Deleuze: work of art – act of resistance

Let’s say that is what information is, the controlled system of the order-words used in a given society. What does the work of art have to do with it? Let’s not talk about works of art, but let’s at least say that there is counter-information. In Hitler’s time, the Jews arriving from Germany who were the first to tell us about the concentration camps were performing counter-information. We must realize that counter-information was never enough to do anything. No counter-information ever bothered Hitler. Except in one case. What case? This is what’s important. Counter-information only becomes really effective when it is—and it is by nature—or becomes an act of resistance. An act of resistance is not information or counter-information. Counter-information is only effective when it becomes an act of resistance.

What relationship is there between the work of art and communication? None at all. A work of art is not an instrument of communication. A work of art has nothing to do with communication. A work of art does not contain the least bit of information. In contrast, there is a fundamental affinity between a work of art and an act of resistance. It has something to do with information and communication as an act of resistance. What is this mysterious relationship between a work of art and an act of resistance when the men and women who resist neither have the time nor sometimes the culture necessary to have the slightest connection with art? I do not know.

Malraux developed an admirable philosophical concept. He said something very simple about art. He said it was the only thing that resists death. Let’s go back to the beginning: What does someone who does philosophy do? They invent concepts. I think this is the start of an admirable philosophical concept. Think about it… what resists death? You only have to look at a statuette from three thousand years before the Common Era to see that Malraux’s response is a pretty good one. We could then say, not as well, from the point of view that concerns us, that art resists, even if it is not the only thing that resists. Whence the close relationship between an act of resistance and a work of art. Every act of resistance is not a work of art, even though, in a certain way, it is. Every work of art is not an act of resistance, and yet, in a certain way, it is.

Take the case of the Straubs, for example, when they operate the disconnection of voice and visual image. They approach it in the following way: the voice rises, it rises, it rises and what it is talking about passes under the naked, deserted ground that the visual image was showing us, a visual image that had nothing to do with the sound image. What is this speech act rising in the air while its object passes underground? Resistance. Act of resistance. And in all of the Straubs’ works, the speech act is an act of resistance. From Moses to the last Kafka including—I am not citing them in order—Not Reconciled or Bach. Bach’s speech act is that his music is an act of resistance, an active struggle against the separation of the profane and the sacred. This act of resistance in the music ends wich a cry. Just as there is a cry in Wozzeck, there is acry in Bach: “Out! Out! Get out! I don’t want to see you!” When the Straubs place an emphasis on this cry, on Bach’s cry, or the cry of the old schizophrenic women in Not Reconciled, it has to account for a double aspect. The act of resistance has two faces. It is human and it is also the act of art. Only the act of resistance resists death, either as a work of art or as human struggle.

What relationship is there between human struggle and a work of art? The closest and for me the most mysterious relationship of all. Exactly what Paul Klee meant when he said: “You know, the people are missing.” The people are missing and at the same time, they are not missing. The people are missing means that the fundamental affinity between a work of art and a people that does not yet exist is not, will never be clear. There is no work of art that does not call on a people who does not yet exist.”


from Deleuze’s lecture/conference “What is the creative act?”


download: Gilles-Deleuze-on-Cinema_-What-is-the-Creative-Act-1987-English-Subs.mp4

2013: production – the good and the bad

I wanted to write something about 2013 – a year that is passing in couple of days. I really wanted to take a look at what was done, questioning myself, while it feels it was quite an exhausting year, does it show? So I went through everything, mostly work related dates, deadlines, gigs, preparations, etc.

This year I released a first “proper” (for the lack of a better term) album – Pacification. In fact we – Wanda & Nova deViator, we – Emanat, released it. Personally this felt like a big step, a big upgrade. Those few reviews that we managed to call for were extremely positive. I did home-grown research on music industry after the internet revolutions. I became a pessimist. The industry feels as a suffocating factory, killing the potential of the nets to empower musicians. I resurrected my old net-label from 2006 – Kamizdat. We pretty much successfully released three albums (Pacification, Sad Sam Lucky Outtakes and Ontervjabbit’s 414) this year. The PR strategies and their realizations were weak and too scattered, but we managed to gather some hype. Pacification was even featured on The Wire’s blog about notable sleeves.

With Wanda & Nova deViator we played in Ljubljana (Channel Zero, Gala Hala, Menza pri koritu, Klub Gromka), Maribor, Velenje, Cerkno, Belgrade (SR), Linz (AT), Lille (FR) and Basel (CH). We recorded a TV-gig for national station (broadcast in October). I would love to tour more, but this year it would probably be quite hard as so much was going on. I would be happy if more people bought the Kamizdat releases, but I guess not enough was done on the promotional level.

As Nova deViator I played a decent amount of DJ-gigs in order to get back into serious shape after that hiatus between 2007 and 2011. Lesbian club Monokel became a little home. Extremely non-difficult in terms of size, but still difficult in terms of audience targeting – fans of break/bass electronic dance music are not always comfortable in a gay club, while on the other hand gay/lesbian scene seems to have a passion for cheesy disco and more interested in cruising then the music itself. I recorded some sparky sets and published them on mixcloud. I’m looking forward in persisting with my own blend of breaks, bass and electro funk and playing regularly next year. The rust on my dj skills is pretty much gone and I’m excited about new directions, new dance music discoveries – certain doors opened with development around 160/80bpm range.

The drone-y, experimental side of my musical creativity: released an ambiental Sad Sam Lucky Outtakes, which was well received (within that small limit), played one session at MSUM (Radio študent b’day) and another session at MSUM as part of ‘lecture-performance‘ events, which also included a Maribor episode. Plus a Kamizdat promo night together with Ontervjabbit. In this section belongs a visit to Italy where we played a Sublimation Revision A/V performance at F.A.C.K. in Cessena.

June saw quite demanding preparations and work on Transmittance performance at U3 triennial. The day after the opening of the triennial (of contemporary art in Slovenia) a 10-strong team of performers, musicians, media artists and technicians performed a 2.5 hour long improvisational performance for online audience who controlled certain elements of the show and ‘offline’ audience who watched the whole deal. After the event we produced documentation installed and exhibited in the space of MSUM.

Through August and September intense process took place in creation of Maja Delak’s solo performance “What If”. Music for it took form of different influences, genres and atmospheres, but I’m happy about the inclusion of poly-rhythmics, odd time signatures and some (for me) heavy lifting through SuperCollider (also) using SenseStage. Music (and live sound) for the solo received some really positive (private) feedback. Maja and myself where quite happy about it all.

This year we created a ‘technoburlesque’ titled Image Snatchers. The format of ‘simple’ numbers which are grounded in feminist approaches to performance and good amount of pretty smart but very accessible humor proved as a winning combination. After four editions (the last one being a longer club event on the theme of ‘farewell‘) it generated some serious raving among the general, folksy public. Music, dance, performance, lyrics, video, text, sarcasm, critique, sexuality, nudity, gender bending, and jokes, in a specific language resonated with something primal in peoples’ hearts and minds. It seems as a fantastic framework which has a future potential.

Work on an AV-performance ‘Interface Fractures‘ offered me a chance to concretely dig into Processing language. And despite by huge dissatisfaction with the material on the premiere I must say I’m quite happy that I broke the ice with Processing this year.

“We got recognized!” M. and myself received an award Zlata ptica (Golden bird) for our work on theatre, inter-media and music. This is quite an honor. Maja Delak’s Shame piece got an award at the festival Gibanica by an international jury as best piece at the festival. On the same night, and as part of closing of Gibanica, I received a Ksenija Hribar award for my sound work in performing arts/theatre.

All in all from the view of work and production it feels like a hard-working but successful year. I feel I did a lot, received quite some recognition and appreciation. On the other hand I failed too often and was frequently extremely last-minute which brought stress, disappointment and anger. My failures are mainly related to  asynchronicity between planning and execution. Either I plan unrealistically or I fail at execution (procrastination). Perhaps this is a good basis to draft a resolution for next year: my plans should be more realistic, I should focus better on things with biggest priority.

true troubles, responsibilities and relations

Inspiring creative writing by Tim Etchels:

“Participation and belonging are not objects – they are not things which can be achieved solidly or owned concretely – they cannot be acquired, they are processes which need to be worked at, lived in and through… processes which along with togetherness, sharing and mutuality also involve difficulty, dissent, and disagreement, hard work, uncertainty, doubt and dispute. They flow. They alter. They contradict. They involve tension and change.”


“A promise of belonging that does not insist on (acknowledge, offer or make space for) process, dispute and dissent is basically a false promise – an offer of supposed benefits without the true troubles, responsibilities and relations implied by those terms.”

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