Final Thoughts on Deleuze

Heather Strycharz

Before this class, I hadn’t read much philosophy. I had only read the same media theory excerpts by Adorno, Benjamin and McLuhan a couple of times. I figured it was about time that I read some philosophy and decided to just jump right in and take this course. It has been an interesting experience reading (and re-reading) Deleuze’s writings. After a semester’s worth of concepts (becoming, assemblages, territories, difference and repetition just to name a few) and images of wasps, rhizomes, nomads, quilts and bodies without organs spinning around my head, I am looking forward to stepping back for a bit. But I think Deleuze’s work (and perhaps philosophy in general) best sets in if practiced regularly. I have come away with a new vocabulary with definitions that seem to change and deepen every time I revisit them.

Deleuze’s writings have made me look again at familiar ideas, placing them on slides and examining them with a microscope. Applying the concepts of “smooth” and “striated” to web design and the Internet have made me think of the tools I use on a daily basis in a completely different way. For me, Deleuze’s ideas breathed new life into the task of building websites through code. Looking at code through the lens of Deleuze I became fascinated with the ways code can be edited, its malleability, and how it can instantly create change. All aspects of code I had taken for granted. I have to admit, I hadn’t felt this excited about code since I taught myself HTML when I was 13. I thought this class would continue my current focus on film-making, but instead it has lead me back to my first love – design. It has been interesting to discover that my love for design hadn’t died, I just needed to look at it in a new way. There are still many other ways that Deleuze’s writings can apply to the internet and web design and I intend to continue my examinations through the Deleuzian lens.

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