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DELEUZE


The many can become a one only when a screen intervenes; a screen that separates and conditions the co-mingling, filtering like a sieve. The chaosmos, always on the edge of chaos, is also on the edge of order, an edge perpetually moving, turning in and out as the edge of the folding.


Deleuze is here reading the Platonic chora as his own plane of immanence.


What are the conditions that make an event possible? Events are produced in a chaos, in a chaotic multiplicity, but only under the condition that a sort of screen intervenes. Chaos does not exist; it is an abstraction because it is inseparable from a screen that makes something—something rather than nothing emerge from it. Chaos would be a pure Many, a purely disjunctive diversity, while the something is a One, not a pre-given unity, but instead the indefinite article that designates a certain singularity. How can the Many become the One? A great screen has to be placed in between them. Like a formless elastic membrane, an electromagnetic field, or the receptacle of the Timaeus, the screen makes something issue from chaos, and even if this something differs only slightly.[1]


Screen, Field or Membrane


A screen is flat, implying a surface of selective porosity; an electromagnetic field has an affective depth related to its proximity to strong attractors; and an elastic membrane evokes an adaptably plastic organic skin, the hydrophilic and hydrophobic layers of a cell membrane. The interactivity invoked by all three of these images is transitional, receptive, and somewhat automatic. A screen, via Deleuzian film theory, must allow also for the possibility of a surface for projection.


In receptacle/chora, something emerges from what would otherwise be only chaos, made chaosmic by the participation of the surface, the edge of the chaos that delimns and transforms, condenses into existence any one singularity; the many folded ones. Chora constitutes, is inseparable but not indistinguishable from chaos, the condition of emergence, of ones and of the possibility of the One that becomes another one.

For these philosophers of dynamically complicating ontological division, the philosophical imagination of Plato's Chora capacitates alternative spatial imageries of ontological difference.

In a schema remarkably similar to Whitehead’s Receptacle, the Deleuzian screen is how the virtual becomes implicated, folded into the actual. The infinite multiplicity of folds of actuality contain, through the development of interiors out of exteriors, the layers of virtuality doubled or enfolded within actuality.


What is folded of Pure Immanence is, as Luke Higgins articulates, “pure difference in itself—a continuous chaotic heterogeneity, as opposed to the discontinuous ordered homogeneities of the actual.”[2]


Hence we encounter a similar slippage in Whitehead and in Derrida: between the grasping activity of prehending and the receiving activity of the prehensions, such that the phases of prehension or folding coalesce in the almost spatial metaphor of the Receptacle. For these philosophers of dynamically complicating ontological division, the philosophical imagination of Plato's Chora capacitates alternative spatial imageries of ontological difference.


The Deleuzian chora/screen selects, through a slice or a cut in the cone of pure immanence, certain movements of chaotic virtual depth that become actual. The folds indeed are worlds within worlds, caverns within caverns, and they happen only with the intervention of the screen: part obstacle and part enablement--the capacitation that happens through the selectivity, the eventive decision of a passable barrier.


For all its porosity, flexibility, and receptivity: a boundary. In my gloss of the chora as selection: the chaosmos can ride the edge of chaos only through an intervention. That which capacitates is that which interrupts.


The oceanic, made possible by feeling, has continuity by a process of limitation.




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[1] Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), 76.

[2] Luke B. Higgins, email conversation, November 4, 2015.








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