17 June 2019: 3331 Arts Chiyoda Deleuze|Guattari Camp 2019 Tokyo

Director and coordinator of Deleuze|Guattari Studies Asia 7th International Conference 2019, Koichiro Kokubun, introduced Ian Buchanan as the ‘Boss’ of Deleuze Studies and born in the AUS he sang. In this first lecture there were some promising initial moves but these quickly gave way to justification through application of concepts from the collaboration of Deleuze with Guattari—in the first instance the assemblage or, in French, agencement—to reductive examples informed, unquestioningly, by sources from popular scientific writing (Steven Jay Gould) and National Geographic.

Of the initial moves, this might be adduced: do we not sometimes wake up in the middle of the night … screaming. No, not screaming … with the feeling—one I have never been able entirely to shake—that the collaboration between Deleuze and Guattari, to which we have, in some cases, devoted our lives, is a hoax?

The alloplastic stratum might be equated with a technosemiology.

The wheels began coming off around the time the idea of the refrain, as giving the one whistling in the dark (sing They Might Be Giants) the sense of a home away from home, became a home value which has surplus value. This surplus is the extra sense of a space, a dimensionality, that of a dimension to be moved through, because the worst thing is to get stuck. Getting stuck means falling into the black hole, arresting one’s movement in proximity to an assemblage. The surplus is produced out of the labour of whistling, perhaps. So the thinking leading into this reading of surplus value, and that leading from it, back around to the assemblage, works, moves, if not under its own steam. But the value extraction model is highly questionable in its application here.

Deleuze’s answer to Guattari’s black hole—the place in which movement is arrested—is the white wall. The white wall, too, can be a slippery notion: but we can grasp in it the social censure or the group expectation, insofar as they amount to the same thing, entrapping the individual through exclusion, or inclusion with conditions. To be one of us you must … .

If not, you are plunged back into a black hole. The beginnings of psychology—perhaps—where the refrain, that snatch of tune you whistle, becomes a mobile territory, opening out from the inside onto a milieu for further action, and enabling you to pass by way of other assemblages, agencements.

Deleuze’s Cinema 1 permits us to see the shift from a directional layout to one with the attributes of a dimension one can pass through in its transitions from sensory-motor schema—the classic Chaplin motoric vision of stimulus engaging more and more absurdly body-machine-like response, for example, going faster and faster—to Cinema 2”s deep focus (Welles) and time narratives (Antonioni) and characters in suspended action, contemplating their scenery, if not actually chewing it up, where the camera takes on the eye-function in the dimensional scenery of a new kind of filmic assemblage and agencement of image.

Strange things were said: the aboriginal population was so sparse that—“600 people can never do as much damage as [the] 300,000 people who live there now” where once they did, from which land, they have been expunged, effaced, and of which they, with their lives, have been dispossessed.

Cyclists are lions among lambs on footpaths, but lambs among lions on the road. This rivalry, and the liminal position of cycling in view of driving and walking, is where we see the psychology of territorial behaviour at work. But is it Deleuze and Guattari’s? Or is the illustration a motor-schema response to it? Does it thicken and deepen Deleuze and Guattari’s thought, or expunge, efface, and dispossess it of depth?

Next Jae-Yin Kim spoke. Foucault and Deleuze misinterpret Nietzschean genealogy. Deleuze holds that the total critique—all the way to the transformation of values and the creation of concepts—is the only way to philosophise with a hammer. For Deleuze critique is not about the destruction of the adversory’s position. It is rather to regard that position in relation to and as a field of forces, externalising a field, opening from a position, a posture, an attitude onto a field or as Lingis writes of Merleau-Ponty onto a level. But Deleuze brings critique and genealogy together.

Values are differential elements. Genealogy is the creation of these elements. Genealogy is itself an element. …to find, catch, make or create the forces which take possession of … territory, land, money, philosophy.

Forces appropriate a thing. Take it by … force.

All has a history of being appropriated by different forces at different times. All comprises the signs of these appropriations.

We can change all in its constellation by intervening in it and taking it by force, and change its internal form.

All is and can be constituted with new or different forces.

We can destroy only as creators.

But Jae insists here on the untouchability of the past—and does not consider Deleuze’s thinking about time and the past, in its Bergsonian and Nietzschean permutations, its taking by forces that are theirs and then his.

Isn’t Foucault’s distinction between past and history and past, history and genealogy—even as it constitutes and historical method, one, note, one in a multiplicity—here reversed?

“Past is untouchable and cannot be undone.”

Past in the future is the present we can create—the truth of the world to come.

It seems only accessible in the present. Is this Foucault’s and Deleuze’s misinterpretation?

Is truth in question here? Does Foucault, or does Deleuze, really set genealogy to the task of making truths—a truer history, a truer future, a truer past—that is with the moralising understanding of improving our lot in the future?

Anne Sauvagnargues asks … past is something that changes … ?

Jae’s approach, she says, remains theological in stating Nietzsche as origin of genealogy and itself is subject to a reflexive critique. Since in what sense is Jae doing genealogy? Is Nietzschean genealogy as it is presented Ursprung—absolute origin—or Herkunft—the process of transmission to the present—where presumably the action is, and where any intervention will be staged?

Origin or descent?

Jae: “In my life, what is the best thing?” And: “To justify [ourselves] we need art.” Art is a higher form of life.

Gregory Flaxman asks: To what degree does ontology still play a role for you in Deleuze?

He comments that ontology seems to be eternally recurring.

A pattern begins that will be repeated: not just ontology (if one can say “not just ontology”) but the polemical and pedagogical pincers of a double articulation effectuated by the Anne Sauvagnargues series with the Gregory Flaxman series will be produced after so many of the presentations, sometimes to temper, sometimes to tease, sometimes to plunge into cold water, that is, putting the hot metal to the test of a rapid temperature drop … will it shatter? Or will the inner qualities be teased out? … I never saw hammer blows of the philosophical forge. And that is to their credit.

Masaya Chiba—is the first revelation of the Camp—or its first instance of Nihonification, territorialisation in this Japanese context, tuned to it—or toned, and attuned.

He presents in laconic, not to say sardonic, fashion the thesis of his book, Don’t move too much, taken from Deleuze’s phrase, Il ne faut pas bouger de trop.

Vacuoles of noncommunication … les foyers?

Mayasa-san presented through bare statements the “disconnective Deleuze” to oppose the “connective Deleuze” of communitarian interest. That is he laid out in terse terms a current and powerful Japanese reading of Deleuze and Deleuze and Guattari, but Deleuze particularly, as a philosopher of autism.

First came his provocative displacement of Bergson’s prevailing spirit to Hume’s in Deleuze’s oeuvre: of “Humean discontinuity and Bergsonian continuity” the former has more relevance for this interpretation.

“The Deleuzian self-enjoyment is autistic rather than schizophrenic.”

“In Bacon’s ‘figure’ what matters is not only deterritorialisation but also ‘saving its contours’.”

Masaya-san is working with Takuya Matsumoto, a Lacanian at Kyoto, among others on this project, picking up on Lacan’s sinthome—the singularising one.

“There is a relationist and antirelationist divide in Japanese thought.”

Wataru Hiromata, Shinnhichi Nakazawa—are for relationism.

Asada and Azuma—antirelationism.

“Asada and Azuma developed the so-called ‘critique of negative theology’.” This is a critique amounting to a system of thought organised around an X—the impossible.

From Azuma, it is NTS: Negative Theology System.

Lacan’s ‘real’ in RSI (Real Symbolic Imaginary) represents the instance of X.

The impossible organises from the inside of thought—around X—the outside.

Cites Asada’s Structure and Power (1983).

NTS diagrammes movements of instance X:

1) hierarchical movement

2) Klein bottle (endless internal reticulation)

3) rhizomic movement (multidirectional, multidimensional and open)

The fundamental lack in thought (X) is also at the same time excess (X).

Abundance and lack are foregrounded in the West. (Lacan and Bataille for example.) There is no such distinction in Japan. From the Japanese perspective, poststructuralism is concerned with and concerns the Negative Theology System, i.e. it fits within its categories.

Masaya-san moves to the titular terms of his presentation: Hole and Stone. (These will recur as motifs throughout the Deleuze|Guattari Camp.)

Lacan’s lack, impossible, hole, also means ontological abundance of signification. An absence organising an excessive thought, as if thrashing around in confrontation with lack—overproducing, and overcompensating. Or, the withdrawal of Kant’s Ding an Sich.

Another sort of “secret of things,” stopping the infinity of interpretation (stopping the hermeneutic bicycle wheel turning) is stone secret.

Hole secret is nonsense with … sense!

Stone secret is nonsense without sense: reality of the radical finitude of being.

Tony See spoke then, taking, perhaps to the chagrin of some, his cue from Heidegger: “The Orient does not thing.”

But, although this too is a problem, according to Deleuze and Guattari, philosophy was brought to Greece by immigrants. Strangers. Asians, even.

Tony cited the 3 ecologies of Guattari as providing something of a solution to our current impasse—largely thought to be that of humanity confrontation with extinction, its own—psychic, social and environmental economies.

These three are linked by abstract machines.

An ecosophy.

Gregory Flaxman comment to Why Greece? Well for the very reason of environment! Distance from Persian empire. Cyclonic. Waves crash on the shore .. a fire burns … friends of wisdom get together…

Ruth Irwin comments, since her cue comes from Heidegger as well, that in order to get past this impasse—thought largely to entail something that is not happening, rather than what is—we have to stop thinking from failure and fault … and one might add guilt and resentment.

But I wonder if this is also (as if) to bring finitude very close to being a fault and a failure—we poor mortals; and aligning it with a negativity against the human? Or is it against the planet?

The question of finitude—is it a hole or a stone secret?

I have wholly failed to mention the subject to which is given the bulk of these snaps: an exhibition specifically for the Deleuze|Guattari Asia event, at Chiyoda Arts Centre, presented by students.

What was great about this was that the students presenting works could and did speak at length and with seriousness about their approaches to both Deleuze and Guattari and making art. There was no question of a polemic or a reaction, a shitting on the source, or a diminution of one’s own status in view of it. No need.

A painter referred to the theory of the haptic in Logic of Sensation.

A sculptor to the rhizome in A Thousand Plateaus.

The bed you see at a weird angle, takes off from Masaya-san and a disconnective Deleuze.