Deleuze and the Internet
Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts of the body without organs and the rhizome have been central to the academic discourse that has grown alongside the Internet itself, almost from its inception.
But, I will argue, they’ve been used in the wrong way: firstly, the concepts themselves have been misread, their basic conceptual matrices misunderstood; and secondly, Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts have been deployed in an essentially conservative way, looking more to reify and endorse the status quo rather than to challenge it. In this regard I am more troubled by the basically sympathetic applications of Deleuze and Guattari’s work which water down the concepts and dilute their critical potency, than I am by the antipathetic responses to their ideas, which simply reject them out of hand. What follows then, which is plainly offered in a corrective spirit, should be understood as being in broad agreement with the notion that Deleuze and Guattari’s work is relevant to an analysis of contemporary culture’s appropriation of new technology and broad disagreement with the way their work has hitherto been deployed towards that end.
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