INTRODUCTION: TO THE UNTIMELY
This book is an exploration of how the biological prefigures and makes
possible the various permutations of life that constitute natural, social, and
cultural existence. Its goals are interdisciplinary: to explore a series of ques-
tions about the movement of time that overlap with and are the shared
concern of a number of di√erent disciplines: philosophy, politics, history,
the social and natural sciences, cultural studies, feminist, antiracist, and
queer politics, the visual and plastic arts. It focuses on the space between the
natural and the cultural, the space in which the biological blurs into and
induces the cultural through its own self-variation, in which the biological
leads into and is in turn opened up by the transformations the cultural
enacts or requires. It explores the region between biology and culture; be-
tween bodies and sociotemporal organization, between the sciences of life
and the study of social organization—a philosophical exploration on the
cusp of science studies on the one hand and political theory on the other.
Biological organization, whose morphological structures engender the
variety of life in all its forms, instead of ensuring that life conforms to
existing social categories, boundaries, and limits, instead of containing exis-
tence to what is or has been, opens up and enables cultural, political, eco-
nomic, and artistic variation. Biology is a system of (physical, chemical,
organic) di√erences that engenders historical, social, cultural, and sexual
di√erences. Biology does not limit social, political, and personal life: it not
only makes them possible, it ensures that they endlessly transform them-
selves and thus stimulate biology into further self-transformation. The natu-
ral world prefigures, contains, and opens up social and cultural existence to
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