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The animate has always been utterly dependent on the inanimate. Driven by the Foucauldian attitude of subsuming architectural history into a general history of techne, the paper will examine how the built environment and its technicities produce a style for living and dying that may take place simultaneously. In mapping the emergent and enabling constraints, we embrace Guattari’s claim from “Architectural Enunciation” where he urges us to understand architecture as a practice devoted to the processes of subjectification. If architecture is a collective machinic assemblage of enunciation / desire, then it is no longer to be considered as a discourse on the world of design. Rather, its attention turns to the design of world, or the experimental production of styles to live and styles to die beyond Manichean binaries. To research affectively is to put conjecture before judgement, rhizome before reason. The only viable distinction becomes the one between active and reactive modes of existence. Namely, of those that follow a becoming that connects them to the becoming of a world, and those that constantly retreat to segmentarity, to the reassurance of established givens and limits. Consequently, there are two kinds of subjects precisely because there are two kinds of deaths. A subject can nest into its idiocy and make itself more and more rigid and progressively smaller, or it can let itself dissipate until its disappearance. Hence, the way that one styles one’s dissolution is not merely determined by the inevitability of entropy but by the pedagogies of becoming.
2:30pm - 3:00pm
Affective Bordering: Deleuze's Reading of Spinoza and the Formation of Common Notions
Ece Sahinoglu Isik
DePaul University, United States of America
This paper introduces Gilles Deleuze’s notion of ‘the shock of sensible’ to describe ‘the problem of border’ in relation to the event-limit of intensive becoming. By delineating the Deleuze’s reading of Baruch Spinoza, it also challenges the understandings of social field based relations of interiority that rely on imminent logical necessitations. Deleuze, in his reading of Spinozean concept of ‘common notions’, emphasizes the practical direction of the Ethics over its speculative content by focusing on the roles of affection (affectio) and affect (affectus) in the formation of common notions. While common notions denote the adequate idea of what is common to all singular things from the perspective of system of relations between parts and whole, their genesis pose a critical problem due to the danger of conceptualizing the formation of common notions as an intervention of the miracle. With his analysis of common notions, Deleuze explicates how necessity arises out of aleatory dynamics of lived experiences in physical terms. In this manner, he also evokes a conceptualization of the problem of border, which goes beyond both the inert lines that separates ideational categories and the constitutive demarcations of an inextricable unity. Such an understanding delineates the social field in its numerous affective dynamics rather than defining it in terms of a set of divisions into functions and categories. It, therefore, allows us to think through the ruptures that take place in the social strata and that shatter the temporal identity in which we are accustomed to see ourselves. This affective way of thinking borders is, nonetheless, capable of bringing about inventive forms of connections, spatial complexes, etc.
3:00pm - 3:30pm
The Lucretian Plague
Vanderbilt University, United States of America
In Dialogues (1977), Gilles Deleuze writes: “I fantasize about writing a memorandum to the Academy of the Moral Sciences to show that Lucretius’ book cannot end with the description of the plague, and that it is an invention, a falsification of the Christians who wanted to show that a maleficent thinker must end in terror and anguish.”
This paper envisions what Deleuze would have written in that note. The end of the Roman poet Lucretius’s On the Nature of Things has long been a topic of scholarly dispute. Is the poem unfinished, or did Lucretius intend to end his paean to nature where it does, with a gruesome account of the plague of Athens? For Deleuze, the latter option was unthinkable. Lucretius appears in Deleuze’s work under a number of guises: as an exponent of Epicurean atomist physics, a theorist of the the simulacrum and of the event, a poet and philosopher of affirmative naturalism, and the first in a line of philosophers (continuing on to Spinoza to Nietzsche) who confront religious and philosophical superstition and dogma. Using Deleuze’s fascination—and discomfort—with the Lucretian plague as a lens, and with particular attention to the link between the Lucretian plague and Deleuze’s theory of the event (“Why is every event a kind of plague, war, wound, or death?” Deleuze asks in Logic of Sense), I parse the different ways that Lucretius appears in Deleuze’s oeuvre, resisting the critical tendency to collapse Lucretian thought with an undifferentiated Greek atomism (Johnson 2016).