Zips: Experimental Lines of Flight

Ryan Johnson


By applying a few of the concepts and transformative tools presenting in many of Deleuze?s texts, Barnett Newman?s paintings receive a much-needed re-interpretation. In many of Newman?s paintings, the fields of colors and the pulsating zips that sear through these vast landscapes can be seen as intensive sensations pushing away from philosophical and artistic domains that cling to images of thought rooted in recognition and binarism.  The function of such a Deleuzian reading of Barnett Newman is to evoke the potentiality for destabilization so that one is able to create new sensations, new ways of conceiving of painting and life that are never able to be captured by a single system of signification.  Rather than the desire to imitate, represent, or capture, Newman is able to mark an intensive threshold of becoming.  Beneath a representational regime is a plane of imperceptible forces that traverse the face of the painting and extend beyond the canvas infinitely in every direction.  


Deleuze, Newman, Zips, Diagrammatics, Apparatus of Capture, Lines of Flight, Immanence, Becoming, Nietzsche

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