Every mine is a line of flight ~ t h o u s a n d s ....

Rather, artisans are those
who follow the matter-flow as pure productivity: therefore in mineral

form, and not in vegetable or animal form. They are not of the land, or of
the soil, but of the subsoil. Because metal is the pure productivity of matter,
those who follow metal are producers of objects par excellence. As demonstrated
by V. Gordon Childe, the metallurgist is the first specialized artisan,
and in this respect forms a collective body (secret societies, guilds,
journeymen's associations).

 Artisans-metallurgists are itinerants because
they follow the matter-flow of the subsoil. Of course metallurgists have
relations with "the others," those of the soil, land, and sky.

sarabands, allemandes, bourrees, gavottes.. .).
There is a whole art of poses, postures, silhouettes, steps, and voices. Two
schizophrenics converse or stroll according to laws of boundary and territory
that may escape us.

 How very important it is, when chaos threatens, to
draw an inflatable, portable territory. 

If need be, I'll put my territory on my
own body, I'll territorialize my body: the house of the tortoise, the hermitage
of the crab, but also tattoos that make the body a territory. Critical distance
is not a meter, it is a rhythm. But the rhythm, precisely, is


the Body   ~possibilities    ~

"other contemporaneous possibilities" that are not regressions but creative involutions bearing witness to "an inhumanity immediately experienced in the body as such," unnatural nuptials "outside the programmed body

For their own part, they appeal to an objective zone of
indetermi-nation or uncertainty, "something shared or indiscernible," a
proximity "that makes it impossible to say where the boundary between
the human and animal lies,"

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In their space, they have relations with the nomads, since the subsoil unites the ground (sol) of smooth space and the land of striated space: there are no mines in the alluvial valleys of the empire-dominated farmers; it is necessary to cross deserts, approach the mountains; and the question of control over the mines always involves nomadic peoples. 

Every mine is a line of flight that is in communication with smooth spaces—there are parallels today in the problems with oil

Archaeology and history remain strangely silent on this question of the control over the mines. There have been empires with a strong metallurgical organization that had no mines; the Near East lacked tin, so necessary for the fabrication of bronze. Large quantities of metal arrived in ingot form, and from very far away (for instance, tin from Spain or even from Cornwall). 

So complex a situation implies not only a strong imperial bureaucracy and elaborate long-distance commercial circuits; it also implies a shifting politics, in which States confront an outside, in which very different peoples confront one another, or else reach some accommodation on particular aspects of the control of mines (extraction, charcoal, workshops, transportation). 

It is not enough to say that there are wars and mining expeditions; or to invoke "a Eurasian synthesis of the nomadic workshops from the approaches of China to the tip of Britanny," and remark that "the nomadic populations had been in contact with the principal metallurgical centers of the ancient world since prehistoric times."

 What is needed is a better knowledge of the nomads' relations with these centers, with the smiths they themselves employed or frequented, with properly metallurgical peoples or groups who were their neighbors. 

What was the situation in the Caucasus and in the Altai?

In Spain and North
Africa? Mines are a source of flow, mixture, and escape with few equivalents
in history. Even when they are well controlled by an empire that owns

them (as in the Chinese and Roman empires), there is a major movement of
clandestine exploitation, and of miners' alliances either with nomad and
barbarian incursions or peasant revolts. 

The study of myths, and even ethnographic
considerations on the status of smiths, divert us from these
political questions. Mythology and ethnology do not have the right method
in this regard. It is too often asked how the others "react" to the smith

as a result, one succumbs to the usual platitudes about the ambivalence of
feelings; it is said that the smith is simultaneously honored, feared, and
scorned—more or less scorned among the nomads, more or less honored
among the sedentaries.

But this loses sight of the reasons for this situation,

of the specificity of the smiths themselves, of the nonsymmetrical
relation they entertain with the nomads and the sedentaries, the type of
affects they invent (metallic affect). 

Before looking at the feelings of others

toward smiths, it is necessary to evaluate the smiths themselves as Other;
as such, they have different affective relations with the sedentaries and the

There are no nomadic or sedentary smiths. Smiths are ambulant, itinerant.
Particularly important in this respect is the way in which smiths live:
their space is neither the striated space of the sedentary nor the smooth
space of the nomad. 

Smiths may have a tent, they may have a house; they

inhabit them in the manner of an "ore bed" (gite, shelter, home, mineral
deposit), like metal itself, in the manner of a cave or a hole, a hut half or all

They are cave dwellers not by nature but by artistry and

need." A splendid text by Elie Faure evokes the infernal progress of the
itinerant peoples of India as they bore holes in space and create the fantastic
forms corresponding to these breakthroughs, the vital forms of
nonorganic life:

"There at the shore of the sea, at the base of a mountain,
they encountered a great wall of granite. Then they all entered the granite;
in its shadows they lived, loved, worked, died, were born, and, three or four
centuries afterward, they came out again, leagues away, having traversed
the mountain. Behind them they left the emptied rock, its galleries hollowed
out in every direction, its sculptured, chiseled walls, its natural or
artificial pillars turned into a deep lacework with ten thousand horrible or
charming figures.. . . Here man confesses unresistingly his strength and his
nothingness. He does not exact the affirmation of a determined ideal from
form.... He extracts it rough from formlessness, according to the dictates
of the formless. He utilizes the indentations and accidents of the rock."

Metallurgical India. Transpierce the mountains instead of scaling them,
excavate the land instead of striating it, bore holes in space instead of keeping
it smooth, turn the earth into swiss cheese.

An image from the film
Strike [by Eisenstein] presents a holey space where a disturbing group of
Holey Space

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people are rising, each emerging from his or her hole as if from a field
mined in all directions.

The sign of Cain is the corporeal and affective sign

of the subsoil, passing through both the striated land of sedentary space

and the nomadic ground {sot) of smooth space without stopping at either

one, the vagabond sign of itinerancy, the double theft and double betrayal

of the metallurgist, who shuns agriculture at the same time as animal raising.

Must we reserve the name Cainite for these metallurgical peoples who
haunt the depths of History?

 Prehistoric Europe was crisscrossed by the

battle-ax people, who came in off the steppes like a detached metallic
branch of the nomads, and the people known for their bell-shaped pottery,

the beaker people, originating in Andalusia,

a detached branch of
mega-lithic agriculture.

Strange peoples, dolicocephalics and

who mix and spread across all of Europe.

 Are they the ones
who kept up the mines, boring holes in European space from every

direction, constituting our European space?


But it would be wrong to confuse
isomorphy with homogeneity. For one thing, isomorphy allows, and even
incites, a great heterogeneity among States (democratic, totalitarian, and,
especially, "socialist" States are not facades).

For another thing, the
international capitalist axiomatic effectively assures the isomorphy of the
diverse formations only where the domestic market is developing and
expanding, in other words, in "the center."

But it tolerates, in fact it
requires, a certain peripheral polymorphy, to the extent that it is not saturated,
to the extent that it actively repels its own limits; this explains the
existence, at the periphery, of heteromorphic social formations, which certainly
do not constitute vestiges or transitional forms since they realize an
ultramodern capitalist production (oil, mines, plantations, industrial
equipment, steel, chemistry),

 but which are nonetheless precapitalist, or
extracapitalist, owing to other aspects of their production and to the forced
inadequacy of their domestic market in relation to the world market

When international organization becomes the capitalist axiomatic, it con
tinues to imply a heterogeneity of social formations, it gives rise to and

organizes its "Third World."

          7000 B.C.: APPARATUS OF CAPTURE  437 


 The State does not
created large-scale works without a flow of independent labor escaping its

bureaucracy (notably in the mines and in metallurgy).

It does not create the
monetary form of the tax without flows of money escaping, and nourishing or
bringing into being other powers (notably in commerce and banking).

And above
all, it does not created a system of public property without a flow of private
appropriation growing up beside it, then beginning to pass beyond its grasp .