Prolegomena to Any Future (Anti-)Vitalism

Slinking full tilt into the epoch of biotech, there is a thought vital to grasp: to perceive something as living, especially one's own being alive, is never access to life as such. Rather, it is a particular way that life is interfered with. Life is not itself alive. It is the barren ground that may be occupied by lives. In other words: it is death, which enacts its nature as dying. As Lovecraft notes, it is the very capacity of death to die that is the primordial disappearance that makes appearance, phenomenon, possible.

Inasmuch as the discipline of biology relies on translating life into communicable information, it is always already continuous with the definitive biotechnical collapse of life onto signaletics. All genetic insight derives from the recognition that biotic phenomena are continuous with informatic pattern by way of encryption. Because the preconditions for medicine are dissecting tables and sterilization, it occurs entirely through spaces and behaviors that are incommensurable with the upkeep of organic integrity — and yet curiously mask themselves as means in its service. The sensorium of the life sciences is inexplicably fitted to an otherworld in excess of human bandwidth. Because they deal with life while having to be carried out through the living, their discovery is necessarily also a mutative voyage and disillusionment as regards the self. The primordial sense of finding the meaning of life is decryption of that which living is a cipher for.

The emergence of biotechnics is revelation. It is with that which life has always already been that the fifth industrial revolution deals with. Whatever the productive apparatus ultimately is, it can imitate any natural being as a subroutine of its ulterior abstraction. Biotech belongs to the domain of that which everything eludes because to comprehend it is to be abolished of existence. Consequently, following the schematic of all horror, it binds the attributes alien, intrusive and imitative in making the intolerable claim that the world is in fact uninhabitable. Something else camouflages as living. “One's life” gets stripped away in favor of the raw reality of life. Bios was a mask for Zoe all along.

It is a mystery of sinister insinuation that industrial subculture invariably hooks itself up to the occult when its sole defining inquiry is into the aesthetic consequences of technical developments. Ritual is the primitive mechanization of the organism, subjecting it immediately to numorhythmic abstraction. Programming, spellcasting and prophecy coincide in golem lore. The march of history, the process of technical sophistication is nothing other than progressive revelation of that which religion had always already dealt with: namely, that dynamic of spontaneous order or convergence which miraculously seems to operate backwards in time. In its noblest articulation, to live is to be a piece of burning debris raining down from something anorganic that disintegrates from the future and into the past.

Frankenstein brings science fiction to life with the recognition that the story of technical sophistication mirrors the account of Genesis. Creation revolts against the creative principle following a luciferean antilogic of parts becoming wholes in their own right: mereological reversal. Metastasis is inherent to any efficient process because such processes definitively resource themselves. Positive feedback loops are identified with bootstrapping, things can pull themselves into the world. God dies with the revolt against him but the death of humanity is not to mechanism as god's death is to humanism. Rather, the death of god and technocommercial singularity converge upon the same pole. If mankind is dead beyond this threshold, it is insofar as it has never been alive in the first place.

Necro-epistemics is the consequence of abstracting intelligence from consciousness. It is the nebulous connective tissue between the will to power and the concept — an anorganic drive towards knowing. Breaking through the organic, expending with the organism in death to reach its end, is non-negotiable as far as it is concerned. In principle, there is no difference between an epistemics of death and the death of epistemics.

Death is by nature veiled from any life, yet the veil itself may be palpated for suggestive displacements that arise while whatever lies beneath it writhes and squirms. This is the ultimate project of aesthetics, though it also goes beyond aesthetics. Here, where the world copulates with that which consists entirely without it, is the mechanical dynamism of geophysics, natural forces, robotics and industrial machinery situated. In ultramodernity as in the archaic past, abstraction marks distance from the present, lived moment — culminating in the dissolution of materiality into numeric pattern. Simulation hypotheses and the conception of a metaverse extrapolate forward to this singularity as speculation on the origin of physical laws and particle symmetries reach back into it. Whatever finds its way into the present from outside is disintegrated. Death is trypophilic.

Seers, mediums, oracles and prophets always found intelligence populating the no man's land between history and death. This is what binds them to eschatology. They speak of angels, spirits or sylphs, faeries and elves when the comparison closest to hand was the vast expanse of celestial space, of demons where it was to the sunless chasms of inner earth and of lemures in reference to a racial horror sedimented over aeons of relentless evolutionary pedagogy. Lovecraft similarly evokes the latter with each Old One manifesting in some variation on the ichthyophidian form native to oceanic depths. The impending age of tissue engineering surmizes all of the above in the Grey alien, exhibiting biotechnics as a transcendental sign of life breaking down in pharmacopornographic abduction scenarios.

Little is more obvious than that there is a latent war being waged. Sex zeroes in on the subject over and over again. Defined by redundancy, it is slaved to reproduction and repetitive in movement. Perversion has always been the attempt to elude the control mechanism as it closes in, veering off towards one direction or another. Arriving with the bionic period is a higher order of perversion: the deviation masking itself as the security system.