Loosing the Sensation of Logic

February 22, 2012

I feel the same sense of chaos when I read the texts Painting and Sensation, Hysteria and The Diagram as the very ‘chaos’ these texts attempt to grapple.  I cannot escape the feeling ‘of the more I read, the more I realise the very limit of my understanding’.  I feel like an illiterate three year old struck by the tapestry of books lining the interior of Asplund’s great reading hall.  The ‘Translator’s Introduction’ to Deleuze’s The Logic of Sensation (Smith, 2003), perhaps most clearly sets out the trajectories of Bacon’s philosophical concepts of this contradictive term.

Smith astutely points out the importance of distinguishing between sensation and perception, where the latter is a ‘secondary rational organisation’ of the ‘primary, non-rational’ dimension of the former.  It is when I make the very leap from perception to sensation that I find myself drowning in a chaos of philosophy.

The artist according to Deleuze, embraces chaos in an attempt to emerge from it and discover rhythm.  We evaluate rhythm to form an ‘aesthetic comprehension’ on which we base our perceptions.  The fact that rhythm is based on an infinite number of variables renders rhythm fragile.  In other words, chaos could be describes as an inability to identify rhythms and in place of logic, is disorder.  Subsequently, we ‘experience the sublime’.  The sublime strips away the layers of perception and reveals the ‘forces or intensities that lie behind sensations’.  This in turn defines Deleuze’s pre-organic or non-human ‘body without organs’ – and defines the body as a ‘plurality of invisible forces’.

Deleuze claims rhythm as the common ground to the art of word, lines, colours and sound; the artist is in turn prompted ‘not to render the visible, but to render visible’.  What are the forces that condition the sensation of the library?  Is there such thing as a sensation of the entire institution or can we only speak in specific terms such as the smell of books or the echoing sound of silence that exists within it?  Can the architecture render these forces visible?  In the act of creating art, or say architecture, can we as artists or architects strip away the conscious layers of synthesised perception, set aside our urge to create rhythm of space, scale and circulation?  Could we every truly engage in chaos and let catastrophe propel the making of architecture or art in general?  If not, are we left with mere perception, as supposed to sensation, that shines through our body of work?

I question if I will ever find logic of sensation, but perhaps, should I embrace the chaos I experience throughout the act of reading, will my thoughts emerge from this state of catastrophe and my conclusion be that of a small written piece of art?

– Mimmi Frendin

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One Response to “Loosing the Sensation of Logic”


  1. There is also a complicated relationship that Deleuze is trying to frame between chaos and rhythm. Is it that rhythm is the organization of chaos, and the means by which we can enter into contact with chaos and arrange a small patch for the purposes of our art (at the risk of being swallowed by chaos). Is rhythm that which the artist contributes to in returning from the chaos with their creative expressions, which are made durable for the time being? I like that you continue to drawn attention to the institution you want to use as your example, that is the library…perhaps develop this even further? The image is also lovely, perhaps all the balloons should be books from your library? Please edit the post and correct the spelling of Deleuze’s name. H.Frichot


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