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Which clippings match 'Smooth Space' keyword pg.1 of 2
14 NOVEMBER 2014

NHS Innovation Diffusion: digital tools and social movements

"There is innovation inside the NHS. But innovations tend to stay local, failing to be adopted by other healthcare organisations or diffusing very slowly. This challenge is well recognised. But what's the problem? Given the assembled talents and good intentions of NHS staff, how can the systemic sum of innovation be so much less than its parts?

The NHS is sometimes described in terms of it's hierarchical structure. For my purposes it's useful to describe the current NHS using the language of philosopher–activists Deleuze & Guattari. In their terms, the NHS is a striated space marked by linear boundaries, restricted to a particular plane of activity in the space of all possible potentials[1]. For Deleuze & Guattari, like Foucault before them, power does not simply operate as a pyramid but in myriad multifaceted directions and relationships. Foucault said 'One doesn't have a power which is only in the hands of one person who exercises it alone... it is a machine in which everyone is caught, those who exercise power as much as those over whom it is exercised.. it becomes a machinery that noone owns'[2]. The overall effect is an institutional environment that acts to tame energies it is a social machine that produces conformity. As Deleuze & Guattari would say, the NHS is highly codified, where a code is a pattern of repeated acts. Of course, there are many situations where this is desirable–an ICU emergency needs a practiced response. But it doesn't make for a system that diffuses innovation.

Anyone who's returned from an innovation workshop and tried to applied new ideas in their NHS workplace has experienced this striation. It's the overlap in particular experience of all the dynamics that limit change: lack of autonomy in a hierarchical structure, the expectations of colleagues, the time it takes to deliver your daily targets, the lack of incentive, the lack of peer support, lack of sense of entitlement to change the way things are done all of which can combine to deliver an experiential straitjacket which is an impersonal affect, a pattern across the system and one that stifles diffusion as effectively as individual innovation.

The alternative is a system marked by flows, connections and zones of intensity. In the abstract terminology of Deleuze & Guattari, an innovative system would include smooth as well as striated spaces. Smooth space is occupied by intensities and events, by the continuous variation of free action. The characteristic experience of smooth space is short term, up close, with no fixed points of reference. I will try to show how the combination of social movements and digital technologies could blend smooth space with the more rigid boundaries and caste structures of the NHS in a way that aids the spread of innovation."

(Dan McQuillan, 2011)

[1] Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari (1980). A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi. London and New York:Continuum, 2004.
[2] Foucault, Michel (1975). Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, New York: Random House.

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TAGS

2011 • a practiced response • an impersonal affect • change the way things are done • codified • conformityconnections • continuous variation • Dan McQuillan • diffusion • digital movements • digital technologiesevents • expectations of colleagues • experiential straitjacket • Felix Guattariflows • free action • Gilles Deleuze • healthcare organisations • hierarchical structure • ICU emergency • individual innovation • innovation diffusion • innovation workshop • innovative system • institutional environment • intensities • lack of autonomy • lack of incentive • limiting change • linear boundaries • local innovation • machinery • Michel Foucault • myriad multifaceted directions • myriad multifaceted relationships • NHS • no fixed points of reference • ownership • particular plane of activity • peer support • philosopher-activists • power • pyramid structure • sense of entitlement • short term • smooth spacesocial computing • social machine • social movements • spread innovation • striated space • striation • up close • zones of intensity

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 NOVEMBER 2014

Smooth and striated interactions between sound and digital technologies

"In the plateau '1440: The Smooth and Striated' from their book A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Deleuze and Guattari propose a distinction between smooth and striated space. Presenting a dialectical construction of space in which 'the two spaces in fact exist only in mixture' they argue 'smooth space is constantly being translated, transversed into a striated space, striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a smooth space' [46]. In particular the technological model of smooth and striated space Deleuze and Guattari put forward serves as a useful construction of the interaction between sound and digital technologies. Using the example of fabric, Deleuze and Guattari explain a conception of striated space in which there are 'two kinds of parallel elements; in the simplest case there are vertical and horizontal elements, and the two intertwine, intersect perpendicularly' [47].

Performing different functions, one of these remains fixed, the other mobile, as demonstrated by one piece of thread remaining in place while another interweaves, or transverses, it or by the x–axis of time in a digital sound buffer which remains linear, straight, as its corresponding y–axis of amplitude simultaneously traces and diverges from it. It is crucial that 'a striated space of this kind is necessarily delimited, closed on at least one side', as 'fabric can be infinite in length but not in width' and though time does not constrain sound the limited headroom of digital audio means amplitude must [48]. Technological striated spaces are constructed with top and bottom, as belied by the seams of fabric or bit depth of digital sound [49]. Digital sound involves a constant process of translation in which sound moves between the smooth phenomenal space of actualized sonority and the striated space of potential that is the digital domain, while still presenting a smooth space of its own, and so is itself nothing more than a functional abstraction."

(Ben Byrne, 2009)

Byrne, B. (2009). "Digital Sound: On Technology, Infidelity and Potentiality". Totally Huge New Music Festival Conference. Edith Cowan University, Perth.

TAGS

2009 • actualised sonority • amplitude • bit depth • cloth • dialectical construction • digital audio • digital sound • digital technologiesfabricFelix Guattarifunctional abstractionGilles Deleuze • headroom • infinite length • intersect perpendicularly • intertwine • interweave • mixture • parallel elements • Perth • process of translation • recording in analogue • recording sound • smooth and striated interactions • smooth phenomenal spacesmooth space • sonority • sound • sound capture • spacestriated space • technological striated space • thread • transverse • warp • warp and woof • weaving • weft • woof • x-axis • y-axis

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 NOVEMBER 2014

Songlines: How Indigenous Australians Use Music to Mark Geography

"There are many different methods of pre–literate navigation that have been documented around the world. One of the most unique, a fusion of navigation and oral mythological storytelling, originated among the indigenous peoples of Australia, who navigated their way across the land using paths called songlines or dreaming tracks. In Aboriginal mythology, a songline is a myth based around localised 'creator–beings' during the Dreaming, the indigenous Australian embodiment of the creation of the Earth. Each songline explains the route followed by the creator–being during the course of the myth. The path of each creator–being is marked in sung lyrics. One navigates across the land by repeating the words of the song or re–enacting the story through dance, which in the course of telling the story also describe the location of various landmarks on the landscape (e.g. rock formations, watering holes, rivers, trees). In some cases, the paths of the creator–beings are said to be evident from their marks on the land (petrosomatoglyphs), such as large depressions in the land which are said to be their footprints (parallels can certainly be seen in some North American First Nation creation stories).

Songlines often came in sequences, much like a symphony or album today. By singing a song cycle in the appropriate order could navigate vast distances, often travelling through the deserts of Australia's interior (a fact which amazed early anthropologists who were stunned by Aborigines that frequently walked across hundreds of kilometres of desert picking out tiny features along the way without error). Each group had its own set of songlines that were passed from generation to generation so that future generations would know how to navigate when in neighbouring tribes' territories. The extensive system of songlines in Australia varied in length from a few kilometres to hundreds of kilometres in length crossing through lands of many different Indigenous peoples. Since a songline can span the lands of several different language groups, different parts of some songlines were in different languages corresponding to the region the songline was navigating through at the time, and thus could only be fully understood by a person speaking all of the languages in the song."

(The Basement Geographer, 21 October 2010)

Fig.1 "What are song lines?" Colin Jones, lecturer in Aboriginal History, talks about his culture, his history and his art. Queensland Rural Medical Education.

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TAGS

Aboriginal mythologyancestral beings • ancestral heroes • animist belief systemAustralia • Colin Jones • creation narrative • creation spirits • Creator Beingscultural memory • cultural webs of memory • dreaming (spirituality) • dreaming tracks • earth motherFirst AustraliansFirst Nations • genii loci • geographical point • Indigenous Australians • kin-grouping system • kinship • landmarkslandscapelocationmappingmarkers • mythological storytelling • navigation systemnavigational methodsoral historiesorientationorigin myth • paths • petrosomatoglyph • place • point-to-point • pre-literate navigation • pre-literate societiessequences and spatial practisessmooth space • song cycle • songlinesspatial literacyspatial narrativespiritualitysymbolic placeterritorytimeless timetopology • totemic ancestors • voice map • watering holewayfinding

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 MARCH 2014

Deleuze Guattari: Societies of Control and Antipsychiatry

"if the energetic machine expressed the disciplinary bourgeoise society of the 18th and 19th centuries, computers, electronic and cybernetic machines express what Deleuze calls the 'society of control.'"

(Jeremy Jae, 2012)

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TAGS

2012anti-capitalismbourgeoise societycapital accumulationcapital flowscapitalismcontrolcultural relativismculture industry • cybernetic feedback • cybernetic machines • digital technologiesexclusionFelix Guattari • fraying • Gilles Deleuzeglobal communities • global networked society • globalisation • human social relations • inclusionJacques Derrida • Jeremy Jae • mass culture • narcissistic necrosis • networked societynew mediaNorbert Wienerrhizome • sameness • smooth spacesocial space • societies of control • society of control • subjectification • technocratic neo-capitalism • technologically manufactured culture • Theodor Adorno • worldwide circulation of electronic information

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 FEBRUARY 2014

Jamie O'Neil: Skipping Slides (building cognitive maps)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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