6 January 2013

Recorded Lecture: William Connolly, "Freedom, Creativity and Teleodynamism"

Over 30 November to 1 December of 2012, the "Between Deleuze and Foucault" project at Purdue University held a conference which brought together project collaborators to discuss the implications of Deleuze's reading of Foucault. Fortunately, for those unable to attend the conference, video recordings have been made of nearly all the contributions are are currently available to watch from the project website.

Within the conference program, William Connolly features as plenary speaker with his paper, "Freedom, Creativity and Teleodynamism", which he describes as an experiement "between Foucault and Deleuze ... and not only Neitzche but Whitehead". Connolly ambitiously explores the complexities of "creativity" by way of Whitehead as well as biologist and neurologist Terrence Deacon, attending particularly to Deacon's concept of "teleodynamic activity" - a kind of ends-directed and consequence-oriented organisational creativity based on a reciprocal relation to environmental changes and proximities. Within such teleodynamic processes, he argues that new and unplanned formations sometimes emerge from encounters between and within organisms in periodic, positive creativity.

By carefully interlacing this concept of teledynamic process within a reading of Nietzsche's drives of the self (with close attention to the text Daybreak) and Foucault's tactics of the self, Connolly takes an experiemental bite into a vast feld of meaty topics, including but certainly not limited to those of incipience, powers of the false and (briefly) the dangers of creativity and moves towards its quarantine.
"Incompleteness and time-out-of-joint now lose their melancholy standing as mere lacks or losses. They regain them as both dangerous and as uncertain conditions of possibility for positive creativity..."

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