Speculative Fiction Spéculative

English below


C’est en évoquant la violence dans le numéro éponyme de Grumeaux (pages 195-196) que Bernard Aspe met en question notre désir d’imaginer des futurs désirables :

« Simondon remarque à juste titre que le futur en tant que tel se définit d’être strictement inimaginable et même impensable. Dès lors, avoir un juste rapport à ce qui est en train d’arriver, même et surtout sous la forme de l’imminence, ne peut passer par la projection imaginaire du monde désiré.
Si le futur est inimaginable et impensable cela signifie qu’il correspond toujours pour un individu à la pure intrusion du réel en tant que réel. Comment répondre à ce réel ? Autrement dit : comment appréhender ce futur en tant que futur ? Si nous restons dans la perspective ouverte par Simondon, une réponse s’impose d’elle-même : la possibilité d’appréhender le futur en tant que futur passe par l’invention. Nous sommes des êtres capables d’inventer, c’est-à-dire d’ajouter au monde ce qui n’y était pas. Dans son analyse, Simondon privilégie l’invention technique — mais nous pourrions admettre que toute invention est, en dernier ressort, la découverte d’une technique. Comme le notait à juste titre Lewis Mumford, il ne faut pas confondre la technique avec la mécanisation, et confondre par là même les objets susceptibles d’être inventés avec les êtres techniques, outils, machines ou réseaux de machines. Il y a des objets qui s’ajoutent au monde qui ne sont ni des ustensiles, ni des machines, ni des configurations de machines. Il y a par exemple des œuvres, bien sûr ; mais il y a également des entités immatérielles, parmi lesquelles figurent ce type d’objet singulier que l’on appelle une organisation politique. Les supports de l’idée, ce ne sont pas seulement les sujets qui l’inscrivent dans le monde par leurs actes, ce sont également les objets qu’ils inventent et qui viennent modifier la configuration du monde en s’y ajoutant.
Il y a une invention dès lors qu’une action est susceptible de mettre en rapport des ordres de grandeur qui jusque-là étaient demeurés disparates. L’invention, dit Simondon, ne tombe pas du ciel : elle suppose la rencontre d’un obstacle. »


It is in evoking violence in the eponymous issue of Grumeaux (pages 195-196) that Bernard Aspe questions our desire to imagine desirable futures:

“Simondon rightly remarks that the future as such is defined by being strictly unimaginable and even unthinkable. Therefore, to have a right relationship to what is happening, even and especially in the form of imminence, cannot be achieved through the imaginary projection of the desired world.
If the future is unimaginable and unthinkable, this means that it always corresponds for an individual to the pure intrusion of the real as real. How to respond to this real? In other words: how do we apprehend this future as a future? If we remain in the perspective opened up by Simondon, one answer is self-evident: the possibility of apprehending the future as a future is through invention. We are beings capable of inventing, that is, of adding to the world what was not there. In his analysis, Simondon privileges technical invention — but we could admit that all invention is, in the last resort, the discovery of a technique. As Lewis Mumford rightly noted, we should not confuse technique with mechanisation, and thereby confuse the objects that can be invented with technical beings, tools, machines or networks of machines. There are objects that are added to the world that are neither utensils, nor machines, nor configurations of machines. There are, for example, works of art, of course; but there are also immaterial entities, among which is that singular type of object that we call a political organisation. The carriers of the idea are not only the subjects who inscribe it in the world by their acts, but also the objects they invent and which modify the configuration of the world by adding to it.
There is an invention as soon as an action is capable of bringing together orders of magnitude that had previously remained disparate. Invention, says Simondon, does not fall from the sky: it presupposes the encounter of an obstacle.”

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A sort of conversation I guess. Some wind blowing both ways, in a vortex, each word coming out to the ear unheard of, unthought of, so to speak, virgin–if such a conversation you mean. Conversation, unlike discussion, is creative. Discussion is conversation in reverse, reified, like an institutional future: forcing you to choose in advance between prechewed thought–cognitive package sales. But conversation, on the contrary, lets you meet in-between, where you’ve never gone before, inspiring and surprising at the same time… The locutor is // interrupted // not the same as the listener, even though you’re alone conversing with yourself. Hold on… Someone missed a message, the answer was there. But what was the question again? Ah, conversation. An emergence of either side(s), besides, beyond the subject, off-topic, a transindividual matter (for better or worse)–but always relational matter—what is not? Matter—what is not? Relational.

As conversation goes verse us and flows close by and crows chanting as they may, in May, invisible words and touching regards, re: ··spiration, anytime. We meet in between. We’ve never met before. And after a silence, we’ll be long gone.


Fiction should not be a refuge, where one retreats to avoid talking about political action, but a mean to dissolve propaganda, fear and impotence into a lake of acid that will prompt the reader into a life-saving jump out of deadly smooth normality.

We don’t need to write desirable futures, but to witness actual sidesteps taken by real people in our timeline out of the system. We need that because it breaks the hegemony of capitalism, patriarchy, domination, because a single example will shatter the theory and disprove it, reduce it to pieces. Because this kind of speculative fiction can make people who cannot see any alternative realize that no straightjacket nor yoke can stop them from stepping out: fiction to reassess consensus reality™ itself as a fiction—a consensual hallucination to paraphrase William Gibson about cyberspace.

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