representation


representation
  ---- by John Marks
  'Representation', for Deleuze, entails an essentially moral view of the world, explicitly or implicitly drawing on what 'everybody knows', and he conceives of philosophy as an antidote to this view. Representation cannot help us to encounter the world as it appears in the flow of time and becoming. It constitutes a particularly restricted form of thinking and acting, working according to fixed norms, and which is unable to acknowledge difference 'in itself '. In Difference and Repetition Deleuze challenges the representational conception of philosophy. Here, he contrasts the 'poet' to the 'politician'. The poet speaks in the name of a creative power, and seeks to affirm difference as a state of permanent revolution: he is willing to be destructive in the search for the 'new'. The new, in this sense, remains forever new, since it has the power of beginning anew every time. It enables forces in thought which are not the forces of recognition, but the powers of an unrecognisable terra incognita. The politician, on the other hand, seeks to deny that which differs in order to establish or maintain a particular historical order. In philosophical terms, Deleuze proposes to 'overturn' Platonism, which distinguishes between the original - the thing that most resembles itself, characterised by exemplary self-identity - and the copy, which is always deficient in relation to the original. Platonism is incapable of thinking difference in itself, preferring to conceive of it in relation to 'the thing itself '. In order to go beyond representation, it is necessary, therefore, to undermine the primacy of the original over the copy and to promote the simulacrum, the copy for which there is no original.
  A key influence on Deleuze as far as the anti-representational orientation of his thought is concerned, is Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche's speculations on metaphor show that there is no 'truth' behind the mask of appearances, but rather only more masks, more metaphors. Deleuze elevates this insight into something like a general metaphysical principle. For him, the world is composed of simulacra: it is a 'swarm' of appearances. Deleuze's Bergsonism, which emphasises a radical analysis of time, is an important element of his challenge to representation. In his books on cinema in particular, Deleuze draws on Henri Bergson's very particular materialism in order to claim that life is composed of images. Rather than human consciousness illuminating the world like a searchlight, it is the case that the world is 'luminous' in itself. Bergson's critique of the problematics of perception and action, and matter and thought, springs from the claim that we tend to think in terms of space rather than time. This tendency immobilises intuition, and to counter this Bergson conceives of materiality in terms of images that transmit movement. This has important consequences for perception, which can no longer be conceived of as knowledge that is rooted in consciousness. All life perceives and is necessarily open to the 'outside' and distinctions between automatism and voluntary acts are only differences of degree, rather than differences in kind. This alternative, non-psychological metaphysics, according to which the world is 'luminous in itself ', rather than being illuminated by a beam of consciousness, is at the heart of Deleuze's non-representational project, and is explored at length in his books on cinema. Following Bergson's materialist ontology, according to which our body is merely an image among images, Deleuze opens the self to the outside, the pure form of time. The self comes into contact with a virtual, non-psychological memory, a domain of diversity, difference, and with potentially anarchic associations, that jeopardise the sense selfhood.
  Such forms of anti-representational thought are threatening and potentially disorientating. As Bergson argues, human beings choose on the basis of what is the most useful. As such they tend to spatialise the fluidity of duration, reducing it to a static and impersonal public form. We separate duration into dissociated elements and reconfigure these elements in a homogeneous spatial form organised around the conventions of 'public' language that conveys widely recognised notions. We like 'simple thoughts', Bergson remarks, and we prefer to rely on custom and habit, replacing diversity with simplicity, foregoing the novelty of new situations. In short, we prefer the comforts and conventions of representation. This helps to explain why art - literature, painting and cinema - plays such an important part in Deleuze's work. For Deleuze, art is not a way of representing experiences and memories that we might 'recognise': it does not show us what the world is, but rather imagines a possible world. Similarly, art is concerned with 'sensation', with creating 'sensible aggregates', rather than making the world intelligible and recognisable. In order to challenge representational views of art, Deleuze talks of 'affects' and 'percepts'. These are artistic forces that have been freed from the organising representational framework of perceiving individuals. Instead, they give us access to a pre-individual world of singularities. In this way, Deleuze sees art as a way of challenging the interpretative tendency of representation to trace becomings back to origins.
  Connectives
   § affect
   § art
   § becoming
   § difference
   § sensation

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.

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  • représentation — [ r(ə)prezɑ̃tasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1250; lat. repræsentatio, de repræsentare I ♦ Action de mettre devant les yeux ou devant l esprit de qqn. 1 ♦ Vx ou dr. Production, présentation. Représentation d acte (pouvant servir de titre ou de preuve). ⇒… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Representation — Représentation Pour les articles homonymes, voir représentation (homonymie). La représentation désigne étymologiquement l « Action de replacer devant les yeux de quelqu un ». [1] Cette notion d origine latine garde tout son sens… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • representation — rep‧re‧sen‧ta‧tion [ˌreprɪzenˈteɪʆn] noun 1. [uncountable] when someone else speaks for you: • There has been a decline in union representation in the auto industry. ˌboard represenˈtation when the heads of particular departments or groups… …   Financial and business terms

  • representation — rep·re·sen·ta·tion n 1: one that represents: as a: a statement or account made to influence opinion or action compare warranty 3 b: an incidental or collateral statement of fact on the faith of which a contract is entered into the contract of… …   Law dictionary

  • representation — Representation. s. f. v. Exhibition, exposition devant les yeux. Il intervint un Arrest qui ordonnoit la representation des titres, la representation des titres en original. on le mit la garde d un Huissier qu on chargea de la representation de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Representation — can refer to:* Representation (politics), one s ability to influence the political process * Representative democracy * Representation (arts), the depiction and ethical concerns of construction in visual arts and literature. * Representation… …   Wikipedia

  • Representation — Rep re*sen*ta tion ( z?n t? sh?n), n. [F. repr?sentation, L. representatio.] 1. The act of representing, in any sense of the verb. [1913 Webster] 2. That which represents. Specifically: (a) A likeness, a picture, or a model; as, a representation… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • representation — refers to the way in which images and texts reconstruct, rather than reflect, the original sources they represent. Thus a painting, photograph, or written text about a tree is never an actual tree, but the reconstruction of what it seemed to be… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • representation — Representation, Repraesentatio. Representation de quelque chose, Idolum idoli. Representation et imitation de la personne d autruy, Hypocrisis. La representation d une farce, Actio fabulae. Belle representation et apparence de maison, Dignitas… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • representation — représentation фр. [рэпрэзантасьо/н] representation англ. [рэпризэнте/йшн] 1) изображение 2) представление (театральное) …   Словарь иностранных музыкальных терминов

  • représentation — фр. [рэпрэзантасьо/н] representation англ. [рэпризэнте/йшн] 1) изображение 2) представление (театральное) …   Словарь иностранных музыкальных терминов


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