No Poiesis Without Autopoeisis

I have been frequenting two blogs for some time now, Larval Subjects and All Things Shining, and the question arises for me of the relation between them, between their respective philosophical understandings. The relation is clear in terms of my overall project of « pluralism in a world of becoming »: both blogs are pluralist; they decenter the subject, its sovereignty and its agency; they give great importance to affects or moods; they reject the domination technological rationality; they situate themselves firmly after the death of God; they seek to go beyond any nihilism that this may be thought to entail. The points of convergence are many and varied.

ATS is quite Heideggerian in orientation and talks in terms of physis, poiesis, technology, and meta-poiesis. The level of physis involves the whooshing up of moods that are transindividual and that draw people to perceive and to act in certain ways. Poiesis is an affair of skills that allow us to perceive important distinctions in a material and act on it to bring it out at its best.

LS is quite Deleuzian and talks in terms of affects, assemblages, and autopoiesis. The tone is quite different, being more open to diverse Continental thinkers and to social and political dimensions. The notion of assemblage is used powerfully by Levi Bryant to decenter the notion of human agency and distribute it throughout the superordinate groupings of humans and things that « whoosh up », if you will, perdure and vanish. This is physis in a deleuzian sense; and I have always found the ATS sense too limited, as it seems to be restricted to the upsurge, perdurance, and vanishment of publicly shared moods and their associated perceptions and actions.

There seems to me to be a complementarity between the two blogs that I can bring out in terms of what I think is a hesitation in Deleuze and Guattari over the meaning of the word « affect », which sometimes is closer to physis and sometimes is closer to poiesis. Physis-affect characterises a plateau of affective tonality, a haecceity, that can last a moment or an afternoon, or several years. Poiesis-affect characters the powers of  being affected (of perceiving differences that matter) and of affecting (of provoking and revealing differences). The whole notion of skills and crafts that ATS finds so important signals the necessity of a cultivation of affects, of the discipline of working on our affects to favorise more affirmative, more creative perceptions and actions.

Jackie Chan is the assemblic man because he is the poietic man, having developped his skills, an apprenticeship for which, according to Deleuze, « there is no method but only a long preparation ».

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5 commentaires pour No Poiesis Without Autopoeisis

  1. dmf dit :

    both blogs also are stuck in mythological modes of reifying collective agents/spirits (and some Romantic sense of being properly attuned-to/mirroring Reality) which seems to take away from emphasizing individual cultivation/sublimation of skills/capacities that might serve the public good. I like your emphasis on creating new possibilities, dreaming the dream forward, active imagination tested/manifested in experimental practices, a Gay science perhaps?


  2. dmf dit :

    interesting related conversation, mainly via Lee Braver, happening at:


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