Archive for the 'haptique' Category


carnet de tournage


FACS OF LIFE  (a film by Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson), FR/IT/UK 2009, HDV, 116′

Composed of eight interlinked plateaus, Facs of Life is a film occupying a liminal territory between documentary, fiction, essay and video art, which attempts to map molecular trajectories of life and thought beginning from a series of encounters: with video footage of Deleuze’s courses at Vincennes (1975-76), with several of the students who attended the seminar and who appear in these images, with the woods of Vincennes where the university buildings once stood, with students of the new university at St Denis, and inevitably with the phantoms of revolution, both cinematic and political, that continue to haunt collective desire.
The eight plateaus each fall under a key concept-word or refrain that delineates the territory of each student’s relationship to Deleuze’s thought (their angle of approach) and the nature of the filmmakers’ encounter with them. The plateaus, while sketching a narrative of the film’s making, are designed to fold and unfold upon each other in a series of non-linear, multiple concatenations and assemblages.







brûler les films, mais avec le feu interieur…


Paris 8 – St. Denis

4 novembre 2008







History of Organic Matter. What is fire ? Well, as we know, it is a very rapid oxidation and we know very well that oxidation is death. Fire, the anima, puffs of warm breath, this sign of life is also the most rapid path toward death. But inversely the life, the death (of organisms), is an oxidation that is very slow, a very banked fire. So, for example, in autumn we see yellow leaves grow red, then fall. And what comes of this in the end? The universal ash tray, the earth, (remains of the three kingdoms).

But on the other hand, at a certain season when the sun returns, the water tends to evaporate, this water which reimpregnates the universal ashtray,wishes to die in turn through the effect of the heat that rises again, it gives up, it evaporates, but then it draws along with it, toward the sky, those organic remains, it revives the universal ashtray, the grass and life surge up again and there is the pré. Grass, then, expresses the universal resurrection under the most elementary form.

(Francis Ponge)


falaise (hypothesis 13)


haptique/ trop proche

 » C’est le Lisse qui nous paraît à la fois l’objet d’une vision rapprochée par excellence et l’élément d’un espace haptique (qui peut être visuel, auditif autant que tactile). Au contraire, le Strié renverrait à une vision plus lointaine, et à un espace plus optique – même si l’œil à son tour n’est pas le seul organe à avoir cette capacité. Et encore, toujours, corriger par un coefficient de transformation où les passages entre strié et lisse sont à la fois nécessaires et incertains, d’autant plus bouleversants. C’est la loi du tableau d’être fait de près, bien qu’il soit vu de loin, relativement. On peut se reculer de la chose, mais ce n’est pas un bon peintre, celui qui se recule du tableau qu’il est en train de faire. Et même la « chose » : Cezanne parlait de la nécessité de ne plus voir le champ de blé, d’en être trop proche, se perdre, sans repère, en espace lisse. […] L’espace lisse, haptique et de vision rapprochée, à un premier aspect : c’est la variation continue de ses orientations, de ses repères et de ses raccordements ; il opère de proche en proche. Ainsi le désert, la steppe, la glace ou la mer, espace local de pure connexion.  »

(Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Mille Plateaux)

Paris, August 2008

After repeated viewings of a dangerously perishable VHS recording of the lessons of Deleuze on a very old TV monitor found in the trash, we had began taking a series of digital pictures of the screen with the idea of using them as a kind of “surveillance tool” to identify and locate some of the former students who attended Deleuze’s courses. In the absence of names, we thought we could use faces and show them around. The quality of the videos, made by a collective of cinema students led by Marielle Burkhalter with the aim of filming philosophy and the creation of concepts (using one of the very first portable video-cameras, the Sony 3420) verges at times on a complete decomposition of the image which is not simply due to the effect of time but is inscribed into the very materials at the students’ disposal and their non-authorial, non-specialist way of filming. This supposed deficiency in technique is one of the reasons the videos were never widely circulated nor even properly edited and why archivists and technicians offered the material were uninterested in preserving it and unceremoniously consigned it to the dustbin. Given these circumstances, it is no small miracle that roughly half of the tapes survived.

So now we find ourselves not only freezing these images, malgré tout, but increasingly drawn towards their mysterious, fragile skin as though to a fetish ‘abject’ hovering on the bounds of formlessness, zooming-in, blowing up, capturing not only faces and figures but grey areas, interstitial zones of indiscernibility where the black and white of the image inclined to a continuum of greys among whose folds were bluish shades pertaining to a kind of neutral last-person plural, a spectrum of ghost colours inhabiting a beyond both colour and black and white.

We might say that this colour stands as an index of the peculiar status of these images: rushes that are already in some vital sense cinema yet in no hurry to become a film, gifted with an infinite patience, a radical passivity born from history’s turning away. The colour of limbo, but a limbo that retains a certain dynamism, where things go on happening behind history’s back.

Reversing and positivising the notion of woundedness and disfigurement, they embody, like war wounded, what embarrasses the future but does so not from misfortune but from a spirit of resistance that finds its joy, its creative lines of flight in a damaged life. If the punctum is that in the image which ‘wounds’ the viewer, it may be on account of a corresponding ‘woundedness’ inherent in certain images. It is because of this that these images incline us towards what we could call a gauzeous perception. The image is like a gauze placed upon its wounds, a loose weave beneath which something looms in luminous darkness. Opaque transparency of gauze unwound by my gaze. Shallow respiration of the wound.

Once frozen and digitised, not as a form of correction but to go even deeper into the play of grain and pixel through the haptic vision (where digital becomes touching) of Cézanne ‘s excessive proximity, no longer seeing but feeling the faults in the fabric, the images begin to move again, but according to a « false movement », the hypnotic rhythm of their subtraction and resistance.

(Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson, Inarchivé)

 » Devant une image […] le passé ne cesse jamais de se reconfigurer, puisque cette image ne devient pensable que dans une construction de la mémoire, si ce n’est de la hantise. Devant une image, enfin, nous avons humblement à reconnâitre ceci : qu’elle nou survivra probablement, que nous sommes devant elle l’élément fragile, lélément de passage, et qu’elle est devant nous l’élément du futur, l’élément de la durée. L’image a souvent plus de mémoire et plus d’avenir que l’étant qui la regarde. « 

(G.Didi-Huberman, DEVANT LE TEMPS)

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