'Whaddya got? On Schizoanalysis as an art of sustainable resistance

Iain Mackenzie, Robert Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article addresses the relationship between art, politics and resistance by focusing on the following question: on what basis can artistic practices and practices of resistance become mutually sustainable as forms of resistance to ‘integrated world capitalism’? The question arises from understanding Deleuze and Guattari’s account of schizoanalysis as ‘an incomplete project’ (Buchanan) and from within current debates about the relationship between art, politics and resistance. We argue that current understandings of the art-politics relationship tend towards two dominant motifs: the contributory and the constitutive. Although both of these approaches provide considerable insight into the increasing areas of overlap between art and politics they nonetheless run the risk of instituting a hierarchical relationship between art and politics. We propose instead that the common space of contemporary art and politics is defined precisely where artistic practices and practices of resistance meet. This is demonstrated through a schizoanalytic reading of Johnny’s famously rebellious question in The Wild One (1953): ‘Whaddaya got?’. We present a reading of this question as a call for immanent and singular (rather than transcendent and universal) forms of resistance. We argue that resistance understood as an immanent and singular intervention in the world is best expressed as a form of artistic practice, and only when expressed as a form of artistic practice will practices of resistance have the theoretical resources to sustain themselves. The article concludes with the claim that schizoanalytical method is the artistic practice of creating sustainable forms of resistance within integrated world capitalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-178
JournalLa Deleuziana: Online Journal of Philosophy
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 May 2021

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