Heat-Death: Emergence And Control In Genetic Engineering And Artificial Life

The solar economy’s supply chain stretches all the way to the tiniest object. Gravity has shifted. Shenzhen floods the market with cheap disposable utilities while the Valley’s grand announcements pull the equivalent political weight on the other...

The society of control marks a historical mutation of power, a redirection of its attention towards the turbulent levels of matter/energy. The emergence of control can be perceived through science, technology, economics, and culture, even if it is always enmeshed with previous modes of power. We have abstracted and mapped these lines as if they were the results of the internal pressures of capitalist and patriarchal power to continuously remould itself in order to deal with the mutations of the clinamen. The problem of power is a bio-geological question, rather than a psychoanalytic one: it is about fluidity as an immanent mode of matter/energy rather than an internalised pre-Oedipal state of undifferentiated bliss.

We should be wary of the tendency to pose fluidity as some kind of ultimate political goal for postmodern cynics; when the disciplinary walls come down and their functions are released on a smooth space, fluidity becomes the field of power, not a safe haven outside it. Fluidity is not just where one ends up, then, happy but washed out after the wreckage of the disciplinarian fathership, but it is where control emerges as an immanent process of rechanneling of turbulent flows.