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Rhizomes, Machines, Multiplicities and Maps Notes Toward an Expanded Art Practice (Beyond Representation)

  • Simon O’Sullivan
Chapter
Part of the Renewing Philosophy book series

Abstract

For many readers A Thousand Plateaus is a notoriously difficult volume, full of strange jargon, unfamiliar terminology and bizarre cross fertilisations. For others it is a surprisingly easy and exciting read, in spite of, and in some cases perhaps because of, the above. Indeed, it is almost as if one has already to be in a certain space in order to understand, or rather utilise, this complex and unusual collaborative work, which is to say that the most striking effect of reading A Thousand Plateaus is that it encapsulates a certain attitude, or one might say style, of intellectual work and indeed of life in general. It is a style that is at odds with much academic writing, especially that utilised by art theory, inasmuch as its modus operandi is affirmation and creation rather than negation and critique. Equally important, and as Brian Massumi points out in the translator’s foreword, is to remember that A Thousand Plateaus is very much a pragmatic work.1 To read it as a purely scholarly text, to read it simply for meaning, is to position it always already within that field that it writes against — representation.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    To quote Massumi:Google Scholar
  2. The best way of all to approach the book is to read it as a challenge: to pry open the vacant spaces that would enable you to build your life and those of the people around you into a plateau of intensity that would leave afterimages of its dynamism that could be reinjected into still other lives, creating a fabric of heightened states between which any number, the greatest number, of connecting routes would exist. (ATP xv)Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    Indeed Deleuze and Guattari were themselves to be the subject of ideological critique. Frederic Jameson sums up this attitude in his afterword ‘Afterword: Reflections in Conclusion’, in Aesthetics and Politics (1977) (Ed. R. Taylor) (London: New Left Books), pp. 196–213. Here the so-called ‘attack’ on representation would only be finally ‘understood’ when it was itself situated within representation (which is to say, ideology):Google Scholar
  4. Meanwhile, poststructuralism has added yet a different kind of parameter to the Realism/Modernism controversy … The assimilation of realism as a value to the old philosophical concept of mimesis by such writers as Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard or Deleuze, has reformulated the Realism/Modernism debate in terms of a Platonic attack on the ideological effects of representation … yet my own feeling is that we will not fully be able to assess the consequences of the attack on representation, and of poststructuralism generally, until we are able to situate it within the field of the theory of ideology itself [my italics]. (Jameson 1977, 199)Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    See for example Peter Hallward’s Absolutely Postcolonial: Writing Between the Singular and the Specific (2001) (Manchester: Manchester University Press) in which Deleuze’s project is characterised as one of ‘counter-actualisation’:Google Scholar
  6. The great purpose of Deleuze’s work is thus the invention of various mechanisms whereby the given can be counter-actualised, ‘real’-ised, deterritorialised, or otherwise transfigured. One becomes real, naturally, by escaping the equivocal, the territorial, the relative, the mediate, the figurai, the significant, the perceptible, and so on. (2001, 13)Google Scholar
  7. Hallward finds confirmation of this take on Deleuze from Deleuze himself, quoting from Cinema 1: ‘how can we rid ourselves of ourselves and demolish ourselves?’ (CI 66). My particular take on this matter is that this apparent negation of ourselves also, and more importantly, involves the production of ‘new’ selves — a fundamentally constructive project.Google Scholar
  8. 4.
    At stake in such a resonance is a paradigmatically different relationship to another’s intellectual or artistic practice; an affective relationship often resulting in an affective homage. In a similar vein the contemporary artist Thomas Hirschorn has referred to his relation to Deleuze — and also Bataille, Spinoza and Gramsci — as being one of a ‘fan’ (Hirschorn, paper presented at Field Work: Reports from the Fields of Visual Culture Conference (2003), London, Victoria Milo Gallery). Hence Hirschorn’s monuments that he builds to these philosophers (for example the Bataille Monument built for Documenta XI (see Fietzek, G. (Ed.) Documenta XI: The Catalogue (2002) (London: Art Books International)).Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    There have been recent volumes that map the connections between Deleuze and Derrida. See for example Paul Patton and John Protevi’s edited collection Between Deleuze and Derrida (2003) (London: Continuum). See also Protevi’s own impressive volume Political Physics (2001) (London: Athlone Press), in which the Derridean deconstruction of logocentrism is allied with Deleuze’s own project of mapping out a non-hylomorphic philosophy of matter (see also my review of Protevi’s volume in Parallax (2003), vol. 9, no. 1, 126–7.Google Scholar
  10. 6.
    In relation to this Deleuze has remarked in an interview: ‘It’s easy to set up a correspondence between any society and some kind of machine, which isn’t to say that their machines determine different kinds of society but that they express the social forms capable of producing them and making use of them’ (N 180).Google Scholar
  11. 7.
    We might also note recent developments in neuroscience and in embodied Artificial Intelligence, both of which appear increasingly ‘Deleuzian’.Google Scholar
  12. 8.
    A crucial question here, which I address at this stage in just a footnote, is the relationship of rhizomatics to capitalism. Put bluntly the question might be formulated thus: if capitalism operates in a specifically rhizomatic manner -which it increasingly seems to — how might rhizomatic art practices resist and/or critique this? Put even more bluntly, what are we to think when the management strategies of multinationals such as Microsoft seem to parallel the artistic strategies of expanded contemporary practices? Chapter 4 goes some way to address this via the introduction of the notion of the minor, and the necessity of stuttering and stammering these new models. It is important also to point out that the relationships between different rhizomatic formations must always be scrutinised and attention given to the power relations in what might appear bottom up systems of organisation. Equally important is to note Deleuze’s notion that ‘resistance is primary’, which is to say, the question is really why an ontologically prior rhizomatics becomes blocked and captured. In fact Deleuze, when asked ‘whether control or communication societies will lead to forms of resistance that might reopen the way for a communism understood as the “transversal organization of free individuals” ‘, confesses that he is not sure, or indeed whether ‘resistance’ as it were can proceed through speech and communication at all (for Deleuze the latter have all but been corrupted by money and the profit motive) (N 175). Thus Deleuze posits the intriguing idea that resistance might well involve creating ‘vacuoles of non communication, circuit breakers, so we can elude control’ (N 175). As Deleuze remarks: ‘It’s not a question of worrying or hoping for the best, but of finding new weapons’ (N 178). See also Hardt and Negri’s chapter on ‘Postmodernization, or the Informatization of Production’, in Empire (2000) (Cambridge: Harvard University Press), pp. 280–303. 9. See for example Association Metaworx (Ed.), Metaworx: Approaches to Interactivity (2004) (Zurich: Birkhauser), which provides an interesting survey of predominantly Swiss practices that might be said to be located at the sharp end of technological developments especially as regards the conjunction of interactive media and complexity theory. See also Vera Buhlman’s informative introduction to this volume, ‘Volatile Milieu: The Poetics of Interactivity’, which utilises the writings of Deleuze and Guattari and Brian Massumi in mapping out a framework for interactive multidisciplinary research.Google Scholar
  13. 10.
    Deleuze and Guattari return to this theme of a rhizomatic, or ‘counter-punctual’ universe in their last work together. See WP 185–6.Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    It is Nicolas Bourriaud who first coined the phrase ‘relational aesthetics’ in relation to contemporary art. See his Relational Aesthetics (1998) (Trans. S. Pleasance, F. Woods and M. Copeland) (Paris: Les Presses du Reel) in which relational art is defined as ‘the possibility’ of ‘an art taking as its theoretical horizon the realm of human interactions and its social context rather then the assertion of an independent and private symbolic space’ (Bourriaud 1998, 14). One might argue that all art is relational in this sense (and always has been), and indeed that these relations involve more than just the social. One might also want to ask what kinds of social relations art produces? Are they all to be applauded (are there practices that merely restage dominant power relations)? Much of what Bourriaud goes on to say in Relational Aesthetics relates to the subject matter of this chapter, although later chapters might be seen to take issue with the opposition he sets out above.Google Scholar
  15. 12.
    This turn away from traditional disciplinary boundaries has its correlate in the emergent field/academic discipline of Visual Culture. This is not necessarily to focus purely on the visual, rather it is to recognise that the expanded field of artistic practice has gone beyond those objects, practices and discourses typically contained within the remit of art history.Google Scholar
  16. 13.
    See Derrida, The Truth in Painting (1987) (Trans G. Bennington and I. McLeod) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), pp. 21–2.Google Scholar
  17. 14.
    Donald Preziosi conducts a similar analysis of art history, which is to say a critique of representation, in his Rethinking Art History: Meditations on a Coy Science (1991) (New Haven: Yale University Press). For Preziosi the art of art history is inextricably grounded in a logocentric paradigm of signification, and the business of the discipline is addressed above all to the task of reading objects so as to discern meaning, to hear the Voice behind what is palpable and mute. (1991, 16)Google Scholar
  18. Preziosi continues:Google Scholar
  19. Disciplinary practice has rested upon a series of metaphors and tropes that remain grounded in classical theories of signification and representation. Such rhetorical protocols… have tended to be held in common by seemingly distinct schools of theory and methodology in art history. However much they might contrast with each other in programmatic ways, iconographie analysis, Marxist social history, and (structuralist) visual semiotics, among others, have shared basic assumptions on how artworks mean and how they reflect social and historical processes. (1991, 16)Google Scholar
  20. 15.
    Andrew Benjamin gives this problem an interesting temporal slant in his ‘Introduction’ to a special issue of Art and Design on Complexity: Architecture/ Art/Philosophy (1995) (Ed. A. Benjamin) (London: Academy Editions):Google Scholar
  21. With representation there is the already implicated presence of the ontology of stasis. Consequently, opening up the possibility of a founding complexity will give rise to two immediate demands. The first is a repositioning of the ontological, while the second will involve a recasting of how the process of production that is, the work’s effectation — is to be understood. (Benjamin 1995, 7)Google Scholar
  22. This first chapter is precisely an attempt to think through these two demands. Importantly, and like myself, Benjamin sees this rethinking and reworking as not nihilistic — not stemming from a destruction of metaphysics — but rather as the ‘affirmation of other practices, activities and works’ (Benjamin 1995, 7).Google Scholar
  23. 16.
    See for example de Man’s essay ‘The Rhetoric of Temporality’, Blindness and Insight: Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism (1983a) (London: Methuen), pp. 187–228.Google Scholar
  24. 17.
    It is worth noting Lyotard’s take on the ‘origin’ of representation here — that it is premised on a crisis, or a lack. Here is Lyotard from his essay on Anton Ehrenzweig, ‘Beyond Representation’ (Trans. J. Culler), The Lyotard Reader (1989b) (Ed. A. Benjamin) (Oxford: Basil Blackwell):Google Scholar
  25. In this methodological nihilism, which transforms entities of language, painting or music into signs or groups that stand for something else, and therefore treats the material and its organisation as a surface to be penetrated, one finds the same prejudice: the notion that works have a substitutive or vicarious function. They are only there in place of a missing object, as the accepted formula has it; and they are there only because the object is missing. (1989b, 158)Google Scholar
  26. Lyotard goes on to remark:Google Scholar
  27. An account of the economy of works of art that was cast in libidinal terms (but should we still, in this case, continue to speak of works?) would have as its central presupposition the affirmative character of works: they are not in place of anything; they do not stand for but stand; that is to say, they function through their material and its organization. (1989b, 158)Google Scholar
  28. 18.
    This is not to say that deconstruction cannot be utilised in a more affirmative manner. Derrida’s notion of différance for example might be productive in thinking through how art generates certain signifying effects, that is, through a variety of differential relations within a specific art work, between art works, and between art and non-art — as well as through a deferral of what the art work appears to ‘represent’.Google Scholar
  29. 19.
    There is certainly a role for this type of critique that inhabits its object of criticism like a virus or parasite. The danger is that this critique can become the very horizon of thought in general.Google Scholar
  30. 20.
    Robert Smithson characterises the art of Donald Judd, and the work of Alain Robbe-Grillet, in precisely this way — as breaking with a certain ‘empathy’ between self and object. Here he is from his essay on ‘The Pathetic Fallacy in Esthetics’:Google Scholar
  31. The empathie projection of the ‘self into an art-object has determined all esthetics of the last fifty years or so. Recently, both Alain Robbe-Grillet and Don Judd have attacked this empathie esthetic. In Judd’s Specific Objects, one detects a dissatisfaction with the problems of space. In Robbe-Grillet’s essay Nature Humanism Tragedy, one finds an explicit rejection of anthropomorphic ‘complicity’. Things are not filled with any humanist justifications. ‘Things are things, and man is only man’. Abstract art is not a self-projection, it is indifferent to the self. (CW 338)Google Scholar
  32. We might productively compare this with Nietzsche who also abhorred, and wrote against, this endemic anthropomorphism:Google Scholar
  33. Nothing is more difficult for man than to apprehend a thing impersonally: I mean to see it as a thing, not as a person: one might question, indeed, whether it is at all possible for him to suspend the clockwork of his person-constructing, person-inventing drive even for a moment. (Nietzsche 1977, 30–1)Google Scholar
  34. Deleuze and Guattari also attend to this ‘person-constructing’ mechanism in A Thousand Plateaus (1988) (Trans. B. Massumi) (London: Athlone Press). In the plateau ‘1440:The Smooth and the Striated’ they write about two kinds of line: the organic, which delineates form, encloses with verticals and horizontals, sticks to a centre, that is representational (represents something other than what it is); and the abstract or nomadic line that disrupts this function (ATP 492–9). The former line, and the form that it delineates, works to unite representation with the subject. An empathy is produced between the form of the art object and the (form of the) human subject (to preempt the argument of Chapter 2, we might call this the workings of the faciality-machine). Deleuze explores this further in his book Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation (2003) (Trans. D.W. Smith) (London: Continuum). See p. 46 of the latter for a description of the ‘northern gothic line’ as that which maps out a ‘powerful non-organic life’. See also p. 105, and pp. 129–30.Google Scholar
  35. 21.
    Edgar Schmitz has developed an interesting concept of the ‘ambient’ in relation to contemporary art to describe a kind of super-connectivity and super-relationality, which in itself involves a critique of the more restricted economies of institutional critique, site specificity and ‘relational aesthetics’ (all of which, as Schmitz demonstrates, maintain a binary logic) (Schmitz, Ambient Mode: Poetics and Politics of Dispersed Engagements (forthcoming) (New York: Lukas and Steinberg)).Google Scholar
  36. 22.
    See for example the ‘counter cartographies’ project by the art collective C.CRED (www.ccred.org). See also my essay on C.CRED’s practice, ‘Four Moments/Movements for an Expanded Art Practice (Following Deleuze, Following Spinoza)’, The Issues (In Contemporary Culture and Aesthetics) (2005a), vol. 1, 67–8.Google Scholar
  37. 23.
    See the plateau ‘1933: Micropolitics and Segmentarity’, ATP 208–31.Google Scholar
  38. 24.
    The smearing of complexity theory into the humanities has been particularly productive. See for example Paul Cilliers bringing together of Derrida and Lyotard with the former in ‘Post-structuralism, Connectionism and Complexity’, in Complexity and Postmodernism: Understanding Complex Systems (1988) (London: Routledge) pp. 37–47, and in relation to contemporary art and art theory see the edited collection Complexity: Architecture/Art/Philosophy (1995) (Ed. A. Benjamin) (London: Academy Editions).Google Scholar
  39. 25.
    See for example Mike Nelson’s Forgotten Kingdom (2001) (Ed. W. Bradley) (London: ICA), an exhibition catalogue that takes the form of a collection of extracts from Science Fiction, horror and other novels — including Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep!Google Scholar
  40. 26.
    The rhizome then follows closely Barthes’ definition of ‘text’, especially as it is laid out in the essay ‘From Work to Text’, in Image/Music/Text (1977a) (Trans, and Ed. S. Heath) (London: Fontana), pp. 155–64. However it also announces a more general principle of connectivity — beyond textuality — with organic and inorganic matter. A case study of this principle of connectivity is arte povera, at least as it is characterised by Germano Celant:Google Scholar
  41. Animals, vegetables and minerals take part in the world of art. The artist feels attracted by their physical, chemical and biological possibilities, and he begins again to feel the need to make things of the world, not only as animated beings, but as producer of magic and marvellous deeds. The artist-alchemist organizes living and vegetable matter into magic things, working to discover the root of things, in order to refind them and extol them. His work, however, does include in its scope the use of the simplest material and natural elements (copper, zinc, earth, water, rivers, land, snow, fire, grass, air, stone, electricity, uranium, sky, weight, gravity, height, growth etc.). (1992, 886–7)Google Scholar
  42. 27.
    We are always forming rhizomes with art in this sense, perhaps most obviously becoming music when we dance. A further study would be needed to think through different artist’s various becomings involved in making their art. We might point briefly to one such case study of Jackson Pollock ‘becoming painting’:Google Scholar
  43. When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It is only after a sort of ‘get acquainted’ period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well. (Pollock quoted in Read 1974, 266–7)Google Scholar
  44. There are also of course the various becomings that allow for creativity (a veritable becoming plant in the case of Pollock’s alcoholism).Google Scholar
  45. 28.
    See Jean-François Lyotard, ‘The Tensor’, Libidinal Economy (1993) (Trans. I. H. Grant) (London: Athlone Press), pp. 43–94.Google Scholar
  46. 29.
    An interesting case study of how this principle of ‘interpretation’ might be thought in relation to art practice is the work of the contemporary artist Simon Starling, which involves precisely the ‘actualisation’ of the different processes — or durations — encapsulated in the object. See for example Katrina M. Brown’s introductory essay ‘Djungel Dwelling’, in Simon Starling: Djungel (2002) (Dundee: Dundee Contemporary Arts), pp. 23–36. As Brown remarks:Google Scholar
  47. [Starling’s] … projects bring diverse sources and elements together in configurations which undermine the latent hierarchy — of object over process, end-product over source material, design over craft. They are synthetic rather than analytic, with each present, tangible and concrete element insisting on an awareness of the disparate histories and journeys necessary to the creation of the whole. (2002, 23)Google Scholar
  48. 30.
    Action painting would be a paradigmatic case study of this encounter between artist and material. Here for example is Harold Rosenberg writing about this particular encounter/confrontation:Google Scholar
  49. At a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act — rather than as a space in which to reproduce, redesign, analyse or ‘express’ an object, actual or imagined. What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event. The painter no longer approached his easel with an image in his mind; he went up to it with material in his hand to do something to that other piece of material in front of him. The image would be the result of this encounter. (1970, 36–7)Google Scholar
  50. 31.
    In much the same way as Barthes’ reader operates as the limit point and unity of a written text. See ‘The Death of the Author’, in Image/Music/Text (1977b) (Trans, and Ed. S. Heath) (London: Fontana), pp. 142–8.Google Scholar
  51. 32.
    And it is not just ‘radical’ and dissenting machines that are constructed. We might think, for example, of the films and other propaganda of the Third Reich; ‘art’ here was precisely a ‘fascist machine’. But a fascist machine can itself be redirected and used against its original masters (hence the Situationist strategy of détournement). More worrying perhaps is that a radical, dissenting machine can likewise be redirected against its original mechanics (staying with Hitler’s Germany, the exhibition of ‘Degenerate art’ would be a case in point). Ultimately any machine can produce any number of different effects depending on its conjunction with other machines.Google Scholar
  52. 33.
    George Bataille has written a whole ‘history’ of the world in terms of this ‘production’. See The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy Volume 1: Consumption (1991) (Trans. R. Hurley) (New York: Zone Books) where Bataille ‘fleshes’ out his theory on consumption and surplus as a general theory of production. Like Deleuze and Guattari, Bataille’s notion of production is global; all production is to be thought of in terms of ‘the movement of energy on the globe’ (Bataille 1991, 20). As Bataille remarks: ‘Shouldn’t productive activity as a whole be considered in terms of the modifications it receives from its surroundings? In other words, isn’t there a need to study the system of human production and consumption within a much larger framework?’ (1991, 20). We might see this as a critique of Marx and Engel’s own theory of production inasmuch as the latter, although it recognises the importance of natural resources, restricts production to the human realm. See ‘History: Fundamental Conditions’, in The German Ideology: Part One (1970) (Ed. C. J. Arthur) (London: Lawrence and Wishart), and especially pp. 48–50.Google Scholar
  53. 34.
    Here is Ronald Bogue writing about these ‘flows’ as they are written about in Anti-Oedipus:Google Scholar
  54. A flow of electricity, for example, can be conjoined with a flow of words, a flow of images, a flow of music, or a flow of digital commands controlling any number of technical machines; but the conjoined flows never mean anything, they simply channel flows in different directions, each sign resembling a cloverleaf junction into which and out of which stream various entities. (1989, 102)Google Scholar
  55. 35.
    As Deleuze and Guattari remark: ‘Desiring-machines work only when they break down, and by continually breaking down’ (AO 8).Google Scholar
  56. 36.
    See the plateau ‘10,000 b.c.: The Geology of Morals (Who Does the Earth Think It Is?)’ (ATP 39–74).Google Scholar
  57. 37.
    I am following Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of ‘schizophrenia’ here, which is to say not the clinical diagnosis as such, but a certain logic of desire and ‘unfixing’ that is produced by capitalism. Eugene Holland puts this well in his ‘Introduction’ to Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (1999) (London: Routledge):Google Scholar
  58. It is important… to dispel the most common misconception about schizoanalysis, by explaining what Deleuze and Guattari do not mean by ‘schizophrenia’, and why they claim never to have seen a schizophrenic. For schizoanalysis, schizophrenia is not the disease or mental disturbance characterising or defining schizophrenis. Schizophrenics as clinical patients (and ‘schizophrenia’ as a reductive and ill-conceived psychiatric diagnosis) result, on the contrary, from the incompatibility between the dynamics of schizophrenia unleashed by capitalism and the reigning institutions of capitalist society. (1999, 2)Google Scholar
  59. 38.
    There has been much said about the apparent emphases on absolute deterritorialisation in Anti-Oedipus, as opposed to the more sober emphasis on caution in A Thousand Plateaus. See for example Charles Stivale’s ‘Rhizomatics in Cyberspace’ (from his book, The Two-Fold Thought of Deleuze and Guattari: Intersections and Animations (1988) (New York: Guildford Press), pp. 71–99) for a ‘blow-by-blow’ account of this debate as it was constellated around the Warwick Virtual Futures conference in 1994 — initiated by Nick Land’s paper there, and subsequent publication (‘Making it with Death: Remarks on Thanatos and Desiring-Production’, Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology (1993), vol. 24, no. 1, 66–76). Stivale, in reporting this exchange, also gives an interesting example of a rhizomatic, virtual community. My particular take on this is pragmatic, and as such, closer to the strategies for self-creation in A Thousand Piateaus, than the absolute deterritorialisations of Anti-Oedipus, although the former does in fact demarcate the possibility of a positive absolute deterritorialisation:Google Scholar
  60. It seems necessary to distinguish between three types of deterritorialization: the first type is relative, proper to the strata, and culminates in signifiance; the second is absolute, but still negative and stratic, and appears in subjectification … finally, there is the possibility of a positive absolute deterritorialization on the plane of consistency or the body without organs. (ATP 134)Google Scholar
  61. 39.
    I attend to this notion of the war machine in Chapter 3.Google Scholar
  62. 40.
    ‘In control societies … the key thing is no longer signature or number but a code: codes are passwords … The digital language of control is made up of codes indicating whether access to some information should be allowed or denied’ (N 180).Google Scholar
  63. 41.
    Of course people resingularise themselves everyday outside of any clinic. White collar workers plant allotments, blue collar workers visit the theatre. Different activities take on what we might call, following Guattari, an ethicoaesthetic function.Google Scholar
  64. 42.
    As Deleuze and Guattari remark: ‘Smooth space is filled by events or haecceities, far more than by formed and perceived things. It is a space of affects, more than one of properties’ (ATP 479).Google Scholar
  65. 43.
    As Germano Celant suggests, quoting John Cage: ‘ “Art comes”, states Cage, “from a kind of experimental condition in which one experiments with living”. To create art, then, one identifies with life and to exist takes on the meaning of re-inventing at every moment a new fantasy, pattern of behaviour aestheticism, etc. of one’s own life’ (1992, 887). See also Deleuze’s interview ‘Life as a Work of Art’ in relation to Foucault, and to an aesthetics of living that is also an ethics (N 94–101).Google Scholar
  66. 44.
    Or as Deleuze and Guattari put it in relation to psychoanalysis, we need to find the rhizome ‘beneath’ the ‘family photo’ (ATP 14).Google Scholar
  67. 45.
    We have examples of Deleuze’s child mapmaker in the psychoanalytical case studies of Little Hans and Little Richard. An even more intriguing example is the young Walter Benjamin, at least as the older Benjamin writes about him and his childhood wanderings around the city of Berlin:Google Scholar
  68. I have long, indeed for years, played with setting out the sphere of life — bios — graphically on a map. First I envisaged an ordinary map, but now I would incline to a general staff’s map of a city centre, if such a thing existed … I have evolved a system of signs, and on the grey backgrounds of such maps they would make a colourful show if I clearly marked in the houses of my friends and girl friends, the assembly halls of various collectives. And even without this map, I still have the encouragement provided by an illustrious precursor, the Frenchman Leon Daudet, exemplary at least in the title of his work, which exactly encompasses the best that I might achieve here: Paris vécu. ‘Lived Berlin’ does not sound so good but is as real. (W. Benjamin 1997a, 295)Google Scholar

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