الخميس، 28 مايو 2009

a thousand plateaus

In attempt to show the difference between the classical view of things and especially reading a book, and the application of a new direction in English and American literature, Gilles Deleuze in his book a thousand plateaus, portrayed the two approaches in different ways.
To begin with, the introduction is a comparison between “the tree” and the “Rhizome”. The two terms are not only applicable on literature, but also in psychology and politics.
Second, in chapter 14 other terms are used which are “smooth space” and “striated space”. In order to show the relation between them, Deleuze gave different models which reveal the aspects of the two spaces.
In both cases (chap 1 and 14) the author is trying to show that the relation between the terms is that of “becoming” of “assemblage”, “deterritorialization” and “reterritorialization” in order to attain “the plane of consistency” which is the outside of all multiplicities or in other words, to reach the exteriority of relations.
Deleuze gave several examples to support his argument. First, he showed psychoanalysis as the closed system where there are always objects and leader. Than, he said that schizoanalysis is a Rhizome and an assemblage of multiplicity of states of the unconscious that has no center. In addition, he gave other examples on linguistics and capitalism.
Further more, the thought, as the author believe, is and assemblage of concepts. It is always in growth and process; it breaks and starts up again.
Later he gave the characteristic of a Rhizome, which are the opposite of the tree or their root. The Rhizome is a connection of different things, it is reducible, it is composed of directions, it is always in the middle intermezzo, it has neither subject nor object, it is not a structure but rather it is made of lines, it is an antigenealogy, it is a short-term memory, it is not a tracing but a map which has multiple entryways and exits (the map is done by tracing), it is acentered, nonhierchial, nonsignifying, it is a relation to everything (book, sexuality…) no matter if those things were natural or artificial, it is an assemblage of plateaus, it is a machinic assemblage of desires plugged to the multiplicity of the outside.
More over, Deleuze said that books are the image of the world; they assemble in heterogeneity with the outside only in a world that reproduces (the becoming world of the book, and the becoming book of the world). The books assure the deterritorialization of the world, but the world affects the reterritorialization of the book which in turn deterritorializes itself in the world. So it is important to make Rhizomes (not roots), multiplicities, to be productive and to make maps and no tracing.
In chapter 14, Deleuze portrayed the same relation but in other terms. He talked about two spaces which exist in mixture. The smooth space is the becoming of the striated space. He explained that in many models. First the technological model where the striated space is the fabric which is a closed system that takes the body and the exterior to a closed area; and weaving nomad is the smooth space that brings the cloth and the house (closed area) to the outside. And after an assemblage of many factors the fabric started to change thus the striated space to become a smooth space. Similar examples were given in the musical model, where he talks about the texture of the music which is in smooth space when it is in continuous development of form. Than in the maritime model, Deleuze said that in the sea there is openness therefore a smooth space and the smooth space of the sea takes the striated to the openness. After that he talked about the mathematical model where he said that the smooth space is nonmetric, in minor geometry and is operative and qualitative; the magnitudes are in the striated space. More in the physical model he said that surplus labor and capitalism are becoming less striated and more smoothed because of the physicosocial concept of work. Finally the aesthetic model: nomad art where there is the haptic space (smooth) where there is close-range vision (like short term memory) and the tactile space (striated) which is long-distance vision (like long term memory). There is the idea of “becoming-artist”. And finally the author talked about the smooth space as an abstract in modern art, a variable direction that describes no outline and restricts no form.

الاثنين، 30 مارس 2009

The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction

By Walter Benjamin

Here is a review upon this article by Benjamin and what it talks about in general. The work of art is reproducible, its mechanical reproduction represents something new and with the time it was developed with a fast strength. “Founding and stamping” were the only two procedures known by the Greeks for work of art reproduction. After them came woodcut then printing or lithography which was an important case about the mechanical reproduction of writing. Later the pictorial reproduction was born with photography. The technical reproduction was in 1900 an artistic process. A perfect reproduction of a work of art does not exist because it will always be missing for something. The reason behind this is that you can never find that reproduction at the same time and place where it happened; so it has a unique existence which was a main focus at a certain time during which it faced many changes and physical conditions. To know more about the physical conditions, chemical and physical analysis are needed to be done but this is impossible to be acted upon a “reproduction”; and to know why there are many changes you need to go back to the original situation. Human sense of perception is determined through the historical circumstances. With the new inventions and developments that were made, there was a new kind of perceptions. Rigel and Wickhoff were the first to conclude the “organization of perception” without referring to the social transformations. If you decompose the distinctive qualities of the contemporary perception then you will see its social causes. The uniqueness of the work of art is fixed in tradition which is alive and changeable and this means how different cultures and societies see and define things from different perspectives. The “authentic” work of art is basically in its ritual function and the place of the original use but the work of art was liberated from its reliance on the rituals by mechanical reproduction and it became designed for reproducibility so there is no need for the original anymore and the ritual was replaced by politics. With the photography the cult value was replaces by the value of presentation; but the cult did not disappear immediately it was still found in remembering the dead and the beloved… with the mechanical reproduction, the function of art has changed and in the 19th century the artistic value of painting opposed to photography was deceitful and confusing. The resulting of that change was the development of the film. There is a difference between a stage actor and a film actor. The first one experience a direct relation with the audience but in the second case the audience is the camera with which the audience is viewed from different sides like the real audience sees the actor on the stage. The approach of the camera is “testing” which is not an approach that cult values are exposed to. In the last century many readers became writers and there was an increasing in the field of press. The difference between author and public became functional. This transition (author/writer) is also applied to the film and this transition was faster in the field of film than in literature. A magician, a surgeon, a painter and a cameraman; all make work of art because each one, in its way, with mechanical equipment offers an aspect of reality. The attitude of masses toward art is changed by mechanical reproduction of art. When it was a “progressive” manner to respond to “a grotesque film”; the audience will respond in a “reactionary manner to surrealism”. Art seeks to create a demand to be fulfilled later; with pictures and literature Dadaism tries to create the effects which the public nowadays seeks in the film. In a work of art, by concentration, the person is completely captivated; by distraction, a habit can be formed to control a certain task. The cult value is moved away by the film; the audience is put in a “position of critic” and became an absent minded inspector