Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spinning off Levi Bryant's Deleuza...

I've been reading. slowly (along with catching up on a stack of New Yorker short stories, finishing The Interpretation of Dreams and continuing my journey through Silliman's The Alphabet) Difference and Giveness: Deleuze's Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence, by Levi Bryant of Larval Subjects.

This is dense reading. I don't have the background to follow the arguments, though I do my best. At the same time--in part, precisely because I can't always do justice to the text, I find my mind gleefully tripping off on excursions, following suggestions that are certainly misreadings and would no doubt not earn me a passing grade on the subject at hand. No matter; I give full and unapologetic latitude to these reflections. For me, this is one of the joys of reading 'outside the field' and beyond my competence.

Take the following Deleuze quote from the chapter: Empiricism and the Search for the Conditions of Real Experience:

The elementary concepts of representation are the categories defined as the conditions of possible experience. These, however, are too general or too large for the real. The net is so loose that the largest fish pass through. No wonder, then, that aesthetics should be divided into two irreducible domains: that of the theory of the sensible which captures only the real's conformity with possible experience, and that of theory of the beautiful, which deals with the reality of the real in so far as it is thought. Everything changes once we determine the conditions of the real experience which are not larger than the conditioned and which differ in kind from the categories. The two senses of the aesthetic become one, to the point where the being of the sensible reveals itself in the work of art, while at the same time the work of art appears as experimentation. (Difference and Repetition 68)
(emphasis, mine)

Realism, Reality and the fallacy of Representation

As reality is not composed of--let me stop... as the reality an artist responds to and renders forth in his response (the work is the response) is not composed of fixed "things" or sets, alone or in patterns, representation can't be formulated in terms of correspondences (here is the representation: there is the reality to which it is thought to correspond)). Rather, both internally and formally within the work and in its generation, the reality is a continuum, unceasingly productive of itself, evolving through a continuum of response--or a continuum of co-responses, as the reality of work is shared by all those who encounter it--shared as genetic codes are shared, a continuity between individuals that generate a continuing evolution of difference... as these codes are never reproduced as perfect repetitions, in the organism; there are always perturbations in the code: in art, as variations on the pattern.

There is no possibility of founding aesthetic judgement on references between a work and the reality it is presumed to represent. Nor can critical thought be applied, comparing a work with principles, however pliant and adaptable, which remain external to the work and/or the reality it both represents, and IS.

Doesn't this suggest that we look at critical response as itself a part of the continuum, its authority drawing from its being generated as part of (another branch, if you will) of the continuum of response which is perpetually generating the work, and at work in all those who become part of its flow?

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