Artistic Spatiotemporal Experiences After Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou and Brian Massumi: A Theory of Becoming

We are not in the world, we become the world by contemplating it.
— Deleuze and Guattari

This paper addresses a parallel and intertwining duality of art and architecture as two fields of multiple non-binary systems, that enfold while “kissing,” according to Sylvia Lavin. It moreover establishes the production of this kiss as the ontological becoming of experiential space that is partially architectural and partially artistic, actual and virtual, introducing genomenology; an epiphenomenological approach to frame the kissing of the two domains as emergent spatiality. Deriving from the verb γίγνoμαι (gí.gno.me,  to become), genomena constitute the events that occur or become in relation to their ontological existence. The paper will create a theoretical index critically informed by the theories of Brian Massumi and his definition of “affect,” “habit,” and “virtuality” after Gilles Deleuze. Deleuze’s theory of the “event” and “becoming” (The Fold) and Alain Badiou’s topological ecology of ‘localised events’ (“The Matheme of the Event”) support in the context of this paper the theorisation of lived experiences as temporal and situational occurrences that are received sensorily and produce affective atmospheres. Considering the artistic experience as profound and intimate, the paper will define a new critical vocabulary as emerging from practical ramifications. It does so, by asserting the existence of an epiphenomenological becoming of  space as chorotopical (from choros as space and topos as locus) art—a hybrid spatial practice, which oscillates between architectural expression and artistic intervention.

The paper and presentation will attempt to define a Deleuzian onto-topology of chorotopical art via three new key terms: (i) veoma (the lived experience of a localised event that may be actual and virtual), (ii) genomenon (the ontological occurrence of  veoma that does not merely appear), and (iii) coaesthesia (the sensory immediacy that takes place during veomata and in response to affective atmospheres, which lead to spatial encapsulation and therefore immersion).  The paper will negotiate the new vocabulary against three art projects case studies: Hydor (2013), Cryptopology (2014), and Spatial Sea (2016). Hydor, on view at DARE 2017, examines virtualities and actualities in space and the role of the artistic intervention as genomenon of a notation on the architectural order. Cryptopology will investigate the hinging of sensory triggering as coaesthesia in a condition where artistic intervention is dominated by the topology and enhanced by the atmosphere of an architectural site that is timeless. Spatial Sea expands upon the concept of veomatic experience as a temporarily localised virtuality with sociocultural and mnemonic references, which aims to disrupt the habitual movement (as actuality) in the architectural site and acts as an immaterial locus as well as a material context. The reflective analysis of the case studies shifts the agenda towards thinking about art and architecture as two nuptial spatial practices, via the establishment of a shared theoretical vocabulary for when the two dynamically enfold in the creation of topologically aberrant and typologically warped space.