Monday, February 14, 2011

Re-Imagining Life and Time -- Gilles Deleuze and Brian Eno

The Experimentations of Brian Eno

Brian Eno -- musician, collaborator, producer, musical experimenter -- has recently found his interest focussed on the artistic image. Using his long experience with sound experimentation, Eno now experiments with images that move and shift, constantly recreating, never repeatable. A new show where he highlights these experiments is generating intense interest, it is called 77 Million Paintings.

In this art-form Eno introduces a new idea about time into the concept of image or painting. Not simply the implication of movement in a still image, but images that actually constantly morph, constantly generate new forms. It also introduces an art which is not dependent upon the artist for a distinct and specific form, but rather the artist is involved in a process which in turn creates art-forms in movement, in constant becomings. This is a radicalization of art, where art is no longer the gift of a single person, but more like a process of nature, a generator of beauty that is not dependent upon the artist, but not removed from the artist either.

Eno also introduces another twist on art-in-process. Eno creates music which is set to the images of life-in-process. Images move in ways parallel to real-time, in rhythms connected to the flows of time nature creates. Not dependent upon narrative inventions, just the flows of time and life. A forest which simply morphs through seasons. A tree by a river, moving through days and months.

Gilles Deleuze and Brian Eno

I find much resonance between Eno's visual and auditory experiments and the various conceptions of time and life created by Deleuze.

Outside of Narrative

Deleuze presents concepts which invite a view of life and time not structured so much by narrative or other traditional inventions for seeing and organizing time. These concepts invite appreciation for and engagements with the many possibilities for the movements of life in the process-of-life.

Complex Relations

A quick note on Deleuze's thinking on life. He creates ways of seeing that evade all simplistic description.

For Deleuze life:
  • evades categorization,
  • is always connected to diversities,
  • is engaging in constant movements,
  • generates unpredictable futures,
  • and is always tied together through numerous lines of relationship.
A Generative Process

Deleuze does not invite a copying of nature, not a forming of structures that simply replicate what we have come to believe about how nature operates, but he calls for the creation of ideas, concepts and ways of life that connect us to the endless possible movements of life. To re-emphasize -- this is a generative, creative process that creates much more than ideas and words, it creates new possibilities of relationship with the diversities of life itself.

Next Posting -- Becomings and Rhizome

Two ideas Deleuze presents that illustrate such connections to life are "Becomings," and "Rhizome."

I will explore these two concepts in upcoming postings.


A final video. Brian Eno with Bono and The Edge.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Opposite of a Morality of Salvation

Immersed with thoughts from Lawrence, Whitman and Spinoza, among others, Deleuze talks about the soul and the body.
The soul and the body, the soul is neither above nor inside, it is "with", it is on the road, exposed to all contacts, encounters, in the company of those who follow in the same way," feel with them, seize the vibration of their soul and their body as they pass", the opposite of a morality of salvation, teaching the soul to live its life, not to save it.

Deleuze, Dialogues, pge 62.
Let me repeat...
"Feel with them, seize the vibration of their soul and their body as they pass", the opposite of a morality of salvation, teaching the soul to live its life, not to save it,
The soul as described here is not a divine creation, a product of higher powers inserted inside a body. It is not aligned with either the interiorities or the individualisms of Western life. It is not about an inner life. The soul is outside us -- it is with us, with all we walk through life with.

As Lynn Hoffman would say, the idea of the soul creates a "withness" not an "aboutness." It does not reside above or within, it resides amongst.

The soul accompanies us, connects us to complex worlds of relations. And it connects us to the pragmatics of our movements in real geographies and ecologies.

Experiments with Gilles Deleuze

I have clearly been absent from regular posting on this blog for sometime now. This is not because certain ideas and ways of living are not moving me, or that the words are absent, but because the forms of creation that I have been driven to have altered from when I was regularly posting on this site.

However, I now want to return, but to do so with a particular and different focus. Recently I have been taken by an old passion -- that is the ideas created by French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze. I want to experiment in this blog, at this point in time, with the thoughts of Deleuze, see where they might lead. I am not doing this out of a sense of discipleship, and certainly not from some sense of obligation.

It is more like a kind of exorcism, a desire to give my own form to these ideas, to address them, remove them from the vague, less-than-formed mass they feel to be right now. Remove them, create with them, and move on to some other ground...

I do not feel I am mining his thoughts, nor searching for an authentic author's voice for Deleuze. No, I want to let his ideas springboard to new places, let them create new ideas, actions, communal-relations, timely-constructions that assist in nudging and moving to productive places in life.