The Greenwich Philsopohy Department have a pretty cool blog happening over here (one which the possibilities of navigation are almost exhausted; try getting to the below paper from the ‘front page’…?).
They just published a paper from the 16 of Jan on Deleuze’s short essay in Essay Clinical and Critical on The Exhausted. I don’t disagree with any arguments in the paper. I just wanted to add one connection to Deleuze’s previous work which seemes to be overlooked. That is regarding the status of the Image and what exactly is being exhausted.
The Image is the virtual component of an event, but which isn’t an event, because as Deleuze writes in “The Exhausted”:
“The any-space-whatever already belongs to the category of possibility, because its potentialities make possible the realization of an event that is itself possible. But the image is more profound because it frees itself from its object in order to become a process itself, that is, an event as a “possible” that no longer even needs to be realized in a body or an object, somewhat like the smile without a cat in Lewis Carroll.”
The event, hey? In the Greenwich paper all references to the ‘event’ are quoted out. Deleuze writes in _TLoS_, â€œSense [the event] is both the expressible or the expressed of the proposition, and the attribute of the state of affairs.â€ An attribute of a state of affairs does not have to be expressed as such, only expressible. There is a potentiality here in language and discourse more generally, and in bodies and in states of affairs. What is an event if it is â€œnot confused with its spatio-temporal realization in a state of affairsâ€ but also not the expressed of a proposition? (â€œA tree falls in the forestâ€¦?â€) Using the concept of the virtual or â€œreal-material-but-incorporealâ€ image Massumi explores this potentiality as a relation and on the side of the bodies or states of affairs to which it belongs.
When a body is in motion, it does not coincide with itself. It coincides with its own transition: its own variation. [â€¦] This self-disjunctive coinciding [of body-image and body] sinks an ontological difference into the heart of the body. The bodyâ€™s potential to vary belongs to the same reality as the body as variety (positioned thing) but partakes of it in a different mode. Integrating movement slips us directly into what Michel Foucault called incorporeal materialism.
Of course, we all know that Foucault described Deleuze’s _TLoS_ as an ‘incorporeal materiality’ and then later used the phrase to talk about discursive events in his inaugural address to the College de France. Anyway, Deleuze continues in The Exhasted:
“The image is precisely this: not a representation of an object but a movement in the world of the mind.”
Exhaustion is not a tiredness, but a depotentialisation across the dimensions of events in their seriality. I am drawing on Foucault’s discussion of seriality in the Archeology of Knowledge. The distribution of Statements (or singularities) in the archive correlates with a further distribution of singularities between discourse and non-discursive multiplicities. The second distribution always forms conditions of possibilities for the discourse which exist in serial form. Foucault described his archival work as a ‘minor science’ and tracing singularities of the archive means tracing the series across which singularities are distributed. Anyway, the incorporeal effects of the conditions of possibility that Foucault talked about is exactly that which is discussed by Deleuze as being exhausted.