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SOLAR INFERNO AND scope of the abyss.

For this reason, the Sun should

THE EARTHBOUND ABYSS neither be embraced as the dark flame of excess
nor glorified as a luminous end, but reconsid-
Reza Negarestani ered and rediscovered as an infernal element in
the chain of complicities which open the Earth
into a universe that is more weird than infernal,
its climatic events are more asymptotically non-
eventful rather than catastrophically climatic, its
Abolishing Heliocentric Slavery exteriority is more immanent to the inside rather
The marriage between the sublunary terrestrial than the outside. An Earth surveyed (ars terram)
slum and the Sun has become a strictly monoga- by such a radical ecology can be reconceived as a
mous model that regulates not only ethics, poli- circuitous part of a nested abyss, and for this rea-
tics and art but also the entire history of thought son, its somatic characteristics (the differentiation
and organic activities. It is time to return to the of its body into inorganic layers and bio-terrains)
promiscuity of the Earth as a dense constellation and consequently its geographic contingencies
of interstellar rubbish with dead stars. Roaming and ultimately histories are the products of an
the cosmos aimlessly with an Earth whose Sun abyss for which all climates are convoluted and
is itself contingent upon the cosmic abyss, that is detoured sloped-curves (klima) which are asymp-
to say, it is already-dead – this is the geophilo- totic with the unclimatic depths of the universe
sophical art in which all human endeavors must and its cosmic contingencies. Ecologically speak-
be invested: to embrace the Earth as a fractal ing, in an abyssal cosmos where heliocentric
clump rather than an exotic blue marble, to think slavery has been abolished, the aquatic vitality
of it as a passing oval meteorite whose crater has of the Earth is either a detoured expression of a
already bored into the skin of astral corpses. The starless-nature that appears as rotting slime or
idea of ecological emancipation must be divorced the earthbound abyss which erupts in the form
from the simultaneously vitalistic and necrocratic of corrosive oil. Whereas Venice and its aquatic
relationship between the Earth and the Sun. It capitalism are asymptotically converging upon
must instead be coupled with cosmic contingency an indifferent nature which is a pit of slime and
as the principle of all ecologies. Only an ecology mold; its dry middle-eastern twin Dubai and its
permeated with radical contingencies of the cos- oily capitalism are plunged into the madness of
mic abyss can reinvent the Earth in the direction petroleum brewed up by the deep chthonic earth.
of the great outdoors. For such an ecology, every In either case, the cosmic abyss and its radical
moment is an apocalypse which cannot be cul- ecology find their blackening expression in the
minated, and the Sun is not the heart of darkness water of life where all climates (biological, so-
but that which cauterizes the gaping wound from cial, political, etc.) are terminally determined by
which pulverizing contingencies (or climates) of chemistry or the contingent dynamics of radical
the cosmic abyss bleed into our world. As much exteriority. It is in this sense that a capitalist life
as the Earth must be divested of its conception either driven forward by the tourism of water or
as the ark of life, the Sun must also be stripped the industrialism of oil becomes a perfect locus
of both its stellar privileges and hegemonic eco- for chemical twists of an abyss whose weird ecol-
logical imports. For after all, the Sun is only an ogy is nowhere better manifested than in the so-
inevitable blind spot for the Earth that bars the called potent water of life.

A History of Solar Bondage use the same energetic model for its death – or of the terrestrial biosphere. For the terrestrial the cosmic abyss, climates are pure contingencies
openness to that which is exterior to it – as the biosphere, the dominant model of dying, or more and therefore, draw the limitropically convoluted
According to the energetic models of psychology model that it has previously used for conserving precisely, ‘openness to the outside’ is limited to trajectories along which various horizons of inte-
(Freud, Reich, Ferenczi, et al.) the organic system energy and living. This recurring energetic model ‘being open to the Sun’, that is to say, finding a riorities are undone and loosened into the yawn-
– by virtue of its conservative and economical is fundamentally established by the source of the generally affordable consumptive solution to the ing chasm. If solar economy and its associated
nature – seeks to fixate upon the first exorbitant exorbitant energy and thereby, implements both problem of solar expenditure. To put it differently, capitalism are inflexibly monistic in death, it is
source of energy that it directly encounters. This the traumatizing effects of excessive energy and openness to the Sun does not conjure a hyperbolic because Sun itself is a contingency whose interior-
source of energy must surpass the lifespan of the inherent limitations of the source of energy Icarian humanism as some might object but rather ized conception is in the process of loosening into
the organic system and issue forth a problematic which itself is another interiorized horizon envel- a restricted Inhumanism for which exteriority the abyss – a contingency that tends to manifest as
amount of energy that exceeds the capacity of oped against its abyssal cosmic backdrop. There- is only perpetuated by the solar economy and a necessity so as to inhibit the irruption of other
the organic system. Consumption of this exorbi- fore, although life can manifest itself plurally as inflection upon death and exteriority is limited contingencies qua climates. For the irruption of
tant energy, therefore, becomes a problem for the opportunities for diversification and complexi- to dying by the Sun and through the dissipative contingencies through another contingency – as
organism. For the organism, consequently, modes fication brought about by different economical model of energy that it dictates. For this reason, in the case of a dying Sun – is a chemical journey
or courses of life are in fact solutions found and ways for conservation of the exorbitant energy, solar economy is a straitened model of openness in which the solar horizon breaks into innumer-
developed by the organism to confront the prob- death or binding exteriority is only possible in one or inflection upon death and exteriority insofar as able other contingencies, each carrying thousands
lem of consumption. In other words, ideas of and only one way. This way is both qualitatively it entails the possibility of pluralism in life only of turns and twists, giving the depth of the abyss
how to live are reduced to solutions to afford the and quantitatively restricted in that it strictly cor- at the cost of a strict monism in death. A vector a nested twist that is asymptotic with its radical
exorbitant energy. The more diverse the solutions responds to the fundamental limitations of the of thought configured by solar economy knows exteriority. Life on Earth, in this sense, is a con-
of the organism become, the easier the organism exterior source of energy and how these limita- nothing of the freedom of alternatives in regard to tingency begotten by the decaying Sun whose
can maneuver between different courses of life tions are increased in the conservative economy death as a vector of exteriorization or loosening body, already a corpse, has been overridden by
and the firmer the organism is fettered to its exor- of the organism. Any image of exteriority that the into the cosmic abyss. Hence, the Descartesian cosmic climates qua irruptive contingencies.
bitant source of energy. This growing dependency exorbitant source of energy promises or creates dilemma, ‘What course in life shall I follow?’
on the exorbitant source of energy through the for the organism will remain within the confines should be bastardized as ‘Which way out shall I
ever-increasing shackles of life singularizes the Capitalism, or the Market of the Sun
and limits of that source of energy itself. take?’ It is the latter question that radically breaks
exorbitant source of energy as the only model of on the Planet
For us, this exorbitant source of energy is away from life-oriented models of emancipation
dissipation for the organism i.e. the only model whose putative opportunities in life and dismissal
the Sun and its solar economy. The solar excess Like all modes of slavery, heliocentrism has its
of death and the only way out. Accordingly, the of death are none other but manifests of heliocen-
has developed a conservative image of thought own market strategy; it is called base-capitalism.
exorbitant energy instigates and imposes plural- tric slavery.
in which one can only dissipate or die according For schizophrenic capitalism, whilst everything
ity in modes of life but only in accordance with
to the model of energetic dissipation that the Sun The ecological emancipation in the direction should be accelerated towards a techno-economic
the conservative and economical nature of the
has engrained within the terrestrial organisms. of the great outdoors, a ‘new Earth’ (Deleuze and meltdown along paths of expenditure entrenched
organism. The plurality of life is enforced at the
One can afford numerous modes of conservation Guattari) or the earthbound abyss require not in solar economy, modes of life as ever more con-
expense of monism in death. And it is the monism
or live in different ways but must die solely in the alternative ways of life – with which capitalism voluting circuitous paths towards death must not
in death – as a mode of inflection upon the outside
way that has been dictated by the energetic model is grossly overwhelmed – but alternative ways only be embraced but also emphatically affirmed.
(or what is exterior to the organism) – that rigidly
of dissipation inherent to the Sun. It is in this of binding the exteriority of the cosmic abyss or The seemingly paradoxical proclivity of capital-
restricts the image of exteriority associated with
sense that Georges Bataille’s model of general inflection upon death (of both mind and matter). ism – that is to say, its concomitant dynamism
the cosmic abyss and in doing so forestalls a radi-
or non-restricted solar economy is itself a form Whether identified as modes of radical openness towards thanatropic meltdown and its advocation
cal change in life and its ventures.
of restricted economy whose restriction does not (paths for loosening into the abyss) or inflection of lifestyles – amounts to the very simple fact that
The organism tends to die, or more accu- find its expression in its relatively diverse modes upon non-dialectical negativity (dying in ways for the Sun the phenomenon of life on the planet is
rately, tends to open to the exterior horizon by of living but in the rejection of those modes of other than those afforded by the organism), al- but a modal range of energy dissipation prescribed
means of the same energetic models and channels death or binding exteriority which cannot be ternative ways of binding exteriority mobilize by the solar economy and afforded by organic
from which it conservatively secures its vital indexed by the economical correlation between the terrestrial sphere according to climates of the systems. This does not merely suggest that death
economy. To put it simply, the organism tends to the solar excess and the conservative structures cosmic abyss. Yet, as argued earlier, in terms of – especially for planetary entities – is inevitable

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but that such death or vector of exteriorization is detours also has an intimate affinity with terres- both the terrestrial life and the climates generated death of Earth is strongly reminiscent of Victor
exclusively restricted to modes of energetic dis- trial juices. The solar model of consumption can by the Sun. However, the complicity between the Hugo’s description of the appalling slime pools
sipation (modes of life) that the Sun imposes on duplicate itself as the dominant energetic model water of life and cosmic climates or what we call of Paris: “[I]n a pit of slime [...] the dying man
the planet. Yet these modes of energetic dissipa- wherever life emerges, that is to say, wherever chemistry is endowed with a chemical slant; it does not know whether he has become a ghost or
tion which exteriorize Earth are themselves part water exists. Water can implement the energetic gives the death of life and water weirdly produc- a toad. Everywhere else the grave is sinister, here
of the economy of the Sun which also mark its peculiarities of the solar climate in quite a vitalis- tive aspects. The irruption of cosmic climates into it is shapeless.” (Victor Hugo, Les Misérables)
economic restrictions and limits of affordability tic fashion and thus, re-enact the Sun’s model of the terrestrial biosphere generates a dynamics of In the slimy grips of a universal nature whose
against its abyssal and exterior cosmic backdrop. energy expenditure within manifestations of life. death or line of exteriorization whose expression contingencies have chemically irrupted into the
Capitalism, in this sense, conceals its restricted Capitalism, in a similar manner, sniffs out plan- and dynamism are chemical rather than spectral, water of life, the ecological death of Earth is a
economy in regard to the cosmic exteriority (or etary waters so as to employ its models of accu- ghostly or hauntological. The dying water is weird chemical reaction from which no ghost
death) by overproducing modes or styles of life mulation and consumption through their chemical blackened into heaps of slime and the biosphere emerges to either haunt the universe or demand
which are in fact different rates of energetic dis- potencies. This is not only to use the hydraulic ef- feeding on such water respectively dies or chemi- an appropriate mourn.
sipation or circuitous paths of expenditure. To ficiency of terrestrial waters in order to propagate cally loosens into the cosmic exteriority. As these
Being truly terrestrial is not the same as be-
put it differently, capitalism which terrestrially its markets and carry out its trades, but more im- deaths have chemical slants, they spawn more
ing superficial, that is to say, it is not the same
envelops the restricted economy of the Sun in re- portantly to overlap and associate its indulgences contingencies or lines of chemical dynamisms
as considering Earth as a planetary surface-bio-
gard to death and exteriority masquerades as the with the very definitions and foundations of life. which render the universe climatically weird. This
sphere (slave of the Sun) or exalting the planet to
so-called general and free economy in regard to Since terrestrial waters (or liquid forms in gen- climatic relationship between a dying Sun and a
the position of the Sun (solar hegemony). Being
life and the problem of consumption. eral) are closely associated with the formula of dying Earth as chemically projected in water has
genuinely terrestrial demands presupposing the
The interiority of life on Earth rests on the life, by investing in them and operating through been intriguingly portrayed by the artist Pamela
death and pure contingency of the Earth in each
thermo-nuclear interiority of the Sun which itself them capitalism can also give a biopolitical sense Rosenkranz. What Rosenkranz artistically pro-
and every equation, thought, feat of creativity
is contingent upon its exterior cosmic backdrop. of inevitability (in terms of growth and vitality) poses is that water – despite its apparent loyalty to
and political intervention. Earthly thought em-
Solar capitalism is only a market for representing to its rules and activities. In dissolving into ter- terrestrial life – chemically unbinds the potencies
braces perishability (i.e. cosmic contingency) as
the Sun as both an inevitable and unfathomably restrial waters, capitalism like solar energy can of cosmic contingencies whose inevitable irrup-
its immanent core. If the embracing of Earth’s
rich exteriority for the planet and terrestrial life, create climates or contingencies of its own on the tion into our superficially solar world necessitates
perishability should be posited as the hallmark
marketing the energetic model of the Sun as the planet, triggering the rise of new territories, lines a chasmic terrestrial ecology.
of earthly thought, it is because such perishabil-
only way to the great outdoors of the abyss. Yet it of migrations and reformations. Yet water is an
ity – as argued earlier – grasps the openness of
is precisely the Sun that circumscribes the image open receiver of chemistry as the applied dynam-
Cosmic Ecology or the Order of the Weird Earth towards the cosmic exteriority not in terms
of such outdoors and narrows the speculative op- ics of contingencies. As previously mentioned, if
of concomitantly vitalistic / necrocratic correla-
portunities ensued by thought’s binding of radical terrestrial waters are attractors of contingencies Life ecologically extinguishes as its waters die, tions (as the Earth’s relationship with the Sun) but
exteriority. In line with the vitalistically pluralist or chemistry, then they do not merely imple- or more accurately, as they chemically react alternative ways of dying and loosening into the
and thanatropically monist regime of solar econo- ment solar climates but also energetic models of with other cosmic contingencies whose climates cosmic abyss. By the word ‘alternative’, we mean
my, Earth can be reinvented and recomposed only dynamism associated with other contingencies or are exterior to that of terrestrial life and its solar those ways of exteriorization and loosening which
as a new planet or slave of the Sun whose life and cosmic climates. Accordingly, terrestrial waters bonds. Since the expression of dying water sig- are not dictated by the economical correlation
death are emphatically determined by its star or develop into sites for the irruption of contingen- nifies nothing but a chemical marriage between between Earth and Sun. These alternative ways
exorbitant source of energy. On such a planet, the cies into the already established and interiorized water and cosmic contingencies, ecological death of binding cosmic exteriority or loosening into
ventures of thought and art are burdened by a nar- contingency which in the case of the planet Earth means nothing but to perish via a blackening the abyss entail, firstly, a terrestrial ecology for
row scope in regard to cosmic exteriority imposed is solar economy of the Sun and its restricted water which is too chemically potent to support which both Earth and Sun are bound or grasped
by the Sun as well as the axiomatic submission of climates. Therefore, terrestrial waters are agents the vitality of life or endurance of survival. Eco- as merely contingent and hence, necessarily per-
terrestrial life to the empire of the Sun. of complicity whereby cosmic climates irrupt logical death becomes a form of descent into the ishable entities. The only true terrestrial ecology,
into the interiority of terrestrial life itself. It is cosmic abyss which is chemically too productive
Just as the pluralist regime of life inherent to for this reason, is the one founded on the unilat-
this irruption of cosmic climates that draws a line to be considered either misanthropically gloomy
solar economy is parasitically hydrophilic, the in- eral nature of cosmic contingency against which
of exteriorization or loosening into the abyss for or post-humanistically promising. This ecological
dulgence of capitalism in lifestyles and vitalistic there is no chance of resistance – there are only

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opportunities for drawing schemes of complicity.
To this extent, terrestrial thought and creativ-
ity must essentially be associated with ecology,
but an ecology which is based on the unilateral
powers of cosmic contingencies such as climate
changes, singularity drives, chemical eruptions
and material disintegration. Any other mode of
thought basking in the visual effects of Earth as a
blue marble or the Sun as the exorbitant flame is
but submission to heliocentric slavery.

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