Personally, whenever anyone mentions Bodies Without Organs, I think of Rubber Johnny by Chris Cunningham (below), a literal interpretation I know, but, somebody bought me the DVD of it at the same time I started to read D&G, bizarrely.
Speaking of all things Deleuzian, on Twitter, I posted this;
“The problem of blending Deleuze(and Guattari) and art theory; if ‘life’ is endlessly creative, then there is no need for artists or art. Discuss..”
The post was more of an aid for Twitter-esque rampant discussion than an actual axiom. No-one really agreed with me on the point in question, but then I didn’t expect anyone to. I’ve come to the conclusion that Twitter, more so than other social network sites, is the logic of one-upmenship par excellence. In order to engage in conversation, one must respond and summarise the previous tweet(s) in one pithy 140 character reply, which cannot help but be troll-esque and mere commentary.
Back to the point in hand; why is there no need for artists and art in Deleuze despite his positive affirmation that art creates qualitative combinations of sensation, affects and precepts? Indeed Deleuze likes to separate Science, Art, Cinema and Philosophy into distinct methods of organising the ‘metaphysical flux’, with no subject having primacy over the other; but heres the problem and its a big one.
If for Deleuze, the cosmos is one of a constant ‘origami’ creativity that shatters opinions, identities and groundings, constantly refolding and unfolding, what exactly is the point in making artworks at all? In fact, whats the point in doing anything? If the ‘in-itself’ is the pure process of difference, then why do anything? Why condition it into something that specialises in organising that flux into arbitrary assemblages of sensation? I’m with Hallward here, an ontology of constant-creativity has little to say about the actual conditions of artworks, and even worse suggests a further strategy of not needing to make artworks. As Sam Gillespie suggests in The Mathematics of Novelty; Deleuze struggles with the ontological commitment to novelty, because if ontology is nothing but pure novelty, than nothing is. In comparison then, Badiou’s mathematically infused ontology, bodes well for art-making, precisely because novelty is rare. Novelty is what achieves a break from the norm. (I don’t agree with Badiou’s novelty either, but thats for another time).
Novelty isn’t a problem for Deleuze, and something that isn’t a problem usually is the problem.