Heterogenity. Rhizomes can be heterogeneous, which means that they can be made up from diverse elements: animal, vegetable, mineral, and abstract entities can all connect together into a heterogeneous thing. In his Actor Network Theory and Material Semiotics John Law suggests that Actor Network Theory is “an empirical version” of D&G’s “nomadic philosophy”, and notes that Latour himself observes that talk of “actor-rhizomes” could be an alternative to “actor-networks”. So instead of ANT, we might have “actant-rhizome ontology”. All of this was a bit of a eureka moment to me when I thought about it: ANT tells us that concepts and objects are also part of our social network; D&G tell us that rhizomes are heterogeneous – similar points are being made in different ways. To put it another way, they are both types of material semiotics – which is to say that they both map the relations between things and concepts.
1 and 2. Principles of connection and heterogeneity: any point of a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be.
So that’s some big words cut down to size 🙂