This Deleuzian Century

Art, Activism, Life


According to Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) philosophy is not for the privileged few or the specialized ones: it is an activity that appeals to anyone who is attuned to the desire for the ethical life. Inspired by Spinoza’s concepts of desire and freedom, Deleuze’s ethical life is a life that aims at experimenting with sustainable ways of coping with the earth, with society, with the long term struggles and contemporary crisis that matter to us all. An ethical life defines thinking as the invention/intervention of new concepts and takes the risk of working with them in the real world. This book has been written in this spirit of free explorations of intensities. It explores the entanglements between art, activism and life in the service of training us to live ethically. Contrary to morality, which is the implementation of socially accepted rules and regulations, ethics requires an analysis of the power relations that structure our interaction as relational subjects, in order to enable us to deal with them.
The original contributions presented in this volume aim to set these ideas to work in contemporary practices, exploring the ways in which Deleuze’s thought continues to be relevant at the start of the 21st century. As a product of the “Deleuze Circle”, an open collaboration between academics situated in the Low Countries started in 2008, the chapters in this book contribute to our ongoing conversations on how to live the ethical life today in academia, in art but above all in our multiple ecologies of belonging.
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Biographical Note

Rosi Braidotti is Distinguished University Professor and founding Director of the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. She was the founding professor of Gender Studies in the Humanities at Utrecht (1988-2005) and the first scientific director of the Netherlands Research School of Women's Studies. In 2005–2006, she was the Leverhulme Trust, Visiting Professorship in the Law School of Birckbeck College, University of London. In 2001–2003, she held the Jean Monnet Visiting Chair at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European Institute in Florence. In 1994-1995 she was a fellow in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

Rick Dolphijn is a teacher and researcher at Utrecht University, and a Senior fellow at the Centre for the Humanities at the same university. Before he was teaching at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and had a postdoctoral position at the Internation Institute for Asian Studies. He published two books, being Foodscapes, Towards a Deleuzian Ethics of Consumption (Eburon/University of Chicago Press 2004) and (with Iris van der Tuin) New Materialism: Interviews and Cartographies (Open Humanities Press 2012). His academic work has appeared in journals like Angelaki, Continental Philosophy Review (with Iris van der Tuin), Collapse and Deleuze Studies. He is a 2014-2015 fellow of the Descartes Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science (Utrecht University).

Table of contents

Rosi Braidotti and Rick Dolphijn: Introduction: Deleuze’s Philosophy and the Art of Life Or: What does Pussy Riot Know?

Anneke Smelik: Fashioning the Fold: Multiple Becomings
Andrej Radman: Sensibility is Ground Zero: On Inclusive Disjunction and Politics of Defatalization
Sjoerd van Tuinen: Populism and Grandeur: From Marx to Arafat
Joeri Visser: The Healing Practices of Language: Artaud and Deleuze on Flesh, Mind and Expression
Frans Willem Korsten: Humile Art: Enhancing the Body’s Powers to Act – or Bringing Art (back) Down to Earth
Agnieszka Wołodźko: Materiality of Affect: How Art can Reveal the more Subtle Realities of an Encounter
Rick Dolphijn: The Revelation of a World that was Always Already There: The Creative Act as an Occupation
Jay Hetrick: The Ethico-Aesthetics of the Figure
Tom Idema: Thinking ‘a Life’: Nomadism as a Challenge for (Post-)Genomics
Henk Oosterling: Mesopolitical Interests: Rotterdam Skillcity as Rhizomatic, Ecosophical, Reflactive Event


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