D&G’s Aesthetics and Time I
D&G’s Aesthetics and Time
4:00pm - 4:30pm
Occidental College, United States of America
In Deleuze’s work, “haecceity” is an often-used term. As its Latin origin testifies, it designates the “thisness” of that which is under consideration, those existential differences that allow the disaggregation of things. Therefore, while the term has sometimes been seen as equivalent to quiddity, “whatness,” it means almost the opposite. Whatness designates the supposedly constitutive essences of an object that substantiate its ontic participation in a particular kind: members of a supposed set grouped under a common noun.
“This” is, however, is not a common noun but a demonstrative pronoun. As such, it is a shifter, one of those fairly rare words (such as “here,” “now,” and personal pronouns, etc.) that negotiate the relational functions between the otherwise potentially solipsistic closed structures of the natural languages. In the theorization of shifters since Jespersen, this linking of language and object has been understood conceptually as a correspondence activity (see Meillassoux) between a term and its material instance. As is the case in Frege’s influential essay on sense and reference, this traditional theorization of the shifter valorizes the abstract Platonic category of the shifter’s sense side over its existential instantiation, reference. In this reading, the shifter as linguistic norm regulates and nominalizes the phenomena it coordinates.
However, Deleuze inverts this usually tacit, because hegemonic, valorization. What is given in Deleuze is time as differencing, what he calls the Aeon, not time as extensive and regular, the Chronos. His is not a time that suits humans’ extant habits of assigning meaning and parsing the real into intelligible bits negotiated by historical habituation and Humean “contraction” but exactly the “untimely.” Every “now,” therefore, designates an individuation without fully applicable standard or norm.
In Deleuze’s reading then, what is evoked in the notice of haecceity is not a metrical sameness or reductive representational adequacy, but exactly the emergent, material, and radically temporal instantiation of becoming as difference. The normative definition then becomes only the straight man in the comedy that is reference. The linguistic and concurrent attempt at regulation, the shifter traditional function, remains only as a joke. Thus, temporal haecceity is in total opposition to object-oriented realism. Thus, the interpellating symbol finds its ground exactly in its inapplicability of linguistic category and thus recognizes itself at last as a symptom of the success constituted by its failure.
4:30pm - 5:00pm
On What is Left Behind: Territory, Memory and Cinders
University of Latvia
The concept of territory in the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari for the most part draws on spatial connotations, because generally it is related to movements. However, there is considerable dimension of temporal aspects in the use of the terms deterritorialisation / reterritorialisation that could become a productive line of research. In discussing these concepts Deleuze and Guattari in What is philosophy? declare that philosophy is geo-philosophy, and by geography they understand not only physical or human, but also mental investigation of landscape. I will argue that mentally any landscape has spatial as well as temporal determinants such as traces, remnants, relics of the past, visions and projects of the future and becomings of the present.
This paper will focus on a particular aspect of temporally determined landscape, namely, the territory that is ‘left behind’ in the process of de-/reterritorialisation. According to Deleuze and Guattari deterritorialisation is defined as ‘quitting the territory’ (Mille Plateaux, p. 634), whereas reterritorialisation can be understood as the ‘remake of territory’ (What is Philosophy?, p. 66). The questions can be posed: what happens with territory that is left and is there anything in the rehabitated, remade territory that signalizes of the previous, e.g. pre-remake state? In my answer I will lean on two lines of reasoning: (a) one that could be found in early Deleuzian interpretation of Bergson’s conception of memory which allows to regard the territory ‘left behind’ as a source for ‘virtual coexistence’, (b) other that aims to contrast Deleuze-Guattari views on territory with Derrida’s concept of cinders (Feu la cendre, 1987). Cinders are both – the sign of deterritorialisation in the abandoned wasteland and reterritorialisation of memory in a museum or a memorial.
5:00pm - 5:30pm
The production of aesthetico-existential consistency as metamodelization in Guattari
Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Throughout Guattari's work, and particularly in his last years, chaos represents the very force that feeds the fundamental tension of thought —it is the raw material for virtuality, the never-ending reserve of determinability. In a sense, Guattari's aesthetics begins out of this assumption: much in the same way as life emerges from a groundless ground, art emerges from the composition of chaos. It is always a question of formlessness, determination, and will.
Indeed, turning over or stirring up this very ground, as Deleuze had said, "is the most dangerous occupation, but also the most tempting in the stupefied moments of an obtuse will". And what other will could be more obtuse than that under contemporary capitalist subjectivity, with its complete homogenisation in the context of the production of subjectivity?
From an institutional point of view, modern (i.e., autonomous) art enabled a way of enunciation which was irreducible to the capitalist entropy of the generalized equivalent. From an epistemological point of view, an artist is someone who remembers that this very groundless ground never abandons us —that this very chaos never runs out.
Aesthetico-existential production allow us to build planes of consistency without losing the very infinitude out of which art is materialized, creating thus out of the ontological tension between the dissolution of meaning and its structural and phantasmatic redundancy, revealing itself thus as a joyous affirmation of subjectivity as chaosmic metamodelization, that is to say, as an heterogenous production of new ways of relating both to our finitude and to infinity.