Art and Design, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Sep  2018, Pages 37-50; DOI: 10.31058/ 10.31058/

The Anarchical Use of Things

, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Sep  2018, Pages 37-50.

DOI: 10.31058/

Stavros Arabatzis 1*

1 Faculty of Human Sciences, institute of Art and Art Theory, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Received: 9 July 2018; Accepted: 20 August 2018; Published: 27 September 2018


The paper observes a return of cosmology in design and art. It is a cosmological design in the ancient Greek sense of the poiesis which designs the entirety of what surrounds, carries us and us itself. Another term for this ongoing design-transformation is the ‘planetary design’ which isn’t simply a synonym for an ‘aesthetic’ phenomenon. The planetary demiurge (designer) means a kind of boundless pervasion based on ‘modern’ secularized design, art, science and technology and transposing planet earth and human life from a culture-historical to a cosmic scale of the planetary environment creator. The article discusses the dynamics of design and art in a perspective of longue durée. It exposes the concept of ‘toxic design and art’ and proposes a theory of new use, far from design and art as doxology of the economic power. Against this background, the paper analyses abandoned mythical, ontological, metaphysical and theological infrastructures with respect to their precarious state in design and art (as poiesis), between modernity and archaic, fragility and stability, nature and culture, between life and death, contingency and necessity, freedom and slavery.


Design Thinking, Relation, Transformation, Deactivation, Multidisciplinary, Imperative, Design Archaeology, New Use, Creation, Myth, Theology

1. Introduction

All design, all creation in modernity is from the beginning deeply contaminated with archaic power/command/mastery. Creation is an ellipse that configures the poles of myth/theology and modern design and technology. The modern world contains in itself the two worlds, modernity and archaic, creativity and preservation, contingency and necessity, what is and what might be and what must be. That is the basic Figure of design and art, which today produces the impossibility of use (as shown in : Figure 1): the fact that myth and theology occupies the place of design and creation and sets the waste in their place (as shown in : Figure 2). The implication is here that such perversion contains in itself also a coming new design as new use. Productive forces of design are inhibited, diverted, perverted or otherwise repressed, but they remain irrepressible and invariably find one outlet, it also provides al way out (a Kantian Ausgang). It is the repressed, irrepressible part of design itself and of ourselves. A new use means a design, freed form the first (archical), would no longer be a means but an-archical medium, not the tool of a liberated humanity.

In this investigation, the paper trys to follow two phenomena. The first task is the archaeology of design. She contains in its very formulation a paradox. Archaeology is the quest for an arche. In Greek has she a double meaning. It means both beginning, origin of the design (poiesis) and order, “commandment”. [1] God created heaven and earth, and but he did this through a commandment (genetheto). But, the beginning of design in our culture is not a mere start which then disappears in what follows; on the contrary, the origin-design never ceases beginning, i.e. never ceases to govern and command what it has once initiated (as shown in figur 3). The hypothese and the idea of design is that the creation is a continuous creation, that there is an intimate connection between creation and government, which also means the impossibility of use, but in the same time, in the deactivation of the design-machine, also a new, anarchical use. All design is therefore from the beginning deeply contaminated with power/command/mastery. The archaeological assumption is that each poiesis (praxis, medium) is not simply a modern tool, but it contains and preserves in nuce the large whole form which is was extracted, from the inheritance that it carries: the ἀρχή. In Greek has ἀρχή a double meaning, it means both beginning of something (work, creation, image or word) and commandment/order; the verb ἄρχω means, to be the first, to do something as first work or activity, but in it also to “command” [2], to be the chief of process which it had initiated. That means, the origin in our culture is not a mere start and which then disappears in what as creation follows, on the contrary, the origin in the modern design never ceases beginning, never ceases to govern and command what it has initiated. Insofar is the modern praxis and creation constituted by the “poly-mythical” [3] and theological origin. So is in Greek the ἄρχων not only the term for what begins, but also the name for the main and highest authority. This double movement of semantic dissemination and semantic unification of the creation machine (not simply a modern instrumental tool) is substantial for the “determination of all creation”. [4] Only through this double movement can a work, a creation, or a medium function: as an ellipse that configures the far-flung poles of archical tradition (oikos) and urban, liberal democratic and technological modernity (polis). The medium of creation describes so an ellipse in a double sense, performative and constative, movement and paradoxical stasis, the double of “modern contingency and old necessity”. [5] It is the instrumental and poetically character of the design as medium in his modern activity. The machine of work, activity, poiesis, art, creation and design occupies here the place of the middle (medium), something that mediates between the ontic and ontological spheres, between what is (procedural, economically, technically, social, politically), what might be and what once was. And that’s exactly what the middle of modern design machine describes as paradoxical stasis as the double pole of modern contingency and archaic necessity: a technical and theologically, economical and theological, a immanent and transcendence, or a mythical and national-pagan dispositive. Insofar is the design machine a medium in a form of transcendence (theological and mythical tradition) without the transcendent (contingency, procedural dynamic, technological modernity).

2. Theoretical Background - Mythical and Theological Dispositive

In this case Nietzsche is right here: All true, creative acts are ‘unhistorical’ and thereby make history. But this is an archical imperative act [6] from the beginning (ἀρχή), not a anarchical act. Apollo and Dionysus are the same figure and don' t speak in contradictory and complementary (between logos and aisthesis) unity through each other. According to Schopenhauer, it is the Will that makes the world go round – a relentless, senseless life-force that is to be against itself in the name of art and sainthood. The metaphysical nihilism of the West, having here reached its extreme, is to be ‘transvalued’, its negation of the Will to be willed into an affirmation of the Will to Power (Nietzsche) or, in psychoanalytic terms, of Eros and Thanatos (Freud); Thanatos is then in turn, in the death-drive, reinvested with Eros. But here was an misdiagnosis of the modern design machine; of Will and Power, of the Eros (Freud), or of the Marxian dialectic, new forces of production (which blast open old relations of production). Because the historical and social relation (the middle of the modern design machine) is already the absolute, the dynamic forces of production contain her unnatural, revolutionary goal. The anti-capitalist medium of creation is here a inter-capitalist-medium. The Will – alias the drives, alias the productive forces – is already channelled towards Thanatos, because the whole dynamic is a function of archical theology (monarchy, uniqueness) a myth (polyarchy, polyvalence). The ‘sovereign’ who decides of the ‘state of exception’ is the monarchichal and polyarchichal interpretation of capital (economic-theological dispositive) and a-capital (national-pagan dispositive). Insofar are the revolutionary practice and theory at the same time a reactionary practice and theory, because she describes the practice as dispositive. The success of modern machine (whatever she may be: a creation, a medium, an image, a notion, an idea, a being, a knowing, a science, a praxis) is at the same time the failure, while the secularised modern machine is always a theologized and mythologized machine. This does not necessarily imply a similarity of theology and modernity, of myth and modernity, also no perfect meaning identity. Rather, it is a peculiar strategic relationship that marks the secular modern design machine and refers to its old monarchical theological and polyarchical mythical origin. In any case: in our culture, the ἀρχή, the origin is always already the commandment and transform in the new form of design, art, social praxis, or media and her whole oikonomia (as image, work, notion, feeling, money, music etc.); the beginning of creation is also the foundation that commands and rules. And this also in the Kantian terms, in the Auf-klärung (‘the way out of self-incurred immaturity’) and Geist (the ‘spirit of technics’ conceived as the Hegelian ‘spirit’ that ‘heals its own wounds’ thanks to a liberating Marxian dialectic between forces and relations of production). But myth, ritual, doxology and theology are part of the modernity. Therefore, the assumption of demyhtologization is wrong.

The world is obviously not disenchanted, as Max Weber thought. Myth and theology are rather part of the modern secularised societies: mythical and theological traditions still survive in the modern secularized society, as the paradoxical condition for modes of secularisation that are otherwise hidden in practice as in theory, so that the standard Weberian model of ‘dichantment’ turns to a new enchantment. Demythologization of bourgeois society, Copernican science, the alleged manacing aberration of the moderns has never happened. Therefore is also the renewed community in the praxis-medium of the classless society a part of the modern techno-theological and pagan-mythical dispositive. The Christian and Jewish monotheism (monarchy) and the Greek pagan polytheism (polyarchy) are both the arche, who maintained to work in the modern society: emancipation and preservation, the new forces and the continuity of archichal forces in modernity. The capitalist age is so the age in which mythical and theological forces are reintroduced in the modernity society. Of course, in our culture has the ἀρχή – the eidos as the form from the “arché (Idee des Anfangs und des Befehls [7]; the idea from the beginning and commandment) – been transformed and she gets a new special status. But the authority of the origin in our culture comes precisely from the ἀρχή: that, in the beginning, there is what commands and rules not only the creation and the word but also the Will, the development, the growing, the circulation, the transmission and transformation — in one word, the whole history of that of which it is the origin (whatever this may be: a creation, a medium, an “art” [8], an idea, a being, a knowing, a science, a praxis). A modern design that today is busy to glorify the new economic power (ἀρχή), and which would not exist without of this design doxology – and media doxology in total resulting from the “transfer” itself [9]. Therefore, the opposition between monotheistic theology and pagan myth and modern society and myth/theology old is no longer compelling. In this case, we have not to do with the opposition between pagan myth and monotheism. The fact is much more that myth and theology in their own imperative form have occupied the place the middle of creativity, practice and activity. Insofar is here not the question ‘to be, or not to be’ (Shakespeare), but be! (The imperative form). And therefore can in the middle of the design (creation) machine no more reintroduced theology into myth and thereby helped heal the breach between them. The task is rather to think pagan and theological powers as a complementary entity, so that origin and commandment here in the ἀρχή of design coincide – “Weltentwurf” [10] and commandment build an ellipse the configures the far-flung poles of theological tradition and urban, creative and technological modernity describes an ellipse in a double sense, performative and constative. Because, a creation, a work, a medium, a language, that is in the beginning can only be a commandment, can only be in the imperative form, that is to say a activity in the beginning (ἐν ἀρχῇ as work or word) can only be in the command: ‘Be!’ And therefore I would suggest that a possible translation from mythical and theological phrases would be not “in the beginning god created heaven and earth” or in myth terms “Prometheus created humans and animals, Epimetheus created”, but “in the mythical and theological commandment was all of creation, activity, practice, work or word”. Also the monotheism is not the opposition to pagan myth: the fact that myth here occupies the place of paradise. The problem is rather mythical, theological and modern design to perceive in the one figure. A problem that results from the imperative form of the two complementary (monarchical-polyarchical) machines they also work in modernity.

That’s why the myth reintroduced myth into theology or vice versa to helped heal the breach between them – theological in the Messianic triad: Paradise, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained; 1. Paradise/Myth: collective, ecstatic communion with god or gods; 2. Fall/Demythologization: bourgeois society, Copernican science, the ‘manacing aberration’ of the moderns; 3. Redemption on the basis of the Fall: renewed community in the medium of the classless society (Marx); renewed communion with ‘god’ (theology), ‘gods’ or ‘cosmos’ (myth) through a ‘second technology’ [11]. This assumption is wrong, because there was no demythologization in modern secularized society as Max Weber claimed. The secularization is rather a form of repression, which allows the forces to continue working and only shifts them from one place (heavenly powers) to another(modern world powers). Thus, the modern secularization of theological and mythical concepts does nothing other than shifting the heavenly monarchy (polyarchy) to the earthly monarchy (capital) and polyarchy (a-capital) without affecting its imperative power as such. Therefore, the opposition between theology/myth machine and secularized, demythologized/modern machine does not exist; rather both form a complementary unity. In this grandiose image, in which the world created by God (theology) or the gods (myth) becomes one with the world without God, contingency and necessity, freedom and bondage intertwine itself appears the glorious core of the modern design machine. By banishing God (theology) and Gods (myth) from the world, modernity has not only not escaped theology and mythology; on the contrary, she has done nothing but complete the project of the archic oikonomia (the whole of the oikonomia as image, creation, work, music, activity etc.) in modernity.

3. Materials and Experiments - Metaphysics of Contingency

That is why also the contingent moment is part of the imperative design machine and does not stand outside as Žižek means: In his Book Absolute Recoil points he out that as part of the process of sublation, the vanished mediator returns in a form in which “there is a moment of contingency in every emergence of meaning.” [12] He emphasizes here the retrospective nature of this meaning. But this has already been confiscated by the design and media machine as what it really is (actuality) and how it might be possible (potentiality) – political formulates: the constituent and the constituted power are a dialectical machine. Žižek says, there is no rule here that would allow us to level the field; everything is full of miracles, every phenomenon, when it is perceived from the position of the alienated context, is an exception. Therefore, the “minimal difference” here is not a gesture of totalizing the opponent, but of de-totalizing the opponent. But this miracle moment of contingency is part of the glorious design and media machine in her monarchical and polyarchichal form: freedom and bondage, contingency and necessity at the same time. The design machine means not the dialectical interplay between contingency and necessity, between what is and what might be (Bloch), she is in the same time contingency and necessity, what is and what might be. In that sense, the middle of creation and from the design is from the glorious machine (monarchically and polyarchically) occupierd: ‘Be!’ It is the utopia design machine of the capital (the monarchical world market and exhibition design) and a-capital (the pagan polyarchical design forms). The terrible perversion of creation, design and media, or, according to the Freud, the death-drive, where there the Thanatos are alloyed' with Eros: And now it is to be expected that the other of the two ‘heavenly powers’, eternal Eros, will make an effort to assert itself in the struggle with its equally immortal adversary. But who can predict the success or the outcome? But the two ‘heavenly powers’ (himmliche Mächte) form only the one figure of the immortal god of capital (theology) and the immortal national gods (myth). Thereby remain also Nietzsche’s “ecstasy of procreation”, the Kantian Ausgang (the way out) and the Marxian new forces of production in the same archical figure: in the imperative figure of design as re-enchanted creation, where the capitalist relations change into an absolutized relation. All the oppositions between myth and theology, Thanatos and Eros, self-incurred immaturity and Auf-klärung, production and new forces of production, ‘second technology’, construction and deconstruction, contingency and necessity collapse here in the middle of the absolutizing design machine: the capitalist metaphysics of contingency in correlation with the metaphysics of the national gods. A process who is not determined by the outcome but by the imperatives itself. So here is a connection between subject and substance and their unity is in the imperative. Here is no distinct difference between subject and substance, the one being is entirely enmeshed with the other within the dialectical modern design machine that serves the old imperatives. It is the revolutionary form of the capital machine itself at her also pagan form and at which contingency produces a disruptive but at the same time also a stabilizing narrative. In Aristotelian terms the two categories kata to dynaton (that which is possible) and dynamei on (that which may become possible) describe only the quantity and not the quality of the design machine. In other words, while we have no direct access to the pre-subjective Real of desubjectivation machine (imperative), therefore it is not possible to get rid of this maschine.That means ‘God moving in mysterious ways’, because the human expression is always at the same time a divine expression.

In his Negative Dialectics, Adorno later equated this with the old Judaic tradition of refusing to create graven images of god. But this God is already present in the capital machine, for instance in the time-compression of high-frequency trading, where barely perceptible intervals are. Only the effects of temporal processes become visible, but not the processes themselves, for example, when there are imperceptible intervals in high-frequency trading on the stock exchange between order and sale. It is the hidden God, the deus absconditus, who remains incomprehensible and completely withdraws from our reason. Therefore, the différrance of Derrida seems to describe the new god of economics much better in his glorious design than, say, the ancient god of theology. Indeed, the God of real existing religion is – as the “undeconstructable condition” of any human-constructive design – even more mysterious than the ancient God of theology (or the gods of mythology). For it is what is left over when one deducts from the act of creation the creator of things, the created and the modern changer, and in modern design also denies that what in the intervals of time disappears informally, logically, algorithmically and economically is still a humanistic-human or divine act of creation. But this deus absconditus is nothing else than an economic-theological dispositive (monarchic), which than in turn produces in itself the other fascist dispositives (polyarchic). Therefore, fascism (meanwhile in the form of fascist democracy) should be understood as a product of today’s liberal-democratic and bourgeois society. And in this context, then, fascism mobilizes against contemporary liberal-democratic and bourgeois society, in the name of restoring old values and implementing a new order: old values (polyarcical: homeland, preserving forces, desire to return to a pristine and safe world) vs. new values (monarchical: emancipation, exhibition, innovation, change) – the ravages and disinhibitions of capitalist and nationalist competition. Fascism-myth and liberal-democratic-theology both designs conserved and revolutionized today all existing values. Capital is therefore not a form of the “will to power” –“In diesem Willen verbirgt sich noch das Sein als der Wille zur Macht” (in this will, this is still hidden as the will to power) [13] – as the political, but the political has become a form of the economic paradigm and this is always a theological paradigm. A power that has taken the form of economy, and which in turn needs the liturgical-ceremonial effort of the planetary demiurge to survive. Marx new forces of production find so an unnatural, revolutionary goal in the planetary demiurge; while Heidegger’s later ontology of waiting (“in die Hut nehmen”) is only the other, complementary element to the historical-social, ontic design machine. One represents what is (Marx); the other conceives what is missing: the being (Heidegger). But together they form a whole of the ontic-ontological design machine as theory and practice. Heideggers attempt to think an eternal being and its finite history, that is, a form of being that survives its economy, ends in an ontic-ontological design maschine. We see, “God is” not “dead,” as Heidegger with and against Nietzsche means. The decline to the beginning of Western thought (“Rückgang auf den Anfang des abendländischen Denkens”) would rather have to decipher the two imperative machines that continue to function in the modern design machine. The capital in its global movement is the invisible God of this world, in its nation-state (neomythical) frame; today can the capitalist socialization (economic-theological dispositive) only function through the other complementary element of nation-states (pagan-mythical dispositive). It is only itself, not a medium (in the difference to means and tool of a liberated humanity, or second technology, freed from the first) of producing another form of society.

The capital also does not reveal a revolution because it is itself the permanent revolution. It is the frenzied, economic-theological and technical-ontological “Ge-stell” that grows exponentially (in the middle of the medium) and suck the world out infinitely vampirically. In Derridean terms, it is as if it had vampirized it own utopian possibility. It is the civil war and the devastation of the world and the world’s darkening. The form that civil war has adopted today is the economy in its monarchical and polyarchic frame. Capital has really become planetary, driven by the planetary Unworld Creator, who knows the utilitarian and anti-utilitarian (M. Mauss), the instrumental and poetic-glorious-potlatch (neo-romanticize) element. Its basic media are design, media, exhibition, money, consumption. And this between of the ontic-ontological design is it in the strict sense not understandable, because that is not mere human product, rather the human-divine dispositiv. Insofar leads the analysis of the capital subject (monarchical) and national subject (polyarchical) to the glorious core of the universal design machine. A global design machine in which a transcendental principle and an immanent process correlate, while she is being framed by local design machines. There is therefore no humanity beyond the concept of capital and national. Capital and national are a self-unconscious process of devastation of the world, driven by the planetary designer. This is the stasis of the mankind in the universal design machine (the oikonomia all of things and media) at in the same time the end of world history: “Das es ‘so weiter geht ist die Katastrophe [14]. It is the ongoing disaster.

And that’s exactly the point, where then the philosophical design also is contaminated by the Imperative, as the following list proves: “That it should be different!” (Adorno); “Think in Systems!” (Luhmann); “Communicating on the possibility of consensus!” (Habermas); “Think of society as self-constituent!” (Castoriadis); “Think another beginning of history!” (Heidegger); “Make differences in your discourse!” (Foucault); in “Form Rhizomes!” (Deleuze); “Deconstruct!” (Derrida); “Make sure that the creative act in Creation does not lose its collective potency!” (Negri); “accomplish the act to change fate itself” (Žižek); “Think the Exception as infinite!” (Badiou); “Think the whole of finite sense!” (Nancy) or “Think the share of the unprincipled in a given regime of inequality!” (Rancière). Also all those theories are in the service of the ancient archē. Finally, we can also reformulate the mythical and theological founding design (poiesis, téchnē, praxis, logos): In the beginning, it was not the good work of the Creator (en archē epoiesen ho theos), the word (logos), the “Tat” (Goethe), the “Will” (Schopenhauer), the “Kraft [15] or the affect, rather the imperative command: ‘Work!’, ‘Be creative!’ An original regime that determines all social practice and poetic assets from the beginning. The crossing of the ways to which the authors refer is also the one that lies at the heart of the design. Will someone one day be able to determine whether and, how these heterogeneous cross-roads intersect with one another? So, the point where all these theories coincide with each other is the archical dispositive. All these philosophically heterogeneous paths intersect here in the monarchical (ontic- ontological) and polyarchical (mythical-pagan) design machine and form their bipolar glorious core in her. An immanently transcendent design machine that stands as an atheistic modern in the service of the ancient archē. All philosophical discourse is therefore double-edged, ontic and ontologic, modern and archical, as is the double itself. Hence the difficulty and necessity of deciding on this physical and metaphysical machine. And however they demarcate themselves from one another (dialectic, ontology, deconstruction etc.) they necessarily belong to the same all-inclusive ‘program’ of Western monarchical and polyarchical metaphysics.


Figure 1. The refusal of use I.

Figure 2. The refusal of use II. Consumtpion and art.

Figure 3. Human-design. The Tower of Babble, Jake & Dinos Chapman.

4. Result - Design Resistance and New Anarchical Use

What remains is resistance. Kant' s regulative idea (“regulative Idee) and Heidegger’s last god (“letzter Gott) would then have to be reread as resistance to the two imperative (monarchical and polyarchical) design machines. They are the two imperative forms, two essentially religious movements in modernity, mobilizing booth religious categories from the imperative past, and who today initiate civil war in the middle of creation and design. Therefore the ‘dialectic’ of the imperative requires not simply a switching from the one imperative paradigm to the other, but the deactivation the bipolar archic machine. To be human means therefore to anticipate a different future than that of the design-ontological, economic-theological or myth-pagan paradigm; two archical paradigms as a tying down or tying back in modernity to a preordained order or massage. Therefore, the task is here to deactivate the pagan and theological imperative machine. Something that once is formulated in Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics, when he is reflecting the problem of what is the work of man, what is an aergon”, the work of man: “As for the flute player for the sculptor for every artisan and more generally for all those who have a work an aergon and practice. It should be in the same way also for men as such. If there is for men as such a thing as a work or should rather say, that for the carpenter and for the shoemaker there is a work, but for men as such there is no work (argon), because he was born without the work.”[16]. By returning to an Aristotelian idea of potentia, this should be no longer put simply in potency (dynamia), but into impotency (adynamia), in order to gain a different use of design. Because design and art consists here a paradoxical ability: to be able not be able; to be able to be unable. An adynamia that also Kafka described in his “the confession of the great swimmer”: “Dear guests: I admit that I have established a new world record. But if you ask me how I succeeded in doing this I will not be able to answer, because the truth is, that I cannot swim, I do not know how to swim. Always wanted to learn, but never had the chance to do it”. [17]

The fact is that the potentiality not to do is not simply another potentiality besides the potentiality to do; it is much more what we call here its inoperativity, that is to say, something that results from the paradoxical active deactivation of the usual conception and the usual relation from potentiality and actuality. The task is here not only to interrupt the historical-social progress (in the dialectic of old relation of production and new forces of production) but to deactivate the course of the ontic-ontological design machine. A radical interruption of the present. The counter imperative moment is in a sense radically interior/exterior to the history it interrupts. There is an inner link between the potentiality actively not to do and what we can it put into a non-activity and inoperativity. It is the paradoxical ability: to be able, not to be able, that means, in the same time to do and not to do. The potentiality not to do, suspending and deactivating the potentiality of the design machine (in her monarchical and polyarchical form) to do and shows she as such, exposes she as a disused. So the right way how to represent creation and design is the relation in the middle of the glorious design machine, between her potentiality and impotence. The potentiality not to do is a resistance internal to her potentiality (as a monarchical and polyarchical), to turn against itself and become, so to say, a potentiality which can its own impotency – a problem of the imperative powers (Kapitale and A-Kapitale) that also Derrida cannot handle, because he does not want to renounce the two imperatives[18]. In Hegel' s dialectical terminology is this point of Aufhebung, a term that means to transcend something through its absorption and overcoming and not simply its rejection or negation. But the paradoxical active deactivation the design machine is not the Hegelian Geist (or later the ‘spirit of technics’ conceived as the Hegelian ‘spirit’ that ‘heals its own wounds’ thanks to a liberating Marxian dialectic between forces and relations of production). For all social practice and every poetic faculty are rather the faculties of repeating a general structure. Thus, every poetic act is the capacity of repeating a general structure that subtly all designs, media, monitors, controls, directs, and psychosocially controls us through digital control. To cross the bipolar design machine means to deactivate her economic-theological, technical-ontological dispositive. So, this paradoxical inactivity is what we strive for and by our own activity fails to achieve – to be the blotter-program of design that would finally be able to blot out the core of the glorious machine. Resistance in the design machine means her suspension and exposition as a disused. A historical-social, theological and mythical waste, but at the same time as a manure of a new use. It is the doubles crisis of design we are facing in the twenty first century. More precisely, it is the ‘crisis of affirmation’ in the totalizing revolution of capital (the contemporary liberal-democratic society and her fascism-mythical part as restoration of old values) and the ‘crisis of negation’ (of the metaphysical materialism, once the class that could become universal, the utopian revolutionize society). By this means that the objective crisis of capitalism (an economic-theological dispositiv) has not given rise to its own negation in the form of an alternative social vision. Rather, only to its acceleration and invasion into biotechnological, psycho-political spheres, which in the time-compression are something like “das Ding a sich” (Kant) and barely perceptible to humans. Fredric Jameson’s take on this crisis of negation in to state that “it is easier to contemplate the end of the world than it is to see a better one in its place.” [19]. But the formulation “contemplate the end of the world” describes precisely the modern crisis as the secularization of eschatology (not of theology). The question is whether it is possible to stand outside of the design machine and to conduct a rigorous critique of everything we believe as this design. This does not mean a capitulation in the face of what appear to be overwhelming difficulties of creation and design, but it should be the default position of anyone who follows the resistance and it creates in design itself its own heretics. It is the paradoxical stasis in the design itself. That’s why: what is transcended here is the glorious core of the design machine, her suspension and exposition as waste, which also serves for a new collective usage. It is the ‘decisive moment’ of historical development (genesis) and unhistorical being (esti), where the power in the middle of design is exerted, but in resistance is also overridden and deactivated. I think this is the only possible meaning of a disenchanted world, in which myth and theology no longer function as complementary archaic dispositive in order to save the human core of design. It is a design practice as a design-resistance, that deactivates the design machine of the planetary Unworld Creator (as a potency in act-to-be, as a mere social practice), reduced her to a kind of a zero degree in order for a new possible use. The universal design device thus requires a genuinely resistant design operation that deactivates the infinite design process of the economic-theological, technical-ontological design machine in her social space. Design means therefore freedom from the archical social-design in the anarchical social-design.

So, if a definition of the design were needed, then this: Design is the instrumental-poetic power of disability, to put the design machine in a state of inoperativity and inability, in order for a new possible anarchical use. It is a kind of a constitutive worklessness of mens design maschine, the absence of work. As an attempt to reach a state of being without any possible work in the global polis and in the local oikos. Because, the global polis (world market, consumption, exhibition, staging, spectacle etc.) and the local oikos (polyarchic design) occupies today the place of the free design. The truth here is that design in his monarchical und polyarchichalform has turned in itself and works against itself. The middle of design machine – as “Apriori of the machine” [20] – is a force field between oikos (homeland, house, preservation, own place) and polis (world market, exhibition, attention, consumption) meaning the threshold of indistinguishability, where polis and oikos intertwined. The task is therefore rather to deactivate the monarchical and polyarchichal form of design that is in the middle of the design machine in act. It means, if this imperative transform from creation/design had from the beginning been prevailed, many things would be more clear not only in design but also in modernity, art, myth, theology, ontology and politics. And because that the status of design in our culture comes precisely from this archical fact: that, in the beginning of design (myth and theology) there is something what all social practice and all poetic assets commands and rules. There are the imperative forces, who then continue to work in modern design and determinate all of creation, development, growing, circulation or transmission. Because a good definition of creation and design, in its neo-magical, -mythical and -theological form, could be as the attempt to build a whole world on the ground of a imperative. This means that in returning of the repressed, religion and magic in the modern society modern design turn back to the non-apophantic logos (Aristotle), which has been once neglected and pushed in the background and now are secretly beginning to govern the function of our secularized society. In our so-called modern societies commandments took so the form of design, communication, information, advice, suggestion, invitation, advertising or co-operation.

5. Discussion

Deleuze has right, when he defines the act of creation as an act of resistance. Resistance to death first of all but also resistance to the paradigm of information to which the power is exerted in those society that he called control society. But creation means also modernity and archy (monarchy and polyachy), modern contingency and old necessity: the capitalist metaphysics of contingency in correlation with the metaphysics of the national gods. Each act of creation (technical, poetical, social, polytical) resist therefore to this mon-archical und poly-archical design machine: the opposition to an external imperative force, which has confiscated design, creativity, social practice, technology in the “technological apriori [21]. We have therefore both potentiality, to do something, exert it, realize design in the act, but also not to exert it in the design machine. Potentiality is in design essentially defined but its possibility of not to be exerted. Potential as a potentiality not to do means, here can be designed, but also not be designed. In any design-act there is something that resists to creation/design and counters design-expression – that is what Benjamin calls the “Ausdrucksloses” (unexpressive). The idea of a creator/designer contains in itself the idea of not-creation. The question of “WoCreated the Creator?”, or “Wo Designed the Designer?” can be therefore answered like this: It is the general social, historical-social compulsion context, neither ontical existence nor the ontological being (indicative), but the imperative ‘Be!‘ It' s as if the possibilities of design have turned into themselves to vampirized their own design and installing within it a quasi-internal endless war of design. But this finite-infinite strategy of design can never formalize them totally. Therefore, in order to be able to overcome this absent of “creative-dispositive” [22], it is necessary to see the glorious core as a central part of our existence rather than as something external to and imposed upon her substance. The substance is her mon-archical and poly-archical imperative form. If every social praxis and every poetic capability is the capability of the repetition of a universal, and if this universal is the Absolute in its archical imperative form, than is a new usage only possible through the abolition (in Aristotle terms: kat-argon; without work) of absolute power in her mon-archicaland poly-archical form. In that sense design and creation is the field of freedom not in design, but from design; more precisely: the freedom from archical design in an-archical design as an new usage. Being creative means to be able to create not to create, to deactivate the design-dispositive: the stasis (to stand still) of creating/design. It is the very point where the core of the glorious design/creative machine, in her interaction between modern contingency and archical necessity, appears and at the same time stops to have working. In order to be able to take control of the design machine, it is necessary to wrest that control from the hands of metaphysical, mythical and theological design gods and put it in the hands of humanity. What is here missing – “Etwas fehlt”; something is missing (B. Brecht) – is a counter-imperative force that hinders and arrests the potentiality of the design machine (effectively secular and sacral at the same time) in its movement towards to activity: the necessary metaphysics of modern contingency. It is what Aristotle calls in potentiality the power not to do. But this not to do means to transcend her glorious activity as her progressive and narrative element. And this is in the same time the point at which design and creating itself becomes anarchical; liberated from both imperative religions (capitalist-monarchical und myth-polyarchical) in the secularized society – the truly disenchanted. The moment in which the design machine historically, socially, mythically, ontically and ontologically as useless appears is also the moment where this junk-design becomes possible for a new use. Potentiality of design/creating reveals an ambivalence in itself, it is an ambiguous design, which contains in itself an intimate and irreducible resistance. And what design (poiesis) creates for the potentiality of creation must also reach politics for its own potential design: acting by deactivating all liberal-democratic, authoritarian-fascist, economic, social or technical works and transform the political design (as polis and oikos) into a new human practice, where design becomes open for a new an-archical collective use.

6. Conclusions

Design today means only a witnessing from a new planetary design. It is a cosmology design in the ancient Greek sense of the word which addressed the entirety of what surrounds and carries us. Another term for this ongoing transformation of the things is the ‘planetary’. The planetary means a kind of boundless pervasion based on science and technology and transposing planet earth and human life from a culture-historical to a cosmic scale of the universal creator.Only a resistance against this Un-World creator, against the refusal of use can regain control over the real productive forces of new anarchical design.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.


© 2017 by the authors. Licensee International Technology and Science Press Limited. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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