- ---- by Graham LiveseyThe concept of assemblage, developed by Deleuze and Guattari, derives from the English translation of their concept in French of agencement (arrangement), or the processes of arranging, organising, and fitting together. According to Deleuze and Guattari there is both a horizontal and a vertical axis associated with assemblages. The horizontal axis deals with 'machinic assemblages of bodies, actions and passions' and a 'collective assemblage of enunciation, of acts and statements, of incorporeal transformations of bodies' (D&G 1987: 88). The vertical axis has both 'territorial sides, or reterritorialized sides, which stabilize it, and cutting edges of deterritorialization, which carry it away' (D&G 1987: 88). Through its multiplicity an assemblage is shaped by and acts on a wide range of ﬂows.Assemblages, as conceived of by Deleuze and Guattari, are complex constellations of objects, bodies, expressions, qualities, and territories that come together for varying periods of time to ideally create new ways of functioning. Assemblages operate through desire as abstract machines, or arrangements, that are productive and have function; desire is the circulating energy that produces connections. An assemblage transpires as a set of forces coalesces together, the concept of assemblages applies to all structures, from the behaviour patterns of an individual, the organisation of institutions, an arrangement of spaces, to the functioning of ecologies.Assemblages emerge from the arranging of heterogeneous elements into a productive (or machinic) entity that can be diagrammed, at least temporarily. The diagram defines the relationships between a particular set of forces; a diagram is, according to Deleuze, the 'map of destiny' (D 1988b: 36). Effectively, the diagram is the code or arrangement by which an assemblage operates, it is a map of the function of an assemblage; assemblages produce affects and effects. The machinic dimension underscores the objectivity, lack of specific location, and the primary role of being productive fundamental to assemblages.The territorial aspects of assemblages deals with those forces that unmake and make territories, what Deleuze and Guattari define as deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation. The interrelationship between a territory, however defined, and the forces of deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation are necessary for the spatial definition of the earth. Forces, both internal and external, that create deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation, do so as a special function of the territory, or as a refunctioning of a territory. Specific actions can find, define, and assemble territories, and the forces of deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation themselves develop new territories. Deleuze and Guattari, in defining a territory, state that functionality is a product of a territory, rather than the more conventional inverse (D&G 1987: 315-27).An assemblage emerges when a function emerges; ideally it is innovative and productive. The result of a productive assemblage is a new means of expression, a new territorial/spatial organisation, a new institution, a new behaviour, or a new realisation. The assemblage is destined to produce a new reality, by making numerous, often unexpected, connections.Connectives§ desire§ deterritorialisation / reterritorialisation§ space
The Deleuze dictionary. Revised Edition Edited by Adrian Parr . 2010.