International Journal of Drug Policy - 2014

Volume 25 Issue 3 May 2014

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C. Duff / International Journal of Drug Policy 25 (2014) 633–639 635 In the first of these articulations, "raw materials" are selected and combined in the composition of discrete territories. Deleuze and Guattari (1987:40) stress that the "first articulation chooses or deducts, from unstable particle-flows, metastable molecular or quasi-molecular units (substances) upon which it imposes a sta- tistical order of connections and successions (forms)". As DeLanda (2008:162) helpfully explains, this process of selection applies to the various procedures by which "geological, biological and even social strata are formed". Each may be regarded as material pro- cesses insofar as each involves the combination or synthesis of material elements in the expression of discrete geological, biologi- cal or social territories. This includes, for example, the processes of selection and sedimentation which transpire over geological time in the formation of physical structures; the combination of mate- rial elements, forms and capacities in the evolution of biological life; and the convergence of materials by which social entities are composed and recognised. In each case, the selection, attraction, synthesis or combination of material elements is articulated in the creation of a territorial space unique to each geological, biological or social entity. And so, the sedimentation of materials settles in the space of the mountain; material elements are folded into the biological territory of the human body; just as assemblages of place, bodies, communication, infrastructure and transportation express the social space of the modern city (see McFarlane, 2011). The second articulation involves a "folding" that establishes "a stable functional structure" for the elements selected in the first articulation (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987:41). Put another way, the second articulation "establishes functional, compact, sta- ble substances (forms), and constructs the molar compounds in which these structures are simultaneously actualized (substances)" (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987:41). The point is that each of the pro- cesses of selection and combination by which material elements are assembled in the expression of a territory (the first articula- tion), necessarily entails in the second articulation, the expression of a series of explicit functions, capacities or forms. This sec- ond articulation establishes (or seeks to determine) the function, meaning, purpose or form of the territory effected in the first articulation. Such processes limit the possible array of forms that may be attributed to a material territory. An interesting exam- ple may well be the human body itself and the way each of the material territories that make up the assembled body, such as the hand, is overcoded in an attempt to delimit its function, form, capacity or purpose. Another example concerns the formation of crowds and the overcoding processes involved in the distinctions drawn between peaceable assemblies, insurrectionary mobs, incip- ient social movements and so on (see Thrift, 2004:57–59). It is important to note however, as Deleuze and Guattari (1987) stress, that neither the first nor the second articulation is ever completed or fixed. Matter is continuously in motion, such that both the first and the second articulation need to be understood as a movement towards stabilisation rather than the final achieve- ment of this state. Just as the "raw materials" that combine in the creation of "actual entities" are forever in motion, so too are the forms and functions that serve as the effective expressions of these processes. For DeLanda (2008:164), this means that all bod- ies, forms, spaces and territories must be regarded as "objectively changeable: they may undergo destabilising processes affecting their materiality, their expressivity or both". This is why Deleuze and Guattari emphasise processes of territorialisation and deter- ritorialisation, inasmuch as all material forms, all assemblages, remain fluid and unstable ("objectively changeable") according to the historical, political, social and/or economic forces applied to, or expressed through, them. I should add that the means of this double articulation provide an insight into the formation of the assem- blages of bodies, spaces, signs and affects central to the event (or 'context') of AOD use. Assembling the context of drug use (spaces, bodies, affects) Consistent with the analysis reviewed above, I would argue that the contexts of AOD use may be regarded as assemblages of human and nonhuman forces by which affects and relations obtain between bodies in particular territories. Another way of making this point is simply to note that all contexts are expres- sions of an assemblage. Contexts assemble spaces, bodies and affects in a "constellation of singularities and traits" (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987:406), giving to each assemblage a provisional identity such that contexts may be distinguished from one another according to the specificity of their spatial and temporal arrangement. Distin- guishing contexts in this fashion is critical if one is to overcome the tendency for contexts to assume a kind of pan-spatial, struc- tural hegemony, seemingly operating at all places at all times with the same relentless mediating power. Yet the specificity of con- text also requires that one pay heed to the discrete arrangement of spaces, bodies and affects by which the assemblages that com- prise context are composed. The active power of contexts lies in the force of these connections and flows. This is why one must con- ceive of the context of AOD use as an assemblage of spaces, bodies and affects rather than as a composite of such forces. It is worth briefly summarising the spatial, corporeal and affective aspects of this 'drug assemblage' before considering how their analysis may be advanced in the design of novel studies of AOD use. With regard first to the spatial aspects of assemblages, and their expression in the contextualisation of AOD use, space and matter alike are continuously constructed and reconstructed "through the agency of things encountering each other in more or less organised circulations" (Thrift, 2003:96). Space is not discovered but rather is socially mediated or enacted in the play of events, flows and encounters between bodies, affects, objects and territories. Space is less a natural property of the world, an inert substance, and more a means of making sense of it, of negotiating movement and passage and organising relations and cultural practices. Above all though, matter and space are continuously evolving and becom- ing, being made and unmade, contested and stabilised. What is crucial for the analysis of AOD use proposed here is the manner in which settings or spaces are crafted in processes of territorialisation and deterritorialization (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987). Each event of territorialisation (or place-making) inflects the ways assemblages enact a social context for the activities, interactions or associations expressed in AOD use. The place of consumption must, therefore, be construed in terms of connections and encounters that establish a territory for the 'drug assemblage'. The assemblage organises and distributes relations, affects and bodies in each event of AOD use. Deleuze and Guattari (1987:405–06) primarily conceive of the corporeal dimensions of the assemblage in terms of affects, habits, practices and expressions, and the manner of their circulation on a plane or territory. Behaviours, actions and practices circu- late in relations of embodiment as entities come to affect (and be affected by) one another in an assemblage. Such relations give to each body within the assemblage an "emergent identity" (DeLanda, 2008:163). Yet as I have stressed, assemblage thinking eschews the subject/object binary distinguishing bodies and spaces in argu- ing that bodies represent "series of flows, energies, movements, strata, segments, organs, intensities; fragments capable of being linked together or severed in potentially infinite ways" (Grosz, 1994:167). What is striking about this position given the purpose of this paper is the affirmation of the spatial character of relations of embodiment in practices like AOD use. The practice of consump- tion necessarily assembles spaces, affects and bodies in particular points, at particular times, with particular effects. As such, the body can no longer be understood as separate from (or prior to) the spaces around it; rather, the two are mutually constitutive. Spaces and contexts are made coextensive with the body as they are folded

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