..........................Friday, August 7, 2009

Bank of Concepts

As the Molecular Twitter Party approaches, we have suggested some readings for all those participating to think over. To help in this thought-process as the day of the Party draws near, we have compiled a Bank of Concepts. This Bank of Concepts is not a definitive nor a complete list of the key terms, quotes and questions, which we are going to discuss (that is up to all who participate). Rather the Bank of Concepts a series of departures that may or may not become lines of flight during the Party.
Like any bank, feel free to withdraw some concepts but also please feel free to deposit your own in the comments. The Molecular Twitter Party is a participatory event of event-thoughts. The more dynamic the interactions, the more lively the Party will be!

[line of flight]

“A thought grappling with exterior forces instead of being gathered up in an interior form, operating by relays instead of forming an image, an event-thought, a haecceity, instead of a subject-thought, a problem-thought instead of an essence-thought or theorem; a thought that appeals to people instead of taking itself for government ministry.” ATP 378

>> Are there connections between the Molecular Twitter Party and the above conception of a event-thought?

“Because the less people take thought seriously, the more they think in conformity with what the State wants.” ATP 376

“All of thought is a becoming, a double becoming, rather than the attribute of a Subject and the representation of a Whole.” ATP 380

>> Are “trending topics” a form of conformity or a line of flight? Or are “trending topics” lines of flight that get captured and retettitorialized into the State apparatus?

Despite these apparently binary terms, Deleuze and Guattari speak of three lines: primitive segmentarity, State apparatus and the line of flight: “We cannot say that one of these three lines is bad or another good, by nature and necessarily.” TP 227

>> Are Tweets lines of flights? What is becoming-tweet?

“Always obey. The more you obey, the more you will be master, for you will only be obeying pure reason, in other words yourself.” ATP 376

>> In what ways can Twitter be seen as an extension of the Cogito: I Tweet therefore I am?


“In short, everything is political, but every politics is simultaneously a macropolitics and a micropolitics.” ATP 213

“Not only deos each line have its segments, but the segments of one line correspond to those of another…” ATP 212

“Segmentarity is always the result of an abstract machine, but different abstract machines operate in the rigid and the supple.” ATP 213

“The task of the historian is to designate the 'period' of coexistence or simultaneity of these two movements (decoding-deterritorialization and overcoding-reterritorialization). For the duration of this period one distinguishes between the molecular aspect and the molar aspect: on the one hand, masses or flows, with their mutations, quanta of deterritorialization, connections, and accelerations; on the other hand, classes or segments, with their binary organization, resonance, conjunction or accumulation, and line of overcoding favouring one line over the others.” ATP 221

>> How does the concept of segmentarity relate to Twitter?

>> How do the movements of deterritorialization ad reterritorialization manifest themselves on Twitter?

>> What are the possibilities of micropolitics on Twitter? The probabilities of macropolitics?

>> Are Twibes examples of primitive segmentarity?

[war machine]
[State apparatus]

“Packs, bands, are groups of the rhizome type. as opposed to the arborescent type that centers around organs of power. That is why bands in general, even those engaged in banditry or high-society life, are metamorphoses of a war machine formally distinct from all State apparatuses or their equivalents' which are instead what structure centralized societies. We certainly would not say that discipline is what defines a war machine: discipline is the characteristic required of armies after the State has appropriated them.” ATP 358

The State has no war machine of its own, it can only appropriate one in the form of a military institution, one that will continually cause it problems.” ATP 355

“But the State is not defined by the existence of chiefs; it is defined by the perpetuation or conservation of organs of power. The concern of the State is to conserve.” ATP 357

“The State never ceases to decompose, recompose, and transform movement, or to regulate speed.” ATP 386

“It is not of independence, but of coexistence and competition in a perpetual field of interaction, that we must conceive of exteriority and interiority, war machines of metamorphoses and State apparatuses of identity, bands and kingdoms, megamachines and empires.” ATP 360-361

>> How does Twitter relate to the State apparatus? Is Twitter a tool for a War machine? Are tweets captured and regulated by a State?

>> Because one can search every tweet that has been posted, can Twitter be defined or partially-defined as a State apparatus through its conservation of tweets?


“Only microfascism provides and answer to the question: Why does desire desire its own repression, how can it desire its own repression?” TP 215

“There is fascism when a war machine is installed in each hole, in every niche.” ATP 214

“What makes fascism dangerous is its molecular or micropolitical power, for it is a mass movement: a cancerous body rather than a totalitarian organism.” ATP 215

>> What are the dangers of microfascims in Twitter? Does Twitter desire its own repression?

>> Are the mass movements that utilize Twitter at danger of emerging as becoming-fascism?


“One of the fundamental tasks of the State is to striate the space over which it reigns, or to utilize smooth space as a means of communication in the service of striated space.” ATP 385

>> Is Twitter a smooth space of communication that is utilized to perpetuate and continue the State’s striation?

“The nomad, nomad space, is localized and not delimited. What is both limited and limiting is striated space, the relative global... [the nomad] is rather in a local absolute, and absolute that is manifested locally.” ATP 382

>> Is Twitter global or local? Is it a nomadic stationary process, undertaken sitting down?


“There are no internal drives in desire, only assemblages. Desire is always assembled; it is what the assemblage determines it to be.” ATP 229

>> In what way is Twitter an assemblage? What is a Tweeting machine? What about a thousand tiny tweeting selves? How and to what does the Tweeting machine plug into?


“Principles of connection and heterogeneity: any point of a rhizome can be connected to any other... A rhizome ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles.” ATP 7

>> In what way can we figure Twitter as a rhizome or multiplicity? How does it connect to arts, sciences and social struggles?

“Always follow the rhizome by rupture: lengthen, prolong, and relay the line of flight, make it vary, until you have produced the most abstract and torturous of lines of n dimensions and broken directions” ATP 11

>> How does Twitter allow us to “follow” the rhizome? Do ReTweets work as lengthening and variations? What about @replies and @mentions? Are dialogues, monologues, and/or “multi-logues” taking place in the tweetospere?


“Have short-term ideas.” ATP 25

“A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo.” ATP 25

“The form of exteriority situates thought in a smooth space that it must occupy without counting, and for which there is no possible method, no conceivable reproduction, but only relays, intermezzos, resurgences.” ATP 377

>> Is Twitter an “interbeing”, a medium in which we can exist in between things? Are tweets only intermezzos, short and fleeting, banal? Or do they allow us to think in or of the outside, that is the war machine?


“To reach, not the point where one no longer says I, but the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I. We are no longer ourselves. Each will know his own. We have been aided, inspired, multiplied”. ATP 3

>> How does identity work on Twitter – do @names, avatars and the possibilities of anonymity and multiple Twitter streams allow us to reach the point where the I is no longer important?


“The necessity of not having control over language, of being a foreigner in one's own tongue, in order to draw speech to oneself and 'bring something incomprehensible to the world'.” ATP 378

>> Does Twitter 140 character limit help us to speak as foreigners?

All quotes below are from Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987. All emphasis using Bold is by the authors of this blog.
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..........................Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pre-Party Readings

To assist in dialogue that will take place during the Molecular Twitter Party we ask that participates take a look at the concepts in the following chapters in Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. In these chapters are some of the key concepts that we find that have strong resonance with Twitter. In the coming days we will post some of the concepts we feel connect, so keep posted.
If for some reason you do not have the time to read all of the below, we have placed the chapters in order of conceptual focus. Enjoy!

9. 1933: Micropolitics and Segmentarity - (currently still seeking a scan)

1. Introduction: Rhizome

12. 1227: Treaties on Nomadology: - The War Machine - (Particularly p. 351-361 and 374-387)

We welcome suggests for others readings in the comments that are relavant to the party.
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..........................Monday, August 3, 2009


Dear tweeps,

We have been twittering with each other for some time now and the more we immerse ourselves in this new 'segmentary machine', the more it throws up all sorts of ideas, possibilities and problems.

Given the globalizing nature of Twitter and our curiosity about each other's lives, the idea of a dinner party emerged some months ago, a plan to get together in our different locations with our different lifestyles to eat and tweet.

This has lead to the production of a Molecular Twitter Party to share our ideas and lives with each other whilst also thinking about what we are doing through Twitter as a segmentary machine. Essentially, how does Twitter engage us? And how do the various tools of Twitter, such as tweet, retweet, avatar pictures, and hashtags, function to produce a segmentary machine?

Ideas lead to other ideas, and this led to a proposal to the ConnectDeleuze Conference to bring together a Molecular Twitter Party with a set of conversations in a more formal academic setting. Our proposal was accepted meaning that the Molecular Twitter Party will link in with an hour-and-a-half session LIVE at the ConnectDeleuze Transdisciplinary Perspectives Conference in Cologne 10-12 August 2009.

So, we want to invite you to come and join in a Molecular Twitter Party, to tweet with us as we engage both conceptually and affectively with the question Twitter poses to us all: "what are you doing?"

The Molecular Twitter Party will start on Monday 10 August at 13.00 Central European Summer Time (check your local time here) and go on for 24 hours, culminating in the session at the ConnectDeleuze conference on Tuesday 11 August at 11.30 (check your local time here) and end at 13.00 CEST.

We hope to tweet you there,

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Conference Proposal

“Panel” Proposal for ConnectDeleuze Transdisciplinary Conference:
A Molecular Twitter Party

Since 2006, Twitter has emerged as a techno-social assemlage presenting opportunities to molecularize expression as well as risks of molarizing tendencies. Twitter is a micro-blogging service that enables users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters known as tweets. Tweeting produces personal activity streams on an individual profile page that may be delivered to others (followers), all in response to the question "What are you doing?"

To further activate this question we invite the Deleuze Studies conference to participate with us in the Molecular Twitter Party (MTP). MTP is a globally distributed community event celebrating the digital encounter between Deleuzo-Guattarian concepts and the twittering machine. To paraphrase Deleuze and Guattari: “Instead of a rigid line composed of well-determined segments, Twitter now forms a supple flow marked by quanta that are like so many little segmentations-in-progress.” MTP explores the possibilities and limits of Twitter as a new segmentary machine: a device that segments our daily, ordinary lives, de/re/codifying lines of molecular or supple segmentations through the mediation of a micro-blogging publishing system.

Twittering crystallizes the virtual coordinates of two different molecularizing movements: 1) a deterritorializing movement, that not only molecularizes self-constructions and molar identities but also enables the organization of daily activities and the augmentation of lifestyles in pragmatic responses to Twitter's question. 2) a reterritorializing movement, that not only responds to the creation of existential and immersive territories but also to the connections, conversations and affective exchanges between a multitude of users and their twittering segmentary machines. We consider that these movements afford an emergent 'molecular activism' which is our central interest in proposing MTP.

To enable this event, along side the Twitter web-based platform, we will be utilizing a 'Twibe' as an organizing node or molecular interface through which interested Twitterers may connect and participate. As an international community event exploring dynamics of emergence in molecular activism, the party is, both, open to expressive flows in Twitter as a virtual public and to those deriving from the Deleuze Studies Conference. We invite you to come and tweet with us.
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Copyright © 2009 Molecular Twitter Party is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.