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AV #13

Actual Virtual #13 ISSN 1752-5624

This autumn’s issue of A/V presents an assemblage of presentations that apply, develop or critique Deleuze and Guattari in very different ways. This issue’s diverse array of papers is an exciting blend of theory and/as creative practice. We are mainly featuring Deleuze-inflected papers presented at the Manchester Metropolitan University over the past year and wish to acknowledge the generous assistance of those whose hard work, determination, creativity, time and spirit made these events happen. In particular we wish to thank Henry Somers-Hall and the Human Sciences Seminar, Felicity Colman, Helen Darby, Ben Wissett and Luke Richards.

A/V 13 features a paper by David R Cole on ‘Traffic Jams: Analysing Everyday Life through the Immanent Materialism of Deleuze and Guattari’, an inter-review with Felicity Colman on her latest book Deleuze and Cinema: The Key Concepts, Giuseppina Mecchia with ‘Anthro-politics: Reconsidering Capitalism and Schizophrenia’ Marc Newman on ‘Deleuze’s Coldness and Cruelty in the Masochistic Film Spectator’ and Martin Wood on his film linking Deleuze’s philosophy with free-style rock climbing, Lines of Flight: Everyday resistance along England’s Backbone.

The rich and diverse content of AV depends on what our readers submit to us for review-please do send us in your papers for reviewer consideration to myself, in the first instance, in hard copy form. If you are organising an event of direct interest to our readers, please send us details in plenty of time so we can tell as many people about it as possible. Please also forward info on new publications in the field so we can advertise them to our readers. We are currently seeking reviewers to read and respond to monographs and essay collections. See the reviews section of the website and contact me if you are interested in submitting an audio-visual review of any of these books.


Have a joyful festive season

Anna Powell

This paper presents the immanent materialism of Deleuze & Guattari as a means to analysing everyday life. The evidence that will be presented to back up such an analysis consists of art and film, that represent a substrata of everyday life that includes the unconscious, and shows how everyday life forms eddies and flows that may be followed. The immanent materialism of Deleuze & Guattari is a philosophical construction that leads to the formation of ‘plateaus’ as they term them. These plateaus are named and dated. The plateau of this paper is 2011: the Petro-Citizen. The paper populates this plateau with traffic jams, car crashes, environmental concerns and the psychology and sociology that accompanies the petro-citizen. Connections between the strata that make up the plateau of the petro-citizen will deliberately be left as complex to show how the petro-citizen functions in everyday life – and including the desire for petrol. The double articulation of the plateau will also be explored through art and film.

David R Cole is senior lecturer in English and pedagogy at the University of Technology, Sydney. David has edited three books called, Multiple Literacies Theory: A Deleuzian Perspective (Sense) with Diana Masny, Multiliteracies and Technology Enhanced Education: Social Practice and the Global Classroom (IGI) with Darren Pullen, and Multiliteracies in Motion: Current Theory and Practice (Routledge) with Darren Pullen. He published a novel in 2007 called A Mushroom of Glass, his latest book is, Educational Life-forms: Deleuzian Teaching and Learning Practice (Sense). David uses his knowledge of Deleuze, multiple and affective literacies to investigate areas of educative interest.

Engaging with a wide range of film styles, histories and theories, Deleuze’s writings treat film as a new form of philosophy. This cine-philosophy offers a startling new way of understanding the complexities of the moving image, its technical concerns and constraints as well as its psychological and political outcomes. In this interview Felicity looks at some of the key concepts behind Deleuze’s revolutionary theory of the cinema (affect, time, thought, politics, etc), and discuss how Deleuze’s radical methodology is useful for all forms of for screen media analysis.

Dr Felicity Colman is a Reader in Screen Media in the Dept of Media at MMU. She is the author of Deleuze and Cinema (Berg 2011) and editor of Film, Theory and Philosophy (2009) and co-editor of Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life (2007). She is working on a number of book projects that engage screen media forms, including Bergson and Film, and Screen Media Semiologies.

Inter/review conducted by Gözde Naiboğlu (University of Manchester)

This paper introduces the concept of “anthro-politics” as an instrument for political intervention derived from the ethico-political theses of Capitalism and Schizophrenia.  Taking issue with the prevalent reception of Deleuze and Guattari’s dyptich, I affirm the constitutive value of the ethno-anthropological referent in the constitution of the schizoanalytic subject. Ethnographic materials are part of a vast archive providing Deleuze and Guattari’s with many exempla of modes of subjectivation which both pre-date and escape the powerful grip of capitalist domination.  As the dialogue with the French anthropologist Pierre Clastres and more recently, the Deleuzian approach of  Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro clearly demonstrate, the critique of Capital at the core of Capitalism and Schizophrenia can be rethought from a material perspective on the anthropos, who is neither the subject of Western modernity nor its orientalized Other, but rather the schizoanalytic actor of psycho-social desires.

Giuseppina Mecchia is Director of the Graduate Program for Cultural Studies and Associate Professor of French and Italian at the University of Pittsburgh. She has co-edited a special issue of the journal Sub-stance on  “Italian Post-workerist Thought” (Sub-stance, 112, v. 36, n.1, 2007).  She has co-translated and introduced  the book by Franco Berardi Bifo entitled Félix Guattari:  Thought, Friendship and Visionary Cartography (Pagrave, 2008), and other monographs by Franco Berardi bifo and the Swiss-Italian political economist Christian Marazzi.  Among other works, she has published essays and book chapters on the political thought of Jacques Rancière, the esthetics and politics of Marcel Proust, the terrorist esthetics of Jean Baudrillard, the biopolitical concept in Antonin Artaud and  Michel Foucault, and the joint work of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. She is currently working on a Deleuzian critique of Jacques Rancière’s political philosophy; a retrospective volume on the legacy of  Hardt and Negri’s  Empire project and a monograph about Proustian ethics.

Aiming to find a new perspective on the masochistic desire of many film spectators, this paper seeks to open up a new discussion on the mass appeal of films belonging to the purported “revisionist horror” genre.  With the help of Deleuze’s writing on masochism in Coldness and Cruelty, I suggest that Deleuze’s almost-structuralist approach in this text enriches our understanding of scholarly and audience fascination with European auteurs such as Lars von Trier, Catherine Breillat, and Michael Heneke.  For Deleuze, contract and ritual go hand-in-hand with a process of desexualization and resexualization to constitute the masochistic experience.  My argument is that although the phenomenological exchange between film and spectator does not exactly mirror the sexual dynamics laid out in Coldness and Cruelty, it provides film studies with a useful vocabulary to better understand the importance of films like Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003) or Funny Games (Michael Heneke, 1997).  I reference Dogville directly in this paper to claim that it is the haptic quality of such a film that engages our bodies in the perceptual process, enabling a sexualized relationship to form.

Marc Newman is a recent graduate of the MA in Film Studies program at Columbia University.  Concentrating in queer studies, his thesis was on the discourse surrounding 1990s gay and lesbian independent cinema.  It was entitled “Retaining and Assimilating Queerness: The Politics of the New Queer Cinema Crossover”.  His current research focuses on deviant sexualities and identities in film.

Introduction by film-maker Martin Wood to special screening of the film Lines of Flight – Everday Resistance along England’s backbone at Manchester Metropolitan University 11th October 2011.

A line of flight is essentially a movement of creativity, a practical act or a way of living that wards off or inhibits the formation of ‘centres’ and stable powers in favour of continuous variation and free action. This article supports the arts-based practice of a documentary film, Lines of Flight: Everyday resistance along England’s backbone.  The documentary uses free solo rock climbing in the Pennine region of northern England to give access to a range of ‘intensely lived experiences’ that can offer a route out of the social, economic and cultural conditions that often subjugate modern society. The documentary becomes a presentational line of flight in itself, as it looks to find the conditions for a novel experience in the making, under which a new filmic affect is produced in the here and the now.

Born in Derbyshire, Martin Wood has served previously at the universities of Warwick, Exeter and York. In 2011, he became a professor in the School of Management at RMIT University in Melbourne, where we coordinates the Arts of Design and Management Research theme. Although a novice director, Martin has published widely in the academic social sciences.  His current scholarship is concerned with the possibilities for research that film-based working methods might offer. In 2010, Lines of Flight won the Jury Prize at the UNNIM Mountain Film Festival in Spain, “Best Film on Mountain Culture” at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, was nominated for “Best International Short Film” at the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival in New Zealand and was also finalist for “Best Film on Mountain Culture” at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.