usage of the described principles when it comes to their interaction with cultural works. The illustration of these principles can be traced in The Concept of Non-Photography. The extracted theoretical approach to photography, which is in dialogue with the Laruellean scientific endeavour, can then be extrapolated to other artistic areas as it manifests the fundamental principles of non-philosophy that can be applied beyond photography. Laruelle emphasises that [p]hilosophy, so far, has only interpreted photography, believing that it thereby transforms it; it is time to describe it so as to really transform photographic discourse’. He argues that there is no need to think about photography according to the traditional philosophy ‘and its diverse ‘positions’’, instead, it is necessary to ‘seek an absolutely non-onto-photo-logical thinking of essence, so as to think correctly, without aporias, circles or infinite metaphors, what photography is and what it can do. From this point of view, non-philosophy suggests a focus on a prioris, in which case philosophical decision is transformed ‘into a simple occasion, then into scientific representation of decision as real object to be described’.
This scientific approach in the Laruellean sense of the word ‘science’ (seen as transcendental, not empirical, positivist, or ontological) should be understood as an approach similar to that of an explorer — in parallel to an explorer a non-philosopher discovers the a priori experience and develops a suitable theory from the subject of their discussion, instead of adopting an approach according to which the experience will be subjected to philosophical frameworks established and approved in advance. From this follows a theory that becomes a mixture of gained experiences rather than a result of predetermined philosophical positions, a theory that encompasses the individual qualities of the explored subject and theoretically engages in a dialogue with its essence. In this sense, it will not strictly correspond to, let us say the work of art, a photograph, or a musical piece, but to ‘the discovery to which it will have given rise’. As to the theorists themselves, Laruelle says that
we are not the doubles of artists […] we also have a claim to ‘creation’, and […] inversely, artists are not the inverted doubles of aestheticians and […] they, too, without being theorists, have a claim to the power of theoretical discovery. […] we will cease to make commentaries on [artists] and to submit them to philosophy so as to finally not to ‘explain’ them but, on the basis of their discovery taken up as a guiding thread […] to follow the chain of theoretical effects that it sets off in our current knowledge of art.
Instead of analysis and philosophical interpretation, Laruelle suggests ‘dualysis’ that
roots decision as such in an Undecided and [reduces] it to the state of material, it aligns decision with a non-positional possible, fating it in a certain way to fiction […] aligning it despite everything with the real in the only founded, not illusory, relation that decision can undertake with it. […] It is not simply an activity of the production of possibles, […] but a definitive, ultimate activity after which there is no longer anything that can manage to recover it, capture it, limit it: it is the great wide open.
Dualysis works in accordance with the ‘real’s indifference to decisions, the equivalence of all decisions […] instead of their hierarchical conflict’. It enables theorists and cultural critics to recognize a multiplicity of philosophical approaches and their equality in view of a priori experience, to avoid the innate binarism and the abundance of hierarchical relationships in the traditional philosophical thought as well as to initiate non-philosophical theories directly engaged with the subjects of their discussion scientifically, as creators and explorers, rather than the providers of interpretations.
The problematic of the simultaneous discussion of music and language in cultural criticism goes far beyond the examples suggested in this essay, it is a multifaceted issue that in addition to its inherent difficulty is further complicated by the characteristics of traditional philosophical thought. However, it is possible to define and evaluate the main features of philosophical influence that ground the perspectives cultural criticism adopts in order to approach music and language. As music and language are often viewed alongside each other in cultural criticism, there are certain tendencies that pertain to these particular instances of cultural commentary. Music is frequently seen in relation to language — as an equivalent of language as well as its opposite, or it is discussed as a part of a constructed hierarchy where either the qualities of language or music are treated as superior. When music is understood as a variant of language, it loses its essential qualities, for it is discussed by means of language and through it. When, on the other hand, music is seen as being superior to language, it is treated as chaotic and even mystical, beyond any signification, and in extreme cases can be equaled to silence. The latter action prevents any further discussions of music as it is transferred to the domain of the indescribable. Since the ubiquitous binary of language and music that is proliferated in cultural criticism as well as the mentioned hierarchies are based on traditional philosophical principles, in order to reevaluate the approach of cultural criticism to music and language, it is important to revise the principles of philosophy itself. Non-philosophy, suggested by Laruelle, has the potential to eliminate the influence of binarism and hierarchical relationships in the present discussion. It allows for both music and language to be viewed in parallel to each other, but with that individually, without diminishing the value of their essential qualities. Non-philosophy and dualysis developed by Laruelle enable theorists and critics to establish one common theoretical plane on which both music and language will be approached in accordance with their specificities, scientifically, that is, turning cultural theorists into explorers instead of mere interpreters of the meaning of cultural works.
 Claude Lévi-Strauss, Structural Anthropology (New York: Basic Books, 1963), 12.
 Theodor W. Adorno, ‘Music, Language, and Composition,’ The Musical Quarterly, Vol.77, No.3, (Autumn 1993): 402.
 Adorno, ‘Music, Language, and Composition’, 401.
 Adorno, ‘Music, Language, and Composition’, 402. Emphasis added.
 Ibid. Emphasis added.
 Raymond Monelle, The Sense of Music: Semiotic Essays (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000), 5.
 Jean-Jacques Nattiez, Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990), ix.
 Monelle, The Sense of Music, 148.
 Monelle, The Sense of Music, 8.
 Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 14.
 Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, 36.
 Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, 22-23.
 Gilles Deleuze, Essays Critical and Clinical (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), 55. Emphasis added.
 Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus. Minneapolis (University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 187.
 François Laruelle, A Biography of Ordinary Man: On Authorities and Minorities (Cambridge UK: Polity Press, 2018), 8.
 François Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy (Minneapolis: Univocal, 2013), 6,10.
 Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, 31.
 Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, 4.
 Laruelle, A Biography of Ordinary Man: On Authorities and Minorities, 17.
 Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, 89.
 Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, 104.
 Laruelle, A Biography of Ordinary Man: On Authorities and Minorities, 44.
 Laruelle, A Biography of Ordinary Man: On Authorities and Minorities, 65.
 Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, 36.
 Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, 40.
 Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, 13.
 François Laruelle, The Concept of Non-Photography (New York: Sequence Press, 2011), 53.
 Laruelle, The Concept of Non-Photography, 4.
 Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, 101.
 Laruelle, The Concept of Non-Photography, 57.
 Laruelle, The Concept of Non-Photography, 70.
 Laruelle, The Concept of Non-Photography, 71.
 Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, 92-93.
 Laruelle, Philosophy and Non-Philosophy, 121.