Nomadic Circles

A recurring theme of the book is that most of our media forms and practices are teleological. They are materially so, since they have physical real last pages and physical real last frames. Hypertext, radically, simply, and elegantly, matters perhaps most because by refusing or at least showing the possibility of discursive forms that are otherwise to this they also offer ways to think with things and make arguments that might not be teleological.

Academic writing, in spite ourselves and our arguments, is resolutely teleological. As academics we participate in and make arguments, after all, which ideally are causal evidenced based chains of reason. They are things on the way to somewhere, and these destinations tend to be implicit in the causes. I am frustrated and suspicious of this. This seems to only describe part of how I think and work, not all. I’m also reasonably confident that the world I find myself in is made up of a considerable amount of things that matter to me that also aren’t teleological. Things just happen. They have effects, I’m sure they have causes, somewhere, but that is a very different claim to saying they have an end, as their aim.

This book is in some ways a materialised or concrete engagement with this. It returns to a small number of what could be described as my academic concerns (in the way that Latour describes a discipline as the making and maintaining of things that are its matters of concern), prodding and poking them in a persistent, repetitive, indeed even obsessive manner. The writing is quite explicit about this, as it returns to have another go at a problem, returning to some ideas, again, and finding new avenues, new facets, by which to think about it, or with it. It finds causes, it makes arguments, it goes places. And returns, again.

Perhaps, in this repetition, these circles and contours (rather than the nearly straight line that is teleology) that I could theorise via Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the nomadic and Walter J Ong’s orality offers an alternative to teleology? Musical rather than linguistic, poetic rather than prosaic, is there a viable knowledge being performed by these returns and worryings?

His Own Voice

I know that to blog well I should comment on and weave commentary around other’s posts. But I’m mired in a large writing project, as well as trying to get an anthology out the door and several essays. More likely though, I enjoy my own voice too much.


Writing has odd rhythms. Sometimes I am writing about things I really have not deliberately thought about very much, and as I write the writing becomes a thinking-out of a concern, question, problem. Sometimes these do not progress much beyond an aside, othertimes a sort of curiosity, worth keeping (perhaps) in a cabinet to one side. Not central, but enough there to warrant some possible care and attention. Yet others arrive at, almost distilled, into an understanding or comment, often nascent to be sure, of something quite unexpected. There is a great pleasure at such moments that, for me, cause a pause, a caesura in the writing, where it needs to lie for a while. Delicate and unfolding. When I return sometimes it has collapsed, or I can no longer see what it was. Other times. Well, they’re a beauty. This unbidden arrived at idea reverberates in a way that is resolute and rhizomatic in how it can insinuate itself amongst so many other things.


The cafe seems to be full of women in athletic wear and retired couples nursing capuccino’s, discussing their recent or next holiday.

The anxiety of thinking that what I am writing in ‘the book’ is vacuous and not really grounded in ‘real’ theory is enormous. It feels like a game of bluff, with an uncomfortable tension between thinking you are a sham and on the other hand that because there have been some people (not many, admittedly) who find what I have done before interesting there will, somehow, be sufficient there.

I’m trying to argue that deliberate lo fi video compression is a way to introduce indeterminancy into video. More specifically that softvideo is a sort of digital living centre (in Bergson’s sense) and compression is a facet that comes to matter.

I Don’t Blog Anymore, Do I?

As you write and it gets to, say, 50,000 words, deciding to add another 10,000 words to the total appears trivial, like adding another teaspoon of vanilla to your custard.

Trying to remember the homily that “perfection gets in the way of good”.

Also trying to remember that, as I constantly teach, just getting in and doing it is the best way to find your way, and to know what you need to do.