Although long interested in her work, it was my first time reading Elizabeth Grosz (or indeed any Deleuzian theory) and I am pleased to have finally taken the plunge. Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth collects a series of lectures presented by Grosz at the University of California’s Critical Theory Institute. The papers investigate the cosmological and corporeal energies that motivate artistic, scientific and philosophical inquiry - with a particular focus on the conditions that allow for creative production.
Grosz's work presents an ontology of creative making. It centres on art as the production of territories and the organisation of chaos - activities undertaken to extract order from the otherwise uncontrollable excess of nature. Grosz explores art-making as a response to our immersion in the excess of the world; the mode of creating sensations (and territories) in an effort to apprehend chaos, nature and materiality. Her goal then, is to develop a non-aesthetic philosophy of art, one that explores art and philosophy’s common interest: the scrutiny of the very forces through which cultural production is stimulated, enacted and transformed.
I have long had a facination with habitus (modes of living) and the frameworks, rules and constraints through which we understand and occupy our place in the world. We live through a multitude of frameworks - they are the standards, strictures, codes, and patterns of living that constitute our reasoning. I often explore this through chance-play; the setting up and playing out of processes through which pattern shapes can be generated and made into objects or garments. Conceptualising chance continues to confound and facinate me.These inclinations also carry through to my current research - extended to an investigation of design process as the negotiation of systems and constraints. More and more I am interested in situations, environments and biography, and the bearing these have on the making of objects. Design depends on a tension between product and process, fixation and fluidity. I love the idea of the designer as a collaborator - one who works with, and embedded within, larger systems and stories. Whenever I work with chance, or re-make second-hand clothing, I am reminded of the touch of pre-existing situations and circumstances. We collaborate with time and place whenever we make.