Of Virilio’s Message of Trajectivity: A Theoretical Re-Orientation Toward Singularity

Following the La Rochelle Assemblage’s autopoietic meeting with Paul Virilio today, and his conveyance of his focused attention on Trajectory (the problematic site between Objectivity and Subjectivity), I realized that the purpose of this post-structural pilgrimage was one which led to the focusing of my own experiment. As such, the progression of a journal was realized tonight to be necessary.

As today’s outcome was the remarkably curious construct of autopoiesis (in many ways), I’m hesitant to immediate overcode this vital effort with structures, frameworks and excessive expectations; they weren’t immanent in the preceding landscape and shouldn’t be read in in retrospect. While I feel it to be appropriate to communicate some extent of expectation at this re-beginning, I recognize the importance of sustainability and forward momentum that must accumulate out of today’s singularity.

I’ll confess: my immediate interpretation of Virilio’s message was one seeking grand ontologies (didn’t Dan Hughes say at lunch that Virilio says to set the Heidegger aside and read Husserl?!). I am unfortunately and inexcusably excessively Heideggerian, curiously from some heritage I still don’t understand, and it’s apparent in my inter-personal engagements. As such, there is a parallel resonance to Virilio’s concern with trajectivity and that of my recognition and apology to my wife for years pursing grand entrepreneurial outsides that never manifest (when the real issue was one of inside). There’s a remarkable sense of humor in this coincidental occurrence: just as many were seeking ontological explanations to the nature of Being (and other noble projects of Universal importance), the laundry didn’t get washed and the bills paid. Phenomenology’s attempt to break from detached idealism didn’t get far before it fell into the same trap. Marx may have left his family to starve while he contemplated, but we students of the phenomenological tradition are supposed to know better!

As such, Virilio’s trajectivity appears to open a remarkably inward, intrapersonal path, through the application of the theory onto a singularity of individual. Even my absence of an understanding of French didn’t fail me in recognizing this importance of the singularity: theory needs to be personal and singular! How often must we create grand explanations of universals “for the purpose of saving the Other” (or other important purpose), commanding the necessity of not universalizing, while creating a universal model in the end?

Given this opening, transferred by Virilio to our little assemblage, I’m liberated from the weight lifted that was crushing me into paralysis on the experiment. Expectations of greater-than-100-page-daily readings, expansive immediate command of the literature, and other self-imposed mandates that dictated the prerequisite for minimal credibility were lifted. More importantly, however, an immediate connection via the path of the Trajectory was established, resonating significantly not only in my attention around the trajectory Foucault illuminates which I’ve internally extended through my first-hand engagement in the Vectoralist realm into a heterogeneous totalitarianism, but into a region my “trade skills” as a risk and information security executive has given me experiential theoretical insight.

This is a path that can be extended; a path that connects to native thought, links through Virilio, Foucault, Serres and other friends, and focuses the problem on the singularity which itself is disruptive and transformative.

Much else was learned today, some of which will be shared in due time and others will be trapped to the erosion of the phenomenological field back into the sea of chaos. The old woman beggar who seemed to bring good wishes to a traveller who has not once before given a penny, the curiosity of the spelling of a name, the extensive debates on ethics of flowers, greetings and related protocol, and the recognition of respect for fellow travelers clearly called in their own way to take on a remarkably unexplored, difficult path will be those phantoms alluded to but not illuminated further.

One final confession: There was substantial self-debate about the determination of disclosure of this journal effort. Several years ago, when I stirred from my Peter Klaus slumber and began judging policy debate, I decided from that beginning that I would always disclose my biases, subjectivities, relationships, results and accept the consequence for the error that was inherent in my re-approach. It’s remarkably easy to refuse to disclose one’s decision; it’s another matter to stake it on the line each time, particularly from a radically different perspective and applied theory-base and normative system (of some two decades prior), providing the very cites for the debaters to tear you to pieces through a decision contrary to expectation. For two years, it was perhaps the most humiliating, terrifying responsibility which faced me each and every weekend (my varsity debater and son can attest to this). Yet this open disclosure provided benefits that were not anticipated at the time. Quickly, my responsibility toward the teams in the room through the utmost diligence in judging I could provide at the time led to greater understanding, discussion, emails, orientation, and crystallization of thought. In a similar respect, I’ve taken to providing the same painful disclosure here, fully knowing that many of my thoughts are not pedigreed, may be trivially known and fully explored by established theorists known to most, or simply put, these conjectures under the experiment may be absolutely and foolishly incorrect.

With this humility and confession of intent, I submit the opening of the project in its next phase and ask for the patience and understanding of the reader.


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