A Non-Judgmental Following
What exactly is “a non-judgmental following?” To approach this question from the perspective of an anti-tourist one must first grapple with the question of what is “judgmental” about the pathways of tourism?
Brent Adkins, in his book entitled “Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus,” positions this work of philosophy as one that takes up the mantle of Baruch Spinoza insofar as they likewise follow an ethics that eschews moral judgment. As such, Deleuze and Guattari urgently distinguish morality from ethics. Adkins writes, “an organ-ized body is a judgment in the classical sense that it relates a subject to a predicate; that is, an organ-ized body is a set of determined relations.”1 [my emphasis] The real temptation that follows judgment is to claim that one kind of assemblage is “good” and the other “evil” on the basis of a predicate.
Tourism is, if nothing else, a rigidly organized body. The predicate of tourism is an answer to the question “what do you want to see, hear, feel, etc.?” As such, the predicate resembles a Platonic “model” in the sense that it relates to judgment imposed by a transcendent form, namely an “ideal” place. Tourist destinations are identified, prescribed, maintained and policed on the basis of this sort of judgment, and the metrics that declare the relative success of a tourist destination, such as revenue from popularity, further justify it’s protected status. While unruly matters may persist under the surfaces of tourism, all manner of security is deployed in order to tamp down or sequester any and all social flare-ups. (This is how the theme of “hostility towards poverty” becomes expressed in the anti-tourism project.)
An “anti-tourism” then is a non-judgmental following insofar as the predicate is abolished. The destinations of the anti-tour form a “psychogeographic map,” a cartography based on the happenstance of a non-judgmental following. Put another way, the map of #everysordiddetail was formed by the chance encounters comprised of those who happened to respond to the project. Anyone familiar with the city of Victoria will recognize the extremely mashed-up nature of this map. Finally, it is at this point that the anti-tourist must also stress the fragmentary nature of this set of encounters. Whereas the touristic ideal would have you avert your gaze from unseemly content in an effort to project a totalizing narrative, the anti-tour embraces its permanent and necessary state of incompleteness, slivers of experience that privilege minute details over transcendent generalities.
1. Adkins, Brent. Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus. Edinburgh, University Press, 2015. Kindle file, Location 4792.