The Image as a Process of Individuation Within Artistic Research

Felix Rebolledo, Andreia Machado Oliveira

conference: DARE 2015: the dark precursor
date: November 10, 2015
venue: De Bijloke Music Center, Kraakhuis
format: in words
practice: image
keywords: Cinema 1, Cinema 2, Difference and Repetition, Gilbert Simondon, milieu

abstract video about the author(s)


To think about the image is to already activate and engage in artistic research. And to think about artistic research in a hybrid world, we need a different approach to think the image—one that considers both the natural and the technological milieu. We argue that the image only occurs within an associative reticulation that integrates a hybrid actuality. Here, hybrid refers to the acknowledgement of the simultaneous co-existence of the natural and the artificial/technological, the actual and virtual, and the human and non-human in physical space and cyberspace recognised as an actant in the present.

From this perspective, we understand the image as a composite, layered experience in a multifaceted and hybrid reality and the artwork as an effect of the activity of invention within artistic process. Thus, we elaborate on the concept of the image developed in Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (1994) and its later taxonomy explicated in Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (1986) and Cinema 2: The Time-Image (1989) and compare this categorical scheme to Simondon’s imagistic individuation elaborated in Imagination et invention (2008). Echoing Bergson, Deleuze points out that we don’t perceive things in our mind, we perceive things where they are, in the world. Things exist as a polymorphic evolutive and a temporal diversity in a transductive relationship between the memory-image of the past, the perception-image of the present, and the invention-image of the future. Simondon’s ideation of the image also steers away from a static conception. It is understood as emergent within and through a transductive four-phased process within the associated milieu: the motor-image, perception-image, mental-image, and invention-image.

Through these phases, we are able to modulate the relation between the human and the milieu to eliminate the polarising hierarchical importance between participating elements in the genesis of the image. The image is thus understood as a temporary, intermediate reality between individuals and milieus existing within an evolutive technological diversity. The image appears in the directed interaction between participants and the environment they are in: it is not produced by the subject. Rather the image produces and develops the subject, allowing it to manifest itself as an immanent function of creation while being relatively independent from it.

Within such an approach, the image is not restricted to the usual optical perception of objects but is directly related to systems of relationship within the milieu, to experience itself. In this manner, in the perspective of a discourse of concepts such as art, technology, and nature, emerging from a processual and systemic vision, we bring forth the idea of image, milieu, and invention as a process of individuation within artistic research.


Deleuze, Gilles. 1986. Cinema 1: The Movement-Image. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.

—. 1989. Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.

—. 1994. Difference and Repetition. Translated by Paul Patton. New York: Columbia University Press.

Simondon, Gilbert. 2008. Imagination et invention (1965–1966). Chatou: Lês Editions de la transparence.


about the author(s)

Felix Rebolledo

Felix Rebolledo is a PhD candidate in social and institutional psychology (UFRGS, Porto Alegre, Brazil), a lecturer in screenwriting and documentary theory at UNIFRA in Santa Maria, RS, Brazil, a researcher at LabInter/UFSM, Brazil, and a member of the SenseLab (Montreal, Canada). He is a member of the editorial collective of the journal Inflexions. His research interests revolve around cinema and the image.

info & contact


Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, BR


rebfel [AT]

Andreia Machado Oliveira

Andreia Machado Oliveira received a multidisciplinary PhD from UFRGS (Brazil) and Université de Montréal (Canada). She is a professor in the graduate programme of visual arts and graduate programme in networked educational technology at UFSM (Brazil), is currently chair of the InterArtec/Cnpq research group and of the Interdisciplinary Interactivity Lab (LabInter), and is a member of the SenseLab (Montreal, Canada). She is a multimedia artist with expertise in the fields of art and technology, contemporary subjectivity, and interactive systems.

info & contact


Federal University of Santa Maria, BR

email [AT]