Friday, November 11, 2011

PROBE : Mille Plateaux

And this brings us to the vortex of Deleuze and Guattari. They are not timid in confronting the pentadic features of the miniaturization of the post-Global Theater hologram and recognize the ambivalence it creates for all institutions, new, old and future ones, including the medium of print itself.

“A book has neither subject nor object; it is made up of variously formed materials, of very different dates and speeds. As soon as a book is attributed to a subject, this working of materials and the exteriority of their relations is disregarded
(see middle of p.33, top of p.37, and pp.56-59 in THE INTERIOR LANDSCAPE).

A beneficent God is invented for geological movements. In a book, as in everything else, there are lines of articulation or segmentation, strata, territorialities; but also lines of flight, movements of deterritorialization and of destratification. The comparative rates of flow along these lines produce phenomena of relative slowness and viscosity, or alternatively of precipitation and rupture. All this, these lines and measurable speeds, constitute an *arrangement* (*agencement*). A book is such an arrangement, and as such unattributable. It is a multiplicity - but we still don’t know what the multiple implies when it ceases to be attributed, that is to say, when it is raised to the status of a substantive. A machinic arrangement (*agencement machinique*) is oriented toward the strata that undoubtedly make of it a kind of organism, either a signifying totality or a determination attributable to a subject, but it is oriented no less toward a *body without organs* that never ceases to break down the organism, causing a-signifying particles to pass and circulate freely, pure intensities, and causing the attribution to itself of subjects to which it allows no more than a name as trace of an intensity.”

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari,
ON THE LINE, 1983, pp.2-3

(see bottom of p.36, bottom third of p.144 in TAKE TODAY, and top of p.479 in LETTERS).

“Writing has nothing to do with signifying, but with land-surveying and map-making, even of countries yet to come.”

Deleuze and Guattari,

(see top paragraph in last column of p.4 in CAMPUS MAGAZINE, Volume 6, No. 3, October/November 1973).

“The map does not reproduce an unconscious closed on itself; it constructs it. It contributes to the connection of fields, the freeing of bodies without organs, and their maximal access onto the plane of consistency. It becomes itself part of the rhizome. The map is open, connectable in all its dimensions, and capable of being dismantled; it is reversible, and susceptible to constant modification. It can be torn, reversed, adapted to montages of every kind, taken in hand by an individual, a group, or a social formation. It can be drawn on a wall, conceived of as a work of art, constructed as a political action or as a meditation. Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of the rhizome is that it always has multiple entrances.”

Deleuze and Guattari,
ON THE LINE, pp.25-26


“The ideal for a book would be to display everything on such a plane of exteriority, on a single page, on the same shoreline: lived events, historical determinations, received concepts, individuals, groups and social formations.”

Deleuze and Guattari,

(see bottom third of p.121 to top third of p.126 in FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE).

“Evolutionary schemes are no longer restricted to models of arborescent descent that go from the least to the most differentiated, but may follow a rhizome that operates immediately within the heterogeneous and jumps from one already differentiated line to another.”

Deleuze and Guattari,

(see second paragraph of p.427, and p.428 in LETTERS).

Understanding the *ad hoc* nature of the constantly improvised features of a networking crucible, Deleuze and Guattari cite the “rhizome” as the appropriate model for the digital environment’s inveterate simultaneous embrace of the centralizing and decentralizing characteristics that McLuhan stigmatized for the previously programmed, automated society

(see MacLEAN’S magazine, Volume 87, No. 1, January, 1974, p.27).

“To be a rhizomorph is to produce stems and filaments that look like roots, or better still, to connect with roots by penetrating into the trunk, even if it means having them serve strange new functions. We are tired of the tree. We must no longer put our faith in trees, roots, or radicels; we have suffered enough from them. The whole arborescent culture is founded on them, from biology to linguistics. On the contrary, only underground stems and aerial roots, the adventitious and the rhizome are truly beautiful, loving, or political. Amsterdam, a city not rooted at all, a rhizome-city with its canal-stems, where utility is linked to the greatest folly, in its relationship with a commercial war machine.”

Deleuze and Guattari,

(see middle of p.49, and middle of p.94 in TAKE TODAY, and middle of second column of p.69 in FORCES magazine, Hydro-Quebec, No. 22, 1973).

“Arborescent systems are hierarchical systems comprised of centers of significance and subjectivization, of autonomous centers like organized memories. The corresponding models are such that an element receives information only from a superior unity, and a subjective affect only from pre-established connections. This is easily seen in current problems with data processing and electronic computers, which still retain the oldest models of thought insofar as they confer power on a central organ or memory.... The authors contrast these centered systems with a-centered systems, networks of finite automata, where communication occurs between any two neighbors, where channels or links do not pre-exist, where individuals are all interchangeable and are defined only by their state at a given moment, in such a way that local operations are co-ordinated and the final overall result is synchronized independently of any central authority.”

Deleuze and Guattari,
ON THE LINE, pp.36 and 38

(see top of p.110 in TAKE TODAY, and pp.356-357 in UNDERSTANDING MEDIA).

“The margin for manoeuvre in psychoanalysis is thus very limited. There is always a General or a boss in psychoanalysis (General Freud), as there is in its object. Alternatively, by treating the unconscious as an a-centered system, that is, as a machinic network of finite automata (rhizomes), schizo-analysis reaches another state altogether of the unconscious.”

Deleuze and Guattari,
ON THE LINE, pp.39-40

(see middle of p.223 and top third of p.239 in UNDERSTANDING MEDIA, top half of p.86, middle of p.99, pp.161-162, bottom of p.199 and top of p.200 in FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE, bottom third of p.22 in TAKE TODAY, and pp.67 and 83 in THE GLOBAL VILLAGE: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century [with Bruce Powers], 1989).

“More still, it is American literature, and before that English, that has indicated this sense of the rhizomatic, that has known how to move between things, to institute a logic of *and*, to overthrow ontology and to dismiss the foundations, to nullify beginnings and endings. It has known how to be pragmatic. The middle is not at all an average - far from it - but the area where things take on speed. *Between* things does not designate a localizable relation going from one to the other and reciprocally, but a perpendicular direction, a transversal movement carrying away the one *and* the other, a stream without beginning or end, gnawing away at its two banks and picking up speed in the middle.”

Deleuze and Guattari,

(see pp.6-7 in The McLuhan DEW-LINE, Volume 1, No. 4, October, 1968, top third of p.136, bottom third of p.155, and photograph on p.156 in FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE, middle of p.81 in TAKE TODAY, and first full sentence at the top of p.371, bottom half of p.392, p.461, and p.504 in LETTERS).

“America should be considered a place apart. Obviously it is not exempt from domination by trees and the search for roots. This is evident even in its literature, in the quest for a national identity, and even for a European ancestry or genealogy (Kerouac sets off in search of his ancestry). Nevertheless, everything of importance that has happened and that is happening proceeds by means of the American rhizome: the beatnicks, the underground, the subterranean mobs and gangs - all successive lateral shoots in immediate connection with an outside. Hence the difference between an American book and a European book, even when the American sets off pursuing trees. A difference in the very conception of the book: ‘Leaves of Grass’.”

Deleuze and Guattari,
ON THE LINE, pp.42-43

(see pp.74-75 in THE MEDIUM IS THE MASSAGE, middle of p.457 in LETTERS, p.44 and top of p.45 in TAKE TODAY, p.66 in FORCES magazine, Hydro-Quebec, No. 22, 1973, and first column of p.87 in THE CoEVOLUTION QUARTERLY, Winter 1977/78).

“The law of the State is not the law of All or Nothing (State-societies *or* counter-State societies), but that of interior and exterior. The State is sovereignty. But sovereignty only reigns over what it is capable of internalizing, of appropriating locally. Not only is there no universal State, but the outside of States cannot be reduced to ‘foreign policy’, that is to a set of relations among States. The outside appears simultaneously in two directions: huge worldwide machines branched out over the entire *ecumenon* at any given moment, which enjoy a large measure of autonomy in relation to the States (for example, commercial organization of the ‘multinational’ type, or industrial complexes, or even religious formations like Christianity, Islam, certain prophetic or messianic movements, etc.); but also the local mechanisms of bands, margins, minorities, which continue to affirm the rights of segmentary societies in opposition to the organs of State power. The modern world can provide us today with particularly well-developed images of these two directions, in the way of worldwide ecumenical machines, but also a neoprimitivism, a new tribal society as Marshall McLuhan describes it. These directions are equally present in all social fields, in all periods. It even happens that they become partially merged. For example, a commercial organization is also a band of pillage, or piracy, for part of its course and in many of its activities; or it is in bands that a religious formation begins to operate. What becomes clear is that bands, no less than worldwide organizations, imply a form irreducible to the State, and that this exteriority necessarily presents itself as that of a diffuse and polymorphous war machine. It is a *nomos* very different from the ‘law’.”

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY: The War Machine, 1986, pp.15-16

(see pp.120-124 in THE GUTENBERG GALAXY, pp.60-61 in FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE, bottom half of p.318, top of p.360, bottom of p.361, top half of p.368, p.468, and bottom of p.515 in LETTERS, and pp.38-43 in TAKE TODAY).

“The State-form, as a form of interiority, has a tendency to reproduce itself, remaining identical to itself across its variations and easily recognizable within the limits of its poles, always seeking public recognition (there is no masked State). But the war machine’s form of exteriority is such that it exists only in its own metamorphoses; it exists in an industrial innovation as well as in a technological invention, in a commercial circuit as well as in a religious creation, in all the flows and currents that only secondarily allow themselves to be appropriated by the State. It is not in terms of independence, but of coexistence and competition *in a perpetual field of interaction*, that we must conceive of exteriority and interiority, war machines of metamorphosis and State apparatuses of identity, bands and kingdoms, megamachines and empires. The same field circumscribes its interiority in States, but describes its exteriority in what escapes States or stands against States.”

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.16-17

(see The McLuhan DEW-LINE, Volume 1, No. 8, February, 1969, and p.68, top third of p.112, p.180, and top third of p.322 in CULTURE IS OUR BUSINESS).

“One no longer goes from the straight line to its parallels, in a lamellar or laminar flow, but from a curvilinear declination to the formation of spirals and vortices on an inclined plane: the greatest slope for the smallest angle. From *turba* to *turbo*: in other words from bands or packs of atoms to the great vortical organizations. The model is a vortical one; it operates in an open space throughout which thing-flows are distributed, rather than plotting out a closed space for linear and solid things. It is the difference between a *smooth* (vectorial, projective or topological) space and a *striated* (metric) space: in the first case ‘space is occupied without being counted’, while in the second case ‘space is counted in order to be occupied’.

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.18-19

(see pp.214-216 in ESSENTIAL McLUHAN, bottom quarter of p.7 in CULTURE IS OUR BUSINESS, and middle of p.5 and middle of p.273 in TAKE TODAY).

In the style of McLuhan, Deleuze and Guattari offer nine dialectics as exercises to prepare their readers for a surprise:

1. “Chess is indeed a war, but an institutionalized, regulated, coded war, with a front, a rear, battles. But what is proper to Go is war without battle lines, with neither confrontation nor retreat, without battles even: pure strategy, while chess is a semiology. Finally, the space is not at all the same: in chess, it is a question of arranging a closed space for oneself, thus of going from one point to another, of occupying the maximum number of squares with the minimum number of pieces. In Go, it is a question of arraying oneself in an open space, of holding space, of maintaining the possibility of springing up at any point: the movement is not from one point to another, but becomes perpetual, without aim or destination, without departure or arrival. The ‘smooth’ space of Go, as against the ‘striated’ space of chess. The *nomos* of Go against the State of chess, *nomos* against *polis*. The difference is that chess codes and decodes space, while Go proceeds altogether differently territorializing or deterritorializing it (make the outside a territory in space; consolidate that territory by the construction of a second, adjacent territory; deterritorialize the enemy by shattering his territory from within; deterritorialize oneself by renouncing, by going elsewhere...). Another justice, another movement, another space-time.”

Deleuze and Guattari,

(see top half of second column of p.263 in ESSENTIAL McLUHAN, and first two sentences at top of p.227 in TAKE TODAY).

2. “Packs, bands, are groups of the rhizome type, as opposed to the arborescent type which centers around organs of power. That is why bands in general, even those engaged in banditry or high society life, are metamorphoses of a war machine that differs formally from all State apparatuses or their equivalents, which, on the contrary, structure centralized societies. One certainly would not say that discipline is what defines a war machine: discipline becomes the characteristic required of armies when the State appropriates them. But the war machine answers to other rules. We are of course not saying that they are better, only that they animate a fundamental indiscipline of the warrior, a questioning of hierarchy, perpetual blackmailing by abandonment or betrayal, and a very volatile sense of honor, all of which, once again, impedes the formation of the State.”

Deleuze and Guattari,

(see p.239 in CULTURE IS OUR BUSINESS, and bottom third of p.20 in TAKE TODAY).

3. “But it needs it in a very different form, because the State needs to subordinate hydraulic force to conduits, pipes, embankments which prevent turbulence, which constrain movement to go from one point to another, and space itself to be striated and measured, which makes the fluid depend on the solid, and flows proceed by parallel, laminar layers. The hydraulic model of nomad science and the war machine, on the other hand, consists in being distributed by turbulence across a smooth space, in producing a movement that holds space and simultaneously affects all of its points, instead of being held by space in a local movement from one specified point to another. Democritus, Menaechmus, Archimedes, Vauban, Desargues, Bernoulli, Monge, Carnot, Poncelet, Perronet, etc.: in each case a monograph would be necessary to take into account the special situation of these savants whom State science used only after restraining or disciplining them, after repressing their social or political conceptions. (p.21)... This opposition, or rather this tension-limit between the two kinds of science - nomad, war-machine science and royal, State science - reappears at different moments, on different levels. (p.22)... What we have, rather, are two formally different conceptions of science, and, ontologically, a single field of interaction in which royal science is perpetually appropriating the contents of vague or nomad science, and nomad science is perpetually releasing the contents of royal science. At the limit, all that counts is the constantly moving borderline. (p.28)

(see first column of p.5 in TV GUIDE, September, 1978)...

In any case, if the State is always finding it necessary to repress the nomad and minor sciences, if it opposes vague essences and the operative geometry of the trait, it does so not because the content of these sciences is inexact or imperfect, or because of their magic or initiatory character, but because they imply a division of labor opposed to the norms of the State. (p.30)... In the field of interaction of the two sciences, the ambulant sciences confine themselves to *inventing problems* the solution of which is linked to an entire set of collective, nonscientific activities, but the *scientific solution* of which depends, on the contrary, on royal science and the way it has transformed the problem by introducing it into its theorematic apparatus and its organization of work. This is somewhat like intuition and intelligence in Bergson, where only intelligence has the scientific means to solve formally the problems posed by intuition, problems that intuition would be content to entrust to the qualitative activities of a humanity engaged in *following* matter...” (p.40)

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.21-40

(see bottom third of p.27 and top third of p.28 in THE INTERIOR LANDSCAPE, p.271 in THE GUTENBERG GALAXY, and top third of p.119 in FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE).

4. “In modern States, the sociologist succeeded in replacing the philosopher (as for example when Durkheim and his disciples set out to give the republic a secular model of thought). Even today, psychoanalysis lays claim to the role of *Cogitatio universalis* as the thought of the Law, in a magical return. And there are quite a few other competitors and pretenders. Noology, which is distinct from ideology, is precisely the study of images of thought, and their historicity. In a sense, it could be said that all this has no importance, that thought has never had anything but laughable gravity. But that is all it requires: for us not to take it seriously. Because that makes it all the easier for it to think for us, and to be forever engendering new functionaries. Because the less people take thought seriously, the more they think in conformity with what the State wants. Truly, what man of the State has not dreamed of that paltry impossible thing - to be a thinker?

But noology is confronted by counterthoughts, which are violent intheir acts, discontinuous in their appearances, and the existence of which is mobile in history. These are the acts of a ‘private thinker’, as opposed to the public professor: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, or even Chestov... Wherever they dwell, it is the steppe or the desert. They destroy images.”

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.43-44

(see bottom half of p.247 in THE GUTENBERG GALAXY, and middle of p.184 in FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE).

5. “The *nomos* is the consistency of a fuzzy aggregate: it is in this sense that it stands in opposition to the law or the *polis*, as the backcountry, a mountainside or the vague expanse around a city (“either nomos or polis”). There is therefore, and this is the third point, a significant difference between the spaces: sedentary space is striated, by walls, enclosures and roads between enclosures, while nomad space is smooth, marked only by ‘traits’ that are effaced and displaced with the trajectory. Even the lamella of the desert slide over each other, producing an inimitable sound. The nomad distributes himself in a smooth space, he occupies, inhabits, holds that space; that is his territorial principle. It is therefore false to define the nomad by movement. Toynbee is profoundly right to suggest that the nomad is on the contrary *he who does not move*. Whereas the migrant leaves behind a milieu that has become amorphous or hostile, the nomad is one who does not depart, does not want to depart, who clings to the smooth space left by the receding forest, where the steppe or the desert advance, and who invents nomadism as a response to this challenge. Of course, the nomad moves, but while seated, and he is only seated while moving (the Bedouin galloping, knees on the saddle, sitting on the soles of his upturned feet, ‘a feat of balance’). The nomad knows how to wait, he has infinite patience. (p.51)... The nomad is there, on the land, wherever there forms a smooth space that gnaws, and tends to grow, in all directions. The nomad inhabits these places, he remains in them, and he himself makes them grow, for it has been established that the nomad makes the desert no less than he is made by it

(see middle of p.443 in LETTERS, first italicized sentence at bottom of p.82, and last sentence on p.205 in TAKE TODAY).

He is a vector of deterritorialization. He adds desert to desert, steppe to steppe, by a series of local operations the orientation and direction of which endlessly vary. The sand desert does not only have oases, which are like fixed points, but also rhizomatic vegetation that is temporary and shifts location according to local rains, bringing changes in the direction of the crossings. The same terms are used to describe ice deserts as sand deserts: there is no line separating earth and sky; there is no intermediate distance, no perspective or contour, visibility is limited; and yet there is an extraordinarily fine topology that does not rely on points or objects, but on haecceities, on sets of relations (winds, undulations of snow or sand, the song of the sand or the creaking of ice, the tactile qualities of both); it is a tactile space, or rather ‘haptic’, a sonorous much more than a visual space...” (p.53)

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.51-53

(see top half of second column of p.71 in the interview with Marshall McLuhan, Toronto Daily Star, May 6, 1967, and p.198 in FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE).

6. “It is in State armies that the problem of the treatment of large quantities arise, in relation to other matters; but the war machine operates with small quantities that it treats using numbering numbers. These numbers appear as soon as one distributes something in space, instead of dividing up space or distributing space itself. The number becomes a subject. The independence of the number in relation to space is not a result of abstraction, but of the concrete nature of smooth space, which is occupied without itself being counted. The number is no longer a means of counting or measuring, but of moving: it is the number itself that moves through smooth space.”

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.65-66

(see bottom half of p.109 in UNDERSTANDING MEDIA).

7. “Weapons and weapon handling seem to be linked to a free action model, and tools to a work model. Linear displacement, from one point to another, constitutes the relative movement of the tool, but it is the vortical occupation of a space that constitutes the absolute movement of the weapon. It is as though the weapon were moving, self-propelling, while the tool is moved. (p.79)... What effectuates a free action model is not the weapons in themselves and in their physical aspect, but the ‘war machine’ assemblage as the formal cause of the weapons. And what effectuates the work model is not the tools, but the ‘work machine’ assemblage as the formal cause of the tools. When we say that the weapon is inseparable from a speed-vector, while the tool remains linked to conditions of gravity, we are claiming only to signal a difference between two types of assemblage, a distinction that holds even if in the assemblage proper to it the tool is abstractly ‘faster’, and the weapon abstractly more ‘weighty’. The tool is by essence tied to a genesis, a displacement and an expenditure of force whose laws reside in work, while the weapon concerns only the exercise or manifestation of force in space and time, in conformity with free action. The weapon does not fall from the sky, and obviously assumes production, displacement, expenditure and resistance. But this aspect relates to the common sphere of the weapon and the tool, and does not yet concern the specificity of the weapon, which only appears when force is considered in itself, when it is no longer linked to anything but the number, movement, space or time, or *when speed is added to displacement*. Concretely, a weapon as such does not relate to the Work model, but to the Free Action model, with the assumption that the conditions of work are fulfilled elsewhere. In short, from the point of view of force, the tool is tied to a gravity-displacement, weight-height system; the weapon to a speed-*perpetuum mobile* system (it is in this sense that it can be said that speed in itself is a ‘weapons system’.” (pp.80-81)

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.79-81

(see bottom of p.87 to top half of p.90 in LAWS OF MEDIA, and bottom half of p.510 in LETTERS).

8. “*Metallurgy in itself constitutes a flow necessarily confluent with nomadism.* (p.90)... Matter and form have never seemed more rigid than in metallurgy; and yet the succession of forms tends to be replaced by the form of a continuous development, the variability of matters tends to be replaced by the matter of a continuous variation. If metallurgy has an essential relation with music, it is not only by virtue of the sounds of the forge, but of the tendency within both arts to bring into its own, beyond separate forms, a continuous development of form, and beyond variable matters, a continuous variation of matter: a widened chromaticism sustains both music and metallurgy; the musical smith was the first ‘transformer’. In short, what metal and metallurgy bring to light is a life inherent to matter, a vital state of matter as such, a material vitalism that doubtless exits everywhere but is ordinarily hidden or covered, rendered unrecognizable, dissociated by the hylomorphic model. Metallurgy is the consciousness or thought of the matter-flow, and metal the correlate of this consciousness. As expressed in panmetallism, metal is coextensive to the whole of matter, and the whole of matter to metallurgy. Even the waters, the grasses and varieties of wood, the animals are populated by salts or mineral elements. Not everything is metal, but metal is everywhere. Metal is the conductor of all matter. The machinic phylum is metallurgical, or at least has a metallic head, as its itinerant probe-head or guidance device. And thought is born more from metal than from stone: metallurgy is minor science in person, ‘vague’ science or the phenomenology of matter. The prodigious idea of *Nonorganic Life* - the very same idea Worringer considered the barbarian idea *par excellence* - was the invention, the intuition of metallurgy. Metal is neither a thing nor an organism, but a *body* without organs.” (pp.102-103)

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.90-103.

9. “*War does not necessarily have the battle as its object, and more importantly, the war machine does not necessarily have war as its object, although war and the battle may be its necessary result (under certain conditions).* (pp.109-110)... This explains Clausewitz’s vacillation when he establishes at one point that total war remains a war conditioned by the political aim of States, and at another that it tends to effectuate the Idea of unconditioned war. In effect, the aim remains essentially political and determined as such by the State, but the object itself has become unlimited. We could say that the appropriation has changed direction, or rather that States tend to unleash, reconstitute, an immense war machine of which they are no longer anything more than the opposable or apposed parts. This worldwide war machine, which in a way ‘reissues’ from the States, displays two successive figures: first, that of fascism, which makes war an unlimited movement with no other aim than itself; but fascism is only a rough sketch, and the second, post-fascist, figure is that of a war machine that takes peace as its object directly, as the peace of Terror or Survival. The war machine reforms a smooth space which now claims to control, to surround the entire earth. Total war itself is surpassed, towards a form of peace more terrifying still. The war machine has taken charge of the aim, worldwide order, and the States are no longer anything more than objects or means adapted to that machine. This is the point at which Clausewitz’s formula is effectively reversed; to be entitled to say that politics is the continuation of war by other means, it is not enough to invert the order of the words as if they could be spoken in either direction; it is necessary to follow the real movement at the conclusion of which the States, having appropriated a war machine, and having adapted it to their aims, reissue a war machine that takes charge of the aim, appropriates the States and assumes increasingly wider political functions.” (pp.118-119)

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.109-119

(see p.152 in TAKE TODAY, bottom half of p.12 to top half of p.13 in FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE, and last sentence on p.xi in Canadian National Bank [Montreal] 100th Annual Report Publication, December, 1974).

Deleuze and Guattari collapse the dialectic to reveal they had been playing with the tactile interval all along, and then put the post-tactile observer in the bull’s-eye position on the rhizome’s dartboard:

“Undoubtedly, nothing is more outmoded than the man of war: he has long since been transformed into an entirely different character, the military man. And the worker himself has undergone so many misadventures...

And yet men of war reappear, with many ambiguities: they are all those who know the uselessness of violence, but who are adjacent to a war machine to be recreated, one of active, revolutionary counterattacks. Workers also reappear who do not believe in work, but who are adjacent to a work machine to be recreated, one of active resistance and technological liberation. They do not resuscitate old myths or archaic figures, they are the new figure of a transhistorical assemblage (neither historical, nor eternal, but untimely): the nomad warrior and the ambulant worker. A somber caricature already precedes them, the mercenary or mobile military instructor, and the technocrat or transhumant analyst, the CIA and IBM

(see p.257 in TAKE TODAY, and top half of back-cover book flap of TAKE TODAY).

But a transhistorical figure must defend himself as much against old myths

(see pp.140-141 in FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE)

as against preestablished, anticipatory disfigurations

(see bottom of first column and top of second column in McLuhan’s op-ed in The New York Times, July 29, 1973).

‘One does not go back to reconquer the myth, one encounters it anew, when time quakes at its foundations under the empire of extreme danger.’ Martial arts and state-of-the-art technologies only have value because they create a possibility of bringing together worker and warrior masses of a new type

(see first paragraph of p.31 in COUNTERBLAST).

The shared line of flight of the weapon and the tool: a pure possibility, a mutation. There arise subterranean, aerial, submarine technicians who belong more or less to the world order, but who involuntarily invent and amass virtual charges of knowledge and action that are usable by others, minute but easily acquired for new assemblages. The borrowings between warfare and the military apparatus, work and free action, always run in both directions, for a struggle that is all the more varied.”

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.89-90

(see pp.117-130 in FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE).

“We can now better understand why I said that sometimes there are at least three different lines, sometimes only two, and sometimes only one, all very entangled. Sometimes there are actually three lines, because the line of flight or of rupture combines all the movements of deterritorialization, precipitates quanta, tears off accelerated particles that cross into each other’s territories, and carries them onto a plane of consistency or a mutating machine. And then there is a second molecular line, where the deterritorializations are now only relative, always compensated for by reterritorializations which impose on them so many loops and detours, equilibria and stabilizations. Finally there is the molar line, with well-defined segments, where the reterritorializations accumulate in order to constitute a plane of organization and to pass into an overcoding machine.

Three lines: the nomad line, the migrant line, and the sedentary line (the migrant and nomad lines are not at all the same). Or there might only be two lines, because the molecular line would only appear in oscillation between the two extremes, sometimes swept away by the combination of deterritorializations, and sometimes contributing to the accumulation of reterritorializations (sometimes the migrant allies himself with the nomad, sometimes with the mercenary or confederate of an empire: the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths). Or perhaps there is only a single line, the primary line of flight, the border or edge that is relativized in the second line, and allows itself to be stopped or cut in the third. But even then, it can be conveniently presented as *the* line born from the explosion of the other two. Nothing is more complicated than a line or lines. This is what Melville is concerned with: the dingys tied together in their organized segmentation, Captain Ahab on his molecular line, becoming animal, and the white whale in its mad flight.”

Deleuze and Guattari,
ON THE LINE, pp.93-94.

“Doubtless, the present situation is highly discouraging. We have watched the war machine grow stronger and stronger, as in a science fiction story; we have seen it assign as its objective a peace still more terrifying than fascist death; we have seen it maintain or instigate the most terrible of local wars as parts of itself; we have seen it set its sights on a new type of enemy, no longer another State, nor even another regime, but the ‘unspecified enemy’; we have seen it put its counter-guerilla elements into place, so that it can be caught by surprise once, but not twice... Yet the very conditions that make the State or World war machine possible, in other words constant capital (resources and equipment) and human variable capital, constantly recreate unexpected possibilities for counterattack, unforseen initiatives determining revolutionary, popular, minority mutant machines. The definition of the Unspecified Enemy testifies to this... ‘multiform, maneuvering and omnipresent... of the moral, political, subversive or economic order, etc.,’ the unassignable material Saboteur or human Deserter assuming the most diverse forms. The first theoretical element of importance is the fact that the war machine has many varied meanings, and this is *precisely because the war machine has an extremely variable relation to war itself.*”

Deleuze and Guattari,
NOMADOLOGY, pp.119-120

(see pp.140-143 in THE GLOBAL VILLAGE).

Deleuze and Guattari skillfully refresh the implications for autonomy that McLuhan first articulated when he recognized the discarnate “animal” stalking our tiny neighborhood.

So, in retospect, it appears Sylvere Lotringer astutely mimed the pentadic when he offered five slippery pillars to establish the foundations for the New York school of media ecology.

And, Sylvere Lotringer recently commented on the origins of his SEMIOTEXTE project:

“If you compared theorists like Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault to John Cage and William Burroughs, you could see a connection between what the French were doing with concepts and what the Americans were doing with perception.”

- Time Out New York magazine, March 7-14, 2002, p.73.

The parallels to the earlier project of the Toronto school of media ecology are obvious, including especially the playful, satirical aspects.

See The Five Schools of Media Ecology by Bob Dobbs

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