Signals & Signaletics

Signaletics (Deleuze  – ‘Signaletic Material’)

  • Transmateriality Toward an Energetics of Signal in Contemporary Mediatic Assemblages
    • Drone cam clips — the driver loses control, but “signal is not lost at all. Something persists unassisted by the human controller; an affect of signal simply being to transmit. We discover, then, that there is not just one signal but instead a multiplicity—the one controlling the drone, the one powering the drone and camera and the one that ensures the image persists.”
    • “What returns—whatis on display for usin the YouTubedronecamgenre—is what has been persistently with us since at least the end of the nineteenth century: signal”
    • “Signal, … is fundamentally beyond, before and above the human”
    • Verilio – “machine vision” 
    • “not firstpersonpointofview ornarrativeactionbutinsteada sense ofbeingin themidst of transmission,buoyed by a network of multiple signal flows, subject to fluctuations, transitions, instabilities.”
    • Tendencies towards instability (unlike ‘code’ which tends toward control (?))
    • Douglas Kahn – “transmission”
    • Karen Barad
    • Variability is immanent to signal
    • “Oscillatory capacities”
    • Lazzarato’s “Time-matter”
      • “All digital modulations of flow… become information—presents an increasing deterritorialisation, not remediation, of flow.”
    • Signaletic material — nexus between signifying and asignifying flows 
    • Transmateriality as the metastable process that precedes a given individuation (e.g.: the non-visual resonance signal in NMRi precedes the visual individuation of that signal into an image)
      • Signaletic material and transmateriality give us ways of getting outside of ‘digital’ and ‘analog’
      • Transmaterial relations are virtual (difference) and actual (individuated)
    • Simondon — shifting through transduction
    • Nam June Paik 
      • “He experimented with transductive processes so as to rediscover variability or difference as the metastable plane of ontogenesis for the electronic arts. And this rediscovery could only take place in and as process; there was for him no originary signal, no place, no idea to start from—there was only the ‘WAY’”
    • Nicholai
      • Unmistakeably ‘digital’ in its tools and sensibility, Nicolai’s work in pieces such as telefunken and m6re from 2006, like Paik’s experimental television, subject us not to codification but insert us into the (re)becoming signaletic of media.
  • Deleuze, Peirce and the Cinematic Sign
    • Deleuze uses Peirce to develop semiotics as ‘expressions of semiotic matter’ — that is immanent (arising a “modulations of the object itself”
    • Signaletic material is the bas stuff of the image — ‘movement-images’ — meaning resides in this embodiment not in some ‘indexical’ codification (the image’s meaning structure is more subtle than this)
    • The signaletic material of the movement-image is therefore virtual — its real but not actual
  • Making Sense of Matter in Deleuze’s Conception of Cinema Language
    • The critique of Metz by Deleuze — pre-linguistic notions: Prelinguistic as amorphous and syntaxic matter, according to which a conception of language is based on the formation of this matter into substance AND (Deleuze’s matter-sense from which signs are  product)
    • In a sense this is an account of language that is top-down (matter is based on the formation of substance from matter) and bottom-up (matter-sense is where ‘we’ get language)
    • Substance here is like meaning — or the way that form and matter arise into (things like) language


  • Signal — For Simondon, the signal is distinct from the signification:“Signals are spatial or temporal; a signification is spatio-temporal; it has two senses, the one through relation to a structure and the other through relation to a functional becoming…According to this manner of seeing individuation, a definite psychic operation would be a discovery of significations in an ensemble of signals, the signification prolonging the initial individuation of being, and having in its sense a relation not only to the ensemble of exterior objects but also to the being itself. As it contributes a solution to a plurality of signals, a signification has a bearing towards the exterior; but this exterior is not foreign to the being as a result of individuation; because before the individuation this being was not distinct from the ensemble of being that is separated in the milieu and the individual” (IPC, 126-27).
  • Signification -Simondon writes: “language is the instrument of expression, vehicle of information, but not the creator of significations. Signification is a relation of beings, not a pure expression; signification is relational, collective, transindividual, and can not be furnished by the encounter of the subject and the expression” (IPC, 200). Earlier in the book, Simondon will write:“According to the distinction between signals and significations, we will say that there is an individual when there is a process of real individuation, i.e. when significations appear: the individual is that by which and that in which significations appear, whereas between the individuals there are only signals. The individual is the being that appears when there is signification; reciprocally, there is only signification when an individuated being appears or is prolonged in a being that is being individualized; the genesis of the individual corresponds to the resolution of a problem that could not be resolved by means of prior givens, because they did not have a common axiomatic: the individual is the auto-constitution of a topology of being that resolves a prior incompatibility through the appearance of a new systematic; that which was tension and incompatibility becomes functional structure…the individual is thus a spatio-temporal axiomatic of being that compatibilizes previously antagonistic givens in a system to a spatial and temporal dimension” (127).



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