abstract for deleuze & design

Difference and Repetition in the Art of Prototyping

The emergence of praxis-led theory has led to an increased interest in Deleuzian philosophy within converging realms of art, design and technology. However, while much has been written about the design of actualised objects or systems, little has been said about the stages of prototyping and iteration, and how it relates to Deleuze’s process ontology.

This paper explores how Deleuze’s concept of Difference and Repetition coincides with the design processes of prototyping and iteration. Deleuze proposes an ontology that debunks the notion of an individualised self instead it is through repetition that creates difference, where difference thus forms a process of being individual – ‘being is becoming’. Through this concept, this paper will examine how prototyping, an industrial form of repetition can be rethought in the wider context of human-making, where that the process of iteration is not merely to complete the goal of an optimised form but rather a continuous process of becoming. Within this context, it is possible to argue that art, is a prototype. Instead of a prototype of usability-optimisation, it is a prototype of affected experience to form iterations of immanence.

This paper will also examine how the theory of Virtual/Actual can play a role in helping designers create situations of potential. Deleuze argues that art and design should move towards a system of Virtual/Actual as opposed to Possible/Real as the latter merely exhausts the potentials of each other; what is possible is only what can be realised, what is real is an actualised possibility thereby forming a closed loop. Instead, he proposes a Virtual/Actual, where the key condition of the Virtual is ‘surprise’.

In the conclusion, Deleuze shows the goal of art and design is creating meta-stable situations, to suspend the state of becoming before it is fully actualised and dearth of virtual. This paper will also show several examples of projects where designers were successful.


don’t turn’em dark apples

The first time I get to use the word estuary – I see them birds; swallows, ducks and my first eagle! soaring across it, these wetlands; the marsh; these estuaries. Dry winter-worn weeds light up like fairytale gold – all of midas’ touch, full of sunlight and alchemy. How can something as bare as rock, as ordinary as moss, turn so beautiful? The train crosses the river, it’s like I’m skimming over the water – I can’t see my feet, or the tracks, only that weightlessness when both sides are brown and green and golden blue…… sometimes I wonder, how can I call myself an artist when nothing can compare to such sublime?

Photographs are so useless in times like this, how can a camera capture the delicate shifts of green, brown and ice? So dirty it looks, on digital. Nothing compares to the hints of jade unfurling on willows as spring creeps under dry wintry underbrush, the celadon green cool spanning across the murky brown, a touch of sunlight transforming to the purest jade. The waves that kiss the harsh rocks and ochre sand, burnt yellow almost white – glows. Even the monoliths of steel bridges, highways snaking solid metal, whole and rusted; rising like ancient mammoths across the landscape……… somehow in their weight, their utilitarian industrial-ness, the very feeling of solemnness echoing the beauty of it all – a detritus; this American landscape.

Most of all, I watch the clouds. I watch them and wonder if they’re my cousins – full of water and air; that maybe if I evaporated myself, I could join them up there….. soft and warm and curled up, basking in the sun. A pouf, a puff, a piffle. A choux pastry in the sky; drifting through cities of blue. Blue that gets deeper and bluer, blue like the purest ultramarine – lakes of it, pools of it endless flows of it; at the sky and back again. When I was a kid my favourite thing to do was lie in bed and stick my feet against the window and I’ll try to make steps until I was basically standing on my head – head in the ground (or pillow), feet in the sky. Lovely to pretend, anyway

I love this, this rarely seen America. I’m not American, but I think sometimes America doesn’t do itself justice – look at these photos, how beautiful it is! I tell everyone to take the train now. Don’t drive, see these places for yourself. See this rare America – wild and beautifully harsh, better than any national geographic photo or “Asian” exotica. Passing through it reminded me of this old cartoon – Night on Galatic Railroad;  I wasn’t old enough to understand the plot, but I would watch it endlessly, crying. I didn’t cry because it was sad, but because it was so beautiful that I wanted to be there, it was so wonderful that it hurt it not be real

And now… going through the landscape, I feel that sensation again; of being in a place so beautiful it hurts, overwhelmingly so. So beautiful it seems surreal, like a miyazaki dream. I fell asleep halfway, dreaming of my edge of the world, the secret places only I knew about, with the Hudson river gliding like a glittering serpentine route….. and woke up to the river again. Endless. Sometimes I feel so happy to be alive, happiness so rich it hurts to breathe for the sheer living of it

And Montreal? Montreal is like a wash of expressionist romantic painting – swathes of fog cut with luminous intervals, the graceful shadows blurring in the distance and every single shade of grey you could want. Watching it, I’m reminded of [ ] – grisalle, verdaccio, stand straight, tuck your feet, paint….. even now I think I can smell it, even through the layers of train glass and memory; the sharp turpentine and buttery oils, the tea (always black with a spot of milk; white man tea he called it) I haven’t painted in so long. Sometimes I think it’s still inside me, the desire that once tore my hands and hung it like a butcher’s beef, bled dry and yet – and yet again, it rises up vibrating and unworthywanted like an idiot who doesn’t know when to stop after being rejected. Love me, it says. Love me and take a brush again hah! I tell it. Tell it to Photoshop.

I love Montreal. I saw it in the worst season – mud and slush and rain and sleet and snow all at once, the streets were covered in slippery ice and spring frost (even fell a couple of times, clumsy self) I love it because it’s not perfect, that it looks like something from Caspar David Fiedrich’s paintings of gothic loveliness and sublime transcendence; that pine trees stand tall and darkly, and every sunset is a cathedral of worship for the most glorious light of all…….

Maybe the happiest thing I took away from this – nothing to do with work or really anything, only I’m happy I found so many things beautiful.

if you ever need a reason to join Parsons…

…..our sunrises are beautiful here. Just look at that light! such brilliant illumination!

many bytes of cake

also in the future, one day we will be able to BiTorrent cake, and “bake” it out using a 3-d printer.

However thankfully there are a million cake shops near Parsons, if you ever need a quick fix. (it’s a very good incentive to join Parsons for it, I promise your tastebuds will appreciate it)

apparently the recruiting campaign is ON! right now, or rather admissions season. Honestly I don’t see why they should bother with all the statistics, because bright and beautifully shiny pieces of cake and lighting are far more attractive than a bunch of numbers, no?

Also I’ll be in Montreal during spring break, so no updates during that time (probably)…. see y’all the week after!

and the ravens at the tower

twisty-hand anguish of indecision – got my feedback; what should I do next? I think I’m overthinking this. The reason why my prototype worked is because I didn’t think about it very much, I just thought it was cool and left it at that. Now I’m second-guessing third-guessing quadruple-crossing myself; whether I should do this or not, whether it will really work, and it’s like a bad scratch on the gramaphone whether whether whether whether……

because now, I have ravens. I have ravens in a tower, and I think maybe – I think maybe there was a murder. I think maybe it was swiped, with lemon and bleach and the tang of engine oil because underneath that was the stink of blood. I hate the smell of raw blood. It’s very distinctive – sweet-sour metallic, like if you tried sucking on a metal coin. I have ravens flying; that wooshy sound – flup flup– and I quite miss it when my light bulb farm was just a farm (or maybe, was it ever?) did the lightbulb farm murder the ravens? why is the farm a “she”? why does it feel more and more menacing, the more I walk through it? why is the tower the colour of sunken flesh, all burnt and pink-ooze? and that ponderous sky it comes from, how can something so wide feel so oppressive?

It sounds weird, but there’s feedback and then there’s feedback; there’s the whole this-is-an-academic-blog and this urge to be absolutely honest – that I don’t have any answers at all, where all this comes from, I don’t know. Where is it going, I don’t know either. I don’t even know whether I wish it’ll stop and I can have a normal life and picket fence, or continue dreaming no matter how terrifying it is.

idk I’m just full of weird feelings today


Super delayed on making these, I have more notes than posts.  I still have the deleuze + literature set that’s halfway done……. urgh sometimes I wish we had less class hours and more time to do our own work – but that’s a fairly common complaint in parsons.

Chris brought up a very interesting point last week, while we were having drinks (Alex’s brilliant idea – also why is it that only in a philosophy class does tequila make more sense not less? I remember saying something essay-worthy on immanence and practice, but I’ve totally forgotten it now D:) Anyway he works/has been working in film production for the last decade or so, and he brought up that terms like ‘Production’ or ‘Post-Production’ were basically categorisations invented for capitalism i.e. ‘production managers’ were paid more than ‘post-production editors’ even though the entire schedule of the video should be considered part of the production process (an unedited video is still not produced). The second thing we talked about was about city layouts, and how space is viewed in ‘western’ countries vs ‘eastern’ countries (using the term loosely here) where streetview in western cultures is more linear compared to eastern cities….  but that’s a totally different thing, so yea

1 year older!!! (maybe not so much wiser)

Happy birthday to me! 😀

I’m so so so grateful for all the well-wishes, the cards & letters and wonderful food(!) care packages by all my friends (both online & offline – you know who you are!) and family. Thank you THANK YOU for being such awesome people especially to those who have been with me all the way ❤ There is just so much to be thankful for that I don’t know how to start – thanks for all the hand-holding and hugs and soups and making me eat/sleep properly for my own good; for all the tea and Eurovision shot games and ranting about the dreaded F word; Foucault. Thanks for the 4am skype calls, the offers of books, the emails full of crab emoticons and most of all thank you for loving me even though I make a mess out of things most of the time, (sometimes) unintentionally!

<—— is feeling heartfelt and sappy ;_;


Did it yesterday after the Image Panel; Lucas called me up and said ‘hey you wanna finish the work in the lab’ and I don’t know why – sheer masochism I guess, said yes. (note at that point I was running on sheer coffee and adrenaline and 3hrs of sleep.)

Anyway check out my new wood!!

ECOPOXY!!! the instructions were so unclear, and the labelling was pretty bad but that stuff was really cool. After 10mins it started exothermic-ing, like it grew really hot when you touched the aluminum case. There was a bit of bubbling, but not many. In general it just seemed rather surface-y instead of minute bubbles all over the place. Also it did have fumes, but not as bad as when we did the melanin mix from hell ™

Redid the Smooth-Cast with dried wood, and just like the dude said over email – no foaming! So it really seemed like moisture was the one that caused the chemical reaction the last time. As you can see, the hickory chips seemed to have worked out pretty well too, so hopefully we get a cooler looking cross section. Despite the non-foaming chemical reaction, we got a lot more minute bubbles including the inside instead of just surface. Of course bubbles can be solved by vaccum, but it’s just curious to see what differences between both. Unlike the resin, no exothermic reaction; it got a bit warm but not like hot hot

comparison pic

Probably going to cut it on Saturday if everything goes well, yeaaaaa~ 😀 exciting!