Intuition and Creative Process

With the aim of deepening the discussion about a philosophical approach within artistic research, we seek to explore the interaction between process in artistic practices and the Bergsonian/Deleuzian method of intuition and the establishment of a common ground between both. We propose to look at intuition from three vantage points: first, as a mode of knowledge-creation that is aesthetic, immediate, and unmediated, unprocessed by rational reflection and not founded in established scholarship; second, as a method as proposed by Bergson and intuitively developed by Deleuze in Bergsonism (1988)—how the three (five) rules of the method are not to be reconciled with a priori or a posteriori determinations as things in themselves but instead with the differential progression of otherness as the event’s becoming; third, as within the advancement of creative process as the production of change in terms of time seen as solution to a specific problem.

Intuitive innovation lies at the juncture of the repositioning of method and valuation. The convergence between ways of knowing, ways of being and ways of doing is producing new practices that articulate epistemology, ontology, and praxis along new creative lines as hybrid pursuits. The aesthetic problems brought forth—both in terms of immediate experience and art practice—are not always expressible, classifiable, or determined according to disciplined knowledge. They require deployment within variegated ecologies of being, of thought, of practice, of encounter, for the advance of a solution as intuitional apprehension. To conciliate the tension between creative process, method, and valuation within artistic practice, we move away from the perennial preoccupation with the production of tangible, material results and recognise that different articulations of intuition produce in different ways. In contrast to the understanding of intuition as an immediate apprehension of unmediated experience, the method of intuition involves a critique of false problems and the inventive production of genuine ones. This consists in the narrowing, convergence, and contraction of a problem’s positing into a solution, and thinking in terms of duration. These strategies align and attune one another toward the casting of a precise and unambiguous problem while determining the instantaneous formulation of an exact, exacting, and fitting solution in creative process.

Rather than elaborate a step-by-step protocol or a DIY how-to guide to the correct use of intuition as method, we situate the three moments of intuition as appropriate problematisation, differentiation within differentiation, and temporalising problems relative to the creative advance of process. As such, we posit intuition as the reorientation of the concern of research-creation with the differential of the experiential as an attunement of the immediate, self-referential advance into novelty with the affective and the durational. The immediacy of creative experience becomes knowledge through the direct comprehension of temporality through difference arising in doing—ultimately, it is through intuition that creative process as difference in kind can become known as the advance of time.


Deleuze, Gilles. 1988. Bergsonism. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. New York: Zone Books.

What Is an Academy?

The presentation shows an artistic research project made by the author at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, in Copenhagen. The project explores the academy institution through written reflection and the making of architectural models and drawings. The drawings and models will be shown visually, accompanied by a verbal and textual presentation.

Initially, the presentation will discuss aspects of the intuitive method as it is developed in Bergsonism (Deleuze 2006a, 13–35). The intention is to frame the relationship in an artistic research process between written reflection and the making of architectural models and drawings. If architectural designs are often developed with the intent of solving a problem or improving a given set of conditions in accordance with some desired state, it is through the wrestling between different components of a drawing or a model that a problem is invented. In this respect the role of writing is not to explain the dynamics of drawing, for instance. Rather the invention of a concept challenges a bad concept already integrated in architectural practice. Language and architectural media are conceived as different material domains. Second, the presentation will discuss how an academy institution might frame a problem-inventing process, elaborating the relationship between the articulable and the visible suggested earlier. The discussion makes specific reference to the distinction developed in Foucault (Deleuze 2006b: 41–43). It presents a series of architectural models and drawings of an imaginary academy developed alongside the aforementioned reflection. The intention is to exemplify a number of concrete ways in which the different elements of the project influence one another across the difference between writing and making. It will attempt to draw different diagrams of the relationship between the “programme” of the academy and its spatial disposition. Finally, the presentation points to a general problematic posed by the research project. The principle architectural question explored by the project is the nature of the relationship between spatial arrangement and life. Architecture is often conceived solely within a moral dimension and the necessity to control the outcome and its implications for a given social context. The intention is to suggest an artistic dimension of architectural practice transgressing a narrow understanding of the exploratory drawing or model as a speculative artefact removed from the world. If a moral and problem solving approach strives to render the channels of translation as direct and clear as possible, the project explores the notion of immanent life and the implications for architectural practice (Deleuze 2001, 24–33). In this respect architectural media are productive precisely because they are different from buildings and because “aesthetic” manipulation cannot be divorced from ethical inquiry.


Deleuze, Gilles. 2001. Pure Immanence: Essays on Life. Translated by Anne Boyman. New York: Zone Books.

Deleuze, Gilles. 2006a. Bergsonism. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. New York: Zone Books.

Deleuze, Gilles. 2006b. Foucault. Translated by Seán Hand. London: Continuum.