Mining the Aesthetico-Conceptual: Deleuze, Derrida and Artistic Research

Spencer Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Despite their many political and philosophical allegiances, Deleuze and Derrida might— in accordance with Deleuze and Parnet’s dictum—be best described as the opposite of a couple. While their mutual hostility towards conceptual stasis, overly linear approaches to temporality and excessively centred notions of subjectivity targeted a number of common philosophical opponents, this apparent unity of purpose arose out of some seemingly incommensurable tensions: Deleuze’s mode of ontological enquiry squared poorly with Derrida’s rejection of metaphysics; Deleuze’s positive engagement with the sciences, and his prioritisation of material-sensation sat awkwardly with Derrida’s more pervasively textual and somewhat idealist orientation; and Deleuze’s development of an impersonal concept of Husserlian expression served to check Derrida’s rather more stringent and single minded rejection of phenomenological presentism.

It is important to remember, however, that like Derrida, Deleuze was predominately a writer—albeit a writer with an at once affective, performative, and corporeal agenda. Indeed, when taken at face value, it would seem to have been Derrida who more directly explored the graphic potentialities of experimental writing. Deleuze’s emphasis upon performativity, emergence, and onto-genetic construction nevertheless serves to extend and supplement the Derridian account of textuality by exposing its neglect of the process of writing. In so doing it foregrounds the potential for Deleuzo-Derridian philosophy to instantiate a genuinely aesthetico-conceptual image of thought.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAberrant Nuptials
Subtitle of host publicationDeleuze and Artistic Research
EditorsPaulo de Assis, Paolo Giudici
PublisherLeuven University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789461663054
ISBN (Print)9789462702028
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2019
Event2nd International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research: Aberrant Nuptials - Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 20 Nov 201722 Nov 2017
Conference number: 2 (Link to Conference Details)

Publication series

NameOrpheus Institute Series
PublisherLeuven University Press


Conference2nd International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research
Abbreviated titleDARE 2018
OtherThe philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and its resonating discourses have become increasingly relevant to the field of Artistic Research, and Deleuze is now a key reference for many artist-researchers engaging with knowledge across artistic, academic and non-academic fields of practice. DARE 2015: The Dark Precursor was the first conference attempting to trace the encounter between artistic research and Deleuze’s world. The Second International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research, DARE 2017: Aberrant Nuptials, continues that mapping, readdressing the question ‘How can communication occur between heterogeneous systems?’ through the associated concepts of ‘aberrant nuptials’ and ‘zone of indeterminacy’.
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  • Deleuze * Derrida

    Roberts, S., 20 Nov 2017

    Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

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