Resonance: A New Image of Communication

As the phrase goes, “the communication between two terms generates an independent third.”

Resonance isn’t found by plumbing the interiority of two singularities, or even their overlap. (A U B)

Rather, resonance is an external force in-between singularities that incites forms of content and expression.

Dominic Smith’s response article to Badiou’s Clamour of Being is an amazing descriptive piece that lays the groundwork for theorizing this form of inter-action:

New image of communication: [more or less copy/pasting, some rewording]
Signs are never univocal packets of information but rather affective charges.
They require the relation between singularities to determine and prolong their resonance.
Communication involves entering into new and affective relations with singularities.
And a condition for new relations is the capacity of singularities to express their difference.

-Reading is the appropriation of signs through free and indirect discourse – free and indirect to the degree that emitting singularities are respected as capable of new expressions and connections.

Fascism results from a perception of “making sense” as a way of attaining knowledge and power over other individuals.

Sense is what individuals create in order to make their non-equivalent experiences resonate and communicate.

Lines of flight are the intensities generated _in between_ being-affected and becoming-adequate [[adequate in the Spinozist sense]]. They are, in short, the conditions that give an individual’s “making sense” or becoming-adequate its motive force. As individuals, we are traversed by different lines of flight which we attempt to make resonate through expression and the production of sense. Sometimes our lines meet in tension. Sometimes they are blocked or deflected. At other times they meet in harmony, creating vaster lines of collective expression and communication. The point, in any case, is that our lines of flight never transcend one another. What counts on a line of flight is never the transcendence of ‘‘destination,’’ the ending for a voyage or a story but rather the production of connective intensities in flight, in media res.

LOF are useful in this respect: they allow us to map how one comes to read or write without dictating what one ought to read or write.

******PS: Spinozist-Negriist enthusiasm of this new metaphysics deserves careful critique. Resonance is a different way of _considering_ communication, not a uniquely “left” or “radical” model. The obvious intent is to generate a radical politics, but explaining communication via resonance should not mean celebrating all the forms it generates – it has as many positive and negative uses as any other model. [as D&G remind us in the Micropolitics and Segmentarity plateau of ATP – resonance is a state strategy!]


    1. Hey Gaston! Thanks for the kind comments.

      I decided to list the caveat as a bit of a friendly critique. The use of resonance in The Coming Insurrection’s new introduction caught me a bit by surprise. I’m quite familiar with the use in Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, which posits resonance as a state-strategy akin to disciplinary power. The work of Talal Asad and William Connolly have noted how those versions of ‘resonance’ are part-and-parcel with the current conservative movement (for instance: “Christian Capitalism Resonance Machine”). Additionally, micro-fascism is a resonance of fascism on the molecular level!

      That said, I think it’s a quite provocative model of communication and think that the Egypt piece is not only stimulating, but is the most developed exposition on the idea I’ve seen. I’m excited to see the second part!

  1. Thanks for the references to Asad and Connolly. Will check them out! Second part is proving to be conceptually challenging (resonance, speed, temporality, revolution), but is indeed coming soon. cheers

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