What is a Nomad Garden?

The nomad garden is a combination of the ideas of the Body without Organs and the war machine as they are presented in A Thousand Plateaus (ATP) by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.

The Body Without Organs

The most succinct definition I can give for the Body without Organs (BwO) is the limit of the deterritorialization process. Deterritorialization is the process of breaking down barriers, distinctions, dichotomies, strata, etc., and the BwO is the limit that this process approaches. Concretely, it evokes the image of an egg. The egg represents pure potential. As the egg develops into an animal, its stem cells develop into particular kinds of cells (e.g. brain cells, liver cells, etc...). This development of particularities removes some of the potential of the egg, moving it in the opposite direction of the BwO. During development, the egg is literally organ-ized (pun credit to Brent Adkins).

The BwO is introduced in Chapter 6 of ATP, which is titled November 28, 1947: How Do You Make Yourself a Body Without Organs? Putting aside ATP's convention of dating chapter names for a later discussion, I found it interesting that the title is posed as the question of how one might become a BwO. For a person, becoming-BwO would entail an increase in potential and a loosening of constraints. As someone operating in a highly constrained environment, I certainly find this desirable. Luckily, Deleuze and Guattari provide instructions for how becoming-BwO can be achieved:

"This is how it should be done: Lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flow conjunctions here and there, try out continuums of intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times"

Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (161)

The garden in nomad.garden refers to this small plot of land. My hope is that the site acts like a digital garden, wherein new ideas and lines of flight can be nourished and explored.

Tretise on Nomadology - The War Machine

"Axiom 1: The war machine is exterior to the State apparatus."

Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (351)

"Axiom 2: The war machine is the invention of the nomads."

Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (380)

In ATP, Deleuze & Guattari discuss the concept of change primarily through the metaphor of territory. In the same way that a political State exerts control over physical territory, the "State of things as they are" exerts control over ideological or abstract territory. To Deleuze & Guattari, the State gestures at both the physical and abstract machines that work to keep things as they are (i.e. to defend their territory).

In contrast, the nomad is defined as one who is without territory. In order to gain territory, the nomad must take it by force from the State. In this way, the nomad is literally waging war on the State. This is what Deleuze & Guattari mean when they say that the war machine is the invention of the nomads.

Similarly, in order to create the new, one must necessarily upset the State of things as they are. Since this site is dedicated to the growth of new ideas, it is a declaration of war on the State of things, and is therefore inherently nomadic.

Spurious Connections

There are also several spurious connections that encouraged me to include nomad in the name: