In the third seminar of New Centre’s ‘Outer Edges’ course, Nick Land outlines two commonly held models of geopolitical organisation: high integration, high connectivity (globalisation, multiculturalism, unions) and low integration, low connectivity (tribalism, xenophobia, separation); and then suggests “the positive critical diagonal” — linked to Patri Friedman’s Dynamic Geography — a low integration, high connectivity option. This terminology is simple, neutral, and outstandingly vivid, lurching right into core issues of sprawling diversity, complex networks, strategies, etc.
‘Connective distintegration’ immediately makes me think of Cyberspace, with countless amounts of users and programs, delocalised from their immediate geographical standings, and functioning on a vast informational network, interconnected, yet disintegrated, operating in niches with filtered content, but capable of instantaneously moving on a trajectory linking many newer, foreign nodes. The power, productivity, and scale of this monster is unprecedented, and neither will its disintegrating Entfremdung (alienation, estrangement, depersonalisation, reification) of people. High-I./C. and Low. I./C. could both be viewed as attempts of creating and maintaining identities (the latter for obvious reasons, while the former in the fashionably ‘progressive’, cultural-assimilation sense), but Connective disintegration dismantles them, creating potentials of joining and separating from a variety of groups, appealing right down to a philosophy and aesthetics of the nomad, the wanderer, precisely in the Deleuze & Guattari sense, entangled in the rhizome, where “every point is connected to every other”, but immense diversity, local stable substructures, and complexity is maintained.