4th International Deleuze Studies Conference
29.6.2011- 03:30 PM – 04:30 PM
Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads
Room: SPs01 BG Aud.

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Plenary Presentation
Mario Perniola
From Deleuze to Non-European Aesthetics

One of the most important contributions of Deleuze-Guattari’s thought to global aesthetics is the notions of percepts and affects. Through them, Deleuze and Guattari formulate a de-subjectivization of feeling very useful to understand many essential aspects of non-European aesthetics.
In fact, whereas Western philosophy is mostly focused on the subjective and personal dimension of feeling (perceptions and emotions), percepts and affects are de-subjectivized and impersonal entities. These notions, elaborated in their book What is Philosophy?, exceed the subject and the can be reached only as autonomous and self-sufficient ways of feeling. Percepts and affects open areas of sensible and affective indiscernibility between things, animals and people, equatorial or glacial areas, that are removed from the determination of genders, sex, orderings and realms.
The lecture will show the worthiness of these ideas to grasp the sensibility of non-European cultures, in which the notion of subject is almost unknown. It will be maintained that an impersonal turn in aesthetics is necessary. Furthermore it is important to turn away from the subjective direction, according to which “I am feeling, therefore I exist”. In percepts and affects what happens is just the opposite: “It is felt, therefore something exists”.
The key words of non-European aesthetics are percepts and affect, not perceptions and emotions. These will be exemplified through a survey of some non-European ways of feeling: for instance, the Japanese fudō, the Chinese ren, the Korean meot, the Islamic ardour and others.


• G. Deleuze – F. Guattari, What is Philosophy? trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell, New York, Columbia University Press, 1994.
• M. Perniola, The Sex-appeal of the Inorganic, trans. Massimo Verdicchio, London-New York, Continuum, 2004.
• -, Über das Fühlen, trans. by Sabine Schneider, Berlin Merve Verlag, 2009.
• -, Global Aesthetics, London-New York, Continuum, forthcoming.
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