The Dividual Interior

Surveillance and Desire


  • Katherine Braatvedt University of Auckland



Deleuze, interior, domesticity, surveillance, data, Virtual space


In his much-discussed short essay, ‘Postscript on the Societies of Control,’ Gilles Deleuze described a fundamental shift in power that occurred in the 20th century. Previously, Michel Foucault had argued that human behaviour was controlled by ‘enclosed systems’ of power: the family, the school, the factory, the barracks, the prison and the hospital. These comprised what Foucault considered a ‘disciplinary society.’ Deleuze argued that Foucault’s ‘enclosures’ are in crisis, and that the current system is instead a control society, effectively governed by a single entity, the corporation. In this society of ‘ultra-rapid forms of free-floating control,’ people are reduced to data points. For Deleuze, individuals are ‘dividuals,’ and masses are data. This visual essay investigates the implications of control society on domestic space, exploring how digital applications and appliances, social media, and surveillance combine to form a dividual interior. Virtual space not only records and stores, but folds back into physical space, as images of domestic life online influence our perception of the built environment. The domestic interior, therefore, translates back and forth between the virtual and the real, each gathering information and informing the other.


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How to Cite

Braatvedt, Katherine. 2020. “The Dividual Interior: Surveillance and Desire”. Idea Journal 17 (01):13-28.