Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Creation and Resistance

"We do not lack communication. On the contrary, we have too much of it. We lack creation. We lack resistance to the present. The creation of concepts in itself calls for a future form, for a new earth and people that do not yet exist."
– Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophy?

This, as we will see, is the shared task of philosophy and art. Not the creation of concepts per se, but creation pure and simple. The philosopher's tools are concepts. The artist's tools are sensations; affects and percepts. But the goal is the same: the creation of new ways of seeing and thinking the world. It is only in this way that one can become freed from habit and convention, including the habit and convention of thought itself. Only in this way can we resist the present. Only in this way can we become – as Nietzsche would say – "untimely." By being untimely we resist the present in the name of a future whose lineaments are unknown, unthought. The future is what remains to be thought. It stretches out in front of us and to infinity on a plane of immanence. To "follow" a philosopher or artist is not to imitate what they've already done. Rather, a true follower finds a way to extend the plane of immanence, the plane of composition, first staked out – mapped – by someone (or something) else.


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