The New Athanor: User’s Guide

Category: The New Athanor

The New Athanor: User’s Guide

The New Athanor is a laboratory of the Philosophical Fantastic. It is a methodological experiment where the philosophical quest engages in a shared adventure of concepts, theories and hypotheses from the domain of modern science, while at the same time mobilizes the latent potential of mythological and fantastic figures.
The stake of the Philosophical Fantastic’s laboratory is a prolegomenary one. It deals with imagining the horizon of a forthcoming philosophy of nature.

Starstruck, or the Unimaginable Freedom

Sirius is rising.

After fifty seasons under Sirius the Scorcher, 25 of them under the sign of Saturn the Philosopher, I never thought the white and black star could set a figure together.

Comet, Body of Time

The comet is an enigma. It comes from the spaces beyond the bounds of the world, it brings serene peace and joy.

Cloud, Script

The cloud isn’t a mysterious script (as Theophrastus believes), a hieroglyph, an ideogram in the open book of the sky. The book of celestial omens, the alphabet of paranoiacs, of necessity, fate and determinism, has been outlined by the Chaldean readers ever since the first Morning Star lit up the night of reason. But no, the cloud is neither a secret code nor a primitive alphabet.

The quarks create

The Creator is not gone. Let us quit the apophatic mysticism of the God gone missing, of the gods in retirement. We know no less than Hölderlin and all the delirious patients in the waiting-room of the Messiah that the gods who have retired may fancy coming back. No, the creator never chanced upon the… Read more »

Goethe, Webern

In the introduction to his Theory of Colour, Goethe speaks aphoristically of the “impossibility of accounting for beauty in nature and art … We want to sense laws . . . one would have to know them.” But Goethe sees this as almost impossible – but that doesn’t make it less of a necessity to… Read more »

Magia Naturalis: User’s Guide

Magia Naturalis is the new library of the New Athanor: Boyan Manchev’s experimental laboratory for philosophical fantastic.

Magia Naturalis mobilises the hypothetical core of the philosophy of the (future) nature, crossing it with the anachronistic history of the idea of creating nature.


Is nature an artist? Is creation peculiar to stars, metals, fire? What does the stone imagine? What does the cloud want?

Moving away from poeticising that has been divested of its creative power, Magia Naturalis will take on these questions, in all seriousness and on the level of their eccentricity, in order to elevate them to an experimental dimension: a dimension of the possibility of (creative) subjectivity beyond the bounds of the human. Magia Naturalis will therefore open up an experimental space of reflection where simulated possibilities of the unimaginable (forthcoming) nature and the unimaginable (forthcoming) art will be investigated. It is not a question about nature conceived as an ungraspable origin duly furnished as a museum herbarium – it is about nature as an ever forthcoming unimaginable force, as an art of what is yet to come.

The Knot of Time, Meteora

Every beam of space is tightened into a knot of time, every fiber – into a stitch. A spider-orifice, this hole in the belly whence time passes through. We are the dis-paired, the paired children of time, our cobweb is the insect-star dissemination, our vice is the section of the event. There, under the meteor shower, is the section of the event. There, under the meteor shower, we unfold the feathery fan of the comet. 

The other time

Time vs Weather

Let us presuppose the existence of two species of times, which are in any case separated by language (at least in some languages, while in others they coincide significantly): tempo and tempo, temps and temps, време and време, das Wetter and die Zeit, weather and time.

The first one, time, is vectoral and linear, while weather twists, folds and tangles. The one seems immaterial, empty, an all-encompassing ether of existants and of existence itself; the other is a material force that passes through bodies, takes over them, bends them, intertwines them, spins, unfolds, swells up beneath the earth, traverses the stratosphere, develops plans, spreads into fronts, displaces them, whirls them about, precipitates them into a spiral of acceleration, cuts sections. The weather of the whirlwind and the storm, of tranquilisation and sedimentation, of intensification and extension, of expansion.  

The time of the subject

The subject is a super-machine that produces complex time. The subject is the technique, with which complex time arrives into the world. The cloud, the galaxies, the gases – the subject is all of these. A/the subject knows them as a subject. The forces reinforce themselves even when they annihilate one another. The thinking reed cannot obliterate the thought of fire. 

The subject is a dynamic system. A meteoro-logical system. The logic of the subject is the logic of meteors.

Weather Witches

Hans Baldung Grien, Witches, 1508

The Weather Witches, they smoke through us, they smoke like the axis of time. See them wrap their black manes in the sky, ride the fire-breathing cats, see them orb the matter of the night, the flesh of the cloud, see these heavy etheric bodies, these irresistible, irreversible, unbelievable substances. 

Weather Front

The front: an ontological erogenous surface. An erogenous surface of the event.

The element that envelops, that is a front, not a resisting body but the very resistance of the sensual pleasure that overwhelms, exposes, an ultra-erotic front of the total – and minimal – “incorporeal” – caress.

The cloud as an incorporeal body-front.

Meteorology and metacausality

Meteorology is the truest descendant of both alchemy, the science dealing with the transformations of the elements and their immanent figures that manifest the pro-conceptual potentiality of cosmological processes, and magic, which modulates the course of time, i.e. anticipates the future by means of material and structural transformative interventions.


Two streams shoot out of the stone, the stream of life and the stream of death. Shadow and light shine from the stone, bow and bow, cannon and cannon. The name of the bow is life, but its deed is death. The name of the bow is stone, one of its deeds is life, the… Read more »


We are immortal enough to never again run into the arrogance of life. We are dead enough to leap across any grave. We are proud enough to overcome all vanity of desire.

We are the doubles.

The Perils of Philosophy

What is philosophy?
In order to face such an infinite question, we need courage; or, even more so, a philosophical hubris. Let us evoke two companions who were amongst the first and most audacious of philosophers: Anaximander and Heraclitus.


Yes, the philiosopher must roam along boundaries: the one who swerves off the beaten track and away from the tamed sea-waves, the one who in the end diverts the course of the world, this diversion is the only possible trajectory of the world that cannot persist without taking the risk of diverting itself, of going beyond itself, of setting itself aflame, of transforming itself, of being the volcano of its own surging, and therefore its own hell, a forge, therefore its own future.