Walking Through Walls

by Eyal Weizman
transversal 2007

In the interview, I asked Naveh: “Why Deleuze and Guattari?” He replied that: “Several of the concepts in 
A Thousand Plateaus became instrumental for us […] allowing us to explain contemporary situations in a way that we could not have otherwise explained. It problematized our own paradigms. […] Most important was the distinction they have pointed out between the concepts of ‘smooth’ and ‘striated’ space […] [which accordingly reflect] the organizational concepts of the ‘war machine’ and the ‘state apparatus.’ […] In the IDF we now often use the term ‘to smooth out space’ when we want to refer to operation in a space as if it had no borders. We try to produce the operational space in such a manner that borders do not affect us. Palestinian areas could indeed be thought of as ‘striated,’ in the sense that they are enclosed by fences, walls, ditches, roadblocks and so on. […] We want to confront the ‘striated’ space of traditional, old-fashioned military practice [the way most military units presently operate] with smoothness that allows for movement through space that crosses any borders and barriers. Rather than contain and organize our forces according to existing borders, we want to move through them.”

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