---- by Tamsin Lorraine
  Rather than plotting points or fixing an order, Deleuze and Guattari wrote their book, A Thousand Plateaus, as a rhizome composed of 'plateaus'. They claim that the circular form they gave it was 'only for laughs' (D&G 1987: 22). The plateaus are meant to be read in any order and each plateau can be related to any other plateau. Deleuze and Guattari cite Gregory Bateson's use of the word 'plateau' to designate a 'continuous, self-vibrating region of intensities' that does not develop in terms of a point of culmination or an external goal. Plateaus are constituted when the elements of a region (for example, the microsensations of a sexual practice or the microperceptions of a manner of attending) are not subjected to an external plan of organisation. An external plan imposes the selection of some connections rather than others from the virtual relations among the elements that could be actualised, actualising varying capacities to affect and be affected in the process. A plateau emerges when the singularities of an individual or a plane that previously only 'insisted' in a concrete state of affairs are put into play through the actualisation of connections that defy the imposition of external constraints (for example, tantric sexual practices in which orgasm is not the goal or meditative states that deliberately avoid goal-oriented thinking).
  Deleuze and Guattari deliberately avoided writing A Thousand Plateaus in a style that moves the reader from one argument to the next, until all the arguments can be gathered together into the culminating argument of the book as a whole. Instead they present fifteen plateaus that are meant to instigate productive connections with a world they refuse to represent. Throughout Deleuze's work and his work with Guattari, he and Guattari create philosophical concepts that they do not want to pin down to any one meaning. Instead they let their concepts reverberate, expressing some of the variations in their sense through the shifting contexts in which they are put to use. In A Thousand Plateaus, they characterise such concepts as fragmentary wholes that can resonate in a powerful, open Whole that includes all the concepts on one and the same plane. This plane they call a 'plane of consistency' or 'the plane of immanence of concepts, the planomenon' (D&G 1987: 35).
  Deleuze and Guattari advocate constructing a Body without Organs (BwO) and 'abstract machines' (with a 'diagrammatic' function D&G 1987: cf. 189-90) that put into play forces that are not constrained by the habitual forms of a personal self or other 'molar' forms of existence. A BwO is a plateau constructed in terms of intensities that reverberate in keeping with a logic immanent to their own unfolding rather than conventional boundaries of self and other. An abstract machine 'places variables of content and expression in continuity' (D&G 1987: 511). It (for example, the Galileo abstract machine) emerges when variables of actions and passions (the telescope, the movement of a pendulum, the desire to understand) are put into continuous variation with incorporeal events of sense (Aristotelian mechanics and cosmology, Copernican heliocentrism), creating effects that reverberate throughout the social field (D&G 1987: cf. 511). There are various ways in which an assemblage's capacity to increase its number of connections into a plane of consistency can be impeded; creative connections can be replaced with blockages, strata, 'black holes', or 'lines of death'. An assemblage that multiplies connections approaches the 'living abstract machine' (D&G 1987: 513).
   § actuality
   § black hole
   § rhizome
   § whole

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • plateau — [ plato ] n. m. • XIIIe « grand plat »; platel « écuelle » fin XIIe; de 1. plat 1 ♦ Support plat servant à poser et à transporter des objets. Plateau de bois, d argent. Plateau de garçon de café, de serveur. Servir le déjeuner, le café sur un… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Plateau — bezeichnet: Hochebene eine erhöhte Aussichtsplattform zwischen Erregung und Orgasmus liegende Phase, siehe Sexueller Reaktionszyklus ein nordamerikanisches Kulturareal der Indianer, siehe Plateau (Kulturareal) ein Departement des Staates Benin,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Plateau — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Mapa de Benin, con el Departamento de Plateau resaltando Plateau es uno de los doce departamentos de Benín. Limita con los departamentos de Zou. Ouémé, y Collines. Tiene una superficie de 2.835 km², y una población… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Plateau — Sn Hochebene per. Wortschatz fach. (19. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. plateau, auch flacher Gegenstand , zu frz. plat flach , aus früh rom. * plattus, aus gr. platýs flach, eben, weit, ausgedehnt .    Ebenso nndl. plateau, ne. plateau, nschw …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • plateau — Plateau. sub. m. Le fond de bois des grosses balances, dont on se sert pour peser les lourds fardeaux. On appelle aussi du mesme nom de Plateau, Certains petits plats de la Chine de bois vernisé sur lesquels on sert ordinairement le Thé, le Caffé …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • plateau — ► NOUN (pl. plateaux or plateaus) 1) an area of fairly level high ground. 2) a state or period of little or no change following a period of activity or progress. ► VERB (plateaus, plateaued, plateauing) ▪ reac …   English terms dictionary

  • Plateau — Pla*teau , n.; pl. F. {Plateaux} (F. ?; E. ?), E. {Plateaus}. [F., fr. OF. platel, properly a little plate. See {Plate}.] 1. A flat surface; especially, a broad, level, elevated area of land; a table land. [1913 Webster] 2. An ornamental dish for …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Plateau — (fr., spr. Platoh), 1) Platte; 2) so v.w. Hochebene …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Plateau [1] — Plateau (franz., spr. tō), Platte; dann besonders soviel wie Hochebene (s. Ebene, S. 336) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Plateau [2] — Plateau (spr. tō), Joseph Anton Ferdinand, Physiker, geb. 14. Okt. 1801 in Brüssel, studierte in Lüttich, war 1835–71 Professor der Experimentalphysik und Astronomie in Gent und starb 15. Sept. 1883 in Gent. Er arbeitete namentlich über Optik und …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Plateau — (frz., spr. toh), Hochebene [Tafel: Kartographie II, 1] …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.