From Rhythm to Glitch: Digital Deformation in Deleuze

Shores C. M.

Other, pp.139-156, 2020

  • Publication Type: Other Publication / Other
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Page Numbers: pp.139-156
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Shortly before Gilles Deleuze’s death, he discovered a new kind of music: glitch, in particular, Oval’s Systemisch. '[Achim] Szepanski contacted Deleuze himself, sending material by Oval and other Mille artists, and asking if he’d write an essay for Achim’s planned anthology of techno theory, Maschinelle Strategeme. The great man wrote back saying he couldn’t do it, but gave his blessing to the label, and said that he particularly dug Oval. “He even wrote about specific tracks!” exclaims Achim.' Now, why did Deleuze like this album so much? Sadly, his written comments were lost in a fire, leaving it as a total mystery what it is about glitch music that moved him so profoundly. Nonetheless, while we may never find documentation providing a certain answer, we might still take this situation as an opportunity to advance our understanding of Deleuze’s other musically-related philosophical notions. For instance, Deleuze’s characterization of rhythm is a promising companion concept to glitch, given the particular way Deleuze understands rhythm as involving irregularities and unpredictabilities. So we ask: might there be ways of understanding glitch as a continuation and elaboration on his notion of rhythm? Or in the very least, might a study of glitch music illuminate certain important conceptual features of Deleuze’s notion of rhythm?