Abstracts N

Catarina Pombo Nabais, Kafka and Melville: the same political struggle?

In Critical and Clinical  Deleuze writes:  “Kafka (for the Central Europe), Melville (for America), present literature as the collective enunciation of a minor people, or of all minor peoples, who find their expression only in and through the writer.” Yet, are we to believe Deleuze when he suggests a harmony between Kafka and Melville? Is it the same mode of collective enunciation of a minor people?
In his understanding of Kafka, the collective dimension of the literary experiment is the work of a minority in a major language as the construction of lines of flight, of lines of deterritorialisation for singular or minority becomings. However, his reading of the universe of Melville seems a little different. Melville is not presented as being confronted with small nations asphyxiated by empires. On the contrary, America is a great nation and Deleuze accentuates its nature as a place of universal immigration. Moreover, according to him, the political programs of the founding fathers have transformed it into a “free stone wall”, without cement or an accomplished configuration. The diabolic forces from the outside which knock on the door of these communities of celibate people are not present any longer, as they were in Kafka.
Nevertheless, can one see there a similar political dimension of the confabulatory function? Is it possible to assign the same prophetic role to the celibate characters of Kafka and to those created by Melville?

Short Biography
PhD in Philosophy by Université Paris VIII, under the supervision of Jacques Rancière, 2007.
Pos-doc Researcher at the Centre of Philosophy of Science of University of Lisbon (CFCUL).
Author of «Deleuze: Philosophie et Littérature», Paris, L’Harmattan, 2013.
Head of the CFCUL Science-Art-Philosophy LAB since 2014.
Head of the CFCUL Science and Art FCT Research Group from 2008 up to 2014.

Garrett Nelson, Independent visual artist and writer

Francis Bacon’s c1928 stool. Let’s start before painting and so feed Bacon through his stool. An object that has no faciality but does have grounding: we don’t look; we don’t replace looking with a desire to touch (the painted surface): we sit and as we do we long to deeply feel, inhere with, the thing (not just brush it); we use the stool not as spectral aesthetic but as physical experience—we do so with our arses not our eyes. Taken so, the stool is a primordial object chronologically prior to Bacon’s virtual non-narrative scream, sedimenting all the multiple layers of OUR meta-narrative and THE work simultaneously. The actual object is the locus of a humanizing narrative of crouching, and a non-human anti-narrative where Deleuze’s “sensation” and Bacon’s non-story unfold, in the virtual domain. Further, the paintings Deleuze specifically addresses in The Logic of Sensations each contain variations on chairs. Here, the actual folds and contours of the chair in experience are wrapped around or enfold with the virtual in a tripartite relation of Bacon’s aesthetic sense—his cultural wherewithal (potential+possible), Bacon (a posthuman agent) as just one schist of the beings of sensation that are prior to the artworks’ realization, and finally as (a humanizing agent)—the single entity that steers the flux of the virtual into the stool.

Garrett Nelson is a visual artist, writer, critic and occasional filmmaker whose work is informed by referential impulse, theoretical or historical research and literature. His critical work is primarily non-textual but socially performative. Collaborative curatorial projects include —The Traveling Artist, Budapest, Vienna & Basel, 2011 —The State of Making Things, Locarno, 2013. Recent performances at Les Urbaines Lausanne, Bone Festival for Performance Art, Stadtgalerie Bern, Canary Comfortable: Special Island Issue, Die Diele, Zürich and Sinop Biennial, Turkey. His forthcoming book of prose poetry will be published with Pyramid Press Basel in 2015. Garrett Nelson studied Fine Arts at Parsons, New York and received his BA from the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts in 2006 in Studio Art with a second degree in Art History. Moving to Switzerland in 2007, he completed a Master of Fine Arts in Contemporary Art Practice at the University of Art, Berne in 2010.


Peter Nelson, Gilles Deleuze and becoming-music.

… a style to speak the possibles that arise …

This paper considers ways in which Deleuze’s philosophy of difference allows a rethinking of questions concerning the evolution and purpose of music. Scholars since Darwin have raised the question of why and how music arose and evolved as a human practice in the first place. Similarly, developmental psychologists and neurologists have tried to propose for music a central role in the instantiation and evolution of the individual. Despite some fundamental disagreements, there are lines of thought that suggest that music accounts for practices that are crucial to life and to thought, in terms of the phenotype of musicality. However these more scientific approaches fail to address some fundamental matters. Deleuze himself writes about music, and in the theme of the refrain he places a musical image in a critical position within his scheme of thought. This paper will explore the ways in which Deleuze’s writing contributes to a clearer understanding of the nature of music and musicality. It will also consider the rhythmic emergence of the subject as style.

Peter Nelson is currently Professor of Music and Technology at the Reid School of Music at the University of Edinburgh, where his research involves aspects of music cognition as well as musical composition. He has written most recently about rhythm from a social perspective, and about the nature of sound. His compositional output includes orchestral, instrumental, vocal and electronic music, including the use of real-time interactive computer systems. He is also editor of the international journal, Contemporary Music Review.


Chrysanthi Nigianni, Writing Difference: Towards a Becoming Minoritarian

Gesturing towards a becoming-minoritarian is a political gesture and a grammatical gesture, one that invites us to turn the fixity of the noun into the intensity of the verb, to resist the suffix of femimin-ism(s), a suffix that forms abstract nouns of action, state, condition, doctrine; a suffix that tends to an ending, a closure and a consequent fixity. Marxism, Calvinism, Communism, Nationalism, Neo-Liberalism the suffix -ism has come to indicate a belief or principle, a school of thought, an ideology, the result of a set of actions. Feminist scholarship has not escaped such closure and has come to constitute such a doctrine characterised by master methodologies (e.g. intersectionality, post-structuralism) and master concepts, while feminist writing as a practice seems to have conformed into the neo-liberal university and a standardised and increasingly regulated academic writing more and more tied to proposals for funding and existing political agendas. Against such majoritarian formations on the level of thought, Deleuze’s becoming-minoritarian in language provides the space for a radical criticism and creative resistance. The paper will argue that the essentially political nature of the grammatical varieties of becoming-minoritarian can challenge a fetishisation of and an increasing policing of ‘content’, language and citational practices in academic writing and will favour instead ‘asignifying messages that escape dominant ideologies’ (Guattari). To live ideologically is to narrow Life and Representationalism (as negative determination) has failed Life, in its being exclusionary and blind to non-linguistic difference. Becoming-minoritarian is a difficult engagement in search of a ‘style’ in language/writing as the re-organisation and recomposition of the real that will allow new arrangements and relationships to form, an immanent movement of knowledge which in turn will be able to respond ethically to the demand for a possibility of Life and of singular ways of existing together in this world.

Chrysanthi Nigianni has written on the topics of ethics, aesthetics, politics and the body. She is the co-editor of Undutiful Daughters: New Directions in Feminist Thought and Practice (with H. Gunkel and F. Söderbäck, Palgrave McMillan Press, 2012), Deleuze and Queer Theory (with M. Storr, Edinburgh University Press, 2009), and ‘Deleuzian Politics?’ (with J. Gilbert, 2010)—a Special Issue of New Formations: A Journal of Culture/Theory/Politics. She is part of the Philadelphia Association (Philosophy and Psychotherapy Community) and training to become a psychoanalytic psychotherapist.


Vassileios Ntovros,Unfolding San Lorenzo's chapel: Beyond the folding forms and symbolic notions

The content of this paper reveal a new interpretation of the chapel San Lorenzo in Turin, designed by Guarino Guarini in 17th century, as seen through Gilles Deleuze’s philosophical approach in his book “FOLD, Leibniz and the Baroque”. In the first part the perspective of the fold and the theoretical discourse of contemporary architectural practice are presented. Seeking the philosophical origin of the concept fold that is found in Deleuze's reading on the philosopher Leibniz, it's the basic way to understand the fold both as a substance and meanings contained therein, as well as a relationship. Finally a frame is suggested, where the fold can function as a tool of analysis of the church. In the second part the main points of the chapel are discussed through the perspective of the fold. The successive folds of the chapel are sought and identified in the use of architectural elements from all historical periods, while the relationship of these elements is understood through the mathematical curve and the singularities contained therein. The materiality of the chapel and its construction are treated within the folds of material handling and intangible components within the folds of the soul. At this point the allegorical figure of Deleuze on the baroque house is adopted for the comprehension of the chapel instead the previous symbolic interpretations: The infinite fold moves endlessly as a continuous relationship between two areas, among the upper folds of the soul and the lower pleats of matter

Ntovros Vasileios is an architect, graduated from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, holding a master degree in "Self-Sufficient Habitat" from IAAC-Barcelona, founding member of the creative lighting collective Beforelight. His work have been awarded in national and international competitions while have been published in exhibitions, conferences and journals. He has collaborated with several architectural offices including F451arquitectura and Miba in Barcelona. He is working on its own architectural firm since 2009, while he cooperates in projects for urban regeneration with other creative studios and groups in Athens. In recent period his interest focuses on the theory and practice of sustainable design using digital tools and fabrication methods in order to construct symbiotic environments.