Negarestani on the politics and calculus of putrefaction

2016-03-05 07.02.01

“Putrefaction is comprised of these extremely subtle motions – infinitesimal fields of differentiation – according to which various and outlandishly incongruous forms can smoothly blend. The idea of the human becomes a smooth gradient of different worms, flies, wasps, plants and fungi. The toad, the miasma, the sludge and the human all become part of a differential field wherein each entity can gradually unfold into another regardless of the congruity of their traits, environments and habits. These subtle, fluxional or infinitesimal movements point to the gradational continuity of deformities in decay whose basal continuity is maintained by the dynamism of complicity as a form of participation in which, instead of commonality and replacement, inflection and nestedness – that is to say the mathesis of the insider – are the guarantors of the collective action. To this extent, a politics of decay as building process fully employs the mathesis of the insider as the prerequisite for the dynamism of collectivity: in the calculus of decay, it no longer matters if there is a commonality or even a minimal agreement between conjoined or discrete elements; putrefaction causes the decaying or infected parts or elements to interpolate themselves between other healthy elements and parts in such a way that everything is collectively mobilised by and towards putrefaction … To putrefy means to ‘parabolify the straight line (to use Boscovich’s term),1 then to twist the curve and eventually to convolute the already twisted curve…”

Reza Negarestani. (2010). “Undercover Softness: An Introduction to the Architecture and Politics of Decay.” Collapse Volume VI. Falmouth: Urbanomic,  412-414

1. J. F. Scott. (1961). “Boscovich’s Mathematics.” Roger Joseph Boscovich S. J., F. R. S., 1711 – 1787: Studies of His Life and Work on the 250th Anniversary of His Birth. London: Allen and Unwun, 183-92.


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