The Rhizome, Media Ecology, and the ever-rising presence of new media outlets

In “A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia,” Deleuze and Guattari explore the principle of the Rhizome as a platform for knowledge and society. In doing this, they expound upon the features of the Rhizome as it holds a certain interconnectedness to all of its points, is a multiplicity (and not a multiple) in that it cannot be traced to one origin, is susceptible to a rupture but can always be reassembled, and is characterized by the principle of cartography and decalcomania in that it is irresponsive to any structural mold or traceable lineage.

These characteristics correlate directly to the concept of media ecology and all that it entails. As previously read in Matthew Fuller’s article, ecologies are not objects themselves, but are composed of dynamic and inter-related objects that have specific systems and processes. This parallels to Deleuze’s and Guattari’s discussion concerning the lack of objectivity and subjectivity in books and the mere assemblage of “multiplicities, lines, strata, and segmentarities” which constitute for all that is called “literature.” That being said, the origin of the Rhizome cannot be traced because it is intermingled amongst all else relative to it—all that sways it, influences it, or even brushes its shoulder. It simply floats in the middle of a pattern-less web as it expands its roots horizontally, contrary to that of the root-tree whose source is always identifiable by its formulaically dichotomized branches. The parts behind the ecology, as Fuller mentioned, partake in the process of “mutual stimulation” and cross dimensionality–sensory of “conceptual dematerialization.”

Upon first glance, this excerpt seemed extremely abstract, complex, and open ended. However, the further I read, the more I was reminded of its rather definitive relation to our ecology project and to Mathew Fuller’s “Media Ecologies.” Although we were asked to choose a specific location, the location we chose should not be constrained by objectivity or tangibility. For example, I have chosen to examine the shift in the origin, role, and performance of music, and how it is impacted by the increase in media outlets through sites like SoundCloud. Although one may look at SoundCloud as a unilateral subject or object, these two articles have helped me understand the importance of looking at this musical platform from a wide array of angels, helping me discover the variety of ways in which it connects to other ideas or concepts. SoundCloud is what it is because of all the interconnected links behind it. Although they may be untraceable, it is important to acknowledge their existence and their contribution to the purpose of this ecological site.


~ by avaburnes on February 10, 2015.

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