Art, according to Gilles Deleuze, does not produce concepts, though it does address problems and provocations (Grosz 2008). The video “A as in Animal” is an artwork that is on the lookout for encounters. Assembled edits and cuts within the video are rendered both exact and invisible, inciting both problems and provocations. Processes of performative assemblage and appropriation are constants through the work as a critical engagement with post-production, philosophies, and the mediated. The work draws on Deleuzian concepts of assemblage and multiplicitous attractions and influences, taking its title from L’Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze (1988–89). Deleuze didn’t think much of television and stated that the interview should not be aired before his death. In the interview, Deleuze discusses with Claire Parnet the crucial link between creativity, the very possibility of thinking, and animality, through the practice of être aux aguets (being on the lookout) for rencontres (encounters). To avoid zigzagging in his discourse, Deleuze received the list of topics beforehand, and although he worked assiduously on the answers, he then improvised during the recordings (Peter Stamer 2014).
“A as in Animal” assembles collected material from this interview and other sources from internet searches and YouTube browsing activities. The best of Deleuze can be found on the internet for sure—working and thinking through performative assemblage(s) of browser doings, apparatus, or equipment structurings, rhizomatic unfoldings, non-human historiographies, and philosophies. The film highlights search actions of retrieval and playback. Panic or anxiety fluctuates across a variety of disciplines including, among others, linguistics, gender studies, social theories, and art practices. Keeping fit with Donna Haraway, Derrida, blue and green screen special effects, and a spy mission project “Acoustic Kitty.” Together with reverse path tracings, dissonance, discordance, and difference are brought into close proximity without a video camera or recording device, and spread “like the surface of a body of water, spreading towards available spaces or trickling downwards towards new spaces through fissures and gaps, eroding what is in its way.”
Emergent indeterminate properties pervade both sound and image. We cannot know whether we are inside or outside through use of blue screen and green screen effects. Images and sounds, objects and things highlight contingency and multiplicity and overlap. This approach articulates activities of accumulation, arrangement, and movement that call attention to processes, which are improvisatory. Activities that are on the lookout for encounters, movement, and “doing” are prioritised. Through this process, less emphasis is placed on observation, representation, and subjectivity. Articulations stutter between different intensities, intensities that include over-saturation of colour, shimmering substances, non-diegetic sound, and transdisciplinary couplings that are resonant with rubbing up to the non human. The video work is shaped conceptually by site and the context of peripheral indifferences. Software presets and preconditions are cut with modalities of classification and taxonomy that flicker with continued involuntary repetition of sounds and image. The cat breaks the bowl, the cubists spend their time trying to glue it back together.
Deleuze, Gilles. 2008. “N as in Neurology.” In Gilles Deleuze from A to Z, with Claire Parnet, directed by Pierre-André Boutang, translated by Charles Stivale. Cambridge, MA: Semiotext(e), DVD.
Grosz, Elisabeth. 2008. Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth. New York: Columbia University Press.
Stamer, Peter. 2014. 26 Letters to Deleuze. A project by Peter Stamer with Jörg Laue and Alain Franco at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York. A work-in-progress performance Saturday 22 March. Accessed 20 October 2015. http://peterstamer.com/works/26-letters-to-deleuze/.
about the author(s)
Gillian Wylde is an artist and researcher. She works mainly with video, performance, object and text. Central to her work is a critical engagement with new technologies, the mediated and the installed and simple interconnections of agency. Her works tend to get made in response to contexts of location and place, encounter and dialogue(s), ad-hocism, foraging and chance. Works comment on some of the social and political implications of new technology and practices, often challenging traditional ideas of the art object and means of production or productivity. ‘Material things or stuff’ in relation to the video camera, processes of appropriation and post-production are constants through most of the work – perhaps a savage smell or hairy logic.
Recent projects include: The Day The World Turned Day Glo Arnolfini Gallery Bristol (2016), Because Internets ISEA2016 Hong Kong 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art (2016), Inna-deno pudenda membra Issue 7 | The Interior published by Eros Press (2015), Queer, The Space’ (2012) – a project inspired by the work of queer theorists such as Sara Ahmed (Queer Phenomenology) and Judith Halberstam (In a Queer Time and Place); and ‘The Nabokov Project’ (2013), an experiment in how to do and, perhaps especially, how to teach literary criticism today.
Work has been shown nationally and internationally including Transmodern Live Art Action Festival, Baltimore; Videotage, Hong Kong; Alytus Biennial, Lithuania; Tao Scene, Norway; Lounge Gallery, London; and CCA, Glasgow.
info & contact
Falmouth University, UK
gillian.wylde [AT] falmouth.ac.uk