What is rhizomatic?

boot_kolhorn“… but people who set the course of life with too much precision often miss the fascinating twists and byways of a more picturesque route that finally leads to the same place… ” (Zamp in: Jack Vance, Showboat race, my translation, p. 78)
Just Open New Diigo group on rhizome. https://groups.diigo.com/group/rhizome14 for access to group

Ian Buchanan (2007) six key principles for rhizomatic:

  1. connectivity of any point to any other point.
  2. composition of dimensions, meaning it is neither one nor multiple.
  3. operation through variation, expansion, conquest, capture and offshoots (rather than reproduction)
  4. it pertains to an infinitely modifiable map with multiple entrances and exits that must be produced. ( In effect, what it means is this: the rhizome is not manifest in things, but rather a latent potential that has to be realised by experimentation.)
  5. is is acentred, non-signifying and acephalous (Deleuze and Guattari regard the rhizome as a tendency rather than a state of being. It must constantly compete with an equally strong tendency in the opposite direction, namely towards what they term the ‘arboreal’.)
  6. it is not amendable to any structural or generative model ( It has to be invented. The rhizome is the subterranean pathway connecting all our actions, invisibly determining our decision to do this rather than that. Insofar as we remain unaware of its existence and indeed its operation we do not have full control over our lives. The rhizome is in this sense a therapeutic tool. “For both statements and desires, the issue is never to reduce the unconscious or to interpret it or to make it signify according to a tree model. The issue is to produce the unconscious, and with it new statements, different desires: the rhizome is precisely this production of the unconscious)

Is a class of students a rhizome? In my view the class did pass the exam: (please comment if you do not agree on this)

  1. In a class is connectivity (even if teachers do not want that)
  2. A class is not one nor multiple, (a Dutch author describes a teacher looking at a class as a big animal of prey, the book is about the war between class and teacher, Bint by F.Bordewijk, 1934)
  3. a class does not (as a rule) reproduce. variation and conquest and capture are concepts we could use when talking about a class.
  4. a map of a class is shifting, connections change. A teacher can try to cultivate a class culture and produce the rhizome.
  5. the class is also a arboreal structure, and it is a rhizome. A class is acentred and acephalous. Headless classes are only at ds106 . ;-}
  6. The rhizome in a class must be made visible in order to make a class a learning community.

Maha Bali thanks for the question about class as a rhizome.



4 thoughts on “What is rhizomatic?

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