DARE is a series of international conferences on Deleuze and Artistic Research organised by the Orpheus Institute (Ghent, Belgium). Held every two years at the Orpheus Institute and in other venues in Ghent, the conference is currently preparing its third edition DARE 2019: Machinic Assemblages of Desire (9-11 December 2019). The conference was initiated in July 2014 by Paulo de Assis as part of Music Experiment 21, Experimentation versus Interpretation. Exploring New Paths in Music Performance in the Twenty-First Century (ME21) a five-year Artistic Research programme (2013-2018) based at the Orpheus Institute and funded by the European Research Council. The programme explored and developed notions of experimentation to propose new performance practices of Western notated art music. In this context, experimentation was not used in relation to measurable phenomena, rather it became an imperative to constantly reshape thoughts and practices, to operate new redistributions of music materials, and to afford unexpected reconfigurations of music.
The contraposition between experimentation and interpretation at the core of ME21 activity (de Assis and D’Errico 2018), yielded one of its structural affinities with Deleuze’s philosophy and post-Kantian motto: ‘Experiment, never interpret.’ (Deleuze and Parnet 2007: 48). Both the DARE 2015 and DARE 2017 Chair’s Address were given in the form of concert performances. The Deleuzabelli Variations #4 (de Assis 2015) and ‘Rasch25: vers la nuit’ (2017) are experiments to create new critical arrangements, fundamentally questioning the musical assemblages known as Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, Op. 120, and Schumann’s Kreisleriana, Op. 16. At the same time, the serialisation of the performances proposes a programme for the future, each ‘providing reference points for an experiment which exceeds our capacities to foresee.’ (48)
The double articulation of ME21 musical practice underlies the DARE project as a whole. Each conference selects and assembles in an experiment artists, artist-researchers and scholars, while puts itself to flight at each new edition. The first aspect is shown more clearly by the introduction of ‘plateaus’ in DARE 2017. Plateaus are discussion panels composed by the conference organisers after the first review stage and chaired by one of the invited speakers. After the second review stage, the conference papers or extended abstracts are circulated within each plateau in order to prepare the collegial discussion at the conference.
The DARE experimental programme, is given particular relevance in the DARE conferences archive (available at dareconferences.org from Spring 2018). Expanding the limits of the conference event, the archive collects and maintains in a single site, hundreds of hours of video-recorded presentations, making them searchable and available open-access to all researchers. In addition, the archive offers to all contributors the opportunity to comment, expand, rework, reuse and remix the archived material, providing DARE with a further tool for experimentation and material for creation. However, one might argue, the archive runs the risk of memorialising past conference events, generating the very phantasm it seeks to escape (Deleuze and Parnet 2007: 47). Further, it might be a symptom that DARE is folding back on itself, an issue that seems to invest Artistic Research as a whole and the SAR 2018 conference proposes as ‘territory for exploration along with generative practices that involve reflexivity, automorphogenesis, and recursive feedback loops’. To recognise amidst the tangle of lines of flight when and how an assemblage (of desire) such as DARE, may shift towards a micro-apparatus (of power) that captures and represses them (Deleuze 2007b: 347-8), demands constant attention. Not only are assemblage and apparatus hard to distinguish at any one time but are also complementary to one another in many ways (Legg 2011: 130-1), so that even DARE commitment to critical diagnosis and clinical experimentation may prove insufficient to prevent the slippage. Deleuze’s 1987 lecture on the creative act, at La Fémis film school in Paris, offers a stepping stone to consider this problem afresh.
The recent DARE 2017: Aberrant Nuptials invited its contributors to consider the relation between art and research as a double capture (De Assis 2017: 8), famously represented by Deleuze with the wasp and the orchid (Deleuze and Parnet 2007a: 2). That the two components of Artistic Research can only relate to each other from the outside and in between their respective planes, supports Deleuze’s later statement that ‘a work of art has nothing to do with communication’ (2007a: 322) as much as it is necessary to research. This is not to suggest that in Deleuze there is a philosophical opposition to Artistic Research, or that DARE intends to support Artistic Research by ‘parodising’ Deleuze (Sauvagnargues 2017: 309). On the contrary, DARE asks what can Deleuze afford for artists and artist-researchers? Deleuze’s lecture at La fémis not only reaffirms the exteriority of the act of creation (philosophical, artistic, scientific) to communication of information (the order-words system) but more importantly, establishes its primacy on two levels.
First, on an onto-epistemic level, the act of creation grounds transdisciplinarity: ‘Anyone can speak to anybody else, a filmmaker can speak to person of science, a person of science can have something to say to a philosopher, and vice versa, only in terms of and according to their own creative activity.’ (Deleuze 2007a: 314-5) Second, on an ethico-political level, the act of creation produces a fundamental affinity between art and human struggle because creation is, at the same time, an act of resistance (323): ‘What relationship is there between struggle and a work of art? The closest and for me the most mysterious relationship of all. Exactly what Paul Klee meant when he said: “You know, the people are missing.” and at the same time, they are not missing. The people are missing means that the fundamental affinity between a work of art and a people that does not yet exist is not, will never be clear. There is no work of art that does not call on a people who does not yet exist.’ (323)
With the DARE 2019 Call for Proposals coming out in Spring 2018, DARE aims at returning to the fundamental sense of experiment (expérience) by privileging molecular artistic and philosophical creation over molar aspects of (double) capture and interpretation, and on the other side, intensity of encounter over extensive encounters. The DARE community of artists, artist-researchers and philosophers that the web-archive and the call for proposals addresses, is not already present, but needs to be constituted and sustained as correlate of creation (Deleuze and Guattari 1994: 108) to cultivate and enhance which DARE was instituted.
Deleuze, Gilles. 1997. ‘Desire and Pleasure’, translated by Daniel Smith. In Foucault and His Interlocutors, edited by Arnold I. Davidson, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 183-92.
Deleuze, Gilles. 2007a. ‘What Is the Creative Act?’ in Two Regimes of Madness. Texts and Interviews 1975-1995. Edited by David Lapoujade, translated by Ames Hodges and Mike Taormina. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 312-24.
Deleuze, Gilles. 2007b. ‘What is a Dispositif?’ in Two Regimes of Madness. Texts and Interviews 1975-1995. Edited by David Lapoujade, translated by Ames Hodges and Mike Taormina. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 338-48.
____ and Félix Guattari. 1994. What Is Philosophy? Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell. New York: Columbia University Press.
____ and Claire Parnet. 2007. ‘On the Superiority of Anglo-American Literature’ in Dialogues II. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, New York: Columbia University Press, 36-76.
de Assis, Paulo. 2015. Deleuzabelli Variations #4. Concert performance. With new compositions by David Gorton, Paolo Galli, Tiziano Manca, Juan Parra Cancino, Hans Roels and Bart Vanhecke. Performed by HERMESensemble, featuring Paulo de Assis (piano), Mieko Kanno (violin), Valentin Gloor (tenor), Lucia D’Errico (projection), and Juan Parra Cancino (live electronics). Conducted by Paulo de Assis. Viewed at DARE 2015, Concertzaal, De Bijloke Music Centre, Ghent, BE, 9 November 2015. Video recording available at: https://youtu.be/2RTo_VxDaC0 [accessed 23/2/2018].
____. 2017a. ‘Chair’s Preface’ in Aberrant Nuptials. DARE 2017 book of abstracts. Ghent: Orpheus Institute, 8-9. Available at: issuu.com/dareconferences/docs/dare_2017_book_of_abstracts [accessed 23/2/2018].
_____. 2017b. ‘Rasch25: vers la nuit’, Aberrant Nuptials, Part II. Concert performance. Performed by Paulo de Assis (piano), Lucia D’Errico (video and sound projection), Juan Parra Cancino (live electronics and sound projection) and Marlene Monteiro Freitas (turntable). Viewed at DARE 2017, Handelsbeurs Concertzaal, Ghent, BE, 21 November 2017.
_____ and Lucia D’Errico. 2018. ‘MusicExperiment21 Timeline‘, Research Catalogue. Available at: https://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/106821/243746/0/0 [accessed 23/02/2018].
Legg, Stephen. 2011. ‘Assemblage/apparatus: Using Deleuze and Foucault’ in Area 43 (2), 128–133.
Sauvagnargues, Anne. 2017. ”Deleuze and Guattari’s Digital Art Machines’, in The Dark Precursor. Deleuze and Artistic Research. Volume II: Image, Space, and Politics. Edited by Paulo de Assis and Paolo Giudici. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 309-14.
Society for Artistic Research. 2018. Artistic Research Will Eat Itself. 9th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research. Call for Papers. University of Plymouth, 11-13 April. Available at: http://sarconference2018.org [accessed 23/02/2018].