The Smooth and The Striated

Deleuze Studies Vol. 6.1 (2012)

A Thousand Plateaus’ ‘1440: The Smooth and the Striated’ introduces smoothness and striation as a conceptual pair to rethink space as a complex mixture between nomadic forces and sedentary captures. Among the models Deleuze and Guattari describe for explicating where we encounter smooth and striated spaces, the maritime model presents the special problem of the sea. The sea is a smooth space par excellence: open water always moved by the wind, the sun and the stars, nomadically traversable by noise, colour and celestial bearings. Increased navigation of the open water resulted in demands for its striation. Although Deleuze and Guattari note that this took hold progressively, the year 1440, when Portuguese discoverers introduced the first nautical charts, marked a turning point in the striation of the sea. Maps with meridians, parallels, longitudes, latitudes and territories gridded the oceans, making distances calculable and measurable. It meant the beginning of the great explorations –and of the transatlantic slave trade and the expansion of the European State apparatus. The smooth and the striated concern the political and politics. The authors in this volume think with art to shed new and interdisciplinary light upon the concepts of smoothness and striation, and, conversely, upon the way the smooth and the striated can give important insights into artistic practices. Contributions by Eric Alliez, Jay Hetrick, Colin Gardner, Tod Satter, Guy Keulemans, Charlotte Knox-Williams, Asli Özgen Tuncer, Zach Horton and Jean Hillier.

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