The An-archaeology of Fire

an rdq/lmnt joint volume

The issue is haunted by the becoming cosmic of the political while attending to the political urges of the cosmos. It looks at the flames spreading from what is beyond government. Or, rather, it attempts to stare at the inflammability of the ungrounded. With this approach, politics ceases to correspond to its own etymology, ceases to be a struggle for the top of the hill, becoming, rather, the one that vibrates and melts the stabilized peaks. And the cosmos, swept from top to bottom by the political, acquires the athletic features of a polemic, which does not stop anywhere, does not rest on any beginning or foundation. A cosmos without beginning, an anarchic cosmos.

The volume focuses on fire, not only as the ubiquitous element found both in fuel and in rage but as something that could not be a bedrock laying the grounds for anything else. Fire, perhaps like air and water, carries weight only on the move. Unless air and water, it spreads extinction more than displacement. The quest for the φύσις of fire leads to no realitas, to no illuminating beginning—rather inflammability is always in medias res. If it is true that a polemic unfolds between the elements for their liberation or imprisonment, then we will be interested in the world of the elements, liberated in fire: fiery earth, fiery water, fiery air and, ultimately, fiery fire. This focus assumes that there is no vantage point from which we can indifferently and impassively monitor the actions of the fire. In other words, we do not have the opportunity to consider fire as light and in the light of fire to look at other things. Fiery fire cannot be localized in the hearth. We find ourselves not in the light of fire, but in its heat. Fiery fire opens, rather, not in the optics, but in the haptics, gives itself not to the eye, but to the hand and skin, requires not theory, but athleticism.

We have been interested in the an-arché in several different ways: through transversal materials, in terms of the ungoverned, the unnecessary, the superfluous, the hypo-truthful that could be oblivious to meiosis and to adaequatio intellectus et rei and hyper-true—the wanna-be truths about the coming about of anything true. We have been interested in pyrotechnics: from Zeno’s πῦρ τεχνικόν to Molotov cocktails, from the first bonfires and conflagrations to electricity; we have been interested in technical bodies that fire builds for itself, in technologies of kindling, igniting, burning and arson. We have been interested in the enmity between fire and paper: against writing for the release of screams, against documentation for falsification, against γράμματα for στοιχεῖα, against archeology seeking a beginning, for an-archeology seeking a way to ignite everything that is discovered archaeologically. Yet texts have their part with fire—as Jabès once said, a book is like a bonfire that illuminates and heats each time in a different way.

An-archaeology is an interest by the ungoverned—and its attention to fire shows its contingency, its distaste for origins and its difficulties with the archives. Inflammability challenges control, ungrounds and loves to hide.

We expect texts of all sorts—with and without images. Texts that cannot be measured by their immediate inflammability. So, we expect not only theoretical (historical, philosophical) texts, but also fiction and poetry, not only texts, but also colors and images (graphics, photos, videos), not only texts and pictures, but also noise, shouting, sound, and music. Some of these materials will go only to the lmnt platform as the rdq one has no room for videos. Otherwise, feel welcome to submit your pyromania. Unfortunately, we cannot publish a whole bonfire. 

Contributions welcome in English, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and French.

Deadline for submissions: 31st of May.

rdq –

lmnt –