Here is my abstract for the CSAA conference. I wasn’t very well thought over, but I have been too busy to really nail it. I was unsure how to discuss the Deleuze stuff. I am thinking: “Deleuzian Mechanics” or perhaps “Deleuze’s Speed Shop” lol!
Fixing Up Car(-Enthusiast)s
Although modified-car culture has a long history dating back to the 1930s, its first incarnation as a form of mass popular culture did not emerge until after WW2 with Hot Rodding. â€˜Hot-Roddingâ€™ is an event partially determined by the enthusiasm of modified-car enthusiasts who already existed, but was actualised through the performative effect of mass media moral panics surrounding â€˜hot-roddersâ€™ and the â€˜massificationâ€™ of the enthusiast culture by an emergent automotive/pop cultural industry. The Post-War moment in modified-car culture signals the capture or â€˜fixingâ€™ of the enthusiasm on two fronts: by authorities through governmental regulation and by the cultural industry through the commodification of desire.
This paper explores the emergence of modified-car culture through Deleuzeâ€™s â€˜modificationâ€™ of the Marxist critical method of retroduction. Retroduction, a Marxist method of hypothesis formation which reasons mechanisms from the appearances of the phenomena which cause them, is referred to in Deleuzian literature in a number of ways including the â€˜creation of concepts.â€™ Marxâ€™s simultaneously inductive and deductive reasoning provides a correlation for Deleuzeâ€™s method of mapping the forces at play in the expression of the virtual as the actual. This method is not a science; rather, it is a form of Deleuzeâ€™s â€˜anexact, yet rigorousâ€™ problematic experimentation that moves â€œfrom the problem to the ideal accidents and events that condition the problem the cases that resolve it.â€ (Smith 2004: 79-80). This paper shall argue that â€˜Hot-Roddingâ€™ is the initial problematic actualisation (expression) of modified-car culture as an event.