Goldsmiths - University of London

From Possible Worlds to Future Folds (Following Deleuze): Richter's Abstracts, Situationist Cities, and the Baroque in Art

O'Sullivan, Simon D.. 2005. From Possible Worlds to Future Folds (Following Deleuze): Richter's Abstracts, Situationist Cities, and the Baroque in Art. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 36(3), pp. 311-329. ISSN 0007-1773 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

In this article I want to think through the notion of possible worlds as developed in Gilles Deleuze’s book on Proust and, more significantly, his book on Leibniz. In particular I want to produce an encounter between certain philosophical concepts - such as the monad and the fold - and a specific art practice, in this case the abstract paintings (or “Abstracts”) of the German contemporary artist Gerhard Richter. The art practice here is meant not as an illustration of the philosophy, rather the article attempts to think a kind of Deleuze-Richter conjunction, to set each alongside the other and in so doing produce a new kind of assemblage between the two. Indeed the article is an experiment in this sense, an exploration of the resonances between two kinds of thought which although logically distinct seem to parallel one another in their creative and affirmative character. Leading on from this conjunction I want to think a little about the “new” - or expanded - baroque as Deleuze understood it, and which might be characterised by the city, and especially the Situationist city as it was theorised in the writings of Ivan Chtcheglov. We might say that this fictionalised and utopian city is an example of the Deleuze-Leibniz monad being opened out onto an expanded field of inter-connectivity. We might also characterise this new baroque as the introduction of a logic of participation into art practice.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):


Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Dec 2015 21:26

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 14:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/15378
Edit Record Edit Record (login required)