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Deleuze's Postscript on the Societies of Control

Updated for Big Data and Predictive Analytics

James Brusseau

In 1990, Gilles Deleuze published Postscript on the Societies of Control, a milestone in philosophy's application to culture, economics, and advancing technology. The essay is short, speculative, and divided into three sections. The first

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Rethinking Bergson's and Deleuze's Theories of Movement

The Material Ontology of Analog and Digital Moving Images, and the Disciplines of Creation in Digital Artworks

Yifei Sun

In the field of film and media studies, there are two major streams that interrogate the movement we perceive in moving images. On the one hand, Gilles Deleuze's theories of movement that follow Henri Bergson's philosophical inquiries have been

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A Cinema of Movement

Michele Barker

What the Camera Sees or Feels Gilles Deleuze once reflected on the relationship of movement to the “new” sports—surfing, windsurfing, and hang gliding—and how they are less reliant on what he calls “points of leverage” (1995: 121). These newer

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A Labial Art-Politics

Hollie MacKenzie and Iain MacKanzie

In this article we focus on the potential for an alignment of certain feminist artistic practices and poststructuralist conceptions of critique that may enable ways of theorizing practices of resistance and engender ways of practicing resistance in theory, without the lurch back into masculinist forms of dogmatism. It will be claimed that an ontological conception of art, considered as that which makes a difference in the world, can not only challenge the primacy of the dogmatic and masculine ‘subject who judges’, but also instill ways of thinking about, and ways of enacting, feminist artistic encounters with the capacity to resist dogmatism. The theoretical stakes of this claim are elaborated through complimentary readings of Deleuze and Guattari’s constructivist account of philosophy and Irigaray’s feminist explorations of what it means to think from within the 'labial', rather than from the position of the dominant phallic symbolic order. We argue that this creative conjunction between Irigaray, Deleuze, and Guattari provides the resources for a conceptualisation of both feminist artistic practice and the critical practice of poststructuralist philosophy as forms of resistance to the dominant patriarchal order, in ways that can avoid the collapse back into masculinist forms of dogmatism. Revel’s discussion of the role of constituent rather than constituted forms of resistance is employed to draw out the implications of this position for contentious politics. It is concluded that constituent practices of resistance can be understood as a challenge to the phallogocentric symbolic order to the extent that they are practices of a labial art-politics.

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Signs of Radical Democracy?

Deleuze, Badiou, Rancière and Tahrir Square, 2011

Bert Olivier

How should one make theoretical sense of what has been called 'the miracle of Tahrir Square' – the fact that the Egyptian people successfully ousted a dictator in a peaceful manner, where militant groups had failed to do so by force? In this article it is argued that Deleuze/Guattari's notion of the subject in terms of desiring-machines, flows, schizophrenic production and the 'body-without-organs', enables one to theorise human subjectivity as being in process, and not 'self-identical', as mainstream thinking would have it. Deleuze's thought on societies of control further suggests the concept of rhizomatic lines of subversion of hegemonic networks from within the latter. Further, Alain Badiou's consonant conception of the subject – as one of multiple 'emplacements' – represents a spatial perspective on individual subjects which similarly eschews the pitfalls of an abstract notion of human subjectivity in favour of one that conceives of the subject as inescapably 'placed' in multiple spatial coordinates, as it were. In addition, Jacques Rancière's radicalisation of 'politics' in terms of 'equality' and 'dissensus' enables one to grasp the fleeting events of Tahrir Square as paradigmatic of 'true' democracy. In this way these theoretical positions provide a model that is commensurate with evidence that the 2011 Egyptian uprising avoided the trap of hierarchical thinking and practice, pursuing the goal of political liberation and (radical) democratisation along non-hierarchical, 'leaderless', complex, rhizomatic communicational networks instead. This avoided the paralysing tendency to think and behave on the basis of oppositionally conceived, mutually exclusive adversarial agencies – the 'us' and 'them' syndrome. The article explores the implications of this complex notion of subjectivity, on the one hand, in relation to the radical democratic practice displayed in Tahrir Square, on the other.

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Political Life beyond the Biopolitical?

Leonie Ansems de Vries

Michel Foucault's genealogy of the entry of life into politics provides an incisive account of the manner in which life came to be governed on the basis of its understood biological capacities and requirements. Foucault problematises biopolitics as a mode of governance through which life's potentialities are both produced and immobilised via the continuous (re)production of circulations, or the constitution of the milieu. The question is whether governance can be (dis)ordered such that this problem of biopolitical foreclosure is overcome. This problematique will be broached in this article by staging an encounter between Foucault's problematisation of biopolitical life and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's biophilosophy, which offers the promise of an ontological movement to think political life anew. Engaging Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the milieu, the article explores whether a shift of focus to an understanding of political life in terms of its potentialities of mobile and relational becoming within a wider play of forces can offer a viable strategy to counter the problematic foreclosure of politics to which Foucault draws attention.

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“What about Last Time?”

Exploring Potentiality in Danish Young Women's Violent Conflicts

Ann-Karina Henriksen

Narrating Everyday Violence .” Theoretical Criminology 22 ( 1 ): 99 – 115 . Henriksen , Ann-Karina , and Jody Miller . 2012 . “ Dramatic Lives and Relevant Becomings: Toward a Deleuze- and Guattari-Inspired Cartography of Young Women's Violent

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Canon Fodder and Conscripted Genres

The Hogarth Project and the Modern Shakespeare Novel

Laurie E. Osborne

a collectively created, adaptational rhizome rather than a body of texts appropriated by single adaptors, we may be able better to chart the ever-nomadic paths of Shakespearean cultural capital. 1 Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu and Gilles Deleuze

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Globalisation of the war on violence

Israeli close‐combat, Krav Maga and sudden alterations in intensity1


Participants from all around the world come to train in Israeli (close combat) with the ‘Tour and Train’ programme. They perform exercises that aim to control close‐range violence and are devised within a certain logic, and this logic is subsequently disseminated to become part of the globalised view of the war on terror. Whereas the understanding of globalised terror and its counteraction is often drawn from political statements and their interpretation, in Tour and Train ‘universal’ understandings of terror and the war on terror are constructed through practice in its own right. cosmology views violence as sudden, unexpected alterations in . This view eliminates any specificities and replaces content with intensity, sheer somatic sensation, with relentless fighting activity within an active–passive frame that presumes that there is always a course of action to be taken, while the fighter is also a passive passenger of the flow of violence. According to this view, the ideologies behind and reasons for belligerent situations, as well as the intentions of attacker and defender, are null and void, and terror itself is the result of fortuity.

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Hitting the Slopes with Sartre and Deleuze and Guattari

Mark Rozahegy

The general impression that one gets from reading commentaries on Being and Nothingness – which was the same impression that I was left with after my own engagement with the text – is that it seems incredibly difficult for readers to totalize its content. Although the thesis of the text is straightforward enough – that one’s ontological structure, as being-for-itself, “is not to be what I am and to be what I am not” (BN 492), such that all aspects of the existence of the for-itself are reducible to this structure (i.e. the temporal nature of the for-itself, its orientation towards the future, is itself implied within that structure since what the for-self is is yet to come in the future – so the for-itself is what it is not (yet)) – Sartre insists on discussing various aspects of existence that, in the end, do not confirm or conform to his thesis. It is almost as if the ontological proof was an afterthought to his phenomenological insights since his rather simplistic and highly dualistic ontology is frequently at odds in the text with his phenomenological descriptions. For example, in his “Foreword” to Merleau-Ponty’s The Structure of Behavior, Alphonse de Waelhens explains the difficulty that one faces in trying to reconcile Sartre’s insights into corporeity with his ontological conclusions. On the one hand, Sartre’s theses concerning the nature of corporeity – “conceived essentially as a dialectic opposing the body-as-instrument (in a very particular sense) to the body-as-given-in-bare-fact (corps facticiteé) – appear to be exceptionally fruitful and capable of finally allowing us to understand how existing consciousness can be an inherence and a project at the same time” (SB xix). The problem arises when one tries to understand these theses about corporeity in the framework of Sartre’s ontological arguments: “What is unfortunate is that it is difficult to see how these theses can be understood or accepted as soon as one situates oneself, as one must, in the general framework of Sartrean ontology.