---- by Cliff Stagoll
  Deleuze introduced the concept of the 'event' in The Logic of Sense to describe instantaneous productions intrinsic to interactions between various kinds of forces. Events are changes immanent to a confluence of parts or elements, subsisting as pure virtualities (that is, real inherent possibilities) and distinguishing themselves only in the course of their actualisation in some body or state. Loosely, events might be characterised (as Deleuze does) in terms consonant with the Stoic concept of lekta: as incorporeal transformations that subsist over and above the spatiotemporal world, but are expressible in language nonetheless.
  As the product of the synthesis of forces, events signify the internal dynamic of their interactions. As such, on Deleuze's interpretation, an event is not a particular state or happening itself, but something made actual in the State or happening. In other words, an event is the potential immanent within a particular confluence of forces. Take as an example a tree's changing colour in the spring. On Deleuze's account, the event is not what evidently occurs (the tree becomes green) because this is merely a passing surface effect or expression of an event's actualisation, and thus of a particular confluence of bodies and other events (such as weather patterns, soil conditions, pigmentation effects and the circumstances of the original planting). Therefore we ought not to say 'the tree became green' or 'the tree is now green' (both of which imply a change in the tree's essence), but rather 'the tree greens'. By using the infinitive form 'to green', we make a dynamic attribution of the predicate, an incorporeality distinct from both the tree and green-ness which captures nonetheless the dynamism of the event's actualisation. The event is not a disruption of some continuous state, but rather the state is constituted by events 'underlying' it that, when actualised, mark every moment of the state as a transformation.
  Deleuze's position presents an alternative to traditional philosophies of substance, challenging the notion that reality ought to be understood in terms of the determinate states of things. This notion was expressed clearly by Plato, who established a contrast between fixed and determinate states of things defining the identity of an object on the one hand and, on the other, temporal series of causes and effects having an impact upon the object. Deleuze would say that there is no distinct, particular thing without the events that define it as that particular, constituting its potential for change and rate of change. Instead, an event is unrelated to any material content, being without fixed structure, position, temporality or property, and without beginning or end.
  Deleuze's event is a sign or indicator of its genesis, and the expression of the productive potential of the forces from which it arose. As such, it highlights the momentary uniqueness of the nexus of forces (whether or not to some obvious effect) whilst preserving a place for discontinuity in terms of some particular concept or plane of consistency. Three characteristics highlighted in Deleuze's texts point to this distinctiveness. First, no event is ever constituted by a preliminary or precedent unity between the forces of its production, being instead the primitive effect or change generated at the moment of their interaction. Second, events are produced neither in the image of some model nor as representative copies or likenesses of a more fundamental reality, being instead wholly immanent, original and creative productions. Third, as pure effect, an event has no goal.
  Deleuze is careful to preserve dynamism in his concept. An event is neither a beginning nor an end point, but rather always 'in the middle'. Events themselves have no beginning- or end-point, and their relationship with Deleuze's notion of dynamic change - 'becoming' - is neither one of 'joining moments together' nor one in which an event is the 'end' of one productive process, to be supplanted or supplemented by the next. Rather, becoming 'moves through' an event, with the event representing just a momentary productive intensity.
  In his theory of the event, Deleuze is not interested just in the machinations of production, but also in the productive potential inherent in forces of all kinds. Events carry no determinate outcome, but only new possibilities, representing a moment at which new forces might be brought to bear. Specifically, in terms of his model of thinking, he does not mean just that 'one thinks and thus creates' but that thinking and creating are constituted simultaneously. As such, his general theory of the event provides a means for theorising the immanent creativity of thinking, challenging us to think differently and to consider things anew. This is not to say that he means to challenge us to think in terms of events, but rather to make thinking its own event by embracing the rich chaos of life and the uniqueness and potential of each moment.
   § becoming
   § Plato

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.


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