Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 255: For a people to come

a highly recommended book

"Art is not a self-contained activity in the sense that it is disconnected from the ways in which the natural and social worlds function. Art, however is not a window onto these worlds, nor a mode of their representation of exploration: it does not take the place of social or political analysis or philosophical speculation. Rather, it is where intensities proliferate, where forces are expressed for their own sake, where sensation lives and experiments, where the future is affectively and perceptually anticipated. Art is where properties and qualities- sounds, rhythms, harmonies in music, colors, forms, relations of surface and depth or visibility and invisibility in painting, planes, volumes, surfaces, and voids in sculpture and architecture and so on- take on the task of representing the future, of preceding and summoning up sensations to come, a people to come, worlds or universes to come. Art is intensely political not in the sense that it is a collective or community activity (which it may be but usually is not) but in the sense that it elaborates the possibilities of new, more, different sensations than those we know. Art is where the becomings of the earth coupled with the becomings of life to produce intensities and sensations that in themselves summon up a new kind of life:
This is precisely, the task of all art and, from colors and sounds, both music and painting similarly extract new harmonies, new plastic or melodic landscapes, and new rhythmic characters that raise them to the height of the earth's song and the cry of humanity: that which constitutes the tone, the health, becoming, a visual and sonorous bloc. A monument does not commemorate or celebrate something that happened but confides to the ear of the future the persistent sensations that embody the event. - Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophy
Sensation sets out not only the possible becomings of a subject-in-process but also the possible becomings of peoples and universes to come. It is the possibility (as opposed to the virtuality) of the creation of new worlds and new peoples to live and experience them. Artworks are not so much to be read, interpreted, deciphered as responded to, touched, engaged, intensified. Artworks don't signify (or, if they signify, they signify only themselves); instead, they make sensation real..."
- Elizabeth Grosz, chaos, territory, art, deleuze and the framing of the earth

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