This article investigates three recent transnational documentaries. The films invoke the theoretical concept of the rhizome, as understood by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, for the works trouble the line between past and present, as well as empirical geography that separates North Africa from France with the Meditteranean. In this way, the three works that study Algeria’s founding and its historical memory can be regarded as experimental explorations of spatial and temporal concepts.
Algérie tours, détours (2006), La Chine est encore loin (2009), Fidaï (2012)
Nicole Beth Wallenbrock
This article proposes using the theoretical discussions of Deleuze and Guattari as a means of comprehending the various ways in which individuals speak about their ethnic identity. This is done through a case study of a state-run educational boarding school offered to subjects identified as 'ethnic' in Israel. The findings expose two ways of talking about ethnic identity: 'minor language' and 'major language'. What I term the 'major language of ethnicity' makes substantial use of state language and offers two hierarchical categories that serve as an archetype for classifying groups. The 'minor language of ethnicity', on the other hand, offers multiple local identifications and potential identity alternatives. The article suggests using dynamics at the foundation of these concepts to consider the position of the researcher and to expose existential 'lines of flight' and life inventions of subjects in everyday life.
On the Nomadicity and Nationality of Cultural Vocabularies
Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Isabelle Stengers fought against a state-controlled form of science and saw “nomadic science/concepts” as a way to escape from it. The transnational history of the term milieu marks a good opportunity to contribute to another theory of nomadic vocabularies. Traveling from France to Germany, the word milieu came to be identified as a French theory. Milieu was seen as an expression of determinism, of the connection between the rise of the natural sciences and the rise of socialism, and it deterred the majority of German academics. Umwelt was thus coined as an “antimilieu” expression. This article defends a “transnational historical semantic” against the Koselleckian history of concepts and its a priori distinctions between words and concepts. Instead of taking its nature for granted, a transnational historical semantic investigation should analyze the terminological and national status given to the objects of investigation by the term's users.
The 2011 Israeli protest for social justice marked a change in the responses of Israeli citizens to political and social matters. The ways in which art and social change intersected during the protest, and the emer- gence of art collectives following the events, call for an understanding of the relation between art and politics in Israel. This article suggests an alternative reading of socially engaged art in Israel. To this end, I use Félix Guattari’s notion of ‘transversality’ and Jacques Rancière’s theory on the ‘aesthetic regime’ to highlight signi cant periods where art and politics have intersected in ways that have challenged Israeli art historiography, often neutralizing the political within an artwork. By using a theoreti- cal framework that emphasizes notions of hybridity and the blurring of boundaries, I make new connections between times, places, and practices that go beyond the binaries of center and periphery, mainstream and alter- native, and aesthetics and politics.
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.