Cite as: Bruno Besana, ‘Tension on Tension: Some Considerations that Might Help to Produce an Increasingly Precise Understanding of a Problem which Has No Specific Object’, in Tension/​Spannung, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey, Cultural Inquiry, 1 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2010), pp. 157–84 <https://doi.org/10.25620/ci-01_09>

Tension on TensionSome Considerations that Might Help to Produce an Increasingly Precise Understanding of a Problem which Has No Specific ObjectBruno Besana

Abstract

This article shows that ‘tension’ cannot be conceived as a specific object of an analysis for which one could determine a precise field of enquiry. Instead, it establishes tension as a specific mode or angle of approach with which any given contingent object or set of objects can be explored. The wideness of its applicability and the specificity of its angle suggest that research on tension can help to unfold a better understanding of a classical ontological question concerning the essential value of actions and relations in the definition of what a thing is. The text follows this line of argumentation by pairing contemporary philosophical sources and specific aesthetic and political examples. Suggesting the possibility of an open classification of different modes of tension, it clarifies the extent to which the essential definition of a thing is bound to the contingent analysis of its transformations.

cinema, duration, harmony, interruption, Paul Klee, suspense, tension