1440: The Smooth and the Striated – Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

This reading is a chapter from ‘A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia’ by Deleuze and Guattari.  The focus of this chapter is what the authors call smooth and striated space. They emphasize that these spaces are not exclusive, rather, they are constantly being translated into one another.


The way they define these types of space have little to do with form, and much more to do with a way of doing in /being in /understanding/organizing space. They define all the post modern multiplicities as either a smooth or striated type:

Metric                                     Non-metric

Extensive                        Qualitative

Centered                        Acentered

Arborescent                        Rhizomtic

Numerical                        Flat

Dimensional                        Directional

Masses                        Packs


The two words that bring most clarity for me are:


Sedentary                        Nomadic



For me this reading seems to be a question of perceived stability. Stability explained in the broadest sense, of subjective reality, either shifting and changing to dissolve boundaries, or within a highly structured space.


“…is a smooth space captured, enveloped by a striated space, or does a             striated space dissolve into a smooth space to develop?”


This quote and the summary above tempt me to compare what is described here as smooth to Heidegger’s building and striated to dwell. Perhaps the comparison is only drawn because I just read it…


This entry was published on December 11, 2010 at 7:00 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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