Deleuze 32

Delezue 32 德勒茲 Treatise on nomadology 論遊牧學

Translated by Springhero 雄伯


The sea as a smooth space is a specific problem of the war machine. As Virilio shows, it is at sea that the problem of the fleet of being is posed, in other words, the task of occupying an open space with a vortical movement that can rise up at any point. In this respect, the recent studies on rhythm, on the origin of that notion, do not seem entirely convincing. For we are told that rhythm has nothing to do with the movement of waves but rather that it designates “ form” in general, and more specifically the form of a “ measured, cadenced” movement. However, rhythm is never the same as measure. And though the atomist Democritus is one of the authors who speak of rhythm in the sense of form, it should be borne in mind that he does so under very precise conditions of fluctuation and that the forms made by atoms are primarily large, non-metric aggregates, smooth spaces such as the air, the sea, or even the earth. There is indeed such a thing as measured, cadenced rhythm, relating to the coursing of a river between its banks or to the form of a striated space; but there is also a rhythm without measure, which relates to the upswell of a flow, in other words, to the manner in which a fluid occupies a smooth space.




  This opposition, or rather this tension-limit between the two kinds of science—nomad, war machine science and royal, State science—reappears at different moments, on different levels. The work of Anne Querrien enables us to identify two of these moments; one is the construction of Gothic cathedrals in the twelfth century, the other the construction of bridges in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Gothic architecture is indeed inseparable from a will to build churches longer and taller than the Romanesque churches. Even farther, even higher…But this difference is not simply quantitative; it marks a qualitative change: the static relation, form-matter, tends to fade into the background in favor of a dynamic relation, material-forces. It is the cutting of the stone that turns it into material capable of holding and coordinating forces of thrust, and of constructing ever higher and longer vaults. The vault is no longer a form but the line of continuous variation of the stones. It is as if Gothic conquered a smooth space, while Romanesque remained partially within a striated space ( in which the vault depends on the juxtaposition of parallel pillars). But stone cutting is inseparable from, on the one hand, a plane of projection at ground level, which functions as a plane limit, and, on the other hand, a series of successive approximations ( squaring), or placings-in-variation of voluminous stones. Of course, one appealed to the theorematic science of Euclid in order to find a foundation for the enterprise; mathematical figures and equations were thought to be the intelligible form capable of organizing surfaces and volumes. But according to the legend, Bernard de Clairvaux quickly abandoned the effort as too “ difficult,” appealing to the specificity of an operative, Archimedean geometry, a projective and descriptive geometry defined as a minor science, more a mathegraphy than matheology. His journeyman, the monk-mason Garin de Troyes, speaks of an operative logic of movement enabling the “ initiate” to draw, then hew the volumes “ in penetration in space,” to make it so that “ the cutting line propels the equation” One does not represent, one engenders and traverses. This science is characterized less by the absence of equations than by the very different role they play: instead of being form forms absolutely that organize matter, they are “ generated” as “ forces of thrust” by the material, in a qualitative calculus of optimum. This whole current of Archimedean geometry was taken to its highest expression, but was also brought to a temporary standstill, by the remarkable seventeenth-century mathematician Desargues. Like most of his kind, Desargues wrote little; he nevertheless exerted a great influence through his actions and left outlines, rough drafts, and projects, all centered on problem-events: “ Lamentatiions,” “ draft project for the cutting of stones,” “ draft project for grappling with the events of the encounters of a cone and plane,…Desargues, however, was condemned by the parlement of Paris, opposed by the king’s secretary; his practices of perspective were banned. Royal, or State, science only tolerates and appropriates stone cutting by means of templates ( the opposite of squaring), under conditions that restore the primacy of the fixed model of form, mathematical figures, and measurement. Royal science only tolerates and appropriates perspective if it is static, subjected to a central black hole divesting it of its heuristic and ambulatory capacities. But the adventure, or event, of Desargues is the same one that had already occurred among the Gothic “ journeymen” on a collective level. For not only did the Church, in its imperial form, feel the need to strictly control the movement of this nomad science ( it entrusted the Templars with the responsibility of determining its locations and objects, governing the work sites, and regulating construction), but the secular State, in its royal form, turned against the Templars themselves, banning the guilds for a number of reasons, at least one of which was the prohibition of this operative or minor geometry.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: