Deleuze on Machines and Society


“The concrete machines are the two-form assemblages or mechanisms, whereas the abstract machine is the informal diagram. In other words, the machines are social before being technical. Or, rather, there is a human technology which exists before a material technology. No doubt the latter develops its effects in the whole social field; but in order for it to even be possible, the tools or material machines have to be chosen first of all by a diagram and taken up by assemblages… And if the techniques – in the narrow sense of the word – are caught within assemblages, this is because the assemblages themselves, with their techniques, are selected by diagrams…”

Foucault, pgs. 34-35

See also:

Noir Realism – Gilbert Simondon: The Conditions of Technical Evolution

Lewis Mumford – Technics and Civilization

Felix Guattari – On Machines

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4 Responses to Deleuze on Machines and Society

  1. arranjames says:

    From Guattari’s ‘On machines’:

    “Let us begin at the most simple, and already more or less established idea: that the technical object cannot be limited to its materiality. In techne, there are ontogenetic elements, elements of the plan, of construction, social relatiobships which support these technolgies, a stock of knowledge, economic relations and a whole series of interfaces onto which the technical object attaches itself….”

    It’s of possible interest, I can’t remember if it’s in AO, that Guattari also links the abstract machine first of all to Chomsky’s work in linguistics.

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