The Desert Islands of Gilles Deleuze
The Stanislavsky Electrotheatre jointly with the Centre for New Philosophy present:
Speakers: Alexander Vileikis and Yevgeny Blinov
Michel Foucault once said that the 20th century was the century of Nietzsche, and the 21st century will be the century of Deleuze. And that's what happened. Since the the thinker’ death, an enormous number of interpretations has fallen on his work, and they have tried to make him a “homebody," accessible and safe. Similarly a halo of praise very much led us away from Deleuze himself, making him either a "scientist" or a “prophet."
We wish to approach the Deleuze that existed: an insecure, not always consistent, indecisive person. Filled with understanding, but not always ready for decisive steps. Once Deleuze said that in his philosophy there is a movement between depths and surfaces and that he himself remains a thinker of surfaces only because he is afraid to go into the depths. The recently published lectures, "What is Grounding?" again raise the issue of the foundation or the grounding of thought, the leitmotif that passed through all the philosopher’s work. Gathering the texts of different years in the course of the lectures and plunging into this key problem, we will try to make a step into the depth, not for Deleuze, but on our own.
These lectures are devoted to the work of Gilles Deleuze and other authors, as well as his transformations in their language, texts, and logic. In general, the course engages the question - can the actual exist outside the potential; that is, do depths outside of surfaces. This problem was never solved within Deleuze's texts, but it poses new thoughts on the problem of the observer, and on the possibility of saying something/anything about the external world beyond human categories.
The course focuses on some aspects of Deleuze’s philosophy that usually do not receive wide coverage, because for one reason or another they are perceived to be inferior to his more popular texts. At the same time, in the light of these texts the rest of Deleuze's concepts take on their full palate of colors, placing new accents and shifting points of view on such issues as: foundation, acceleration, contrast of depth and surfaces, molar and molecular. In calling the course Desert Islands, we recall how Deleuze himself claimed in an interview that he is a philosopher of surfaces, and that fear or anxiety prevented him from stepping into the depths of the sea. In the course of this lecture series, we will try to take this step for him and see what will result when we immerse ourselves in a groundless condition.
The course format consists of lectures, where a speaker is opposed by a moderator, building a dialogue and introducing his own conceptual framework.
Lectures are delilvered simultaneously in Moscow and St. Petersburg: two halls are synchronized by a Skype conference call and thus are present simultaneously.
Course curators: Anton Syutkin (European University, St. Petersburg), Alexander Vileikis (Center for New Philosophy, Moscow).