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Dialogues in Human Geography

2015, Vol. 5(2) 131148
Guattari: Impractical philosophy The Author(s) 2015
Reprints and permission:
DOI: 10.1177/2043820615587787

Joe Gerlach and Thomas Jellis

University of Oxford, UK

In the midst of a certain zeal for French Theory in human geography and the social sciences of late, there
has been something of a rush to operationalize Guattari (among others) in a pseudo-methodological
manner; something were unashamedly guilty of ourselves. Its easy to see why: journeying between car-
tography, metamodelisation, tracing, transversality, enunciation and diagramming, Guattari offers a
seductive array of concepts and philosophical tools for human geographers. There seems, however, to be a
disjuncture between the conceptual import of such terms and their empirical rendering. In this explicitly
experimental article, we want to open up a series of lines of flight as to how Guattari can inform empiricism
without reversion to straightforward application or metaphorical appropriation. In doing so, we offer a
number of speculations on how Guattaris work can be evoked in the crafting of a different tenor of well-
established geographical methods. Put differently, we want to accentuate the impracticality of Guattaris
philosophy as its most generative vector for human geographic thought and technique.

cartography, existential territories, Guattari, impractical, metamodelisation

Introduction much, then, for his supposed mania for chemistry

(Guattari, 1995); we would sooner argue that Felix
In the midst of a certain zeal for French thought in Guattari is better caricatured as the archetypal
the social sciences (Cusset, 2008; Elliot and
geographer, or at least geophilosopher, than as a
Attridge, 2011) and in human geography (Barnett,
bit-part chemist encumbered solely by molecules.
2009, 2012; Elden, 2009), there has been something
Bewildered by the array of these aforementioned
of a rush to operationalize the work of a limited set
concepts, it is small wonder that as human geogra-
of nominally post-structuralist philosophers. This
phers, we are quick to stake a disciplinary claim in
article looks both to extend and to disrupt this ten-
this thinker. There is, however, a disjuncture between
dency, by introducing the work of Felix Guattari,
the conceptual import of such terms and their empiri-
a significant yet understudied thinker whose impor- cal rendering. In this explicitly experimental article,
tance to human geography is potentially far-
we want to open up a series of lines of flight as to how
reaching but still largely neglected. At first blush,
Guattaris import seems to be startlingly clear:
journeying between cartography, metamodelisation,
Corresponding author:
tracing, transversality, enunciation and diagram- Joe Gerlach, School of Geography and the Environment,
ming, Guattari offers a seductive array of concepts University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QY, UK.
and philosophical tools for human geographers. So Email:
132 Dialogues in Human Geography 5(2)

Guattari can inform geographical thought and tech- this article? Split into three parts, the article, like-
nique without reversion to straightforward applica- wise, does three things.3 The first part examines
tion or metaphorical appropriation. In doing so, we briefly the veritable bombardment of French The-
offer a number of speculations on how Guattaris ory in human geography of late, centring specifi-
work can be evoked in the crafting of a different tenor cally on the contribution of Guattari to the social
of well-established geographical methods. Put differ- sciences. As such, the article will offer a critique
ently, we want to accentuate the impracticality of of recent scholarship that has attempted to use Guat-
Guattaris philosophy as its most generative vector tari in a pseudo-methodological manner; one that
for thought and technique in human geography. subsequently denies the schizophrenic energies of
At this stage, it is doubtless easier to advertise his conceptual work. In response, the second part
what this article does not do. Specifically, it is not of the article examines the importance of Guattaris
an instrumental piece that attempts to engineer spe- ideas for human geography, by way of three signal
cific research techniques wrought out of Guattaris motifs of Guattarian thought existential terri-
conceptual toolbox; to do so would not only be dis- tories, metamodelisation, and cartography
ingenuous towards a Guattarian ethos but it would through which geographers might re-apprehend
also be to miss the point, namely, that the normative notions of disciplinarity, method, and abstraction.
impulse of applicability itself is to limit the con- This prominent Guattarian triplet is elected here for
ceptualempirical potential of all ideas, not just its obvious geographical investment.4 The way in
those pertaining to Guattari. The problem, as we see which these motifs are explored is deliberately ten-
it, is that human geography has been rather quick to tative, in part because we are reluctant to operatio-
appropriate and apply ideas from beyond the disci- nalize, instrumentalize, and standardize Guattari
pline, as part of an ongoing cycle of faddishness, ourselves, and because we find ourselves agreeing
which plays into the auditing, and stultifying, logics with Thrifts (2008: 2) contention that too much
of, for example, the United Kingdoms Research in the way of clarity should not necessarily be
Assessment Exercise and Research Excellence counted as a good thing. Notwithstanding this, the
Framework1; logics that Guattari himself would article aims to speak both to those well versed with
almost certainly abhor, such are their micro-fascist Guattaris idiosyncratic vocabulary and to those
implications for intellectual thought and politics. It geographers who find his work irritable or unfami-
is for this reason, then, that we look to the impracti- liar. The third and final part of the article considers
cal; not as a slowing down of reasoning (Stengers, the political and ethical import of what it means to
2005) but as a speeding up of thought. Rather than be impractical in contrast to accentuating an ideas
link the impractical to a mantra of slowing down, ostensible practicality. To be sure, to highlight the
we want to deploy Guattari and his speed of impractical is perhaps to engender a dubious dualis-
thought and his jargon machine to resist systemati- tic impasse with the practical, but at the same time,
zation and application.2 To do this, we play the very it might also foreground the centrality of an experi-
logic of instrumentalization against itself; taking a mental and indeed micropolitical ethos in geogra-
putatively new thinker, and assemblage of concepts, phical research. In sum, and appropriately enough,
with which to intervene in and trouble the apparent the underlying question we pose to human geogra-
ease of engaging with theory. As such, we acknowl- phy is charted by Guattari himself when he asks the
edge Harveys (2006: 410) fears of introducing this following question of the psychoanalytical institu-
or that new thinker, theorist or theory into the grand tion, how do we work for its liberation, that is, for
parade of external interlocutors as to what geography its re-singularisation (1995: 135). This question
might and should be about, but use this precisely to likewise can be reappointed in the context of
address concerns about hyper-faddishness. this discussion, namely, how do we work for the
Nonetheless, we do not wish to abrogate respon- selfsame liberation of Guattaris philosophy, for
sibility for what Guattaris ideas might do for human its re-singularization in human geography? Put
geography. What, then, is the affirmative push of bluntly, how might the impracticality of Guattaris
Gerlach and Jellis 133

philosophy be understood as its most generative and Italy, the disruptor of the disciplines within which
productive characteristic? he operated. For the sake of brevity, three Guattaris
are perhaps enough for now, but it goes without say-
ing that there are infinitely more iterations; indeed
I: Rush the psychoanalyst, the micropolitician and the agita-
It is something of a truism to remark that continental tor are anything but discrete variables of Guattaris
philosophy and the more striated assemblage of character.6
French Theory have heavily influenced certain parts Why, therefore, the present focus on Guattari in
of human geography, not least in its cultural var- the context of geographic research and geography
iants. To be sure, it is increasingly rare not to more broadly? To some extent, this project is one
encounter a text under the broad banner of human of spotlighting a thinker who has largely been
geography which is not informed by or unaware occluded, conceptually and otherwise, by his own
of some kind of post-structural thought. This is partnership with Deleuze. Undoubtedly, the act of
perhaps most evident in cultural geography which, spotlighting can quickly turn to fetish and the valor-
as Cresswell (2012: 98) notes, can be rather insistent ization of a suspect novelty freighted through an
on examining an endless series of citations. individual author, but at the risk of sounding defen-
Indeed, it is the emergence and proliferation of sive, this article is not a homage to or a hagiography
non-representational theories (NRTs) that have of Guattari. Instead, one of the reasons for focusing
done much to promote but also develop the spatial on Guattari is because we would wager that the
dimensions of this kind of philosophy (see Anderson manifold geographies and geographic concepts that
and Harrison, 2010; see also Doel, 1999). Whilst not are deployed in the likes of A Thousand Plateaus
on the same plane of prominence as some such as and What is Philosophy are outwardly more Guat-
Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, or Lyotard Guattari is tarian than they are Deleuzian. That is not to dis-
steadily emerging as a substantial figure in human avow Deleuzes input far from it but it does
geography (Dewsbury, 2000; Katz, 1996; McCor- seem that the geographic impulse beats more fer-
mack, 2003, 2005, 2013; Saldanha, 2010).5 His vently in Guattaris work, from the Molecular Rev-
work is also garnering attention in and across philo- olution through to Schizoanalytic Cartographies.7
sophy (Stengers, 2010), sociology (Genosko, 2002), Moreover, whilst Deleuze (1988) deals elsewhere,
and cultural studies (Grossberg, 2010; Murphie, theoretically, with the limitations of the notion of
2004), all of which plays into what has been method as a stilted artifice of enquiry, Guattari
described of late as the Guattari Effect (see Alliez through his clinical and militant practices more
and Goffey, 2011; Alliez and Querrien, 2008). As explicitly experiments with an empirical approach
such, it is quite difficult to identify a genealogical tilting towards the affirmation of technique; itself,
lineage from which Guattari emerges and similarly as William Connolly (2002) suggests, a less rigid
problematic to assert obvious disciples and concep- and directional mode of doing research than that
tual descendants of his work. of method in which the latter might be construed
The get-out clause here would be to suggest that as an established means to a prefigured end. As
there are multiple Guattaris, three of which can be such, harnessing Guattaris practised shift from
posited upfront. First, there is Guattari the anti- method to technique might push geographers closer
Freudian psychoanalyst who steadfastly refused the towards research that itself is more sensitive to what
infantalization of his patients by Oedipal markers Cosgrove describes as the, creative, sometimes
and cognitive therapy. Second, there is Guattari the anxious, moments in coming to knowledge of the
micropolitician, the proponent of ethico-aesthetic world (1999: 2).
acts, themselves techniques for disrupting the global Strange perhaps that Guattari has hitherto
obsession with technocratic modes of governance. received muted attention from geographers in
Third, there is Guattari the agitator, the comrade, the the midst of an otherwise palpable rush to French
one who paid the bill for Antonio Negris exit out of Theory in some quarters of cultural geography. In
134 Dialogues in Human Geography 5(2)

Guattaris case, the rush is not so much marked by substance. Perhaps this can only be whispered anec-
sheer numbers flocking to cite or appropriate his dotally, but what has become known as critical
work but by a, quickening in the straightforward geography is also ironically, in Anglo-American
applicability of his concepts. This quickening is not quarters, astoundingly conservative in its thinking
exclusive to Guattaris assemblage of thinking, and and its concomitant judgements as to what passes
indeed the rush to theoretical applicability finds the threshold of being radical or critical. Readers
echoes in contemporary human geography else- subscribed to the online crit-geog forum, for
where, particularly in cultural geography and spe- example, might have a sense of the sometimes
cifically in the conceptual tumult of NRT (Thrift, vitriolic vanguard reactionism to which we allude
2008), wherein despite the manifest appeals made here.
by its exponents to hold on to a radical conceptual Elsewhere in the social sciences, Guattaris invo-
indeterminacy is still liable to an awkward sedi- cation of mapping has, for example, been figured
mentation or fixation of ideas, practices and phi- problematically as a mere metaphor (Walkerdine,
losophical traditions particularly by those scholars 2013); this transformation of a vibrant concept into
searching for the misplaced security offered by a metaphor this awkward sleight of hand then
a seemingly stable theoretical framework. In other allows its subsequent application as a mode of anal-
words, much like the rendering of an actor-network ysis for whatever matter of concern is at hand, in this
approach into actor-network theory (much to the case, space. Put differently, this metaphorical ren-
chagrin of Bruno Latour and others in years of late), dering inhibits the conceptual potential of Guattaris
so too has non-representational theory become sense of mapping and cartography by focusing on
4dangerously close to morphing into Brand NRT,8 the concepts representational effects; as Walker-
abused subsequently as a theoretical straw shibboleth dine (2013: 763) surmises, cartography can be a
in which the rush to provide supposed categorical means of mapping possible transformations and of
clarity has yielded, ironically, some bizarre moments supporting them. It can act as an analytic for under-
of conceptual muddle, not least in the bastardizing of standing transformations but also for supporting
affect into the quite unrelated term, affectual (see them into an uncertain future. Whilst we support
Pile, 2010; see also the subsequent critical commen- this sense that cartography might propagate the vir-
taries: Bondi and Davison, 2011; Curti et al., 2011; tual, we are not convinced by the idea that Guattaris
Dawney, 2011; Mohammad and Sidaway, 2012). cartography can be diagrammed as an analytic
To be sure, it is not all sledgehammer theorizing which in turn can be applied to whatever situation;
and blunt application; on the contrary, the diverse bluntly, it is perhaps just too convenient, or, just too
constitution and nature(s) of academic geography stubbornly practical.
have afforded and nurtured a conceptual experiment- Not that it is for us to be accusational; we our-
alism that perhaps the strictures of cognate disciplines selves have been all too content with indulging in
would simply not allow. Again, on the flip side of what Guattari would call idea thievery, happily
the aforementioned misguided appropriation, non- pushing his notions of gentleness, the ethico-
representational styles of experiment and encounter aesthetic and micropolitics, all through, among other
have generated remarkable space times of research things, a spell of hitch-hiking around southern Eng-
(Anderson and Harrison, 2010; Dewsbury, 2012; land.9 In other words, we have been complicit in
Lapworth, 2015; McCormack, 2014; Patchett, applying Guattari in the context of fieldwork; the
2008; Roberts, 2012; Romanillos, 2008; Simpson, question we continue to ask ourselves here is: are
2013). Nonetheless, despite this conceptual varie- we missing the point? To some extent, when reading
gation, there seems to be a lingering tendency in Guattari, one is confronted with a dilemma; how to
geography that is dismissive of such theorizing negotiate Guattaris own oscillation between on the
and impracticality, a tendency that conflates and one hand, his composition of ruthlessly strict dia-
confuses an absence of obvious ideological politi- grammatic schema and on the other hand, his lacka-
cal motivation in the likes of NRT with a lack of daisical attitude to the way in which his ideas are
Gerlach and Jellis 135

ripped, torn and transformed. In the following three and recomposition that we think characterizes human
speculations into three prominent Guattarian motifs, geography.
we attempt to think through the methodological sig- There has been no shortage of reflections on the
nificance of Guattari in a manner that refrains from nature and identity of geography particularly
a mode of application, yet which emphasizes their human geography ever since it became institutio-
micropolitical impulse. nalized as a discipline (Livingstone, 1992). No
doubt, we are not the only ones with undergraduate
students (and colleagues) who are perplexed, if not a
II: Speculations little jaded, by reflecting on the status of the disci-
As we outline the three speculative moments in pline or any of its sub-disciplines. This is, in part,
this article, we want to hold on to the idea that a con- because such reflections on disciplinarity tend to
cept is only worth the life one invests it with. Its highlight coherence and unity. Of course, there are
function is less for the purpose of guiding represen- good reasons for this and there are some themes
tation and action than of catalyzing the universe of that may well hold, however loosely, geographical
reference that frames a pragmatic field (Guattari, enquiry together especially in terms of funding
2009a: 192). The expressive resources of Guattaris and recognition as a proper discipline. As Andrew
conceptual terminology, as Andrew Goffey (2012: Barry et al. (2008: 2021) observe, A commitment
xvi) notes, range from the unusual to the untransla- to a discipline is a way of ensuring that certain dis-
table, from the pathological through the mundane, to ciplinary methods and concepts are used rigorously
the avant-garde and the abstract. The emergence of and that undisciplined and undisciplinary objects,
such a vocabulary flags the taking off of the Guat- methods and concepts are ruled out. However, they
tarian jargon machine (2012: xxi). Whilst this are quick to note that it would be a mistake to think
vocabulary can be rather abstruse at times (Gen- that this implies any kind of disciplinary homogene-
osko, 2002), we want to foreground how these terms ity or closure, disciplines are routinely character-
operate as part of a specific, experimental under- ized by internal differences; the existence of a
standing of theory, in which theory acquires great- discipline does not always imply the acceptance of
est contact with the real through its very artifice an agreed set of problems, objects, practices, the-
(Goffey, 2012: xxi). ories or methods, or even of a shared language or
common institutional structures (2008: 2627).
What Guattari offers us as human geographers is a
Existential territories way of rethinking the heterogeneous assemblage
The first notion we want to put through its paces, in of what constitutes the discipline by way of a plur-
such an understanding of theory, is that of existen- ality of existential territories. This offers geogra-
tial territories. Our wager, here, is that existential phers a way of articulating both how the discipline
territories may be a helpful, if impractical, way of is as disunified as we often acknowledge it to be and
apprehending disciplines, and the idea of discipli- foregrounds how we are invested ethically, exis-
narity. Taking as our focus human geography, we tentially and politically with particular projects.
want to consider how the discipline is composed This is not specific to human geography, but we find
around a set of existential refrains or what Guattari it a particularly productive encounter given how
also terms graspings rather than a set of defini- geographers have recently returned to reflect on the
tions or procedures. We read grasping, which is territory (Elden, 2009, 2013).
adopted by Guattari from Whitehead (see Guattari, Existential territories need not be based on ethni-
2012: 270, note 16), as the tentative establishment city, culture or place (Watson, 2012). And the search
of some coherence in chaos (Bains, 2002; Murphie, for an existential Territory doesnt necessarily
2010). Grasping is the process of the coming together involve searching for ones country of birth or a dis-
of the event, which is less a logical outcome and rather tant country of origin (Guattari, 2008: 42); this is not
a temporary arrangement. It is this quality of change the essential relationship between territory, frontier
136 Dialogues in Human Geography 5(2)

and sovereignty (Gottmann, 1973). As to what an (IWC), a quaint name for something altogether more
existential territory actually is, there is no easy way terrifying, we might question how certain research
to say this, with Guattari only giving us an ambiguous agendas, their practicality and their impact, all capi-
starting point. Existential territories, Guattari (2012: tulate to certain logics of innovation. Therefore,
40) remarks, can neither be discernibilized nor dis- whilst human geography could well be understood
cursivized as figures represented on a background as a mutating existential territory, the production of
of co-ordinates of representation. How do we dis- certain desiring trends for turf staking harms the pos-
cern here from Guattaris own discernibilization?! sibility of such a notion of the discipline.
Interrobangs aside, an existential territory is com- Another disruption to a straightforward applica-
posed (and recomposed) by an array of tentative tion of existential territories to thinking disciplinary
graspings, tendencies which themselves have no plo- stomping grounds is that Guattari often works with
table trajectory. By way of illustration, an existential doubling couplets. At first blush, we were drawn
territory is a background hum of experience; a way of to thinking about these couplets as a device to slow
existentially knowing yourself, without recourse to down thought, devices which prevent a too easy
everyday labels, categories and identities. To para- analytical movement. Yet, as we read further, we
phrase Massey (2005), imagining territory and found that this process of doubling and redoubling
space as in process, is to insist on the openness of enables one to pick up speed in the middle (Deleuze
the future. What we find interesting about the notion and Guattari, 2004: 28). As such, the term push
of existential territories is that there is no emphasis on might be thought of in two ways here, seemingly
boundaries. Accordingly, thinking about disciplines helping to push on human geography (one more
in this way encourages us to think about how they are push for more of the same) and to push over (a gen-
organized around a series of refrains or disciplinary tle nudge rather than a shove).10
motifs rather than the kind of policing work Guattari pairs existential territories with incorpor-
that goes into deciding what falls within the purview eal universes; the former are singular, idiosyncratic,
of a particular field. It also restates the question of sensible and finite, the latter are non-dimensioned,
what is geography in a more affirmative, or affective, non-coordinated, trans-sensible and infinite (Pindar
spirit: what moves us as geographers? and Sutton, 2008: 85, note 15). To put this differently,
We make two substantive points here. The first is we might consider how human geography has
that we want to counter the notion of existential ter- escaped its past content and internal constraints: how
ritories to that of egotistical territories. Whilst we all it has renewed itself through the rigorous indisci-
have a particular conceptual territory that we might pline of its effective couplings with processes other
associate with our own research, all too often there than its own (Massumi, 2008: 27). That is to say,
is an anticipatory movement of carving out a partic- existential territories are not given as an in-itself,
ular field of ones own. This takes many forms, the closed in on itself, but instead as a for-itself; precar-
latest of which is claim staking on blogs and twitter. ious and singular, capable of both stratified and
It is not that we wish to rail against the use of social deathly repetitions or of opening up processually
media. Rather, it is the tendency to present a pithy from a praxis that enables it to be made habitable
sound bite, an all-too clear message outlining (Guattari, 2008: 35).
research, which seems to us to have a pre-emptive The second point is that thinking with existential
deadening effect that forecloses the very distribu- territories also allows us to consider fieldwork dif-
tion of research. There is nothing wrong with the ferently. Whilst there is no doubting tendencies
idea of dissemination except perhaps the word towards particular conceptual grounds, there is also
itself but the apparent ease with which a research a kind of pull that marks a commitment or partic-
project is condensed into a blog post or tweet strikes ipation to a particular field or case. Indeed, the
us as having more to do with individual projects than very notion of fieldwork, or the case study for that
a disciplines existential territory. Indeed, if we heed matter, becomes less about identifying a specific
Guattaris critique of integrated world capitalism bounded example but rather more as a series of
Gerlach and Jellis 137

graspings. As Lauren Berlant (2007) has already Instead, Guattari argued that, the more complex the
argued, the case reveals itself not as a form but as models become, the less risk they run of using sys-
an event that takes shapes; fieldwork is an event that tems of reference that crush the sensibility to what
we only ever grasp at. Fieldwork raises questions happens (Guattari and Rolnik, 2008: 312). By
around a range of topics, but one that rarely features thinking in terms of metamodelisation, the idea of
in discussions is one of existence. How do concepts, modelisation becomes untethered from both its
materials, participants and questions co-produce an representational foundation and its mimetic repro-
existential territory one which is always recom- duction (Genosko and Murphie, 2008: np).
posing itself? By way of a response, we explore two The invocation of the prefix meta- is unfortu-
further Guattarian notions, metamodelisation and nate, as it could initially seem to be a model of all
cartography, signal motifs for rethinking the way models or instead of other models. Instead, follow-
in which human geographers engage with concepts. ing Brian Massumi (2011), we consider meta- in
another etymological sense: among rather than
after. In fact, Guattari says as much, models will
Metamodelisation only be considered as one among others (1996b:
Throughout much of Guattaris work, and in particu- 197). Metamodelisation is a way of constructing
lar in his last book, Chaosmosis (Guattari, 1995), he models from within all other models; it is an imma-
develops the neologism of metamodelisation.11 nent modelisation. Guattari is very pragmatic: no
This term can be seen as an integral part of his work model is right but you cannot step out of all model-
on schizoanalysis, a reaction to, and frustration with ling either. Metamodelisation draws on other mod-
what he saw as the shortcomings of much psychoana- els, and therefore retains the prefix meta-, but this,
lysis. It is integral because Guattari was particularly to reiterate, is a meta- from the middle rather than
critical of the use of models in psychoanalytic treat- from above. It draws on aspects and components
ment. He craved the freedom of construction of new of models that are useful and discards those that are
types of models relating to the analysis of the uncon- not needed.12 This borrowing of parts of models is
scious (Guattari and Rolnik, 2008: 299) rather than experimental, bringing together different compo-
the proposition of a global alternative to existing nents for particular situations. Metamodelisation is
methods of analysing the unconscious (Guattari, productive of a new kind of reality; it functions;
1996a: 122). Although much could be said about the forces things together (Genosko and Murphie,
unconscious, or psychoanalysis more broadly, what 2008: np).
we want to acknowledge here is that the imposition The suggestion here, then, is that the term could
of standard models, or orthodox methods, can be help foster a productive dialogue between those
oppressive. We draw on Guattari, therefore, to focus engaged in the process of modelling and those prac-
attention on the ongoing creation and construction of tising a putatively more critical human geography
novel models, which we think could be extended to because it highlights how a range of different kind
think about geographical techniques more generally. of geographers are trying to articulate alternative
Indeed, foregrounding the notion of metamodelisa- processes when they exist (Guattari and Rolnik,
tion complicates the ways in which we understand, 2008: 132). Whilst there have been few pivotal texts
develop and practise geographical techniques. on modelling (Chorley and Haggett, 1967; Macmil-
Guattari understood the term model in several lan, 1989; Peet and Thrift, 1989), a number of recent
ways (see Watson, 2008) but they all share the idea articles suggest that there may be a renewal of
of a model as a repeated pattern. What distinguishes interest in the practice (Clifford, 2008; Lane, 2011;
metamodelisation from modelisation is the way that Lane et al., 2011; OSullivan, 2004). Perhaps one
it develops possible openings onto the virtual and of the most interesting developments here has been
onto creative processuality (Guattari, 1995: 31). the suggestion that models are useful when they
Elsewhere, this is figured as a resistance to modeli- unsettle rather represent, when they open up new
sations which simplify the complex (1995: 61). possibilities for investigation and interpretation
138 Dialogues in Human Geography 5(2)

(Lane, 2011: 231). Put differently, it is when models and later came to describe these not just as schizoa-
do not add up that they can bring about new ways of nalysis, or metamodelisation, but as an ethico-
thinking and researching. aesthetics. For him, treatment is not a work of art,
This treatment of models as both disruptive yet it must proceed from the same sort of creativity
and generative is taken up in Lanes participation (Guattari, 2009b: 192). Moreover, Guattari cham-
in a recent project, which was committed to doing pions aesthetic practises in Chaosmosis, explaining
flood risk science differently (Lane et al., 2011). that although art does not have a monopoly on cre-
The project attempted to counter the predominance ation, it engenders unprecedented, unforeseen and
of certain sorts of hydrological models and, in unthinkable qualities of being (1995: 106). This,
particular, the notion that these models are universal then, is art understood in a very broad sense (as a
technologies, where the model does not change, way or style of life, a care for the self) and not in the
only the initial conditions. By cultivating different narrow sense of a specialized, segmented, impover-
means of practising science, a model was co- ished domain in contemporary capitalist society (the
produced by the academics and the local residents art market). Similarly for human geography, we
who participated in the project. Those involved had might think of the ethico-aesthetics of technique.
initially expected to reuse an existing hydrological A technique, like a model, should only be used once,
model to foreground upstream processes but the because to reuse it would be transform it into a gen-
failure of these earlier modelling efforts meant that eral theoretical (or methodological) schematic. Just
the project became concerned with developing a as relentless reworking of models helped Guattari
new model. Lane et al. argue that it was not simply ensure that metamodelisation never became a gen-
a case of translating local knowledge into a series of eral model (OSullivan, 2010), so too we might
concepts and assumptions to inform model develop- rework technique so that it never became a method.
ment (2011: 28) but an attempt to challenge the The danger with the metamodel, we might note, is
ways in which models are constructed. Crucially, that is about starting over again. The metamodel is
the (co-produced) model was formulated specifi- impractical in that it is always operating at the edge,
cally for the place in question. Rather than have a avant-garde in style and resolutely anti-conservative.
ready-made model that is made to work everywhere, If the model always has to be made anew, how are
their project suggests that models be developed for certain aspects conserved? What arises is a certain
particular sites. Lane et al.s work is useful for tension between the need to hold on to something
thinking modelling in geography, in part as it of a model (something that works) and the desire for
bridges physical and human concerns. However, newness (something that is specific). And, of course,
we can return to Guattari to further emphasize and Guattaris claims that there is no pre-given model
extend this commitment to specificity. This is less that it must always be reconstructed are vaguely
a preoccupation with continuing debates around the heroic in their incessant demand for newness.13
ideographic and nomothetic (Sayer, 2000), but Whilst this chimes with the mantra of speed up!, a
rather an argument that human geographers practise gentle counterpoint may be to consider how geogra-
an ethos of modelling when developing their meth- phers might recycle (if perhaps not cherish) and rein-
ods or, put differently, that they metamodel their vent that which has endured.
techniques. Guattaris mania with models and modelisation
How might metamodelisation function in prac- is important as it invites geographers to reflect fur-
tice, though? And how might we hone practices of ther on constructions. This is something that human
metamodelisation? We can follow Guattari when geographers are readily familiar with think of the
he explains that his perspective involves shifting importance of class, gender, economy or representa-
the human and social sciences from scientific tion, to list just a few examples. We want to use
paradigms towards ethico-aesthetic paradigms Guattari as a platform for extending current thinking
(Guattari, 1995). Guattaris ideas emerged from his about the construction of method, in particular, and
encounters with an experimental therapeutic space how specific techniques might be developed for
Gerlach and Jellis 139

particular sites or situations.14 The conundrum to view the world from above, or with which to
posed by Guattari is that approaches need to be determine a narrowed, clinical gaze. In other words,
adapted to each singular situation there is no it is to mess with the facile practicality of cartogra-
one-size-fits-all method and yet we need not phy; to refrain from using cartography as an analy-
necessarily start from scratch. The emphasis, then, tical superimposition upon matters of concern,
is not on how we abandon methods that have served shifting instead towards mapping with Guattari as
us well over the years but rather on how we revita- a mode of opening-up the virtual, of using cartogra-
lize and respecify these very methods through the phy to produce conceptual and empirical disorienta-
techniques that we develop. This is in keeping with tions. As Guattari (1995: 28) himself suggests, the
the ethos of many NRTs (see Thrift, 2004) that primary purpose . . . of cartography is thus not to
understand the world as incomplete and inconsis- signify and communicate, but to produce assem-
tent, necessitating an approach that is animated by blages of enunciation. Immediately, this appeal to
a spirit of affirmative experimentation. We think our an assemblage of enunciation necessarily recog-
contribution can be read in this same sense: it offers a nizes the plurivocal potential of cartography, and
way of thinking how to combat the methodological indeed the multiple lines of flight, desire and politics
conservatism that permeates undergraduate and that constitute cartographic thinking and practice.
postgraduate methods courses without disavowing Yet let us not pretend any conceptual novelty is
these methods. Guattari encourages us to reflect on afoot; reflecting upon the well-known dubious
the transition from method to technique and fore- imperial and belligerent heritage of cartography,
grounds the import of specificity. Guattari is not saying anything geographers have
not said before critical cartography is a long estab-
lished and vibrant school of enquiry (see, inter alia,
Cartography Crampton, 2010; Crampton and Krygier, 2006; Har-
Cartography, or map-making, as the royal science of ley, 1989; Harris and Harrower, 2006; Wood, 1992,
empire par excellence, might on first appearances 2010); and a more troubling, even nefarious, carto-
seem antithetical to the experimental energies of a graphic reason has been disrupted at painstaking
Guattarian conceptual ethos. What place for this length (see Olsson, 2007). That, to purloin a Latour-
technology of capture in the excesses, flows and ian turn of phrase, cartography has never been
transgressions of geographical research? Again, representational, that it has always been caught up
there resounds a sheer impracticality in the imposi- in some form of geopolitical enunciation are well-
tion of a Euclidean geometry upon the pressing con- rehearsed tenets of a critical approach to cartography,
cerns of contemporary social and political life. As a and Guattari joins those geographers highlighting an
geographer, the temptation is to use Guattaris car- ongoing problem with the wider understanding of
tography as an orienteering device for fieldwork cartography as a straightforward ontological signifier
or for conducting research more generally, thus it or an epistemological guarantor (see Boria, 2013;
can be used dangerously to cleave apart subject Caquard, 2015; Gerlach, 2014; Kitchin and Dodge,
from object. Worse still, as we mentioned earlier, 2007; Kitchin et al., 2013). Beyond the narrower con-
cartography can be simmered down to mere meta- fines of strictly cartographic practice, geographers
phor, despite the fact that Guattari alongside have also been busy in conjuring the conceptual and
Deleuze had previously disavowed the notion of empirical tools with which to approach broader mat-
metaphor in their reading of Kafka, preferring ters of critical Geographic Information System (GIS),
instead the processual tenor of term metamorpho- the geoweb and geovisualisation all through a sus-
sis (Deleuze and Guattari, 1986). How, then, might tained engagement with social theory (see, e.g.
we harness a Guattarian cartography that holds back Leszczynski and Wilson, 2013; Wilson and Graham,
from metaphor? One such technique would be to 201315). Guattari might, therefore, come to the assis-
disrupt the epistemological vector of cartography, tance of geographers interested in unpicking both the
to unsettle its vertical accord as a science with which metaphysical properties of maps and geographical
140 Dialogues in Human Geography 5(2)

visualisations more widely whilst also contributing to negate the semiotic moment of signification; the
the unsettled political debate that rages therein. Spe- need to matter, the need to project signs of meaning,
cifically, Guattari can take further those geographies the need for relevance or the insistence on an auto-
that assert cartographys autonomy from its supposed propositional logic of my research does this. In
ontological guarantees of accuracy, precision and other words, human geographical research with
distance, thereby undoing its semiotic efficiency, its Guattari begins with something of a rejection;
heretic labour of pulling apart reality from represen- rejecting all these modes of pre-established encod-
tation. Admittedly, it is not immediately obvious as to ing, all these modes of manipulation and remote
how Guattaris thought translates in this scenario; the control, rejecting them in order to construct modes
situation is not helped insofar as, despite his predilec- of sensibility, modes of relation with the other,
tion for maps and mappings, Guattari never thought modes of production, modes of creativity (Guattari
to think through his version of cartography alongside and Rolnik, 2008: 24, emphasis added). One might
cartography! Likewise, in his assessment of a bur- (and perhaps should) read this moment of negation
geoning IWC in The Three Ecologies, Guattari did as a blunt resistance towards and/or a dismissal of
not anticipate the growing, global interest in drawing certain methodological tropes in the social sciences
maps; a recent explosion in participatory cartogra- those pre-established encodings of subjects,
phies (Thrift, 2012), analogue and digital that are objects, fields, ethics and positionality; encodings
opening up novel forms of political articulation, that are simultaneously, dare we say, dialectically,
whether they be open-source platforms for hobbyist generated by and generative of insipid market inten-
pastimes as in the case of the wiki-based OpenStreet- sities in higher education. With Guattari, a mere
Map or the agitprop in the form of the Atlas of Rad- rejection on its own terms is, of course, never
ical Cartography (Bhagat and Mogel, 2008). The enough. So what else; what of these other modes
point here is not to make the claim that a Guattarian of production and creativity? In response, a move
sense of cartography democratizes or liberalizes the is needed away from the aforementioned semiotics
concept or the practice of mapping; such a claim of research, and instead a concomitant push to the
would be to fall into the trap of a suspect liberal over- process of semiotisation is required. Semiotisation
coding. Nor is the point here to make sense of maps, is, what happens with perception, with movement
something geographers continue to pursue, despite in space, with singing, dancing, mimicry, caressing,
its futility when what matters, as Guattari would contact, everything that concerns the body
suggest, is cartographys asignifying properties. (Guattari, 2009a: 279). Semiotisation here is clearly
No, the point here is to pivot on the minor register a shift from the static heuristic of a cartographic
of cartography, on its non-representational geopoli- semiotics of sign and signifier to a processual ani-
tics as a way of sustaining an ethos, not least in geo- mation of lines of flight and lines of enquiry, a form
graphical fieldwork, that emphasizes speculation of opening up the research and its attendant pro-
over certitude, disorientation over orientation; a spec- cesses so that matters of concern of all kinds . . .
ulative form of research that makes no pretence of connect and conjoin very different practices rele-
providing a universal structural foundation (Guattari, vant, for example, to the arts, sciences, social strug-
1996c: 98). gles, etc (Guattari, 2011: 171). The motivation of
What Guattaris cartography could contribute to human geographical research (or human geogra-
more substantive terms lies less in cartography itself phys desiring) then becomes less a semiotic prac-
as it does more towards the design and processes of tice of staking signs and signifiers in the service of
geographical research writ large through a novel impact, and instead becomes a process of semiotisa-
focus, or rather a schizoanalytic take, on semiotics16 tion, an art of emitting the interruptive signs, trig-
and politics, but again recognizing that Guattaris gering the cues that attune bodies while activating
thinking here is intended to add to, not to usurp geo- their capacities differentially (Massumi, 2009: 6).
graphical scholarship on such matters. First off, This is about human geographical research working
human geographical research with Guattari, might at both a micropolitical register of affect and a more
Gerlach and Jellis 141

avowedly macropolitical register of institution, pol- Strangely enough, even when cartography is
icy and representation to disrupt the staid accord of deployed as a conceptual metaphor, authors often
contemporary social sciences, inventing instead ignore or negate the product of cartography, specif-
techniques that disorientate. It is about creating ically, that of the map; cartography in this case is
research that itself can create a set of vectors just pure heuristic. Yet whilst we do not pretend that
whereby the virtual and actual come to meet maps are stable artefacts in of themselves, they are
(Holmes, 2009: 73), and whereby what is generated nonetheless continually emergent in the practice of
does not matter in a cliched political framework. cartography. Maps and cartographies, or maps and
Indeed the modes of expression and creativity mappings, are immanent to one another, much like
engendered by human geographical research need empiricism and conceptualisation. As such we could
not attain some degree of infamy to be felt or sensed, conceive of geographic research, like maps, as
instead what we can accentuate is an inhabitation of something akin to Guattaris aesthetic machines,
the mundane and ineffably prosaic. How to put this or to figure research as a machinic process, not in its
plainly? When embarking on a research project, automotive, industrial sense but in its incessantly
start not with the institutional tyranny of what rele- productive momentum.17 This is to think research
vance, what impact, what goal your queries might an anticipatory machine, always on the cusp of the
yield. Instead, begin in the middle by not knowing; actual and virtual; a strange contraption, as Guat-
by allowing Guattaris schizo-energies and anti- tari (1995: 92) muses a machine of virtuality made
intuitive cartography to disorientate enquiry, disrupt up of blocks of mutant percepts and affect, half-
questions and muddle the field. object, half-subject, already there in sensation and
Circling back to all things mapping, and divorced outside themselves in fields of the possible. If this
from its representational certitude, cartography finds sounds all too tentative, then so be it; a Guattarian
greater critical purchase in the context of research; cartography is less a framework as it is an approach
geometric practicality is replaced by affective, virtual or ethos, a way of deranging the subject/object
impracticality or as Guattari (2009a: 46) puts it, by, a accord of much of social scientific research, instead
cartography of affects, on the level of daily relation- accentuating the role of bodies in the folds of expe-
ships. This goes to further disrupt the classically ter- rience. This also calls into question the themes of
ritorial logic of the field in fieldwork; the field participation and to be participant in geographic
diagrammed as the suspiciously bounded space of research. Participation is often taken as a byword for
matter and events. Instead we are encouraging the inclusiveness in research, and it assumes that parti-
field itself to be disruptive. Part of this disruption cipants can be cartographically prefigured, but as
goes back to one of Guattaris central motifs in Schi- Massumi (2002: 231) remarks participation pre-
zoanalytic Cartographies (Guattari, 2012), namely, cedes recognition. A Guattarian cartography recog-
the chaotic passage from speaking of subjected nizes how participation is as much about enrolment
groups to speaking of subject groups capable of into the affective as it might be into a representa-
their own articulation. Cartography, when taken tional rhetoric of the democratic, or as Woodward
metaphorically, or enforced practically in research, et al. (2010: 273) suggest, bodies do not merely find
creates a subjected field, and therefore a subjected themselves in positions of relative or interlocking
and arguably stilted fieldwork. Through Guattari, distribution, but participate in the production of the
and therefore harnessing affect in particular, geo- fields of force through which they aggregate. To
graphical research can be less encumbered by the be sure, there are some fantastic examples of attun-
excavation of data as it might be concerned with ing to affective modes of participation and keeping
constructing those modes of sensibility suggested company with Guattari in geographical scholar-
in the process of semiotisation. In sum, cartogra- ship, notably in the multiverse works of Derek
phy does not have to be equated with a technocratic McCormack (McCormack, 2013) in which the
form of geographical research, or more specifi- choreographic and the cartographic collide, or singu-
cally, geographical fieldwork. larize, to proffer refrains for speculating, researching
142 Dialogues in Human Geography 5(2)

and micropolitical space times. As the nod to McCor- we are, however, suggesting here an abandonment
macks work suggests, Guattaris appeal is largely of the ethic and method of application. This
confined to cultural geography and to those geogra- would entail altering the kinetics of geographical
phers working in a non-representational register. Yet research altogether; harnessing a Guattarian ethos
as McCormacks work attests to, the transversal that eschews a ponderous dwelling on the efficacy,
nature of Guattaris thinking and practice that it cuts viability or projected output of an idea, and which
across different concerns and different ecologies instead demands an acceleration in theorizing and
must surely be of utility to a broader spectrum of conceptualization.
human geographers. Guattaris theoretical edifice is at once tantaliz-
In brief conclusion to this speculation, we might ing and impenetrable. His concepts, charming,
assert that Guattaris cartography lends not the prac- heroic, curiously scientific; his writing, dense,
ticality of stabilization, resolution and render but pacey and crazed; and his love of diagrams . . . all
constantly provides the impractical conditions of serve to make Guattaris work impractical in a very
apprehension; the uncertainty of the field, the provi- immediate sense. If his words and ideas do not pass
sional natures of participation and the affective the threshold of practicality or practicability, then
coordinates of writing. Or, to borrow from JD this is precisely to underline what Ian Buchanan
Dewsbury (2014: 151) we ask for cartography to (2013) identifies as the deliberate guarding by Guat-
be made apprehensive, not to be certain, to be tari against the reductive tendencies of the practi-
apprehended, to arrest, to be arrested, to be caught cally-minded. It is also to dismiss the snobbery
dumbfounded in the flow . . . of something else. that exists around the supposed gap between style
and substance. Style has substance; it is in itself sub-
stantial. Substance too, is stylistic, not least because
III: Impracticality as Goffey (2012) remarks, the plane of expression
Throughout these speculative moments, we have and content is inseparable from a characteristic
raised a number of questions surrounding the polit- pragmatics of style. Likewise, if as Guattari intones,
ical and ethical urgency of what it means to engage style is a central component of enunciation, we
with an impractical philosophy. As we noted in the implore those engaged in geographical research to
introduction, to privilege the impractical is perhaps experiment and play havoc with style. Geography,
a dangerous move, but in the same manner in the craft of earth writing, has never been a singular
which, for example, deterritorialization and re- one, or a stable articulation of planetary affairs.
territorialization run immanent to one another, so Avoid, then, the phantasmic trap (Guattari, 1995)
too does the impractical with the practical. Recal- laid by those that would have you believe that style
ling Oscar Wilde (2001 [1891]) on what counts over substance is a triumph of the superficial over
as a practical scheme, we might regard the practical the profound. Sometimes the self-declared profound
to be that which can be undertaken in the present gets lost in the mire of liberal earnestness and the
conditions; or rather, the practical as the condition- superficial, sadly, is ignored despite its lively detail.
ing of possibilities. A preoccupation with the prac- Acknowledging the title we have borrowed, and
tical, we contend, is a limit to the vibrant potential tweaked, from his erstwhile collaborator, we might
of geographical research. We are no doubt not the riff off the idea that although Guattari is difficult
only geographers to be chided by colleagues with and some people will not get on with his thought
self-assumedly more practical credentials for being it is not a question of follow[ing] every proposition,
too theoretical or too abstract, and thus ren- mak[ing] every connection the intuitive or affec-
dered impractical geographers. Yet the impracti- tive reading may be more practical anyway (Hur-
cal, conversely, not only disrupts the ease at ley, 1988: iii). What we are suggesting, then,
which concepts are applied but also operates in and chimes with Robert Hurleys invitation to read
through the register of the virtual. In short, we are Deleuze: to read with a different attitude. Reading
not equating the impractical with the impossible; Guattari may not be anything like reading poetry but
Gerlach and Jellis 143

neither does it need to be about extracting and bind into cartographic logics; the confessional of the
applying a practical idea. Instead, as we have been penitent researcher in which they prefigure their
trying to perform in this piece, there is scope to read relation to fieldwork and events. It helps rethink the
Guattari in a way that seeks to amplify the reso- logic of participation; not enrolment through spur-
nances between different domains of thought. The ious democratic enumeration but through a specula-
impracticality, such as it is, resides in making these tive, processual series of attachmentdetachments,
relays, these transversal movements; it inhabits the the very matter of geography.
very difficulty in flashes of understanding. These three speculative moments all stem from
By way of a brief summary; three motifs, and an untethering of Guattaris ideas from a particular
three provisional transversal movements. First, context whether that be institutional psychoanaly-
we turned to existential territories as way of appre- sis, militant politics or philosophizing to reflect on
hending the thinking spaces of disciplines. What the impracticality of theory in human geography.
makes a discipline, such as geography, cohere are its That is to say: the stop, the start, the confusion, the
refrains, its graspings. Of course, these may well be flash, and the shards; the movement from theory to
multiple but it also helps to think about the mutating the empirical and back again.
conceptual and practical agendas that constitute a
field of work. Existential territories also offer pur- Acknowledgements
chase on how we imagine engagements with the We would like to thank Lily Kong and two anonymous
empirical, and most pertinently, encounters that reviewers for their constructive, detailed and patient com-
make up fieldwork. As per our earlier comment on ments. We are also very grateful to the School of Geogra-
style, this requires a moment of abandonment. For phical Sciences at the University of Bristol and, in
example, in undertaking fieldwork, excise those particular, to Merle Patchett, JD Dewsbury, Nina Wil-
identitarian codes and categories which so viciously liams, Andrew Lapworth and Tom Roberts. And to Derek
inhibit the questions that can (or cannot) be posed. McCormack, thank you for leaving the page intentionally
We do not offer a substitute here, as the deliberate blank.
negation of identity is itself the affirmative step.
Second, we attended to metamodelisation as a way Notes
of navigating the tortuous passage between method 1. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the
and technique. Without abandoning the generative successor to the United Kingdoms Research Assess-
constraints of orthodox methods, we harness Guat- ment Exercise (RAE).
taris musings regarding the ongoing construction 2. In many ways, this relates to recent work on acceler-
of models to reflect on the fabrication of relation- ationism (see Mackay and Avanessian, 2014) but
specific techniques. We do not offer any particular here we want to accentuate the impractical as much
examples out of fear of lapsing into a practical as the speeding up of thought.
utility but suggest that novelty, for the sake of 3. We would like to thank the anonymous reviewer who
itself, is not necessarily the end goal. It is, instead, commented on the importance of thinking in threes
of iterating, of experimenting, with geographical for this article. The predilection here for a three-
technique. Third, we speculated on the potential of fold refrain and structure pivots on Guattaris own
cartographys impracticality; tracing away from its speculation of a triumvirate of ecologies (Guattari,
representational certitude, harnessing instead its 2008) but we recognize that there are as many twos,
ability to chart the virtual. This figures maps and fours, ns and n1s as there are threes.
mapping as anticipatory machines or abstractions 4. This is not to play down the importance of other terms
of anticipation that both complicate the matter of the that make up Guattaris thoroughly geographical
field and likewise give cause to rethink classic vocabulary, which might include deterritorialization,
axioms such as positionality and participation. In re-territorialization, universes, diagrams, mappings,
short, this is to decouple once interesting ideas from tracings, lines, points, figures, folds, chaosmos, earth,
feminist geographies away from their deadening geo-philosophy and so on. However, we attend to just
144 Dialogues in Human Geography 5(2)

three in this text as we think it is these which speak 11. This has often been translated as metamodelling but,
most closely to non-representational theories cur- as will hopefully become clear, we choose to use
rently espoused in human geography. his neologism of metamodelisation without transla-
5. At the same time, more of Guattaris back catalogue tion to emphasize the link between modelisation
is being translated into English (Guattari, 2006, and metamodelisation, and to embrace Guattaris
2009a, 2009b, 2011, 2012; Guattari and Rolnik, thought rather than try to map it onto another set of
2008). terms, such as metamodelling, or even remodelling
6. Francois Dosses (2010) biographical account of Guat- (cf. Watson, 2008).
tari and Deleuzes collaborations poignantly illustrates 12. This is to paraphrase Guattari, who didnt believe
the many more Guattaris there were in a seemingly that there are any general models that can be applied.
Sartrean existential understanding of identity, running Either a model is useful for something . . . or else it
transversally from psychoanalyst, to comrade, from must be set aside (Guattari and Rolnik, 2008: 185)
frantic womaniser to a catatonic depressive. 13. We do not contend, though, that Guattari made a fet-
7. Whilst we are drawn to arguments which have made a ish of the new, nor that he was a victim of fashion;
case for how Guattaris work informed Deleuzes he certainly was no dupe of the consumer society as
(see, for instance, Alliez, 2011a, 2011b; Dosse, noted by one of the reviewers.
2010), we prefer to follow Nadauds (2006: 13) sug- 14. This is not to ignore, as very helpfully noted by one of
gestion that they were co-extensive in an immanent the anonymous reviewers, the broad influence of con-
process of production through assemblage. More- structivism of all varieties on the past several
over, this chimes with Deleuze and Guattaris own decades of theory and development in methodology.
reflections that it is no longer of any importance 15. See related special issues on the geoweb and neo-
whether one says I (2004: 3). graphy at GeoJournal (volume 78) and Environment
8. This sense of theoretical branding has been heigh- and Planning A (volume 45), respectively.
tened by sporadic debates in geography over whether 16. In the case of semiotics and cartography, again, geo-
non-representational theory (NRT) (with or without graphy has taken a keen interest. See Wood and Fels
the hyphen) should indeed be labelled NRT or (1986) as a good example of such interest.
more-than-representational theory (Lorimer, 2005) 17. This resonates with Deleuze and Guattaris (2004)
or even anti-representational theory (Jones, 2008). animation of the relationship between orchid and
Here we insist on the non, taking our lead from wasp which demonstrates that the former is not imita-
Anderson and Harrisons (2010) crucial work in tying tive of the latter but that the two produce a new real-
together multiple strands of non-representational ity; the orchid-wasp. Research, similarly, is not the
thinking. tracing of a present situation but the production of a
9. The experientialexperimental milieu for the attempts new map.
to rethink and reclaim hitchhiking as a fieldwork
technology work its way from the SenseLabs Society References
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