As D&R readers might know, last term I taught a graduate seminar called, "The Problem of the Media in Deleuze and Guattari." Their philosophy was, needless to say, very much on my mind at the time, and my seminar provoked a lot of issues that I tried to work through here.
I'm on a teaching leave this term to write my book, and although it engages tangentially with Deleuze and Guattari's individual and collaborative writings, it's hardly a Deleuzo-guattarian project in any obvious sense. Perhaps that, in conjunction with my not teaching this term, explains why D&R has taken a turn away of late from D+G. All that's just a longwinded way of saying that it's time again for me to revisit their work.
I've been re-reading Deleuze's Logic of Sense for fun (sick, I know), and in the course of reading something occurred to me. Deleuze's engagement with the writings of Lewis Carroll is one of the few examples I can think of in which he engages with might be called "popular" artifacts. (I also vaguely recall D+G making a passing reference to actor Robert De Niro's "becoming crab" somewhere in A Thousand Plateaus.) Now, I realize that in many places Deleuze discusses fiction--the writings of Proust, Melville, Kafka, Woolf, and others. Those, however, arguably are canonized works of Literature--not "popular culture" in any obvious sense. What's also striking to me is the utter contempt Deleuze seemed to hold for television, as evidenced most of all in Cinema 2.
Now, I'm pretty sure someone else writing about D+G already has addressed the issue of Deleuze's tendency to extrude his philosophy from "high" cultural artifacts. If D&R readers could remind me of who that is, I'd be appreciative. Even so, I want to raise the matter again, for two reasons. First, I want to affirm how radical Deleuze's philosophical method is, despite his propensity to turn to "high" culture. His project of seeking the philosophical in the "non-philosophical" is quite compelling, and indeed it adds a nice dose of humility to a discipline that once put forth the idea of the philosopher-king. Second, I want to pose a question: what might a Deleuzian-inspired philosophy look like, were it more oriented to popular artifacts? I see the work of people like Charlie Stivale and Brian Massumi responding to this question, at least in part, though I do think it could be explored further. Are there philosophical concepts waiting to be extruded from, say, a mainstream TV program like Cold Case? Or a popular artifact like the TV itself?