I happened to be reading a Deleuzian reader. At the outset, the text mentioned conceptualities of the Philosopher Deleuze with reference to Art and Philosophy. The function of Art is to create affects and precepts and the function of Philosophy is to create concepts. But the text was silent about the modus operandi of the processes. I started thinking deeply about these processes and I would like to explain how these processes work.
First of all I would like to methodologize what is meant by a precept and its relationship to Art. The lexicographic definition of a precept means a principle or tenet. A precept in art would be intellectualization of an idea inherent in the artistic process. Here I would like to point out the working of the precept from a cultural mode that is divergent and deviant. I would like to explain how precept works in various artistic processes. In Literature it would mean unraveling the metaphorization and metanomyzation of texts that have presented themselves as a work of art. For example in the work of Ulysses by James Joyce, he portrays Hellenic art as represented by a cracked mirror. The level of the metaphor as a cracked mirror undergoes a deviation, a downturn to a mundane symbolism. Let’s consider how metonomyzation works by analyzing the work: ‘Persistence of Memory’ by the surreal painter Salvador Dali. The persistence of Memory portrays melting clocks hanging on trees and also covered on an embryo. As a metonymy it shows the principle of time as an autonomous interiorized subjectivity. Let’s analyze how precept would work in Art. Here I would like to present the painting of Picasso — the Guernica. The Guernica as work of art can be subject to heterogeneous interpretations. From one dimension it represents the horrific bombing of the Basque town Guernica. That would be an actual depiction. From another dimension it could be shown as an internal angst of the faces in anguish. Yes another perspective would be the subaltern who is terrorized by tyrannical state apparatus. A precept working as art in music would be even more complex. For example how would the music of Stravinsky become an experience of listening for a person who has not encountered European culture? Would it cast a strain upon his mind not pruned by the culture of classical music in the modern times?
Again, would rap appeal to a person who been reared on a diet of traditional hymns. The appeal to music can be cultured by the intellect which again is subject to one’s cultural milieu and upbringing. Again Stravinsky would appeal very seductively to a mind that has been heterogenized to a modernist cultural milieu that is a person who has understood the transition of time, history and social mores from one historical period to another.
What would mean the affect as a process working in Art? In layman’s language it would mean the incorporation of an emotional experience. An emotional experience would take divergent modes of experience. An affect would make its presence in the mind starting from the feeling of experiencing sensations. From there it would become an experience of transcendental subjectivity. This experience would be an aesthesis that is a sensation of emotion in an altered plane of being. How would this materialize? Aesthesis would manifest itself as the sublime or profane. For example if we are observing the art of Marcel Duchamp especially the urinal we would feel a profane experience of revulsion. On the other hand listening to Baroque music would elevate our minds to a psychic space where we experience sublimity. Both the sublime and the profane as experiences would create the effects of consonance or dissonance. A consonance as an affect would mean merging our minds into the appealing quality of the artistic work. A dissonance would mean an affect that creates a negativity or repulsion towards the artistic artifact.
Next I would like to analyze how concepts work in Philosophy. A concept is an idea created by the patterns of thought in Philosophy. For example, the concept of Nihilism advocates that there are no values in the Universe and the human has to legitimize his or her existence (freedom) through the manner of exerting choice. Concepts are like solid content of the earth always being subject to the forces of erosion and change. When Nietzsche proclaimed the ‘Death of God’, he released the signifier (a signifier is a physical thing and a signified is a concept and both make a sign) from chain significations inherent in Christian theology.
Concepts in Philosophy are always undergoing a process of transition from a being to a becoming. Let’s discuss the concept of sexuality as undergoing a sea of change. Sexuality from straight and queer sexuality is undergoing a change to a sexuality of multiple orientations. For example a person might indulge in straight sex and yet have penchant for voyeuristic lesbianism. Another emerging trend in sexual mores is simulated sexuality. For example partners would indulge in long distance sexual activities by using Skype or telephone. So concepts as Philosophic modes are like the landforms of the earth being subject to the mental processes of dislocation and erosion and in turn being sculpted into new earths.