“However lonely in appearance, a color is in the company of its kin—all its potential variations. The spectrum is the invisible background against which ‘a’ color stands out. It is the ever-present virtual whole of each color apart” (Massumi, Semblance and Event: Activist Philosophy and the Occurrent Arts, 87).

Hello everyone. I am looking forward to participating in this workshop-event, as it moves across space-time zones. I am interested in how we will all assemble across the various locations (Denmark, Finland, Australia, and Canada) in order to actualize meta-diagrams – diagrams on diagramming the diagrammatic. I will be particularly interested in how the various groupings will find ways to overlap, interact, and link-up together. What will be the relations that arise as these diagrams on the diagram emerge? If they do indeed emerge? Will we all feel a diagrammatic incipiency? I am not-yet one of the enablers at the Sense Lab in Montreal, but I want to be reaching towards these incipient feelings of the diagrammatic to come.

I am always becoming-Troy-Rhoades. This is because I am constantly effected and affected by the incipiency of events that emerge with me and around me. “Into the Diagram” is just one such event that will be doing this. But this workshop is also enabling several other events to emerge again, diagramming differently, and re-affecting me in my continuous becoming. Through the Sense Lab, I have met and worked with many of the people who are participating in the various locations. I have collaborated with several of the participants in Denmark and Sydney through Sense Lab events that have taken place over the past five years. Some of the other participants of this workshop, I only emerge-with through Twitter, such as @Eventmechanics and @karppi. Finally, in Montreal, I work with Bianca Mancini, Erin Manning, Brian Massumi, Toni Pape, Leslie Plumb, Alanna Thain, and a whole host of others at the Sense Lab. The emergent events that are generated with them occur several times a day. Each of the events that has risen from these various interactions and collaborations continually affect my becoming and effect the incipient diagramming of this workshop.

Like colours, I can never be alone and isolated. I will always be becoming anew by those that surrounds me. Their vibrations will affect me, sometimes in way unbeknownst to me.

Below is a video of mine titled “flow” from 2005. This is a diagramming of colour and sound that emerges from the same seventeen seconds that have been layered thirty times. Each layer has be slightly altered, either slowed down, sped up, flipped, or reversed, generating a sonorous and visual flow that was always there.

flow (2005) from Troy Rhoades on Vimeo.

You can find more about me on my new blog, “Drops of Experience.”

You can see some of my other videos here.

I am also on Twitter under @troyrhoades.

Diagramming Invention: a selective ‘heatmap’

Below is an attempt to diagram my experiences of the passive and active affects of invention. I’ve focused on my experiences of working on ‘cars’ and working on ‘texts’. I repeat practices born of experiences that others have shared with me and through which I’ve acquired a singular comportment (in the sense of everyone having a singular appreciation of their worlds).

Imagine the colour-coded sections as secord-order diagrams that indicate a kind of time-lapse contraction of habit, like photoshopping multiple layers of time-lapse photography, that overlap the durations of experience; a selective ‘heatmap’ of a lifetime of activity. The large shape is the carport of my familial home. The rectangle top-left is every car I’ve ever worked on whilst on the side of the road. The smaller rectangles are my childhood bedroom, the lounge of my flat when I was doing my PhD, the loungeroom of my flat when I worked in the magazine industry, and lastly my office at university.

To put it rather crudely, as there is not a direct correlation between the two orders of experience, this diagram does not differentiate between passive affects of imitation and the active affects invention. If Tarde is accurate in his description of invention being the innovative combination of imitations, then my capacity to invent is assembled as much from the quiet periods of helping my father or older brother work on their cars as much as it is in my capacity to (endure/enjoy) philosophy texts and similar. There is not a dialectical relationship between the experience-based practical knowledge acquired and embodied through many years of ‘using my hands’ and the experience-based practical knowledge acquired and embodied through many years of developing my ‘conceptual toolbox’. A book, albeit a big book, is a hammer if you use it right.

The arrows capture the virtual movement across the multiple openings between various dimensions of my personal biography. They collapse multiple temporalities, just as my experience of the present collapses a multiplicity of events contracted in every (mostly bad!) habit. Memory is potent here. I work to recollect and smile as I luxuriate in the memory of the ‘simplicity’ of my child-like wonder. Of course, there was nothing simple about my strenuous attempts to learn about cars or to learn about maddening philosophies. The ‘simplicity’ is an active product: my memory is producing differentials of experience assembled from my biography, like the interference effect of the passive dampening of refracting soundwaves (echo).

Absent from this projection into the past are the no-less virtual arrows connecting openings into the future. How to take care of invention so it is not (merely?) co-opted into the machinations of capital or neoliberal management regimes of ‘affective labour’? How to produce opportunities — as a kind of virtual architecture (or dancefloor!) catering to invention — that are not territorialised by capital and overcoded by profit (‘ROI’)? In short, can ‘invention’ be ‘resistance’?

Deleuze on Foucault


“What can we call such a new informal dimension? On one occasion Foucault gives it its most precise name: it is a ‘diagram’, that is to say a ‘functioning, abstracted from any obstacle […] or friction [and which] must be detached from  any specific use. The diagram is no longer an auditory or visual archive but a map, a cartography that is coextensive with the whole social field. It is an abstract machine. It is defined by its informal functions and matter and in terms of form makes no distinction between content and expression, a discursive formation and a non-discursive formation. It is a machine that is almost blind and mute, even though it makes others see and speak.

If there are many diagrammatic functions and even matters, it is because every diagram is a spatio-temporal multiplicity. Bu it is also because there are as many diagrams as there are social fields in history.” (Deleuze, Foucault: 34)