Fertilizing Problems: Singularization and the Guerrilla Gardens at the University of Victoria

  • Nick Montgomery Department of Political Science University of Victoria
Keywords: Deleuze, Guattari, singularization, guerrilla gardens, University of Victoria, stimulus-response circuits, representation

Abstract

This paper discusses the guerrilla gardens planted at the University of Victoria using Félix Guattari's concept of singularization. Rather than explaining reasons for planting the garden, or speaking on behalf of others who were involved, this paper argues that these forms of representation are complicit with hegemonic procedures of classification, judgement and decision-making. Instead, this paper puts forward a conception of relational politics, in hopes of interrogating the procedures that classify and contain processes of political transformation. This paper interrogates processes of habit, recognition and judgement in the context of the University of Victoria, and the ways in which they were problematized through the guerrilla gardens. Protest, bureaucracy and resolution are conceptualized as interlocking forces that inhibit radical political transformation. It is argued that the guerrilla gardens were enveloped by a process of open-ended change or singularization, which seems inchoate because it does not fit within established categories of political analysis. Political theory can affirm processes of singularization by connecting and deepening political problems, rather than seeking their resolution. The article concludes with a more general discussion of singularization and the promise of relational political theory.

Author Biography

Nick Montgomery, Department of Political Science University of Victoria
Nick Montgomery is an activist and academic living and working on Coast Salish Territory in Victoria, British Columbia.  He recently completed his MA in Political Science and Cultural, Social and Political Thought at the University of Victoria.
Published
2011-02-01