Gilles Delueze, the radicalized french intellect and 20th-century philosopher par excellence, defined philosophy as the creation of concepts. in this way, he carved out a place for philosophy that was more like the artist’s discipline and less like the scientist’s. he suggested that rather than asking “is it true?” we might ask “what does it do?” the concept was therefore made by the philosopher but the student (or subsequent philosopher) was obliged to make its application to various problems. the concept is more a tool than a doctrine, neither true nor false, but only useful or not, applied or left alone.
in this spirit, i am launching a series of posts called CONCEPTS that could prove applicable to modern performance practice. the perfectionist, the totalizing man in me, would like to present a Hegelian system or a doctrine, a nicely boundaried thesis that is called THE THEATRE OF TOTALIZED INTERLOCKING COMPONENTS. but another great french postmodern thinker, Jean-François Lyotard, has warned me off meta-narratives. the rejection of the over-arching, everything-is-explained package is one of the main tenets of postmodern thought. these themes (and a number of others from postmodern/poststructuralist thought) will recur throughout this blog in myriad forms.
so the CONCEPTS will include ideas presented as a slice of practice, an alternate paradigm, an analogue from another discipline, a forgotten technique, and so on. fresh ingredients, a clanky sack of what-ifs, produced and collected to try to learn what they might do if applied.