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Which clippings match 'Multiplicities' keyword pg.1 of 1

The artistic image: 'between the sayable and the visible'

"The sworn enemy of this logic of combination or juxtaposition are the border police of genre classification (typical of art history and its curatorial leanings which seem to contaminate film theory too) who struggle with any notion of redistribution of the sensible. It is in The Future of The Image that Jacques Rancière defines the artistic image as a set of operations or relations 'between the sayable and the visible' and calls this the regime of the 'distribution of the sensible', a status quo which can be altered, through a redistribution, which creates new ways of seeing (Rancière, 2007: 6). In the work of Marker and Godard, such a redistribution of the sensible has been generally understood, categorised as–and duly named–'film–essays', ever since André Bazin coined the phrase, referring specifically to Marker's work as a political and historical type of writing mediated by poetry (Bazin, 1985: 179–181). Fine. But what does the catch–phrase cover? What practice does it immunise? Is there a risk of seriously limiting the scope and aesthetic dimension of such films by segregating them?

Phillip Lopate considers the film–essay a 'cinematic genre that barely exists' in Can Movies Think? In Search of The Centaur: The Essay–Film (Lopate, 1998: 280). It must have words, whether spoken, subtitled, or intertitled. These must represent a single voice and exclude any collage of quoted texts that do not reflect a 'unified perspective'. The film must be an argument, an attempt at working out a problem; it must put across a personal view, and be well–written (Lopate, 1998: 283). However, his classification is quite prescriptive: no interviews are allowed and no documentaries (Lopate, 1998: 305). Yet, Lopate's examples include Resnais's documentary Night and Fog (1955) and his dictate of 'reasoned, essayistic discourse' seems too narrow from the perspective of visual art, and certainly contradicts his celebration of Marker, whose digressive approach to text and image is deliberate in a spiralling multiplicity that brings to mind, for example, Carlo Emilio Gadda's novels which are equally and intentionally digressive and always on the edge of subverting the integrity of the text, or, perhaps closer to home in a French milieu, Georges Perec's roving pen in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (1997) that picks up from the smallest detail of everyday life a point of departure for a long intellectual journey. In this regard, Italo Calvino's 1985 Harvard lecture on multiplicity, later collected in Six Memos of the next Millenium (1993), provides an excellent cultural context for exploring the method and the creative potential of experimenting beyond the limitations of genre from inside, showing how genre can become a nonsense when its border lines are crossed, because you are invited to look at the real differently; true of these filmmakers, true of Calvino himself, true of the films of Michelangelo Antonioni or of Federico Fellini's too."

(David Brancaleone, 2012, Vertigo Magazine)

Brancaleone, D. (2012). "The Interventions of Jean–Luc Godard and Chris Marker into Contemporary Visual Art". Vertigo Magazine. Spring 2012.


Andre Bazinart history • artistic image • border crossings • border/boundaryborderline • Carlo Emilio Gadda • Chris MarkerChristian Boltanski • cinematic genre • classificationcontemporary artcontemporary visual artcuratorial practice • digression • digressive approach • distribution of the sensible • essayistic discourse • experimental cinemaFederico Fellinifilm essayfilm theory • genre classification • genre differentiation • Georges Perec • integrity of the text • interventionist artJacques RanciereJean-Luc GodardjuxtapositionMichelangelo AntonioniMnemosyne Atlasmulti-media collagistmultiplicitiesmultiplicity • new ways of seeing • Night and Fog (1955) • Okwui Enwezor • Phillip Lopate • problem centric approach • redistribution • redistribution of the sensible • sayable • sensible • set of operations • set of relations • Six Memos of the next Millenium (1993) • Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (1997) • text and image • unified perspective • Vertigo (magazine) • video artist


Simon Perkins
23 OCTOBER 2008

The Logic of Hypermediacy

"Unlike a perspective painting or three–dimensional computer graphic, this windowed interface does not attempt to unify the space around any one point of view. Instead, each text window defines its own verbal, each graphic window its own visual, point of view. Windows may change scale quickly and radically, expanding to fill the screen or shrinking to the size of an icon. And unlike the painting or computer graphic, the desktop interface does not erase itself. The multiplicity of windows and the heterogeneity of their contents mean that the user is repeatedly brought back into contact with the interface, which she learns to read just as she would read any hypertext. She oscillates between manipulating the windows and examining their contents, just as she oscillates between looking at a hypertext as a texture of links and looking through the links to the textual units as language.

With each return to the interface, the user confronts the fact that the windowed computer is simultaneously automatic and interactive. We have argued that the automatic character of photography contributes to the photograph's feeling of immediacy, but with the windowed computer, the situation is more complicated. Its interface is automatic in the sense that it consists of layers of programming that are executed with each click of the mouse. Its interface is interactive in the sense that these layers of programming always return control to the user, who then initiates another automated action. Although the programmer is not visible in the interface, the user as a subject is constantly present, clicking on buttons, choosing menu items, and dragging icons and windows. While the apparent autonomy of the machine can contribute to the transparency of the technology, the buttons and menus that provide user interaction can be seen as getting in the way of the transparency. If software designers now characterize the two–dimensional desktop interface as unnatural, they really mean that it is too obviously mediated. They prefer to imagine an 'interfaceless' computer offering some brand of virtual reality. Nevertheless, the possibilities of the windowed style have probably not been fully explored and elaborated.

One reason that this style has not been exhausted is that it functions as a cultural counterbalance to the desire for immediacy in digital technology. As a counterbalance hypermediacy is more complicated and various. In digital technology, as often in the earlier history of Western representation, hypermediacy expresses itself as multiplicity. If the logic of immediacy leads one either to erase or to render automatic the act of representation, the logic of hypermediacy acknowledges multiple acts of representation and makes them visible. Where immediacy suggests a unified visual space, contemporary hypermediacy offers a heterogeneous space, in which representation is conceived of not as a window on to the world, but rather as 'windowed' itself –with windows that open on to other representations or other media. The logic of hypermediacy multiplies the signs of mediation and in this way tries to reproduce the rich sensorium of human experience. On the other hand, hypermediacy can operate even in a single and apparently unified medium, particularly when the illusion of realistic representation is somehow stretched or altogether ruptured. For example, perspective paintings or computer graphics are often hypermediated, particularly when they offer fantastic scenes that the viewer is not expected to accept as real or even possible. Hypermediacy can also manifest itself in the creation of multimedia spaces in the physical world, such as theme parks or video arcades."

(David Bolter and Richard Grusin, 33–34.pp, 2000)

David Bolter and Richard Grusin (2000). Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation. "Remediation: Understanding New Media", The MIT Press.



bringing into relationcomputer graphicscomputer interfaceDavid Bolter • desktop interface • digital technologyframed by the window • graphic window • heterogeneity of contents • heterogeneous space • human experiencehypermediacyhypermediated spacehypertextilluminated manuscriptillusionistic spaceimmediacy • interfaceless interface • James Joycejuxtaposed imagesjuxtapositionlayered meaninglayeringlayers of data • layers of programming • logic of hypermediacy • looking at a hypertext • looking through links • manipulating the windows • mediated environments • multimedia spaces • multiplicities • multiplicity of windows • painting as illusionperceptual organisation • perspective painting • perspective viewphotographyphysical worldpictorial systemsrealistic representationrepresentational modesrepresentational strategiesrepresentational systemsRichard Grusinrupture • sensorium of human experience • signs of mediation • simultaneously automatic and interactive • technology as neutraltechnology transparency • textual units as language • texture of links • theme park • three-dimensional computer graphics • transparencytransparency of meaning • two-dimensional desktop interface • unified medium • unified visual space • unified wholeunifying metaphorvideo arcadevirtual realityvisual languagevisual literacyvisual representation • visual space • visual traditions • whole is other than the sum of the partswindow on to the world • windowed computer • windowed content • windowed interface


Simon Perkins
21 JUNE 2006

Barthes: Death Of The Author

"The author is a modern figure, produced no doubt by our society insofar as, at the end of the middle ages, with English empiricism, French rationalism and the personal faith of the Reformation, it discovered the prestige of the individual, or, to put it more nobly, of the 'human person' Hence it is logical that with regard to literature it should be positivism, resume and the result of capitalist ideology, which has accorded the greatest importance to the author's 'person'."

(Roland Barthes 1993)

Barthes, Roland (1993) "Image Music Text", Fontana Press.



1967Aspen (magazine)auteur theoryauthenticityauthorshipBertolt Brecht • Blaise Cendrars • capitalist ideologyCharles Baudelairecitation • classical criticism • collective writing • connoisseurshipcontestationcult of the authordeath of the author • decipher • empiricismgeniusGustave FlaubertHonore de Balzac • Image-Music-Text • individualinterpretationlanguageliterary criticismliteratureMarcel Proust • mediator • Modern • multiple writings • multiplicitiesparody • Paul Claudel • Paul ValeryProtestant Reformation • rationalism • readingRoland Barthesromantic • scriptor • shaman • Stephane Mallarme • subtilisationsurrealism • Thomas De Quincey • utterancesvoices
11 JUNE 2004

A Thousand Plateaus: Rhizome

"Write to the nth power, the n – 1 power, write with slogans: Make rhizomes, not roots, never plant! Don't sow, grow offshoots! Don't be one or multiple, be multiplicities! Run lines, never plot a point! Speed turns the point into a line! Be quick, even when standing still! Line of chance, line of hips, line of flight. Don't bring out the General in you! Don't have just ideas, just have an idea (Godard). Have short–term ideas. Make maps, not photos or drawings. Be the Pink Panther and your loves will be like the wasp and the orchid, the cat and the baboon. As they say about old man river:
He don't plan 'tatos
Don't plant cotton
Them that plants them is soon forgotten
But old man river he just keeps rollin' along
A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo. The tree is filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, uniquely alliance. The tree imposes the verb 'to be,' but the fabric of the rhizome is conjunction, 'and . . . and . . . and' This conjunction carries enough force to shake and uproot the verb 'to be.' Where are you going? Where are you coming from? What are you heading for? These are totally useless questions."
(Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, p.24–25)

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (2002). 'A Thousand Plateaus Capitalism and Schizophrenia'. London, Continuum.


02 JANUARY 2004

Multiplicities: Between and Within

"Everywhere the differences between multiplicities and the differences within multiplicities replace schematic and crude oppositions. Instead of the enormous opposition between the one and the many, there is only the variety of multiplicity – in other words, difference. It is, perhaps, ironic to say that everything is multiplicity, even the one, even the many. However, irony itself is a multiplicity – or rather, the art of multiplicities: the art of grasping the ideas and the problems they incarnate in things, and of grasping things as incarnations, as cases of solution for the problems of Ideas. An Idea is an n–dimensional, continuous, defined multiplicity. Colour – or rather, the idea of colour – is a three–dimensional multiplicity. By dimensions, we mean the variables or co–ordinates upon which a phenomenon depends; by continuity, we mean the set of relations between changes in these variables."
(Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, 2002)

Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix. 2002. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, London, UK: Continuum.


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