Notes on the 4th Manifesto of Contemporary Art, the “Stage Manifesto” and my philosophy writing from college

The 4th manifesto (see PDF on webpage for “Life is Good” show at Galleria Federico Vavassori is a roadmap to the Occult. It walks through different thoughts and perspectives because of a pluralism. We all have the same God. This could be the “God particle” but that is just mass. (For Laruelle, it is the ineffable Real as the first cause). In modern times, we have the onto-theology question. It says on Wikipedia that the same question was raised by Scotus. This question is a question concerning creation and destruction and renewal. The mathematical treatise would be Rene Thom’s Structural Stability and Morphogenesis. I don’t have an advanced topology background (just some point-set topology). It was told to me that physics cannot reconcile with biology. So the creation of life is irreducible to the atomistic description which by the way is contradicted by way of general relativity. The mathematical solution is supersymmetry, but I’m not sure how that reconciles with the birth of life. The fourth manifesto attempts to read this Ontotheology question throughout 20th century metaphysics. The pure metaphysics is Deleuze. My familiarity with Heidegger is his “What is Called Thinking”. It reads as tautology but it is not. He is attempting to be God. Mythos and Logos were separated after Plato. This is psychotic stuff. The princes of philosophy are Hoelderlin and Zarathustra. What is problematic though is the ethics behind a world philosopher who admitted to the biggest stupidity (Dummheit) of the Third Reich. Levinas I believe was in a camp during the World War. Heidegger speculates on a jump to the Other Side that only the Overman can leap. These are questions of the Man and the Animal, which would become a whole book by Agamben through Hoelderlin(?) if I’m not mistaken. And then Ranciere would read this distinction for his political book Disagreement. So it is through the alterity of the Other that we set a personal boundary and have Ethics. The Fourth Manifesto gets into spiritual matters. Jacob Taubes loved to name drop in his lecture. The question is suffering without it being suffering of the type Yoda says led Anakin to become Darth Vader. The gleaner. The collector. The task of the translator. The mystic. The occult. The fourth manifesto sets in stone a map of Contemporary Art and Music. If you are unaware of the names of galleries and labels in the 4th manifesto, then you are sadly not in the know. The benefit of being in the know is that you have a social life and you are a part of the “kabal of tastemakers” as Dustin Hodges put it. It’s great that you can watch the Gauntlett Cheng or Eckhaus Latta runaway shows as an artist. But there is something completely obnoxious to being some Chinatown elitist. What are the standards of rigor and passion? The fourth manifesto is about that. This is the substitution of one world for another. Call it a Temporary Autonomous Zone (Hakim Bey). Studio 54. Or Tresor. Or Paradise Garage. Or just think about how many albums Sun Ra put out. What I am trying to manifest is “figuring space” (Gilles Chatelet) through the microsocial and micropolitics or even lol Microscripts (Robert Walser). That’s my ideal length of a story. A Robert Walser short story or a Kafka parable. Maybe Pornografia because its a measly 200 pages. Not the other-worldly because Nietzsche hated that. But let’s make a world in the here-and-now. In order for it to be rigorous, you need the map that I drew of Contemporary Art and Music. You have to be on your game. You can’t just fake it through sociality and cultural capital and coolness. Codified, but experience too. This is Life. Ordinary Life. Everyday Life. Diedrich Diederichsen has it all figured out in his essay “Intimacy and Gesamtkunstwerk” as part of the Kai Althoff show at the ICA Boston. Homosociality. But I tend to think of it as nerds or Freaks and Geeks, but hopefully without the TV “Big Bang Theory” misogyny. All of the poetics have at least been there since Romanticism (as Jean Wahl suggests in his lecture Poetry and Metaphysics). But someone has convinced me that it goes back to Luther and then the question of post-Reformation in art. There you have Rembrandt. I know Krebber loves Hercules Seghers. “a Romantic genius avant la lettre.” The Jean-Luc Nancy was assigned to me for the graduate school class with Avital Ronell. Of any essay, I would recommend that essay to read. It breaks down all the theological terms and concepts. For him he believes in infinite sense. That we can draw from this infinite sense. Christianity sets up a logical structure of waiting and waiting for Christ, i.e passage for his presence. The structure is Future for an End at any moment. (I forget it all now). But key theological terms are ousia and paraousia. There are questions from the Nicene Creed and the Councils to define Jesus, the Father, God and the Holy Spirit.

The Artaud manifesto is Real Theater at the time it was written. This isn’t some stage play. My contemporary lexicon is the Wolfgang Bauer play that Mike directed at the Emily Harvey Foundation. And I have read excerpts of Werner Schwab from Paul Levack’s book for his show in Chicago. But I don’t mean to aestheticize. I love aesthetics. I wish I could be a Dandy. But I don’t think I care that much about the reference points. So I am not advocating for a rehashing of 70s Austrian experimental playwrights. The Real part of Artaud is to find the chaos here-and-now. This chaos part does have a beauty if you go back to the topologist Rene Thom. I believe a dynamical system could beautifully model it all.

The part I struggle with the most is the Chinatown socialite. My solution to this problem is Klossowski and Bataille. I have a book in which I cut up Bataille. If you have it, you have it. I struggle with acting professionally or what I call “fake”. I prefer the secret society. This is Acephale. Klossowski was tremendously influential for Libidinal Economy and Deleuze. He wrote it in I believe 30 pages. Reena Spaulings translated it. But there I am back at aestheticizing. I just prefer to not engage with the art world in social hyper-fluidity. If you are getting this email, you can take solace in the fact that I would rather talk to you than go to a random opening. One time I articulated the importance of Klossowski in my own words:

Emotional pulsion is the source-classically, the interior-of the object made commodifiable through exchange. This is to consider not only the alienation in fetishism of the object (Marx) but to rather see that naturally systems co-opt the outside or what is folded just beyond the mark into the Framework for cognition and intelligibility. This distinction from a systems theory standpoint is between a marked state and an unmarked state. Basic cognition requires some architecture of a finite state automata in order for processing (legibility) and psycho-social communication (exchange). But at its root, the emotion in its extremes of agony and ecstasy are the root for these Frameworks which extend from the inside of us into discourse, image economy and communications (from the spiritual-One) through its magnification and circulation. The distinctions between interior and exterior are not clearly demarcated then when our capacity to feel is pre-formed through endogenous individuation and then a posteriori structuralization and extension of such/that feeling.

But I think I was wrong (libidinal materialism) because I did not account for algebraic geometry or the revolutions of the greatest mathematician of the 20th century Grothendieck (neo-Rationalism).

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I am not technically skilled to understand topos theory, or etale cohomology or the Weil conjectures. But if it helps… Andre Weil’s sister was Simone Weil, the theologian/philosopher. Andre was an atheist though. But Grothendieck proved the existence of God when he dropped out of the math community and wrote treatises.

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The other texts in my 50 page “(Para)academic writings” are groundwork for the 4th manifesto. I have emailed the PDF to a bunch of people.

Let me start with the Ranciere and Badiou. It basically boils down to structure and superstructure. I believe the mathematics are in the guy Jean Cavailles (Urbanomic taught me that he influenced them and Wikipedia says he influenced Bachelard with the “epistemological break”). What both thinkers share is that it is through the margin or the non-space or the unaccounted, that a new identity is formed that the system does not process or compute (the State wants to ignore it). The State Apparatus does not have an allotment for this “proletariat”. The Ranciere slogan is “disidentification”: “We are not x. We are not y. We are not z.” The Badiou slogan finds creation through a system of different analytic logical frameworks. I believe it is called “Intuitionism” (see


“The fundamental distinguishing characteristic of intuitionism is its interpretation of what it means for a mathematical statement to be true. In Brouwer’s original intuitionism, the truth of a mathematical statement is a subjective claim: a mathematical statement corresponds to a mental construction, and a mathematician can assert the truth of a statement only by verifying the validity of that construction by intuition. The vagueness of the intuitionistic notion of truth often leads to misinterpretations about its meaning. Kleene formally defined intuitionistic truth from a realist position, yet Brouwer would likely reject this formalization as meaningless, given his rejection of the realist/Platonist position. Intuitionistic truth therefore remains somewhat ill-defined. However, because the intuitionistic notion of truth is more restrictive than that of classical mathematics, the intuitionist must reject some assumptions of classical logic to ensure that everything they prove is in fact intuitionistically true. This gives rise to intuitionistic logic.

To an intuitionist, the claim that an object with certain properties exists is a claim that an object with those properties can be constructed. Any mathematical object is considered to be a product of a construction of a mind, and therefore, the existence of an object is equivalent to the possibility of its construction. This contrasts with the classical approach, which states that the existence of an entity can be proved by refuting its non-existence. For the intuitionist, this is not valid; the refutation of the non-existence does not mean that it is possible to find a construction for the putative object, as is required in order to assert its existence. Existence is construction, not proof of non-existence (Fenstad). As such, intuitionism is a variety of mathematical constructivism; but it is not the only kind.

The interpretation of negation is different in intuitionist logic than in classical logic. In classical logic, the negation of a statement asserts that the statement is false; to an intuitionist, it means the statement is refutable[1] (e.g., that there is a counterexample). There is thus an asymmetry between a positive and negative statement in intuitionism. If a statement P is provable, then it is certainly impossible to prove that there is no proof of P. But even if it can be shown that no disproof of P is possible, we cannot conclude from this absence that there is a proof of P. Thus P is a stronger statement than not-not-P.

Similarly, to assert that A or B holds, to an intuitionist, is to claim that either A or B can be proved. In particular, the law of excluded middle, “A or not A”, is not accepted as a valid principle. For example, if A is some mathematical statement that an intuitionist has not yet proved or disproved, then that intuitionist will not assert the truth of “A or not A”. However, the intuitionist will accept that “A and not A” cannot be true. Thus the connectives “and” and “or” of intuitionistic logic do not satisfy de Morgan’s laws as they do in classical logic.”

Badiou then is constructing (subjectively) a Truth. This is the most fabulous fable of them all: Christianity. It is easier in hindsight to register a Truth-Event. Such as Cezanne’s painting. Badiou was active as a political activist around ‘68. The backbone of the 4th manifesto is that it is theoretically possible to mine data out of every node. Big Data and Facebook and Cambridge Analytica can statistically correlate what your ideological position is and what your values and beliefs are. The possibility of some super-structure and objective situation (after Althusser’s ISA) does not mean though a violent anti-humanist Maoism. While it is conceivable to be an anti-humanist, Luther being one of the first, the basic idea of anti-humanism is an independent framework such as sola fide (for Luther) or the State of the Situation (for Badiou). The next piece to the puzzle is in the “Stage Manifesto” ( which was written to fulfill my Theory of the Avant-Garde course with Boris Groys. But I dropped out of school and took an Incomplete. I emailed him the paper and didn’t receive a response. And it converted to an F. Why I really wanted to take the course with Boris Groys was his essay on weak Messianism. He advocated for weak signs and not strong signs. His essay is on e-flux: The Stage manifesto (the PR for the What Pipeline exhibition Eric Schmid is an Idiot @ Cave Gallery analyzes the contemporary landscape after my experience in Berlin in 2011 and interning for Real Fine Arts later that year. We are back to questions of rigor and passion in the arts. The manifesto is a close reading of the Surrealist manifesto and Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil. It says that today (2012) there are two rapid fire slogans: “the wrong” and “the void”. An artist makes a work as a protest against capitalism, to make apparent the wrong (in French tort). The other slogan is an artwork about “bodies without organs” and buzzword/buzzmaterial/buzzcode works created from Post-humanist theory or from importing a Manuel DeLanda’s book into a saleable artwork (think of research-based contemporary art such as the Dreamlands exhibition)

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These claims to objectivity in the “void” forego the politics of putting such work into the world and prefer not to address. There was a Fatima Al Quadiri record where a “theory” press release was embedded within the record. The first slogan “wrong” also has problems in the age of professionalism and careerism. An Artist Space ( “protest” which makes headlines on NYTimes and helps your career and network (

The Stage manifesto argues for a different poetic configuration. To invert our public superiority and status and careerism — to instead be a failure. It postulates that there is an interior experience, as influenced by say St Augustine. To experience a psychic change by which the artwork follows the same thread manifested in the 4th manifesto that goes back to Romanticism and Rembrandt. The Stage manifesto calls Baudelaire the supreme poet of this mood. Questions of rigor and passion which are lacking in buzzwordy objectivity are re-invigorated through a return to subculture and taste. This is the figure of Des Esseintes who is alone at home with his marvelous collection. But the manifesto goes further than pretentiousness, in it demands a return to the homosociality of the gang, the crew, Beware of a Holy Whore, the noise kids.

The final essay in the “(para)academic writings” was written for a Frankfurt School course in 2009. The whole formal approach to all of these writings and constellations of references and names comes from Benjamin’s literary criticism and projects. The Arcades Projects are cut-ups of the turn of the century culture. His last writing in his life before he was at the Spanish border escaping the Nazis was the Theses on the Philosophy of History. He unfortunately committed suicide soon after.

The eccentric quality to Benjamin is also apparent in the writings of Robert Walser. The fact that his doctoral thesis was on German Tragic Drama, for example, and Walser writing about his life.

Here is a (very) short story that I wrote as if I were Walser:

There was a young ballerina who needed there resume printed and I stared at the color picture on the linen resume paper because it looked blotchy and not a gradient (hard jump between black and white lighting background). But I didn’t tell them.

Benjamin postulated a continuum from which we have a secret power. The structure of his philosophy of history is similar to Richard Dedekind’s construction of the Real Numbers. Deleuze actually based his third syntheses of time upon the Dedekind Cut and talks about Dedekind cuts in his chapter on differentiation in Difference & Repetition:

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Deleuze would construct his plane of immanence — of virtuality through this mathematical construction. Benjamin argues that though history may be written by the victors, we each have the Messianic power to redeem those that did not make registration and redemption. We each have a connection to this plane of virtuality. This notion then is not “History of Philosophy”. It is similar to how a ball may drop to one position, but there may be other potential positions (known as Metastability).

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Through a constellation of different images, we can create a dialectic at a standstill. This is the creation of new affective worlds. The movement of Cinema according to Deleuze is the succession of different irrational Dedekind cuts. We each have a power to create a new perceptive world and image through expressionism. The Adorno position in contrast is “negative dialectics” which prefers formal exercise like Beckett’s End Game or a 12-tone composition. But because Adorno hated jazz, he foregoes the possibility of Left-Futurism a la Sun Ra or Rainer Werner Fassbinder or Kraftwerk because of his own fears of unmediated fascism and un-dialectical ontology. But by way of de-sublimating/de-ontologizing metaphysics to an extreme, art can question the fundamental basis of reality and suggest an dream world (not to be confused with the atrocious Whitney Museum show Dreamlands) as advocated by Jess or Joseph Cornell. But without the naivete of racism like how a Fassbinder film exposes the contradictions of bourgeois life.

taken from here

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