Bruno Besana studied philosophy at the Paris VIII University and is a former fellow of the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (NL). He has taught philosophy at the Paris VIII University, and has published on ontology and aesthetics in contemporary philosophy, with a focus on the works of Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Jacques Rancière.
He is a member of the editorial team of S – Line of Beauty, journal of the CLIC, Circle for Lacanian Ideology Critique.
Deleuze and the First Stoic School /
The Shape of a Subject to Come
The first project treats Deleuze’s reading of the first Stoic school. It asks why Deleuze, in his attempt to accomplish a ‘reversal of Platonism’, does not rely on Aristotle’s re-discovery of the sensible, but directly addresses the Stoics. Deleuze’s choice is rooted in the impossibility for Aristotle’s metaphysic to explain the singular other than in terms of accidents. Chrysippus’ system of categories on the contrary attributes the highest degree of reality (and of essentiality) to those elements – such as minute transformations, performed or endured actions – which identify the difference between two singular beings belonging to the same species (i.e., the same difference that Aristotle discarded as inessential). It is starting from this reference that ultimately Deleuze overcomes Aristotle’s identification of Being with unity, and proposes a ‘reversal within Platonism’, in which the Idea is identified with the grasp of multiplicity.
The second project, entitled ‘The shape of a subject to come’ is an analysis of some contemporary attempts to give a formal reading of the concept of the subject. After an introduction which reads in parallel Althusser’s relation between antihumanism and the critics of ideology and Foucault’s predictions on the end of ‘Man’, the project analyzes Alain Badiou’s and Gilles Deleuze’s attempts to provide a formal understanding of the concept of the subject, by rejecting at once the identification of the subject with the human animal, with consciousness or with the transcendental function of organization of possible experiences. The book thus analyzes Badiou’s and Deleuze’s identification of the subject with a series of operations (an activity of undetermination, a production of void in a logic of representation, a tendency towards universalization), and in the end, also relying on some recent investigations (Meillassoux, Brassier), tries to add a series of original conceptual formulations.
Versus Laboratory - Dissensual Relations Are Points of Thought /
The Sensible Excess – an inquiry on aesthetic ontology
ICI Project 2008-10
Versus Laboratory, set as a collaboration between Ozren Pupovac and Bruno Besana, explores how philosophical concepts are produced at the points of adversity and tension with the philosophical exterior, namely, political, aesthetical and scientific practices. We approach philosophy not as a regulative practice that reflects upon other practices and defines their fields of action, but as a battlefield whose interiority is fed by the dissensual relations that it maintains with other practices.
During the year 2008/2009, Versus Laboratory will run a monthly seminar at the ICI exploring how the conceptual couple ‘Plus/Minus’ is expressed in the notions of subtraction and excess. Besana’s individual project ‘The sensible excess’ focuses on the relation between the identification of being and multiplicity in contemporary continental ontology and the concept of excess. To this extent it questions the relation between ontology and aesthetics.