December 5, 2021
From CopyRiot

Corry Shores and Meli̇ke Başak Yalçın

Shortly before his death, Gilles Deleuze discovered a new kind of music: glitch, in particular, Oval’s Systemisch.

[Achim] Szepanski contacted Deleuze himself, sending material by Oval and other Mille Plateaux artists, and asking if he’d write an essay for Achim’s planned anthology of techno theory, Maschinelle Strategeme. The great man wrote back saying he couldn’t do it, but gave his blessing to the label, and said that he particularly dug Oval. »He even wrote about specific tracks!«, exclaims Achim.[1]

Now, why did Deleuze like this album so much? Sadly, his written comments were lost in a fire, leaving it as a total mystery what it is about glitch music that moved him so profoundly.

            Nonetheless, while we may never find documentation providing a certain answer, we might still take this situation as an opportunity to advance our understanding of Deleuze’s other musically-related philosophical notions. For instance, Deleuze’s characterization of rhythm is a promising companion-concept to glitch, given the particular way Deleuze understands rhythm as involving irregularities and unpredictabilities. So we ask: might there be ways of understanding glitch as a continuation and elaboration on his notion of rhythm? Or in the very least, might a study of glitch music illuminate certain important conceptual features of Deleuze’s notion of rhythm?       

After a survey of the ideas Deleuze employs to elaborate his notion of rhythm, we may find that one of the most basic principles at work in its conception is demonic deviance. Deleuze establishes a basic »theological« dichotomy between God on the one hand, he Who ensures order, harmony, consistency and balance in the world, while on the other side he positions the Devil and his ilk, including the Antichrist, sorcerers, and demons.[2] Among them as well is another deviant figure, an occult Idol with a satanic allure, the Baphomet in Pierre Klossowski’s novel by that same name (figure 3, left). In the story, the master of the Templar Order, who is also a historical figure, Jacques de Molay, is tasked with keeping track of souls that departed from their body at death so that he can reassign them back to their proper bodies on Judgement Day in order to be judged and sent to Heaven or Hell. This is a difficult task, because without their bodies, the souls, which take the form of breaths, are apt to intermingle and form confused, conglomerate souls. Some even enter in large groups into living bodies. This goes against what Deleuze calls the »order of God«: for God’s system of judgment to operate, souls must be kept distinct so that they may be individually held responsible for their own actions. Against God’s order is the »order of the Antichrist«. Under the temptation of the Baphomet (the »Prince of Modifications«), things continually modify and transform, in defiance to any fixation to their identities, which prevents judgment from being leveled against them.[3]

            Deleuze also speaks of the Devil as being what defies the Leibnizian God Who has chosen the path of events for the whole of time. For Gottfried Leibniz, every event that will ever happen is already predetermined and cannot be altered. This is not to say that for Leibniz, nothing else is possible. There are an infinity of other possible worlds, which can be seen as deviations from our own (in another world, for instance, you decided to live in a different part of the globe, or you pursued some other career, etc.) But God chose the »best of all possible worlds«, and nothing can change the path of events that God selected. Yet, Deleuze asks: what if God were removed from this picture and instead the Devil were free to inject deviance at every turn, making the future an infinite plurality of possibilities, with very little in the course of events being predictable? The movement of time would become errant on account of its deviations, which also endows each moment with its proper »weight«, so to speak; for, the whole course of events would not be built-in from the very beginning like with Leibniz’s conception. Rather, each event is decisive and critical for how things unfold afterward, with unforeseen deviations happening all throughout the course of time. This sort of temporal indeterminacy, we will see, is a component of Deleuze’s notion of rhythm.

            It should be noted that Deleuze in one case combines both these demonic and holy principles into one conception of God, which will bring us to another feature in Deleuze’s conception of rhythm.

»God makes the world by calculating, but his calculations never work out exactly [juste], and this inexactitude or injustice in the result, this irreducible inequality, forms the condition of the world. The world ‘happens’ while God calculates; if the calculation were exact, there would be no world. The world can be regarded as a ‘remainder’, and the real in the world understood in terms of fractional or even incommensurable numbers.«[4]

A world where everything calculates out cleanly with no imbalances or irreducible remainders would be one whose movements are regular and predictable, and whose temporality is compressible into mathematical predictions, like with Laplace’s Demon. A vital and truly durational world, however, would be one with deviant variations. Let us see now how such an inexactitude and inequality are at work in one of Deleuze’s earliest treatments of rhythm.

In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze discusses rhythm when challenging a conventional notion of repetition. We often think of repetition as involving something that comes again after itself, over and over. Yet, we may already notice a tension in this conception. Can two things which are absolutely identical repeat one after another? It is not easy to comprehend how they could. If they are identical in the fullest sense, then the »second« one is not really something that can stand over and beyond the first. In order for there to be repetition, there must be some degree or sort of difference and non-identity. What Deleuze brings to our attention is that not only does repetition require at least a small measure of differentiation and dissimilarity, indeed, these factors are even more basic and primary to repetition than identity and sameness are. And he uses the notion of rhythm to elaborate this insight.

            In this section of the text, Deleuze examines situations that cause originative repetition, working first with the illustration of decorative patterns, specifically, tattoo designs of the Caduveo peoples that Claude Lévi-Strauss describes in his Tristes tropiques.

Fig. 1 Caduveo tattoo patterning from Lévi-Strauss’ Tristes tropiques[5]

Deleuze notes that the completed design (figure 1, right), although having recurrent forms, is a »static repetition«, because it can be seen as having a common visual »idea« that is placed over and over beside itself, all forming a completed and unified totality. Such a repetition has nowhere that it needs to go, so to speak. Now, while it might appear from the completed form that the tattoo artist, when tattooing the design, would simply repeat whole ovular pieces (maintaining a symmetry and completeness all the while), instead, the parts are added in a more disjoint and irregular way. Lévi-Strauss explains that there are three heterogeneous parts that the artist works with: {1} the larger ribbon pieces, seemingly at a top layer, {2} the smaller loops crossing between them, appearing as though at a middle level, and {3} spindle lines that serve as the background layer. Rather than reproducing one full oval at a time, the tattoo artist, Lévi-Strauss says, »worked like a paver«, first laying out one ribbon piece, then another, and filling in between only afterward (figure 1, panels 1-3).[6] But even when one oval is completed, given the structuring principle of larger ribbons, it will have already thereby opened outward, incompletely, calling for further additions. Thus, as Deleuze notes, the tattoo artists »do not juxtapose instances of the figure, but rather each time combine an element of one instance with another element of a following instance. They introduce disequilibrium into the dynamic process of construction, and instability, dissymmetry or gap of some kind which disappears only in the overall effect.«[7]

            Deleuze continues this analysis with two notions of symmetry, static and dynamic, which he obtains from studies of the golden ratio. According to Jay Hambidge, »static symmetry is a symmetry which has a sort of fixed entity or state. It is the orderly arrangement of units of form about a center or plane as in the crystal.«[8] It favors certain shapes that divide evenly, like squares and equilateral triangles. Dynamic symmetry, however, uses proportions that involve incommensurabilities between parts of the figures, whose dissymmetrical imbalances lend themselves to further elaborations of the form. Thus, Hambidge says, »the dynamic is a symmetry suggestive of life and movement«, as we see for instance in creatures with spiral shells.[9]

            To see why this is a dynamic symmetry, and also why it lends itself to endless repetition on the basis of dissymmetry, let us consider a simplistic account building from one of Deleuze’s sources, Matila Ghyka, along with Hambidge (who was one of Ghyka’s sources). Deleuze writes that dynamic symmetry involves »proportions and irrational ratios« and »appears in a spiral line or in a geometrically progressing pulsation – in short, in a living and mortal ‘evolution’«.[10] Ultimately, Deleuze claims, the dynamic repetition of dynamic symmetry derives from a deeper dissymmetry. Note that he is not speaking of »asymmetry«, because it should not be conceived in terms of something being lacking. As a »dissymmetry«, it is rather a disbalancing overabundance with productive powers.[11]

            Let us see how for instance Deleuze’s sources show a deeper dissymmetry in the golden rectangle and spiral, whose repetitions always call forth additional ones. The golden rectangle’s sides are proportioned according to the golden ratio (an irrational number, with the sides being incommensurable). We first note that the golden rectangle has a conventional sort of symmetry (figure 2, row 1, left). There is also a spiral whose form is likewise defined by the golden ratio and which can fit within a golden rectangle (figure 2, row 1, right).[12]

Fig. 2 Golden rectangles and spirals.[13]

As Ghyka notes, if we take the golden rectangle, and within it draw a square based on the shorter side, that creates as the remainder another golden rectangle, similar to the first larger one (figure 2, row 2, left). Likewise, if we make another such square in the new, smaller golden rectangle, we obtain yet another, smaller golden rectangle as the remainder (figure 2, row 2, right). This potential for always yet another golden rectangle-division continues endlessly (figure 2, row 3). But given that these divisions suggest themselves on the basis of the proportions, »Even without actually drawing the square, this operation and the continuous proportions characteristic of the series of correlated segments and surfaces are subconsciously suggested to the eye«.[14] In other words, the repetition of the divisions is built into the visual features of the simpler starting formation, even before they are explicitly carried out. Now, if we connect the corners of the squares using diagonal lines (in the manner of figure 2, row 4, left), then we obtain a rectilinear »spiral« that approximates the curvilinear one. Hambidge notes that the rectilinear spiral, along with the divisions it is following, »wrap themselves to infinity around the pole« of the curvilinear spiral, but »it never reaches the pole, it goes on forever«.[15] In other words, there is always going to be a dissymmetry between {1} each rectilinear spiral addition and {2} the pole of the curvilinear spiral that each successive addition comes nearer and nearer to. This always tending-toward but never reaching that destination is the dynamic repetition caused by the dynamic symmetry of the figure, which is formed around substructural dissymmetries.

            Deleuze’s other example is of the pentagon and pentagram, which also have incommensurable, golden ratio proportions. Suppose we look at the center of a regular pentagram. If we envisage a connection of certain opposing points in its central pentagon, it will create yet another regular pentagram inside, with its own inner pentagon (figure 3, middle). That continued inscription can go on endlessly.[16]

Fig. 3 Left: Lévi’s depiction of the Baphomet.[17] Middle: Repeating internal pentagrams.[18] Right: Lund’s depiction of the pentagrammic substructure of the Cologne Cathedral.[19]

On this matter, Ghyka notes the dynamic symmetries that Fredrik Lund discovered in his studies of Gothic cathedrals. Lund shows networks of large and small double squares in the proportional relations between parts of the cathedral. It appears as a grid that is »draped like a cloth« over the structure of the building.[20] Yet, structuring and underlying these squares are »radiating lines« with a pentagram or pentagon shape serving as the »asymmetrical pole«.[21] Thus, Ghyka says, »the principle rhythm of that framework, is almost always a theme independent of the network and whose principle elements […] are often delivered by a large pentagon and the decreasing series of pentagrams that naturally fit into it« (figure 3, right).[22] In other words, lying underneath dynamic symmetry is a fundamental dissymmetry that generates a perpetual, dynamic rhythm.       

            Deleuze’s next elaboration here is on poetic rhythm, building from another distinction of Ghyka’s. To illustrate these concepts, Ghyka has us think of two repetitive, psycho-physiological patterns, namely, the heart’s beating and the lungs’ breathing. The heart’s steadier, regular pulses are more of a static, metrically homogeneous cadence, while the lungs’ movements, which admit of much more intensive variation in tension, relaxation, and rest, are more dissymmetrical and are a dynamic »true« rhythm.[23] Deleuze notes that a cadence-repetition might seem like the most basic prerequisite for rhythm itself, given that it sets a standard for repetitions to transpire within its »isochronic recurrence of identical elements«.[24] And so we might think that before you can have an irregularity in rhythmic patterns, first you need a standard by which to judge it as veering from a form. However, Deleuze claims that heterogeneity is more rhythmically basic. For, even a metrically standardized cadence is »determined by a tonic accent, commanded by intensities«.[25] In other words, what inscribes the flow of time with a beat can only do so by introducing intensive differences, like the increasing of pitch and stress on the accents of a poem, or the distinct qualities of metronome clicks. As Ghyka notes, any such new layer of sonic variables, like pitch and accent duration, will, one way or another, enter into differential and dissymmetrical relations among themselves and with the other variables. Even a seemingly homogeneous metrical pattern bears such internal self-differentiation, as we can see from the example of the steady ticking of a clock: we do not hear ‘tick-tick-tick-tick’ but ‘tick-tock-tick-tock’.[26] Thus even what seems like a cadence-repetition often expresses a dynamic, dissymmetrical rhythm-repetition.[27] Thus, Deleuze writes:

»we would be mistaken about the function of accents if we said that they were reproduced at equal intervals. On the contrary, tonic and intensive values act by creating inequalities or incommensurabilities between metrically equivalent periods or spaces. They create distinctive points, privileged instants which always indicate a poly-rhythm. Here again, the unequal is the most positive element. Cadence is only the envelope of a rhythm, and of a relation between rhythms. The reprise of points of inequality, of inflections or of rhythmic events, is more profound than the reproduction of ordinary homogeneous elements. […] A bare, material repetition (repetition of the Same) appears only in the sense that another repetition is disguised within it, constituting it and constituting itself in disguising itself.«[28]

            Deleuze and Félix Guattari also emphasize how rhythm is found between »milieus«, which in a musical context would include sequences of accents: »rhythm is located between two milieus […]. […] It is the difference that is rhythmic, not the repetition, which nevertheless produces it: productive repetition has nothing to do with reproductive meter«.[29] In other words, there is no rhythm without an »incommensurable« or »dissymmetrical« difference between patterns.

            The role of irregularity and dissymmetry in rhythm is further emphasized by one of Deleuze’s music theoretical sources, Olivier Messiaen, who distinguishes non-rhythmic from rhythmic music in a way that corresponds to Deleuze’s notion of rhythmic repetition. So, under normal assumptions, we might think for instance of a military march, »with its cadential gait and uninterrupted succession of absolutely equal note-values«, as being quintessentially rhythmic. Yet, Messiaen uses the military march to exemplify non-rhythmic music, because its regular, predictable pattern puts the listener very much at ease.[30] Properly rhythmic music, however, »scorns repetition, straightforwardness and equal divisions« and is »inspired by the movements of nature, movements of free and unequal durations«. Thus a truly rhythmic march would be one that is »accompanied by an extremely irregular swaying; it’s a series of falls, more or less avoided, placed at different intervals«.[31] So rather than giving the listener a sense of comfort, it instead will »shock« them with its unpredictabilities.[32] Moreover, as Deleuze and Guattari note, Messiaen in some cases overlays numerous durational patterns, and in that way he models the natural rhythms that hold between all the many repetitions happening and interrelating constantly all throughout the cosmos: »Messiaen presents multiple chromatic durations in coalescence, ‘alternating between the longest and shortest, in order to suggest the idea of the relations between the infinitely long durations of the stars and mountains and the infinitely short ones of the insects and atoms: a cosmic elementary power that … derives above all from the labor of rhythm’.«[33]

To further elaborate these themes, we turn now to Deleuze’s notion of the rhythm of sensation in painting, which he develops in his Francis Bacon book. One important notion in this study is that sensation is always bound up with a disruption to our bodily systems, which results from the »rhythm« of physical affection. The terminology will be a little vague here, but it can be elaborated in different ways. One interpretation, an »electromechanical« one, notes how our bodies are always managing electric nervous signals and muscle tensions.[34] Under normal waking conditions, our bodies of course will never be perfectly still; rather, their various parts are constantly affecting one another through certain processes. For instance, each of our organs acts in ways that support the functioning of the other organs in order to sustain their joint workings, and the nervous system in particular is what coordinates these and other activities by transmitting and processing electrical signals. We can loosely think of these activities by which one part of the body disseminates its influence around to the other body parts as being »waves« of inner affection, in the sense that they involve continuous variations of intensities in such things as muscular tensions, electrical signaling, chemical concentrations, and so on, that spread all throughout the body. Depending on the given internal and external circumstances, one or another complex pattern of these »waves« of internal affectivity enables the body’s parts to sustain their joint operation.

            Simply left to itself, there would not be much »rhythm« (in Deleuze’s sense) to your body’s workings under this view, in that its given operations tend to fall into regularized patterns if there are no influences to stimulate changes. However, when these waves of intra-affectivity – under the pressure of one or another potent and disruptive force – are pushed out of their normal range or domain of operation, then this causes a sensation, according to Deleuze.[35]

            Let us work loosely within this »electromechanical« interpretation to give a possible, simplistic illustration for the rhythm of sensation, and we will use the basic example of a ticking clock. We might think of the clock’s sound pattern itself, outside in the world, as a »wave« of variation (in that it has a periodicity and also a flow of affectivity), only it is a very »static« sort of regularized wave in that it maintains a reliably consistent sound. At the same time, internally in our bodies, the processes dealing with this sonic information can also be loosely understood likewise as involving such »waves« (for instance in the periodicity of nervous signals coming from the ears, or at least in terms of the normal, self-renewing physiological processes that are involved in listening to the repetitive sounds and in adjusting our inner workings to their characteristic traits). We come to expect each ticking sound to continue its invariability, and so our internal »waves« of sensory affectivity have seemingly come into a harmonious accord with the waves of external influences acting upon our bodies. We might take as evidence for this the way that we grow so comfortable with the sound pattern that we become inclined to cease placing our attention upon it; we then are gradually desensitized to the redundant sounds and are lulled into reverie as they fade away from our explicit awareness.

            But suppose that suddenly the clock malfunctions: it begins ticking in an erratic and frantic way, causing us to become confused and alarmed by what is now going on in the world around us. Our patterns of internal affection will suddenly be disrupted, as new processes kick-in to deal with the unexpected experiences, and the former bodily processes are either accelerated or halted. The activities of our inner parts will leave their previous range of operation and begin performing very different actions, and other parts of our bodies that were previously inactive will now be immediately set into motion. For instance, as our attention is abruptly diverted to the malfunctioning clock, the tensions in our muscles will alter drastically as our surprised bodies react by looking quickly to it, and our overall motor reactions may be so pronounced that we even jump out of our chairs. Following Bacon, Deleuze calls these ranges of operation of our inner parts, along with the regions of the body where their activity occurs, »zones« or »levels« of the waves’ intensive variations.[36]

            Thus, in Deleuze’s account, when our waves of internal affectivity are forced out of their given ranges into new zones of operation, we experience a sensation; and the ongoing continuance of such a disruption is the rhythm of sensation.[37] When our bodies are disrupted to a great extent, its parts can no longer co-ordinate effectively and work together in an organize way, thereby raising our bodies closer to a state that Deleuze calls being »a body without organs«:

»this rhythmic unity of the senses […] can be discovered only by going beyond the organism. […] We can seek the unity of rhythm only at the point where rhythm itself plunges into chaos, into the night, at the point where the differences of level are perpetually and violently mixed. Beyond the organism […] there lies […] the body without organs.«[38]

So while our heart, liver, skeletal muscles, stomach, etc. are still there, because they are not working together organically, they no longer function entirely as »organs« of our body. Thus, Deleuze writes, »the simple sensation, rhythm […] appears as the vibration that flows through the body without organs, […] it is what makes the sensation pass from one level to another«;[39] and similarly, he explains: »the body without organs is flesh and nerve; a wave flows through it and traces levels upon it; a sensation is produced when the wave encounters the forces acting on the body.«[40]

            The question we still need to answer is: with all this in mind, how do we communicate sensations? To answer it, Deleuze conducts a study of modern painter Francis Bacon’s artworks and techniques.

Bacon accomplishes this task of communicating raw sensation by disrupting the development of the painting, which he accomplishes by implementing a manual intrusion of chaotic forces, in what he calls a »graph« (and Deleuze, a »diagram«).[41] Yet, as we will see, we may be slightly misled by the conventional meanings of these terms in this particular application of them. So to better define them, we will look at a specific example that Bacon and Deleuze both give much attention to as an illustration of Bacon’s painting process. But we should note that despite being the go-to illustration for both the painter and philosopher, it is a little problematic on account of it not clearly following all the usual steps that Bacon normally describes. As such, we will envisage the additional step merely for the sake of illustrating the general procedure, while acknowledging that this particular case requires additional considerations.[42]

            There are four main phases in this process: {1} establishing a basic, preliminary formation for the imagery, {2} using chance operations to manually interject chaotic, accidental forces into the painting, {3} examining these disruptions to find ways to deformationally redevelop the given formation, and {4} distributing those disruptive forces throughout the rest of the image in a partly controlled fashion. This produces something largely unrecognizable and foreign to what there was to begin with.

            The exemplary work in question is Bacon’s famous Painting (1946), which features a largely incomprehensible combination of unusual components, including butchered meat, an umbrella, and a human skeletal visage, yet none appearing in a fully recognizable or commonplace way. Bacon says the painting actually began as a bird landing in a field. Then, on account of some unspecified, accidental factor, he says that »suddenly the lines that I’d drawn suggested something totally different, and out of this suggestion arose this picture. I had no intention to do this picture; I never thought of it in that way. It was like one continuous accident mounting on top of another.«[43]

            However, he often is more specific about the accidental factors that can deform the imagery when he paints. Bacon, an inveterate gambler, especially loved playing roulette, claiming that when his luck was good, he felt like he could almost foresee the winning number.[44] And his utilization of chance and luck in the painting process is what allowed him to break out of the formalizing limitations of the given imagery in order to fashion something that directly communicates the rhythm of sensation.

            Let us now illustrate the four stages of the process by combining what Bacon says about the chance techniques he often uses with his account of how he created his Painting (1946). {1} Bacon begins with a recognizable, coherent picture in mind, which can be based for instance on something that he prefigures in his imagination, or it could be derived from a human or animal model (often in photograph), or even be a finished painting by another artist (most notably, Velasquez’s Pope Innocent X).[45] Often at this stage he begins depicting that image by making structuring lines that serve as »a kind of skeleton« for the imagery.[46] For the sake of giving our own concrete illustration, let us suppose that he began his Painting (1946) with the basic outlines for a bird alighting on a field (figure 4, panel 1).

Fig. 4 The four stages in Bacon’s deformational technique.[1]

{2} Without any further intervention into this process, these initial »clichés« will have a governing influence on all subsequent development of the painting, causing the various parts to become redundant to one other, thereby producing an image that is as recognizable and readily comprehendible as the one he began with.[2] As such, in order for Bacon to paint the sensation, he must derail that illustrative development. So next he harnesses certain impulses and forces that are not entirely under his control, to randomly disfigure the formation. For instance, he might let his hand move involuntarily as it throws paint somewhere on the canvass, or otherwise he might implement some tool, like a dry bush or paint-filled rag, to smear or scrape the initial structuring parts before the paint dries, often in a drunken or profoundly exasperated state.[3] This is the chance operation that injects deformative forces into the original imagery.[4] Bacon then examines those disfigurations, reading them as if they were a »graph« (or using Deleuze’s preferred term, a »diagram«), looking to see all the new and previously unforeseen ways to develop the imagery in self-inconsistent and unpredictable ways (figure 4, panel 2).[5] {3} Bacon then continues painting, but now by spreading the catastrophe’s deformative forces throughout the remainder of the painting (figure 4, panel 3). {4} The new images that result are so foreign for Bacon that he looks »at them almost like a stranger, not knowing how these things have come about and why have these marks that have happened on the canvas evolved into these particular forms«.[6] But given the controlled and limited way the diagram functions in this process, the whole image does not degrade into a total »mess« or »clogged« image, nor does it retain discernible forms whose relations are more cognizable[7] (figure 4, panel 4).

            Thus, the image of the finished painting suggests an order (as the parts still correspond to the anatomical framework of the bird), but now with new elements that are not entirely recognizable and whose own relations among one another cannot be readily comprehended: what does an umbrella, for instance, have to do with a bloody slab of meat? The familiar but invisible bird structure compels us to put the parts together in a coherent way and to make some sense of the whole, while at the same time, every one of our attempts to do so ultimately fails.[8] In our confused and discombobulated state, our bodies are continually affected by the disturbing imagery of the painting as our eyes move around the work. And the internal activities that our bodies employ to perceive and recognize the imagery come up against this series of varying affective stimulations that are never totalized and that remain out of synch with the inner processes that are trying to organize them.

            So to summarize everything up to now, rhythm for Deleuze involves not a repetition of the same, but a constant unpredictable variability. It is experienced physiologically as a breakdown of our normal bodily operations, which gives us an intense, shocking sensation. One way that rhythm is generated is by means of chance-operational, manual interventions into a composition that generate not only something new, but as well, something that defies our attempts to comprehend and recognize what we are experiencing. With all this in mind, we turn now to the notion of glitch in music to see the extent to which it may be understood as an elaboration upon and development of these ideas.

In this section, we will briefly outline the history of the term glitch, and secondly, we will see how it may help us to better grasp Deleuze’s notion of closed sets, along with the importance of going beyond them for the sake of artistic creation and cultural growth.

            First, let us introduce the concept. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, glitch means »a sudden short-lived irregularity in behaviour«. The word has its origins in the Yiddish glitsh, which means »a slippery place«. Even though it is possible to trace the usage of the word slightly earlier, especially among engineers and physicists, one of its first entries into mainstream usage was by the astronaut John Glenn. He wrote in his book Into Orbit:

»Another term we adopted to describe some of our problems was »glitch«. Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical circuit which takes place when the circuit suddenly has a new load put on it. You have probably noticed a dimming of lights in your home when you turn a switch or start the dryer or the television set. Normally, these changes in voltage are protected by fuses. A glitch, however, is such a minute change in voltage that no fuse could protect against it.«[9]

From that point on, the word »glitch« was used to describe malfunctions, miscommunications, errors, and miscalculated outcomes, mostly in electronic devices, but its use can be meaningfully extended to nearly any sort of system whatsoever.

            How is a glitch different from an error or a false element, and what makes it deserve a unique name? To ponder this question more deeply, it would be useful to understand what error means. An error is mostly a difference between a desired and an actual outcome. A glitch can refer to an error when it is used to describe a malfunction that causes problems in the final product. Yet it is not limited to just an undesired outcome. A glitch can occur in a given system without causing the system any permanent malfunction. It can be a temporary misbehavior, or a momentary slip. Living in the technology age, it is more than probable that one experiences glitches daily. Streaming videos freeze quite often; mobile gaming apps can crash on us all of a sudden; or as the internet site Reddit exemplifies in its subsection called r/glitch, mobile cameras often distort random pictures without an obvious reason. All of these are examples that are related to electronic devices, yet the phenomenon need not be limited to them.

            Deleuze and Guattari define a body as something that is always in connection with others.[10] For them, any body always forms connections, relations with others as well as ones within itself; and also it changes and destroys those connections, as can be understood from the following quote:

»As an assemblage, a book [a body] has only itself, in connection with other assemblages and in relation to other bodies without organs. We will never ask what a book [a body] means, as signified or signifier; we will not look for anything to understand in it. We will ask what it functions with, in connection with what other things it does or does not transmit intensities, in which other multiplicities its own are inserted and metamorphosed, and with what bodies without organs it makes its own converge.«[11]

            So, if following their footsteps, we understand anything in terms of body, then we can see that any body always forms assemblages. Here, the concept of glitch becomes a meaningful occurrence in an assemblage. A minor slip can occur in any sort of assembly. In that case, we can talk about the following occurrences as examples of the concept of glitch. A bird that decides to rest on an antenna which, at the time it is receiving signals, may cause a momentary disruption in the broadcast by moving the antenna, and we can call this a glitch. In a household, where the hot water is distributed from a main supplier, the water suddenly getting cooler as a result of another person turning on a tap elsewhere in the same house can also be an example of a glitch. The examples can be multiplied, but it is clear that a glitch most of the time is random because it is initiated by a non-calculable factor such as a passing bird or another human being going through their day with their own individual agenda. This brings us to the conclusion that glitch includes outside elements too; it is not limited to the constituents of the system at hand.

            In sum, a glitch can be called a minor fault in any system or assemblage. Today, glitch is a form of art and a phenomenon that is discussed in media and information theories, and it has already become a cultural phenomenon that is enjoyed widely. The amount of mobile applications that distort pictures and the usage of popular social media photograph filters that glitches pictures or videos are proof of this.

            Yet, glitch does not only appear as a visual phenomenon; it can also be musical. What makes a music glitch then? Is it a deformation of the harmonic structure? One way of making glitch music could be exactly that: random disruptions of the harmony and adding or amplifying noise, which would normally be labelled as unwanted in the composition. Or the incorporation into their composition of sounds of electronic failure can also be examples of glitch music. Torbin Sanglid provides the following description of glitch music techniques:

»Apart from damaging CDs, glitch artists collapse software processing, for example, by overloading processors, reducing bit rates and by reading files from another file format (text files, picture files, program files) as if they were audio files. The results are sampled and composed into a specific musical context depending on the aesthetic preferences of the composer.«[12]

            This inclusion of an outside element in glitch music raises a question about the music and the sounds that it makes use of. For this issue, let us take a look at certain categorizations. In his book Sonic Flux, Christoph Cox makes the distinction between sound art and music. He suggests that the difference can be thought to merely be about the performance and temporality: music is traditionally understood as an act of performance in a venue, whereas sound art does not require such a performance, and it can be exhibited with the aim of creating sound spaces. Yet for him, there is more to it than that. He claims that »sound art […] draws attention to a transcendental or intensive domain of sound.«[13] This is a loaded claim, yet apart from the ontological dimension, it can point to the physicality of the sound and the affect it may create before it enters a relation with any signification. He elaborates this notion by taking a Leibnizian-inspired view that every physical part of the world, at every moment, has a physical influence on every other part, although it is often a very minute modification.[14] Leibniz also has a notion of »minute perceptions«, by which we in fact do detect every single such influence, although more holistically and without discerning each and every one on its own in full clarity. Under these assumptions, to hear one complex sonic wave in a sound art piece is to put us physically in touch with the forces and influences of every other part of the cosmos. Cox writes:

»This virtual field has, for Leibniz, a truly cosmic significance. Each of the »minute perceptions« that unconsciously determine conscious perception is itself the effect of causes that ramify out to infinity. Each individual wave is the result of a multitude of forces: the speed and direction of the wind, air temperature and pressure, the temperature and viscosity of the water, and so on. As a result, each conscious perception is the local registration of the entire state of the universe at any given moment.«[15]

Put another way, Cox, in reference to Leibniz, argues that sound is a physical flux, which makes our connection with the entire universe possible. Everything has a sound, and we are constantly surrounded by a multiplicity of these physical forces. Being a body, having a mass, everything makes sounds no matter how we interpret them. And physical forces, including those involved in sonic waves, have the capacity of  »producing a shock to thought, communicating vibrations to the cortex touching the nervous and cerebral system directly«.[16]  Sound art, then, would be the art of manipulating a physical entity (namely, sonic waves) without concern for the expectations of a musical tradition that calls for those sounds to conform to certain sonic standards.

            If one examines music from around the world, one will see the differences in compositions, harmonic understandings, and many other dimensions. It is not because of the inherent value of the sounds that we consider them as beautiful or sad or joyful; we do so as a result of our cultural conditioning. In linguistics, it is argued that babies, until approximately seven months, are able to perceive a number of languages and understand that they are different, but after the seventh month they lose this ability; and from then on they only select the sounds of the language which they are born into, and they can no longer differentiate between different languages.[17] They develop their speech skills accordingly, which means that they are selective of the sounds that are predominant in their culture. Just as the speech sounds are determined culturally, musical understanding and appreciation is also shaped in a society. Being exposed to a culture’s musical values can even determine the emotions that are generated by the specific sounds.[18] Moreover, one can observe the differences in musical structures among different cultures. All these things suggest that music is understood and valued in a contextual manner which renders a physical force, which is sound, representational. Scott Haden Church summaries the situation in the following way, with reference to the glitch musician(s) Oval, the one whose album Deleuze loved so much:

»The philosophical and musical commitments of Oval’s predecessors suggest that glitch presumes conventional musical form to be tyrannical. As a point of departure, this analysis proposes that this tyranny is derived from music’s focus on the representational structure of the song rather than the affect derived from the technology used to create it. It experiments with timbral contours and sonic colors instead of traditional instrumentation to divert listener attention away from structure (musical form) and toward transformational process (sound repetition and timbral experimentation).«[19]

            In electronic music, one encounters the differentiation between signal and noise. This difference is also not inherent: the composer or the producer/mixer decides the status of the labelling. Any unwanted signal is called noise; or any desired noise is called a signal. Before recording or transmission technologies, the noise in music may not have posed too great a problem; but with the introduction of electrical transmission, extra elements started to enter into the composition and interfere with it. For instance, a cable carrying the sound, or other elements involved in digitization, produce unwanted signals; and often others that are not planned by the artist find their way into the composition. Musicians most of the time try to eliminate those unwanted signals; however, this is not always possible. Glitch music incorporates these elements into the work itself, and by doing so, it challenges expectations of efficiency or aesthetic judgement by creating new possibilities of different assemblages of sounds.

            Though glitch music is not the first attempt to shake off the hegemony of conventional music, it is a newer one that came onto the scene with Oval in the early 1990s. As new bodies enter into the cultural dialog and daily life (such as computers, CD’s and CD players), the possibility of the formation of new assemblages arises, and glitch music is a perfect example of this.

            Acquired as a result of failure, the glitch sound is essentially the sound of the false. When Oval incorporated the sounds of broken CD’s, they were creating new ways to put the »false« elements into the structure of music. This is very similar to what Deleuze calls the power of the false.

            In his Cinema books, Deleuze talks about movement-images and crystalline regimes in cinema. He claims that a movement-image is the mobile section of duration, which is the whole of becoming. The crystalline regime is what goes beyond the movement-image, which is time as perceived in daily life. This concept can be applied to music, for as we have seen, music can also be a form of representation, created accordingly with daily perceptions and established values; and therefore, it can be understood as a fixation, or what he calls closed-sets.[20] In his Logic of Sense, Deleuze writes: »when the names of pause and rest are carried away by the verbs of pure becoming and slide into the language of events, all identity disappears from the self, the world, and God.«[21] In this quote Deleuze claims that it is names that fix identities. They are fixations; therefore, we can put conventional music under this category too. The music of established value judgments are closed sets. They are closed upon themselves: they conform to a fix set of rules and values determined by a society and culture. And these constrictions prevent a wide range of sonic art from being included within a culture’s body of recognized music, and moreover, they work to limit a musician’s creative activities so that their output fits these confining limitations. The rest of the Deleuze passages follow Alice, a body, as she experiences the paradox of pure becoming when she passes outside the fixed limits of her identity and composition. If we apply this notion to music creation that finds itself under such confining pressures to fit within a closed set, we can see the possibility of it instead opening up to an originative becoming. The closed set can move beyond itself by getting rid of its fixations. The fixations in the case of music can be understood as cultural conditionings; and incorporating a force that is not within the limits of the system at hand – which would be the glitch sound in our case – would then have the possibility to render music to be open to becoming.

            The open whole: the durée is open because it is in constant formation. The fixation, as Deleuze states, is only its immobile cut; and it is a part of moving whole. Moreover, if this moving whole is understood as pure becoming, then, just as getting rid of fixed elements in language gives us the paradox of becoming in multiple directions, loosing the fixations in music, or sound art for that matter, will open it up to creative becoming, or at least to the possibility of an outside.

            Then we can claim that a glitch would be the element that removes or interrupts the fixations even if that means the malfunction of the circuit. In a culturally determined musical piece, a glitch, then, would be this error, or an incorporation of errors which breaks the assembly of sounds. On this exact point, the noise, the unwanted signal, and the glitch demonstrate their creative powers of the false. The desire to cater to one particular taste means excluding many other elements that distort that very system which makes that taste possible in the first place. Glitch music, by giving space to those unwanted sound elements or information and to the sounds of failure, may disrupt the expected sense of harmony, and taste therefore can shake the established system of »beauty« and open one up to the possibility of an other that is not encoded in the current schema of values. This is the power of the false. The following quote summaries the issue in the best way possible:

»Produce a deterritorialized refrain as the final end of music, release it in the Cosmos – that is more important than building a new system. Opening the assemblage onto a cosmic force. In the passage from one to the other, from the assemblage of sounds to the Machine that renders it sonorous, from the becoming-child of the musician to the becoming-cosmic of the child, many dangers crop up: black holes, closures, paralysis of the finger and auditory hallucinations, Schumann’s madness, cosmic force gone bad, a note that pursues you, a sound that transfixes you. Yet one was already present in the other; the cosmic force was already present in the material, the great refrain in the little refrains, the great maneuver in the little maneuver. Except we can never be sure we will be strong enough, for we have no system, only lines and movements. Schumann.«[22]

            In sum, one can claim that sounds that have not yet entered systematically into play in a society or culture have the potential to produce new kinds of music, and moreover they might open composers, performers, and listeners to becoming what they are not. And given glitch’s capacity to put us in tune with the actively present moment of becoming that is always ongoing in the world and that can never be fixed or made still, it provide us with an opportunity to sense real time itself, real duration. The infinite becoming in all directions removes the outside god as a judge, and with his removal, all the establishments of power structures becomes open to question. The free man, Deleuze says, does not confuse the aims of culture with the benefit of state, morality, or religion. The negative, the false, the impossible, the erroneous: glitch cracks the artificial limits, making the way for the free to be born.

We first examined a number of elements built into Deleuze’s notion of rhythm. In the first place, rhythm is a continual process of breaking a »mold«, on account of deviating tendencies that take the course of events in new directions. Next we saw that it is on account of such rhythms, understood in terms of irregular, chaotic patterns, that we may have potent sensations. A painter, for instance, in order to convey strong sensation, might first disrupt the workings of their own body in order to ultimately do the same in the viewer’s. Deleuze, we noted, locates as one such technique Francis Bacon’s »graphing« or »diagraming« method, where he implements chaotic forces under the form of involuntary, uncontrolled impulses in his body to manually insert a glitch-like »error«, so to speak, into his painting, on the basis of which he transforms his work into something entirely new and originative with the capacity to convey the rhythm of sensation.

            Glitch art, we observed next, similarly implements such »errors« into the creative process to disfigure sounds in order to create works whose own originative and aesthetic value calls into question our cultural expectations for the exclusion of such »mistakes«. In fact, glitch art demonstrates the value – and maybe even the need – for such deviational influences in creative activity. On the one hand, glitch promotes a sort of growth and development in an individual creator or audience member, as we see for instance in Deleuze’s claim that Bacon’s paintings can change the ways that the parts of our own bodies interact and compose us and our activities. Yet on the other hand, it can also enable cultures to expand their range of artistic creation by breaking out of their fixed sets of aesthetic values and rules. Both rhythm (in Deleuze’s sense) and glitch involve a confrontation with otherness that is self-transformative.

            As such, it is not inconceivable that when Deleuze heard the glitch elements of Oval’s Systemisch, he appreciated the deformative, modulatory influence of the CD clicks on the way the piece was composed. Moreover, we might imagine him appreciating other sorts of glitch techniques that also resemble Bacon’s diagramming method in which there are manual, chance-operational forces that alter the composition, as we see for instance with circuit bending. Regardless of whether or not this is in actuality what interested Deleuze about Oval’s music, we have nonetheless been able to obtain an elaboration of Deleuze’s notion of rhythm by examining it in the context of glitch music. What is repetition for Deleuze, especially rhythm-repetition? We might conceived it now as a series of glitches. What is sensation for Deleuze? It is a glitched operation of our bodies that can be brought about by artworks deformed through glitch techniques. And perhaps, with further examination of many other of Deleuze’s notions, like the power of the false and the role of error in the »new image of thought«, we might find that Deleuze could be characterized himself as a »glitch philosopher«.

Bacon, Francis. Painting (1946). Painting.

Bacon, Francis/ Sylvester, David (1987): The Brutality of Fact: Interviews with Francis Bacon. New York.

Boggiani, Guido (1895):Caduvei (Mbayá o Guaycurú). Viaggi d’un artista nell’America Meridionale. Rome.

Choike, James R. (1980): The Pentagram and the Discovery of an Irrational Number, in: The Two-Year College Mathematics Journal 11 (No. 5), p. 312–16.

Church, Scott Haden (2017): Against the Tyranny of Musical Form: Glitch Music, Affect, and the Sound of Digital Malfunction., in:Critical Studies in Media Communication 34 (No. 4), p. 315–28.

Clayton, Martin/ Herbert, Trevor / Middleton, Richard (2012): The Cultural Study of Music: A Critical Introduction. New York.

Cox, Christoph (2018): Sonic Flux: Sound, Art, and Metaphysics. Chicago.

Deleuze, Gilles (2005): Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (transl. by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam). London.

———  (2005): Cinema 2: The Time-Image  (transl. by Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta). London.

——— (1972): Course 1972.02.15. No online recordings. Transcript at Web Deleuze only. Paris.

–——  (1983) Course 1983.11.08, Part 2. Online recording at Bibliothèque nationale de France/Gallica; recording and transcript at La voix de Gilles Deleuze en ligne, Université Paris 8 (Transcription by Nadia Ouis); no transcript at Web Deleuze. Paris.;

———  (1983) Course 1983.11.22, Part 2. Online recording at Bibliothèque nationale de France/Gallica (no corresponding Voix recording or transcript for this partition); no transcript at Web Deleuze. Paris.

———  (1983) Course 1983.11.29, Part 2 [of Gallica; Parts 1 and 2 of Voix]. Online recording at Bibliothèque nationale de France/Gallica; recordings and transcripts at La voix de Gilles Deleuze en ligne, Université Paris 8. (The beginning of Voix Part 1 is repeated in Voix Part 2. The end of Voix Part 1 is repeated in Voix Part 3. Cut out of Voix Part 1 is material found in the middle of Gallica Part 2. Voix Part 1 transcription by Fofana Yaya and Alice Haëck and Voix. Part 2 by Marina Llecha Llop; no transcript at Web Deleuze. Paris.;

———  (1983) Course 1983.11.29, Part 3 [of Gallica; Parts 1 and 3 of Voix]. Online recording at Bibliothèque nationale de France/Gallica; recordings and transcripts at La voix de Gilles Deleuze en ligne, Université Paris 8. (See notes above for Part 2. Voix Part 3 by Abigail Heathcote); no transcript at Web Deleuze. Paris.;

——— (1994):Difference and Repetition (transl. by Paul Patton). New York.

——— (2003): Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation. (transl. by Daniel Smith). London / New York.

——— (2004): The Logic of Sense (transl. by Mark Lester and Charles Stivale). London.

Deleuze, Gilles/ Félix Guattari (2004): A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia (transl. by Brian Massumi). London.

Geyskens, Tomas (2008): Painting as Hysteria: Deleuze on Bacon, in: Deleuze Studies 2 (No. 2), p. 140–54.

Ghyka, Matila (1938): Essai sur le rythme. Paris.

———  (1959) Le nombre d’or. Paris.

———  (1977) The Geometry of Art and Life. New York.

Gisèle, Brelet (1963): Musique contemporaine en France, in: Histoire de la musique (Vol. 2). Du XVIIIe siècle à nos jours, edited by Roland-Manuel (Roland Alexis Manuel Lévy), Paris, p. 1093–1275.

Hambidge, Jay (1967): The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry. New York.

Hinton, David (1985): South Bank Show: Francis Bacon. Video. London Weekend Television.

Klossowski, Pierre (1988): The Baphomet (transl. by Sophie Hawkes and Stephen Sartarelli). Hygiene (Colorado).

Kuhl, Patricia K./ Conboy, Barbara/  Padden, Barbara/ Nelson, Tobey/ Pruitt, Jessica (2005): Early Speech Perception and Later Language Development: Implications for the Critical Period, in: Language Learning and Development 1 (No. 3–4): p. 237–64.

Lévi, Éliphas (1896): Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual (transl. by Arthur Waite). London.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1961): Tristes Tropiques (transl. by John Russell). New York.

Lund, Fredrik (1921): Ad quadratum; A Study of the Geometrical Bases of Classic & Medieval Religious Architecture. London.

Messiaen, Olivier/ Samuel, Claude (1976): Conversations with Olivier Messiaen (transl. by Felix Aprahamian). London.

Sangild, Torben (2004): Glitch – the Beauty of Malfunction, in: Bad Music: The Music We Love to Hate, edited by Christopher Washburne and Maiken Derno. New York, p. 198–211.

Stager, Christine L. /Werker, Janet F. (1997): Infants Listen for More Phonetic Detail in Speech Perception than in Word-Learning Tasks, in: Nature 388, p. 381–82.

Szepanski, Achim/ Reynolds, Simon/ Diefenbach, Katja (2017): Technodeleuze and Mille Plateaux. Achim Szepanski’s Interviews (1994-1996) (translated by NON, Letizia Rustichelli, and Paolo Davoli). Rizosfera.

Tsao, Feng-Ming/ Liu, Huei-Mei/ Kuhl, Patricia K. (2004): Speech Perception in Infancy Predicts Language Development in the Second Year of Life: A Longitudinal Study, in: Child Development 75 (No. 4), p. 1067–84.

Werker, Janet F./Tees, Richard C. (1984): Cross-Language Speech Perception: Evidence for Perceptual Reorganization during the First Year of Life, in: Infant Behavior and Development 7, (No. 1), p. 49–63.

Zeki, Semir/ Ishizu, Tomohiro (2013): The ‘Visual Shock’ of Francis Bacon: An Essay in Neuroesthetics, in: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7 (2013), p. 1–15.

Zimmer, Ben (2013): The Hidden History of ‘Glitch’, in:Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus (November 4). Website.       

[1] The bird figure of panels 1-3 is based on an image at Wikimedia commons:,_landing.jpg. The right panel provides a sense of some of the more basic parts of Bacon’s Painting (1946), which itself does not have such clearly defined formations. It is currently held at the Museum of Modern Art and viewable at their website:

[2] Deleuze (2003), pp. 60–69 [83–92].

[3] Bacon and Sylvester (1987), pp. 16–19, 50–53, 56, 58, 89–107, 121; Hinton: South Bank Show: … Bacon.

[4] »David Sylvester: ‘[…] do you not feel that with experience you are more aware of the kinds of thing that are likely to happen when you throw paint?’ Francis Bacon: ‘Not necessarily. Because I very often throw it and then take a great sponge or rag and sponge it out, and that in itself leaves another totally different kind of form. You see, I want the paintings to come about so that they look as though the marks had a sort of inevitability about them.« Bacon and Sylvester, Brutality of Fact, 93–94. »David Sylvester: ‘When you throw paint, the image has reached a certain state and you want to push it further?’ Francis Bacon: ‘Yes, and I can’t by my will push it further. I can only hope that the throwing of the paint onto the already-made image or half-made image will either re-form the image or that I will be able to manipulate this paint further into […] a greater intensity’.« Ibid., p. 90.

[5] »[…] very often the involuntary marks are much more deeply suggestive than others, and those are the moments when you feel that anything can happen. […] the marks are made, and you survey the thing like you would a sort of graph. And you see within this graph the possibilities of all types of fact being planted. […] for instance, if you think of a portrait, you maybe at one time have put the mouth somewhere, but you suddenly see through this graph that the mouth could go right across the face. And in a way you would love to be able in a portrait to make a Sahara of the appearance – to make it so like, yet seeming to have the distances of the Sahara.« Bacon and Sylvester (1987), p. 56.

[6] Ibid., p. 100.

[7] Ibid., pp. 60–61, 89–90, 93–94.

[8] Deleuze (2003), p. 112.

[9] Glenn, John: Into Orbit, in:Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus (November 4). Accessed via              

[10] Deleuze, Gilles/ Félix Guattari (2004), pp. 282–83.

[11] Ibid., p. 4.

[12] Sangild, Torben (2004): Glitch – the Beauty of Malfunction, in: Bad Music: The Music We Love to Hate, edited by Christopher Washburne and Maiken Derno. New York, p. 199.

[13] Cox, Christoph (2018): Sonic Flux: Sound, Art, and Metaphysics. Chicago, p. 113.

[14] The metaphysics we have in mind here is not strictly Leibnizian but more Deleuzian.

[15] Cox (2018), p. 116.

[16] Deleuze, Gilles (2005): Cinema 2: The Time-Image  (transl. by Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta). London, p. 151.

[17] See for instance: Tsao, Feng-Ming/ Liu, Huei-Mei/ Kuhl, Patricia K. (2004): Speech Perception in Infancy Predicts Language Development in the Second Year of Life: A Longitudinal Study, in: Child Development 75 (No. 4), p. 1067–84.; Werker, Janet F./Tees, Richard C. (1984): Cross-Language Speech Perception: Evidence for Perceptual Reorganization during the First Year of Life, in: Infant Behavior and Development 7, (No. 1), p. 49–63.; Stager, Christine L. /Werker, Janet F. (1997): Infants Listen for More Phonetic Detail in Speech Perception than in Word-Learning Tasks, in: Nature 388, p. 381–82.

[18] See for instance the collection of articles in: Clayton, Martin/ Herbert, Trevor / Middleton, Richard (2012): The Cultural Study of Music: A Critical Introduction. New York.

[19] Church, Scott Haden (2017): Against the Tyranny of Musical Form: Glitch Music, Affect, and the Sound of Digital Malfunction., in:Critical Studies in Media Communication 34 (No. 4), p. 317.

[20] Deleuze, Gilles (2005): Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (transl. by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam). London, pp. 8–25.

[21] Deleuze (2004), p. 5.

[22] s. Deleuze/Guattari (2004), p. 386.

[1] s. Szepanski, Achim/ Reynolds, Simon/ Diefenbach, Katja (2017): Technodeleuze and Mille Plateaux. Achim Szepanski’s Interviews (1994-1996) , p. 40–41.

[2] Deleuze, Gilles (2004): The Logic of Sense (transl. by Mark Lester and Charles Stivale). London, p. 197, 200, 322–23, 332–34; Deleuze, Course 1972.02.15, (no audio); Deleuze, Course 1983.11.08,2, (00:34:00–00:25:10); Deleuze, Course 1983.11.22,2, (00:34:00–00:25:10); Deleuze, Course 1983.11.29,2, (00:10:00–00:10:30); Deleuze, Course 1983.11.29,3, (00:03:30–00:06:50).

[3] s. Deleuze (2004), p. 332–38; s. Klossowski, Pierre (1988): The Baphomet (transl. by Sophie Hawkes and Stephen Sartarelli). Hygiene (Colorado), p. 102.

[4] s. Deleuze, Gilles (1994): Difference and Repetition (transl. by Paul Patton). New York,  p. 222.

[5] Public domain image from Boggiani, I Caduvei, 201.

[6] Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1961): Tristes Tropiques (transl. by John Russell). New York, p. 174.

[7] Deleuze (1994), p. 19.

[8] Hambidge, Jay (1967): The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry. New York, xiii.

[9] ibid., xv.

[10] Deleuze (1994), p. 20.

[11] ibid., p. 21.

[12] Hambidge (1967), pp. 5–6.

[13] Public domain golden rectangle and spiral diagrams from Wikimedia Commons: See Hambidge (1967), pp. 6–8.

[14] s. Ghyka, Matila (1977): The Geometry of Art and Life. New York, p. 10.

[15] Hambidge (1967), p. 7.

[16] Choike, »Pentagram and the Discovery«, 313–15.

[17] Public domain image from Lévi, Transcendental Magic, 174.

[18] Based on Ghyka, Matila (1959): Le nombre d’or. Paris, Plate XXXV.

[19] Public domain image from Lund, Ad quadratum, plate 11.

[20] Ghyka (1959): pp. 64–65.

[21] Ibid.: p. 63.

[22] Ibid: p. 63. Drawing in part from the translation at: Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, 20–21 [32].

[23] Ghyka, Matila (1938): Essai sur le rythme. Paris, p. 84.

[24] Deleuze (1994), p. 21.

[25] Ibid.

[26] See Ghyka (1959), p. 107; Ghyka (1938), p. 98.

[27] Ibid.: pp. 97–99.

[28] Deleuze (1994), p. 21.

[29] s. Deleuze, Gilles/ Félix Guattari (2004): A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia (transl. by Brian Massumi). London, p. 346.

[30] Messiaen, Olivier/ Samuel, Claude (1976): Conversations with Olivier Messiaen (transl. by Felix Aprahamian). London, S. 34.

[31] Ibid., 33. S. Deleuze/Guattari (2004), p. 345.

[32] Messiaen/Samuel (1976), p. 34.

[33] Deleuze/Guattari (2004), p. 340, quoting Gisèle, »Musique contemporaine«, p. 1166.

[34] See Geyskens, Tomas (2008): Painting as Hysteria: Deleuze on Bacon, in: Deleuze Studies 2 (No. 2), p. 147. Bacon himself seems to use such a model, at least in terms of the role of the nervous system. See Bacon, Francis/ Sylvester, David (1987): The Brutality of Fact: Interviews with Francis Bacon. New York, p. 12, 18, 43, 48, 59, 82, 104, 176; S. Zeki, Semir/ Ishizu, Tomohiro (2013): The ‘Visual Shock’ of Francis Bacon: An Essay in Neuroesthetics, in: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7 (2013).

[35] Deleuze, Gilles (2003): Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation. (transl. by Daniel Smith). London / New York, pp. 32–35.

[36] Bacon speaks of »levels of feeling«, »areas of feeling«, and »areas of sensation«, s. Bacon/Sylvester (1987), p. 28, 43, 44, 46, 56, 59, 66) and of »shifting sequences« (ibid., 21). See Deleuze (2003), p. 27.

[37] In Deleuze’s analyses, this sort of rhythm of sensation is the lowest sort, which he calls »vibration.« There are also coupled sensations, whose rhythm is called »resonance.« And in the cases of Bacon’s triptychs, the rhythm’s »amplitude« is so great that the rhythm itself becomes the sensation, and this kind of rhythm is called »forced movement.« Deleuze (2003), p. 51.

[38] Ibid., p. 32.

[39] Ibid., p. 51.

[40] Ibid., p. 33.

[41] Bacon/Sylvester (1987), p . 56; Deleuze (2003), p. 71.

[42] What is missing in Bacon’s accounting of how he painted this work is the manual intrusion of chance. Instead, the chance variations somehow arose on their own, although still immanently from the work itself. Nonetheless, Deleuze still observes a »diagram« section of manual chaos, suggesting the possibility that the mysterious source of the chaos still guided his hand to make disruptive markings, although possibly not in the same ways as his other more straightforward implementations of chance operations. s. ibid.: p. 110.

[43] Bacon/Sylvester (1987), p. 11.

[44] Ibid., p. 98.

[45] Ibid., pp. 11–12, 16–17, 21, 24–43, 73.

[46] Ibid., 21.

taken from the book „Ultrablack of Music“

Foto: Sylvia John