Differential Ontology 👀

621 S Olive Street Los Angeles, CA 90014
Jun 12, 5 PM - 10 PM — ends Jul 10, 2021
On view June 12 - July 10, 2021

This exhibit investigates how the inner nature of phenomena is constituted by complex interrelationships. It asks certain ontological questions, such as “Is the inner nature of beings composed of homogeneous elements or heterogeneous ones?” “Is difference simply an external fact between beings or is it constitutive of their very inner nature?”
“Differential Ontology” examines the inner nature of beings by developing a concept of difference as foundational, rather than thinking of difference as merely an observable contrast between self-identical beings.

The essentialist tradition attempts to determine the inner nature of beings by locating certain self-contained and self-identical properties. To think in this way, however, presumes that each being’s inner nature is constituted on its own and apart from any other beings. Difference is thought in substantive terms, as though it is simply a dissimilarity between two beings existing in and for themselves.

Conversely, “differential ontology” understands the inner nature of beings to not be constituted independently of and in isolation from others. Rather, this nature is wholly constituted by virtue of the nexus of relations in which a being is embedded. Difference, then, is constitutive of the very inner nature of beings and not merely an external contrast between them.

Therefore, difference, or the constitutive nature of the differential relation to alterity, is originary, while identity is delusory. If ontological investigation desires to adhere to its project of arriving at the most basic, fundamental understanding of the nature of existence, perhaps one of its objectives will need to be attaining concepts not on the basis of identity, but on difference.

“Differential ontology” is a term that may be found particularly in the works of Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, process philosophy, and the ideas of “emptiness” and “dependent origination” in Buddhism.

Alicia Piller
Brian Randolph
Carla Jay Harris
Eli Joteva
Ibuki Kuramochi
Isabel Beavers
Kayla Tange
Khang Nguyen
Kim Abeles
Linnea Spransy
Maru Garcia
Mei Hotta
Patrick Nickell
Richelle Gribble
Russell Crotty
Takeshi Kanemura

Curated by Khang Nguyen

The gallery is located at 621 S. Olive St., Los Angeles

For further information and press inquiries, please email wonzimerinfo@gmail.com.