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Chaos, Territory, Art

Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth

Elizabeth Grosz
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 136
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  • Book Info
    Chaos, Territory, Art
    Book Description:

    Instead of treating art as a unique creation that requires reason and refined taste to appreciate, Elizabeth Grosz argues that art-especially architecture, music, and painting-is born from the disruptive forces of sexual selection. She approaches art as a form of erotic expression connecting sensory richness with primal desire, and in doing so, finds that the meaning of art comes from the intensities and sensations it inspires, not just its intention and aesthetic.

    By regarding our most cultured human accomplishments as the result of the excessive, nonfunctional forces of sexual attraction and seduction, Grosz encourages us to see art as a kind of bodily enhancement or mode of sensation enabling living bodies to experience and transform the universe. Art can be understood as a way for bodies to augment themselves and their capacity for perception and affection-a way to grow and evolve through sensation. Through this framework, which knits together the theories of Charles Darwin, Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Jakob von Uexküll, we are able to grasp art's deep animal lineage.

    Grosz argues that art is not tied to the predictable and known but to new futures not contained in the present. Its animal affiliations ensure that art is intensely political and charged with the creation of new worlds and new forms of living. According to Grosz, art is the way in which life experiments with materiality, or nature, in order to bring about change.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51787-4
    Subjects: Philosophy, Art & Art History, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    (pp. 1-24)

    This small book is directed to questions about the ontology, that is, the material and conceptual structures, of art. While I am not trained in the visual or spatial arts, there are, nonetheless, many points of overlap, regions of co-occupation, that concern art and philosophy, and it is these shared concerns that I want to explore here. I want to discuss the “origins” of architecture, music, painting—indeed, the arts in general—but not the historical, evolutionary, or material origins of art, confirmable by some kind of material evidence or empirical research such as would interest an archaeologist, anthropologist, or...

    (pp. 25-62)

    In this chapter I present the outlines of an ontology of music, looking at music’s most elementary relations to chaos and to what all of life somehow extracts from chaos—a sense of the body and the earth—relations that music shares with all the arts as well as with science. Each is constituted out of the peculiar and unique relations it adopts to the most tangible forces of the real, those we live (in relation to the body and the earth) and those that remain unlivable by us but nevertheless impinge on us (chaos, the unpredictable, forces, events), which...

    (pp. 63-104)

    Art is of the animal. It comes, not from reason, recognition, intelligence, not from a uniquely human sensibility, or from any of man’s higher accomplishments, but from something excessive, unpredictable, lowly. What is most artistic in us is that which is the most bestial. Art comes from the excess, in the world, in objects, in living things, that enables them to be more than they are, to give more than themselves, their material properties and qualities, their possible uses, than is self-evident. Art is the consequence of that excess, that energy or force, that puts life at risk for the...

    (pp. 105-110)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 111-116)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 117-118)