rather than ‘quasi-dialectical’, Deleuzian dialectical…. 🙂 (Thinking of Williams’ guide to Difference and Repetition.)
Nice post of one of my favorite books. At the end, it feels helpful for me: instead of thinking of the ‘nos’ of nonart, nonphilosophical, nonscientific in terms of negation, it seems perhaps Deleuze is pushing on the need to get outside of disciplinary lines that establish direct relationships between the artist and the discipline, ie the admonished ‘I am one of you’ from AO, in which our activities as an artist/philosopher/scientist are determined by identifying with the discipline. It seems like when something ‘forces us to think’, we let go of rules, norms and conventions that guide the discipline and we respond, unmediated. This allows for difference in itself, rather than difference of representation.

Posthegemony

Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophy?Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s What is Philosophy? is in many ways quite a departure from their previous joint-signed books. I say “joint-signed,” rather than “joint-authored” because François Dosse in Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Intersecting Lives (which I reviewed for H-Madness) makes it clear that the book “was manifestly written by Deleuze alone”; he included Guattari’s name “as a tribute to their exceptionally intense friendship” (456). But even considered within the lineage of Deleuze’s solo output, it is somewhat anomalous. If anything, it hearkens back to his seminal texts of the late 1960s, Difference and Repetition and Logic of Sense, not least because it is not dedicated to any particular individual (unlike his books on Foucault, Bacon, or Leibniz) or any particular genre (unlike his books on the cinema). It is, almost, pure philosophy.

I say that it is “almost” pure philosophy because, first, as the title…

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Path to the Possible

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We are reading David Hume in my ethics class now, parts of both An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals and a Treatise of Human Nature.  I assign Hume to give students a break from the raving rationalism of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Mill, and Kant.  In Book 3, Part 1, Seections 1&2 of the Treatise, Hume says we can only know something is moral or immoral by using what he calls our sentiment (i.e. passion/emotion/feeling).

Take any action allowed to be vicious: Willful murder, for instance. Examine it in all lights, and see if you can find the matter of fact, or real existence, which you call vice. In whichever way you take it, you will find only certain passions, motives, volitions and thoughts. There is no matter of fact in the case. The vice entirely escapes you, as long as you consider the object. You can never…

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just because I always like thinking about agency…

ANTHEM

Once nature and the natural sciences are fully ”secularized”, it becomes possible to revisit also the category of the supernatural. Then, a different landscape opens which can be navigated through an attention to agencies and their composition. Such a freedom of movement allows the use of the rich anthropological literature to compare the ways different “collectives” manage to assemble and totalize different sets of agencies.

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art, ideology

Since I’m currently working through the birth of the photographic discourse, this seems like I good article to look at… I haven’t had an opportunity to read any Badiou, but the early discussions of the nature of photography, its status as an index of reality, as well as its questionable status as a fine art, seems to resonate with his statement 1 in the abstract: art is not ideology. Thinking about the act of making art, the ways in which we attempt to theorize art, and the established ideology that dictates its reception- there certainly must be some food for thought in here.

Progressive Geographies

 178webcoverCommentary: Resisting Resilience, Mark Neocleous

Article: Extraction, logistics, finance Global crisis and the politics of operations – Sandro Mezzadra  and Brett Neilson

Article: An introduction to Françoise Collin’s ‘Name of the father’, Penelope Deutscher

Article: Name of the Father, ‘One’ of the Mother: From Beauvoir to Lacan, With introduction by Penelope Deutscher – Françoise Collin

Article: An introduction to Alain Badiou’s ‘The autonomy of the aesthetic process’, Bruno Bosteels

Article: The Autonomy of the Aesthetic Process, With introduction by Bruno Bosteels – Alain Badiou

Reviews and obituaries of Eric Hobsbawm and Mary McIntosh

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I saw this earlier in my reader and I didn’t bookmark it- but now that it returns…. I am just starting Damian Sutton’s book, Photography, Cinema, Memory. He posits the photograph as an event. (I’m on page 8, or so, so I’m refraining from any assessment…) I previously started a blog post that started to think about the photograph as a haecceity, based on how Paul Strand described how a photograph functioned. This is reminding me that I need to get back to this passage and work through this thought.

Dr. Stephen Luis Vilaseca

Cabanyal15

Urban art found in the Cabanyal neighborhood of Valencia, Spain. Photo by Stephen Vilaseca (2009)

Deleuze theorizes the mind-body relationship as the event, and argues that it will be through the event that capitalism may be challenged and resisted. According to Paul Patton, Deleuze’s philosophy of events owes much to the Stoics’s dual conception of being and to Elizabeth Anscombe’s philosophy of action. The Stoics believe that “being” consists of a material component and an incorporeal component. One “is” in the world because, first, one lives the world through the body (the material component) and, second, one expresses those bodily events through language (the incorporeal component). Anscombe is also interested in the relationship between the body and the mind. She links actions (the acts of a body or a body politic) to the mind via intention because, as Patton explains, “actions involve intentions and intentions presuppose some description of what it…

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This makes me laugh… but I think hits on something important: language sensitivity. I also admit to feeling a little queasy when I hear the word ‘vitalism’, where ‘life force’ can simultaneously mean new age-y and what I want to understand as a fundamental idea of energy and its transference: energy is not destroyed, it is merely transferred. It also makes me think about Spinoza, and some of his sticky language that makes me nervous. It makes me ‘celebrate’ the post-structuralist stance of the unfixed nature of language: the definition of a concept can be re-dressed in new language that better matches the socio-cultural milieu.

Larval Subjects .

article-new_ehow_images_a05_mk_6v_skin-crawling-disorders-800x800A throw-away thought:  Despite being profoundly influenced by a variety of vitalistic philosophers– Deleuze, Bergson, Nietzsche, Whitehead, and so on –I confess that my skin literally crawls whenever I hear thinkers defend vitalism.  What profound disappointment I experience when I hear a thinker I admire– Deleuze, Massumi, Braidotti, Bennett (?), Whitehead, Bergson, etc –defend either vitalism or something that is basically equivalent to vitalism.  I realize part of my reaction here is purely linguistic.  For example, when Braidotti defends vitalism, she’s not– I think/I hope –defending some “life force” that animates matter and differs fundamentally from matter.  No, Braidotti, inasmuch as I understand her, is referring to the capacity of matter to self-organize such as we find in the case of chemical clocks.

But if that’s true, why use a term as obnoxious as “vitalistism”.  We don’t need some special vitalistic forces to account for chemical clocks.  Chemistry…

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only connect

One two different fronts I’m engaging Deleuze and Deleuze and Guattari. In my reading group, I am rereading Anti-Oedipus; with my co-conspirator, I’m slogging through Difference and Repetition. I’m sure this intense intellectual preoccupation has nothing to do with the fact that I’m reading D and D & G in nearly every essay on Photography…

Take, for example, Man Ray :
“For what can be more binding amongst beings than the discovery of a common desire? And what can be more inspiring to action than the confidence aroused by a lyric expression of this desire? From the first gesture of a child pointing to an object and simply name it, but with a world of intended meaning, to the developed mind that creates an image whose strangeness and reality stirs our subconscious to its inmost depths, the awakening of desire is the first step to participation and experience.”

or maybe this:

“No plastic expression can ever be more than a residue of an experience. The recognition of an image that has tragically survived an experience, recalling the event more or less clearly, like the undisturbed ashes of an object consumed by flames…”

or maybe even this:

“Each one of us, in his timidity, has a limit beyond which he is outraged. It is inevitable that he who by concentrated application has extended this limit for himself, should around the resentment of those who have accepted conventions which, since accepted by all, require no initiative of application. And this resentment generally takes the form of meaningless laughter or of criticism, if not of persecution. But this apparent violation is preferable to the monstrous habits condoned by etiquette and estheticism.”

What seems more germane is perhaps the spirit in which Man Ray is writing, one that embodies the same spirit of Deleuze (and yes, Guattari too, but I find I respond more to D’s thinking in general.) In each case, each quote recalls moments of the above two texts I’m reading. As Deleuze puts forward a new kind or orientation towards the material world, the virtual and pure difference as a way to get outside of a dogmatic image of thought, D & G continue this orientation through schizoanalysis and the embrace of the schizo’s way of moving through the world. Both instances argue for a need to move beyond representation and the eventual labeling and categorization that makes the adoption of habits or the ‘illegitimate’ synthesis so damaging.

Regardless, it seems that everywhere I look, I see the spirit of Deleuze’s thinking. As I was talking with my friend last night, finding these ‘minor’ voices/positions seems like a pretty productive line as I pull together the dominant lines of the history of photographic discourse.

further grist for the mill re: the virtual and time

Anarchist Without Content

bergson

All questions concerning the mode of the survival of the past will dismiss from the outset any psychological theory trying to locate recollections within the cerebral matter of the brain.To say, with Bergson, that the brain is a mere “central telephonic switchboard” transmitting movements is also “to say [that] it is in vain to attribute to the cerebral substance the property of engendering representations” (ibid.). In fact the final conclusions of Matter and Memory run as follows:“Questions relating to subject and object, to their distinction and their union, must be put in terms of time rather than of space” (ibid., 74/71, emphasis in original). As Frédéric Worms insightfully points out, we are here witnessing a crucial reversal of the relationship between the body and memory.Whereas from a practical point of view, the body is occupying the foreground in the theory of perception, it gets relegated to the background…

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this is a nice extension of an ongoing conversation with a friend of mine, as we both begin to exhibit the wounds acquired from reading Difference and Repetition.

Larval Subjects .

scotland-ezine-may2005-francis-bacon-imageIn a very nice response to my post on Schizoanalysis and Psychoanalysis, Ian writes,

Point taken, I hope my response was not taken too strongly, perhaps my wording of it was poor. I agree with you that portraying lack as simply a production of the analyst is inadequate and the remarks on fascism in Anti-Oedipus would seem to suggest that Deleuze and Guattari would agree. But I can’t help but wonder, and this is a personal thought, that the absence of any real mechanical discussion concerning the production of castrated subjects is not a low-point on the part of Deleuze and Guattari, but is rather their resistance towards any kind of metapsychology. No doubt they play some favor towards a kind of transcendental field, but, at least in Anti-Oedipus, I’m not as convinced that this transcendental field exists apart from the social field in any defined sense; the transcendental field…

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