Gilles Deleuze and the powers of art

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Description: "Gilles Deleuze and the Powers of Art" is a preliminary investigation into how certain key notions of French philosopher and aesthetician Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) may be defined more richly they have been so far. Against either overly idealist or overly reductivist accounts of the simulacral, singularity, difference, immanence, univocity, signification, and life in terms of which Deleuze is usually understood, the thesis attempts to emphasize the performative, pragmatic, and transformative dimensions of these terms against their presumably ontological referents. By reading Deleuze as a reader of art, and by rendering his notion of art in terms of a peculiar power to generate worlds , this dissertation argues that artistic inspiration for a "constructivism" in philosophy links Deleuze to a Renaissance tradition of neoplatonic speculation that saw poetic and magical acts as being co-incipient and co-terminus. This thesis is argued for through a reading of Deleuze on the powers of certain modern art forms and on the way in which the practices of certain artists model a form of thought that is immediately the genesis of new forms of life. Deleuze's philosophizing on behalf of such a life is defended in the face of recent criticisms by Slavoj Zizek and Alain Badiou, as well as earlier critics such as Rene Girard. The importance of connecting Deleuze's notion of creation to earlier Renaissance and magical notions of poiesis becomes clearer against the backdrop of current debates about which materialism is necessary to overcome the anti-materialism of capitalism in contemporary life. While Deleuze's philosophy is proposed as offering new futures for our times, it is also taken as a proposal for further work---work beyond Deleuze's own---in the elaboration of a complex notion of materiality that would exceed the modern (and postmodern) opposition of the magical to the real. This project is outlined but not comprehensively accomplished here.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work