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By Domenico Quaranta

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Extra info for Game Aesthetics How videogames are transforming contemporary art

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As if an inbetween life and death existed, complicating the binary distinction introduced in Proposition 39. As if there were a partial death resulting from a mysterious metamorpho­ sis of the body and affects, one that would not coincide with the end of the relation of movement and rest between the parts of the body, but that would proceed from the disorganization of this relation. Some parts of the body living their own lives alone become autono­ mous, dissolving the whole without entirely annihilating it.

Life can be defined as the harmonious agreement of the movements of the body. This is the definition of the health of the organism, assuming an accordance between its parts. On the other hand, death occurs when the parts have their own, autonomous movements, thereby disorganizing the life of the whole and breaking up its unity. In the Scholium Spinoza expands on a strange and interesting remark. Having posited, “I understand the body to have died when its parts are so disposed that they maintain a different ratio of motion and rest to one another,” he adds: For I am not so bold as to deny that the human body, whilst retaining the circulation of the blood and other features on account o f which a body is thought to live, can nevertheless be ch a n ged into another nature w hich is very differen t fro m its own [emphasis mine].

We must recognize, however, that neurobiologists do not develop the notion of destructive plasticity as such. Destruction lies at the heart of their analyses; the forma­ tion of a new personality resulting from this destruction is also a constant object of investigation. Yet brain injury and its consequences for identity are still treated as con­ tingent facts, subject to chance, with no link to an exis­ tential potential for the subject. The possibility of an identity change by destruction, the possibility of an anni­ hilating metamorphosis, does not appear as a constant virtuality of being, inscribed in it as an eventuality, under­ stood within its biological and ontological fate.

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