Drawing a Thousand Plateaus

Original drawings, discussion, prints, posters, and a Patreon. Since 2010

Drawing A Thousand Plateaus,10,000 BC, paragraph 13

These drawings are a methodical interpretation of the first three chapters of A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schzophrenia (Wikipedia link) by Gilles Delueze and Felix Guattari, translated by Brian Massumi, University of Minnesota Press, 1987.

They are created as a means of understanding the ideas being presented in the book. Each drawing is labeled by chapter and paragraph.

photograph of book cover
My well worn copy of the book, a Thousand Plateaeus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

Drawings by Chapter

Drawings finished to date.

Drawing a Thousand Plateaus by Marc Ngui, 1914, paragraph 15

Support this project on Patreon

Every month supporters get an intimate view inside the process of translating ideas from word to images.

Buy a Thousand Plateaus Original Drawing or Poster

All the illustrations drawn to date are available as original drawings or high quality poster reproductions.

The original drawings are drawn on paper sized 23cm x 30cm (9 x 12 inches). The poster prints are only slight enlargements of the original and aim to keep an intimate scale with the viewer.

The posters are printed on high quality, thick stock and with a matte texture, to best reproduce the look of the matt paper.
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The original drawings are redrawings by Marc of the original drawing, which is sometimes damaged during its making because the process is primarily for understanding the philosophy in the book and the art is somewhat secondary. So the original redrawings that are sent out are in immaculate condition and are accompanied by a very pretty certificate of authenticity.
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A Diagramatic Style for Drawing a Thousand Ideas

I was introduced to the book by a friend, Kevin Steltzer. I started to read his copy during the cottage weekend we were sharing and was instantly mesmerized by the language. I found the ideas quite elusive and felt compelled to make diagrams so that I could better understand and retain the ideas.

The writing in A Thousand Plateaus takes some time to adjust to. It is poetic and packed with images. I'll read a paragraph and then try to focus on one of the prominent images and then draw it out.

The drawing style is very immediate. It has evolved from an automatic style that I was experimenting with as a means of accessing sub conscious material. The drawings were produced quickly with very little left brain processing.


RNA Connective

This style was adapted from illustrations that were developed during my participation in RNA Connective, a Toronto group think collective that created many images and ideas for publication between 1999 and 2001 in collaboration with the Marshall McLuhan Institute at the University of Toronto.

RNA Connective was occupied with the burgeoning digital networked culture of the late 1990's and early 2000's and the drawings explored connected individuality. I found that a very simple diagrammatic style could be used to articulate fairly complex ideas about information, networks and the self.

The RNA drawing style was then adopted to make the visual interpretations of A Thousand Plateaus.

You can see the original RNA drawings here.

Drawing a Thousand Plateaus: 10 000 BC, paragraph 49b
10,000 BC, paragraph 49b

Thousand Plateaus Drawings in Exhibition and Print

Drawing A Thousand Plateaus, 10,000 BC, paragraph 7
The drawings have appeared in several international exhibitions and have been published in countless international philosophy publications, doctoral dissertations, and online journals.

Inflexions research journal

Marc sent these diagrams to Brian Massumi, the translator of A Thousand Plateaus into English, who is currently one of the editors of Inflexions, the online journal for research-creation. The first volume of the journal includes some of these diagrams in the Tangents section.

Deleuze and Artistic Research Conference (DARE) 2015, Ghent, Belgium

The drawings were exhibited in a historic library and Marc presented a talk about the process of developing a visual language to present the ideas in the book. Visit the conference archive.

Quantal Strife art exhibition

Many of these drawings were part of a group art show called Quantal Strife.

Thousand Plateaus drawings installed in an exhibition at the Doris McCarthy Gallery
Thousand Plateaus installation at the Doris McCarthy Gallery in Toronto in 2006.

Using a Thousand Plateaus Drawings in your own work

All drawings are available for publication, both in print and digitally, and for purchase, either as original artworks or as open edition prints.

Interested in PUBLISHING a drawing?

Drawing A Thousand Plateaus,10,000 BC, paragraph 37b

Please contact us to obtain the correct publication permissions for academic or commercial use for paper or digital publishing.

Interested in PURCHASING a drawing?

Drawing A Thousand Plateaus,10,000 BC, paragraph 36

All drawings are available for purchase as:

  1. Original fine art redrawings.
  2. Open edition posters.
Gallery show of Thousand Plateaus drawings and wall drawing installation
Gallery show of Thousand Plateaus drawings and wall drawing installation


Please do get in touch with any comments or questions.

Commissions and collaborations are welcome.

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We acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council.