Art distills sensation and embodies it with enhanced meaning in a memorable form – or else it is not art.” –Jacques Barzun.

Resistance is the essence of materiality, sensation is the means through which we comprehend its properties. A synthetic world’s physical laws, apprehended through direct sensational contact with material objects, are the rules that determine the behavior of objects, avatars and their interaction, and exist to imbue them with coherence. We are cut-off and numb to the expression of material sensation that emanates from synthetic environments. 

Deleuze differentiates between two kinds of sensations: sensations that force us to think and sensations that constitute the basis for the aesthetics, sensations as objects of recognition. According to Smith, one of Deleuze’s philosophic aims is to show that the singularity and individuality of the diverse can only be comprehended from the viewpoint of difference itself. The Idea of sensation is constituted by two interrelated principles of difference: the differential relations between genetic elements, and the differences in intensity that actualise these relations. They do not indicate some sort of metaphysical reality beyond the senses; as Ideas, they are posited in order to account for sensibility, though they are not given in experience as such. Whereas in Kant, Ideas are unifying, totalising and transcendent, in Deleuze, they are differential, genetic, and immanent.


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