16 Nov 2008

Substituting Positivity

by Corry Shores
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Scott Wollschleger writes in the comments to the Substitution Substituting Creativity entry:

right, I see what you mean and see how substituting would be the wrong path if we are looking to create something new. Is there something weak in the idea of Substitution maybe? Maybe weak is not the best word. Substitutions can have a diminishing effect. Remember in high school, when a Sub would teach class, the students would torture the Substitute teacher? Maybe it had to do with the fact that a person cannot be substituted, and we had to punish the teacher, as it were, for being part of a false reality. There are times when substitution lends to flexibility, which can lead to an amplification. But in any event, thanks for the comments and we can move on to repetition, i think it offers more in the creative realm.

CS Response: I might only add that substitution is either a zero-sum, where there is no net gain, or additive, where the gains are within the same order. Deleuze's repetition as exponential is more than additive, because the repetition creates new dimensions, degrees, and levels, not just new terms. In other words, it is hyper-positive. We might contrast this with the principles of deconstruction where terms are always under erasure. For Deleuze, terms instead express new dimensions without destroying those out from which the new ones grow.

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