My recent trip to Bao Steel reminded me of an old piece written by the ccru. To become legible it had to be rescued from a now obsolete word processing format. I thought I would reprint it here:
“What metal and metallurgy bring to light is a life proper to matter, a vital state of matter as such, a material vitalism that doubtless exists everywhere but is ordinarily hidden or covered or rendered unrecognizable, dissociated by the hylomorphic model. Metallurgy is the consciousness or thought of the matter flow, and metal the correlate of this consciousness. As expressed in panmetalism, metal is coextensive to the whole of matter, and the whole of matter to metallurgy…Not everything is metal but metal is everywhere. Metal is the conductor of all matter. The machinic phylum is metallurgical, or at least has a metallic head, as its itenerant probe head or guidance device. And thought is born more from metal than from stone….The prodigious idea of Nonorganic Life…was the invention, the intuition of metallurgy. Metal is neither a thing, nor an organism, but a body without organs. The Northern or Gothic Line is above all a mining metallic line delimiting this body.” Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus.
Terminator 2. Nonorganic life sent back from the future effects a final face-off between its metal body and the human organism. (Only in a Hollywood fairytale can this turn out well for the monkeys.) Linda Hamilton, hardbody Human Resister, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, territorialized cyborg, deputed into the human cause recoil in horror from Skynet’s latest Terminator, the T1000. An advance prototype mimetic polyalloy, it is a liquid metal morphing machine. Unencumbered by organic characteristics; integrity, rigidity, stability it operates through constant variation, composing and decomposing its body on the plane of consistency.
The Grundrisse. Sensing the emergence of capitalism’s metal body, anthropoMarx understands Capital as a melting machine, incarnating itself in fleeting commodities and taking on their form, but at the same time changing them just as constantly. Marx represses the positive power of nonorganic invasion, characterising it only negatively, as an inversion of organic vitalism, undeath: capital obtains this ability only by constantly sucking in living labour as its soul, vampire-like.
Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Teeming, seething, swelling, foaming, spreading like an––infectious disease, nameless: Deleuze and Guattari’s Gothic materialism locates the nature of horror as the apprehension of the Body without Organs, a Turing cop aversion to Spinozist single substance. What anthropol perceives as formless is in fact a snaking, feverish line of variation first tracked by metallurgy. Not everything is metal but metal is everywhere…: in the destratified matter at the core of the earth, in electric wires, in money, in the blood’s red pigment, and in the tools of agriculture and the weapons of the war machine. Working only in intensities, speed, temperature, astride thresholds rather than between them, the metallurgist follows the machinic phylum out beyond the pleasures of the organs. Metallurgy’s Gothic technics constitutes the ultimate betrayal of the human, a pact made with the demon that allows the Golem to escape from the judgments of God.