|Gilles Deleuze (Paris, 1925-1995)
The earliest works of philosopher Gilles Deleuze were introductions to the major thinkers
or histories of philosophy focusing on figures such as Nietsche, Kant, Spinoza, Hume, and
Bergson. With Empiricism and Subjectivity (1953), he developed a critical
position toward Kantian philosophy. His 1962 Nietsche and Philosophy remains one
of his key works. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, which he published
with Felix Guattari in 1972, gave rise to a polemic because of its attack on classical
psychoanalysis and reactive Lacano-Freudian thought. Deleuze's own preoccupations lay
rather with positive thought, the idea of an anti-dialectics, the praise of multiple
desires, experience versus interpretation, affirmation versus resentment, the figure of
the rhizome versus rationality. In addition to classical philosophy, Deleuze's interests
included politics, literature (Proust, Kafka, Lewis Carroll), painting (Francis Bacon),
and film. In 1983 and 1985 he published two fundamental works on the cinema: The
Movement-Image and The Time-Image. Considering the cinema as a totality,
these two volumes trace a picture of all the possible images to come. Deleuze reflects on
the movement and time of images, from the "perception-image," which is the
elementary form of the movement-image, to the "cinema, body, brain, thought,"
which is one of the culminations of the time-image.
Bibliography of works available in English translation: Empiricism
and Subjectivity (1953, tr. 1991). Nietsche and Philosophy (1962, tr. 1983).
Kant's Critical Philosophy (1963, tr. 1984). Proust and Signs (1964, tr.
1972). Bergsonism (1966, tr. 1988). Masochism: An Interpretation of Coldness
and Cruelty (1967, tr. 1971). Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza (1968,
tr. 1990). Difference and Repetition (1969, tr. 1994). The Logic of Sense
(1969, tr. 1990). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, with Felix Guattari
(1972, tr. 1977). Kafka, Toward a Minor Literature, with Felix Guattari (1975,
tr. 1986). On the Line (Rhizome), with Felix Guattari (1976, tr. 1983). Dialogues,
with Claire Parnet (1977, tr. 1987). A Thousand Plateaus, with Felix Guattari
(1980, tr. 1987). Spinoza, Practical Philosophy (1981, tr. 1988). Cinema: The
Movement-Image and The Time-Image (1983, tr. 1986-1989). The Fold:
Leibniz and the Baroque (1988, tr. 1993). Negotiations (1990, tr. 1995). What
Is Philosophy? with Felix Guattari (1991, tr. 1994).
A system for coding a signal in binary elements of 0 and 1. The bite is the
smallest unit of information in this language.
"Marcel Duchamp did everything except video. He realised a large entrance door
and a tiny exit door. The latter is video. It's by getting through it that you will get
out of Marcel Duchamp !" (Nam June Paik)
Anne-Marie Duguet (Paris, 1947- )
Trained in the sociology of art, writer and critic Anne-Marie Duguet has taught
theater and sociology of television at the University of Paris 1, where she is now
assistant professor in the Arts Department and directs the Center for Research on Film and
Audiovisual Arts. She also teaches the aesthetics of electronic and computer images. After
creating a video workshop in 1973, she began specializing in video in the late 1970s and
was a member of the editorial board of Vidéoglyphes from 1979 to 1981. In 1981
she published one of the first books in France dealing with video as a means of
expression, Vidéo, la mémoire au poing, which dealt with alternative social
practices, conditions of access to production in France, the use of the medium as a
critique of television, and the involvement of women in video. Duguet has observed a wide
range of social, political, and artistic styles in video. In 1991 she organized an
exhibition on the work of Jean-Christophe Averty, the French pioneer of special effects
for television, and in 1993, a retrospective of the work of video artist Thierry Kuntzel.
Dziga Vertov Group
The Dziga Vertov Group, which included Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Gérard
Martin, Nathalie Billard, and Armand Marco, emerged in France in the wake of May '68. It
grew out of the encounter between Godard the filmmaker and Gorin the political activist
and their shared belief in the necessity of "setting up a new unit that would not
make political film but try to make political film politically" (Godard). The name of
the revolutionary Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov thus became the symbol for a kind of
filmmaking that would reveal the world in the name of the proletariat. The group's focus
was production rather than distribution. For its Marxist-oriented members, production was
to determine distribution and consumption. Through Godard's repution, they were able to
get commissions from the television networks, although these were sometimes later
canceled, as was the case with the BBC and RAI. They also made films for German
television. Convinced of the poor quality of political films and the fact that these
preached to the converted, the Dziga Vertov Group did not attempt to enter the parallel
distribution circuits that existed for them. They did not seek to create new forms but
rather, new relationships. They attempted a different approach to filmmaking, which,
behind a certain didacticism, was no less virulent in its content, as suggested by this
excerpt from a page prepared for the radical magazine Politique Hebdo: "During
the projection of an imperialist film, the screen sells viewers the voice of the
Owner-State. This voice caresses you, puts you to sleep, or beats you over the head.
During the projection of a revisionist film, the screen is a loudspeaker projecting a
voice that had once been delegated by the people but which is no longer their voice. The
people look silently at their own deformed faces. During the projection of a political
film, the screen is simply a blackboard inscribed with the images and sounds produced by
the concrete analysis of a concrete situation, namely the class struggle. In front of this
screen, the poopulation thinks, learns, struggles, criticizes, and transforms itself"
(Godard par Godard, Paris, l'Etoile, 1985).