[-empyre-] theory/practice and becoming-avatar

Norah Zuniga Shaw zuniga.11 at osu.edu
Thu May 21 22:51:36 EST 2009

On bringing Deleuze into the studio and collaboration as critical practice:

I've been thinking about this in response to stamatia's good questions about
our use of the word diagram and the deleuzian possibilities of this word.
For me, this is a good example of what Laura is describing as the theory in
the mix vs. systematic application. We enjoyed thinking about the nature of
a diagram within the critical process of iterative design and deleuzian
conceptions kept our creative options open and mobile (these conceptions
were inserted into our process by members of our interdisciplinary working
group from art history, philosophy, and architecture). But no where were we
applying theory systematically. Discourse, production, process ...
functioned together as critical making.

In this rubric of critical motion I'm trying to determine for myself if I
believe our objects to be the locus of critical motion, the animated objects
are theorizing on the choreographic motions. Or theorizing with the
choreographic motions? Not sure whether this is important or not.

And finally, Laura and Johannes bring us to thinking about collaboration as
critical practice and this is hugely important to me and to the kind of work
many of us do. 

On 5/21/09 4:43 AM, "Cull, Laura" <lkc202 at exeter.ac.uk> wrote:
> For my part, I feel as if I do bring Deleuze into the studio (it's not
> 'rehearsals' for me) - not literally, nor in an overbearing way - but he is a
> persistent voice given that he's been a focus of my research for the last 3
> years. I've not tried to 'apply' Deleuze in any systematic way - which I think
> would be disastrous in any case - but I feel as if reading Deleuze (outside
> the studio) has tuned my sensibilities somehow, such that I pay attention to
> different kinds of things than I once did (when I was reading Roland Barthes
> and Edward Said). It has also been Deleuze (alongside groups like Goat Island
> who are also very influenced by his thought) who has drawn my attention to the
> complex and multiplicitous creations that can come from collaboration. (You
> already knew this of course, Johannes, whereas I came from an art school
> environment in which one was encouraged to develop one's own distinct style
> and recognisable product, rather than make things that were or looked like the
> product of many minds). Dare I say that I think that 'genuine' collaboration
> is inherently a critical practice? That is, collaboration is its own thinking
> (without philosophy) in a manner that critiques how we are constantly being
> told to think socially, politically.

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