Drawing, Thinking, Doing: From diagram work to the superfold

Hélène Frichot
Vol 30, Number 1, p.1
In 1998, when the names Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari still exuded a seductive attraction for architectural thinkers and practitioners, Any Magazine, edited by Cynthia C. Davidson, published an edition entitled Diagram Work, which was guest edited by architects Ben van Berkal and Caroline Bos. The diagram work in question drew predominantly on the philosophical thought of Deleuze and Guattari, especially their version of the diagram, or ‘diagrammatic’, as mobilised in their book A Thousand Plateaus where the diagram is also referred to as an ‘abstract machine’. This essay will present a series of different ways in which the concept of the diagram can be argued to be at work in Deleuze, and Deleuze and Guattari’s ethico-aesthetics. Their speculative, projective and radically creative employment of the diagram will also allow me to present a discussion of Deleuze’s concept of the ‘Superfold’, which he introduces briefly in the Appendix of his book Foucault. I will conclude by discussing the relevance of the concept of the Superfold with regard to computational architectures and (post)digital diagrammatic processes, and also as a concept that alerts us to the risk of assuming too much about our relationship with diagrammatic forces.