#12: Leisure time and the arts and sciences

When it draws a picture of itself on the wall, as buffalo becoming human, it represents one of many distributions of investment possible for the caveman. He is reflecting in leisure time, an intensive good itself only produced by the physical labor of finding and walking into the cave. He simply continues to draw the map of his world, the next lines on the same map he drew across the earth in his footsteps to the cave. But because the lines of snow have been neutralized, effectively erased by the cave as a dwelling, it becomes possible to draw not simply the most simple and urgent maps, of the animal and snow and cave, but rather it is then possible to draw a map of the animal and snow and cave drawing a map. This is done via the plane of immanence with the cave’s wall as canvas. But notice that this artistic abstraction in leisure is not idle play, it is simply the next logical step of human nature as intensive space. For, the most evolutionarily valuable map is always the fullest map, which means the map of all things, including all maps, and so on and so forth. The difficult implication is that the one absolute map is impossible, and the quantitatively greatest map is in no way necessarily the second best. This is because maps, as things, can also be used to produce things. All of this is simply to reveal the inherent openness of evolutionary development as non-teleological and that maps are never just maps but functions. Any map, as a thing, can be used to produce other things.

Thus, the arts and sciences converge as the work of constructing maps of intensive things via the plane of immanence onto which the human is always falling back to gravitationally, using extensive things as models in leisure. In other words, nothing more or less than non-, extra-, anti-, sub, or supra-institutional human life.

Note the true character of art and science with respect to our growing portfolio of unified theories. First of all, clearly, authentic art and science represent defaults without reservation on all debts owed to existence, in order to invest in the production of new models. They are the apples thrown sufficiently high that they reach their own orbit, leaving the original ensemble or force-field which generated them, despite its gravity. They are random mutations—like language—that are in many ways unfit with respect to the prevailing ensemble but create niches in which new traits might thrive despite the dominant ensemble of things and potentially threatening the extinction of that dominant ensemble. Art and science are both illegitimate or_ corrupt_, to use a classical term reanimated in some degree by Hardt and Negri, exactly to the degree they pay back the dominant ensemble. If they do not take their own prerogatives absolutely, if they pay for permission in the coin of homage, they are neither art nor science. The arts and sciences, if they are to be anything, must be everything. Needless to say, they are currently nothing.

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Murphy, Justin. 2012. "#12: Leisure time and the arts and sciences," https://jmrphy.net/blog/2012/09/09/31236568524/ (December 14, 2018).