Deleuze Everywhere, 2/25 Kate Shannon

After reading Gilles Deleuze’s “Postscript to the Societies of Control,” I began seeing examples of his idea of “structure” and the “dividual” everywhere I went. The piece reminded me the sensation you get when you look outside the window on a plane and you see the whole structures of towns from 30,000 feet above. The sensation is a strange mix of awe and terror, awe in the vastness of our society and terror and how geometric and organized it is from way above. The house you grew up in becomes an identical square loops containing hundreds that intertwine and run perpendicular together for miles. The sensation of Deleuze’s idea of “control” bears down on you even from way up above. 

The reality of the situation, however, is that structure is everywhere. Practically every aspect of life, not just the “school, bank, family, and prison” as Deleuze generalizes, is part of some kind of institution. Even for those of us that live off the grid and make money through non-traditional ways, like selling hand-made crafts for example, must adhere to laws and codes regarding residency and citizenship. What then, is the difference between the institutions that seek to control? And the ones that seek to provide a discipline? Because the pre-planned organization of life is always there is most aspects of our life, even after death. My ecology focuses on a cemetery in Queens. The massive fenced enclosure contains 3 million burials and miles of headstone after headstone, each burial measured and equidistant to the next. 

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The structure and concept of the “dividual” is evident here in this photo. Thus while Deleuze makes very insightful claims regarding the nature of society, he gives no real guess as to how society could do without. He says “The family, the school, the army, the factory are no longer the distinct analogical spaces that converge towards an owner–state or private power–but coded figures–deformable and transformable–of a single corporation that now has only stockholders.” If this is truly the case, where are we supposed to turn? Deleuze gives us nowhere to go. Could it be possible that some of these systems are simply necessary? Sort of like a cemetery, where else could we place our loved ones? 

 

 

 

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~ by Kate Shannon on February 25, 2014.

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