Life is to capital as light is to a blackhole. Yet this apparently irresistible power to “absorb everything” runs up against laws of entropy that cause a blackhole to evaporate & life to propagate & evolve in ever-increasing forms of complexity. In this pivotal study, Louis Armand develops an entropology of capital & its systems of cultural power, asserting the possibility of a critique beyond the gravitational pull of “capitalist realism.” Entropology is a radical re-examination of the major tropes of ideology & their iteration in the poetics of modernity, the avantgarde, media culture, cybernetics & posthumanism. From this constellation, a new critical theory is brought into view—a theory of the immanence of technology to life &, concurrently, of life to technology.
LOUIS ARMAND is the author of Videology, The Organ-Grinder’s Monkey: Culture after the Avantgarde, Event-States: Discourse, Time, Mediality, Literate Technologies, and Technē. Other publications include the collage-hybrid Glitchhead; the novels The Garden, Vampyr, and The Combinations; and the poetry collections East Broadway Rundown and Monument (with John Kinsella). He directs the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory at Charles University, Prague.
"Entropology is at once a tour de force of poetic expression and theoretical dynamism." —D. HARLAN WILSON, author of J.G. Ballard and The Psychotic Dr. Schreber
"Louis Armand shows us that the self-consciousness of a system corresponds to its self-identity in nomenclature only, and that all systems that do not decohere can be said to evolve into themselves. The ideological nexus of cognition, capital, and culture is also their respective 'content.' Entropy defines a balance of power, and the horizon of transcendence is the specter haunting every totalizing movement. Entropy produces the possibility of reason out of an irreducible difference. The greater a system's dissipative potential, the more it dreams of autonomous action and the reduction of entropy. That's Entroplogy." —KENJI SIRATORI, author of Blood Electric and Paracelsus
"A conceptual and theoretical vortex, Louis Armand’s Entropology gazes into the black box of the Real where the emergencies of cybernetics’ feedback, capitalist teleonomy, and constitutive ideologies are considered as emergent and complex adaptive systemic potencies. This reconceptualization hypostasizes a techno-poietic recrimination: both technology and the human have always been knotted dynamic nodes of poetic emergence. According to this formulation, the determinism of capitalist capture fades into a stochos of possibility, and Armand reminds us that entropology proceeds like an illimitable signal without receiver. Complex, dense, and galvanizing, Entropology is essential reading for those who seek an open future of human-techno mutualism." —ANDREW C. WENAUS, author of The Literature of Exclusion: Dada, Data, and the Threshold of Electronic Literature
"The strength of Armand’s analysis (and the strength of the Alienist school in general, if one might call it that) lies in its refusal to either systematize or countersystematize. The trap of the New Myths—myths of 'impossibility' (the impossibility of the end of capitalism, the impossibility of alternative, the impossibility of radicalism, etc.)—are opened to multivalent critiques; pulling apart their totalizing claims while refusing to re-totalize in return. One cannot look away. Looking away only binds one further. We need to look again. Look with the eyes of the entropologist." —THE MANCHESTER REVIEW OF BOOKS