Bergson and the Metaphysics of Media by S. Crocker

By S. Crocker

What's a medium? Why is there always a center? Can media produce 'immediacy'? Henri Bergson famous mediation because the important philosophical challenge of modernity. This booklet lines his effect at the 'media philosophies' of Gilles Deleuze, Marshall McLuhan, Walter Benjamin and Michel Serres.

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Instead of being given a sequence of discrete planes, the viewer is offered a set, or a multiplicity of them all at once and is invited to roam around inside the shot and synthesize them. The ‘irrational interval’ that links planes in modern cinema is not simply an inert connective tissue, but a principle of differentiation that plays a positive role in the creation of the image. The interval no longer works in the service of an already given movement between two ideal points. ’44 The chronogeneses of post-war cinema give us emergent unties, wholes that are in the midst of creation.

But it is true of some, and Scotus ultimately wants to show that it is possible that God could create beings that are themselves capable of self-motion. Scotus will claim that this is true of many things. Many of his The Discrete and the Continuous in Deleuze and McLuhan 37 examples – the movement of heavy bodies and the local motion of animals – are understandable only in the light of obscure debates in medieval physics. More intelligible to us today might be his comments on the will. The will is a power to create acts of volition, but it possesses this power without possessing the actual form of the acts it brings about.

In the uplifting progression of a melody, or the annoying sound of a dripping tap, the separate elements are not simply added to a common space, the whole of which they form a part changes, too. What this suggests is that the duration in which change occurs is not a pre-existing arche formed in the past, nor a telos to be arrived at in the future. It is the medium in which these kinds of time operate. It is a principle of openness. It is addition. It is seriality. This is why Deleuze says that, for Bergson, the whole is the open, and is, in the end, relation.

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