Nick land's essays like machinic desire and meltdown
others, including Steve Goodman, miami ohio essay prompt Luciana Parisi and Robin Mackay, the editor of the Collapse journal and the man behind Urbanomic, the publishers of Fanged Noumena, I was a founding member of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (ccru). Nevertheless, Eshuns question makes sense because that small canon of texts collected for the first time in a recently published volume Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings have had an enormous, but until now, subterranean influence. When you were in Nicks presence, thinking mattered. Lands texts were never about 90s experimental dance music so much as they converged with. I was one of those who underwent this dislocating encounter.
This thesis considers one significant and distinctive aspect of Land's work: his use of a psychoanalytic vocabulary, which is deployed to try and avoid several problems associated with metaphysical discourse. Fanged Noumena gives a dizzying perspective on the entire trajectory of this provocative and influential thinkers work, and has introduced his unique voice to a new generation of readers. It took on a mortal quality it became enlivened, libidinised, intensified and it made demands upon you. Although the ccru was notionally a part of the Philosophy department, it never had any formal institutional status. Land demonstrated that one could make rigorous theoretical arguments without being afraid to engage with unorthodox materials. I completely share your thoughts about Thirst For Annihilation, says Steve Goodman, which to me read like a writer trying to liberate themselves from the shackles of being trained in academic theory/philosophy. .
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The ccru was convened by Lands former collaborator, Sadie Plant, but, when Plant departed, the Unit became shaped by Lands ideas and methodology. It found a plane of consistency where the cyberpunk fiction of William Gibson connected up with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant; where Blade Runner connected with finance capital. Chapter two contrasts Freud's materialism to Lacan's idealism. There was a great deal of cyber-theory around in the 1990s but none of it seemed to come from inside the machines which is to say, outside us in the way that Lands did. It was the piece Machinic Desire that first took hold. Chapter four considers Lyotard's works from his 'libidinal period' of the late sixties to early seventies. Chapter three returns to materialism, as depicted by Deleuze and Guattari in Anti-Oedipus. Chapter one considers Freud, his model of the unconscious, and the extent to which it is anthropocentric. Delighted to Death (Pli - The Warwick Journal of Philosophy 3(2) 1991). Some of the philosophers at the forefront of the most exciting movement in current philosophy, speculative realism Ray Brassier, Iain Hamilton Grant studied with Land, and their work is still marked by that encounter. Many, if not all of those people that made contact with Nick Land have since gone on to make names for themselves in literature, in electronic dance music, in art, in fiction It is clear to me now that those encounters with Nick were intensifying.
There was no homeland left to return. And this is what made him, at that time, such an amazing teacher. Land somehow stamped his mark on the death-drive, and anyone who had the courage to read his work was pulled along in the wake. But what is interesting about Nick, is that his response to this hyper-rational prison of academic philosophy was not to retreat from it, but to accelerate it to a point where it implodes, perhaps taking him with.
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