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(ILR) Soroush Seyyedi: From Crimson Intelligence to the Black Light

Updated: Jul 7

Case Study

In his speculative fiction, The Crimson Intelligence, Suhrawardi speaks of a historical reason that reveals itself in each epoch in the form of a imaginary bird, called Seemorgh (literally meaning a meta-bird made of 30 birds), which in Persian mythology represents a unity of plurals, or the collectivity of singular reasons or birds that aspire towards the intelligible. There are an infinite number of collective intelligences or seemorthgs, each being independent of the organic body, creating an inorganic, collective, historical body. The Crimson Intelligence is described as an oily entity that can penetrate the texture of time and space and accelerate history in an incessant process of death and revival of intelligences. This way, intelligence manipulates and rebuilds itself, being always a twofold operation, where the earthly side of intelligence is manipulated and extended via daena, the personal share of cosmic intelligence in each person. Suhrawardi calls this historical intelligence the crimson intelligence, which according to him shows the very mutability of this intelligence, crimson being in his cosmology, the middle point between darkness and luminosity. This mediating role of the crimson intelligence is what propels history. The way to connect one’s individual intelligence with the crimson intelligence is love, that is, a common interconnectivity of all individual intelligences. This is where the crimson intelligence turns into the black light. This is all part of a cosmic coup d'etat that gradually takes reason away from its organic base or, according to Bensusan, from phusis, in order to create itself a new environment. This means that this environment will be revolutionized via its commonality of love into a shared project that can overcome the human. 

This proposal relies on a framework that combines Suhrawardi's speculative vision of intelligence as a collective body and also Bensusan's idea of Reason creating an environment for itself.


I believe that the triad of love-intelligence-revolution can benefit from diverse conceptions of these three concepts. Just as love extends an individual's ontological power of self-transformation via taking it beyond its limitations, intelligence can help us think this expansion beyond the mere libidinal prospect of love as desire and turn it into an ongoing program of speculative design that takes it beyond the human. This takes the idea of intelligence beyond the individual towards an environmental conception of reason that is intrinsically collective and revolutionary. Going beyond the libidinal towards intelligence and also going from intelligence as a subject-centered phenomenon towards a more abstract idea of intelligence, transforms it into a collective toolbox that incessantly revises and reinvents its capacities by being an intrinsically common enterprise, in which love helps creating an interconnected web of intelligence where it both revolutionizes itself and helps revolutionizing the world in a self-conscious manner. Thus, the present project will help each participant revise and recreate his or her ideas constantly, releasing intelligence from the logic of atomized commoditization. What each participant brings into the collective speculation project connects to the ideas presented by others, thus moving the whole project towards a kind of cybernetic self-enhancing deep object that can turn deadlocks into new open paths, each new idea, even a small contribution, mutating into a forked path with unforeseen conceptual capabilities. If, according to Spinoza, love is an affirmative power that feeds on multiplicatory connectivities between individuals, revolution can only come as a result of the interaction between individual intelligences, in an open-ended, cybernetic deep-object that never stops expanding and also revising itself. This helps us to go beyond the libidinalism of the late 20th century philosophy towards other, more speculative kinds of materialisms and also a new politics more apt for the age of digitalisation at the dawn of the posthuman. Freud tried to explain libido by gradually expanding its meaning, until he reaches a cosmo-political explanation that relies on the energetic-economic flow of the sun towards the earth. The question, then, is how to engineer this cosmic framework. Here love can turn into a manipulation of the organic and the thanatropic regression to continuously expand its limits and overcome them. In order to do this, intelligence needs to constantly reengineer its limits in a collective way in order to turn the earth itself into a new planet, an innovative arena that once managed to go from the inorganic to organic and then to intelligent matter in the form of the human, and can go always further, towards the posthuman.

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