Deleuze, Guattari, Debord, Critical Theory, and the works of the Situationists is being used by the Israeli Defense Force to revolutionize warfare. The focus, in this case, is on urban warfare, how it can be waged with greater efficiency by the army. The listed theorists have had and continue to have great impact on art, our understanding of space, politics, and architecture. These same ideas are being applied to reformulate the understanding of combat and the battlefield.
Eyal Weizman’s, Director of Goldsmith’s College Centre for Research Architecture, has written an excellent article on the subject. An excerpt and link to the full article can be found below.
The Art of War: Deleuze, Guattari, Debord and the Israeli Defense Force”
The Israeli Defence Forces have been heavily influenced by contemporary philosophy, highlighting the fact that there is considerable overlap among theoretical texts deemed essential by military academies and architectural schools
The attack conducted by units of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on the city of Nablus in April 2002 was described by its commander, Brigadier-General Aviv Kokhavi, as ‘inverse geometry’, which he explained as ‘the reorganization of the urban syntax by means of a series of micro-tactical actions’.1
During the battle soldiers moved within the city across hundreds of metres of ‘overground tunnels’ carved out through a dense and contiguous urban structure. Although several thousand soldiers and Palestinian guerrillas were manoeuvring simultaneously in the city, they were so ‘saturated’ into the urban fabric that very few would have been visible from the air. Furthermore, they used none of the city’s streets, roads, alleys or courtyards, or any of the external doors, internal stairwells and windows, but moved horizontally through walls and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors. This form of movement, described by the military as ‘infestation’, seeks to redefine inside as outside, and domestic interiors as thoroughfares. The IDF’s strategy of ‘walking through walls’ involves a conception of the city as not just the site but also the very medium of warfare – a flexible, almost liquid medium that is forever contingent and in flux.
Below are videos on DeLanda’s thoughts on Deleuze’s theory of nonhuman expressivity. DeLanda speaks on the migration from ‘finger prints’ in nature, to signatures such as animal markings of territory, to style. He goes on to mention that our environment, including architecture, affords us opportunities and risks that animals and humans perceive then act upon. Could not the content, style, and medium of communication also afford potentialities?
DeLanda insists on the importance of a continuum that exists between life expressivity in nature to expressions of community and solidarity, to an expressivity of legitimacy. Essentially, specific expressions of life exist within expressions of political legitimacy, that messages on militarism, health, and more are included in these forms of communication.
I’m again watching videos of the popular philosopher Manuel DeLanda speak on Deleuze‘s break with the tradition of philosophy based on the logic of general and particular categories of thought. I’m especially curious about this in light of trying to better communicate meaning, to surpass semantic meaning and touch on the significance of things, as DeLanda puts it. He articulates a trap that I often see myself falling into, bogged down by the phenomena of language while missing the significance of reality subject to an event or issue.
I first expressed a desire to fundamentally reformulate how I ask questions, the content of investigation, and the medium by which it’s communicated in an earlier post: Synecdoche and Political Analysis in the News.
I think the videos below are great tools in this quest. Plus, I have trouble understanding Deleuze without someone to translate him for me.
The videos are posted on the European Graduate School’s YouTube channel.