Outtake

By looking at Dennis Adams’s 1998 film Outtake—a film that consists of Adams distributing photographic copies of 416 separate frames of Ulrike Meinhof’s 1969 film Bambule—I will discuss how the copying and redistributing of the seventeen-second sequence of Meinhof’s film asks us to think about a rather complex set of relations from difference to repetition, copy to cinema, cinema to the remake, the remake to history, and history to the recognition and repetition of images. What makes Outtake technically interesting in terms of copying is that it is a parody of the remake. Adams re-recorded the film as a site-specific art piece by attaching a camera to his arm as he distributed each still frame shot (one by one) to any passer-by who would take one.

Outtake literally copies the seventeen seconds of Bamuble. Nevertheless, the pace and the performance of this film on the Kurfurstendamm in Berlin comments on the fact that the film is both recognisable as a film and not recognisable as a copy of Meinhof’s film (even though it enacts the copying and distribution of her film). The films ask us to reconsider the relation of modern art to the culture of appropriation. But, more importantly, it asks us to consider the propriety of the image: How can one own an image if an image is only recognisable as an image once it has been repeated?

Outtake asks us to think about the semantics of what constitutes an image, presenting the image as volatile—vibrating, modulating, touching the mind with the power to unthink (disassociate) relations, images, and events. This talk will use Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (1994) to think about how repetition, appropriation, and the practice of unthinking challenges our understanding of copyright and, with it, the ability to own images or tether them to dogmatic thinking. Due to increasingly more restrictive copyright legislation, the artistic practice of appropriation has recently resulted in contentious copyright issues, which makes this art practice difficult if not illegal. A number of law cases have emerged that investigate the division between what constitutes a transformative work from a derivative one (as for example the copyright infringement cases against Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince, and Jeff Koons).

Deleuze describes the work of repetition as “a work of inventing vibrations, rotations, whirlings, gravitations, dances or leaps which directly touch the mind.” It is this repetition of images, sounds, and sequences that allows us to recognise the work of art as a unique work (what is a unique work is always derivative, it must be recognised as such). But, according to Deleuze, with repetition also comes transgression—that is, repetition questions the unique work by treating it ironically, thus troubling any authorial claims to copyright. Repetition’s double articulation challenges how we determine copyright in the case of a work of art.

Nobody recognises Meinhof’s handiwork in the image that is handed out. It is only in the reassemblage of images that any resemblance to the “original” film takes place. Yet, what takes place is an assemblage of distribution or a dispersal of an abandoned work.

References

Deleuze, Gilles. 1994. Difference and Repetition. Translated by Paul Patton. New York: Columbia University Press.

Journey into the Unknown: Romeo Castellucci’s Theatre of Signs

Fundamental doubts on the nature of representation constitute the essential theme of Romeo Castellucci’s work. The paper analyses how, through very specific scenic devices, Castellucci confronts spectators not only with the power of theatre but also with its tremendous darkness. Exposed to violent sensible impressions and pure vibrations (sounds, odours, ruptures of rhythm), the spectator is forced to see beyond the image and to think the unthinkable.

It is argued that what constitutes the genuine elements of such a theatre is what Deleuze, and before him Artaud and Proust, called “signs.” Signs testify for the power of nature and spirit, working beneath words, gestures, characters, or represented actions. Far from being linked simply to a signifying expression, a content, or an affection of the subject, they are above all a manifestation of forces of a differential of intensity. In that regard, on the one hand, signs are always sensible, already part of a process of actualisation, but, on the other hand, they already point towards the virtual system of relations, the ideal coordinates of a problem. This is the reason why signs are always to be interpreted, and why they put our thought in motion. There is a great danger in this interpretation, however, since signs are deadly not only when they are lost in the distance (they do not touch us, they do not reveal the nature of the problematic) but also when they strike us with full force (they abruptly reveal the unbearable abyss, and lead to madness or death the one they have confronted). The art of Castellucci (originating from Greek tragedy) is precisely to tear spectators apart between these two kinds of signs.

The questions we would like to ask are hence very simple: What is the origin of these signs in which one finds the maximum drama in the least possible information? Why do they manage to make such a deep impression on us? Or, as Castellucci himself puts it about his experience of listening to Schubert, “Where do my tears come from, void of content and so far removed from the sentimentality I loathe?” Paradoxically, isn’t it because signs withhold force that they express their potency, beyond any theatre of representation, any explicit content, and any meaning? Therefore, we believe Castellucci prominently displays the new image of thought Deleuze promotes in all his works: the will no longer to have the choice, to have the spirit forced by sensation, to have the need for thought to go as far as the tremendous darkness, but also to have the need to interpret signs, to elevate ourselves from this darkness to light. While projecting images from Castellucci’s productions (Parsifal, Orphée et Eurydice, Schwanengesang D.744, Go Down Moses, On the Concept of the Face of the Son of God, Ödipus der Tyrann, Human Use of Human Beings), we question to what extent spectators genuinely cannot see without being seen in return, why that which is worth being represented is always the representable; ultimately, we address the main problem Deleuze was obsessed with: the sensible origin of thought.

References

Castellucci, Romeo. 2001. Les pèlerins de la matière: Théorie et praxis du théâtre. Paris: Les Solitaires intempestifs.

Deleuze, Gilles. 1968. Différence et répétition. Paris: Presses universitaires de France.

—. 1970. Proust et les signes. 2nd ed. Paris: Presses universitaires de France.

Tackels, Bruno. 2005. Les Castellucci. Paris : Les Solitaires intempestifs.

Pour une ‘clinique-poétique’: Expérimentations en risque dans les images en performance

Cette recherche implique les champs connexes de la philosophie, les arts et la clinique. De ce fait, “Comment se construit une image en performance?” et “Y aurait-il dans la création et l’exécution des certains images en performance, l’événement d’une « clinique poétique »?” Face à ces questions, nous allons penser la performance comme un agencement qui produit une image, elle même, produit un champ de force. Une performance crée un plan de consistence qui produit une liaison des éléments en jeu et engendre les processus d’individuation, c’est-à-dire produit des images. “Il n’y a plus designation de quelque chose d’après un sens propre, ni assignation de métaphores d’après un sens figuré. Mais la chose comme les images ne forment plus qu’une séquence d’états intensifs. . . . L’image est ce parcours elle-même, elle est devenue devenir” (Deleuze et Guattari 1975, 39–40). La conception des images chez Deleuze a été contrasté. Ce concept affirme d’abord la différence comme une pensée “sans images,” dans Différence et Répétition (Deleuze 1968, 173), mais, aprés la rencontre de Deleuze et Guattari et du rapport de son philosophie avec le cinéma, “l’image est devenue condition d’individuation de la pensée,” comme propose Anne Sauvagnargues (2013, 173) dans son texte intitulé “Écologie des imags et machines d’art.” Ce nouveau concept d’image produit un agencement que connecte les millieu et les créations dans la production d’une écologie imagetique. “L’individuation ne se définit ni par son unité, ni par son identité, mais par son opération de coupure qui détache, dans l’univers mouvant des forces, un rapport provisoire de vitesses, de lenteurs et d’affects” (Sauvagnargues 2013, 179–80). D’autre part, cette production imagétique des performances peux produit un diagnostique des forces en rapport avec la vie quotidienne que dirigé les modes de vie et les régimes de rélations, par le biais les créations des images extraordinaire. Ces images crée une problematization des images dogmatique que conduit la vie ordinaire. Ce diagnostique problematizateur peux produit l’événement d’une clinique poétique. Face à cette composition, quatre éléments-indicateurs ont été elaborés pour pensée l’événement d’une Clinique-Poétique, qui sont: les zones à risque; les mobilisations des signes; le figure de la viande et une éducation par des affects. Ces éléments-indicateurs ont été construits auprès des images en performance des œuvres: Crútero; Carne; Cariogamia e o risco do aborto; Clara; Ovo-boca; Ilhas, linhas, palavras . . . germens; Egg-Mouth-Debris. Ces images ont été prises comme des études de cas, qui ont engendré les zones à risque pour créer des processus d’individuations, jamais conclus par complet, portant Il y a toujours quelque chose de pré-individuel, qui recrée également l’environnement dans lequel ce processus se produit. Elles produisent également une mobilisation des signes territorialisés par l’ordinaire, ce qui fait les variations dans les mots d’ordre dictés par la vie quotidienne dans d’autres compositions de sens et d’autres machinations. En outre, elles génèrent un figure de la viande, ce qui perturbe les organes, les isolant dans la production d’un champ de force qui brise le corps et détruisent la fonctionnalité des organes. Qui plus est, les images en performance produire une éducation par des affectes, mettant les perceptions en devenirs et le découplage du visible et dizíbles dans la production de petits déserts qui invoquent la création d’un peuple encore à venir. Présentées dans cette façon, les images se déplaçaient vers la recherche des puissance de la production des espace-temps, mettant les territoires en zones à risque, elles mobilisent les signes qui forme les quotidians, elles ouvrent les organismes à une désorganisation et à la production de l’éducation par des l’affectes pour l’événement d’une clinique poétique.

Références

Deleuze, Gilles. 1968. Différence et Répétition. Paris: Épiméthée.

Deleuze, Gilles, et Félix Guattari. 1975. Kafka: Pour une littérature mineure. Paris: Editions de Minuit.

Sauvagnargues, Anne. 2013. “Écologie des images et machines d’art.” En Pourparlers: Deleuze entre art et philosophie, sous la direction de Fabrice Bourlez et Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 169–86. Reims: Presses universitaires de Reims.

Memory as Difference, Material as Repetition: A Performative Presentation of Compositional Strategies and Multi-Source Interpretative Methods

We present an experimental compositional and interpretative practice in relation to notions of memory, repetition, and duration employed by Deleuze in Différence et répétition and Le bergsonisme, while secondarily employing concepts from Le pli.

A performance for flute and electronics by myself and Richard Craig using a multiple-source interpretative method to provide auditory material to the performer in addition to scored materials will demonstrate a compositional process currently in development. This process has evolved out of the Computer-Assisted Compositional method applied in most of my compositions to date, which is in essence the assembly of an electroacoustic maquette through layering of various recordings of pre-existing repertoire, and the subsequent transcription of this maquette into instrumental parts.

To describe the process in more detail: (1) the duration of each note (or other articulated unit) of various recordings of a given work is determined; (2) the recordings are time-stretched proportionally note by note so that, when superimposed, they are synchronised; (3) the superposition of these different versions may be subjected to further time-stretching to heighten the subtle variations between them and bring out the artefacts of the phase vocoding; (4) a spectral analysis of the maquette is performed using IRCAM’s SuperVP and/or Audiosculpt software; (5) the spectral data is quantified and transcribed, principally using IRCAM’s Open Music environment; (6) the maquette may also provide material for the electronics.

This superposition, which highlights the differences between the recordings, will be considered in relation to notions of repetition from Différence et répétition: “Perhaps the highest object of art is to bring into play simultaneously all these repetitions, with their differences in kind and rhythm, their respective displacements and disguises, their divergences and decentrings; to embed them in one another and to envelop one or the other in illusions the ‘effect’ of which varies in each case” (Deleuze 1968, 364). If repetition (in this case, by superposition) is to be considered as material—as it constitutes all the material for the composition—then memory is difference (Deleuze 1966, 94). Memory provides the possibility of expressivity in this process, in the perception of subtle distinctions between the various instantiations of the original composition, as well as between the new composition and the original composition upon which it is based. The newly composed utterance, a kind of interpretation or (re-)presentation of the pre-existing work (Alessandrini, 2014) creates several problematics not only of reference but also of memory: if the listener has previous knowledge of the work “interpreted” by my composition, how is that knowledge called into play in the listening process? How is the fact that the new composition is based on an existing work audible if one has no knowledge of the specific composition being referenced? How may the performers’ knowledge of the pre-existing work influence his or her interpretation? And how does my own memory of the original work subjectively and intuitively influence the compositional process, in addition to the objective use of data derived from analyses of recordings?

These questions will be addressed in terms of Bergson’s theory of memory as elaborated by Deleuze, in particular his description of the “leap into ontology” (Deleuze 1966, 52). To understand the difference of nature between memory and material, it is necessary to make the distinction between “l’être” of the past, as opposed to “l’être-présent,” which is “pure devenir” (Deleuze 1966, 49).

The identity of the “model” for the new composition poses another ontological problem, as it situates itself between performance history, score, and a new instantiation, the maquette. This problem will be addressed by drawing upon notions of monade and objectile from Le pli (Deleuze 1988): the work as it is subjected to this process is considered as monade in the Deleuzian sense of a unity composed of multiplicities (Deleuze 1988, 5) and its materialisation in the compositional and performative process as objectile.

For the objectile to maintain its dynamically changing substance and form in relation to the infinite multiplicity of the monade, each performance should actively engage the multiple aspects of the compositional process, from maquette to score. The demonstration will posit a solution, by communicating sonic elements from the maquette to an instrumentalist, Richard Craig, while allowing this sonorisation to be interpreted expressively (by myself, as electronics performer). Our performance will once again touch upon notions of memory, and the passage between a generalised past and a particular present as devenir.

References

Alessandrini, Patricia. 2014. Composition as Interpretation through Performative Electronics. Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queens University, Belfast.

Deleuze, Gilles. 1966. Le bergonisme. Paris: Presses universitaires de France.

—. 1968. Différence et répétition. Paris: Presses universitaires de France.

—. 1988. Le Pli: Leibniz et le Baroque. Paris: Editions de Minuit.