CFP: The Dark Precurser: International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research 2015

The philosophy of Gilles Deleuze has become increasingly relevant to the field of artistic research. It acts – often also implicitly – as a key reference for many artist-researchers, who engage with knowledge across academic and non-academic fields of practice. At the same time, the term artistic research remains suspended in its definition, in order to highlight immanent modes of knowledge creation. The extent and depth of Deleuze’s influence on this emerging field has not yet been thoroughly investigated, nor has his philosophy been evaluated from the perspective of artists who work on the border of philosophy. DARE 2015 is the first international conference entirely dedicated to the relation between artistic research and Deleuze’s philosophy, and welcomes both scholarly papers and presentations by artist-researchers that explore or specifically present this relation.

Art plays a crucial role in the philosophy of Deleuze. He dedicated a substantial part of his oeuvre to literature, theater, painting, cinema and music. Importantly, he understood art as a mode of thinking, irreducible to and imbricated with philosophy and science. Like art, philosophy and science are both creative practices; and like philosophy and science, art is research in the sense of continued experimentation and infinite learning. Moreover, and independently of his writings on the arts, Deleuze created various philosophical concepts that are open to different kinds of reflections by artists and artist-researchers.

Choosing as its title the concept of ‘dark precursor,’ the conference reflects the duality and openness inherent to artistic research. Deleuze appropriated this expression from meteorology, where it designates a stage in a cloud-to-ground lightning sequence. The stepped leader, as the dark precursor is technically referred to in meteorology, develops when the charge separation within a stormy cloud is so strong that the surrounding air is ionized and becomes conductive. Thus, a charge transfer ensues from the top of the cloud to its base, and from there, a flow of negative charges begins making its way towards the ground. Along the path that now connects the cloud and the ground, a much stronger flow of positive charges travels freely from the ground upwards, generating heat. In one thousandth of a second, the air surrounding the return stroke becomes five times hotter then the sun surface and the incandescence produces the brilliant flash we see of the lightning.

The localized differences of potential between modes of thinking, their necessary, chaotic and invisible paths towards each other, the illumination produced by the strike once two modes are connected, are expressive of the conditions, processes and affects of artistic research that the conference intends to explore.

Scholars and artist-researchers are invited to submit outlines of presentations in all areas of interference between Deleuze’s philosophy and artistic research such as:

  • Film, music, painting, writing, etc. (Practices of creating and researching)
  • Abstract machine, assemblage, diagram, dark precursor, etc. (Ontology)
  • Dramatisation, experimentation, rhizomatics, schizoanalysis, etc. (Epistemology and Methodology)
  • Imaginary, figure, rhythm, sensation, etc. (Aesthetics)
  • Code, form, sign, utterance, etc. (Logic)
  • Becoming-x, habit, life, nomadism, etc. (Ethics and Politics)

In line with the theme of the ‘dark precursor’, we are particularly interested in receiving proposals for scholarly and artistic presentations that exceed simple interpretations and representations of either Deleuze’s philosophy or an artistic practice at hand.

Scholarly presentations, in English or French, are limited to slots of 30 min, including Q&A, but duration may vary for artistic presentation. DARE 2015 encourages scholars and artist researchers to experiment with all modes presentation (performative, participatory, collaborative, interactive, etc.) and within or across all art forms (performing, visual, aural, tactile, new media, design, literary, etc.). Both scholars and artist researchers, are kindly requested to submit their outline of presentation via the conference ‘Ex Ordo’ abstract submission system. Please visit and follow the on-screen instructions provided (you will be required to setup an account first).
The closing date for submissions is Monday, 1 June 2015.

Outlines of presentations should not exceed 500 words and include the title and five keywords. Artist researchers should also provide a physical description of the artistic presentation they propose, specifying for instance, the number of people involved, its dimensions and duration, materials, technical requirements, etc. The outlines may be supplemented, uploading separate files to the ‘Ex Ordo’ abstract submission system. The attached files should:

  • not exceed 5 in number
  • not exceed 2GB in size each
  • be in any of the following file formats:
    • Images: TIFF, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG, PDF
    • Audio: WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP3
    • Video: AVI, QuickTime, MP4
  • be clearly named after the submitting author and their sequence number from 1 to 5. For example: LASTNAME_Firstname_1.pdf
  • be listed by file name in the text of the submission

A short list of references may be attached as PDF, preferably formatted in Chicago Referencing Style.

After the submissions are closed, the Editorial Board will peer-review submissions and notify authors by Friday, 17 July 2015.

Accepted authors are kindly requested to promptly confirm their participation and submit by Tuesday, 1 September 2015 a final version of their outline of presentation and short CV, that will be published on the DARE 2015 website alongside the conference programme. Requirements for each presentation are negotiated with the authors individually at this stage.

All accepted abstracts will be published open-access on the conference website and presentations at DARE 2015 will be video recorded for documenting and archiving purposes. A publication of the conference proceedings is in planning.