The thought of Gilles Deleuze involves a powerful conceptualization developed from his works on the history of philosophy and above all from his own philosophical creations. Such conceptualization contains and composes all his perspective of life. Though since early he would let it see in Difference and Repetition, he would be given to potentialize it throughout all his work. As is known, such conceptualization is what he called ‘the image of thought’. In his latest book What is Philosophy?, and despite of having shared coauthorship with Felix Guattari, Deleuze continues the purely philosophical approach of the image of thought and extends it in relation to a plane of immanence. There’s where Deleuze reiterates the idea that the history of philosophy is comparable to the art of portraiture, and adds that such history has to try to clear the plane of immanence that the portrayed philosopher has established with his thought and with the concepts that he was able to create from his own singular perspective. He also admits that these mental portraits, noetic and machinic, can be made not only using philosophical means but also by other aesthetic mediations. In this sense he makes a critique of the artistic work of swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely, who is known for creating kinetic artifacts of da-da tradition also recognized as metamechanics. In 1988 Tinguely made a work of art in which he created machinic portraits of the thought of a number of philosophers. For example, this is the kinetic picture he proposed for Henri Bergson:
But for Deleuze it seemed that the portraitist attempt was not yet on its point:
“Nothing dances in the Nietzsche, although elsewhere Tinguely has been quite able to make machines dance. The Schopenhauer gives us nothing decisive, whereas the four Roots and the veil of Maya seem ready to occupy the bifaceted plane of the World as will and representation. The Heidegger does not retain any veiling-unveiling on the plane of a thought that does not yet think. Perhaps more attention should be given to the plane of immanence laid out as abstract machine and to created concepts as parts of the machine.”
In this shade, Deleuze adventures a machinic portrait of Kant, with all and its illusions of transcendence included. From it he gets the following scheme worthy of any machinic art, where the components, movements and diagrammatic features of the image of the kantian thought are included and to some extent, justified by his bizarre abstraction:
1.the “I think ” as an head wired for sound, which constantly repeats Self = Self;
2.the categories as universal concepts (four great headings): shafts that are extensive and retractile according to the movement of 3);
3.the moving wheel of the schemata;
4.the shallow stream of Time as form of interiority, in and out of which the wheel of the schemata plunges;
5.space as form of exteriority: the stream’s banks and bed;
6.the passive self at the bottom of the stream and as junction of the two forms;
7.the principles of synthetic judgments that run across space-time;
8.the transcendental field of possible experience, immanent to the “I” (plane of immanence); and
9.the three Ideas or illusions of transcendence (circles turning on the absolute horizon: Soul, World & God).
* The head of an ox is a direct allusion to a work of Tinguely.
Therefore, this scheme can be seen as “The Tinguely of Deleuze”.