Lorna Collins

United Kingdom (residence) °1981


Lorna Collins is an artist, poet and critical theorist who completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, where she was a Foundation Scholar at Jesus College. She has worked as a Lectrice of English at the Sorbonne in Paris, whilst continuing her research as an independent, creative intellectual. Her philosophical work develops the concept of ‘Making Sense’ by juxtaposing the aesthetic theories of contemporary French theorists (with particular emphasis on Deleuze and Guattari) with works by a growing selection of contemporary artists. The point of her research is to build an understanding of how engaging with art, through French theory, helps us to make sense of the world, which then moves a theoretical interpretation towards an actual praxis, with the various and experimental Making Sense colloquia being held around the world.




Exposition: Schizoanalysis as a Method in Artistic Research (01/01/2013) by Tero Nauha
Lorna Collins 18/06/2013 at 23:25

This is a very interesting piece of work which shows useful artistic and conceptual insight. On the whole, the exposition is of both artistic and intellectual interest, both conceptually and methodologically. The use of schizoanalysis as a practice, activated by an agency of performance art, provides an important and contemporary critical angle. Deleuze and Guattari are very popular philosophers at present, particularly in the art world. Their concept/practice of schizoanalysis is here juxtaposed with Catherine Malabou using three concepts – sponge, plasticity and contamination – in a way that draws out a novel approach to well-versed theory. This engages the intellectual problem of how one can think about and activate a practice of schizoanalysis, which is backed up with references to particular performances by the author, showing an artistic enactment that precedes and directs this largely theoretical exposition. These performances seem stimulating and relevant.


Nauha’s use of the ‘sponge’ concept is a very interesting and useful way of thinking about Guattari’s powerful notion of chaosmosis, and in my mind accurately evokes the permeability and interaction involved in a truly aesthetic experience. Relating this to the production and heterogeneity of subjectivity, and the process of individuation, provides insight to an ongoing ontological intellectual problem. The point of the exposition suggests that this methodology is then ‘a tool for producing and analysing artistic practices’, which is illustrated by references to various internationally exhibited performances. The exposition is at its strongest during the author’s narrative of these performances, since they seem less weighed down by theoretical terminology and complex ideas, and to delve into real practice that the reader can draw from, as though a sponge is being placed in nectar. In this regard the exposition is successful in its outcomes.


The juxtaposition of Catherine Malabou in relation to Deleuze and Guattari, and the use of the concepts of sponge, contamination and plasticity, show evidence of theoretical innovation in content. This content then provides a novel technique when it is carried to agency through the practice of performance art. The research issue is contextualized to a certain extent, with these references to particular performances, and the concept of sponge would seem to provide great opportunity to bring in the social and political issues that provoke, illustrate and react to these performances. ‘The mess of contamination’ provides an interesting context of neoliberal capitalism. The author might want to look up Bernard Stiegler’s ultra- contemporary ‘economy of contribution’, which could arguably be seen as a quasi-aesthetic sponge, responding to hegemony and hyperindustry. The author’s use of the amateur, and transindividuation, is also interesting in terms of the context and relevance of the research issue being considered, particularly in relation to Stiegler’s work on these subjects, which the author engages with to a certain extent (although this could be taken further, through Simondon).


The exposition provides new insight through the concept of sponge, as it is related to Chaosmosis, and by activating schizoanalysis as a practice. This work is timely and relevant to current theoretical and artistic debates. Specifically considered and applied through performance art, Nauha brings a new viewpoint and source material to Guattari’s theory. This essay concerns the production and heterogeneity of subjectivity, how this might be used as a larger practice, outside the somewhat singular (perhaps élite) encounter of a performance. I am left wondering how one might ‘squeeze’ the sponge, so it could drip the nectar of insight apparent in this essay, in order to feed the masses beyond this author and their circle of voyeurs. This is a task of exhibition and dissemination, which should be forthcoming after the publication of the essay in the Journal for Artistic Research.