By Valentine Moulard-Leonard
Explores the continuities and discontinuities within the paintings of Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze.
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Additional info for Bergson-Deleuze Encounters: Transcendental Experience and the Thought of the Virtual
2 Introducing Memory: From the Psychological to the Virtual If we begin by isolating man on the instantaneous island of his present, and if all his modes of being as soon as they appear are destined by nature to a perpetual present, we have radically removed all methods of understanding his original relation to the past. We shall not succeed in constituting the dimension “past” out of elements borrowed exclusively from the present any more than the “geneticists” have succeeded in constituting extension from unextended elements.
For Bergson, it is in this temporal—hence at once ontological and psychological—difference between the two kinds of recollections that their qualitative difference lies. While the second kind coincides with memory proper, the first can only be called memory derivatively. , the time it takes to develop each movement of articulation, even if only in imagination), the former is inscribed in an intuition of spirit, whose duration remains arbitrary, hence variable. , 85/81). Indeed it is this variability, more importantly than the immateriality of representations, that defines their virtuality.
When my eyes are open, images appear to me; when my eyes are closed, images disappear. This in turn means that the knowledge of those laws would allow for predicting what will happen to each and any one of those images, or “that the future of the images must be contained in their present and will add nothing new to it” (1997a, 11/1991, 17, trans. modified). At this point, we are in a world of images in which duration has no efficacy; we are in the realm of pure perception, exclusive of memory. 21 Bergson-Deleuze Encounters Yet, Bergson continues, there is one particular image that progressively stands out in the midst of all others.