The Fold, explained

Graham asked about the fold. Here is a simple non-explanation that perhaps helps more than an immanent description of the term.

The fold follows from Deleuze’s general development of a materialist metaphysics that holds the potential to differ as the original and ongoing movement of the cosmos. One term Deleuzians are perhaps more familiar with is actualization, which occurs when a single potential (singularity) is selected from the virtual and made concrete. To give an example, Darwinian natural selection is this type of selection, as it picks a genetic mutation but neither exhausts that particular potential nor prevents other potentials from being selected in the future. As Steven Jay Gould says, rewind and replay the evolutionary history of a species 100 times and you will get 100 different results.

In summary, Deleuze tends to make concepts: 1) open-ended and inexhaustive, e.g. always have the potential to differ and grow despite a certain consistency of operation (Holland calls this the “underdetermination of concepts”); 2) non-exclusive and unlimited, e.g. every application is creative, generative, and an ongoing process and therefore always allows alternate routes to be taken, as in every actualization enables counter-actualizations (cf. Deleuze’s preference of potential to the possible); 3) exist in exteriority to one another and are therefore infinite, e.g. a general rule of Deleuze’s metaphysics is that the relation between two terms itself is a third term, so there is nothing “necessary” or “intrinsic,” only determinants within differing sizes of infinitely.

The fold is Deleuze’s form of connection. Continue reading “The Fold, explained”


Empire and The Metropolis, long

This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.


What is the reasoning, perceptive, ‘singing’ monad that is only in the passions, affection, and perceptions that it expresses?

Claire Colebrook suggests it’s a queer passive vitalism. Consider this:

In concrete terms, we might begin by thinking of gender. Active vitalism, at least in the form that Deleuze and Guattari trace back to Kant, regards all concepts and categories as originally imposed by the subject upon an otherwise meaningless life. Active vitalism might regard gender as one of the ways in which life or the social ‘constructs’ categories that differentiate an otherwise general or undifferentiated humanity: so the criticism of stereotypes (as clichés or rigid forms imposed upon life) would lead to an overthrow of rigid categories in favour of what we really are (as unique individuals) or would expose that there are no such things as individuals, only effects of gender as it is represented. Genders and kinds are known in the vague and general opposition between male and female, distinctions that are imposed upon life and that need to be reactivated by being traced back to their social and familial origins. By contrast, for Deleuze and Guattari’s passive vitalism genders, kinds and stereotypes are not categories imposed upon life that might be overcome or criticised in the name of a universal and self aware humanity; instead, it is life as a multiple and differentiating field of powers that expresses itself in various manners. Continue reading “Forms-of-Life”