“Reality Chunking” – David Roden reviews DeLanda’s Philosophy and Simulation

I found this via Deterritorial Investigations Unit (naturally 😉

David Roden has blogged an interesting, fairly lengthy, review of DeLanda’s Philosophy and Simulation. Roden offers some interesting observations, setting his discussion in wider debates within (continental) philosophy, i.e. exotic flavours of realism and their politics. The aspect of the discussion I particularly find interesting is the discussion of DeLanda’s logical fudging of ontological ‘flatness’, when, in fact, in his philosophy of simulation there is quite a bit of hierarchical structure. I hadn’t really given this any thought before now but Roden’s reading together of Philosophy and Simulation  and A New Philosophy of Society is informative.

I encourage those interested in philosophy in the wake of Deleuze and those interested in ‘assemblage theory’ to take a look at this review.

The Assemblage Brain – new book from Tony Sampson

Via ViralityLooks interesting…

Part of Minnesota’s spring catalogue – Out early Feb


“The Assemblage Brain provides a much-needed critique of the black-box, computational brain that has been a staple in philosophy, science, and the arts and connects the dots between recent innovations in science, dystopian literature, and theoretical developments in contemporary philosophy.”
David Gunkel, author of The Machine Question: Critical Perspectives on AI, Robots and Ethics

“‘Tap my head and mike my brain’; Tony Sampson’s new book might silently echo Pynchon’s famous lines, but this is also an original, inspiring, and theoretically savvy take on the culture of the affective brain, from sciences to business, cybernetics to political power. Warmly recommended.”
Jussi Parikka, author of Insect Media: An Archaeology of Animals and Technology


Once upon a time, neuroscience was born. A dazzling array of neurotechnologies emerged that, according to popular belief, have finally begun to unlock the secrets of the brain. But as the brain sciences now extend into all corners of cultural, social, political, and economic life, a yet newer world has taken shape: “neuroculture,” which goes further than ever before to tackle the profound ethical implications we face in consequence.The Assemblage Brain unveils a major new concept of sense making, one that challenges conventional scientific and philosophical understandings of the brain. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari, Tony D. Sampson calls for a radical critical theory that operates in the interferences between philosophy, science, art, and politics. From this novel perspective the book is structured around two questions: “What can be done to a brain?” and “What can a brain do?” Sampson examines the rise of neuroeconomics in informing significant developments in computer work, marketing, and the neuropharmaceutical control of inattentiveness in the classroom. Moving beyond the neurocapitalist framework, he then reestablishes a place for proto-subjectivity in which biological and cultural distinctions are reintegrated in an understanding of the brain as an assemblage.

The Assemblage Brain unravels the conventional image of thought that underpins many scientific and philosophical accounts of how sense is produced, providing a new view of our current time in which capitalism and the neurosciences endeavor to colonize the brain.

Full details


Sue Ruddick ~ reading & writing in a materialist way

There’s a free to access commentary on the Society and Space website by Sue Ruddick on reading and writing in a materialist way. i really enjoyed reading this and I recommend it…

Here’s a snippet:

…concepts matter.  They matter in their distinctions.  They make a difference, in the most literal sense that, in the act of philosophizing, in the invention, creation of a new concept, one is attempting to change sensibilities, provoke new perceptions and understandings, to make difference. This is why we must proceed with caution in attempts to make new or difficult concepts legible to a wider audience; we must be a careful not simply to appeal to a common sense understanding, lest we risk losing the very specificity of the concept in question. It is in this sense, I argue, that we cannot simply substitute a more commonly understood term for its less familiar concept. We cannot for example exchange “affect” for “emotion” (unless we want to launch a fully developed argument as to why they are equivalent) any more than we might substitute “price difference” for “surplus value”.  To paraphrase Deleuze, when a philosopher employs a distinctive term or concept, it is in principle because he or she has a reason to (Deleuze 1978).

Reblog> Several Essays on Deleuze at LARB

Keith Harris highlights:

Reblog> CFP: Deleuzian Geographies

CFP: Deleuzian Geographies

Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting,
March 29-April 2, 2016
San Francisco, California

“We do not yet know the thought of Deleuze. Too often, whether hostile or adoring, we act as if his concepts were familiar, as if it were enough that his concepts simply touch us in order for us to understand them without spelling them out, or as if we had already made a survey of their promises” (Zourabichvili, 2012: 139)

This session speaks to the ever-growing engagement with the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze in geography and the social sciences. The session will take stock of how Deleuzian (and Deleuzeo-Guattarian) concepts – such as affect, assemblage, becoming, de/re/territorialisation, difference, event, individuation, the minor, and the molecular – have been taken up in geography, productively amplifying key problematics that stage both new conceptual openings and new points of contestation (Sharpe et al, 2014; Woodward and Jones III, 2005).

In particular, we seek papers that respond to Francois Zourabichili’s (2012) call to (re-)engage Deleuze’s philosophy not as a revolution already-made, but instead as a force of creative encounter. Following Deleuze, what are the evaluative terms and stakes of thinking currently emerging in the contact zones of, for example, politics, aesthetics, science, the economy, ethics, and ecology (Ruddick, 2010; Doel and Clarke, 2007; McCormack, 2007; Hynes, 2015; Bonta and Protevi, 2004). We welcome papers then from across the field of geography that explore how Deleuze’s concepts participate in events of thinking that displace extant fields of intelligibility, generating new terms for modifying the conditions of the problems posed by society today. We offer the following ‘conceptual problematics’ and ‘terrains of contestation’ as possible suggestions of some themes that papers might address:

Conceptual problematics:
– Vital materialism and ecologies of nonorganic life
– Dispositions, tendencies, inclinations
– Ethics and the affective production of bodies
– Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism and alternative theorizations of subjectivity
– Earth-thinking: geophilosophy and chaosmosis
– Space after Deleuze: the ‘fold’ of topological thinking and the critique of interiority
– Art after Deleuze: encounters in cinema, music, literature etc.
– Politics after Deleuze: micropolitics and desire

Milieus of contestation:
– Deleuze’s differential ontology: coherence in becoming as opposed to that in being?
– New materialisms and a philosophy of the event: theorising matter as tendency, disposition, inclination as opposed to object-oriented, phenomenological and networked theories?
– The politics of affect: thinking an affective politics through the evental lens of singularities, thresholds and individuations as opposed to those that think these politics through objects, conditions, and atmospheres?
– Deleuze and research methodologies: what is the efficacy in experimenting beyond representation, beyond recognition?
– Deleuze and philosophy: are there different Deleuzes (Deleuze- Nietzsche, -Spinoza, -Bergson, -Simondon, -Whitehead) and how do they marry each to the other?

Please submit abstracts of 250 words or less to Andrew.Lapworth[at]bristol.ac.uk by Wednesday 21st October, 2015.

For more information and more general expressions of interest, please contact the session organizers:

Andrew Lapworth, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol

Scott Sharpe, School of Physical, Environmental & Mathematical Sciences, UNSW@Canberra,

JD Dewsbury, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol,

CFP> “Virtuality, Becoming and Life” Deleuze Studies 2016, Rome (11-13 July)

[via Keith Harris]

Here’s a call for the ‘Deleuze Studies‘ conference next year, with a nice, if broad, theme…

The triad of terms in the title is meant to indicate three steps that may build a path through Deleuze’s and Guattari’s philosophy. This path is but one among the many possible, as the titles of the previous conferences reveal. To borrow a term from psychogeography, we may call it a “desire path”, where desire paths represent the alternate routes created by the walkers’ desires and necessities. Though it is an open path, it is paradoxically coherent and unified. Each of its step indeed refers to the other in more than one way.The first term –virtuality– refers both to the central issue of time and to the philosophical friendship between Deleuze and Bergson. As Deleuze’s early writings of the Sixties witness, it was a very close friendship which remained vivid also in his later work on cinema in the Eighties. Both Bergson and Deleuze share the common aim to affirm the coexistence and the continuous and mutual interplay between the past and the present, the actual and the virtual. Such an interplay constitute exactly that process of differentiation which grounds the creative dynamics of all different arts, and notably, of cinema.

The creative and positive movement of differentiation, as a process of metamorphosis, underpins the concept of “becoming“ as a fundamental notion for Deleuze’s overall philosophy and particularly for the text he wrote with Guattari, Mille Plateaux. The notion of Becoming is to be understood as a verb rather than a noun –they write- it is not one, nor two, but something between-two, an interaction between two domains, a boundary and an escape line: it is the becoming-animal, the becoming-music, the becoming child, the becoming-woman. As a reaction against the Platonic idea of Being and Essence, the Becoming refers primarily to Nietzsche’s thought and to his notion of the “eternal return”. Since no living being can resist the becoming, the becoming must be a being in itself, a being that coincides with the process of coming back, in the sense of thinking “the same” from “the different”.

The deeper meaning of Nietzsche’s philosophy is to affirm the becoming not only as essential to life –since life is becoming, multiplicity, and fortune- but as something we need to accept and consciously affirm. To this extent, virtue is not renouncing to all passions but saying “yes” to life. In Deleuze’s last text, life is described as immanent and “unique”; no longer individual but completely impersonal, it is a “total power, a total bliss” It is from this starting point that philosophers – both in Italy and elsewhere – have started developing the idea of an “ontology of the present” – which sets itself as the aim of contemporary philosophy.

Following the path we have proposed, and even imagining something different, we welcome individual proposals for papers, panel proposals, as well as alternative approaches to presentation formats (such dialogues or performative pieces).

The conference will accept papers in English from across a very broad range of areas including, not limited to, the following:


Aesthetics and Artistic Practices
Architecture and Urban Planning

Film Studies
Digital Realm and New Media
Literature and Literary Criticism
Sociology and Politics
Gender Studies

Abstracts should be 300-500 words and must include title and three keywords.

Biographical statements and affiliations should be approximately 100 words and must include contact information.

December 15th, 2015

We plan to notify the acceptances until February 15th, 2016


There’s a website with plenty of information: http://www.deleuzeconference2016.org

and here’s some blurb from it:

Deleuze Studies Conference is an initiative created by the Deleuze Studies Journal, the first of which was held in 2008 at Cardiff. The conference explores the themes related to the works of Deleuze and Guattari and brings together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines.

This year the Deleuze Studies Conference will take place in Italy, at the Department of Philosophy, Communication  and Visual Arts of University of Roma Tre (11th-13th July), aiming to explore the concepts of Virtuality, becoming and life in Deleuze and Guattari’s thought.


The conference will be preceded by a Deleuze Camp (4th-8th July), a preliminary intensive research seminar.

CFP> Mapping (from) the minor of big data?

Here’s an interesting call for papers for the Association of American Geographers conference next year (2016), posted to Crit-Geog by Wen Lin…

Call for Papers:

Mapping (from) the minor of big data?
AAG Annual Meeting, San Francisco
29 March to 2 April 2015


Wen Lin, Newcastle University
Matthew W. Wilson, University of Kentucky

“The minor is not a theory of the margins, but a different way of working with material. “¦ It is about the conscious use of displacement.” (Katz 1996, 489)

“Clearly, the technology has the potential to disenfranchise the weak and not so powerful through the selective participation of groups and individuals.” (Harris and Weiner 1998, 69)

Recent years have seen the explosive growth of geospatial data produced and shared by vast, diverse users, facilitated by an array of information and communication technologies and mobile devices. There is a burgeoning body of work attempting to theorize and investigate these processes and practices, with notions including neogeography (Turner 2006), volunteered geographic information (VGI) (Goodchild 2007), maps 2.0 (Crampton 2009), vernacular mapping (Gerlach 2014), alt.gis (Schuurman 2015), and a form of geographic big data (Mooney 2015). Significant efforts have been made to examine a range of issues derived from such phenomena regarding ways of mapping, data quality, and associated socio-political implications concerning power, equity and knowledge. Attention has been given to the empowering and emancipatory potential of new ways of mapping and storytelling, while questions have also been raised about possible implications of surveillance, population control, and unevenness of knowledge production.

Yet, there remains much to be known about those mapping efforts that are seemingly on and in the margins of ‘big data’, from those less active contributors, or by actors in relatively marginalized positions. Such efforts may constitute counter-hegemonic knowledge production (Harris and Weiner 1998, see also Elwood 2015) or may be alternatively understood as a kind of minor data (to draw upon ‘minor theory’ in Katz 1996).

This session intends to contribute to these vibrant discussions by engaging with documenting efforts of mappings and data construction that might be of a much smaller quantity in the wake of big data. We welcome papers addressing theoretical, methodological, and empirical investigations of these mapping efforts situated in a variety of contexts. Questions may include, but are not limited to:

  • How might we engage with mapping the minor in the context of big data?
  • In what ways are data generated, represented, or curated by those who might be from a more marginalized position in these mapping efforts?
  • In what ways are geospatial technologies used, reconfigured, or contested in these mapping efforts?
  • In what ways is knowledge (re)produced in these mappings?
  • What are the challenges of tracing and documenting mapping efforts from the margins?
  • What might be the broader implications of these accounts?

If you are interested in participating in this session, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Wen Lin (wen.lin[at]ncl.ac.uk) and Matthew W. Wilson (matthew.w.wilson[at]uky.edu) by Friday, 2 October. Please note that we are attempting to bring alternative perspectives and positions to this discussion, in alignment with this recent manifesto on the gender and racial composition of AAG panels (http://www.knowledgepolitics.org/2015/09/07/the-unbearable-white-maleness-of-aag/).


Crampton, J. 2009. Cartography: performative, participatory, political. Progress in Human Geography, 33(6): 840-848.

Elwood, S. 2015. Still Deconstructing the Map: Microfinance Mapping and the Visual Politics of Intimate Abstraction. Cartographica, 50(1): 45-49

Gerlach, J. 2014. Lines, contours, legends: coordinates for vernacular mappingProgress in Human Geography, 38(1): 22-39.

Goodchild, M. 2007. Citizens as sensors: the world of volunteered geography. GeoJournal, 69: 211-221.

Harris T., Weiner D. 1998. Empowerment, marginalization, and “community-integrated” GIS. Cartography and Geographic Information Systems, 25(2): 67-76.

Katz, C. 1996. Towards minor theory. Environment & Planning D: Society & Space, 14: 487-499.

Mooney, P. 2015. An Outlook for OpenStreetMap.  In J. Jokar Arsanjani, A. Zipf, P. Mooney, M. Helbich (eds.) OpenStreetMap in GIScience: Experiences, Research, and Applications. Cham, Springer, pp. 319-314.

Schuurman, N. 2015. What is alt.gis? Introduction to the Special Issue. The Canadian Geographer, 59(1): 1-2.

Turner. A. 2006. An Introduction to Neogeography. O’Reilly Media, Sebastapol, CA.

Equipments of power: Reblog> Deleuze, Guattari, Foucault and Fourquet’s discussions of ‘Les équipements du pouvoir’, by @

Stuart Elden has blogged about Keith Harris‘ (no, not that one) work on excavating and translating some of the missing bits of the conversation published (in part) as Les équipements du pouvoir.

Stuart offers some interesting context and links to Harris’ excellent work – seems like an interesting piece for geographers, not least in relation to cities…

Deleuze, Guattari, Foucault and Fourquet’s discussions of ‘Les équipements du pouvoir’

scan0001Keith Harris has been saying a bit about Deleuze, Guattari, Foucault and Fourquet’s discussions of ‘Les équipements du pouvoir’. He first shared his reading notes on Guattari’s contributions to a discussion with Foucault and Fourquet; and has followed up today with a clarification on the initial publication details.

Keith links to my list of Foucault’s collaborative projects, which I think illustrates just how important this model of working was for him. The pieces in question were first published in Généalogie du capital: 1 Les équipements du pouvoir: villes, territoires et équipements collectifs, Recherches, No 13, December 1973; which was then reissued as François Fourquet and Lion Murard, Les équipements du pouvoir, Paris: Union Générales d’Éditions 10/18, 1976. The Recherches issue isn’t that easy to find today, but the 10/18 book is fairly widely available.

Read the full blogpost.