The Plateau - Zone of Joining
A plateau is perhaps best defined by what it is not; as a state of
being it is fundamentally opposed to a humanist point of view; that is
it does not rely on concepts of subject like conflict, resolution, climax.
These concepts can be generally grouped under hierachies, or directory
`trees' and are structured by definition according to type. In The Drama
(from Aristotle to Stanislavski to the Hollywood feature film) a character
in drama has these salient features: a conflict to resolve, sets of crisis's
to pass through, a climactic event where some kind of action must be taken,
and finally a reintegration of new material with their life. The
whole concept of Plateau enters The Drama from eastern sources, most emphatically
in the theatrical work of Antonin Artaud
who used models from Balinese and Oriental theatre to begin his writing
on the `Theatre of Cruelty' where events, rather than being developed
and resolved, are multiplied and catastrophic; the aleatory suspensions
of `happenings' versus the wisdom of Oedipus Rex (or sundry Hollywood
This notion, while it starts with Aristotle's `Poetics', gets it's full application in Hegel's dialectical materialism.. .
Perhaps the cleanest example of plateau structures is in Indian classical music where the mode, melody and ornamentation are favoured over the harmonic structure of the (western) sonata form. In contemporary popular music this difference is audible between song forms and `texture' forms like trance, electro or techno where the DJ creates an intensity from groupings of individual pieces which in themselves may have no `development'. At a very basic level plateau versus rise-to-climax has a correlation in reductionist views of female/male sexuality.
|Self and Plateau.
The plateau is a `stable disequilibrium', the area of ordered turbulence in chaos theory, before the bifurcation or phase shift, before the event is seized by new strange attractors. Plateaus are `consistencies' created in networks that are articulated by non-hierachical links called (in Deleuze and Guatarri) `rhizomes' A consistency may mix elements of the real, the virtual, the abstract, treating them all as equal in the functioning of the abstract machine. Persona is such a consistency, occurring between the self and the socius, and can be formulated by hierachical ordering or conjunctive plateau intensities.
|Rhizome: A node within a network, both a thing and a logic in the way that a category is a thing and a logical principle of a hierachy.|
|More about Chaos...
Technology and Cultural Paradigms: the consistency.