Deleuze’s Event or How to Explode Your Brain in Three Easy Steps

Deleuze is concerned with how a subject exists in time and space and how limits and difference are established between things. Why is this not that?

Chaos and the Screen

“Chaos does not exist”

Chaos is an undifferentiated ‘many’. It is everything and nothing. But it cannot be perceived, all we know is the “bottom side of the great screen”. What we call chaos is in fact that which is beyond the sophistication of our screens.

Consider (as a metaphor only) the magic eye puzzle!

How do you get a ‘One’ from the ‘Many’?

Extension: “one element is stretched over the following ones, such that it is a whole and the following elements are it’s parts”. Elements of an event form an extensive series which have intrinsic properties such as “height, intensity, a tint, a value, a saturation of colour”. Like a wave expanding and contracting, energy flowing, movement, force, stuff!

(From here)

Into this ‘event wave’ Deleuze introduces the individual, who he describes as a “concrescence of elements”. An element prehends other elements, it constituted by the ‘datum’ of past perhensions…maybe a little like this:

Except that it’s never static like the chain mail. Prehensions beget prehensions in constantly moving and shifting vibrations and harmonies.

These prehensions tend to be integrated in a pleasurable sense of satisfaction, of constantly renewing creative energy:” a Satisfaction with which the monad fills itself when it expresses the world, a musical Joy of contracting its vibrations, of calculating them without knowing their harmonics or of drawing force enough to go further and further ahead in order to produce something new”.

Tony’s Ducks

Tony’s ducks trigger his panic attack right? What about:

His son’s birthday, his job, his wife, his daughter, his mother, the threat of imprisonment, the threat of betrayal, the barbecue, the pool being in the right place for the ducks, the journey of the ducks, the weather, the season, the entire universe is inseparable from Tony’s collapse!

Every thing has vibrations, Tony’s collapse consists of prehensions upon which the datum of yet more prehensions depend.

David Chase creates the world of the Sopranos, but does he control it? Remember what Deleuze said about the Monad’s satisfaction in it’s own becoming: “a musical Joy of contracting its vibrations, or calculating them without knowing their harmonics or of drawing force to go further and further in order to produce something new”?

The ‘event’ of Tony’s Ducks is constructed by Chase within the world that is ‘The Sopranos’, but it, like all events cannot be controlled or delineated except in the most arbitrary ways. The Duck’s ‘vibrations’ are felt throughout the entire series… Tony goes to therapy because of the Ducks. But without the complexity of the event matrix, the Ducks would be meaningless.

pNBM]

 

 

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3 Responses to “Deleuze’s Event or How to Explode Your Brain in Three Easy Steps”

  1. Dammit, Zoe! Why must your intense disorganisation always produce results far better than it should! Curse your bones!

    Also, touché on that ‘Pyramid as Event’ clip!

  2. A very enlightening post! Once we get past the initial idea of “everything affects everything” we are concerned with who has control – i.e. Does David Chase control the ducks-event? Do you think that Deleuze is overly optimistic in how he positions the individual? If we say that “prehensions beget prehensions in constantly moving and shifting vibrations and harmonies”, might this distract us from the idea that certain models of perception hold a privileged position of authority?

  3. zorarah Says:

    Oh Brad, you use so many big words.

    I like the idea that Deleuze is an optimist! But I certainly see your point about the authority of the event… Who has it? Where does it come from? Can anyone control it?
    I would say that certainly there are power structures that are privileged by ‘traditional’ models of perception, but event is hardly immune from them either, in fact perhaps it’s more alarming to consider how powerless we are to resist the ‘event waves’ breaking over us? (So to speak). What authority determines the type and extent (if there is an extent) of an event? Hmmmm…

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