Italo Calvino: Collection of Sand

Techno Occulture

The fascination of a collection lies just as much in what it reveals as in what it conceals of the secret urge that led to its creation. – Italo Calvino

In a curious travel sketch Italo Calvino relates the story of a woman who collected sand from the various landscapes and geographies of the world. He’s come to a Paris exhibition where she’s arrayed these various hued marvels or curiosities in glass jars with placards relating them to their points of origins:

There is a person who collects sand. This person travels the world and—on arrival at a sea-shore, the banks of a river or lake, or a desert, or wasteland—gathers a handful of sand and takes it away. On returning home, thousands of little jars are waiting, lined up on long shelves: inside them the fine grey sand of Lake Balaton, the brilliant white particles from the Gulf of…

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The Suicidal Civilization: Technopessimism and the Coming Collapse

Techno Occulture

…suicide is the decisive political act of our times.
― Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Precarious Rhapsody
It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.
― Emile Cioran, The Trouble with being Born

Base materialism begins in the tomb, a world of death that presents itself as life —or, a-life, take your pick: the automatons of an atomistic world unleashed. This is neither Plato’s Cave, nor the scientific infinity of stars and the abyss. This is rather an ocean of energy, a realm of annihilating light and inexistence. Following Nick Land we promote a diagnostic truth against the “speculative, phenomenal, and meditative” philosophers of a false intuitionism, following instead the underbelly of those criminal outcasts of thought: Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Bataille among others toward a materialism that seeks not the phenomenal surface of things, but rather the ‘noumenon’ – the impersonal death and unconscious drive of an “energetic unconscious”. This is…

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