Nothing we make is truly original. All creative work is inspired by something, draws from something, builds on something.

As Tiago Forte says in the tweet below, creative work is assembled. Philosophically, assemblages are component parts brought together in a way that is fluid (not fixed). Donna Haraway uses the metaphor of [[cyborgs]]1 or “making kin”2 for assemblages: you bring together things that might not otherwise fit together instead of resolving the tensions between them.

Therefore, when we create something, we are assembling a cyborg rather than reinforcing the boundaries of our inspirations and our ideas.

Assemblage (from French: agencement, “a collection of things which have been gathered together or assembled”) is a concept developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, originally presented in their book A Thousand Plateaus (1980). Assemblage theory frames social complexity in the emphasis of fluidity, exchangeability, and the multiple functions through entities that create their connectivity. Assemblage theory asserts that, within a body, the relationships of component parts are not stable and fixed; rather, they can be displaced and replaced within and among other bodies, thus approaching systems through relations of exteriority. 3

  • To acknowledge this is to acknowledge the [[rhizomatic]] nature of knowledge and creativity. Are our creative works also surrogates: 2a Metadata surrogates are inherently arborescent. If so, would that make them also arborescent and rhizomatic, or just one or the other?

  1. [[A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century]] by [[Donna Haraway]] ↩︎

  2. [[Staying with the trouble: making kin in the Chthulucene]] by [[Donna Haraway]] ↩︎

  3. Assemblage ↩︎