Guatari (and Deluze) on Concept of Nomadism

In our last class the question arose of whether a nomad could dwell in Heidegger’s sense because a nomad does not stay and staying seems essential to dwelling.  We came to a consensus that a nomad simply takes her dwelling with her.  The dwelling simply exists where it is erected.

Deluze and Guatari make the following comment on nomadism that relates to this discussion, with analysis from the rhizome.net:

NOMAD:

“Nomadism” is a way of life that exists outside of the organizational “State.” The nomadic way of life is characterized by movement across space which exists in sharp contrast to the rigid and static boundaries of the State. Deleuze and Guattari explain:

The nomad has a territory; he follows customary paths; he goes from one point to another; he is not ignorant of points (water points, dwelling points, assembly points, etc.). But the question is what in nomad life is a principle and what is only a consequence. To begin with, although the points determine paths, they are strictly subordinated to the paths they determine, the reverse happens with the sedentary. The water point is reached only in order to be left behind; every point is a relay and exists only as a relay. A path is always between two points, but the in-between has taken on all the consistency and enjoys both an autonomy and a direction of its own. The life of the nomad is the intermezzo. (380)

The nomad, is thus, a way of being in the middle or between points. It is characterized by movement and change, and is unfettered by systems of organization. The goal of the nomad is only to continue to move within the “intermezzo.”

 

—  Edward Morris

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