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.

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