Productive Semiotics of Social Movements

Doing hermeneutics of social movement, one may stay within  classical semiotics and semantic frame work or take up more radical approach that takes movement dimension seriously and understand its impact on process of making meaning.   Foucault’s practices approach may assist us to enter the semiosis of dynamic social movements. All practices are theory laden. Hence, they lay within the semiotic sphere.  To achieve our goal, we have to abandon the shackles of the Cogito that  has enslaved the Western thought.  Cogito introduces subject /object epistemology that is loaded with subjection of the object of knowledge  and degenerate into what Levinas calls as egology.   Lyotard has demonstrated how the saying is afflicted by the seeing / the figural. The image is never only visible but also legible. Here we shall try and radicalize our meaning making by introducing movement into it. Often movement images which are mechanistic can influence our semiosis of meaning. Deleuze demonstrates  it through his  theory of cinema. Hence, we shall study cinema theory of Deleuze  not to find representations or models of social movements but to find leaps of transpositions that will enable us to critically discern the immanent semiosis that is driving social movements.[1]  He teaches that his theory of cinema attempts to depict how the world is and not just cinematic experience.[2] Following Luis Hjelmslev, he takes up semiotics that studies signs and images as independent of language and express non-language material. Time has an arrow. It is moving in a direction and gives us a sense of flow and progress. Movement image give us this sense of movement. Film images[3] are set into a movement that produces a flow of movement images and this movement image becomes the frame that produces the semiosis that draws us into the plot of the cinema. Movement also creates meaning by displacing and disrupting (deterritorialize) the images (actual and the virtual). The actual images lay down their boundaries (reterritorialize) on the amorphous image mass and enable us to draw meaning. We might take an instance of ball on a football ground in a match to understand productive semiosis/ cineosis of the cinematic images. The value of the ball keeps shifting depending on it locations as well as positions of players that handle it during the match. These values/ meanings irrupt from an amorphous mass/plane of possibilities. The value and meaning is a disruptive production.   Critical books of Deleuze and those that he developed with Gauttari open us to the movement and manifests how it affects signification or meaning making. In the first part of our paper we shall study how movement produces meaning from the perspective of film theory of Deleuze. We do this because it enables us to do a semiosis of social movements that are marked also by the dynamism of movement though of a different kind. We do not see film theory as a means of representations but one that leaps forward to transpositions in the shape of social movements.

Film theory of Deleuze

Cinema provokes us to see, to feel, to sense and think differently. Film theory has been captive to  representational thinking.  Deleuze has taken cinema as one of the domains to deconstruct the power of representational categories over thinking.  The rejection of representational thinking opens us to the out pouring of immanent thinking.  Cinema becomes what may be described as a medium wherein a character does not act without seeing himself acting. This means images do not stand for another world at another time outside but becomes a wholesome transformative experience for audiences that become one with the sonic, visual, and narrative images on the screen.

Movement image: the Dance of the Actual and the Virtual

Deleuze draws from Henry Bergson the idea that all images are situated in a plane of immanence where past, present and the future co-exists. These images do not stand for some other worldliness but are constantly shaping us and our world. That is, these images do not represent any transcendental world. Deleuze uses his distinction between the virtual and the actual to think images. Both actual and virtual are real and are not opposed to each other. But only the actual find their way into the physical present. Bergson also teaches that the real object reflects in the mirror image its virtual image which from its side simultaneously reflects the real. It is as if the image in the mirror  came to life, acquire independence and became actual. We may also say that in a photo the actual image has returned to the mirror and took its place in the photo.  We can discern here a double movement of liberation and capture.[4] Deleuze teaches that the actual is defined by the present that passes and the virtual is defined by past that is preserved and a constant process of crystallization is taking place between the two.[5]  Deleuze holds both actual and virtual images are contained in the plane of immanence. He says that it contains along with the filmic images all images relating to ‘a life’.   This imaging does not occur along the lines of subject and object  dualism(cogito) but on the lines of an assemblage ( non-dual, non-unitary subject/ nomadic /rhizomatic subject ) that fosters connections in multiple directions. Everything is an assemblage interacting with other assemblages of images.  Subject of an assemblage remains beyond binary thinking and stays fully embodied/ immersed into the movement of images forming a cinematic flow of assemblages.

Movement Image: Merger of the Actor and the Spectator

The subject on the screen does not represent the subject in the audience as most film theory holds.  Representation theorists usually consider films as a kind of a platonic cave. They think that the films offer the audience perceptions which are nothing but representations of world outside.[6]  The representation model suggests that image reflects the world and not construct the world. Deleuze rejects the denotative function of images and teaches that the subject in the audience becomes part of the flow on the screen. Deleuze presents desire not as a lack but as a wish to live and to preserve life by connecting with and relating with those things and persons that give us joy or increase our power to act. The joy is not Lacanian Jouissance/ enjoyment but spinozistic power to form adequate ideas and to act.  To Deleuze to  be active is to enjoy life. He teaches that to be joyful is to desire connections that are related to affirmative powers and not negative ones as taught by psychoanalysis. Deleuze presents a self that is becoming and is radically unstable. He blurs the boundary images on the screen and their affects the subject in the audience.  The virtual experience is not a fantasy but real experience.  There is no strict distinction between who is seeing and what is being seen. The actor and the spectator are drawn into an intensive encounter with the real world that is no longer a copy.  This encounter forms the subject through his/ her responses to the various images on the screen.

Movement Image: Perception, Affection and Action

Movement image describes the nexus between perception, affect and action. They are the chief avtars of movement image. Perception image describes the creation of special image which is  a contingent centre. It is usually brought into effect by the creation of a character (though not always) and its concomitant relation with all other images in the film. Affection image channels emotions through it. Action images describes the way in which the contingent centre defines or is derived froma determined situation or how a situation can be reconfigured by the acts of the individual. By using these three coordinates of movement images, each film organises itself. Perceptions are images acting on other images. At the simplest level they are collisions. Thus, for  instance, visual perception is a consequence of light waves colliding with the retina.[7] Same is the case with tactile, olfactory, hearing and taste  perceptions. All of them can be thought of as collision. The sensory input  of perceptions produce actions which  become complex and diverse due to intensive/intensive forces at play within/ with the organism. The intensive and extensive  forces are affect and are engendered by perception. Thus, our body becomes an image that distributes outside / extensive disturbance through the body (as intensive turbulence) to the components of the body to bring forth an extensive reaction.[8]  Perception, affect, action are the ways we undergo cineosis. It  is not just our body that undergoes cineosis but also the cinema screen displays perception images, affection images as well as actions images as  different assemblages play on it. Different persons get entangled to different perception images, affective images and action images pouring on the screen which produces different perception images in them and consequently stir different affects in them and as a result lead them to different modes of actions.

Time Image: The Making and Unmaking of the Subject

Movement images flow  in the rhythm of time but time image resist the flow. There is a collapse of the coordinates into opsigns and sonsigns.[9] Opsigns and sonsigns are pure visual and auditory images that link up according to three temporal synthesis.   The first is the passive synthesis that create cinematic hyalosigns. Hyalosigns are images that appear in the now and manifests the living present and past as retention and future  as expectation.  But there is a double movement of time. The double movement lets the present pass into the future while preserving all the past and preserving it into an obscure depth.[10] Hyalogsign thus create time image at the level of description. At the level of narration we have chronosigns that disrupt the temporal flow of images and order of time. This resistance of temporal continuity produces time images. While hyalosigns are  indeterminate descriptions and  disruptive chronosigns are narrations, noosigns involve telling a story through body and mise-en-scene (stage set). In the absence of sensory-motor (perception, affection and action) linkage between the character and the situation, through connection of the virtual linkages thought becomes us.[11] Noosigns give us dispersive narratives. To Deleuze’s   cinematic universe, subject is no longer the transcendental one, whose eyes give access to representations in front of it on the screen. To him images do not represent something heroic or perverse about humanity but produce heroism or monstrosity in us. Representative thinking is restrictive and largely forgets the productive dimension of images that has the power to produce the subject.  Our values and beliefs and the world we inhabit are recognised and reconfirmed by cineosis.  Cinema thus, not only requires seeing of opsigns and sonsigns but also reading  of lectosigns.   The subject is immanent one that is an image among other images and is constructed by different perceptions and experiences.  It is the assemblage of the self and moving images that produces new critical consciousness that Deleuze calls camera consciousness which enters our perception. The multifarious moving images do not stand for anything outside them but shape the subject and the world.  All images have their meaning from the kinds of assemblages they generate. They construct different aspects of subjectivity depending on how the subjects form assemblages with dance of the images that are both visual and sonic. In several ways the moving images of cinema deterritorializes the subject as well as reterritorializes him/ her.

Deleuzean Semiosis of Social Movements

There is  an other reading possible of  Deleuze. It is one that brackets the transcendental dimension without outright denying it.  This anti-deluzeanism has to be taken in the spirit of deleuze who rejected all forms of slavishness in favour of emancipative creativity. Entering the immanent stream of social movements, we approach its rhizomatic  flow of intensities. All social movements act counter to our time and act on our time and let us hope for the benevolent time to come in the future.

Mass movements as Practice

Deleuze rejects static and sterile conception of Philosophy. We can trace this repugnance when he says “for many people, philosophy is not something that is not ‘made’, but is pre-existent, ready made in a pre-fabricated sky”.  He teaches that philosophy is a practice and not a grand theory that leads us to practice. Deleuze bridges the gap between theory and practice in his practice of philosophy.[12] Thus, he views doing philosophy in a radical immanent mode. The hermeneutics of social movements is a practice that engages practices of social movements. Deleuze breaks down philosophy and life to what maybe called the image of thought. Image for him is more than the familiar visual picture. It is a collection of sensation, a sensible aggregate that Deleuze ultimately calls sign.[13] We encounter image at the very limit of the sensible. Sensations have the capacity to derange the everyday, to short circuit the common sense and thus catalyze as different kind of thinking.  This means sensations are encountered as the threshold of what may be called the thinkable. Thus, thinking is disruptive as well as irruptive. Thinking is provoked. Something in the world forces us to think.[14] We can find congruence between Deleuze and the dynamism of mass movements. They are also provoked into being by factors external to them. It is by acting over the limits of habitus that social movements strives to dislodge or transform the pre-established ways of ordering the world. Thus, mass movements are not just works of interpretations of the world but emit signs that  produces the world. Thus, mass movements mobilize differential forces that play on the matrix of our society and push them to emancipative changes.

The Molar, Molecular and the Mass Movements

Mass Movements can be viewed as an encounter that is embodied and is open to different kinds of connections and durations. Deleuze and Gauttari call these networks of connections assemblages. In fact they speak of inter-connected-assemblages.  Inter-connected-assemblages  are not melrely a  link of the whole and its parts but a whole that connects with other wholes to form an inter-assemblage.   These connections open us to new kind of thoughts that challenge the binary and hierarchical logic that dominates our thinking.  Here we take an ethological approach that is not interested in what a body is but considers carefully the ability of a body to affect and be affected.  Mass Movements can be viewed as a dynamic and rhizomatic inter- connected-assemblages which are also ethological in character. These inter-connected assemblages operate on two planes, a molecular and a molar one.  The molar assemblages are extensive, divisible, unifiable,  totalizable  and organisable while the molecular assemblages are intensive and are not unifiable, tolalizable and do not divide without changing their nature. The molecular plane has elements that are yet to be organized while  the molar plane is an organising plane that freezes movement, codifies and organises from the molecular plane and orders them hierarchically and produces subjectivities and identities.[15] Every mass movement is an inter-assemblage that has both the molecular and molar dimensions.  Through their molecular plane they remain open to the outside and through the molar they stay stable and acquire their identities.

 Deterritorialising and Reterritorialising and the Social Movement

All social movements are disruptive and are deterritorial and reterritorial in character.  Deleuze teaches that the molecular plane constantly deterritorializes the molar orderings and the molar plane constantly reterriorializes molecular movement.  He teaches that oppressing orderings occur when the process of reterritorialization captures and over-codes the molecular to such an extent that renders it highly restrictive.  Molecular plane deterritorializes molar orderings to varying degrees and the most extreme form of it is called lines of flight.  But even lines of flight can be reordered and coded again. Social movements always chase the lines of flight.  They interrogate and challenge the molar or unjust orderings of our society. This means they deterritorialize unjust order of things and push societies to humane becomings. The lines of flight that produces deterritorializations arise as a result of their interventions. The lines of flight are opened by the processes of deoediplizations. The social movements challenge the reining castrating law of the father and open other ways of being-in-the-world. The alternate emancipative ways of being are generated by affect.  Deleuze and Gauttari name the force that either enhance or diminish the capacity of the body to act as affect. Thus, affects stands for the capacity of a body to be affected and to affect. This means each individual and a group become differently affected in a social movement. It is the capacity to affect and be affected that would lead the social movement to its success or failure.

Image, World and Social Movement

Derrida said that there is nothing outside the text. Deleuze teaches that everything is an image. He derives his view from Bergson who teaches that image of a thing and the thing is inseparable. Deleuze teaches that image is the things existence and appearance. What we call thing is nothing but image. Strictly speaking there are no things but only images. This means the things are their appearances. This suggests that everything that we call material as well as our memories, thoughts and even our brain is an image.  All images interact and inter-relate. A group of images can form  a larger image or a larger image can become smaller images. All images are in motion. This movement is governed by what we call laws of nature. Thus, water image always flows down hill. But there are living images that do not always obey the laws of nature. Humans (living image) for example climb the hill against gravity. Humans can use non-living images, process them and build a home. Plants can process water and minerals and build it-self. Every movement is an image. There is nothing hidden behind the image. Image does not stand for something else but to itself. All images are matter in motion. Movement image and the dynamic energy flowing matter of physic are identical. Just like matter and energy are one and they cannot be created or destroyed all images can only be traded to change. All images can be considered as matter and energy whether they are objects, humans, visual, tactile, auditory or mental. Deleuze equates image, matter and energy to light. There is light in everything and everything can be thought of as matter and light. Movement is measured in space and time. Special theory of relativity teaches that space and time are interchangeable. This means single determinate, universal line of time is not possible. We can no longer measure time along a line or as a function of space. Hence, image ultimately has time, space, motion, energy and light within it. Time intertwines as virtual past, actual present and possible future. Past, future and the present co-exist.  Deleuze calls the dynamic dance of image with limitless reconfigurable possibilities as the plane of immanence. It is a field of play of images. It is a virtual universe. Actual images emerge and territorialize on the plane of immanence. Now social movements have the play field of their emergence that contains everything virtual and possible for them. The way it territorializes depend on how these possibilities or waves are being driven/ rode by the leaders and the followers.[16]

The Dynamism of the Social Movements  

Social movements are non-linear and complex. From the Deluzian point of view, we cannot think that social movements exist outside themselves in an ideal Platonic world.  He is a philosopher of immanence and not of transcendence. To him everything is a moving image in a plane of immanence.  Social movements are embedded into planes of immanence. Everything in the world exists alongside as an inter-related flux of images.  There is no strict distinction between the subject and its object.  We also cannot have an all knowing transcendental subject who is studying the social Movements from a marked distance. What we have is subject that is an assemblage that is affected by and  can affect the social movements. The subject is always  entangled with what we may loosely call its object.

Riding the Wave and Going with the Flow

Deleuzean film theory teaches that seeing is never ‘seeing as’.  ‘Seeing as’ implies that signs are always invoked by a subject.  This way of thinking denies us extra-linguistic access to the world.  Deleuze opens us to the non-linguistic experience of the world.   He teaches that perception may be surrounded by language but it is not reducible to language.  There is always surplus that cannot be put into words. In everything that we say there is the unsaid as well as the unsayable. Following Bergson, he teaches that the world is made of images.  It is these moving images that exist prior to the emergence of language. Language itself is a system of images/ signs dancing into the plane of immanence whose flow we ride. Riding the wave is the way we live as humans. We ride different waves.  Social movement emerge as we ride waves of confluence of images that get codified that challenge the already ossified systems or assemblages that are unjust and oppressive. Riding the wave is molecularising.  All molecularising contests the stagnant and decadent molar systems in our society.  Social movements are a clash of entangled subjects in our society. They are clashes of inter-assemblages.

Anti-Oedipality of Social Movements

All social movements are anti-Oedipal.[17] They are following an anti-cannibal philosophy that does not digest or reduce otherness to some kind of substantive essence or sameness. They are riding intense waves of immanence.  Movements are always on a dynamic move and are based on an already –not-yet philosophical vision that energizes them.  Movements have anti-narcissus seeds though often they are also hijacked by some people to meet their narcissistic ends. All movements are embedded in ideological debates that animate social formations. These ideological debates contest the reigning politics of status quo that legitimate oppression and exploitation. All movements thus have an anti-Oedipal character that courageously takes on the forces that threaten to castrate dissent, freedom of thought and action. Social movements exhibit leaders that challenge monopolizing of resources, those who stand for the oppressed and discriminated   and champion emancipative ways of being human. Anti-oedipal energy that animates social movements seeks emancipation for all and is profoundly political. It is a practice that enforces a continuous war against enslaving modes of being human.  There is strong epistemo-political reflexive circle that animates social movements that continuously strives to wash them clean of all oppressive stains.

Epistemo-Political Circle in the Social Movements

Epistemo-political circle operates like a hermeneutical circle that becomes the rudder that guides and directs the social movements. It is a reciprocal nexus of theory and practice. It opens us to the intellectual space and the creative and forceful space of action or engagement of a social movement. All understanding and actions form inter-assemblages. This is why epistemo-political circle forms part the inter-assemblages that anchors or territorialises on the plane of immanence of specific movement. Different movements have different epistemo-political circles in which they move and have their being. The dynamism of the epistemo-political circle can open it to rhizomatic or non-linear dynamism of social movements though often they seem to be linear and predictable. This opening of the anti-Oedipal force takes it is beyond the either/or (contrastic) binary logic that often enslaves the social movements. This means the social movement often Oedipalise as the other of the same. It means the social movements attempt to become the other in merely contrastive sense and become a diametrical opposite image of the oppressive regime or assemblage that they are fighting. Deleuzian semiotics makes it possible of going beyond the either/ or structure of our thought and embrace other emancipative options and ways of being humans.

Multiple Emancipative Options  

The actualised/ terriorialised regimes on the plane of immanence are a manifold. The actual and the virtual both exist on the plane of immanence.  Deleuze thinks that everything is political. All territorlisations and deterritorialisations are political and are a result of the struggles of divergent forces. How do we work with theses divergent forces and change the world which all mass movements attempt? This means we have to ask: can we change the mode of our existence? Mass movements can be viewed as struggles to institute new emancipative planes of immanence. We have to understand this without putting immanence into a transcendent frame. Deleuze thinks immanence as immanent to it alone. This does not just change the linguistic registers of thought and adds active dynamism to thought itself that does not have to be a representation/copy of something else. Hence, thinking becomes inventive not in accordance to what the world is but what the world is capable of becoming. This makes thinking productive.  Deleuze is most radical when he teaches that thought it-self becomes the world.[18] Hence, we can change the world not by standing outside it or standing against its flows but driving the waves on the plane of immanence that would institute new emancipative planes of immanence.

Riding the Productive Wave

Deleuze attempts to reverse Platonism, undo classical theories of representation and avoid relativism by grounding his theory of subjectivity into radical immanence.  The post binary thinking of Deleuze refuses to set a transcendental subject against the world but place the subject in radical relationship of immanence into an emanating world. Overcoming the dichotomy of the body and mind, Deleuze sees self not in monadic essentialist sense as a singularity but invites us to view it as always in a networks/ waves/ aggregates of relationships. This means identities are assemblages and can be deassembled and reassembled. Social movements are striving to bring such productive and emancipative changes.

Breaking the Prison of Desire

Delusion thinking of desire opens a multiple options. Desire is not a lack to be fulfilled as Lacan would have us think.  Desire is productive in Deleuze and Gauttari.[19] It is akin to Nietzsche’s will to power. It leads actual to the possible.  It is endless, immanent and rhizomatic. Desire is underlying force similar to Freud’s libido.  Desire precedes the subject and its various relations. Deluzes teaches that modern capitalist society produces Schizoid humans. Capitalist relations produces Schizos just as it produces shampoos or cars. Only difference for now is that these human Schizos are not saleable.[20]   Subject is no longer unified and based on fixed essence but is cracked, split into pieces and assembled of various entities. Subject is indeed a subjected subject. This means desire is not outside relations. It produces our being-in-the-world. This does not mean we are condemned to  the wimps and fancies of desire that produces us. Desire being productive offers us possibilities of riding alternated waves and lead our actuality to possibilities that are emancipative. We are not prisoners of desire but are able to ride the lines of flight and produce new planes of immanence that world organize new assemblages of the self and our society. This is what social movements do.  We can think of movements as composed of little assemblages/ sub-assemblages (machines) that compose slightly bigger assemblages. These in their turn, produce bigger assemblages. These components can be joined to other assemblages  like philosophies,  theories, assemblages of people which then might open emancipative as well as oppressive possibilities. Aligning of the productive semiosis of    assemblages opens multiple emancipative potentials in our social movements.

Playing on the Plane of Immanence

Different images both virtual and real occupy the same plane of immanence. Deleuzean thought has no transcendental gab between body and mind, and no ontotological difference between thought and action. The nodes of activity, the chain linking humans and non-humans are described as a machine assemblage. All images and the assemblages exist on the plain of immanence. The plane of immanence is the machine assemblage of movement images. It is changes that we ride on the machine assemblage that bring about what Deleuze calls becomings. He prefers to three kinds of becoming: Becoming a woman,[21] becoming an animal[22] and becoming a minor. All social movements are machine assemblages on the plane of immanence.  The immanence within such planes open non-linear and centre-less dimensions of play and generate transposed modes of being/becomings. These different machine assemblages are products of libidinous play of non-unitary subjects who are actively producing new assemblages. Social movements are also aesthetical, ethical as well as libidinous.  They are never isolated or even self contained. They do not exist in mutual exclusive ways. This view opens to us trans-atomistic and non-dual conception of self and society which influence our thinking of all movements. They are not only entangled with their opponents but are also with other movements that are riding other emancipative or even oppressive goals.  This way of thinking allows us to move away from all forms of essentialisms and even universalisms and leads us into the flow of pluriversalisms which can only enrich the social movements themselves. They can derive inspiration as well as new direction from this entanglements.  It can open us to new domains of resistance and new movements for emancipation. This new vision of humanity and the social movement seem to have become necessary to face and ethically resist the post-human future that is fast approaching us all.

Cartographies of Power and the making the Self and it’s Other

Power can be restrictive (potestas) and power can be productive (potentia) force.  It brings about relations of exclusions and inclusions.   We need to adopt non-linearity to develop cartographies of power that account for the complexities of our time. The power formations set the norm, the norm-al and the norm-ative and let loose flows of pejorations, exclusions and exploitations. This logic of the same is oppressive and has to be countered.  Old ethical theories seem to be inadequate to address these flows of oppressions, discriminations and dehumanisations. We need new ethics to face our complexities. Such a new ethics will provide road maps to social movements which are also often framed in the traditional philosophical visions contaminated by anthropocentrism, patriarchy, racism/casteism or ethnocentrism.  The new ethics envisions a non-unitary subject in place of self-contained subject of Descartes. In its place, it thinks of the subject in non-unitary terms who is nomadic and transient in character. This approach inserts dynamism as well as being-in-the-world (spatial/ contextual) dimensions to the new subject.  Thus, this new vision brings us to a new enlarged sense of self and its other alongside its dynamic relations.  The other of the subject has been always conceived in non-unitary terms. Thus, for instance woman is thought in terms of a  sexualised bodies, back/ white are racialized bodies, non-human other/ earth is also a naturalised body/ thing. But the self-contained authoritarian self marks its distance and subdues this other who  is thought in non-Unitarian terms.  The new ethics that we envisage here will enable us to address all shades of the ills of self-centred individualisms that afflict us today. But this does not take us into conservative communitarianisms as it opens possibilities of multiple belongings. Thus, we arrive at ethical transpositions of inter-webbed ‘subject and it’s others’ that would provide positive sources of resistance to social movements. This attention to the radical immanence of the self and its other can enable us to find alternatives to humanistic nostalgia and neo-liberal euphoria that plagues us.  We can build a future only by sustaining the present in freedom. We need a new ethics that manifest to us the cartographies of power that define the relations of the self and its other and enable us to resist ills of our fast paced techno-culture that strives to push us into a post-human future. A bio-centred egalitarianism maybe is the way ahead for us.

Dissensus and Ethical Perfomativity

Lyodard teaches the consensus is unethical. He teaches that ethics is produced by dissensus. All social movements embody dissent.  Lyotards opines that consensus is only one particular state of dialogue, debate and discussion and not its ultimate goal or end.  Its end, he says is paralogy.[23]  Dissensus interrupts and redistributes claims, counter-claims as well roles and subject-positions. There is an ethical performativity in the dissent, dissident and dissensus. Being embodiment of dissensus, all social movements are profoundly  performative. But we need to avoid performative positivism that ascribe performative emancipative dimension to  all social movements and stay open to to the fact that they could becoming vehicles of vested interest.  The semiosis of social movement as dynamic inter-assembled assemblages that continually link and delink with other assemblages might provide us an insight. Semiosis  is a multi-modal sign process. If we consider the sub-assemblages within the assemblages of the social movements, we can understand how dissensus embodied by the social movements can allow us to understand and choose to forge emancipative assemblages and disassociate /delink from the oppressive assemblages that might constitute social movements.  Social movements can also have a contingent centre  like the cinema that is generated by the sub-assemblages that assemble, deassemble and reassemble. Besides, this dynamism can generate emotions as well as motivate people to action. Thus, in several ways the multiple assembling, deassembling and reassembling of the inter-assemblages shape all people that assemble to form social movements. These sub-assemblages that constantly assemble and disassemble are semiotic resources that enact ethical performativity that may be emancipative.  A critical semiotic analysis of the manner in which this semiotic resources assemble, disassemble and reassemble might provide us a compass to discern the emancipative waves emanating   from the assemblages that  we can ride to open us new ways of becoming-in-the world that will be liberate the non-unitary self and its webbed other.


Our study attempts to seek a relation of transpositions between the film theory of Deleuze and the social movements and thus open the doors for a productive semiotics.  With the death of the Cogito of the West, our study opens us to the perfomativity of the non-unitary Subject in relation to the anti-Oedipal or dissenting nature of the social movements.  Being attentive to the cartographies of power, we are enabled to seek pluriversal possibilities of emancipations that would enact ethical performativity emanating through the social movements.


[1] Rosi Baraidott, Transpositions: on Nomadic Ethics (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006), 5-7.

[2]Gregory Flaxman , ‘Introduction’ in Gregory Flaxman, Ed., The Brain is the Screen: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000),10.

[3] Deleuze teaches that cinematic sign cannot be adequately explained by the structural conditions of linguistics and post-Saussurian semiology. This is because its content is essentially tied to and motivated by pre-verbal intelligible content that it expresses. Deleuze christens this non-linguistically formed content signelectic. material which includes the sensory (visual and sonic), kinetic, intensive, affective, rhythmic,   tonal and even verbal (oral and written) modulation features.  Cinematic image is always constructed upon this a-signifying and a-syntatic material that is not formed linguistically but though it is formed  semiotically aesthetically and pragmatically. See file:///C:/Users/Victor-pc/Documents/hjelmslev%20%20semiotics.pdf accessed on 4th September 2018.

[4] Patricia Pisters, The Matrix of the Visual Culture : Working with Deleuze and Film Theory (Stanford: Standford University, 2003), 3.

[5] Ibid., 4.

[6] Ibid., 25.

[7] David Deamer , Deleuze Japanese Cinema and the Atom Bomb: the Spectre of Impossibility (New York : Bloombury , 2014),  34.

[8] Ibid., 35.

[9] Ibid., 224.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid., 125.

[12] Gregory Flaxman , ‘Introduction’ ,  9.

[13] Ibid. , 12.

[14] Ibid., 13.

[15] Teresa Rizzo, Deleuze and Film: A Feminist Introduction (New York: Continuum Books, 2012), 60.

[16] Dryk Ashton, Using Deleuze Cinema Books, Film Studies and Effect, a Dissertation submitted to the Graduate College of Blowing Green ,State University, in partial fulfilment of the requirements  for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, 2006, 83-95.

[17] See Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari , Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1983).

[18] file:///C:/Users/Victor-pc/Documents/Thiele_DeleuzeStudies.pdf accessed 14th Sept. 2018.

[19] See Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari , Anti-Oedipus.

[20] accessed on 14th Sept. 2018.

[21] Rosi Baraidott, Transpositions, 43-91.

[22] Ibid., 96-138.

[23] Sara Ahmed, Differences That Matter : Feminist  Theory and Postmodernism (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1998),  48.

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