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“The Perception Image” by Gilles Deleuze Essay

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In his article, the perception image, Gilles Deleuze gives varied definitions of how an individual can perceive the image. The first theme is in relation to objective and subjective while the second theme focuses on liquid perception. Therefore, the next discussion gives a simple summary of the aforementioned topics as per Deleuze’s views.

According to Deleuze, a perception can result in double terms either objective or subjective. However, the challenge lies in differentiating the two terms especially when it comes to cinematography. The subjective perception of an image is whereby a qualified person identifies an image or secondly an individual who is part of the art. Depending on the observer, the reference point can be in terms of sensory factor, active factor, and effective factor.

On the contrary, an objective perception is whereby the observer of an image does not form part of the art (that is, the external). However, this definition is not the only nominal but also seems purely negative and provisional.

According to Jean Mitry, sometimes a perception neither falls in the category of objective nor subjective. For instance, in a case where ‘the observer-observed’ that is, an audience sees an individual watching an image, and at the same time, the same audience sees the observer’s perception. Thus, it is hard to categorize the initial image as objective while the second image is neither subjective.

Therefore, due to the possibility of extreme contraction of the perception and the ability of the perception to pass from objective to subjective and vice versa, Deleuze calls this description semi-subjective. Furthermore, Pasolini applies linguistic analogy to differentiate subjective and objective perceptions. Intuitively, subjective perception image assumes the aspects of the direct discourse marker while the objective one passes as the indirect discourse marker. Eventually, a cinematographic image falls under the category of free discourse marker. However, these definitions have raised criticisms among linguistics especially Russians and Italians.

This is because Mitry’s philosophy of linguistic analogy consists of an enunciation originating from utterances, which solely depend on a different enunciation. Bakhtin a linguist argues that a combination of enunciations is impossible but rather there can be a differentiation of two correlative subjects, which are heterogeneous. In counterargument, Pasolini thinks that cinema lacks both subjective and objective images but rather there exists a correlation between the perceived image and the camera consciousness.

Finally, different researchers view the perception in terms of liquid (water). According to the French school, the perception image falls under two categories, molecular/molar perception, and liquid/solid perception. Deleuze draws his arguments from different artists. For instance, Jean Renoir uses water as his predilection and this has drawn attention from many artists like L’Herbier who view water as the solid character while the sea qualifies as a perceptive system, which is different from earthly images like languages.

Therefore, water is vital in cinema not because of its mobility status but also because it is the origin of rhythm where we have visual and auditory aspects. The liquid perception is important in prolonging, transmission, and diffusion when compared to the solid. Thus, the earth and water are the center of drama whereby there is always confrontation of the two factors in scenes. From the above facts, the perception image cannot solely be classified as formal consciousness.

In brief, Deleuze gives the elements of cinematography and relates them to linguistics. The perception of an image can be in three forms, objective, subjective, and liquid. Nevertheless, an image may lack any of the aforementioned aspects thus, qualifying as semi-subjective. Environmentally, the oscillation nature of water has made artists to conclude that earth and water are vital elements of drama.

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IvyPanda. (2021, February 9). "The Perception Image" by Gilles Deleuze. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-perception-image-by-gilles-deleuze/

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""The Perception Image" by Gilles Deleuze." IvyPanda, 9 Feb. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/the-perception-image-by-gilles-deleuze/.

1. IvyPanda. ""The Perception Image" by Gilles Deleuze." February 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-perception-image-by-gilles-deleuze/.


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IvyPanda. 2021. ""The Perception Image" by Gilles Deleuze." February 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-perception-image-by-gilles-deleuze/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) '"The Perception Image" by Gilles Deleuze'. 9 February.

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