Daniel Libeskind ("Writing Machine") copied from Jonathan Swift's version of the Arabic zairja (below) to prove the concept of "unlimited predication" — the topical freedom enjoyed once the spell of the binary signifier had been broken by "interrogating the gap." The matrix theme was overlooked, however. Each "efficient cause" initiates discourse by sublating an automaton, but the next obligation is to the process of interpolation, where cathexis must be distributed across a field … or a "dark forest" if we follow the terms of Dante and Actæon.

D. Kunze's zairja will be refeshed weekly, with new materials indicated by red type. Those wishes to contribute additions or edits to the zairja should so so by e-mail attachments. Most will be incorporated directly, some will call for counter-interventions into the player's own zairja.

zairja: a computer for disassembly


The aim of any metaleptic study is the ideal of “unlimited semiosis” — fundamentally, how to think about relationships linking any set of conditions, ideas, events, or operators, so that this relating becomes a means of thinking. Unlimited semiosis contributes to public discourse, but the “centripetal” value to the thinker is even greater. Metalepsis allows the consideration of relations to serve as a kind of artificial intelligence, a “topical machine,” able to experiment, speculate, and discover. The “unlimited” component of unlimited predication is not an authoritative encyclopedia for others but, rather, a private device for generating a white noise that amplifies weak signals to a level where they may be excavated from an anonymous background.


The idea of a metaleptic thinking machine draws from the tradition of the ancient zairja (ةجرياز), an actual device that existed and was described by Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406), the Tunisian–Andalusian historiographer and economist. It is likely that the Catalan mystic Ramon Llull (1232–1315) contributed to or was influenced by the astrology of the zairja. How the zairjas worked is not entirely clear, except that the main aim was not to clarify thought but to confuse it. Combinatorial diagrams cross-pollinated ideas so that their inner forms became visible. An “agutezza” figured as (Stoic) animus was distilled and extracted.


The zairja can be a game played by one or many, coordinating their work or not. The basics are: (1) construct a list of topics, put into a notebook where every topic has its own page; (2) subject new thoughts that occur — "pop into the head" so to speak — to a randomly chosen page and accommodate the new idea to the randomly chosen topic; (3) take this accommodation to two other randomly chosen pages, accommodating the accomodation to the new topics.


  • Each player maintains a “notebook” using MS-Word. A template may be used (available in the drop box). The notebook contains a series of topics or ideas that the player finds interesting and uses on a regular basis. Each topic is “self-supporting,” i.e. it could be developed as an independent theme.Keeping a paper copy, i.e. a real notebook, is a good way of making sure you can add notes whenever and wherever you might be. These can be updated to the digital file, with the same rule of randomizing.

  • Players can share the electronic versions of their notebooks however they wish.

  • THE GAME: In addition to developing personal notebooks, each player takes the new idea to other players’ notebooks, choosing pages, again, at random. It is not required to visit all players’ notebooks. Each idea must be accommodated within the other player’s topic


  • Keeping track of what’s new can be a bit difficult. When AUTHORS add comments, use redish font colors during that week (red, orange, maroon); PLAYERS adding to other authors’ files begin with blue, then green, then purple. At the end of a play week, say Monday, all type can be converted back to black. Once play begins in earnest, work will shift from local files to the file kept in the dropbox, copied at the end of the week and edited down to a new black font version to begin again the process of additions and comments.

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