Milieus of Locality. The Aesthetic of the Point of View

The explosion of pervasive digital technologies and ubiquitous computing is today creating a milieu where technological mediation has reached a very subtle point. Subjects find themselves plunged into hyperconnected environments, wrapped in a cloud of data, where sensation and cognition take place in a distributed and environmental way, beyond what has always been referred to as subjectivities; now, profiled and described as a set of billions of data, they appear as segmentarised and (in)dividualised monads (Deleuze). The world, thus understood, becomes an immanent set of algorithmically produced and refined patterns or profiles, in which people and situations become immediately and operationally “meaningful,” and where what has been called algorithmic governmentality (Berns and Rouvroy) succeed in controlling, anticipating, and modulating behaviours. Crossed with the “smartification”  of  objects  and  environments,  which  are  now  able  to operate autonomously and make choices before us, even the aesthetic experience  has been in many cases transformed by the “technical management of the process of aesthetization” (Stiegler).

In front of this “catastrophe of the sensible” (Stiegler), the result is an increasing feeling of isolation, or “dividualization” (Guattari, Deleuze), and of “loss of the world” (Deleuze) as psychodiversity, noodiversity, sociodiversity, and biodiversity. What therefore happens to localities, points of view, and the multitude of individual differences when all this becomes a function, which can be (pre)defined and uniformed? How should we understand and reconsider the aesthetic relation between the life of the individual, its setting, and the outstanding intercultural society in modern “smart environments”?

The aim of this paper is to analyse, through a dialogue between Deleuze and Whitehead, whether a possibility for the individual to structure multiplicity in technologically mediated environments can still be found through the arts. This will be done following their interpretation of the “point of view” as an opening onto an infinite series of variations—the world and its virtuality, the set of all the com-possibilities—that includes the subject as mirroring those possibilities and proceeding towards the truth by organising the visible. Finally, the essential function of the arts in reaestheticising the possibility of feeling the multiplicity will be explored, in terms of an “ethics of care” of such multiplicity and aesthetic possibility.