From Aesthetics to the Abstract Machine: Deleuze, Guattari, and Contemporary Art Practice

O'Sullivan, Simon D.. 2010. From Aesthetics to the Abstract Machine: Deleuze, Guattari, and Contemporary Art Practice. In: Simon D. O'Sullivan and Stephen Zepke, eds. Deleuze and Contemporary Art. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 189-207. ISBN 0748638385 [Book Section]

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The following essay is in three inter- related parts. The first section introduces and attempts to think through a certain kind of contemporary art practice utilising what might loosely be called a Deleuzian framework (and via an argument that is in part made against Craig Owens and Nicolas Bourriaud). This section begins with an account of my encounter with a particular object and an art scene that contributed to my own rethinking about what contemporary is and what it does. The second section revisits some of the points made in the first but is more explicit (and abstract) in its mobilisation of Deleuze’s thought in that it takes concepts from across Deleuze and Deleuze and Guattari’s corpus of work and brings them to bear on the field of contemporary art practice in general. The third brief and concluding section homes in on one particular concept and also turns to Guattari’s solo writings in order to think a little more about what I take to be one of contemporary art’s most important characteristics: its future orientation (and it is in this sense, ultimately, that contemporary art names not just a type of art, but art’s very diagrammatic function).

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Visual Cultures



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Date Deposited:

18 Apr 2011 12:59

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 14:25


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