Deleuze, Gilles


Film places the physical experience of the body (in motion) at the centre of perception.

– Emma Widdis. Visions of a New Land: Soviet Film From the Revolution to the Second World War. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003: 71.

Writing has never been capitalism’s thing. Capitalism is profoundly illiterate…. Writing typically plays the role of an archaism in capitalism, the Gutenberg press being the element that confers on the archaism a current function. But the capitalist use of language is different in nature; it is realized or becomes concrete within the field of immanence peculiar to capitalism itself, with the appearance of the technical means of expression that correspond to the generalized decoding of flows, instead of still referring in a direct or indirect form to despotic overcoding.

This seems to us to be the significance of McLuhan’s analyses: to have shown what a language of decoded flows is, as opposed to a signifier that strangles and overcodes the flows. In the first place, for nonsignifying language anything will do: whether it be phonic, graphic, gestural, etc., no flow is privileged in this language, which remains indifferent to its substance or its support, inasmuch as the latter is an amorphous continuum. The electric flow can be considered as the realization of such a flow that is indeterminate as such. But a substance is said to be formed when a flow enters into a relatioship with another flow, such that the first defines a content and the second, an expression.

Electric language does not go by way of the voice or writing; data processing does without them both … Michael Serres defines in this sense the correlation of the break and the flow in the signs of the new technical language machines, where production is narrowly determined by information …

– Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983: 240-241.

If the new exterritoriality of the elite feels like intoxicating freedom, the territoriality of the rest feels less like home ground, and ever more like prison — all the more humiliating for the obtrusive sight of others’ freedom to move. It is not just that the condition of ‘staying put’, being unable to move at one’s heart’s desire and being barred access to greener pastures, exudes the acrid odour of defeat, signals incomplete humanity and implies being cheated in the division of splendours life has to offer. Deprivation reaches deeper. The ‘locality’ in the new world of high speed is not what the locality used to be at a time when information moved only together with the bodies of its carriers; neither the locality,  nor the localized population has much in common with the ‘local community’. Public spaces — agoras and forums in their various manifestations, places where agendas are set, private affairs are made public, opinions are formed, tested and confirmed, judgements are put together and verdicts are passed — such spaces followed the elite in cutting lose their local anchors; they are first to deterritorialize and move far beyond the reach of the merely ‘wetware’ communicative capacity of any locality and its residents. Far from being hotbeds of communities, local populations are more like loose bunches of untied ends.

–  Zygmunt Bauman.  Globalization: The Human Consequences. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998. pp. 23-24.

Don’t be one or multiple, be multiplicities! Run lines, never plot a point! Speed turns the point into the line! Be quick, even when standing still! Line of chance, line of hips, line of flight. Don’t bring out the General in you! Don’t have ideas, just have an idea (Godard). Have short-term ideas. Make maps, not photos or drawings. Be the Pink Panther and your loves will be like the wasp and the orchid, the cat and the baboon. . . .  The middle is by no means an average; on the contrary, it is where things pick up speed. Between things does not designate a localizable relation going from one thing to the other and back again, but a perpendicular direction, a transversal movement that sweeps one and the other away, a stream without beginning or end that undermines its banks and picks up speed in the middle.

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, “Introduction: Rhizome” in A Thousand Plateaus (1980) (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 25.

The rhizome is an antigenealogy. It is a short-term memory, or antimemory. The rhizome operates by variation, expansion, conquest, capture, offshoots. Unlike the graphic arts, drawing, or photography, unlike tracings, the rhizome pertains to a map that must be produced, constructed, a map that is always detachable, connectible, reversible, modifiable, and has multiple entryways and exists and its own lines of flight. . . . What is at question in the rhizome is a relation to . . . all manner of ‘becomings.’”
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, “Introduction: Rhizome” in A Thousand Plateaus (1980) (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 21.

Arborescent systems are hierarchical systems with centers of signifiance and subjectification, central automata like memories. In the corresponding models, an element only receives information from a higher unit, and only receives a subjective affection along preestablished paths. This is evident in current problems in information science and computer science, which still cling to the oldest modes of thought in that they grant all power to a memory or central organ.

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, “Introduction: Rhizome” in A Thousand Plateaus (1980) (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 16.