Postmodern fragmentation of culture has dominated contemporary discourse and cultural evolution through Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of the Rhizome, leading to a dissipation of genre categorization into a sub-genres, a process of defining something that paradoxically becomes less defined. This infinite sub-sub-branching is implicit in describing the natural order of the world, from geological beginnings to our current day subcultures. All of history, subjectivity and evolution has been a hierarchical system of genealogical distribution up until this point; a point in which temporal subjectivity is blurring into the perpetual instant. This hierarchical fractal design is written deep in the L-system code of nature and core physics, manifesting in Faultlines, River Networks, Coastlines, Mountain Ranges, DNA, Crystals, Lightning and Ocean waves. From the microbiological passages of venous systems to the planetary scale of rivers inherently formed for movement through the natural world, they all follow the path of least resistance, probing new pathways through a series of subdivisions and slowly beginning to dissipate energy. Nature favours fractal recursion through branching or spiral patterning, a technically infinite procedure in mathematics but with reduced iterations within the natural world limited to only several levels or layers. This process is always a distribution of energy equating to the base, such that, if a tree has 4 branches, their width equates to that of the trunk.
The botanical phenomena of rhizodeposition releases organic compounds through roots into the surrounding soil biome, this mucilage enriches the microflora of a soil, developing it into a complex and immeasurable mix of compounds. The deposition of the Deleuzian rhizomatic is already leaking through, swelling the surrounding branches and sub-branches of fragmented postmodern culture until the tributaries begin to fold in upon themselves and coagulate through an overabundance of information. This exudata manifests as an informatic sludge that secretes from every cybernetic system into a new cultural quagmire. It is liquid and free flowing, kin to the more natural exudate; a compound that is released by roots or blood vessels, a claggy cellular material that responds to infection and clogs up a surrounding area. These veinal networks form a conceptual entanglement in which this new colloidal culture is a blurred and opaque interconnectedness afforded by new technologies and new intelligences. There is no pathfinder for these new tracks, no map to navigate. You are both inside and out, intertwined in a multiscalar polymeric structure and unable to grasp any subjective definition.
The confluence of these technological networks into indeterminable liquidity is no more prevalent than in the analogous cloud computing moniker, in which an amorphous shape constantly shifts and reforms itself. As our data, information and lives get uploaded into a space where only gods exist, we cannot maintain an understanding of it all, as our grounding becomes unstable and the floor beneath falls away. Dichotomies that have previously been so separated such as biology and technology are soon to become so blurred we will not be able to tell where the line is drawn. Along with the bio-technological, this phenomena of blurred duality is apparent in many contemporary signifiers such as quantum, post-truth, augmented and virtual realities and artificial intelligence. A.I creates exudate information in the same biomathematical dendritic paths, a convergence of neural networks and and their natural namesake creating a partially alternate reality. Viewed through the lens of a new machine learnt subjectivity, computer vision fuses our own vision of reality with an amalgam of what it perceives it to be, but ultimately ends up blurry.
Nodal based logic has turned us away from the natural order of branching into the space of unnaturally entwined networks. The network now dominates the multi directional flow, forming a perpetual now that seeps into a bayou of amalgamated oneness. The cracks in the ground open up into a cultural delta where all knowledge flows, sediment builds up and the landscape we find ourselves in begins to fill with liquidity as the tide flows in all directions yet none at all. One thing is for certain, the blur is becoming more apparent as we are overloaded with entangled exudate, a complexity fatigue begins to manifest itself. Soon the only ones to understand this new coagulated connectivity will be those who created the vision that came to define it.
Samuel Capps is an artist and curator whose interest lies in the intersection between natural materiality and technology. He has recently completed an MA in Critical Studies at the Royal College of Art and he is the director of Gossamer Fog, a London gallery focusing on science, ecology and technology.