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Manuel DeLanda (1952 - )
BiographyManuel DeLanda, (born 1952 in Mexico City), is a writer, artist and distinguished philosopher who has lived in New York since 1975. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University (New York), a Professor for Contemporary Philosophy and Science at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and professor at the Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
He is the author of War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (1991), Phylum: A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (1997), and Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (2002). He has published many articles and essays and lectured extensively in Europe and in the United States. His work focuses on the theories of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze on one hand, and modern science, self-organizing matter, artificial life and intelligence, economics, architecture, chaos theory, history of science, nonlinear science, cellular automata on the other. De Landa became a principal figure in the "new materialism" based on his application of Deleuze's realist ontology. His universal research into "morphogenesis" - the production of the semi-stable structures out of material flows that are constitutive of the natural and social world - has been of interest to theorists across the disciplines. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_De_Landa [Apr 2005]
ProfileManuel de Landa is a New York based philosopher and science writer with an exceptionally cross-disciplinary body of work: He has written extensively on nonlinear dynamics, theories of self-organization, artificial life and intelligence, chaos theory as well as architecture, and history of science. Currently, de Landa is a professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Columbia University, New York. Born in Mexico City he moved to New York in 1975 and became an independent filmmaker. In 1980 he turned his attention towards the computer, a pioneer programmer and computer art, before he emerged as one of the leading theorists of the electronic world. Major books: War in the Age of Intelligent Machines; A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History; Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy. --http://www.egs.edu/faculty/delanda.html
De Landa also teaches at the European Graduate School.
Linkshttp://www.cddc.vt.edu/host/delanda/ Manuel DeLanda Annotated Bibliography
Nonlinear Dynamics AnalysisManuel De Landa observes in 1000 Years of Nonlinear History that market systems act like an abstract machine whereas the natural process is for relatively flat meshworks of producer-consumers to transform into hierarchies over time; hierarchies of meshworks as well as meshworks of hierarchies. These monopolistic hierarchies are not necessarily large enterprises (corporations), but can be taken to mean dominant cities in the world economic scale, such as Venice in the 14th century, wherein rich merchants enjoyed enormous economic advantage over rivals in other cities.  --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_and_capitalism [Apr 2005]
- Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy - Manuel Delanda [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Delanda is certainly not the least controversial of Deleuzeans, so I imagine some folks will dislike the (sort of) analytic flavor of this work. Nonetheless it gives--or makes a painfully valient attempt to give--what a lot of 'clarificationary' work on Deleuze ultimately fails to provide. A solid, relevant reconstruction of Deleuze's world without all the cumbersome jargon that bogs down the more continental reconstructions (e.g., Badiou's "Clamor of Being"...really an excellent book, but rough-going in the prose department). Delanda takes his by now standard fascination with complexity theory and other cool stuff and mines Deleuze's works for its scientific & mathematic underpinnings. John Protevi's "Political Physics," another book in this series, could be seen as an intro. to this book--not to downplay the significance of Protevi's work. Where Protevi explored the possibilities for Deleuzean applications to complexity, Delanda actually applies it, fearlessly, using the analytic style, I imagine, as a way to not cower in the face of some of Deleuze's absurdities. This work should be hotly debated, but it should be deeply appreciated as well, for the age of freeplay is waning, and now that the fog is clearing it really is time to figure out what the hell Deleuze was talking about.
This is first on my list of Deleuze commentaries, and it stands as a powerful independent work in its own right. Read it. Delanda rules. --christopher chrappa for amazon.com
- A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History - Manuel DeLanda [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Following in the wake of his groundbreaking War in the Age of Intelligent Machines, Manuel De Landa presents a radical synthesis of historical development over the last one thousand years. More than a simple expository history, A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History sketches the outlines of a renewed materialist philosophy of history in the tradition of Fernand Braudel, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari, while also engaging the critical new understanding of material processes derived from the sciences of dynamics. Working against prevailing attitudes that see history as an arena of texts, discourses, ideologies, and metaphors, De Landa traces the concrete movements and interplays of matter and energy through human populations in the last millennium.
De Landa attacks three domains that have given shape to human societies: economics, biology, and linguistics. In every case, what one sees is the self-directed processes of matter and energy interacting with the whim and will of human history itself to form a panoramic vision of the West free of rigid teleology and naive notions of progress, and even more important, free of any deterministic source of its urban, institutional, and technological forms. Rather, the source of all concrete forms in the West's history are shown to derive from internal morphogenetic capabilities that lie within the flow of matter-energy itself. --amazon.com
- War in the Age of Intelligent Machines - Manuel DeLanda [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
In the aftermath of the methodical destruction of Iraq during the Persian Gulf War, the power and efficiency of new computerized weapons and surveillance technology have become chillingly apparent. For Manuel DeLanda, however, this new weaponry has a significance that goes far beyond military applications; he shows how it represents a profound historical shift in the relation of human beings both to machines and to information. The recent emergence of intelligent and autonomous bombs and missiles equipped with artificial perception and decision-making capabilities is, for Delanda, part of a much larger transfer of cognitive structures from humans to machines in the late twentieth century. War in the Age of Intelligent Machines provides a rich panorama of these astonishing developments; it details the mutating history of information analysis and machinic organization from the mobile siege artillery of the Renaissance, the clockwork armies of the Thirty Years War, the Napoleonic campaigns, and the Nazi blitzkrieg up to present-day cybernetic battle-management systems and satellite reconnaissance networks. Much more than a history of warfare, DeLanda's account is an unprecedented philosophical and historical reflection on the changing forms through which human bodies and materials are combined, organized, deployed, and made effective. Manuel DeLanda has published essays on philosophy and film theory. He is a computer programmer and a film artist. --amazon.com