Critique is Creative

Critique is Creative
The Critical Response Process in Theory and Action

By Liz Lerman and John Borstel


The Critical Response Process is core to my teaching practice, I also use it when in dialog with anyone about their creative practice. I think it is the best way to support anyone’s creative or artistic practice.


Rhizome Entanglement. Image by Jenn Karson. A decaying cluster of caterpillar cocoons, skins, silk and debris. The caterpillars defoliated nearby trees before cocooning and then swarmed the trunks of trees as moths before dying, many turning to dust on the ground. This complex network of materials, time, space and transforming bodies is a rhizome in the philosophical sense. 

A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between thing, interbeing, intermezzo…The middle is by no means an average; on the contrary, it is where things pick up speed. Between things does not designate a localizable relation direction, a transversal movement that sweeps on and the other away, a stream without beginning or end that undermines its banks and picks up speed in the middle.

The rhizome itself assume very diverse forms, from ramified surface extension in all directions to concretion into bulb and tubers. When rats swarm over each other.

The rhizome is altogether different, a map and not a tracing. Make a map, not a tracing. The orchid does not reproduce the tracing of the wasp, it forms a map with the wasp, in a rhizome. What distinguishes the map from the tracing is that it is entirely oriented toward an experimentation in contact with the real.

A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

In Botany:

An elongated, usually horizontal, subterranean stem which sends out roots and leafy shoots at intervals along its length.

-Oxford English Dictionary

Alpinia purpurata. Image by Filo gèn’. This image illustrates the botanic meaning of Rhizome. Deleuze and Guattari create a new philosophical definition in A Thousand Plateaus