Those who know my work on my philosophy blog AGENT SWARM will be aware that I have been giving a Badiousian reading of this sequel to BLADE RUNNER, taking my guide from the statement at the beginning by the replicant Sapper Morton that a replicant can become human by being faithful to a “miracle”.
I concluded my last post on BLADE RUNNER 2049 by calling it a story of soul-making or of becoming-subject, the transformation of K into Joe.There is a greater sense of process in the second film, as compared to the original.
This process is envisioned by the main characters in diverse ways, each according to one of the four truth procedures that Badiou describes as necessary conditions to philosophy and to true life: science, politics, art, and love. Unfortunately, each performs a reduction of the full field of thought, experience, and action to just one of these conditions, thus reducing their thought to the state of ideological suture.
1) Scientism. Wallace sees the birth of a replicant baby as a scientific miracle whose secret he urgently searches
2) Politicism. Fraysa welcomes this birth as a catalyst to political revolution,
3) Aestheticism. Stelline draws on the birth as a source of inspiration for her artistry
4) Romanticism. K hopes that it will be an opening to love. Each of these conditions developed apart from the others can lead to a reductive world view: scientism, politicism, aestheticism, romanticism.
The film is “thoughtful” in that it attempts to maintain a balance between all four ways of seeing and acting.