Following Flow: Intuition in Action

I discovered another clue to the Deleuzoguattarian conception of thought. After reading about Simondon in Deleuze’s Desert Islands, I looked him up in the index to A Thousand Plateaus and went to the “Treatise on Nomadology” where I read the following:

We always get back to this definition: the machinic phylum is materiality, natural or artificial, and both simultaneously; it is matter in movement, in flux, in variation . . . . We will therefore define the artisan as one who is determined in such a way as to follow a flow of matter, a machinic phylum. The artisan is the itinerant, the ambulant. To follow the flow of matter is to itinerate, to ambulate. It is intuition in action. (409)

This makes so much more sense after reading Manuel DeLanda’s books (Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy and A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History) and Todd May’s Deleuze: An Introduction. Here’s a passage from A Thousand Years:

In a very real sense, reality is a single matter-energy undergoing phase transitions of various kinds, with each new layer of accumulated “stuff” simply enriching the reservoir of nonlinear dynamics and nonlinear combinatorics available for the generation of novel structures and processes. Rocks and winds, germs and words, are all different manifestations of this dynamic material reality, or, in other words, they all represent the different ways in which this single matter-energy expresses itself. (21)

This illuminates a passage in A Thousand Plateaus that follows the one quoted above, which discusses metal and metallurgy:

In short, what metal and metallurgy bring to light is a life proper to matter, a vital state of matter as such, a material vitalism that doubtless exists everywhere but is ordinarily hidden or covered, rendered unrecognizable. . . Metallurgy is the consciousness or thought of the matter-flow, and metal the correlate of this consciousness. (411)

I haven’t given much thought to this last sentence, but I tried to “follow the flow” as I wrote the “diapath” below, earlier today. I guess, in a sense, I tried to make my thought (especially the point of view of the Fox, which represents this ethos) metallic….

I did see a potential connection to my philosophy of mixtures: the melting and flowing of metal is similar to a lava flow. . .


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