Becoming green

"The universal calculus of decay does not tolerate an abrupt mutation from human to tree, as Hieronymus Bosch’s tree-man might imply. In decay as a process of cosmogenesis, the tree and human are not two entelechies or perfected bodies of actuality which can be connected together via a straight line. Both ‘being a tree’ and ‘being a man’ are changing variables – rates of change between their respective actualities and potencies on the one hand and between their interiorities and the exteriority on the other. Therefore, the most veritable line of transition that can be drawn between a human and a tree is not a line connecting their fixed actualities or traits but a line that encompasses their existing actualities (given points) as well as their potentials and derivatives (even the remotest ones). The tree is itself a differential field of ideas – or in a Leibnizian sense a generative reservoir of smaller bodies – which themselves are changing and have their own derivatives; the same profusion with subtle bodies and movements is also applicable to man, its idea and its form. Therefore, in order for the line of putrefaction to draw gradients of decay between the man and the tree, it must encompass such ever-increasing (both in quantity and distance from their original ideas or formations as a whole) emerging bodies, ideas or derivatives. In interpolating between all these points and emerging values, the slimy line of rot becomes an ever-convoluting curve. For this reason, the nightmarish plunge of the human into the verdant inferno of growth is accentuated when the line between the human and the tree becomes infinitely convoluted, encompassing a cosmic array of beings which only differentially – that is to say, very remotely – connect to either the tree or the human. In other words, in decay, the object travels across a world of familiar and alien beings which may or may not have any immediate relationship or affinity with the decaying object" (pp. 416-7).

Negarestani, R. (2010) Undercover Softness, Collapse VI, p. 379-430.

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