Deleuze and Photography

full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

Rhizomes Special Issue: Deleuze and Photography

In his treatment of the modernist painter Francis Bacon, Deleuze argues that we are "besieged by photographs." These mechanically-(re)produced images, according to Deleuze, can function as narratives, clichés, and memories that limit or regulate our creative efforts. The documentary technology, in other words, can be deployed to suspend and stagnate creative energies by representing that which is already known, fixed, or certain. Deleuze urges us to disrupt the reifying work of such representations and clichés, and reminds us that "to create is to lighten, to unburden life, to invent new possibilities of life." While the last twenty years has witnessed an explosion of Deleuzian readings of painting, film, and their aesthetic powers, photography has (perhaps understandably) received notably little attention from Deleuze scholars. And yet, despite the apparent technological limitations of still frames, photographers have shown the potential to generate Deleuzian images, suggest lines of flight, and imagine new kinds of becomings. This special issue of Rhizomes seeks contributions that address photography's ability to address, treat, or disrupt the imposed objectivity and pre-disposed documentation of the mechanically-reproduced image, engender new forms of creativity, and point toward productive desires. Possible topics may include the digitization of photography, the representation of movement, dynamism, or temporality, the depiction of becoming-woman/becoming-animal, the limits of the photographic frame, analyses of camera technology, or Deleuzian tendencies in the history of photography. Critical and creative writings are welcome, as are photographic exhibits and reviews. While Rhizomes always welcome Deleuzian approaches, we are happy to consider other approaches, as well. Completed essays, reviews, and exhibits are due 8/1/11. Please send inquiries, questions, and submissions to Michael Kramp (