Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Dr. Antonio Calcagno


By bringing the machinic ontology of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, together with Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela’s machinic theory of autopoiesis, this thesis presents a rethinking of world and identity in what we call the situation of contemporary global modernity. It argues that worlds and identity co-arise with one another through a poietic structuring. Globally, this is defined by organizational processes of autopoietic capitalism that attempts to self-separate from worlds. These processes involve an ontology of abstractive creation destruction, which continuously re-inscribe histories and identities in the image of capitalism. Locally, worlds and identities are structured by allopoietic processes, or, ontological and political machinations of becoming-other. This becoming-other accommodates the global and specific identity of autopoietic capitalism in a local space and history to form poietic subjects. We find that by holding ontology and politics together on equal ground, new implications for political belonging and collective identity are revealed.