Teaching Contigencies: Deleuze, Creativity Discourses and Art

Teaching Contigencies: Deleuze, Creativity Discourses and Art

Soodabeh Salehi

Language: English

Pages: 333

ISBN: 2:00145588

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This dissertation, flying between aesthetics, visual arts, and political/cultural/historical
issues, traverses lines of stratification, and (de/re)territorialization to examine
uncertainties in making and teaching art. Inkeeping with a conviction that nothing is
unitary, that everything is always connected to countless others, Deleuze and Guattari’s
metaphor of rhizome is the central organizing element in my work. My research
questions what is meant by creativity, whether assumed to be a gift, talent, or innate
quality, and what is meant by teaching art inuniversity, which assumes creativity can be
organized and developed.
Differing discourses of creativity exhibit a general continuityof agreement that creation
takes place within chaos, and forms where chaos and order meet each other. I posit that
contemporary discourses of creativity hegemonically reinforce capitalism as a system of
nomadic power and of constant de/reterritorialization. All, in a capitalist system, is linked
to the construction of the urge to consume,and therefore the acceleration of capitalism
necessitates an increase in the rate at which we manufacture venues for consumption,
even in such innovative ways as by making creativity itself a consumable package. How
do we resist this?
From a Deleuzian point of view, creation is a becoming event, as destructive as
productive. Creativity, which is about freedom, occurs on a plane of immanence which
sifts chaos and multiplicity together to breaklines. Teaching, however, is on a “plane of
organization” where rigid and dichotomous segmentarities of personal and social life
operate. I suggest that artistic knowledge canbe theorized and taught, in the Schönian
sense, but creativity, a matter of “lines of flight,” is fundamentallyunrelated to artistic
knowledge. I argue that what canbe taught is technique, theory, and the material
language of media, and that these should be taught as explicit professional objectives, not
as “creativity.” We canteach the value of breaking away from the false seriousness of
creativity, with reference to Dada. We can teach the enjoyment of chaos and the
confrontation of it. We can teach resistance. We can teach a love of complexities. We can
teach play.





















relation to a differentiated problem or to the differentiated conditions of a problem that a differenciation of species and parts is carried out, as though it corresponded to the cases of solution of the problem. (Deleuze 1968/1994, p. 207) 94 Therefore, Deleuze’s notion of creativity stands against any kind of simplification and generalization; against prescribed instructions or solutions which mark facets of the creativity explosion. Generalization works based on rules of resemblance and

productivity,” (Reading Notes on Deleuze and Guattari, n.d., n. pag.) while “pure immanence,” or what Deleuze calls “A life,” contains “only virtuals. It is made up of virtualities, events, singularities” (Deleuze, 1995/2001b, p. 31). “A life” is a paradoxical experience in which individuality fades and becomes “a singular essence,” (Deleuze, 1995/2001b, p. 27) an empty time of singularities existing in between what we take to be the defining moments of an individual’s life: This indefinite life

technological nightmare. Deleuze describes this new state of life: Felix Guattari has imagined a city where one would be able to leave one’s apartment, one’s street, one’s neighbourhood, thanks to one’s (dividual) electronic card that raises a given barrier; but the card could just as easily be rejected on a given day or between certain hours; what counts is not the barrier but the computer that tracks each person's position—licit or illicit—and effects a universal modulation. (1990b, ¶ 7) 114

Reciting this, Ball, in the first manifesto on July 14, 1916, wrote, 159 Dada is a new tendency in art. One can tell this from the fact that until now nobody knew anything about it, and tomorrow everyone in Zurich will be talking about it. Dada comes from the dictionary. It is terribly simple. In French it means “hobby horse.” In German it means “good-bye,” “Get off my back,” “Be seeing you sometime.” In Romanian: “Yes, indeed, you are right, that's it. But of course, yes, definitely, right.”

is the first documented example of a culture and language departing from the standard “arrow of time.” The Aymara use the same word for “front” and “past” and also a single word to convey both “behind” and “future.” So “nayra mara”–meaning “last year”— would be translated literally as “front year.” The Aymara place a lot of significance on whether a witness has personally witnessed an event. In such a culture, the researchers speculate it makes good sense to metaphorically place the know [sic]

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