In Thousand Plateaus (1987), Deleuze and Guattari propose a universe which is composed of potentially infinite worlds, most inaccessible to homo sapiens due to the limitations of visual perception processed by language. Subjects within this system are susceptible to discursive manifestations of power produced by binary oppositions within worlds (Guattari calls these 'territorialised couplings', (Chaosmosis, p.4, 1992); for example, wealth/poverty, beauty/ugliness. Each time the subject encounters these infinitely diverse pulses of power it undergoes a process of 5 'folding' - the subject remains a 'whole' (a finite component of its parts) however, it is asymmetrically linked to its ongoing fractal-like complexification. This 6 abstract signification of territorial couplings' power is ordered with the same nonlinearity as a concrete signification of a coke can.
Folds (complexification) may act as a medium to redeploy power within the subject's world/s. Subsequently, decentering the territorial couplings that create it. This process is known as 'deterritorialization' or 'becoming'. By 'decentering' territorialised couplings, Deleuze and Guattari avoid negating them, and the construction of another dichotomy. They merely wish to illuminate that dimension between and around systems structured on opposition. Deterritorialization is a shift away from deconstruction. Poststructuralists perceived the decentering of the subject as a welcomed epistemological breakdown. Subsequently, many theorists have perceived postmodern space as deterministically 'fragmented':
'[a perception] ... that falls back on the terror of the unknown space of
the other ... in a lingering structured dichotomous way that has already
labelled that space as chaotic, the void, the abyss.'
(Feminism, Postmodernism, p11)
Where deconstructive theory attempts to negate the consistency of territorial couplings in a text, deterritorialization seeks to decenter them. This means that poststructuralist rhetoric is structured to discriminate; thereby, placing an unconscious (and ludicrously ironic) faith in human judgement. In contrast, Deleuze and Guattari's model of subjectivity functions similarly to other non-human worlds, thereby decentering the notion of human superiority within the universe. For example, developments in quantum theory have established that matter is neither particle or wave as Newtonian rhetoric suggested. According to the Principle of Complementarity, both assertions are accurate. Most physicists now believe in order to give a more complete description of an environment wave/particle duality must be considered. And in Quantum Self (1991), Zohar undermines the entire man/nature dichotomy by affirming that 'the basic building blocks of the mind (bosons) and matter (fermions) arise out of the same quantum substrate, and are engaged in a mutually creative 7 diologue (p.218). By establishing that all phenomena share the same quantum processes, her argument constructs a deterritorialization between human consciousness, the environment and indeed the universe.
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