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.


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

[eyedeer] babelmaker

with repetition, creates difference.

music; the jumping notes, a loop, a line. feeding it into ah-ee-ii-kii-oh do we make it polytonal or language? babbling babelspeak, formless noises that sound like words are not words, words fed and spat on; out-comes. take a paragraph and out comes music; take music and vomit prose. the colours: yellow, white, green, white – colour of lime and stucco; raised bar – why does the white have the texture of nutella? spread the sound, echoic; remember the mechanical birds? maybe cars are also birds. no. cars are cats cos engines purr, not sing. what sings? singer sewing machines. hahahahaha, maybe. maybe it’s like sewing; a babel that emboriders? do we do loop sitch count sitch the clacking as your feet presses forward? a different kind of composing. d-motion? flashing of blue sequins, wrong colours. you want it white and lime, maybe aqua? a breaking loop. where can i find loops that break down? maybe i’ll make my own loop, that breaks. a loop that takes perfectly positive polsively pious prose and …… [ ! ]

yeaaaaaaaaaaa let’s make a babelmaker for the deleuze class! (and not write 13 pages hurhurhurhur)

<> or why new media art is a lie

Maya binary not working! my computer crashes! don’t understand how to do extrusions using booleans! hey it’s tots OK man, cos KT’s new album sounds khjdashjkklas amazeballs like the best of 90s eurotrash techno with chip music and the superslick sound of manufactured pop. In the beginning I felt kinda awkward in Parsons cos it seems that everyone has extreme cultured music taste. Not only do I have no taste, but also extreme bad taste. I’m one of the few people (that I know of) that have Paris Hilton’s Stars That Shine as well as her other discography. I also watch Eurovision religiously. Most people talk about musical “soul”, but I like my music like Jello – as artificial as possible, with vivid colourings and MANY MANY flavours. And I like it all, unironically. I don’t get liking something ironically cos I buy CDs, and hey money is money y’know. I wouldn’t waste money on irony D:

And since the maya work that I was doing just crashed, let’s look at some cool stuff:

Jon Rafman’s The Nine Eyes of Google Street View:

Basically it’s a project showing the bloopers from Google Street View, totally neat! My favourite one is the gas mask man crawling out from the underbush lol

Ian Burns’ Xerox Book (1968)

This is one of my favourite works ever – in relation to design and technology. It’s one of those works that you’re like: “goddamn why didn’t I think of it?? I wish I did it!!” because it’s so brilliantly simple and yet encapsulates everything from Deleuze to machine-technology so perfectly. Basically what Burns did was take a blank sheet of paper, and photocopy it 100 times on a xerox machine. As each piece was photocopied and re-photocopied, the machine began to read errors like lines, black spots etc until finally the machine (remember, 1960s) broke down and you got a blank black page. Literally, “difference and repetition“. He was part of the Art & Language group along with Sol Levitt – and for me, groups like these were really “new media art” even if they didn’t define themselves by it.

I guess that’s one of my main gripes about the word “new media art”. What is new media art? Is there a movement associated with it? Is there a collective force, or is it a scattered distribution? What is with the term “new” – when groups like Fluxus, Kinetic/Constructivist, Futurists and Art&Language exist?

The problem with the term “new media art” is the word “media”. Art is almost never defined by a medium, it’s usually conceived of based on a concept. That’s why
“new media art” remains flunky and vague even though the term has been tossed around for years. It’s because there is no depth to it, it’s shallow and silly to define your entire body of work just based on ONE medium. Most artists I know work with several as their career progresses, so by using the term “new media artist” they are thereby limiting themselves to what people would conceive of as “new media” and what new media is, is usually relational to the period they live in.

So in my generation, “new media art” would be work with apps and 3-d wall projections. With someone 6-10 years older, “new media art” might refer to the code-bombing a la Jodi With someone 15-20+ years older, “new media art” might be on television or broadcast.

It really bothers me because art is always driven by concept, with technology as a support not the other way round. Like why did Monet and Renoir push towards Plein-air painting? It wasn’t only the question of painting “to life, in air” but also because technology afforded the first paint tubes! Before the 19th century, paints had to ground paints in bottles, then mix with a binder (usually gum); then painted with turpentine and linseed oil. With the advent of paint tubes came the portability and convenience – now they could paint anywhere! If anywhere, why not plein-air?

So if you *really* want to push for “new media art”, well – then the Impressionists would be new media artists too. How do you reconcile that with your digital-only shtick?

Like the two examples I have above – what ties them together despite their differences in age isn’t the medium or “media” but the examination of media. Perhaps it would be much more appropriate to call this “medium art”, because it doesn’t just use media but questions the qualities of the medium itself.

For me, the interest in new media art is the traces of it. Art history has always been viewed through the lens of personages and movements, why not view it through the lens of “new media art”? Trace the origins of each movement with the growth of technology – the Impressionists was only one example. It’s fascinating to think, of this spectre of “technology” and “new media” hanging over the traditional (positivist?) mode of Art History, an unexamined haunting….. what will happen, when it’s brought to light?

Nietzsche, our favourite God-killing bad boy

I think diagrams in paint-it really brings to life exactly what I love about philosophy in both the method of delivery and software. A lot of these diagrams are extreme simplifications of the notes I take for myself, but the crux of it is accurate.

Nietzsche's criticism of Transcendence

'God is Dead!'

'How May One Act' new form of ethics/valuation

Just so you know, I’m of the firm belief that Nietszche was not a nihilist when he proclaimed this. Nihilism is the by-product, because some people would despair over the lack of fundamental order in life or absolute morality. What he proposes is actually a form of freedom from cosmic ordering i.e. ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’ and we are given that right to live our life as we please – to some, that freedom is terrifying. To others, it is just pure liberation.

Deleuze & Immanence

I split the post into 2, because it was just getting insanely long and complicated. The first post deals with Deleuze’s concepts of Immanence vs traditional philosophies of Transcendence with an example from Plato/Platonic ideas as a form of substance ontology (which will be criticised). The second post will deal with Nietzsche’s arguments against substance ontology/Plato as well as his treatise on Language.

Also I have sexy simplified diagrams because writing it through is unbearable to read, and even more unbearable to write.

Ontology (types)

Difference & Repitition (as a formation for being; being is becoming)

Immanence VS Transcendence

Immanence VS Transcendence

Platonic Ideas as a example of substance ontology