Ananke's Sway: Architectures of Synaptic Passages

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Philosopher Gilbert Simondon claims that what one perceives is neither outlines nor shapes, but thresholds of intensity. Therefore, Simondon points out that sensation is nothing but intensive and differential; it is the ‘seizure of a direction, not of an object.’ However, the issue is how one can examine the sensation of a direction that does not address the present but rather that which is yet to come. To do so, one can approach it as an issue of synapses. A synapse is a junction, an almost imperceptible gap through which an impulse of intensity passes by. As such, synapses manage to capture both the passage of an intensity (as a synaptic moment) and the formation of an extensity (as a synaptic location). In other words, synapses can be understood as constraints and for this reason, as information; after all, information is nothing but the reduction of potentials.
In this paper, I will examine how architecture, in its technicities, operates as a synapse: how it allows for both the formation of an extensive space as well as for the very possibility of intuiting a space yet to come, and consequently, a subject yet to individuate. To do so, I will focus on how architectural technicities allow for a certain degree of indeterminacy due to their metastability and auto-normativity. With the help of goddess Ananke and her spindle, architecture will be understood as an intensive exercise on the indeterminate, on a figure that is not yet figured out, but does so on the basis of synaptic passages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContingency and Plasticity in Everyday Technologies
EditorsNatasha Lushetich, Iain Campbell, Dominic Smith
PublisherRowman & Littlefield
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5381-7159-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-5381-7157-8
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • architecture
  • constraints
  • Gilbert Simondon
  • Gilles Deleuze
  • individuation
  • information
  • Metastability
  • necessity
  • Negentropy
  • Raymond Ruyer
  • synapses
  • technicity
  • Terrence Deacon


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