Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

In Chapter Three of Levy and Grewal’s Marketing they make the case for ethics explicitly (not just through stop-hand warnings!): “When customers believe that they can no longer trust a company or that the company is not acting responsibly, they will no longer support that company by purchasing its products or services or investing in its stock. For marketers, the firm’s ability to build and maintain consumer trust by conducting ethical transactions must be of paramount importance” (61). The central claim here is the typical one: business ethics makes good business sense.

Consumers and investors increasingly appear to want to purchase products and services from and invest in companies that act in socially responsible ways. Large global corporations, such as Coca-Cola, have recognized that they must be perceived as socially responsible by their stakeholders to earn their business. As a bonus, these companies earn both tangible and intangible benefits for acting in a socially desirable manner…; it just makes good business sense to take actions that benefit society. (Levy and Grewal, Marketing 67)

 

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Let’s look at another take on consumer behaviour. In “Understanding consumer behaviour,” David Jobber specifies further why perception is crucial for marketing (Jobber, Principles and Practice of Marketing [London: McGraw-Hill, 2010] 108-143). Jobber claims that an understanding of customers can be gained by answering the following questions (109):
1. Who is important in the buying decision?
2. How do they buy?
3. What are their choice criteria?
4. Where do they buy?
5. When do they buy?

These are the key dimensions of buyer behaviour according to Jobber. In an interesting, although unacknowledged, reprise of Bergson’s memory cone, Jobber notes that need recognition of consumers runs a dynamic spectrum from functional (the simple recognition of needing a commodity like replacing a broken TV) to emotional or psychological (buying a perfume or cologne). The decision making process goes through various stages, and it is important that these concepts are presented in the pop-out box, at least in this instance, as a temporally linear unfolding: need recognition/problem awareness → information search → evaluation of alternatives → purchase → post-purchase evaluation of decision. Memory and perception and their mobilization are key throughout. For instance, in the first stage need recognition will happen initially through “a review of relevant information from memory” (113). The aim of searching for information for a good marketer like Jobber is to build up the “awareness set—that is, the array of brands that may provide a solution to the problem” (113). Much like Grewal and Levy, Jobber expends a few choice words on “low-involvement situations.”

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We have seen that the world was an infinity of converging series, capable of being extended into each other, around unique points. Thus every individual, every individual monad expresses the same world in its totality although it only clearly expresses a part of this world, a series or even a finite sequence. The result is that another world appears when the obtained series diverge in the neighborhood of singularities. (Deleuze, The Fold 60)

Train to Virar

These photos seem to me to have come together quite by chance, but then they also emerged from patterns of behavior and forms of style, against the backdrop of flows of people, traffic, capital, information. In India today these patterns are emerging through a new ecology of sensation. But I make no claim for these photographs as “art.” And yet clearly the history of perspectivalism, the dominance of representationalism in the engagement with a living multiplicity is at stake for me in creating these images. There is an accretion of information some of which coheres, much of which does not, but each image has a certain duration at different scales of perception, a noncoinciding resonant unity, a unity-in-multiplicity is what I hope to continue through the photography (mutating affect, not representation). An ecology of sensation meeting its cliché: Bollywood meets graphic novels at the back of a rikshaw, Agra’s Mughal-era oriental(ized) stone work turning topological and dimensional (is it less or more racist? to what extent is the question relevant to what it does?), the ferris wheel on Juhu beach, the weighing machine at the local station. This time that I have been able to spend here in India thanks to a research grant from the Fulbright foundation, has allowed me to research the materiality of the ecology of sensation of mobile phones and experiment in forms of creatively engaging this ecology.

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The will to power: will does not want power. Power is “the one that wills in the will. Power is the genetic and differential element in the will. This is why the will is essentially creative” (85). Power is the elemental condition of mutation. So let’s say that power is a characteristic of a will, a set of affectivities, sensations (nonanthropomorphic concept of bodily events), or capacities of that will. In this sense creativity constitutes a kind of giving up of or on human will, and to enter hapharzardly upon a process of selecting connectivity and thus affirming the dice throw as chance, a will that has no space, only topology, that has no time, only becoming. Now what we know (that is, experimentally and experientially engage in a process of becoming), and can feel–but never with total coincidence–is that these capacities are themselves involved in a set of divergent and at times resonant processes, or multiplicities. The causal and differentiated patterns that form at various scales of these multiplicities will bring a quantum of chance. Now chance has no determinate quanta, it is the measure of fluctuating unpredictability in a given system. This intimation of chaos—entropy—has always been defined against equilibrium in an ideology which Deleuze calls the dialectic of ressentiment (even, or perhaps especially in the form of negentropy), that is an ideology whose will moves with a certain bitter heaviness—which is not at all a very enabling way to understand the power of affect. This is why will does not want power, power wills, power affects, its creativity is something genetic, in the sense of the why and wherefores of phase transitions. You see then that to grasp this notion of becoming through a will to power the concept of non-coinciding but resonant time scales is also necessary. What happens in the time-scale of bacterial strains, and the time scale of river erosion does not coincide totally, and yet they can embed themselves one in the other. What sense does movement make? What patterns is a given movement involved in? Determined and determining, the will to power has a multiplicious malleability to it.

Grant Road Station, Mumbai

There is something immeasurably sad in all this, but then sadness is no longer heavy (Philosophy should sadden, and trouble stupidity, says Deleuze). Here we escape the heaviness of movement in the dialectic or ressentiment, here thought and life dance with risk (chance as distributive difference). Woody Allen in Stardust Memories talks about the authenticity of death through all these forces of life that stream memories through what remains a monologue, especially for the women in his films. But why is it that we give finality, or a certain end, a type of ending the aura of the authentic? There are many kinds of endings? Death is a phase transition, that is all. The aura attaches through a hatred of life. Deleuze has some wonderful passages on the quality of hatred that burns in ressentiment, isn’t that too in Allen? And yet one cannot deny the wildly funny nature of Allen’s films. But these things are not incompatible, in Allen a style has fused them.

Returning: I am struck again and again at how central the notion of creativity is to Deleuze’s thought. Creativity is an affirmation of life, it is to take life and thought to the limit of what it is capable of doing.

The will to power is determined and determining, it is both cause and effect, it is quasi-causal. “The genetic element (power) determines the relation of force with force and qualifies related forces. As plastic element it simultaneously determines and is determined, simultaneously qualifies and is qualified. What the will to power wills is a particular relation of forces, a particular quality of forces. And also a particular quality of power: affirming or denying” (85).

Here we come back to the theme of the virtual as determined and determining that I marked earlier. It suggests that there is no virtual (will to power) without being actualized in particular relations of forces, particular emergent capacities (qualities that arise from the interactions of a multiplicity); but also that there is no actual without the genetic and differential element of the virtual. Read on: “All phenomena express relations of forces, qualities of force and power…”

Nietzsche and Philosophy (hereafter N+P) is a fantastic work. It deserves all the praise it has received and more: Deleuze is at his most creative in his engagement with Frederich Nietzsche (FN). Both interpretation and concept creation, N+P introduces the reader to some of Deleuze’s lasting concerns: multiplicity, unity, force, sense, becoming, nondialectical difference.

These concepts have been addressed in these blogs. I am particularly interested in thinking through and elaborating on the concept of the body as a non-coinciding resonant unity. I will begin here with some passages from the chapter “The Tragic.” Deleuze gives an excellent interpretation (and yet how vague is this term for what he is doing here!) of the relation between innocence and the tragic. Tragedy is joy, says FN, says Deleuze. And Heraclitus!

Heraclitus is the tragic thinker. The problem of justice runs through his entire work. Heraclitus is the one for whom life is radically innocent and just. He understands existence on the basis of an instinct of play. He makes existence an aesthetic phenomenon rather than a moral or religious one. Thus Nietzsche opposes him point by point to Anaximander….Heraclitus denied the duality of worlds, ‘he denied being itself.’


This in itself is not shocking, to deny being, it could be a cliched nihilism. FN does not stop here and Deleuze shows that this denial was in the service of another aim. But in the service of what?

…he made an affirmation of becoming. We have to reflect for a long time to understand what it means to make an affirmation of becoming. In the first place it is doubtless to say that there is only becoming. No doubt it is also to affirm becoming. But we also affirm the being of becoming, we say that becoming affirms being or that being is affirmed in becoming. Heraclitus has tow thoughts which are like ciphers: according to one there is no being, everything is becoming; according to the other, being is the being of becoming as such. A working thought which affirms becoming and a contemplative thought which affirms the being of becoming. These two ways of thinking are inseparable, they are the thought of single element….For there is no being beyond becoming, nothing beyond multiplicity; neither multiplicity nor becoming are appearances or illusions. But neither are there multiple or eternal realities which would be in turn, like essences beyond appearance. Multiplicity is the inseparable manifestation, essential transformation and constant symptom of unity. Multiplicity is the affirmation of unity; becoming is the affirmation of being. The affirmation of becoming is itself being, the affirmation of multiplicity is itself one. Multiple affirmation is the way in which the one affirms itself.

We see here the key elements that allows the concept of a life as non-coinciding resonant unity to take on a certain force. To affirm becoming is first of all to practice philosophy as a practice of joyous life, a dance of chance. This affirmation is also an excellent place to bring forth a non-dialectical difference. Difference has largely been subsumed under negativity, negation, opposition, contradiction, and generally a bad conscience (slave mentality or representation, same thing). Affirmative difference suggests a continuous differentiation of intensive processes, gradients of functionality, rates of connectivity, and a multiplicious mutation. This is difference as self-differentiation, given an ecology of far-from-equilibrium states and processes. This is the truth of being: becoming. There is nothing but that, a constant becoming, that is what being is; a working and contemplative thought, the world is a unity of multiplicious processes. Read on: “the double affirmation of becoming and of the being of becoming…”

Nul Bazaar for Urbz Mashup:

Edward Talkies, Dhobi Talab, Kalbadevi, Mumbai:

Be Like Water / Edward Talkies (Kalbadevi, Mumbai)