semiotics
  ---- by Inna Semetsky
  'Semiotics' is, in general, the study of signs and their signification. Deleuze and Guattari's semiotics present a conceptual mix of Charles S. Peirce's logic of relatives and Louis Hjelmslev's linguistics; both frameworks are taken to oppose Saussurean semiology. In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari assert that content is not a signified, neither is expression a signifier: instead both are variables in common assemblage. An a-signifying rupture ensures transfer from the form of expression to the form of content. Dyadic, or binary signification gives way to triadic, a-signifying semiotics, and the authors employ the Peircean notion of a 'diagram' as a constructive part of sign-dynamics. A diagram is a bridge, a diagonal connection that, by means of double articulations, connects planes of expression and content leading to the emergence of new forms. Fixed and rigid signifieds give way to the production of new meanings in accord with the logic of sense (D 1990). Concepts that exist in a triadic relationship with both percepts and affects express events rather than essences and should be understood not in the traditional representational manner of analytic philosophy, which would submit a line to a point, but as a pluralistic, a-signifying distribution of lines and planes. Ontologically, 'being-as-fold' (D 1988a; 1993a) defies signification. The transformational pragmatics consists of destratification, or opening up to a new, diagrammatic and creative function. According to the logic of multiplicities, a diagram serves as a mediatory in-between symbol, 'a third' (D 1987: 131) that disturbs the fatal binarity of the signifier/signified distinction. It forms part of the cartographic approach, which is Deleuze and Guattari's semiotics par excellence, that replaces logical copulas with the radical conjunction 'and'.
  For Deleuze, the theory of signs is meaningless without the relation between signs and the corresponding apprenticeship in practice. Reading MarcelProustfromtheperspectiveoftriadicsemiotics,Deleuzenoticesthe dynamic character of signs, that is, their having an 'increasingly intimate' (D 2000: 88) relation with their enfolded and involuted meanings so that truth becomes contingent and subordinate to interpretation. Meanings are not given but depend on signs entering 'into the surface organization which ensures the resonance of two series' (D 1990: 104), the latter converging on a paradoxical differentiator, which becomes 'both word and object at once' (D 1990: 51). Yet, semiotics cannot be reduced to just linguistic signs. There are extra-linguistic semiotic categories too, such as memories, images or immaterial artistic signs, which are apprehended in terms of neither objective nor subjective criteria but learned in practice in terms of immanent problematic instances and their practical effects. Analogously, a formal abstract machine exceeds its application to (Chomskian) philosophy of language; instead semiotics is applied to psychological, biological, social, technological, aesthetic and incorporeal codings. Semiotically, discursive and non-discursive formations are connected by virtue of transversal communication, 'transversality' being a concept that encompasses psychic, social and even ontological dimensions. As a semiotic category, transversality exceeds verbal communication and applies to diverse regimes of signs; by the same token, Deleuze and Guattari's schizoanalysis and cartographies of the unconscious presuppose a different semiotic theory from the one appropriated in Lacanian psychoanalysis. The semiotic process, based on the logic of included middle, is the basis for the production of subjectivity. The line of flight or becoming is a third between subject and object and is to be understood 'not so much . . . in their opposition as in their complementarity' (D 1987: 131). The relationship between subject and object is of the nature of reciprocal presupposition.
  Brian Massumi points out that Deleuze reinvents the concept of semiotics in his various books: in Proust and Signs, Deleuze refers to four differently organised semiotic worlds (M 1992). In Cinema 1 he presents sixteen different types of cinematic signs. For Deleuze, philosophers, writers and artists are first and foremost semioticians and symptomatologists: they read, interpret and create signs, which are 'the symptoms of life . . . There is a profound link between signs, events, life and vitalism' (D 1995: 143). The task of philosophy is the creation of concepts, and a concept, in accord with a-signifying semiotics, has no reference; it is autoreferential, positing itself together with its object at the moment of its own creation. A map, or a diagram, engenders the territory to which it is supposed to refer; a static representation of the order of references giving way to a relational dynamics of the order of meanings.
  Connectives
   § signifier / signified

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.

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