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.


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


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…


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


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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