Deleuze 2016

as always : oh boy!

Call for Papers

The triad of terms in the title is meant to indicate three steps that may build a path through Deleuze’s and Guattari’s philosophy. This path is but one among the many possible, as the titles of the previous conferences reveal. To borrow a term from psychogeography, we may call it a “desire path”, where desire paths represent the alternate routes created by the walkers’ desires and necessities. Though it is an open path, it is paradoxically coherent and unified. Each of its step indeed refers to the other in more than one way.

The first term –virtuality- refers both to the central issue of time and to the philosophical friendship between Deleuze and Bergson. As Deleuze’s early writings of the Sixties witness, it was a very close friendship which remained vivid also in his later work on cinema in the Eighties. Both Bergson and Deleuze share the common aim to affirm the coexistence and the continuous and mutual interplay between the past and the present, the actual and the virtual. Such an interplay constitute exactly that process of differentiation which grounds the creative dynamics of all different arts, and notably, of cinema.

The creative and positive movement of differentiation, as a process of metamorphosis, underpins the concept of “becoming” as a fundamental notion for Deleuze’s overall philosophy and particularly for the text he wrote with Guattari, Mille Plateaux. The notion of Becoming is to be understood as a verb rather than a noun –they write- it is not one, nor two, but something between-two, an interaction between two domains, a boundary and an escape line: it is the becoming-animal, the becoming-music, the becoming child, the becoming-woman. As a reaction against the Platonic idea of Being and Essence, the Becoming refers primarily to Nietzsche’s thought and to his notion of the “eternal return”. Since no living being can resist the becoming, the becoming must be a being in itself, a being that coincides with the process of coming back, in the sense of thinking “the same” from “the different”.

The deeper meaning of Nietzsche’s philosophy is to affirm the becoming not only as essential to life –since life is becoming, multiplicity, and fortune- but as something we need to accept and consciously affirm. To this extent, virtue is not renouncing to all passions but saying “yes” to life. In Deleuze’s last text, life is described as immanent and “unique”; no longer individual but completely impersonal, it is a “total power, a total bliss” It is from this starting point that philosophers – both in Italy and elsewhere – have started developing the idea of an “ontology of the present” – which sets itself as the aim of contemporary philosophy.

Following the path we have proposed, and even imagining something different, we welcome individual proposals for papers, panel proposals, as well as alternative approaches to presentation formats (such dialogues or performative pieces).

The conference will accept papers in English from across a very broad range of areas including, not limited to, the following:


Aesthetics and Artistic Practices
Architecture and Urban Planning

Film Studies
Digital Realm and New Media
Literature and Literary Criticism
Sociology and Politics
Gender Studies


Your daily fascism

For those interested in fascism, or Deleuze, or microfascisms… My review of Deleuze and Fascism is now available. You can access the review here. If you don’t have institutional access, email me and I can send an access link.

All the names of (photographic) history

I am currently working on a section of the ‘dissertation that never ends’ that focuses on the artistic practices the employ Google Street View in their practice. While I understand that I am seemingly ‘hardwired’ to see Deleuzian sentences that give support to the (potential) importance of the artist and their ability to provide us, the public, with a ‘view of chaos’ ; I am particularly astonished when the artists, more or less, state this on their own.

Within the panoramas, I can locate images of gritty urban life reminiscent of hard-boiled American street photography. Or, if I prefer, I can find images of rural Americana that recall photography commissioned by the Farm Securities Administration during the depression.I can seek out postcard-perfect shots that capture what Cartier-Bresson titled “the decisive moment,” as if I were a photojournalist responding instantaneously to an emerging event.At other times, I have been mesmerized by the sense of nostalgia, yearning, and loss in these images—qualities that evoke old family snapshots. I can also choose to be a landscape photographer and meditate on the multitude of visual possibilities. Or I can search for passing scenes that remind me of one of Jeff Wall’s staged tableaux. (Rafman 2009)

Jon Rafman, photographer and ‘author’ of Nine Eyes, a body of work that culls material from Street View seems to evoke the schizophrenic burst of ‘all the names of history’. His ability to cull from Street View a range of impulses appears to free him from the subjectivizing practice of ‘picture-making’ in which the artist-as-author overcodes the scene according to their habitual way of seeing and interpreting, freeing him to draw from the virtual photographic field of aesthetic utterances.

I then simply find myself saying, ‘thanks for that(!).’

Rafman, J. 2009. IMG MGMT, in ArtFCity,

Thoughts From the Bell Jar

I like thinking about this sentiment, both the original and the one about how we remember things being important:

Doesn’t Deleuze somewhere say that “there’s nothing more distressing than ideas that slip away half-formed and unarticulated”? That’s how I remember the quote; and the way we remember things is often what’s most important…

It reminds me of that feeling one has- well, I have it anyway- being close to remembering something, but it is like a shadow, and focusing on it doesn’t help it become fully formed, and sometimes one isn’t even sure what one is trying to remember… but it holds us in an unsettling way sometimes…  Since I didn’t remember the original sentiment quite like this, that made me need to hunt it down. “Nothing is more distressing than a thought that escapes itself, than ideas that fly off, that disappear hardly formed, already eroded by forgetfulness or precipitated into others that we no longer master…” (What is Philosophy, 201) but my brain linked it tightly to this following idea, “This is the instant of which we do not know whether it is too long or too short for time.” (ibid)
It is freeing, the way in which thoughts can free us from ourselves, just by being forgetful.

Larval Subjects .

the_bell_jar_by_kimded-d3cf4xqSo I haven’t been writing much lately.  Have I been busy?  Always, but not as busy as I should be.  Have I been sick of dealing with people online?  Sure.  We’re a pretty wretched, awful species, especially in a cool medium such as this.  Have I been in the “bell jar”?  Maybe a little.  My hope is that I’m like a fallow field.  I’m sure y’all learned about it in your highschool history classes.  Rotate the crops on a three year cycle and allow certain fields to lie fallow so that they might replenish their nutrients.  It was one of the great revolutions of the middle ages, as I recall.  Well, when I grow dry– and so much of my sense of self-value is tied up with whether or not I’m writing so I find the blank page deeply traumatic –I like to think that maybe I’m just fallow, that…

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CFP: Rendering (the) Visibile II

Fresh from my inbox…. looks like a good event for all you Deleuzians that are interested in aesthetics

On Feb 7-8, 2014, the Program in Moving Image Studies at GSU will host the second Rendering (the) Visible Conference, on the theme of “Figure.” At this time we would like to remind everyone that the September 20th deadline is fast approaching and hope you will make plans to join us in Atlanta. We are also happy to announce our keynote speakers will be Pasi Väliaho, author of Mapping the Moving Image (Amsterdam UP, 2010) and Anne Anlin Cheng, author of Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface (Oxford UP, 2010). In addition, the conference’s opening night will feature a screening of video and new media art from the figural perspective of the screen, curated and introduced by Professor Timothy Murray, Curator of Cornell University’s Rose Goldsen Archive
 of New Media Art and author most recently of Digital Baroque: New Media Art and Cinematic Folds (University of Minnesota Press, 2008).

The 2014 edition of Rendering focuses on contemporary theories of visuality, as they move their focus toward process and away from representation, the notion of the Figure (or “the figural”) has become increasingly important. Emerging in French philosophy in the 1960s, the figural reacts against the notion of the “figurative,” or the representational fixity of an image; the figural refers to that which induces discord within any closed system of signification, by way of forces, energies, or intensities. This idea is taken up by Deleuze as “the Figure” in his work on Francis Bacon, where the Figure is that force of deformation which pushes the image away from the cliché which continually haunts it. The Figure thus moves our attention toward gesture, rhythm, modulation, and resonance within –and at the edges of– the moving image, whether we’re talking about Eisenstein’s neuro-aesthetics or the dynamic assemblages of first-person shooter games.

This conference, thus, seeks to encourage a wide-ranging discussion of how the Figure might provide new avenues for thinking about contemporary media, as well as for reconsidering the history of the moving image in the 20th century. We invite papers that mobilize the concept of the Figure in the exploration of any visual medium. Possible areas of investigation (or experimentation) might include—but are not limited to—such issues as:

* The “aesthetic event,” and its connection to catastrophe, the accident, the mark, the spasm

* The Figure in relation to movement, animation, “non-organic Life”

* The Figure in relation to recent thinking about political affect, aesthetics, and sensoriality

* Approaches to geopolitical mapping animated by notions of contour, ground, diagram

* Connections to aesthetic theorists of modernity, such as Benjamin, Bataille, etc.

The Rendering (the) Visible conference encourages interdisciplinarity and experimentation in the study of visuality and moving image media. We are also open to projects that play at the intersection of theory and practice.

Send paper proposals (300–500 words), including 3-5 bibliographical sources and a brief biography, by 20 September 2013 to movingimagestudies[at]gmail[dot]com. Queries can be sent using the “contact us” page on our Website or directed to conference organizers Angelo Restivo, Alessandra Raengo, or Jennifer Barker (e-mail addresses available at