Posts Tagged ‘book’
In A Thousand Plateaus Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari theorize a new way of conceptualizing narrative. What has been obfuscated by a psychoanalytic and aesthetic ideal of coherent and authoritative systems of representation is the fact that “the book is a multiplicity”, a thing with no fixed beginning or end that exists within the non-structural patterns of a “rhizome”. A rhizomatic book, instead of following a reproductive structure of branching points, is written/played by the reader according to her own spontaneous initiative to ‘map’ one signifying element onto another.
To what extent and how effectively does entrusting to the reader the task of ‘mapping’ the narrative, and thereby abandoning the framework of traditional authorship, increase our capacity and desire to, in Deleuze’s words, “experiment with different ways by which one can get a grip on reality”? If linear narrative has restricted the practice of meaning making to the task of producing representations, then we must turn towards an interactive strategy to reverse this top-down process by which images/words signify.
Deleuze’s and Guattari’s theorization of the book-rhizome is a call for action on the part of practitioners – as they themselves admit, “we have not been able to do it”. The layers of hypertext that are the Internet have introduced us to the rhizome model of connectivity. I propose to articulate a possible response to this challenge in the context of storytelling media and examine the properties of the recombinant narrative space defined by A Thousand Plateaus as they apply to the database of an interactive documentary.