martes, 4 de noviembre de 2008

Predicting the Web (IV) - The Rhizome

The Rhizome is a text is written by french philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, as a part of their Capitalism and Schizophrenia project, which they developed durting the 1970s. The text I'm analyzing is not the whole text, but only a 7 pages extract where they summarize the main principles of the rhizome. In comparison with the other two, this text have a philosophical perspective (they take the concept of RHIZOME from the biology, and apply it to develope a philosophical construction).

The authors used the term "rhizome" to describe a kind of theory and research that allows for multiple, non-hierarchical entry and exit points in data representation and interpretation. They make an opposition between:
- an arborescent model of knowledge: that makes vertical and linear connections
- a rhizome model of knowledge: works with horizontal and trans-species connections And then, they ennumerate the following principles of the rhizome:

Connection and heterogeneity: any point of a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be. So the most important thing in a rhizome is that everything has to be connected (semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles). And on the other hand, we don't have an ideal listener-speaker, nor a universal language: a rhizome always reflects "an essentially heterogeneous reality".

Multiplicity: In a rhizome we don't have a unity to serve as a pivot in an object or to divide in the subject. There are no objects and subjects, only determinations, magnitudes and dimensions that increase in number and change in nature at the same time.

Asignfying rupture: A rhizome may be broken anytime and it will start up again on one of its old lines, or on new lines. And these lines always tie back to one another. “It is detachable, reversible, susceptible to constant modification. It can be torn, reversed, adapted to any kind of mounting, reworked by an individual, group or social formation.

Cartography: a rhizome does not have any structural or generative model. They describe the rhizome like an open and connectable map in all of its dimensions: “a rhizome is not amenable to any structural or generative model. It is a stranger to any idea of genetic axis or deep structure”.

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