‘A work of art does not contain the least bit of information’: Deleuze and Guattari and Contemporary Art


  • Stephen Zepke Independent researcher




philosophy, Deleuze, Kant, contemporary art, photography, aesthetics, sublime, immanence


Deleuze and Guattari’s rejection of Conceptual art is well known, and sits awkwardly with the current hegemony of ‘post-conceptual’ artistic practices. Equally awkward is Deleuze’s ontological and political dislike of photography, which produces a ‘snapshot’ or representation of becoming, placing cliched images directly into our brains, controlling our actions and reactions by denying us the power to think creatively. In Cinema 2 Deleuze will extend this argument to the new ‘electronic image’, which like Conceptual art turns the plane of composition into a ‘flatbed’ plane or ‘screen’ that simply formats information, and with it our interfaced brains. Today, conceptual practice, photography and digital technologies are all simply taken for granted by contemporary art, which is also happy to use “D&G” as well. But doesn’t Deleuze and Guattari’s thought require a more critical application? Doesn’t it demand a minor war-machine? What would this be in the case of contemporary artistic practice? Amongst various possibilities this paper will explore the sublime ramifications of a Deleuzean image of ‘thought’, and its position as the ‘immanent outside’ of art’s post-conceptual trajectory.

Author Biography

Stephen Zepke, Independent researcher

Stephen Zepke is an independent researcher based in Vienna. He is the author of Art as Abstract Machine, Ontology and Aesthetics in Deleuze and Guattari (Routledge, 2005) and Sublime Art, Towards a Philosophy of the Future (EUP, forthcoming 2016). He is the co-editor of Deleuze, Guattari and the Production of the New (Continuum, 2008), Deleuze and Contemporary Art (EUP, 2010) (both with Simon O'Sullivan), and Art History After Deleuze and Guattari (Leuven, forthcoming 2016) (with Sjoerd van Tuinen).


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How to Cite

Zepke, Stephen. 2017. “‘A Work of Art Does Not Contain the Least Bit of information’: Deleuze and Guattari and Contemporary Art”. Performance Philosophy 3 (3):751-65. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2017.33145.



The Concept of Immanence in Contemporary Philosophy and the Arts