Materialism and the Mediating Third



This article proffers a critical reading of multiliteracy pedagogy and a materialism of the multimodal and machinic. A critical stance is taken against the mesmerising modes of representation that run rampant across our ocular territories. The article assesses the dangers of fetishizing technologies. To this end, Multiple Literacies Theory (MLT) is read through a Guattarian theoretical prism to emphasise four chief points: (1) the role of the unconscious, (2) the role of affect (affectus in the Spinozian sense; contrary to feeling which immobilises, affect moves us), (3) the apparent becoming cyborg of the human race and (4) the desire to desire repression. The author contends that while qualitative multiplicities play a central role for MLT, it is neither inconsistent nor contradictory to consider the role of the machinic in greater detail. It is argued that more research must be directed into the cartographic, ethological and noological mechanisms at work in plastic universes of reference (new technologies and the arts) which transform the virtual and transfigure the dynamic of affect.