Contour or Abyssal: The Future Ecology of Cities

Unlimited Dream Company ('Despairing at last, I decided to die' -J.G. Ballard)

 

[A talk I gave during the Philosophy of the City Conference held on November 6-7, 2015 at the University of Hongkong]

 

Preface

In his book on Francis Bacon,[1] Gilles Deleuze echoes Nietzsche’s well-known provocation that chaos is essential to existence, and yet as Deleuze argues, and will argue in his later works, it’s also important that its cultivation is adequate enough to avoid a suicidal collapse.[2] Bacon’s art, for Deleuze, is an example of this balancing act. And yet, what characterizes this balance in Bacon is his painterly technique which renders chaos imperceptible.[3]

For Deleuze, Bacon is quite superior to Paul Cezanne, in this respect, who limits his approach towards chaos to the “analogical [extension] of geometry”[4] where lines are still perceptible, despite the predominance of color over lines in his paintings, thereby producing a kind of experience based on sensations, according to the…

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