Deleuze, Guattari and Contemporary Art Practice
p194 "What indeed constitutes contemporary art's political effectivity? For, I would argue, political art does not always look political and art that looks political ('speaks' its message as it were) does not always operate politically. In fact art is not politics in the typical - or molar and signifying - sense. It operates under a different logic. Such a politics, if we can still call it this, comes from this play with matter and with this production of difference."
...a notion of difference and repetition. Perhaps what is at stake within contemporary art is the repetition of previous art forms, and indeed non art forms of life from elsewhere, but a repetition with difference. A new dice throw, as perhaps Deleuze would say. This production of difference in itself involves the deployment of different temporalities, for example, a general slowing down, even a stillness, or, in other cases, an absolute acceleration (when thought leaps or pounces at a speed irreducible to the regulative movements and rhythms of the market). Indeed, time, as well as matter, becomes a material of sorts to play with in these practices. ... the different temporal experiments at the cusp of modernity/postmodernity where these different speeds were also at stake. Allan Kaprow's 'Happenings' or Carolee Schneeman's performances, for example.
... art offers us an experience that takes place 'beyond' time ... in a time of total capitalism (when lived time is increasingly colonised), the time of art becomes crucial.
p197 "At stake then are two moments in what I am calling the aesthetics of contemporary art: one of dissent (a turn from, or refusal of, the typical) and one of affirmation (of something different).
And at stake here, I think, is one's style of thought, as Deleuze might say: whether one is drawn to negation and critique or to affirmation and creativity.
P198 "We might say then that art practice can involve the production of specifically joyful affects as oppose to sad affects...
It is as well to remind ourselves here that joy is not just an ego term, that is, having simply to do with 'getting what we want', but is something more impersonal, again, more 'disinterested'. Put starkly, sadness, in Spinozist terms, is a diminishment of life; joy its increase.
Certainly the encounter with art can produce this kind of joy. Indeed, many of the practices I mentioned above have this joy-increasing effect; there is something fundamentally affirming of life and of creativity within them....
From a certain point of view we might say then that contemporary art can problematise the idea that we are purely rational beings, or that our experiences in the world can be the basis for a rational system of ethics.
p199 - ... Artists offer up new compositions of affect, new affective assemblages that are different to those we are more familiar with. It is this that differentiates art, as a specific form of thought, from mere opinion ... Indeed, art practice does not necessarily communicate anything in this sense (and, as such, does not, I think, offer any knowledge of the world AS IT IS). Art, when it really is art, operates at the very limit of our understanding, hence its always difficult (and often bothersome) character.