“If agonism, building on the differend, depends on a refusal to be measured by a single measure of value, and seeks inventions that challenge the norms of 'cognitive verification'. Then, Deleuzoguattarian fabulation seeks invention, or perhaps more specifically, creation, in the ceaseless permeation of the abstract concept of value with empirical assemblages of superior intensity. This intensity is due to the powers of the false, and fabulations depend on this strange empiricism for their existence, in other words, they are released into the fabric of value to become. They have a particular mode of becoming which is that of fashioning larger-than life images that transform and metamorphose conventional representations and conceptions of collectivities, thereby enabling the
invention of a people to come.” - Neuro Reason: Sellars’ Legacy and its Implications for Art, Bassam el Baroni
As a continuation of my study on the real abstraction Naturally False is a single-channel video which continues my examination into the entangled relations between art, theory, economics and thought. It addresses the invisible abstraction that precedes thought in our contemporary state of capitalist realism. Desiring production is a force that produces the real. This is the real as artificial, but the artificial here should be understood as a process of "naturing Nature". The unconscious is not a bundle of drives in need of socialisation, but desires which are already organised by the practices and relations (what Deleuze and Guattari call flows) of capitalism. Exchangeable fabulations that are oriented towards 'creative evolution' of the human.
I am interested in how an understanding of the invisible abstractions that precede thought, can help tackle capitalist realism. Our contemporary inability to cognitively map the gears and contours of the world system is disastrous for political action; we find ourselves in a paralyzing crisis of orientation. Transparency is a tenacious myth. The abstractions do not explain anything but must themselves be explained through creative forms of analysis. I search for an aesthetic that can 'grab' these abstractions in a way thought cannot. Image making in a counter-intuitive sense; not searching for a composition but for a model to represent invisibilities in the same way as diagrams depict abstractions.
Naturally False is made from found online sound and video footage. Short videos, loops or longer montages of this footage. The sounds, rhythm and imagery draw the viewer into a seductive and meditative journey through unhabitable landscapes and semi-familiair references. But the videos are also ruthless in claiming a certain kind of power through abstraction, through fiction. Virtual fictions situated in the chaotic unfolding of the real. They bring about their own reality and materialize the future as it leaks from beyond the threshold of comprehension. Inhuman landcapes oddly color-filtered give a confusing sense of past, present and future. Claustrophobic loops draw the viewer into a journey with no future. The film presents a disruption of linear time and also the inexorability of time. Past, present and future do not exist in chronological succession, but coexist. The actual coexists with the virtual. The manifest with the scientific.
Deleuze subsumes the historical to the ontological while denaturalizing the latter.
Future tipping-points cast ripples in the present.
both ruthless and meditative
movement through differences.
diagram-like abstract configurations
"To edit is to be possessed by the power of a gesture that wants to live on in our bodies. Sustaining itself, prolonging themselves, until they begin to function as externalizations of pictorial movements that are not human, but which live in our bodies. Images and sounds happen; or are negotiated between bodies and media. Sounds and images live in us. Bodies serve as living media, that make us perceive, project or remember. To isolate, to extract, and to loop. A gesture, an incident, a behavior, is to clarify repetition as a certain kind of powerful futility, as an impotent infinity, a semi-plastic power." - the Otolith Group, global art forum 9: The Use and Abuse of YouTube for Life
The question of 'what to do with the scientific image', how to place it in the framework of knowledge, is a political question. The so-called molecular contamination of the intellect by the abstractions of money and labour is perhaps better thought of as a source of multiplicity, as a web of criss-crossing lines and paths and flows. The intense world of differences, in which we find the reason behind qualities and the being of the sensible, is precisely the object of a superior empiricism. The unempirical acts of exchange that inhabit our intellect through real abstractions can be countered and intervened upon by making sharper and more intense experiences of intuition through which "difference, potential difference and difference in intensity" are cognitively accessed. On accessing them through this superior empiricism, we transcend to the weird reason of multiple rhythms of chaos and difference in the universe, a kind of frontier which reveals to us that difference is the instigator for everything, while nothing can account as an instigator for difference in the sense of its occurrence in nature. Difference, multiplicity, and pluralism as the rhythmic being of subjects, entities, and beings in a univocal existence. The gap between universals and particulars is also not exploited because the end of the Deleuzoguattarian intervention is not the radicalization of democracy but of nature itself, to make Nature operate in the only way it should: 'against itself'.
- An early version of Naturally False was part of A Vocabulary of Noise at bb15 in Linz in September 2017.
- Naturally False was part of The Trouble with Value, from December 16th 2017 through March 18th 2018, curated by Kris Dittel and Krzysztof Siatka.
- The second part of the exhibition The Trouble with Value will be presented at Onomatopee project space and publishing house in Eindhoven, in the first half of 2018.