Text(ile)s: How to Fabric(ate) Yourself a Body without Organs

by Nicole Archer


From momentary metaphorical allusions to “unraveling,” or “stitching,” to more elaborately built philosophical models that directly employ the likenesses of folded and/or patchworked cloth, the regular repetition of fabric(ated) references—punctuated by the physical refrain of turning, cloth-like pages—in the works of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari cleverly makes the relationships between “our bodies,” which are largely understood through clothed pleats, and the matter-content-expression of “their books” exceedingly palpable. This article aims to unpack this aspect of Deleuze and Guattari’s projects and to explore the implications it has not only for our immediate experiences of “the book” and/or “the textile,” but also for the traditional plays between man, beast, and technology that have been historically related through the technology of cloth and which have served to, in part, justify the human’s neatly ordered dominance in the world. As a means of embarking on this project, the article considers Deleuze and Guattari’s works alongside a cast of other figures preoccupied with various fabrics, namely the matador, various (textile) artists including Eran Schaerf, and even one’s own self and wardrobe, and recasts all of these figures’ texts and textiles as “text(ile)s.”

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Nicole Archer

Linked to:







Adornment, Fashion and the Body, Semiotics, Textiles

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