On Visual Art or How Does Art Think?
With: Kamini Vellodi (Chair), Éric Alliez, Ian Buchanan, Marc Ngui, Anne Sauvagnargues, Peter Stamer
Day 2, 10 November, De Bijloke Bibliotheek, 16:30–18:30
This dialogue brings together philosophers and artists to address issues at the core of Deleuze’s ontology of art. It will be oriented around the question of art’s contemporary work as a critical production of thought. This is a question that, explicitly or implicitly, connects all our speakers—from Eric Alliez’s notion of the diagrammatic regime of thought between art and philosophy that distinguishes itself from an aesthetic regime of forms, to Ian Buchanan’s desire to excavate the schizophrenic construct of the social from Deleuze and Guattari’s ontology of art, and Anne Sauvagnargues’s wish to articulate the Guattarian category of the ecological image as one capable of accounting for our digital transformation of contemporary art; from Peter Stamer’s construction of his cinematic idea of Deleuze, to Marc Ngui’s diagrammatic thought-drawings of A Thousand Plateaus. This question of art’s thought is one that traverses Deleuze and Guattari’s writings on art, distinguishing their position from any aestheticisation, formalisation, or historicisation, and forging a platform from which any privileged relation to the “visual” as a historically legitimated category is intensively problematised. How does the (visual) work of art think, and how can we in turn think this thought? How does this thinking illuminate the question of a singularly artistic research? Is this a question whose horizon is that of the contemporary and, if so, why? How can Deleuze and Guattari’s works revitalise the increasingly fraught status of the categories of image and visual?
Kamini Vellodi is Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at Exeter University. She is an academic and a practising artist. She completed her PhD “Tintoretto’s Difference: Deleuze, Diagrammatics and the Problem of Art History” at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University, London (UK), under the supervision of Eric Alliez and Peter Osborne. She works on the critical relations between post-Kantian continental philosophy (particularly the work of Deleuze) and art history, with a focus on problems of methodology and the theory and philosophy of art history. Her work has been published in the journals Art History, Parrhesia, and the Journal for German Aesthetics and Art History. As an artist she has exhibited widely, in the UK, Europe, and India, and her work is held in numerous private and public collections, including Asia House, London, and the Sammlung Essl collection, Vienna. She is currently engaged in bringing her PhD to publication.
Éric Alliez, born in 1957, is Professor at the CRMEP, Kingston University, and at the University of Paris 8. His books include The Guattari Effect (2011), Capitalism and Schizophrenia and Consensus: Of Relational Aesthetics (2010), L’œil-cerveau (2007), La Pensée-Matisse (2005), The Signature of the World (2005), and Capital Times (preface by Gilles Deleuze, 1997). Forthcoming: Undoing the Image: Of Contemporary Art (Défaire l'image: de l'art contemporain, in collaboration with Jean-Claude Bonne, Presses du réel: Paris, 2013).
Ian Buchanan is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He is the founding editor of the Deleuze Studies journal and the author of the Oxford Dictionary of Critical Theory, as well as the editor of four book series: Deleuze Connections (EUP), Critical Connections, Plateaus (EUP), and Deleuze Encounters (Continuum).
Marc Ngui is a Toronto-based artist born in Georgetown, Guyana. His practice includes drawing, painting, animation, and installation. He also works as a cartoonist and has published two graphic novels, Enter Avariz (2002) and The Unexpurgated Tale of Lordie Jones (2005), and is currently working on a third. With Magda Wojtyra, Ngui is one half of the collaborative art project Happy Sleepy. Marc has exhibited work at the JR Ishinomaki Line Art Festival, Onagawa, Japan; Supermarket Art Fair 2013, Stockholm, Sweden; the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener; Fine and Dandy Gallery, Toronto; Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto; Open Space Gallery, Victoria; and the Toronto Comics Arts Festival.
Anne Sauvagnargues is Full Professor at Paris West University Nanterre, she has written several books and articles on art and Deleuze and Guattari including Deleuze and Art (Paris, 2005; Bloomsbury 2013), Deleuze: Transcendental Empiricism (Paris, 2010), and Artmachines: Deleuze, Guattari, Simondon (Edinburgh University Press, 2015).
Peter Stamer (Berlin) works as a director, performer, mentor, and curator in the field of contemporary theatre and performance. During his theatre studies in the 1990s he worked as dance dramaturge at Nationaltheater Mannheim and in 2001 he was appointed curator for theory at Tanzquartier Vienna. Peter curated two editions of the festival Tanznacht Berlin in 2008 and 2010. Together with Silke Bake he conceived and curated the NU Performance Festival, Tallinn, in 2011 in the framework of Tallinn Cultural Capital 2011. Since 2008, he has regularly been invited to mentor in several European art education institutions. Peter’s recent theatre works include, among others, the performances For Your Eyes Only, The Waiting Room (with Diego Agullo), and the two-day theatre marathon The Circus of Life A–Z (with toxic dreams), which was presented in June 2015 at Tanzquartier Vienna. Together with collaborators including Silke Bake, he is developing the international building-performance project A Future Archeology for Berlin, Vienna, and Cairo. He is co-editor of How to collaborate?, which will be published in spring 2016. In November 2015, his theatre piece based on a landmark text by Nietzsche will be presented at Philosophy on Stage at Tanzquartier Vienna.