diagrams

Come on…is this it? This can’t be it. It is not A map; it is not The map, not One map. Rather, it is superimposed. Superimpositions: overlapping (and overmapping). The map is not the territory; indeed, the real can never be imaged. Nevertheless we create maps, connecting dots with lines that are not there.  Is this it? Why this map, and not this one, or this one, or this one. He calls the diagram “the map of relations between forces, a map of destiny, or intensity, which…acts as a non-unifying immanent cause which is coextensive with the whole social field”. So, it is not an it at all! Coextensivity is an operation. Relations do not come ready made. They do not take place ‘above’ the assemblages they produce. They do not represent, even something very real. Relations function, that is, until they don’t. Relations construct a real that will have been true, “a new type of reality”, so he says. A diagram — “a true abstract machine” — does not distinguish itself from its potentialities (its plane of expression, its plane of content) because it is, what he calls, immanent. It does not, can not, exist “outside” or “beyond” or “distinct from” its operations. Yeah, what was it he said again? Oh, yes: “[i]nstead of something distinguished from something else, imagine something which distinguishes itself, and yet that from which it distinguishes itself does not distinguish itself from it”. Like lightning. Lightning is indifferent to us, but we are not indifferent to it. We distinguish ourselves from the flashes… and hide. Lightning does not care what you think, it does not need your maps. If, as he says, we live in a world dominated by nomadic distributions -- indeterminate flashes that we nevertheless call "bolts" --  how might we create maps, diagrams, that are adequate to this, to it?

Follow this link to explore a selection of experimental diagrams created throughout the residency. 


Deleuze, Gilles. Foucault. Translated by Sean Hand. Minneapolis/London: University of Minnesota Press, 1988.