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Time

  1. 1. Continental Philosophy Review 35: 325–345, 2002. © 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 325The time-image and Deleuze’s transcendental experienceVALENTINE MOULARDDepartment of Philosophy, The University of Memphis, 327 Clement Hall, Memphis, TN38152-3530, USA (E-mail: vmoulard@memphis.edu)Abstract. In this paper I examine the meaning of Deleuze’s “transcendental empiricism” bymeans of the kind of experience that his project opens up for us – an experience that I wantto call transcendental. Primarily on the basis of his works on cinema, famously dedicated tofreely investigating Bergson’s thought, I argue that Deleuze’s notion of the time-image, to-gether with his search for its real and necessary conditions, consists in the liberation of experi-ence from its Kantian limitative conditioning. I then examine both the new kind of subjectivity(the fissured ego) that emerges from this enlarged experience and the new conception of tem-porality (time out of joint) that subtends it. Finally, I try to bring out the concrete relationsbetween (transcendental) experience, thought and the brain that Deleuze brings to light inhis analysis of great cinema’s reinvention of the relationship between time and movement. We believe that we think the strange and the foreign, but in reality we never think any- thing but the familiar; we think not the distant, but the close that measures it. And so again, when we speak of impossibility, it is possibility alone that, providing it with a reference, already sarcastically brings impossibility under its rule. Will we ever, then, come to pose a question such as: what is impossibility (impuissance), this non-power that would not be the simple negation of power? Or will we ask ourselves: how can we discover the obscure?; how can it be brought into the open? What would this experience of the obscure be, whereby the obscure would give itself in its obscurity? Maurice Blanchot, The Infinite Conversation. The film does not record the filmic process in this way without projecting a cerebral process. A flickering brain, which relinks and creates loops – this is cinema. Gilles Deleuze, Cinema II.When Deleuze declares, in Difference and Repetition,1 that his philosophy isto be understood as a “superior” or “transcendental empiricism”, he is clearlysituating himself in a very innovative position with regard to the history ofphilosophy. To apply the paradoxical formula “transcendental empiricism” toone’s project is to point out the necessity, firstly, of overcoming the traditionaldichotomies informing philosophy.2 I will argue that it is also, more radicallyand in a Bergsonian inspiration, to endorse the task of liberating experience
  2. 2. 326 VALENTINE MOULARDfrom the conditions that, in Kant’s view, confine it to contingency and par-ticularity. On the one hand, if Empiricism traditionally deduces the intelligi-ble from the sensible, Superior Empiricism wants to resist validating a dogmaabout the essence of the mind, or of reality; yet its concern does lie primarilyin the concrete diversity of the sensible. Indeed, as I will try to show, philo-sophical thinking for Deleuze aims directly at the very Being of the sensible(Sentiendum) in its immanence – as opposed to desperately wanting to reachsensible beings through a series of intellectual reductions. On the other hand,Superior Empiricism is properly transcendental because it searches for the“necessary conditions” that ground this richness of the real, and in fact pro-duce it. But for Deleuze, these conditions are not Kantian conditions of pos-sible experience abstracted from the immanent incommensurabilities of thereal that they try to mediate, or copied off of what they are supposed to con-dition and then projected back retroactively. They are, following Bergson,transcendental conditions of real experience: different in kind from what theycondition, yet fitting the conditioned tightly enough that they immediatelycontain their own necessity.3 The method of Transcendental Empiricism thusconsists in systematically unhooking familiar identifications (e.g., experienceand contingency) and displacing traditional conceptual assumptions (e.g., theunity of the transcendental subject) – for the sake of freeing experience fromthe negative requirements of a consciousness-centered science of knowledge.Beyond the epistemological foundations of possible, hence contingent expe-rience which remains hostage to the idiosyncrasies of human consciousness,Deleuze searches for the differential ontological ground of an experience thatis properly metaphysical in the Bergsonian sense, in that it goes beyond hu-man experience, beyond the sensory-motor schemes and intellectual con-sciousness qua consciousness of the world.4 In contrast with the intentionalmodel that subtends “possible experience,” the fundamental concept inform-ing what I want to call the Transcendental Experience generated by Transcen-dental Empiricism is the unconscious – an unconscious that is not merelypsychological but also ontological, not simply actual but also fundamentallyvirtual: an unconscious which, in Deleuze’s words, produces the “impossiblereal.”51. Breakdown of the sensory-motor situation: the time-imageIn accordance with his project of overcoming the unbridgeable gap betweenbody and mind, or matter and memory, Bergson starts out by defining matterin terms of images. An image is “a certain existence which is more than what
  3. 3. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 327the idealist calls representation, but less than what the realist calls a thing –an existence situated half-way between the ‘thing’ and the ‘representation’ ”(MM 1).6 Insofar as we perceive them, objects and their qualities are there-fore images, but images that exist in themselves (MM 2). The image is thatwhich appears, it is the phenomenon. As Bergson tells us, everything thatappears is in motion; everything, then, is a movement-image. For the imageacts and reacts. It is not merely a basis for action and reaction, but the imagein itself, in all its parts, is indeed action and reaction, immediately. Deleuzesummarizes Bergson’s original point of view as claiming that the universeconsists neither in things, nor in consciousnesses, but in movement-images –a “machinic universe of movement-images.”7 If the distinction between matter and mind does not come first, how do weget to the differentiation of things and thought? Bergson’s first answer lieswith pure perception. At the level of some images, the input does not prolongitself immediately into a reaction. All it is is a slight interval of movement, alittle slice of time between two movements. So on the one hand, we have atype of image that undergo actions and react immediately – let us call it mat-ter. And on the other hand we have another kind of images that simply presenta delay (écart) between input and output – let us reserve the term sensory-motor situation for the latter type of image. This delay is none other than thebrain; as a “center of indetermination” allowing for choice between severalpossibilities, it generates the difference between reflex-movement and cer-ebral activity. Although we are not, as yet, in the domain of consciousnessper se, this tiny delay is the fulcrum we are going to need to account for theultimately very complex experiences of perception, thought and memory thatthe Bergsonian notions of duration and virtuality aim at capturing. Now obviously, what cinema essentially does is produce images. Thismeans, Deleuze points out, that it produces reality.8 Indeed, cinema generatesa living and lived reality to the extent that it produces self-movement in im-ages and as such, it produces its own autotemporalization. In other words, asDeleuze shows in his Cinema books, the cinematic image generates new cir-cuits, and “creating new circuits in art means creating them in the brain, too”(N 60).9 By following through Deleuze’s attempt at introducing concepts whichrelate specifically to cinema as a privileged mode of production of the real, Ihope to bring out more clearly the new kind of experience that he is openingup for us, as well as the transcendental conditions for the generation of thisexperience – a direct experience of time qua the very Being of the sensible;an experience which is all the more real in that it is transcendental. Traversed through and through by the empty form of time, the Deleuziansubject opens up to a kind of experience that necessarily exceeds the sensory-
  4. 4. 328 VALENTINE MOULARDmotor and intellectual boundaries of the Kantian conditioning of experience.10 Infact, the whole first chapter of Deleuze’s Time–Image (Cinema 2) – operat-ing a transition from, hence a recapitulation of the prior volume titled TheMovement-Image – focuses on describing the breakdown of the action-image.11 Put very simply, Deleuze’s point is that when we are confronted withan excess of beauty or horror in images, with the sublime or the unbearable,our sensory-motor mechanisms jam. The movement-image that combinesaction and reaction is interrupted. This radical interruption of the movement-image throws it into a system different from that of the sensory-motor situa-tion, and consequently transforms the movement-image into a qualitativelydifferent kind of image. Deleuze calls this the time-image, which arises outof the pure optical and aural situation. As we will see, when the actual sen-sory-motor schemata break down, we get “dragged down” into the delay,or into the temporal dimension of the image – the very interval which, forBergson, constitutes the point of contact between matter and memory, on whichthe virtual cone of memory with all its layers constantly weighs so as to in-sert itself into the actual plane of immanence. When we encounter the sub-lime, then, we cannot but dive into the crack in which the pure form of timeflashes. Inscribed in and defined by a system of sensory-motor situations directedtoward action, the action-image belongs fundamentally to space and its lin-ear chain of input-output succession. This linearity presents the unfolding ofa story. It gives us a narrative in the form of a succession of presents. Accord-ing to Kant, this succession is the kind of content that we must ascribe to theform of time in order to have any empirical experience, hence any knowledge.It appears, then, that although Kant saw the necessity of positing a transcen-dental form of time as conditioning the possibility of experience, he could notconceive of time itself in any other way than as mediated through space (alinear succession of presents), that is, in Bergson’s view, as de-temporalized.But against Kant the question arises, as it does in Bergson’s Matter andMemory and as it is echoed in Deleuze’s famous second synthesis of time inDifference and Repetition, “What makes the present pass?” In Bergsonism, Deleuze echoes the argument from Bergson’s Matter andMemory that the failure to distinguish properly between time and spaceamounts to a metaphysical confusion between what is and what acts, and theconcomitant confusion between past and present.12 As pure becoming, thepresent cannot be said to be. It is not, yet it acts. The past, on the other hand,does not act (since it has ceased to be useful), which means that it does notpass; but precisely, it has not ceased to be. Deleuze writes, “Useless and inac-tive . . . it IS, in the full sense of the word: it is identical with being itself” (B
  5. 5. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 32955). This means that in addition to the empirical past, constituted by old presentswhich have become past in relation to the new present, there must be, at thevery same time, a pure past. This virtual “past that has never been present” isthus of necessity presupposed by the actual present as the condition withoutwhich the latter would not pass (i.e., no empirical experience would be pos-sible); the virtual must both preexist the present and coexist with it. InDeleuze’s words, “It is the in-itself of time as the ultimate ground of passage.It is in this sense that it forms a pure, general, a priori element of all time”(DR 111/82). But Kant failed to conceive of the pure form of time as a purepast. In fact there is a sense, Deleuze would argue, in which Kant is too em-pirical – that is, not transcendental enough. By copying the conditions ofpossibility (i.e., time and space) from that which they condition (empiricalexperience as caught up in the sensory-motor situation), it looks as if Kantcould only think time as an eternal present. A radically new thinking of time hence lies at the heart of Deleuze’s dis-placement of the transcendental. Beyond the psychological present of percep-tion and conditioning it transcendentally, the pure past points to the ontologicalunconscious and virtual memory as the ultimate basis for sensibility. This “pastthat has never been present” obviously escapes empirical experience. It is notgiven. In fact, this is one of Kant’s precious basic tenets; as he ceaselesslyreminds us throughout the Critique of Pure Reason, “Time itself cannotbe perceived,” although it is a transcendental condition of all possibleintuitions.13 Deleuze’s direct answer to this, as is suggested in Cinema 2, wouldrun as follows: You are right, Kant, time itself as an empty form can certainlynot be perceived; but it can be thought; this is indeed the most crucial im-port of your transcendental turn. Precisely, however, once run through theBergsonian “method of intuition,” and thereby liberated from its traditionalspatialization, time itself qua thought itself can be made sensible (CII, 29/18). In other words, while time remains properly transcendental (though nottranscendent),14 it is also, at the very same time, necessarily immanent. Indeed,this precisely constitutes the core of Deleuze’s affirmation of “transcenden-tal experience” – which, in accordance with his refutation of the transcendentalunity of apperception, hence of the phenomenological accounts of subjectiv-ity, is to be clearly distinguished from an experience of the transcendental.2. The crystal-image and the fissured egoIn Deleuze’s view, it is not the case, as Kant would have it, that the transcen-dental subject grounds space-time. On the contrary, it is absolute time as the
  6. 6. 330 VALENTINE MOULARDBeing of memory that grounds the subject – and indeed, ultimately ungroundsit. Schopenhauer pointed out that “before Kant we were in time; now time isin us”.15 But as Keith Ansell Pearson argues, although this is not a mistakenreading of Kant, Deleuze radically reconfigures its sense by bringing Bergsonismto bear on Kant’s thinking of time. Following Bergson, says Ansell Pearson,“there is for Deleuze a being of time, and it is we who exist and become intime, not time that exists in us, even though time is subjectivity” (PAV 184).And he continues, quoting Deleuze: “That we are in time looks like a com-monplace, yet it is the highest paradox. Time is not the interior in us, but justthe opposite, the interiority in which we are, in which we move, live, change. . . Subjectivity is never ours, it is time, that is, the soul, or the spirit, the vir-tual” (CII 111/82–3). With the transition to the time-image we have a direct presentation of time,or of the Being of the sensible, as opposed to the mere indirect representationwe get in the movement-image. The passage from movement to time indeedconsists in a reversal/overthrowing (renversement) of the Aristotelian relationbetween time and movement. Whereas in the sensory-motor situation time isstill subordinated to movement insofar as time is relegated to being the meremeasure of movement, in the pure optical situation it is movement that be-comes subordinated, hence relative to time: the pure past necessarily preex-ists the moving present. Put otherwise, while the time-image is virtual, themovement-image remains actual. What, then, does this transition consist in?We know that its precondition is the radical breakdown of the sensory-motorsituation, which necessarily fails to tear us away from habit and clichés, as aresult of which it cannot generate a new kind of image. Deleuze says, We have schemata for turning away when it is too unpleasant, for prompt- ing resignation when it is terrible and for assimilating when it is too beau- tiful . . . even metaphors are sensory-motor evasions, and furnish us with something to say when we no longer know what to do . . . Now this is what a cliché is. A cliché is a sensory-motor image of the thing . . . We therefore normally perceive only clichés. But if our sensory-motor schemata jam or break [cf. the sublime] then a different type of image can appear: a pure optical-sound image, the whole image without metaphor, brings out the thing in itself literally, in its excess of horror or beauty, in its radical or unjustifiable character (CII 32/20, trans. modified).This transition thus implies the excess, the violence of the unbearable as thatwhich cannot be accommodated, thereby forcing us into a different, deeperdimension of experience. Knowledge, utility, morality – all those practical in-terests which in Bergson’s view normally preside over the work of the intel-ligence insofar as it is essentially directed toward action – are no longer a factor
  7. 7. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 331in the constitution of experience. The act that defines the passage from thefield of actual movement to the domain of virtual time, then, is the tearing ofa real image from clichés. Now what is it that the movement-image gets connected to, if not to an ac-tion-image? What can play the role of a virtual image? The first answer thatcomes to mind is the memory-image, a recollection or a dream. Associationistpsychology and psychoanalysis explain the phenomenon of dreaming or day-dreaming (and even, in some extreme cases, of certain neuroses) as a turningaway from the immediate interests of the present, provoking a rerouting ofenergy away from motor discharge. Cinematographically, the relation betweenaction-image and memory-image appears in the use of the flashback. But theflash-back, Deleuze points out, is always only a conventional and extrinsicdevice which still indicates a causality analogous to sensory-motor determin-ism. It receives its own necessity from elsewhere, just as memory-images mustreceive the internal mark of the past from elsewhere (CII 67/48); the past orthe imaginary thus remain relative to the present, or actuality. In contrast, thepure past must be past in itself, absolutely. The virtual informing superiorempiricism consists precisely in its own internal necessity, which points toits transcendental status, as opposed to the external and contingent relationsinforming traditional empiricism. It appears that we must fill in a bit further the picture of the second synthe-sis we proposed earlier, and point to the birth of what Deleuze calls “memoryas a function of the future”, in addition to memory as a function of the past.Mankiewicz had clearly understood that “memory could never evoke andreport the past if it had not already been constituted at the moment when thepast was still present, hence in an aim to come. It is this memory of the presentwhich makes the two elements communicate from the inside . . .” (CII 72/52,my emphasis). Indeed, Bergson insisted that this “memory of the present” isthe regular and necessary way in which the present is both constituted as anactual experience, and able to pass, hence to become past,16 for, as Bergsonsays, underlying our actual conscious perception, there is a doubling of thepresent. Coinciding with the twofold manifestation of the self (as both spon-taneous actor and automatic spectator, acting and acted), this doubling is de-fined as a scission between the conscious action that the perception calls foron the one hand, and the virtual recollection that intertwines with it on theother. This recollection is virtual, Bergson writes, insofar as “[it] is suspendedin the air,” and it “does not correspond to any prior experience” (ES 141). Theinterval between actual and virtual images is thus the site of a branching offof time.17 Time forks in and from itself, thereby allowing, in some exceptionalcases, for a radical interruption of movement by hindering the compensation
  8. 8. 332 VALENTINE MOULARDfor the lack of motor discharge through linkage with memory and dream-im-ages. For in fact, a dream-image is still conditioned by its attributability to adreamer. The conception of subjectivity only gets truly renewed – through itsown splitting, which indeed consists in a transformation in kind – when de-fined in terms of the pure optical situation, divorced from the possibility ofrepresentation by a unified consciousness. For Bergson, the memory of the present is the hinge that articulates therelationship of the actual and the virtual. It is the point of contact between(empirical) psychology and (metaphysical) ontology, the point at which thevirtual cone of memory inserts itself into the actual plane of the psychologi-cal present.18 Clearly, the virtual image has no psychological existence for itlives outside of consciousness, in time.19 The point, or narrowest circuit, thusfunctions as an internal limit presupposed by all others – from the increas-ingly wider circuits of memory and dream to the cosmic circuit of the purepast as the open totality at the basis of the inverted cone. I believe that it is,essentially, what Deleuze calls the crystal image. The narrowest circuit forms a crystal-image insofar as it contains only theactual image (or the object itself) together with its own virtual double whichreturns to cover it.20 “[T]he real object is reflected in a mirror-image as in thevirtual object which, from its side and simultaneously, envelops or reflects thereal: there is ‘coalescence’ between the two” (CII 92/68). The formation of thisimage with two sides, actual and virtual, constitutes the point of indiscernabilitybetween the real and the imaginary. Although the actual and the virtual remaindistinct in principle, as Bergson’s diagram shows, they become indistinguish-able in fact – which means that the habitual work of intelligence, namely dis-cernment, cannot be performed. The pure optical situation is no longer relativeto a supposed intelligent subject; in fact, “the distinction between subjectiveand objective . . . tends to lose its importance” as “we run . . . into a principleof indeterminability, of indiscernibility: we no longer know what is imaginaryor real, physical or mental in the situation, not because they are confused butbecause we do not have to know and there is no longer even a place from whichto ask” (CII, 15/7, my emphasis), i.e., the optical situation is no longer relatedto some Kantian transcendental unity of apperception. Beyond the movement-image, the crystal-image points to the reciprocal presupposition of the actualand the virtual; this reciprocity allows for the constant exchange between thetwo sides, “the mutual search – blinding and halting – of matter and spirit”(CII 101/75). Indeed, Deleuze points out, the scission between past and present as open-ing the future conveyed by the crystal-image coincides with the most funda-mental operation of time (CII 109/80).21 Over and above the ground (fond)
  9. 9. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 333provided by the second synthesis and its inherent paradoxes (cf., the paradoxesof contemporaneity past/present, coexistence and preexistence, as describedin DR 108/79), we are now encountering the third synthesis as the ultimateungrounding (effondement) of time. Far from replacing the ground, the thirdsynthesis provides its profound reason. In fact, says Deleuze, it is the pureempty form of time; as such, it is the transcendental condition of the Bergsonianmetaphysics of the virtual as expressed in the notion of ontological duration. The crystal-image thus corresponds to a new, specifically Deleuzianconception of presence. While the present is usually defined as the given, thecrystal-image does not give us the present – no more than it gives us time;“the crystal-image was not time, but we see time in the crystal. We see in thecrystal the perpetual foundation of time, non-chronological time. . . . This isthe powerful, non-organic life which grips the world” (CII 109/81). Beyondthe empirical experience of vision, the crystal provides a visionary, properlytranscendental experience. In the crystal we see presence qua splitting intopast and present, into past and future even. For, “[t]he crystal always lives atthe limit, it is itself the ‘vanishing limit between the immediate past which isalready no longer and the immediate future which is not yet. . .’” (CII 109/81).The crystal thus signifies the depth of the present itself, its very virtualization.From this point of view, we can say that just as the pure past – distinguishedfrom its own actualization in the recollection or dream-image – stands for thewhole of time at the level of the second synthesis, the present itself, as anencroachment onto the future, can now, in turn and at the same time, standfor the whole of time too – that is, insofar as we manage to separate it from itsown actual quality, namely succession. In the motor situation, we simply pass horizontally along an event, therebyconfounding it with space. But in the purely optical situation, we introduce avertical vision, in depth. The Cartesian coordinates of time and space areoverthrown: depth is no longer a third dimension of space, but as the nthdimension of time which envelops all others, it becomes the very basis ofspace.22 Once unchained from actual succession and its concomitant continu-ous replacement of events one after the other, the new experience of the presentis established inside one single event. Once virtualized, the present becomesthe time of the event, a time internal to the event. “ ‘The time of the eventcomes to an end before the event does, so the event will start again at anothertime. . . the whole event is at it were in the time where nothing happens’, andit is in empty time that we anticipate recollection, break up with what is ac-tual and locate the recollection once it is formed” (CII 131–2/100, my em-phasis). Now, Deleuze argues, it is indeed great cinema’s specificity to seizethis Proustian dimension where people and things occupy a place in time which
  10. 10. 334 VALENTINE MOULARDis incommensurable with the one they have in space. In Resnais’s Je t’aime,je t’aime, the main character remains locked up into a space that looks likesomething halfway between a padded cell and a womb, all the while travelingagain and again through the numerous layers of a certain minute of his past,with all its rhizomatic and flickering paths of association, its loops andpotentials. This Proustian experience is thus fundamentally grounded in aparadoxical element, in which not only do time and space fail to coincide, butalso, consequently and more radically, in which we must posit a pure past irre-ducible to both “the present that it has been (perception) and to the present inwhich it might reappear or be reconstituted (voluntary memory)” (DR 160/122). To recapitulate, the kind of experience that great cinema opens up for usreveals involuntary memory, or the unconscious, as the site of the empty formof time. Whether we sense it as the abyss of the pure past and the coexistenceof its sheets or as the violence of the event and the simultaneity of its peaks isnot what matters most. In either case we have a true time-image, a direct pres-entation of time qua depth; in either case, we must extract from the feeling ofthe sublime a very concrete ‘cerebral game’. In the revelation of non-chrono-logical time, [W]e constitute a sheet of transformation which invents a kind of transverse continuity or communication between several sheets, and weaves a network of non-localizable relations between them. . . . [W]e draw out a sheet which, across all the rest, catches and extends the trajectory of points, the evolu- tion of regions. This is evidently a task which runs the risk of failure: some- times we only form generalities which retain mere resemblances. . . . But it is possible for the work of art to succeed in inventing these paradoxical hypnotic and hallucinatory sheets whose property is to be at once a past and always to come (CII 162/123).In other words, as Deleuze puts it in What is Philosophy? “Art struggles ef-fectively with chaos, but it does so in order to generate from it a vision thatilluminates it for an instant, a Sensation” (WP 192/204, trans. modified). Ifthe work of art has the power to invent such diagonal sheets of past, it is be-cause it calls up all mental functions simultaneously, from recollection to for-getting through imagination and judgment. Now, Deleuze continues, “whatis loaded with all these functions, each time, is feeling (sentiment)” (CII 163/124). What Deleuze finds in Resnais, for instance, is that his interest does notrest with characters themselves, but the feelings that they can extract fromthemselves. While “characters are of the present, feelings plunge into the past.”In Je t’aime, je t’aime, the character stays where he is; it is his desperate lovefor /guilt over the woman he killed that takes him back through the numerouslayers of the past. If Resnais does any psychology, it is a psychology of pure
  11. 11. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 335feelings, and not a psychology of characters. Defined by transformation, re-distribution, and circulation from one level of the past to another, feelingsbecome characters. “But when transformations themselves form a sheet whichtraverses all the others it is as if feelings set free the consciousness or thoughtwith which they are loaded” (CII 163/125). Following Bergson, then, theDeleuzian time-image “prolongs itself naturally into a language-image and athought-image. What the past is to time, sense is to language and idea tothought” (CII 131/99). If there is a certain continuity between feelings andthought, this continuity is not given, but virtual. It has to be created from thevery being of the sensible qua the ungrounding from which time, as the sourceof experience, springs. For Deleuze, the time-image is the genetic conditionof such creation because, as Gregory Flaxman puts it, “No longer linkedby the sensory-motor schema, the relation between images becomes non-commensurable: between one image and another a gap opens, an “interstice”in which thought experiences its own duration.”233. The fissure radicalized: time out of jointThe inauguration of the time-image in great modern cinema coincides withthe core of the transformation to which Deleuze subjects transcendentalism:time is fundamentally “out of joint” and its constitutive ceasura cannot bemended by an all-powerful synthesizing human subject.24 Time is no longerthe measure of movement; instead, movement becomes one among many po-tential perspectives of time. The movement-image does not disappear, but nowexists merely as one dimension (or power, puissance), i.e., the surface of animage that keeps growing and deepening exponentially, to finally exceed bothactual spatialization and representability absolutely. One major consequence of this transformation is that sensibility can nolonger be equated with perception; essentially defined in excess of the “I”,the faculty, or capacity of sensibility has been stretched to its own limit, therebytranscending itself. Forced to confront the other faculties and struggle withthem instead of obediently furnishing them some raw material to be organ-ized, virtual sensibility generates a new order of time. Articulated aroundeither non-superimposable sides of the ceasura, this new order is revealedthrough a passive, static synthesis – necessarily static as time is no longer sub-ordinated to movement. While the ceasura constitutes the form of the mostradical change, it is a form which itself does not change. As the “point ofheresy”25 of time itself in the midst of a passive synthesis, the ceasura marksthe birth of the cracked “I” (DR 120/89). For indeed, the receptivity inherent
  12. 12. 336 VALENTINE MOULARDin this passive synthesis signifies the necessarily genetic force of thought’stranscendental experience – the experience of its own duration. The “dogmaticimage of thought” and subjectivity that Deleuze’s time-image aims at disrupt-ing is, as Flaxman writes, “conceived in advance of empirical vicissitudes andthereby projects itself into the future as an anticipative matrix that turns anyencounter into one of recognition” (BS 11), which is to say that thought re-mains hostage to common sense and generality. In contrast, the split I that isborn out of the passive synthesis can no longer provide a basis for the harmo-nious accord of the faculties; the I turns out to be an effect, produced by thediscord of sensibility, memory and thought. In this struggle, its organs havebecome metaphysical.26 Sensibility no longer has to be based in a mediatingand synthesizing consciousness; it now refers immediately to the unconsciousSentiendum qua the very being of the sensible, i.e., to images in the Bergsoniansense. Says Deleuze, . . . [a]t the same time as the eye takes up a clairvoyant function, the sound as well as the visual elements of the image enter into internal relations which means that the whole image has to be ‘read’, no less than seen, readable as well as visible. For the eye of the seer as of the soothsayer, it is the ‘liter- alness’ of the sensible world which constitutes it as a book (CII 34/22, trans. modified).If “I” is originally another, who is it, then, that draws the transverse continu-ity between the levels of the virtual cone, allowing for the elements of theimage to enter into non-localizable, internal relations, so that the image be-comes readable? We have seen that the passage from movement to time-imagefundamentally involves a reversal of the relation between time and movement;this in turn implies a depersonalization, first of movement, then of sensibil-ity. Deleuze says, “It is the brain that says I, but I is another. . . . And this I isnot only the “I conceive” of the brain as philosophy, it is also the “I feel” ofthe brain as art. Sensation is no less brain than the concept” (WP 199/211).Insofar as the time-image does not depend on a mobile or an object for itsexecution, or even on a mind for its constitution, what cinema is able to attainto, just like the brain, is automatic movement; it is the image which movesitself in itself, which means that it is neither figurative nor abstract. Now,Deleuze continues, It is only when movement becomes automatic that the artistic essence of the image is realized: producing a shock on thought, communicating vi- brations to the cortex, touching the nervous and cerebral system directly. Because the cinematographic image itself ‘makes’ movement, because it makes what the other arts are restricted to demanding (or to saying) . . . it
  13. 13. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 337 converts into power (puissance) what was only possibility. Automatic movement gives rise to a spiritual automaton in us, which reacts in turn on movement. The spiritual automaton no longer designates – as it does in tra- ditional philosophy – the logical or abstract possibility of formally deduc- ing thoughts from each other, but the circuit into which they enter with the movement-image, the shared power of what forces thinking and what thinks under the shock (tans. modified. CII 204/156).Beyond Kantianism, the great pioneers of cinema lay claim to the immediatenecessity of real experience as thinking. They pretend to force us irresistiblyinto the transcendental experience of the ultimate power at which sensibility,liberated from its formal conditioning in terms of possibility, becomes think-ing. The event of what Deleuze also calls the “nooshock” marks, in principle,the displacement of the cause of thinking and perceiving; it is because thiscause, as Gregg Lambert points out, can no longer be situated on the side ofthe subject, that “thinking is no longer a logical possibility that one can ei-ther take up or not, but rather becomes a physiological imperative” or, inEisenstein’s words, “a total provocation of the brain.”27 But this purely sensi-tive, hence un-representable violence of a movement-image immediately in-serting its vibrations within us would soon get confused, in bad cinema, withthe figurative violence of the represented. The power of cinema would turnout to be a mere logical possibility, even though it does allow for the possible(or mediation) to be conceived in terms of the sublime (or violence). Its ef-fect on the mind is to force it to think, and to think itself: to think the whole,as that which can only be as thought (or Cogitandum). For, Bergson insiststhroughout his writings, “the whole is not given”; it is not given, Deleuze adds,because it is the result of the indirect representation of time ensuing frommovement. With the time-image, however, the relation between sensibility – or theSentiendum, that which can only be as sensed – and thought (or the Cogitandum,that which can only be as thought) takes on a radically new form. In otherwords, with modern cinema the circuit or totality of cinema-thought relationsis overturned. Deleuze argues that against Eisenstein, Artaud maintains that“if it is true that thought depends on a shock which gives birth to it (the nerve,the brain-matter), it can only think one thing, the fact that we are not yet think-ing, the powerlessness (impuissance) to think the whole and to think oneself,thought which is always fossilized, dislocated, collapsed” (CII 218/ 167). AsBlanchot diagnoses, then, what forces us to think is the very non-existence ofa whole which could be thought. The limit to which sensibility is carried inits encounter with the sublime is insensibility as well; similarly, the limit towhich thought is pushed within the circuit constituted by the open totality is
  14. 14. 338 VALENTINE MOULARDan absolute Outside of thought, or the unthinkable. The logically postulatedwhole of dialectics cannot but be shattered, for it turns out that there is, “onthe one hand, the presence of an unthinkable in thought, which would be bothits source and barrier; on the other hand the presence to infinity of anotherthinker, who shatters every monologue of a thinking self” (CII 219/168).Necessarily encountered within thought itself, the unthinkable thus constitutesthe very positivity of thought, its vitality, in the form of an irreducible Out-side. And if this experience of thought concerns specifically, though not ex-clusively modern cinema, it is primarily a function of the change which affectsthe image, which has ceased to be sensory-motor (CII 220/169). This break with sensory-motor actualization implies, in a sense, a break be-tween thought and world – that is, a break with the Phenomenological accountsof subjectivity. Lambert justifiably writes, in obvious reference to Heidegger,that this break “reveals precisely the shock that ‘I am not yet thinking’ or that‘what is called thinking’ is a power that belongs to a subject who ‘I am not’”(BS 279). However, I wish to suggest that more radically, the break betweenthought and world also signifies the radical breakdown of the phenomen-ological structure of Dasein’s “being-in-the-world”, hence of Dasein’s privi-leged access to the question of Being, and its consequent hope for a closingof the circle. I mentioned above that the time-image profoundly disrupts, orungrounds, common sense, hence the generality of thought as mitsein. Indeed,as Len Lawlor points out in response to Merleau-Ponty, “The decisive ques-tion is this: can Phenomenology be anything other than a phenomenology ofsubjectivity (as the general form of all subjects)? According to Deleuze, assoon as a philosopher turns immanence into immanence to consciousness, thedifference between ground and grounded collapses.”28 Deleuze explains thatin contrast with Phenomenology (and for him, Kant is the first phenomen-ological thinker) and its desperate attempts at establishing the basis of acommon cultural world over and above a natural world, “we want to thinktranscendence within the immanent, and it is from transcendence that a breachis expected” (WP 48/47). Faced with the unbearable, [t]he spiritual automaton is in the psychic situation of the seer, who sees better and further to the extent that he cannot react, that is, think. Which, then, is the subtle way out? To believe, not in a different world, but in the link between man and the world, in love or life, to believe in this as in the impossible, the unthinkable, which nonetheless cannot be but as thought. . . . Artaud never understood powerlessness to think as a simple inferiority which would strike us in relation to thought. It is part of thought, so that we should make it our very way of thinking, without claiming to be restor- ing an all-powerful thought. (CII 221/171, trans. modified).
  15. 15. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 339The status of the whole is modified. The whole is no longer a kind of Hegelian,open yet integrating and reconciling totality; rather, it has become the Out-side qua “force of dispersion.” This means that the interstice, the fissure (theimpersonal brain), has become primary with regard to continuity. The brainis here operating a junction which is to be distinguished from a unity.29 Notonly does the brain constitute the non-unifying joint between thought andworld, but it is also itself a non-unity, a “center of indetermination” traversedby “little cerebral deaths.”30 Henceforth, the relation between thought andworld has to be conceived as an operation of differentiation rather than in termsof association. Therein lies perhaps Deleuze’s most profound argument againstphenomenology; for him, “it is the brain that thinks, and not man, man beinga mere cerebral crystallization” (WP 198/209), a residual creation of the crea-tive process of evolution. As I suggested before, for Deleuze the brain is noless sensation than concept, no less feeling than thought. Once again, it ap-pears that its faculties do not coordinate their efforts in accordance with somemagical pre-established harmony – such as, for instance, the concept of “man”itself; rather, the primacy of the fissures, intervals, or little deaths informingthe very structure of the brain point to its fundamentally pathological dura-tion. The anomalous experiences that particularly interest Deleuze in the cin-ema books – such as the traumatic sensations generated by the sublime, orthe hallucinations stemming from “the powers of the false” – those deliriousexperiences, Ansell Pearson points out, are for Bergson “‘positive facts’ thatconsist in the presence, not in the absence, of something. “They seem to in-troduce into the mind certain new ways of feeling and thinking” (PAV 182).In contrast with common sense and the usual opinion, including such Urdoxaas “the Cogito” or “the mind,” genuine thought for Deleuze thus proceeds bycreation, production, differentiation, rather than recognition and representa-tion. Through his analysis of cinema’s ability to reveal a pure optical and auralsituation, Deleuze is here radicalizing the Bergsonian conception of the brainas delay or distance (écart) between excitation and response, as well as thedistinction between virtuality and possibility so central to Bergson’s work.But as Deleuze points out, there is a sense in which in Bergson, “this intervalremained subject to an integrating whole which was embodied in it, and toassociations which traversed it” (CII 274/211). Indeed, in Matter and Memorythe virtual unconscious is constantly weighing on the plane of actuality, push-ing to insert itself, thereby at once transforming itself, into the psychologicalpresent. According to Bergson, what keeps us from sympathizing with thewhole and intuit the entirety of the past is the mechanism of our practice andinterest oriented intelligence, whose essential function consists in discerning,
  16. 16. 340 VALENTINE MOULARDi.e., literally cutting up the real. Although for Bergson, the whole is not givenin fact, it could be in principle, if we were able to liberate the infinite powersof intuition. At the same time, however, this whole remains open to unfore-seeable creations. But Bergson nevertheless insists on defining it in terms ofsimplicity. I believe that from a Deleuzian point of view, it looks as if theBergsonian whole could still be accounted for in relation to the simple act ofintuition of a consciousness. Even though Bergsonian intuition is clearly rootedin the concrete, immanent and fundamentally incommensurable being of thesensible, the metaphysical experience it yields does not escape psychologicaldetermination. Although it is informed by the virtual (hence non-psychologi-cal) dimension of the pure past, the Bergsonian experience of duration onlybecomes an experience through its process of actualization. It may be argued,then, that although Bergson allowed for cracking open the Kantian accountof time and experience, Deleuze had to impregnate Bergson with his ownmonstrous child in order to tear away transcendental experience from psycho-logical experience. Finally, to contrast it with Bergson’s approach, Deleuze’sconclusion could be summarized as follows: We no longer believe in a whole as interiority of thought – even an open one; we believe in a force from the outside which hollows itself out, grabs us and attracts the inside. We no longer believe in an association of images – even crossing voids; we believe in breaks which take on an absolute value and subordinate all association. It is not abstraction, it is those two aspects that define the new “intellectual cinema”. . . The brain cuts or puts to flight all internal associations, it summons an outside beyond any external world (CII 276/212).As usual, Deleuze means what he says, and he means it literally. “There is noabstraction” because he does not shy away from the radicality of his thinkingthrough metaphors, however inspiring or poetic they might be. This radicalityof philosophy, he points out in What is Philosophy? is demanded by the con-stant necessity for thought’s struggle with opinion and its schemata, as wellas with thought’s degeneration within opinion itself (WP 195/207). He finallyargues that on the basis of the recent progresses in our scientific knowledgeof the brain, our lived relationship with the brain or, as he puts it, our ‘lived-brain’ “is becoming more and more fragile, less and less ‘Euclidean’ and goesthrough little cerebral deaths” (CII 275/211). As Steven Rose puts it, “thenervous system is uncertain, probabilistic, hence interesting” (WP 203/216).In radicalizing Bergson’s interval, that is, the “center of indetermination” thatconstitutes the fundamental fissure of the “I”, Deleuze is affirming the realnecessity – not simply the mere logical possibility – of the form of an expe-rience based in the unconscious that he thinks great modern cinema reveals
  17. 17. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 341as transcendental experience. It is an experience insofar as it produces feel-ings and thoughts, yet it remains transcendental insofar as those feelings andthoughts are not of that which appears on the screen; they are, rather, the di-rect presentation of time as thought experiencing its own mad duration. Theseradically “new circuits in the brain” constitute real and necessary conditionsfor the immediate revelation of the empty form of time. Beyond the ultimaterationalizations of both classical cinema and traditional philosophy conveyedin the movement-image and its concomitant positing of the possibility of aharmonious knowledge over and above the incommensurability of man andworld, Deleuze wants to isolate a deeper level of absolute heresy rooted inthe original splitting of time. The interaction between man and world ultimatelyobeys a new order, independent of any common structure between the two.If, as he clearly advocates throughout his writings but more specifically inDifference and Repetition, one has to start with difference, if “one has to putdifference in the origin,” it means that the “source of experience” cannot beabstracted from its immanent existence, that is, from its internal necessity quatranscendental experience.Notes1. Gilles Deleuze, Différence et Répetition (Paris: PUF, 1ére éd. 1968 / 8 éme éd. 1996); Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), hereafter DR.2. As I hope to make clear, Deleuze’s philosophy of difference does not – in a Bergsonian fashion – aim at simply eliminating such traditional dichotomies as idealism vs. empiri- cism, and such apparent oppositions informing both schools as thought/experience, Being/ non-being, or continuity/discontinuity. On the contrary, Superior Empiricism proceeds by first radicalizing those distinctions, so as to put into question, and eventually displace profoundly, the very principle of their distinction. The traditional principle of non-con- tradiction, which establishes external (hence spatial and quantitative) differences, makes way in Deleuze for a principle of internal (hence temporal or qualitative) difference. For a detailed and luminous account of the fundamental shift in the conception of difference that Deleuze articulates, see his 1956 “La conception de la différence chez Bergson”, in Les Études Bergsoniennes IV (Paris: PUF, 1956); trans. Melissa McMahon in The New Bergson, ed. John Mullarkey (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1999). For instance, Deleuze writes, “If philosophy is to have a positive and direct rela- tion with things, it is only to the extent that it claims to grasp the thing itself in what it is, in its difference from all that it is not, which is to say, in its internal difference . . . we must effectively recognise that that difference itself is not simply spatio-temporal, that it is not generic or specific either, in short that it is not exterior or superior to the thing” (80/43). Henceforth, the first page numbers will refer to the French, and the second ones to the English translation.
  18. 18. 342 VALENTINE MOULARD 3. It is important to insist on this fundamental difference between the Bergsonian-Deleuzian conception of the necessity informing the transcendental realm on the one hand, and the Kantian account on the other. The Kantian transcendental “conditions of possibility” are negative conditions of necessity in the sense that in his view, we would not be able to perceive, or, for that matter, to have any experience at all, if it were not for the positing of such conditions. In short, Kant claims that the forms of space and time are necessary conditions without which phenomenological experience would not be possible. How- ever, as Bergson clearly suggests, Kant’s transcendentalism fails to establish what I would call “the necessity of the necessity”. For instance, Bergson writes, “[The Kantian Cri- tique] gives itself space as a ready-made form of our perceptive faculty – a veritable deus ex machina, of which we see neither how it arises, nor why it is what it is rather than anything else” [L’évolution créatrice (Paris: Quadrige/PUF, 1988), p. 206; Creative Evo- lution, trans. Arthur Mitchell (New York: Random House, 1944), p. 224, hereafter CE]. In contrast, Bergson and Deleuze’s Transcendental Empiricism searches for “conditions of reality” instead of “conditions of possibility” – that is, it aims at “generating the posi- tive categories of thought” rather than determining them through analysis (CE 208/226). In this sense, I want to say that Bergson and Deleuze are looking for a deeper kind of necessity (e.g., how and why the form of space is what it is rather than anything else). Beneath or beyond the negative necessity invoked by the Kantian Critique, Superior Em- piricism thus points to the fundamental positivity of the real and its conditions: in this consists both their internal necessity, and the virtually illimited field of their trans- formative and creative actualization. 4. Against the famous Husserlian proposition that “consciousness is of something”, Deleuze insists that Consciousness is something, in La Logique du Sens (Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1969), p. 362; The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p. 311, hereafter LS. 5. Deleuze and Guattari, L’Anti-Oedipe (Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1972), p. 62; Anti- Oedipus, trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane (London: The Athlone Press, 1994), p. 53. 6. Matière et Mémoire (Paris: Quadrige/PUF, 1997), p. 1; Matter and Memory, trans. N.M. Paul and W.S. Palmer (New York: Zone Books, 1991), p. 9, hereafter MM. 7. In his lectures on Bergson (internet). 8. Negotiations, trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), p. 58, hereafter N. 9. A similar idea is present in Bergson’s Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion (Paris: Quadrige/PUF, 1997); The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, trans. R. Ashley Audra and Cloudesley Brereton (Garden City: Doubleday Anchor Books), hereafter 2S. Bergson writes, “Thus mountains may, since the beginning of time, have had the faculty of rousing in those who look upon them certain feelings comparable with sensations, and indeed inseparable from mountains. But Rousseau created with them a new and origi- nal emotion. This emotion has become current coin, Rousseau having put it in circula- tion. And even to-day, it is Rousseau who makes us feel it, as much and more than the mountains” (my emphasis, 38/41).10. It is important to note that the criticisms directed at Kant’s conception of time in this paper only take into account his thinking as it is expressed in the Critique of Pure Rea- son. As the reference to the sublime below suggests, Kant’s thinking about time in its relation to the subject and experience is elaborated further in the Third Critique, as a
  19. 19. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 343 result of which it arguably escapes a lot of these criticisms – as Deleuze suggests in both his Kant lectures (internet) and in the second chapter of DR. But to address this new aspect of Kant’s transcendentalism would lead us into a different project, of a much wider scope than that of this paper.11. Cinéma 2: L’image-Temps, (Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1985); Cinema 2, The Time- Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta (Minneapolis: University of Minne- sota Press, 1989), hereafter C II.12. Bergsonism, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (New York: Zone Books, 1988), hereafter B.13. See esp. the “Analogies of Experience” in “The Analytic of Principles,” Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), e.g., p. 296, hereafter CPR.14. Here, Deleuze is not only echoing but also radicalizing the fundamental distinguish- ing feature between Transcendental Idealism (Kantianism) and Idealistic Realism (Platonism). Unlike Plato, Kant is not making any metaphysical claims as to the exist- ence of things-in-themselves. Because his project in CPR focuses on the epistemologi- cal issue of finding a ground for scientific knowledge, he is content with leaving the issue of the ontological status of things-in-themselves aside, since according to him, they precisely elude absolutely possible experience, hence the domain of knowledge as well. To say that time is transcendental is to affirm that it is a necessary condition of all pos- sible experience, that it has to be assumed for any knowledge to be possible. It does not necessarily imply that it exists objectively in some other inaccessible realm; on the con- trary, Kant’s transcendental move here aims at demonstrating the subjectivity of time. We will see that for Deleuze, this is not quite enough.15. In The World as Will and Representation, vol. 1, trans. E.F.J. Payne (New York: Dover, 1969), p. 424 [quoted by Keith Ansell Pearson in Philosophy and the Adventure of the Virtual (London and New York: Routledge, 2002), p. 184, hereafter PAV].16. See what Bergson calls the phenomenon of déja-vu (or rather, “déja-vécu”) in “Le sou- venir du présent et la fausse reconnaissance” in L’énergie spirituelle (Paris: Quadrige/ PUF, 1996); Mind-Energy, trans. H. Wildon Carr (London: MacMillan and Co., 1920), hereafter ES.17. This is what Deleuze calls “Bergson’s third diagram, which, Deleuze points out, “Bergson does not feel the need to draw” (109 note 22/294–295 note 23).18. See Bergson’s famous diagram of the cone, MM 169/152.
  20. 20. 344 VALENTINE MOULARD19. As Ansell Pearson points out, “psychological consciousness is born and emerges into being only when it has found its proper ontological conditions”. And “it is only once the leap has been made into the being of the past that recollections [hence representations as well] are able to gradually assume a psychological existence. The past can never be recomposed with presents since this would be to negate its specific mode of being” (PAV, 180).20. This, says Deleuze, is “Bergson’s first great diagram”. It is crucial to note that the “nar- rowest circuit” (AO) is also a point (of indiscernibility) because it is precisely not an AA circuit. As Deleuze, quoting Bergson, points out, “‘it contains only the object O it- self with the consecutive image which returns to cover it’ (memory immediately con- secutive to perception)” (CII 65 note 4/45 note 4).21. We must bear in mind, as Peter Pál Pelbart notes, that although there is in Deleuze, as in Heidegger, a certain privilege of the future, it does not, for Deleuze, coincide with the problematic of finitude. Rather, it has to do with infinite possibilities for the creation of the new, signified by Deleuze’s reference to the Outside. As Pál Pelbart says, “le futur n’est pas, pour l’homme, une anticipation de sa propre mort, la possibilité extrême de son être; il n’est rien qui ressemblerait a un être-pour-la-mort, car ce n’est pas à partir de l’ipséité qu’il est pensé, mais d’un flux proto-ontique. Si, dans l’élaboration de ce futur par Deleuze, l’Ouvert est une référence importante, elle renvoie au Dehors plutôt qu’a l’Être” (“Le temps non-réconcilié,” in Gilles Deleuze, une vie philosophique, ed. Eric Alliez (Le Plessis Robinson: Institut Synthélabo, 1998), p. 99).22. In “Cinema and the Outside” in The Brain Is the Screen, ed. Gregory Flaxman (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), hereafter BS, Gregg Lambert ex- plains that Eisenstein had announced as early as 1929 “the discovery of a ‘fourth dimen- sion’ of cinematographic duration – spatially inexpressible, ‘time added to three-dimensional space’ – the appearance of which is the result of ‘overtonal conflicts’ between visual and sound images” (p. 253). Now, Lambert continues, “because visual and aural over- tones are [for Eisenstein] ‘a totally physiological sensation’. . . they function as ‘con- ductors’ that introduce new effects within the spectator’s perception-consciousness system and engender the possibility of newer and ever finer affective capabilities” (p. 254). Lambert judiciously points out that “this discovery concerns what Eisenstein (and later Deleuze) would discuss almost in terms of a new synthesis of the sensible, the ‘being’ of the sensible, a body that exists before discourses, before words, clichés, and ready-to- order representations – the ‘I FEEL’ of the cinematographic subject” (ibid.). Although I find Lambert’s reading illuminating in many respects, I contend that it is a mistake to identify Deleuze’s take with Eisenstein’s in this instance – even though Deleuze obvi- ously found some inspiration in Eisenstein’s discovery. Ultimately, however, Deleuze
  21. 21. THE TIME-IMAGE AND DELEUZE’S TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCE 345 thinks that Eisenstein’s cinematography and montage remain hostage to the system of the movement-image, that is, that it remains caught up in a system of re-presentation, as opposed to the direct presentation of time that the crystal-image generates. I am trying to argue that for Deleuze, with the crystal (or time-image), time is not merely “a fourth dimension OF space” (which would still make time dependent on space); rather, to say that time is “the nth dimension of space” is to insist that it has become its ultimate power (puissance). Time thereby exceeds space absolutely, which means that time has become independent of space (or movement). Indeed, I believe that this independence – which Bergson expressed in terms of the difference in kind between duration and simultaneity – is precisely one of the central imports of Deleuze’s third synthesis.23. Introduction to BS, p. 6.24. The famous phrase from Hamlet, “The time is out of joint,” is the opening sentence of Deleuze’s Kant’s Critical Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), p. vii.25. Borrowed from Foucault’s “archeological” works (both The Order of Things and The Archeology of Knowledge), this term is picked up on by Deleuze in his Foucault book as signifying the heart of the archeological method, which precisely consists in invent- ing those transversal sheets, independently of any resemblance or analogy, that is, of any common structure between the elements thereby put into relation.26. For a detailed account of this passive synthesis, see in particular the last 20 pages of the second chapter of DR, as well as all of Chapter 4 of DR, entitled “Asymmetrical Syn- thesis of the Sensible.”27. “Cinema and the Outside,” in BS, p. 258. The Eisenstein quote, from “The Filmic Fourth Dimension,” in Film Form, trans. Jay Leyda (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1949), is also mentioned by Lambert.28. Len Lawlor, “The End of Phenomenology: Expressionism in Deleuze and Merleau- Ponty,” Continental Philosophy Review 31/1 (1998) pp. 15–34.29. In What Is Philosophy? Deleuze writes, “The brain is the junction – not the unity – of three planes [of philosophy, art and science].” And he continues, “If the mental objects of philosophy, art and science (that is to say, vital ideas) have a place, it will be in the deepest of the synaptic fissures, in the hiatuses, intervals, and meantimes of a non- objectifiable brain, in a place where to go in search of them will be to create,” in Deleuze and Guattari, Qu’est-ce que la philosophie? (Paris: Les éditions de minuit, 1991), p. 196; What is Philosophy? trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchnell (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), p. 208, hereafter WP.30. The “little cerebral deaths” Deleuze is here referring to are the death of the synapses themselves, i.e., the death of the material basis for neuronal transmissions and connec- tions. This leads, according to Steven Rose (quoted by Deleuze), to “the ever greater importance of the factor of uncertainty, or rather half-uncertainty, in the neuronal trans- mission.”
  22. 22. 346 VALENTINE MOULARD

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