Deleuze and Guattari – The Concept of the Rhizome The concept of the Rhizome as developed by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus is highly relevant to a discussion of a shifting configuration of media-elements; a conflation of language systems. The authors relate this definition:
Let us summarize the principal characteristics of a rhizome: unlike trees or their roots, the rhizome connects any point to any other point, and its traits are not necessarily linked to traits of the same nature; it brings into play very different regimes of signs, and even nonsign states. The rhizome is reducible to neither the One or the multiple. It is not the One that becomes Two or even directly three, four, five etc. It is not a multiple derived from the one, or to which one is added (n+1). It is comprised not of units but of dimensions, or rather directions in motion. It has neither beginning nor end, but always a middle (milieu) from which it grows and which it overspills. It constitutes linear multiplicities with n dimensions having neither subject nor object, which can be laid out on a plane of coinsistency, and from which the one is always subtracted (n-1). When a multiplicity of this kind changes dimension, it necessairly changes in nature as well, undergoes a metamorphisis. Unlike a structure, which is defined by a set of points and positions, the rhizome is made only of lines; lines of segmentarity and stratification as its dimensions, and the line of flight or deterritorialization as the maximum dimension after which the multiplicity undergoes metamorphosis, changes in nature. These lines, or ligaments, should noty be confused with lineages of the aborescent type, which are merely localizable linkages between points and positions…Unlike the graphic arts, drawing or photography, unlike tracings, the rhizome pertains to a map that must be produced, constructed, a map that is always detatchable, connectable, reversable, modifiable,, and has multiple entranceways and exits and its own lines of flight.(see Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 21)
Recombinant Poetics seeks to explore the notion of the rhizome through operative technological engagement with media-elements as well as through text [as in this paper]. The techno-poetic mechanism exhibits many of the criteria that Deleuze and Guattari describe above. The techno-poetic mechanism enables the connection of “any point to any other point” through navigation and construction processes. It seeks to explore “states of meaning” where “it brings into play very different regimes of signs, and even nonsign states” via this operative environment. The non-closed nature of the system means it is not reducible to “the One or the multiple.” It’s importance does not lie in the units alone but in “rather directions in motion” and configuration that give rise to an emergent series of readings. It is inherent to an emergent space to “change in nature.” It is a machine whose purpose is to embody “deterritorialization” as an experiential process. It is a “map that is always detatchable, connectable, reversable, modifiable, and has multiple entranceways and exits and its own lines of flight.” Yet as Baudrillard states in Simulation and Simulacra it is “the cartographer’s mad project of the ideal coextensivity of map and territory,” (Baudrillard, 1994, p.2) with all of my intention as a transdisciplanary “cartographer.”
We must here ask how such a situation is different from Deleuze and Guattari’s Rhizome. If we say such a situation is asignifying – we are essentially stating that all situations engendered through the combination of image, sound and text are asignifying, and this is not the case. The vuser of such a system both draws individual meanings based on momentary combinations, as well as time-based accumulated meaning as related to encountered juxtaposed elements. I am calling this “states of meaning” because at moments the media-elements may take on an asignifying combination. yet even an abstraction still is suggestive of a felt meaning [See Gendlin on Felt Meaning] . Thus the circulation moves back and forth from asignifying to signifying, to accumulations of memory artefacts gleened during participation over this range. What is momentarily unclear, may later make perfect sense — or perfect nonsense, where non-sense is also seen as relevant to the construction of context when explored in a pointed manner.