The art of transmitting sensations

February 22, 2012

The extracts of Deuleuze’s book “The logic of sensation” are discussing the question of representing sensations into art, more specifically into painting. Depicting the work of Bacon who tries to translate or to render invisible sensations in a picture, he is touching the question of rendering the invisible. “In art, and in painting as in music, it is not a matter of reproducing or inventing forms, but of capturing forces.” (Gilles Deleuze, The logic of sensation, p56). This quote could be observed with the architecture as an art. Nowadays architecture is often looking at forms and appearance, what about the forces and the sensations?

I choose the example of the church or temple as the artefact of a religious institution. The religious buildings are specific in architecture, they are already in the field of spirituality and feelings. We can use the distinction between the figuration, the general aspect of the church, and the Figure that I understand as the superposition of different sensations given by the building. These sensations can be protection, greatness, or meditation. There is an interesting question on how can we render those sensations or feelings. Deleuze also discusses this theme: “Time, which is nonsonorous and invisible – how can time be painted, how can time be heard? And elementary forces like pressure, inertia, weight, attraction, gravitation, germination – how can they be rendered?” (Gilles Deleuze, The logic of sensation, p57). Here architecture work links painting productions in the questions. But the way to answer to it is probably different.

Another point is the addition of different sensations. The sensation in a church as a building is about a lot of different variable factors like the music or echoed voices, the light coming through the glass painted windows, the temperature, the smell and the theatrical behaviour of the people. All those aspects affects you to produce a general feeling (or Feeling). The building is a tool, that allows the architect to try to play with, like a conductor directing all the music players to render a general sensation. The painter has a more restricted domain to play with. Nevertheless Bacon also tries to render it, for instance in his triptych or couples: “coupling of sensations from different levels creates the coupled Figure” (Gilles Deleuze, The logic of sensation, p65). We could maybe make a parallel  between all the elements used by the architect and the lines or traits disposed on a painting, those elements brought together forms the work.




One Response to “The art of transmitting sensations”

  1. Your image powerfully communicates the affects of a church: lit from above, embracing the inhabitant. I also like the way you have directly applied our readings of affect and sensation to the church, and it is also helpful that you have pointed out that ‘figuration’ (which is representative, illustrative, and narrative) can be operating at the same time as the Figure (that which produces affect, percept, and a ‘direct access to the nervous system).

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