neglect the material effects of specific borders, such as the fence separating the U.S. and Mexico: ‘I am not critical of the philosophical formulations of such postmodern theorists ... I am saying that the level of abstraction that seems to be the nature of such formulations sometimes distances the reader from the lived reality ... of the U.S.-Mexican border. As we negotiate the intellectual twists and turns of On the Border with Deleuze and Guattari 237 such musings it is easy to forget the border on which millions of people live and the border that is traverse d daily – both legally and illegally – by thousands of women and men’ (Tatum, 2000, pp. 96-97). A premise of this paper is that border researchers should address these sorts of divisions with theories that are both open to new ways of thinking about socio- spatial demarcations and sufficiently capable of addressing the violence of everyday life on the border . As Neil Smith and Cindi Katz note regarding spatial concepts more generally: ‘if a new spatialized politics is to be both coherent and effective, it will be necessary to comprehend the interconnectedness of material and metaphoric [i.e., ideational] space’ (1993, p. 68). Our discussion of Deleuze and Guattari’s border theory goes directly to the mediations called for by Smith and Katz. We begin by discussing Deleuze and Guattari’s dismissal of metaphor – the conveyor belt par excellence of representation – placing it in relation to their productive materialism of ‘becoming’. We then theorize the becoming-border through their concept of (de)territorialization. A brief empirical discussion concludes the main body of the paper. In it we describe the deterritorializing activism of La Resistencia, an anti-border group with offices throughout the U.S. southwest. In striated space people decide the location, the endpoint, over our journey. They commit to a set path, for us to travel and think under thereby striating knowledge. In smooth space it is a space of freedom. It is a space where you are free to think and move through space as you please to do so. A space with unrestricted movement where you chose your own path with no fixed goal and no foreseeable end. Striation is epistemological brainwashing that society commits us to. Striation tells us to follow and think through one fixed path with no outside thought or questioning of what we should do.
Thus we advocate the reducing restrictions on immigration by affirming nomadic thought and fighting against the internalized striation projected onto us by borders. We advocate for becoming the nomadic assemblage. We must reject the state’s static boundaries by thinking fluidly, intermezzo in order to deconstruct striated space. We must follow our own paths with no fixed goals and with no foreseeable end. Nomads disrupt striation by existing outside of the state and striation. They chose their own path and live their lives intermezzo.
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- Winter '16
- Jeff Hannan
- The Metamorphosis, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari