[I've begun writing an essay on multiplicities. I'm giving myself a year to complete it. I will update this draft as I go.]
A friend asked about my aesthetic- if there's a core something in the various areas I work in. I found myself talking about multiplicities. They're in everything I do, from writing to art to poetry performance to videopoetry to dance, this layering of multiples - a subject approached from different angles in different styles, the same figure drawn again and again in different contexts with different colours, multiple readings of a single poem layered on top of each other sounding like echoes but actual separate readings, Final Cut filters layering multiple tracks of the same footage, a dance composed of reiterations that are separate takes - I am drawn to multiple representations of a unity, fascinated by the many in the one.
But I realized I needed a theoretical backbone. This will help make my website more cohesive. I am working on the vertebrae here.
(I'm obviously influenced by Deleuze's rhizomatics, and read the chapter "Rhizome" in A Thousand Plateaus, Capitalism & Schizophrenia, Vol 2 -it's rather underlined, so I know- in the early 1990s. By 2000 I had formulated a theory of writing in 'multiple styles' in one document, and perhaps confused a few of my friends with emails they couldn't quite follow since the text moved between poetry and metaphor to quotes and discursive discussion, from analytic to synthetic, incorporating perhaps a literary criticism style with a science writing style, amidst all the other stylistic approaches, along with a highly personal aspect too. This plethora is not quite Deleuze, who writes of multiplicity in a philosophical style, yet remains within the logic of his and Guattari's theory, even if they they come to the project of writing as 'multiples.')
What do I mean by multiplicity?
Multiple styles and multiple approaches to a subject, closer to the way the mind comprehends.
But what is a style? What is an approach?
Oct 5, 2010
Multiplicity as a type of democracy.
Not like a virus, or cancer, multiplying. Multiplicity is not repetition. It does not create its sameness over and over. Multiplicity doesn't reproduce itself. It's not about cloning or an infinite mirror of regress.
To multiply and a theory and practice of multiplicity are two different things. One is not contained in the other. To multiply is a mathematics; multiplicity is a philosophical and aesthetic practice.
We might, rather, begin with the one and the many. Multiplicity is the many. I think of Plotonius, and theological thinkers influenced by him. The many has no hierarchy, though: multiplicity does not prioritize.
Multiplicity opens the field to the many: to the states of being various or manifold.
Oct 8, 2010
Multiplicity depends on there being more than one.
Everything in the world has multiple relations --- meaning there is no 'outside-of,' no 'separate-from,' no absolute.
Multiplicities are vectors that intersect.
A few posts from my blog, Rubies in Crystal, a sampler.
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