You Are a Rhizome
By: Joe Aguirre
I want to start off by saying that this concept is going to be difficult to grasp right away. When I was introduced to the concept of the rhizome, which was constructed by the philosopher Deleuze, I was completely lost. But as I learned more about this concept, I started to see how it could benefit my own way of understanding the world. Now, I understand enough to explain why the use of the rhizome concept can improve the way we think and interact, especially as advertisers and students in Jacht.
Here are some key words and definitions to help you understand this concept:
A rhizome is an infinite number of points that connect to other points on an infinite number of lines.
These lines are called flows, which are best described as streams that run from different points and flow into each other. (Think of the flow that happens when a person thinks of an idea and communicates it to others. That idea is then passed on through more communication, “streams” and connecting points.)
These flows intersect at certain points called nodes, which can be thought of as the “points” of a rhizome. These nodes are not beginning or end points because nodes are not necessary for the flow to begin; they are simply intersections. (Again, think of a river. When banks along this river wear away, the river can flow into new spaces, creating more streams and intersecting points, or “nodes.”)
As you consider these concepts, ask yourself: What is advertising? In your mind, you have probably formed a list of words such as communication, marketing, storytelling and so on. What is Jacht? Again, you’ll think of words that follow a similar hierarchy: the CEO, executive teams, social media teams, clients and other key players and departments in Jacht.
People tend to use dialectic language when defining complex terms, which creates these hierarchical chains of words and ideas. When we talk about an advertising agency, we imagine that the company sits at the top of this hierarchy, followed by its different departments and workers. The issue with this hierarchical way of thinking is that business is really much more complex. All things within the company (like the departments, workers and even desk chairs) are the company. Business is not a hierarchy; it is a rhizome. If we start to think of advertising, Jacht and other businesses in terms of rhizomes, our minds can be opened to new ways of understanding, potentials and possibilities.
In the same way that advertising concepts and advertising agencies like Jacht are really rhizomes, each person is their own rhizome, too, with their own flows and nodes. Think of the things that make you who you are: your subjective experiences, creative tendencies, biological organs and even your cells and atoms. These things are you. Your cells flow to other cells and assemble into organs in the same way that your own ideas and experiences flow into concepts and your understanding of the world.
The concept of rhizomes can help us think deeper and go beyond the ways in which we understand advertising, Jacht and even ourselves. When we challenge our current hierarchical thought processes, we can think more deeply about the connections between people - each interaction and each node in an infinite web.
Advertising is a rhizome.
Jacht is a rhizome.
You are a rhizome, and your potential lies within.