Sunday, 20 December 2009

Art Enounters Deleuze & Guattari - Simon O'Sullivan

'About the encounter

Something in the world forces us to think. This something is an object not of recognition but if a fundamental encounter. (DR 139)

An objet of an encounter is fundamentally different from an object of recognition. With the latter our knowledges, beliefs and values are reconfirmed. ..An object of recognition is then precisely a representation of something always already in place. With such a non-encounter our habitual way of being and acting in the world is reaffirmed and reinforced, and as a consequence no thought takes place. Indeed, we might say that representation precisely stymies thought. With a genuine encounter however the contrary is the case. Our typical ways of being in the world are challenged, our systems of knowledge disrupted. We are forced to thought. ...It produces a cut, a crack...the rupturing encounter also contains a moment of affirmation, the affirmation of a new world, in fact a way of seeing and thinking his world differently...Life, when it is truly lived, is a history of these encounters, which will always necessarily occur beyond representation.
pg 1 Introduction

A Thousand Plateaus 'Rhizome'
A rhizome is a system, or anti-system, without centre or indeed any central organizing motif. It is a flat system in which the individual nodal points can be and are connected to one another in a non-hierarchical manner. A rhizome, then, fosters transversal connections and communications between heterogeneous locations and events. pg 12

We are, if you like, representational creatures with representational habits of thought. We inhabit an internal and an external world. We separate ourselves as subjects from the object world. Indeed, this alienated state is the very pre-condition of self-consciousness. Art mirrors back an apparently reassuring image of our own subjectivity (an outer form and an inner content).
....Importantly this is not to argue for some kind of 'return' to pre-Oedipal 'Oneness'. We are who we are and there is no use pretending that we are not essentially divorced from the world. Representation is the condition of our subjectivity and as such has to be 'gone through' as it were.'pg16
(THE CONSTANT RELATIONSHIP WITH EXTERIORITY - Pietro Fortuna from lecture at gsa nov 09)

4. Principle of asignifying rupture: against the oversignifying breaks seperating structures or cutting across a single structure. A rhizome may be broken, shatterted at a given spot, but it will start up again on one of its old lines, or on new lines...Every rhizome contains lines of segmentarity according to which it is stratified, territorialized, signified, attributed, etc., as well as lines of deterritorialization down which it constantly flees. (ATP 9) p32


'...the affective side of the art experience. Affect here is understood , via Deleuze-Spinoza, as the effect a given object or practice has on the beholder, and on its beholders 'becomings'. Important here is also what we might call that 'affective-gap' or 'hesitancy' as Henri Bergson understood it, between stimulus and response, which in itself allows ceativity to arise. A third moment is provided by both Georges Bataille and Jean-Francois Lyotard each of whom in their own way see art as a form of affective, or ritual practice that accesses a realm beyond the known. In each case affect is to do with the body and with thought, and with that wat body-thought is capable of.'pg39

' is precisley antithetical to knowledge, if by knowledge we understood the accretion of information about 'reality' as we typically experience it. It is in this sense that artworks against what Lyotard once called 'the fantasies of realism' (1984,74) This amounts to saying that art might be a part of the world ...but at the same time it is apart from the world, and this 'apartness', however it is theorised, is what constitutes arts importance and its specifity as art. ...the world here understood as the sum total of potentialities of which our typical experience is merely an extraction.' p40

the gap between action and reaction -
'For Bergson it is the brain, inderstood as complex matter, which opens up this gap. The brain functions as an exchange system, recieving sensations and producing reactions, and yet because of its interval is opened up between excitation and reaction. It is into this interval that memory,understood as the pure past, enters and as such the possibility of circumnavigating typical responses - of creatively responding to the world. We might say that this is the defintion of freedom, a disinterestedness which allows access to something bigger, more expansive, than one's self. It is in this gap then that genuine events emerge. In fact, Bergson goes further, and, as Deleuze points out in Bergsonism, extends this principle to society's organisation, and to the possibility of creative emotion within the latter (precisley as a liberation from habit). Another name for this creative emotion might be revolutionary potential, inasmuch as it is this 'pure memory' that liberates us from our present plane of experience:

The little interval 'between the pressure of society and the resistance of intelligence' defines a variability appropriate to human societies. Now, by means of this interval, something extraordinary is produced or embodied: creative emotion. This no longer has anything to do with the pressures of society, nor with the disputes of the individual who contests or even invents, nor with a society that constrains, that persuades or even tells stories. It has only made of their circular play in order to break the circle, just as Memory uses the circular play of excitation and reaction to embody recollection in images. And what is this creative emotion, if not precisely a cosmic Memory that Actualises all the levels at the same time, that liberates man from the plan (plan) or the level that is proper to him, in order to make him a creator, adequate to the whole movement of creation. (B 111)
For Bergson, ultimately it is the mystic who embodies this creative emotion, but art has a role to play too. In fact, art, understood here as fabulation, is a kind of platform. It allows for a 'slowing down' ....which prepares the ground for the arising of creative emotion. p46-47
'...we only 'see' what we have already seen. We only see that which we are interested in.'pg47

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