Mediators of the Creative Process

The film Facs of Life is a powerful meditation on the heritage of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze...

Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson, the makers of Facs of Life, have based the film’s content as well as form on the thinking of Gilles Deleuze (1925–1995), a great French philosopher of the second half of the 20th century. The film was inspired by the discovery of a video recording capturing one of Deleuze’s seminars held in the 1970s at the Centre Expérimental de Paris 8 – Vincennes. Their film features several students of those days, now giving an original interpretation of the philosopher’s personality and philosophy based on their personal experience. By making them into a kind of mediators of Deleuze’s heritage, the filmmakers have actually reintroduced Deleuze’s approach: “The creative process is based on mediators. Without mediators, there is no body of work.”
Gilles Deleuze was a significant representative of the interdisciplinary approach to philosophy. His thoughts have reached beyond the borders of his academic field. Deleuze frequently entered the fields of aesthetics, film, literature, theatre and psychology. It is therefore only natural for the makers of Facs of Life to employ a similar approach. After all, Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson are proud and active advocates of Deleuze’s heritage. They are multidisciplinary artists; seekers of new ways of artistic expression. After their studies in literature, film, philosophy and music, they now create sound and image installations, photo essays, experimental radio programmes and multimedia performances. Since they can be characterized by their effort not to fit any ready-made label (unless “multidisciplinarity” itself is one nowadays), their film, too, is hard to categorize. It is definitely not a philosopher’s monument nor a definition in an encyclopaedia. The form of the film is as open as the mind of a philosopher, trying no to be totalitarian towards the spectators, i.e. not to dictate or limit them. The film rather challenges the spectators to enter the game and to become its co-creators whose approach will reshape the film’s content. While philosophy and the arts deal with subjects that are never closed and finished, the creative process, too, thrives in an active dialogue rather than a passive consumption. The spectators are therefore recommended to become philosophers as well, at least while watching the film. It is even more true than ever that if the spectators fail to cooperate with the filmmakers and to co-create the open space of the work, they will soon get lost in the challenging flow of images...

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