I must admit that my recent interest in object-oriented-ontology has been emerging in tandem with my declining interest in Deleuze. After a while I usually get to a point when I think that I no longer have anything new to gain from reading more of a philosopher or an anthropologist. Most thinkers tend to repeat themselves (just like myself). My declining interest in Deleuze has to do with my focus on the DeLandian “faction” of Deleuzean studies, i.e. the one that transforms Deleuze into a complex system theorist (also advanced by Protevi). Now, I have never been a great fan of complex system theory in archaeology so why should I be seduced by it through the alternative words of DeLanda and Protevi instead? Do not get me wrong. Both DeLanda and Protevi have made interesting studies in their own right but most of it could have been done without the Deleuzean vocabulary. There is no longer any major difference between thermodynamics and Deleuze in DeLanda’s writing.
After reading several texts by Harman and other object-oriented people I pretty much see similar lines of thought there as well. Put simply, parts make up a greater whole and the whole affects its parts (a standpoint I do agree with though). Objects/assemblages/systems/networks are more or less the same idea and the differences are not that great after all (at least not from my nonanthropocentric archaeological standpoint). For a philosopher focusing on ontology it may be important to distinguish if relations only are internal to an essential object or if they are external to a nonessential assemblage. The way we can interpret the end products of these different kinds of relations are quite similar in an archaeological context. I simply cannot make too much interpretation with a completely nonanthropocentric perspective. Maybe I should reformulate my future project that I originally labeled something like “a nonanthropocentric archaeological study of the human.”
Anyway, I have set my own diagnosis and I realize why I began to feel bored by reading DeLanda’s latest book. There is no longer the slightest trace of the Bergsonian current in DeLanda’s Deleuze. I am currently taking notes from a couple of books on Deleuze that I read a while ago, books that emphasize Bergson’s influence on Deleuze. It was that part that originally brought me to Deleuze. Suddenly I began to take some interest in Deleuze again. Let’s just see if I can merge these Bergsonian ideas with the object-oriented archaeological perspective that I have begun to sketch on. In any case I hope to be able to cover the main themes in OOO before Christmas and focus on the more empirical part of my water project.