Building Sensorium: Perceptual and Affectual Art Processes

Building Sensorium: Perceptual and Affectual Art Processes

Josephine Anstey (University at Buffalo, Buffalo, USA) and Roy Roussel (University at Buffalo, Buffalo, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJACDT.2018070103
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Gilles Deleuze assumes that the source of creativity/the new (as opposed to just the development of what already is implicit in existing things) lies outside conscious thinking. Deleuze argues that film mimics our automatic processing of visual input and therefore is able to intervene in this processing in ways that conscious thought cannot, at the level of the most basic sensory experience. Since computers can and already offer input to multiple senses, can they do similar work? The authors discuss Deleuze's approach to finding the difference between development and creativity via the analysis of film technology and ask whether anyone is using computers the way Deleuze conceives of those film-makers who are philosophic using film? The focus of this article is on creativity in the domain of art making.
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The Problem Of Creativity

The particular problem with creativity discussed here, has its roots in post-structuralism and is known as the problem of re-inscription. The original problem deals with language itself. The assumption is that the unconscious is structured like language, that the subject is constructed through language, and that consequently we never escape the laws (of gender, of family relations, of power) that are encoded in language - there can be no revolution (Lemaire, 1977).

However, this notion is encountered in many fields. Here are some other examples:

  • Photoshop was an advancement in image processing which greatly expanded our ability to manipulate images. However, these operations were given traditional terms – burning, dodging. In this way, Photoshop re-inscribed the darkroom. This re-inscription was enabling in so far as it facilitated users’ transition. But to what extent did it limit users’ ability to develop the full potential of the program by also re-inscribing the limits of analog photography?

  • Every movement to free a minority from oppression/discrimination begins with an attempt to redefine the pejorative term that has been imposed on them. They do this by embracing what had been a term of shame and transforming it into one of pride. Black is Beautiful, We’re Here, We’re Queer, Get Used To It. But Judith Butler in her essay “Critically Queer” makes clear the paradox of these attempts (Butler, 1993). Every positive use of Queer inevitably re-inscribes and reproduces the pejorative category of queerness. The new meaning of queer just becomes to some extent one variation of the old meaning.

Working with/in language, visual sign systems, film grammar, computer programs, HC interfaces, programming languages, computing devices, may simply be a wheel-spinning exercise of embodying and developing existing forms.

So, how do you get to the new?

Deleuze’s assumption is that the source of creativity/the new lies outside conscious thinking.

  • For this reason, new ways of thinking begin in new forms of sensory experience.

  • Creating new forms of thought/experience implies building a new sensorium which would extend the human sensorium beyond its present parameters.

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