black hole

black hole
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  Deleuze and Guattari believe that the role of philosophy is to invent new concepts that challenge the way that philosophy itself is written and formulated. Because of this, they draw both from new ideas and from those of a multiplicity of already existing disciplines, including biological and earth sciences, and physics. This interdisciplinary coverage is designed to make their philosophical project have concurrent significance or effect (no matter how small) within the field of conceptual matrices that they both appropriate from and contribute to; philosophical or otherwise. These engagements are at times fleeting and at times more sustained, and contribute to their strategy of preventing their position from stabilising into an ideology, method, or single metaphor. In other words, they encourage philosophy to occupy the space of slippage that exists between disciplinary boundaries, and to question how things are made, rather than simply analysing or interpreting the taken-for-granted final result or image. This provides the foundation for the work presented in Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus, and the series of renewed terms proposed by these texts (including schizoanalysis, rhizomatics, pragmatics, diagrammatism,
  Appearing predominantly in A Thousand Plateaus, the term 'black hole' has been sourced from contemporary physics. Referring to spaces that cannot be escaped from once drawn into, Deleuze and Guattari describe the black hole as a star that has collapsed into itself. While although this term exists literally rather than as a metaphor (because it maintains an effect that is fully actualised, affective and real), it has been relocated away from its original source in scientific discourse. As with many of the terms appropriated by A Thousand Plateaus, it is presented as being engaged in its own process of deterritorialisation that is independent from the text that it has been woven into; these concepts do not exist for the newly bricolaged together text, but happen to come into contact with it or move through it as a condition or process of their own moving trajectory or line of flight.
  In the context of A Thousand Plateaus, the black hole is presented as being one - unwanted but necessary - outcome for a failed line of flight. Deterritorialising movement strays away from the concept and state of molar identity and aims to force splinters to crack open into giant ruptures and cause the subsequent obliteration of the subject as he becomes ensconced within a process of becoming-multiple. Engaged in this process, the subject is deconstituted, and becomes a new kind of assemblage that occupies what Deleuze and Guattari call the 'plane of consistency', which is a space of creativity and desire. However, because this plane is also that of death and destruction, traps are scattered throughout this process. Existing as micro-fascisms across this plane, black holes threaten self conscious acts of transcendence and self-destruction alike, which is why Deleuze and Guattari advise nomads to exercise caution as they disorganise themselves away from the molar organisations of the State. So, in simple terms, the black hole is one possible outcome of an ill-conceived (which often equates to overly self-conscious) attempt at deterritorialisation that is caused by a threshold crossed too quickly or an intensity become dangerous because it is no longer bearable.
  Another way of thinking about the black hole is in terms of how Deleuze and Guattari rewrite the relationship philosophy and psychoanalysis has with desire and subjectivity. If the black hole is one possible outcome faced by the overly convulsive, self-consumed desiring subject, then it works to illustrate their contention that every strong emotion - such as consciousness or love - pursues its own end. As a potential outcome for both paths of transcendence and destruction, the lure of the black hole indicates the subject's attraction toward an absolute (lack) of signification. This expresses the absolute impossibility of representation at the same time as it actively works to show how grand narrative statements continually intertwine subjectivity and signification. In appealing to a deterritorialising activity, Deleuze and Guattari problematise the process of subjectification, which, they claim, results either in self-annihilation (a black hole), or re-engagement with different planes of becoming.
  In addition to presenting the black hole as a possible end-point to certain acts of deterritorialisation, Deleuze and Guattari use it as a way of further conceptualising their notion of faciality. In this context, black holes exist as the binary co-requisite of the flat white surface, wall or landscape that nominally symbolises the generic white face of Christ. In order to break through the dominating white face, or wall of the signifier, and avoid being swallowed by the black hole, one must renounce the face by becoming imperceptible. However, Deleuze and Guattari advise caution when embarking on such a line of flight. Indeed, they claim madness to be a definite danger associated with attempts to break out of the signifying system represented by the face. We must not, they warn, entirely reject our organising boundaries because to do so can result in the complete rejection of subjectivity. Recalling the slogan of schizoanalysis, they tell us not to turn our backs on our boundaries, but to keep them in sight so that we can dismantle them with systematic caution.
   § molar
   § space

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.

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