What is residue and why it matters:Every system leaves a residue that escapes it, resists it, and from where an effective (practical) resistance can take off. In particular, the semantic reduction, which seeks to found a system, structuralism, turns against itself. It brings to light a residual element of primary importance, which is nothing other than time...It has neither importance nor interest. It is ungraspable: impossible to manipulate. But then, precisely, time punctuates the succession of forms, their connections. These are born in it. The residue manifested by this detour becomes the essential, better perceived and valorized after its reduction...The diversity of residues and their residual character only have a meaning in and through the systems that seek to reabsorb them. The symbols themselves, as residues irreducible to pure signification, arise from physis (‘nature’, this residue displayed by culture and culturalism) and not from a hermeneutic. Expression and symbolism form part of the semantic field, itself conceived as a part of praxis...Poiesis, today and now, starts from the residual. Its first act is to gather together the residues deposited by the systems that stubbornly persist without managing to constitute themselves as totalities, to ‘globalize’ themselves.
"The method of residues":This ‘method of residues’ is not utopian, neither abstractly nor concretely. The residues in question are there, hic et nunc. No more is it prospective. What it shows is not a deceptive image of the future, despite being turned towards the future and appealing to the possible (thus to imagination). It starts from the actual, without omitting the unforeseen and unforeseeable – those residues of rational foresight that always intervene, so that the new, different from what was thought and wished for, arises from a history. It is thus act and method in act.