a l a m u t

map, tracing, territory

One concept which proves difficult to grasp immediately in Deleuze and Guattari is their distinction between "map" and "tracing." Part of the difficulty, for me, lies in the terms themselves. I'm used to the traditional semiotics discussion of "the territory" and "the map"--which might be analagous to Baudrillard's simulacrum. The territory is real; the map is only the imagined, the visualized, the constructed image one step removed from the real. The map is an order of magnitude less important and less accurate (the more distanced one grows from real models, the greater the likelihood of errors creeping into one's transcription--or being introduced intentionally, as in Xerox art) than the real thing it represents.

This concept gets tossed out the window by Deleuze and Guattari. The "map" for them is not distinguished from the territory but from the "tracing." The terms sound reasonably similar, but they are sharply distinguished. The map is active, the tracing passive or reactive. The map is a journey; the tracing is, perhaps, watching a movie about the journey.

a funny thing happened...

Meyer suggests in Plateaus that "A logical extension of Deleuze and Guattari's ideas to hypertext would consist in trying to create a space in which the journey, the nomadic exhileration would result in jouissance. Orgasmic play, peak experiences, differance, all the crazy, fun aspects of creationing coming together." Here is one significant overlap between Bey's ideas and those of Deleuze & Guattari.

The map as active, participatory, playful is echoed in Immediatism. Bey strongly supports a more personal and participatory aesthetic in art; Deleuze & Guattari speak in favor of the smooth-space paradigm. Meyer's comment leads one to look for immediatism and nomadicism within hypertext, a superficially "territorial" medium.