De Landa suggests the study of diagrams is enjoying a revival in a few different disciplines. Historian of technology have emphasized a particular type of knowledge of visual knowledge and the role it plays in the development of engineering science. On the other side it’s the cognitive scientists and researchers in AI who are interested in its problem-solving abilities. There are several differences between the approaches, one advocated by Deleuze who states the diagrams have no intrinsic connection with visual representations. Significantly, diagrams in problem solving activity may be “instantiated in even simple material and energetic systems.” De Landa then describes the Deleuze philosophy of 'matter and form' and the question of objective existence of problems and their defining diagrams.

So the body is the perfect example of D&G machine? If the smaller machines interrupt the flow isn’t that a beginning or and end. Is a disruption and end to something?

Bergson argues for a model where future is open ended, pas and present full of potential ‘possibilities which become real, but with virtualities which become actual.’ This distinction between the possible in the real assumes a set of essences, predefined forms. From DeLeuze’s point of view, possibilities only add reality. The distinction between the virtual and the actual, the virtual subverts this identity.

Phase diagram, according to De Landa, are DeLeuze’s first type of diagram? Is it because they are manifested materially? Postmodernist I do not believe in ‘noumena’ (the world itself). For them, the world socially constructed, with matter as an inert material, coming from the minds of humans. The world being amorphous, cut out using language.

“Difference is not diversity”

I found it fascinating the notion that DNA doesn’t contain a blueprint for the generation of the final form of the organism, in fact this idea of a ‘teasing form out of active matter’ is quite a beautiful idea.

Trees and rhizomes
De Landa gives examples in geology and genetics and social class.

A lively exploration at the diagram in a contemporary art context and the role of diagrams in ethics-aesthetic practice of the production of subjectivity. O'Sullivan offers a kind of matter modelisation that might be considered a speculative fiction, broken down into ten definitions:

  1. Formal (matheme). A diagram of mathematical sense employed by Lacan, used in a particular type of contemporary continental philosophy. An abstraction, taking on an objective status when drawn technically. It concerns both the abstract and formal.
  2. Communication without meaning. Communicates with that meaning literally. The text operates diagrammatically, 'setting things in motion'. It’s more of a short circuit and calls for forms of interaction to be enacted.
  3. Animal. Refers to more creaturely or affective, demonstrating the potential of the body and world. Still an abstraction, it’s hand drawn and it accompanies conceptual work.
  4. Forces and experimentation. Where in the diagram announces the enactment of random marks and splashes, disrupting a given signifying order and allowing a new world to emerge. It’s purpose is a 'strategy of experimentation' that scrambles narrative etc. allowing for something else to step forward.
  5. Conjunction and synthesis. Incorporates both the formal and the creaturely. It allows for the forcing of encounters and conjunctions and and the production of surprising compatibilities.
  6. Meta-modeling. Bringing together of different models even placing one model inside another. Repositioning existing framework’s and of working out possible relations as well as divergences. Crucially refusing 'a partisan attitude'. Both strategic and pragmatic. 
  7. Speculation and speed. Offers 'a view from elsewhere—birds-eye perspective, especially from above.This diagram especially as a drawing leads ahead of conceptual thought. 
  8. Fictions and models is general democratization of thought.
  9. Magic(k), Diagrams of different models of existence in contrast to the dominant, and abstraction and a condensing and concentration of information intended to generate focus and transformation.
  10. World building, Announcing a kind of nesting of fictions within fictions. To produce a certain density even an opacity.



Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (quotes)


Abstract machine is an interpretation, a construct that becomes a new reality. The wonderful world of Deleuze and Guattari. Ist's been twenty years since I read this. I need to spend more time with it.