Deleuzian Intersections

Deleuzian Intersections: Science, Technology, Anthropology

Casper Bruun Jensen
Kjetil Rödje
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 286
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  • Book Info
    Deleuzian Intersections
    Book Description:

    Science and technology studies, cultural anthropology and cultural studies deal with the complex relations between material, symbolic, technical and political practices. In a Deleuzian approach these relations are seen as produced in heterogeneous assemblages, moving across distinctions such as the human and non-human or the material and ideal. This volume outlines a Deleuzian approach to analyzing science, culture and politics.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-964-2
    Subjects: Anthropology, Political Science, General Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-36)
    Casper Bruun Jensen and Kjetil Rödje

    Gilles Deleuze was a thinker whose main concern was creation and differentiation, and according to whom new assemblages constantly emerge, reconfiguring reality in the process. Rather than accepting already established philosophical categories and distinctions he reassembled thought in new and inventive ways, thereby producing conceptual hybrids with unusual qualities and different potentials. The basic elements in Deleuzian thought are not static but entities in becoming. Consequently, the question to be asked is not what something is, but rather what it is turning into, or might be capable of turning into. Practice, knowledge, politics, culture and agency are seen as continually...

  5. Part I: Deleuzian Sciences?

    • Chapter 1 Experimenting with What is Philosophy?
      (pp. 39-56)
      Isabelle Stengers

      ‘It is in their full maturity, and not in the process of their constitution, that concepts and functions necessarily intersect, each being created by their own specific means’ (Deleuze and Guattari 1994: 161). In other words, scientists do not need philosophers, and philosophers should not intervene when scientists are at work, or are facing new troubling questions, even if it may seem obvious that the elucidation of philosophical presuppositions could play a role, and even if it seems quite desirable that scientists experiment with new philosophical possibilities. Functions, as associated with scientific creation, and concepts, as associated with philosophical creation,...

    • Chapter 2 Facts, Ethics and Event
      (pp. 57-82)
      Mariam Fraser

      This is the problem for Bruno Latour: that, in order to explore their conditions of possibility, science studies scholars in the end seem to have taken facts too much for granted and have assumed to know too well in advance what they are. In so doing, the facts that ‘everyone else’ could kick at, or bang on or sit down on seemed to disintegrate in their hands. This is the ironic conclusion, for ‘[t]he question was never to getawayfrom facts butcloserto them’ (Latour 2004a: 231).

      In this chapter I want to explore some of the sometimes...

    • Chapter 3 Irony and Humour, Toward a Deleuzian Science Studies
      (pp. 83-100)
      Katie Vann

      In an enigmatic passage ofThe Invention of Modern Science, Isabelle Stengers differentiates irony and humour as two different modes of engagement, two political logics available to students of the socialilities of science. She defines humour as ‘the capacity to recognize oneself as a product of the history whose construction one is trying to follow and this in a sense in which humour is first of all distinguished from irony’ (Stengers 2000: 66). The passage goes on to flesh out the comparison between irony and humour, which in turn is positioned as an invitation for science studies to orient to...

    • Chapter 4 Between the Planes: Deleuze and Social Science
      (pp. 101-120)
      Steven D. Brown

      Electric glare of a strip-lit lecture room without windows. Too many people in the audience to make the seating comfortable. The speaker dwarfed by the gigantic powerpoint screen. She wanted a laser pointer, but finding none is now resorting to expansive hand-waving gestures for emphasis. The next slide. A brief animation, she announces. Two small triangles, one slightly bigger than the other are contained in a larger square with one side removed. ‘Who would say that these shapes have intentions?’ she asks, with obvious rhetorical flourish. The audience obliges by remaining silent. Click. The animation begins. The triangles now move...

  6. Part II: Sociotechnial Becomings

    • Chapter 5 A Plea for Pleats
      (pp. 123-138)
      Geoffrey C. Bowker

      There are many folds in Deleuze’sLe Pli(Deleuze 1988). In this short book, he reads Leibniz as a quintessential baroque philosopher – exploring his work through its resonances in contemporary music, architecture, art, mathematics and sculpture. This is not a philosophy of Enlightenment, with bright lights transfixing a personified Nature – all order is accompanied by confusion, light by shade and bliss by melancholy in this best of all possible worlds. I offer here a reading ofLe Plias a model for a critical reading of scientific texts – centred on an exploration of the relationship between the individual and the...

    • Chapter 6 Every Thing Thinks: Sub-representative Differences in Digital Video Codecs
      (pp. 139-154)
      Adrian Mackenzie

      What would it mean for anthropologies of technology if we took seriously Deleuze’s claim that every thing thinks? This claim is hard to stomach for several reasons. Technologies are generally seen as the expression of much highly organized thinking (scientific, design, engineering, artistic, financial, political, etc). Moreover, many technologies today are very much designed to think in specific, albeit limited, ways. This is particularly the case in so-called ‘intelligent systems’, but it holds for any designed or made thing. Smartness, intelligence, sophistication, cleverness: are not all of these prized qualities in technology actually expressions of thought and of much mental...

    • Chapter 7 Cybernetics as Nomad Science
      (pp. 155-162)
      Andrew Pickering

      A Thousand Plateausmakes a tantalizing distinction between what Deleuze and Guattari callroyalandnomadscience. The royal sciences are integral to the established state, while the nomad sciences sweep in from the steppes to undermine and destabilize any settled order. I like the sound of these nomads, but just what is the contrast here, and where can it take us? Deleuze and Guattari are, as usual, not entirely clear. I can think of two readings of their story. In the first, the royal/nomad distinction refers in a generalized way to twophasesof scientific practice. Royal science is...

  7. Part III: Minor Assemblages

    • Chapter 8 Cinematics of Scientific Images: Ecological Movement-Images
      (pp. 165-186)
      Erich W. Schienke

      Deleuze’s work on cinema spans two volumes (Cinema I – the Movement-image(1986) andCinema II – the Time-image(1989)) and the greater breadth and depth of film history.Cinema IandIItheorize the construction of images as the realization of sign, framing, continuity, disjuncture, closure and reflexivity. Film, in this case, is Deleuze’s empirical landscape, into which he brings and works through aspects of Bergsonianism and Piercean semiotics. What is important to understand about the termimageas used inCinemais that it refers not so much to the visual elements (scopic) of an image, but to what the...

    • Chapter 9 Social Movements and the Politics of the Virtual: Deleuzian Strategies
      (pp. 187-218)
      Arturo Escobar and Michal Osterweil

      Gilles Deleuze has undoubtedly become one of the most influential critical thinkers of our time. As was the case with Foucault in the 1970s–1990s, many critical currents today are in dialogue with Deleuze and Deleuze and Guattari. What are the features of Deleuze’s theory that many intellectuals, activists and academics find so appealing? A Deleuzian reading of this question suggests that Deleuze’s work opened up again the field of the virtual to other thoughts and other theoretical and political projects, and that this reawakening of the virtual has found tremendous resonance in the dreams and desires of many social actors;...

    • Chapter 10 Intensive Filiation and Demonic Alliance
      (pp. 219-254)
      Eduardo Viveiros de Castro

      For my generation, the name of Gilles Deleuze immediately suggests the change in thought that marked the yearscirca1968, during which some key elements of our present cultural apperception were invented.² The meaning, the consequences and the very reality of this change have given rise to a controversy that still rages. Just like the postmodernity of which it is one of the (anti-) foundational dates, ‘1968’ seems never to end. For some, it does not stop having never occurred; for others, it does not cease to have not begun yet. I place myself among the latter; and thus I...

  8. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 255-256)
  9. Index
    (pp. 257-278)