Deleuze, Take One
In Cinema One Deleuze describes a natural history of the cinema. This is not so much a theory of the cinema – in the manner that we ordinarily think of cinema theory as an intellectual suite of tools to explain or account for the cinema – as an effort to first recognise cinema as a system of thought in itself, and to then try to identify (philosophically and cladestically) its terms. This is a radical enterprise. Not perhaps for what it claims, but because it begins from the premise that the cinema is a particular mode of thought in and for itself that is outside of us.
I like to think of this ecologically. Not because Deleuze offers it as an ecology, but in the way that once we may have thought the world was for us, and that our species was privileged in relation to this world, yet we now realise that speciation and ecological systems are deeply interconnected, complex, and emergent, and our species is deeply implicated within these networks and flows. As a consequence we have no particular privilege in these systems. The world does not exist for us, is not really about us, though we find ourselves living here too. This, as a beginning, is how I conceive of Deleuze’s approach to cinema.
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