I fell into an exquisite indentation—no, a cavern—in the landscape of the blogosphere this morning. These anomolies are scattered everywhere in this limitless expanse we call cyberspace, but each time I slide unexpectedly into one of these subrealities (or hyper-realities?) I feel like a lottery winner—random-driven lucky. I’m feeling that way now.

My latest adventure down a particularly spectacular rabbit hole is Fractalontology. The work of “cognition engineers” Taylor Adkins and Joseph Weissman, this site is full of riffs on Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, one of my favorite books of all time. (I’ve posted about this previously.) Experts in this complexity, Adkins and Weissman have not made the site the exclusive domain of like-minded scholars. Instead their approach ranges from philosophical dialogue to poetic excursions to visual representation.

Here is a sampling of Adkins’ comments about the relationship between the rhizome and the tree:

In their first plateau, Deleuze and Guattari focus on the concept of the rhizome. In establishing a difference between the arborescent image of thought and the rhizomatic, Deleuze and Guattari claim that the rhizome is an anti-genealogy while at the same time arguing that it is the tree which imposes its genealogy: “A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo. The tree is filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, uniquely alliance.” Filiation proceeds through binary logic around a centralized point (the despot, the philosopher-king, the father), while the alliance extends lines which are not stratified or gridded on root pivot/focal-points. In particular, the fascination with trees and filiation stems from a symptom of our specifically European disease of transcendence. What is difficult to remember is that the tree and the rhizome are not necessarily opposed to one another; the first acts like a transcendent tracing and model while the second draws a map through an immanent process that overturns the model. But the smooth space of the rhizome is always under constant threat of hierarchization and stratification while the tree can proliferate into a-centered systems given changes in local conditions, thresholds of intensity, coefficients of transversality, etc…Yet it is precisely their relation to these two sides which simultaneously indicates the mode of their processes of crossing between the actual and the virtual. Although the two authors do not speak of these two registers, this “dualism” seems completely necessary in order to confront all the principles which they stipulate for understanding the rhizome—in effect, its connectivity, heterogeneity, multiplicity, cartography and decalcomania.

By contrast, this is an extract from a lyrical posting by Joseph Weissman entitled The Voice of Silence:


Worship with reverence, pray in silence. Close your eyes. Begin to dream. Let the fever slip over you. A million words, a million feelings. Thoughts, ideas, dreams, fantasies, desires. Dreams. Dreams. Cancellations. Waking. Time. Lost. Again. Feel the frames, the darkness sliding over you. Your face: the world. The broken are broken, the lost. The lost.

Open your eyes. Awake to your dreams…

It is worth a visit if any of these ideas are compelling to you.