𝐈𝐭 𝐈𝐬 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐬 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬, 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐬, 𝐃𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬, 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫
The painter Millet used to say that what counts in painting is not, for example, what a peasant is carrying, whether it is a sacred object or a sack of potatoes, but its exact weight.
This is the post-romantic turning point: the essential thing is no longer forms and matters, or themes, but forces, densities, intensities. The earth itself swings over, tending to take on the value of pure material for a force of gravitation or weight.
Perhaps it is not until Cezanne that rocks begin to exist uniquely through the forces of folding they harness, landscapes through thermal and magnetic forces, and apples through forces of germination: nonvisual forces that nevertheless have been rendered visible.
When forces become necessarily cosmic, material becomes necessarily molecular, with enormous force operating in an infinitesimal space. The problem is no longer that of the beginning, any more than it is that of a foundation-ground. It is now a problem of consistency or consolidation: how to consolidate the material, make it consistent, so that it can harness unthinkable, invisible, non-sonorous forces.
Debussy … Music molecularizes sound matter and in so doing becomes capable of harnessing nonsonorous forces such as Duration and Intensity. Render Duration sonorous.
Let us recall Nietzsche’s idea of the eternal return as a little ditty, a refrain, but which captures the mute and unthinkable forces of the Cosmos. We thus leave behind the assemblages to enter the age of the Machine, the immense mechanosphere, the plane of cosmicization of forces to be harnessed.
Deleuze and Guattari: A Thousand Plateaus, Of the Refrain, p. 343