Deleuze and Guattari use the terms ‘rhizome’ and ‘rhizomatic’ to describe theory and research that allows for multiple, non-hierarchical entry and exit points in data representation and interpretation. In A Thousand Plateaus, they oppose it to an arborescent conception of knowledge, which works with dualist categories and binary choices. A rhizome works with planar and trans-species connections, while an arborescent model works with vertical and linear connections. Their use of the ‘orchid and the wasp’ is taken from the biological concept of mutualism, in which two different species interact together to form a multiplicity – this is more natural and without the authority, but for this to work in a society each person needs to have the knowledge to understand and to create – without desire or egoism. Autonomy is also important. And responsibility.
Erika Matsunami, Artist