« Deleuze and Computers » – a lecture by Alexander R. Galloway at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on December 2nd, 2011.
Abstract for the talk:
Could it be? Could it be that Deleuze’s most lasting legacy will lie in his « Postscript on Control Societies, » a mere 2,300 word essay from 1990? Such a strange little text, it bears not the same Deleuzean voice so familiar from his other writings. Cynics will grumble it falls short of the great books of ’68-’69 or the radical collaborations with Félix Guattari during the 1970s. In the « Postscript » he indicts capitalism by name. He raises his wrath against corporations and television shows. Yet his frame includes the culture at large, not just the mode of production. He talks about snakes and surfers and other features of the dawning millennium. He references such figures as Roberto Rossellini, Paul Virilio, Franz Kafka, and most importantly Michel Foucault. He tells us exactly what is wrong with the business sector, as well as with the prisons, schools, and hospitals. It reads almost like a manifesto, the « Manifesto on Control Societies. » In this talk we will investigate the last few years of Deleuze’s life, a period in which he elaborates, however faintly, an image of what it means to live in the information age.