I. A child in the dark, gripped with fear, comforts himself by singing under his breath. He walks and halts to his song. Lost, he takes shelter, or orients himself with his little song as best he can. The song is like a rough sketch of a calming and stabilizing, calm and stable, center in the heart of chaos. Perhaps the child skips as he sings, hastens or slows his pace. But the song itself is already a skip: it jumps from chaos to the beginnings of order in chaos and is in danger of breaking apart at any moment. There is always sonority
in Ariadnes thread. Or the song of Orpheus.
ll. Now we are at home. But home does not preexist: it was necessary to draw a circle around that uncertain and fragile center, to organize a limited space. Many, very diverse, components have a part in this, landmarks and marks of all kinds. This was already true of the previous case. But now the
components are used for organizing a space, not for the momentary determination of a center. The forces of chaos are kept outside as much as possible, and the interior space protects the germinal forces of a task to fulfill or a deed to do. This involves an activity of selection, elimination and extraction, in order to prevent the interior forces of the earth from being sub- merged, to enable them to resist, or even to take something from chaos across the filter or sieve of the space that has been drawn. Sonorous or vocal components are very important: a wall of sound, or at least a wall with some sonic bricks in it. A child hums to summon the strength for the schoolwork she has to hand in. A housewife sings to herself, or listens to the radio, as she marshals the antichaos forces of her work. Radios and television sets are like sound walls around every household and mark territories (the neighbor complains when it gets too loud). For sublime deeds like
foundation of a city or the fabrication of a golem, one draws a circle, or better yet walks in a circle as in a childrens dance, combining rhythmic vowels and consonants that correspond to the interior forces of creation as to the differentiated parts of an organism. A mistake in speed, rhythm, or harmony would be catastrophic because it would bring back the forces of chaos, destroying both creator and creation.
III. Finally, one opens the circle a crack, opens it all the way, lets someone in, calls someone, or else goes out oneself, launches forth. One opens the circle not on the side where the old forces of chaos press against it but in another region, one created by the circle itself. As though the circle tended on its own to open onto a future, as a function of the working forces it shelters. This time, it is in order to join with the forces of the future, cosmic forces. One launches forth, hazards an improvisation. But to improvise is to join with the World, or meld with it. One ventures from home on the thread of a tune. Along sonorous, gestural, motor lines that mark the customary path of a child and graft themselves onto or begin to bud lines
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of drift with different loops, knots, speeds, movements, gestures, and sonorities.' These are not three successive moments in an evolution. They are three aspects of a single thing, the Refrain (ritournelle). They are found in tales (both horror stories and fairy tales), and in lieder as well. The refrain has all three aspects, it makes them simultaneous or mixes them: sometimes, sometimes, sometimes. Sometimes chaos is an immense black hole in which one endeavors to fix a fragile point as a center. Sometimes one organizes around that point a calm and stable pace (rather than a form) the black hole has become a home. Sometimes one grafts onto that pace a breakaway from the black hole. Paul Klee presented these three aspects, and their interlinkage, in a most profound way. He calls the black hole a gray point for pictorial reasons. The gray point starts out as nonlocalizable, nondimensional chaos, the force of chaos, a tangled bundle of aberrant lines.
Then the point jumps over itself and radiates a dimensional space with horizontal layers, vertical cross sections, unwritten customary lines, a whole terrestrial interior force (this force also appears, at a more relaxed pace, in the atmosphere and in water). The gray point (black
hole) has thus jumped from one state to another, and no longer represents chaos but the abode or home. Finally, the point launches out of itself, impelled by wandering centrifugal forces that fan out to the sphere of the cosmos: one tries convulsively to fly from the earth, but at the following level one actually rises above it . _ _ powered by centrifugal forces that triumph over gravity.
The role of the refrain has often been emphasized: it is territorial, a territorial assemblage. Bird songs: the bird sings to mark its territory. The Greek modes and Hindu rhythms are themselves territorial, provincial, regional. The refrain may assume other functions, amorous, professional or social, liturgical or cosmic: it always carries earth with it; it has a land (sometimes a spiritual land) as its concomitant; it has an essential relation to a Natal, a Native. A musical nome is a little tune, a melodic formula that seeks recognition and remains the bedrock or ground of polyphony (cantus firmus). The nomos as customary, unwritten law is inseparable from a distribution of space, a distribution in space. By that token, it is ethos, but the ethos is also the Abode! Sometimes one goes from chaos to the threshold of a territorial assemblage: directional components, infra-assemblage. Sometimes one organizes the assemblage: dimensional components,
intra-assemblage. Sometimes one leaves the territorial assemblage for other assemblages, or for somewhere else entirely: interassemblage, components of passage or even escape. And all three at once. Forces
of chaos, terrestrial forces, cosmic forces: all of these confront each other and converge in the territorial refrain.
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From chaos, Milieus and Rhythms are born. This is the concern of very
ancient cosmogonies. Chaos is not without its own directional compo-
nents, which are its own ecstasies. We have seen elsewhere how all kinds of milieus, each defined by a component, slide in relation to one another, over one another. Every milieu is vibratory, in other words, a block of space- time constituted by the periodic repetition of the component. Thus the living thing has an exterior milieu of materials, an interior milieu of composing elements and composed substances, an intermediary milieu of membranes and limits, and an annexed milieu of energy sources and actions-perceptions. Every milieu is coded, a code being defined by peri-odic repetition; but each code is in a perpetual state of transcoding or transduction. Transcoding or transduction is the manner in which one milieu serves as the basis for another, or conversely is established atop another milieu, dissipates in it or is constituted in it. The notion of the milieu is not unitary: not only does the living thing continually pass from one milieu to
another, but the milieus pass into one another; they are essentially communicating. The milieus are open to chaos, which threatens them with exhaustion or intrusion. Rhythm is the milieus‚ answer to chaos. What chaos and rhythm have in common is the in-between-between two milieus, rhythm-chaos or the chaosmos: Between night and day, between that which is constructed and that which grows naturally, between mutations from the inorganic to the organic, from plant to animal, from animal to humankind, yet without this series constituting a progression. In this in-between, chaos becomes rhythm, not inexorably, but it has a chance to. Chaos is not the opposite of rhythm, but the milieu of all milieus. There is rhythm whenever there is a transcoded passage from one milieu to another, a communication of milieus, coordination between heterogeneous space-times. Drying up, death, intrusion have rhythm. It is well known that rhythm is not meter or cadence, even
irregular meter or cadence: there is nothing less rhythmic than a military march. The tom-tom is not 1-2, the waltz is not 1, 2, 3, music is not binary or ternary, but rather forty-seven basic meters, as in Turkish music. Meter, whether regular or not, assumes a coded form whose unit of measure may vary, but in a noncommunicating milieu, whereas rhythm is the Unequal or the Incommensurable that is always undergoing transcoding. Meter is dogmatic, but rhythm is critical; it ties together critical moments, or ties itself together in passing from one milieu to another. It does not operate in a homogeneous space-time, but by heterogeneous blocks. It changes direction. Bachelard is right to say that the link between truly active moments (rhythm) is always effected on a different plane from the one upon which the action is carried out. Rhythm is never on the same plane as that which has rhythm. Action occurs in a milieu, whereas rhythm is located between two
milieus, or between two
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intermilieus, on the fence, between night and day, at dusk, twilight or
Zwielicht, Haecceity. To change milieus, taking them as you find them:
Such is rhythm. Landing, splashdown, takeoff . . . This easily avoids an
aporia that threatened to introduce meter into rhythm, despite all the declarations of intent to the contrary: How can one proclaim the constituent inequality of rhythm while at the same time admitting implied vibrations, periodic repetitions of components? A milieu does in fact exist by virtue of a periodic repetition, but one whose only effect is to produce a difference by which the milieu passes into another milieu. It is the difference that is rhythmic, not the repetition, which nevertheless produces it: productive repetition has nothing to do with reproductive meter. This is the critical solution of the antinomy.
One case of transcoding is particularly important: when a code is not
content to take or receive components that are coded differently, and
instead takes or receives fragments of a different code as such. The first case pertains to the leaf-water relation, the second to the spider-fly relation. It has often been noted that the spider web implies that there are sequences of the flys own code in the spiders code; it is as though the spider had a fly in its head, a fly motif a fly ‚refrain. The implication may be reciprocal, as with the wasp and the orchid, or the snapdragon and the bumblebee. Jakob von Uexkiill has elaborated an admirable theory of transcodings. He sees the components as melodies in counterpoint, each of which serves as a motif for another: Nature as music.5 Whenever there is transcoding, we can be sure that there is not a simple addition, but the constitution of a new plane, as ofa surplus value. A melodic or rhythmic plane, surplus value of passage or bridging. The two cases, however, are never pure; they are in reality mixed (for example, the relation of the leaf,
thistime not to water in general but to rain).
Still, we do not yet have a Territory, which is not a milieu, not even an
additional milieu, nor a rhythm or passage between milieus. The territory
is in fact an act that affects milieus and rhythms, that territorializes
them. The territory is the product of a territorialization of milieus and
rhythms. It amounts to the same thing to ask when milieus and rhythms
become territorialized, and what the difference is between a nonterritorial animal and a territorial animal. A territory borrows from all the milieus; it bites into them, seizes them bodily (although it remains vulnerable to intrusions). It is built from aspects or portions of milieus. It itself has an exterior milieu, an interior milieu, an intermediary milieu, and an annexed milieu. It has the interior zone of a residence or shelter, the exterior zone of its domain, more or less retractable limits or membranes, intermediary or even neutralized zones, and energy reserves or annexes. Itis by essence marked by indexes, which may be components taken from
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any of the milieus: materials, organic products, skin or membrane states
energy sources, action-perception condensates. There is a territory pre-
cisely when milieu components cease to be directional, becoming dimen-
sional instead, when they cease to be functional to become expressive.
There is a territory when the rhythm has expressiveness. What defines the
territory is the emergence of matters of expression (qualities). Take the
example of color in birds or fish: color is a membrane state associated with interior hormonal states, but it remains functional and transitory as long as it is tied to a type of action (sexuality, aggressiveness, flight). It becomes expressive, on the other hand, when it acquires a temporal constancy and a spatial range that make it a territorial, or rather territorializing, mark: a signature. The question is not whether color resumes its functions or fulfills new ones in the territory. It is clear that it does, but this reorganization of functions implies first of all that the component under consideration has become expressive and that its meaning, from this standpoint, is to mark a territory. The same species of birds may have colored and uncolored representatives; the colored birds have a territory, whereas the all-white ones are gregarious. We know what role urine and excrement play in marking, but territorial excrement, for example, in the rabbit,
has a particular odor owing to specialized anal glands. Many monkeys, when serving as guards, expose their brightly colored sexual organs: the penis becomes a rhythmic and expressive color-carrier that marks the limits of the territory A milieu component becomes both a quality and a property, quale and proprium. It has been remarked how quick this becoming is in many cases, the rapidity with which a territory is constituted at the same time as expressive qualities are selected or produced. The brown stagemaker (Scenopoeetes denlirostris) lays down landmarks each morning by dropping leaves it picks from its tree, and then turning them upside down so the paler underside stands out against the dirt: inversion produces a matter of expression.
The territory is not primary in relation to the qualitative mark; it is the mark that makes the territory. Functions in a territory are not primary; they presuppose a territory-producing expressiveness. In this sense, the territory, and the functions performed within it, are products of territorialization. Territorialization is an act of rhythm that has become expressive, or of milieu components that have become qualitative. The marking of a territory is dimensional, but it is not a meter, it is a rhythm. It retains the most general characteristic of rhythm, which is to be inscribed on a different plane than that of its actions. But now the distinction between the two planes is between territorializing expressions and territorialized functions. That is why we cannot accept a thesis like Lorenz‚ which tends to make aggressiveness the basis of the territory: the territory would then be the product of the phylogenetic evolution of an
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instinct of aggression, starting at the point where that instinct became
intraspecific, was turned against the animaIs own kind. A territorial animal would direct its aggressiveness against members of its own species; the species would gain the selective advantage of distributing its members throughout a space where each would have its own place. This ambiguous thesis, which has dangerous political overtones, seems to us to have little foundation. It is obvious that the function of aggression changes pace when it becomes intraspecific. but this reorganization of the function, rather than explaining the territory, presupposes it. there are numerous reorganizations within the territory, which also affect sexuality, hunting, etc.; there are even new functions, such as building a place to live. These functions are organized or created only because they are territorialized and not the other way around. The T factor, the territorializing factor, must be sought elsewhere: precisely in the becoming-expressive of rhythm or melody, in
other words, in the emergence or proper qualities (color, odor, sound, silhouette _ _ .).Can this becoming, this emergence, be called Art? That would make the territory a result of art. The artist: the first person to set out a boundary stone, or to make a mark. Property, collective or individual, is derived from that even when it is in the service of war and oppression. Property is funda-mentally artistic because art is fundamentally poster, placard. As Lorenz says. coral fish are posters. The expressive is primary in relation to the possessive; expressive qualities, or matters of expression, are necessarily appropriative and constitute a having more profound than being. Not in the sense that these qualities belong to a subject, but in the sense that they delineate a territory that will belong to the subject that carries or produces them. These qualities are signatures, but the signature, the proper name, is not the constituted mark of a subject, but
the constituting mark of a domain, an abode. The signature is not the indication of a person; it is the chancy formation! of a domain.;_ Abodes have proper names, and are inspired. The inspired and their abodes . it is with the abode that inspiration arises. No sooner do I like a color that I make it my standard or placard. One puts ones signature on something just as one plants ones flag on a piece of land. A high school supervisor stamped all the leaves strewnabout the school yard and then put them back in their places. He had signed. ,Territorial marks are readymades. And what is called art brut is not at all pathological or primitive: it is merely this constitution, this freeing, of matters of expression in the movement ofterritoriality: the base or ground of art. Take anything and make it a matter of expression. The stagemaker practices art brut. Artists are stagemakers, even when they tear up their own posters. Of course, from this standpoint art
is not the privilege of human beings. Messiaen is right in saying that many birds are not only vir-