Deleuze, James Williams, Verschil en Herhaling

Verschil en Herhaling (Difference and Repetition) in Spui25

On the 5th of March the Amsterdam based conference-centre Spui25 is organizing an event on the occasion of the Dutch translation of Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. Deleuze expert and prominent Deleuzian James Williams will give a lecture entitled ‘Difference and Repetition: Time-Quack. For more information about subscription and the like, click here.

Bruno Latour, Deleuze, Gabriel Tarde, Monadology, Nigel Thrift, Non-Representational Theory

Digital monads? Bruno Latour on the development of a Tardean social theory

Bruno Latour – The Whole is Always Smaller Than Its Parts. A Digital Test of Gabriel Tarde’s Monads

This article by Bruno Latour explores the value of Gabriel Tarde’s concept of monads for data digitalization – a method that can accordingly be seen as an experimental sociological tool. At the same time, it argues that the new possibilities and experience of following individuals through their connections can redefine neo-monadology as a navigational ontology. It is remarkable that the authors do not take up Nigel Thrift’s notion of nomads as an updated and relational version of traditional ‘windowless’ monads – a notion that he develops in his great Non-Representational Theory. This conceptualization would also allow for a more direct assessment of the Tardean influence in Deleuze’s social theory, an influence that is well worth elaborating from the perspective of statistics and quantification.

Deleuze, Gilbert Simondon

Gilbert Simondon: translations [re-updated]

As far as I know there are still no ‘offical’ English translations available of the – highly interesting – work of Gilbert Simondon. However, there do circulate some translations on the internet – most notably his book On the Modes of Existence of Technical Objects. Others include ‘The Position of the Problem of Ontogenesis’, ‘Technical Mentality’ and a 1966 review by Gilles Deleuze – for whom Simondon was a great inspiration (think of his distinction between singularities and individuals and the notion of individuation) – of ‘L’Individu et sa genese physico-biologique’. All of these are truly worthwile.

Some translations of the work of Simondon I didn’t know of (thanks to Terrence Blake from Agent Swarm)

Topology, Chronology and Order of Magnitude of Physical Individuation
Topology and Ontogenesis
The Physico-Biological Genesis of the Individual
The Individual and Its Physico-Biological Genesis
Chapter 1 of Physic and Collective Individuation 

A new translation of Gilbert Simondon’s ‘Two Lessons on Animal and Man’ by Drew Burk will be published by Univocal Publishing. I haven’t heard of the publisher, but it seems promising; check out their website here. (Thanks to Drew Burk for bringing it to my attention)

Alain Badiou, Deleuze, Hans-Jurg Rheinberger, Toward a History of Epistemic Things

Minor note on the newness of the new beyond/below Badiou

While reading Hans Jürg Rheinberger’s already seminal Toward a History of Epistemic Things – he is becoming something of a hero to me these days – I couldn’t prevent myself from constantly highlighting the Badiouian touch of his arguments. That is, I was struck by the fact that so many of Badiou’s themes (at least those which could be consider his most important; everything between and inside the mathematics of being and the laws of appearing) come to the fore when Rheinberger discusses what he calls an ‘epistemology of time’ that is to answer the question how – in the context of scientific experimentation – we can speak of history without invoking origins and grounds. As he formulates it: ‘Are they looking at a past that is the transformation of another, foregoing past? Or are they looking at a past that is the product of a past deferred, that is, of a future present?‘ (p. 176).
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Architecture, Deleuze, Naruse Inokuma

the lightness of concrete

Yes; this is for your eyes only, but then again; what are eyes but intelligent light-detectors of which the photoreceptors connect light to movement? This renovated Tokyo apartment by Naruse Inokuma architects made me think of what Deleuzian architecture (at least for someone with an interest, rather than an understanding of it) might feel like: its stripped-down appearance has something of a home in which individuations are impersonal and singularities pre-individual. The concrete necessitating the invention of new means of ‘homely’ expression. Interestingly, it invokes an image of ‘unfinished matter’: the arche-brutality of concrete always escaping what it is used for.

Setagaya Flat by Naruse Inokuma Architects

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An Epistemology of the Concrete, Deleuze, Hans-Jurg Rheinberger, Intensive Science, Manuel DeLanda, Virtual Philosophy

Reading DeLanda and Rheinberger at the same time is hard..

..mainly because DeLanda’s Intensive Science, Virtual Philosophy and Rheinberger’s recent (and rather brilliant) Epistemology of the Concrete show so many exciting points of convergence – or; possibilities of taking a philosophy of science’ reading of Deleuze a step further. Continue reading

Deleuze, Philosophy, Plato

Overthrowing Platonism: a fundamental lack of Ideas (1)

If there’s one thing Platonism does not ‘have’, it must be astonishment. Astonishment, that is, speed, the beauty of uncertainty, decay; existence. Given the two creeds of Plato – the totality of the world is mere reflection/imitation, and philosophy’s task is to turn away from these multiplicities, images, concrete things towards the permanent, fixed realm of semi-divine knowledge – it comes as no surprise that the Statesman is (s)he who has knowledge of the unchangeable and is able to regulate society by the grace of having insight in the permanent character of the values that ground (Greek) society…. Continue reading