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Christian Driesen

E-Mail: driesen[at] schriftbildlichkeit.de


Ph.D. Project

Intensive signs – Expressive forms. On a theory of scribble as the difference between writing and image



The thesis enquires the phenomenon of scribbling from three perspectives, claiming to formulate, to specify and to focus theoretically on the analytic status of scribblings. The objective of the work is to be a fundamental contribution to a philosophy or theory of the undetermined insofar as it develops scribbling as a vague, inexact and diffuse phenomenon as such. Against this background, concepts are sharpened to unfold the undetermined, in the horizon of a genesis of material forms, and to examine the raising of the new under the concept of individuation.

From a genetic perspective, scribbling will be conceived as a pre-image or pre-writing, in the sense of an emergence of undetermined forms whose vagueness, aimlessness and dissemblance constitutes the individualizing difference of the iconic itself. Thus, scribblings can be considered in general as graphisms whose significant content has to be excluded as a quasi late phenomenon of the symbolic. Following this kind of phenomenological operation, the genesis of the graphic – as a pre-symbolic inscription or incorporation in the act of scratching – would be understood theoretically in its material presence and perfomativity.

Then, scribblings are viewed as transformative or differential passages from writing into image and vice versa, so they could stand for the paradigm of what is to be determined in the concept of notational iconicity. Neither image nor writing, scribblings make it possible to think and to visualise their intensive in-between or differential gap by putting in tension the aspects of both iconic poles. In the second part of the thesis specific artworks and graphic material from psychoanalytic research will be analyzed as they constitute the figurative expression of such a prolific tension.

Finally, scribblings are defigurative symptoms within images or handwritings as they haunt them like a phantom and deprive them of their more or less similar or distinctive shape. Scribblings contain symptomatically an ambivalent or contradictory tension in the way that they incline to a definite shape as well as to a radical shapelessness (like the absolute void of a surface). Such an indetermination of their (de-)figuration, which has to be precisely determined as the figuration of the undetermined itself, operates for instance in handwritings of psychotics. Their graphic productions make visible the impact of the scribble gesture: the powerful efficacy of the defigurative and deforming aspects of scribblings, which are therefore analyzed in concepts of both psychoanalysis and art theory. By means of conceiving a metastable structure of scribblings the thesis contributes to a philosophy of the fluid while rethinking the event of what needs to be called the intensive formless or expressive informal.


Curriculum Vitae


Conception and organisation of the international conference About scribbling at the Literaturarchiv Marbach and the FU Berlin (with B. Meyer-Krahmer, R. Köppel and E. Wittrock)

since 10/2010

Doctoral fellow at the Research Training Group„Notational Iconicity“ at the Freie Universität Berlin (DFG–scholarship)


Theoretical support and conceptual attendance of the art series Vom Zuhause in Basel

since 2007

Translation from french to german of works in philosophy and literature


Study residencies in Bordeaux and Paris

since 2006

Editor of the journal molpé. Zeitschrift für ambulante Metallurgie (with A. Reichert)


Master of Arts with a contribution on the concepts of security and danger in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche


Tutorials and seminars on the history of esthetics, poststructuralism and psychoanalysis


Residency in Nantes


Studies of Philosophy and Cultural Science in Leipzig





Das Begehren der Sicherheit. Kantlektüren, in: Dialektik, 1, p. 57-76


Antonin Artaud und der Furz, in: Konstanze Schwarzwald (ed.), Experimente des Leibes, Münster: LIT, p. 101-132


Gert Neumann. Schweigen, in: Daniel Hechler/Axel Philipps (ed.), Widerstand denken. Michel Foucault und die Grenzen der Macht, Bielefeld: transcript, p. 247-259


Kritzeln als abstrakter Expressionismus. Gilles Deleuze, in: Jost Philipp Klenner/Jörg Probst (ed.), Ideengeschichte der Bildwissenschaft, Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp, p. 291-313


Variationen über die Weise. Zum Manierismus, in: Hans-Christian Lotz, Katalog, Berlin: argobooks, s.p.


Warum das Jahrhundert deleuzianisch sein sollte…, Leipzig: Konserve


Wie Deleuze den Idioten gibt, in: Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte, 4.2, p. 37-41


Kleine unverdächtige Zeichen der Subversion. Graffiti und Migration, in: Bblackboxx Mirror. Vom Zuhause – Ein Sommer der Erkundung, 2, s.p.


Ein tragischer Materialist. Zur Philosophie Clément Rossets, in: Clément Rosset, Flüchtige Eindrücke. Schatten, Spiegelbild, Echo, Leipzig: Konserve, p. 61-79


Sans signification. Le sens du silence chez Gert Neumann, in: Karsten Forbig/Chloé Tessier (ed.), Sens & représentation en conflit. Controverses et différends textuels,  Bruxelles: Lang, p. 32-39


Kritzeln im Affekt, in: Sprache und Literatur, 42, 1, p. 46-57


Lemmata Atopie, Außen, Fluchtlinie, Krypta, Rhythmus, Transversalität, in: Stephan Günzel (ed.), Raumlexikon, Darmstadt: WBG


Das Kategorische an Kategorien, in: Elisabeth Fritz u. a. (ed.), Kategorien zwischen Denkform, Analysewerkzeug und historischem Diskurs, Heidelberg: Winter


Dionysos und der Wahnsinn der Plastizität. Malabou mit Nietzsche durchsetzt, in: André Reichert/Ulrich Johannes Schneider (ed.), Nietzsche und die Postmoderne, Leipzig: Universitätsverlag


écriture rose | rose de personne. Zu den Schriftbildern Simon Hantaïs, in: Rea Köppel/Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer/Eike Wittrock/Christian Driesen (ed.), Über Kritzeln, Berlin: diaphanes





Denis Kambouchner, Hegel unter Dekonstruktion, in: Ulrich Johannes Schneider (ed.), Der französische Hegel, Berlin: Akademie, p. 143-153


Jean-Pierre Cotten, Hegel als »Abstoßungspunkt« in der Denkgeschichte von Gilles Deleuze?, in: ibid., p. 187-203


Bernard Bourgeois, Jean Wahl als Leser von Hegel, in: ibid., S. 77-89 (with U. J. Schneider)


Maurice Blanchot, [Nachwort], in: molpé. Zeitschrift für ambulante Metallurgie, S. 119-133


Tiqqun, Как делатъ?, in: ibid., S. 7-16


Tiqqun, Eh bien, la guerre!, in: ibid., S. 110-115


Clément Rosset, Flüchtige Eindrücke. Schatten, Spiegelbild, Echo, Leipzig: Konserve


Valerie Hayaert, Der Präsident am Krankenbett, in: Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte, 6.1


Henri Michaux, Ergreifen, Leipzig: Konserve



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