Brian Massumi's Semblance and Event: Activist Philosophy and the Occurrent PDF

By Brian Massumi

ISBN-10: 0262299062

ISBN-13: 9780262299060

Occasions are constantly passing; to adventure an occasion is to event the passing. yet how can we understand an event that encompasses the just-was and the is-about-to-be up to what's really current? In Semblance and occasion, Brian Massumi, drawing at the paintings of William James, Alfred North Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, and others, develops the idea that of “semblance” with the intention to technique this query.

It is, he argues, a question of abstraction, no longer because the contrary of the concrete yet as a size of it: “lived abstraction.” A semblance is a lived abstraction. Massumi makes use of the class of the appearance to enquire practices of paintings which are relational and event-oriented—variously often called interactive paintings, ephemeral paintings, functionality artwork, paintings intervention—which he refers to jointly because the “occurrent arts.” every one paintings perform invents its personal types of relational occasions of lived abstraction, to provide a signature species of semblance. The artwork’s relational engagement, Massumi keeps, provides it a political valence simply as important and instant because the aesthetic measurement.

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Extra resources for Semblance and Event: Activist Philosophy and the Occurrent Arts (Technologies of Lived Abstraction)

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3 This might sound lonely. It is certainly not touchy-feely. But Whitehead affirms it as a necessary condition for creativity. The nonrelation of relation is what makes “elbow room” in the world for an experience to come absolutely into its own production of novelty, uncramped by the constraint of connectively fitting in (Whitehead 1967a, 195). This preserves the emergence of novelty, rather than conformity to the present, as the principle of activity. It also makes all the world expressive. Purely self-expressive.

It’s been relationally activated. It is alive in the world, poised for what may come. That is also “seen”—there’s a sense of aliveness that accompanies every perception. We don’t just look, we sense ourselves alive. Every perception comes with its own “vitality affect,” to use a term of Daniel Stern’s (Stern 1985, 53–61; Stern 2010). That’s why we see movement in a motif. The form naturally poises the body for a certain set of potentials. The design calls forth a certain vitality affect—the sense we would have, for example, of moving our eyes down a branch of rustling leaves, and following that movement with our hands.

We lack the means of discussing in its constituent parts, an image which possesses simultaneously a number of dimensions. . But, in spite of all these difficulties, we must deal with the constituent parts in great detail. . Our courage may fail us when we find ourselves faced with a new part leading in a completely different direction, into new dimensions, perhaps into remoteness where the recollection of previously explored dimensions may easily fade. To each dimension, as, with the flight of time, it disappears from view, we should say: now you are becoming Past.

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Semblance and Event: Activist Philosophy and the Occurrent Arts (Technologies of Lived Abstraction) by Brian Massumi


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