The sense of termination in the order of the exhibition space, imposing a finality on the serendipitous character of my inquiries, led me to look for alternative forms of representation. Inspired by the unruly movements inscribed on the journal pages, the many uncategorisably random moves charted in the journals I kept during my autoethnographically informed research, I decided to work on a form of encounter that would locate the audience within this messy field.
Through elaborating on different forms of books, Deleuze & Guattari declare the obliterating of the separation, “between a field of reality (the world) and a field of representation (the book) and a field of subjectivity (the author)” (1989, p.23). The different book forms they discuss refer to different forms of representations, perceptions of the world and, accordingly, different divisions set upon this, “tripartite” field.
The first is, “the classical book” that claims to give, “the image of the world” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1989, p.5). In this form, the relation between the, “field of reality” and, “field of representation” is based on reflection and mirroring. This model is inclined to perceive the world with roots, lineages and genealogies; a thinking that imposes hierarchies.
The classical book, “as noble, signifying, and subjective organic interiority…is a taproot” Deleuze & Guattari suggest. This book form visualises the arboreal idea, “with its pivotal spine and surrounding leaves” (1989, p.5). The classic codex book form takes its name from the Latin word “caudex”, meaning “tree-trunk” (Oxford Dictionaries, Online).
The pages of the book are bound at the spine, at the trunk of a tree, and open in a sequence, layer by layer, one after another, to unfold the reality of the world. Their second category of book is similarly built upon the idea of roots, yet roots that are aborted or destroyed. Nevertheless, this second category of book still follows an arboreal system.
It is still through the ontology of the roots this system orders the world. The rooted book has a beginning and end, and implies strict relations build between different nodes of the arborial model.
Rather than making complex realities more vividly simple, patronising audiences and perpetuating illusory securities, the issue has more often been how to engage with complexity, how to create a context that will open up a space for conversation and debate, above all how to enlist audiences as co-experimenters, willing to try for themselves (Basu & MacDonald, 2007, p.16).
The conception of the exhibition format as, “a site for the generation” of new dialogues, thus, approaches the world not as something to be reflected, pictured in the final work - as it is symbolised in the codex book form - but as something in process, a continuous unfolding. The complexity of the reality demands such an openness that might challenge the secure positions we hold onto.
The rhizomic movement entering into the field of reality from multiple entryways, through following, “detachable, connectable, reversible, modifiable” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1989, p.21) routes wanders across this complexity.