03 September 2009

rhizome summarize

Here's the quote from yesterday's rhizome lecture/discussion, from Introduction: Rhizome, A Thousand Plateaus (Mille Plateaux) by Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari:

Let us summarize the principal characteristics of a rhizome: unlike trees or their roots, the rhizome connects any point to any other point, and its traits are not necessarily linked to traits of the same nature; it brings into play very different regimes of signs, and even non sign states. The rhizome is reducible neither to the One nor the multiple. It is not the One that becomes Two or even directly three, four, five etc. It is not a multiple derived from the One, or the to which One is added (n+1). It is composed not of units but of dimensions, or rather directions in motion. It has neither beginning nor end, but always a middle (milieu) from which it grows and which it overspills. It constitutes linear multiplicities with n dimensions having neither subject nor object, which can be laid out on a plane of consistency, and from which the One is always subtracted (n-1). When a multiplicity of this kind changes dimension, it necessary changes in nature as well, undergoes a metamorphosis.
Unlike a structure, which is defined by a set of points and posistions, with binary relations between the points and biunivocal relationships between the positions, the rhizome is made only of lines: lines of segmentarity and stratification as its dimensions, and the line of flight or deterritorialization as the maximum dimension after which the multiplicity undergoes metamorphosis, changes in nature. These lines, or lineaments, should not be confused with lineages of the arborescent type, which are merely localizable linkages between points and positions. Unlike the tree, the rhizome is not the object of reproduction: neither external reproduction as image-tree nor internal reproduction as tree-structure. The rhizome is an antigenealogy. It is a short-term memory, or anti memory. The rhizome operates by variation, expansion, conquest, capture, offshoots.
Unlike the graphic arts, drawing, or photography, unlike tracing, the rhizome pertains to a map that must be produced, constructed, a map that is always detachable, connectable, reversible, modifiable, and has multiple entryways and exits and its own lines of flight. It is tracings that must be put on the map, not the opposite. In contrast to centered (even polycentric) systems with hierarchical modes of communication and preestablished paths, the rhizome is an acentered, nonhierarchichal, nonsignifying system without a General and without an organizing memory or central automation, defined solely by a circulation of states.
A plateau is always in the middle, not at the beginning or the end. A rhizome is made of plateaus. Gregory Bateson uses the word “plateau” to designate something very special: a continuos, self-vibrating region of intensities whose development avoids any orientation toward a culmination point or external end.


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