Guattari and Deleuze suggest different alternative models when they refer to the concept of nomadism. These suggestions bring to mind the endeavour for conceptualizing “thought”. Needless to say that this fact naturally lies in the conceptual art movement in 1968 and hence its relation with the new forms of perception. This fact shows us that it is not possible to clarify the belongingnesses and identities of “nomads” through the literary perspectives of artists.
The concept of homelessness and rootlessness is one of the important concepts of Deleuze’s philosophy. It is closely related to the concept of nomadism too. In the hypothetical sense, Deleuze and Guattari create new concepts by carrying thought into divergent grounds; for both, there is no wrong or right way of thinking, but only thoughts. Nomadic situation creates movement. Social and cultural images and political thoughts and practises are being displaced and start to globetrot. Such situations are named as being homeless and rootless. In explaining nomadism, Deleuze and Guattari say:
Nomad existence necessarily effectuates the
conditions of the war machine in space. The nomad has a territory; he follows
customary paths; he goes from one point to another; he is not ignorant of
points (water points, dwelling points, assembly points, etc.). But the question
is what in nomad life is a principle and what is only a consequence. To begin
with, although the points determine paths, they are strictly subordinated to
the paths they determine, the reverse of what happens with the sedentary. The
water point is reached only in order to be left behind; every point is a relay
and exists only as a relay. A path is always between two points, but the
in-between has taken on all the consistency and enjoys both an autonomy and a
direction of its own. The life of the nomad is the intermezzo.
At this point, this explanation clearly shows us that the point where
the transcendental and the immanent intersect is
“moving-translocation-nomadism”. It shows us that it is nomadism that sometimes
you think you caught b
 G. Deleuze & F. Guattari, “Capitalism and Schizophrenia 1, Research about Nomadism, war machine”, translation by Ali Akay, Bağlam Publishing House, 1990, p. 27
loose is not there. Sometimes the fact that the nomad is on the move or manages to translocate shows us that thought is valuable. Guattari and Deleuze state that the revolution of desire will be realized by the nomads. Goodchild says, “Whenever there is subordination, rioting, guerilla warfare, or revolution then a nomadic mode of social existence is constituted.”
Dubuffet says, “Thought is an enthusiast of moving from one home to another, it lives by dynamism and never-ending movement; for it there is nothing as toxic as the prolongation of its residence.” To find nomadic thinking, above all, it is necessary that one moves away from where he or she is or leaves that place. As Benjamin says, “There is one thing that can never be made good: having neglected to run away from home at the age of fifteen.” When we do such an action, then we can be involved in art again and in this process we can rewrite the history of art or become a candidate for writing it. If this is not the case, then schedules pertaining to different departments or disciplines should be kept.
her diaries, Tomris Uyar writes, “A human being may be homeless and rootless
everywhere.” In our globalized world, now we can see that mobility is very easy
and too much. And in this case, we can see that we are in an age when we are
witnessing that many individuals or artists now live nomadically. This fact
does not only vary from one country to another, but also we live a nomadic life
in the cities or metropolises where we
live. Particularly our artist friends we recently have met live in a more
minimalistic way of life or at least they try to live like that and live by
thinking that they can emigrate at any time. Wanting not to have a property or
wanting to have fewer things and wanting to carry their home on their back with
a suitcase and a bag increase their mobility. In fact, the reason for this fact
is that there is no place
where we can live emotionally in an intellectual perspective or we can
not find this place. We can also say that this situation has an influence upon
the artists’ production processes. In this regard, the best example that I can
give is Mella Jaarsma’s noteworthy work titled “Until Time is Old”.
 Goodchild, Philip; “Deleuze & Guattari: An Introduction to the Politics of Desire”, translation by Rahmi Öğdül, Ayrıntı Publishing House, 2005, p. 273
The narration of Mella Jaarsma’s work titled “Until Time is Old” is as follows: In a shelter built from sea chestnuts, you ceremonially dress in your costume and in an instant you become abstracted from the exhibition space. Once you are inside, you get a chance to feel the environment with a different acoustics and listen to your inner voice and inquire about sense of belonging and exile. This work of art, in a way, examines the inner-outer dialogue and the sense of belonging. As Deleuze and Guattari’s psychoanalytic criticism and the subjectivity in their re-readings that they did towards the synthesis of psychoanalysis and Marxs, with their widely known expression, the homelessness and the rootlessness of the artist, may be concerned as the appearance of the pre-Oedipus artist, they also offer an explanation of the possibilities of his or her creativity.
Picture 10. Mella Jaarsma, Until Time is Old, 2014.
Sometimes the process of becoming homeless and rootless by necessity arises, though sometimes preferred by the individual herself or himself. And this can be due to being exiled.
“Exile is one of the saddest fates. In premodern times, banishment was a particularly dreadful punishment since it meant not only years of aimless wandering away from family and familiar places but also being a permanent outcast, someone who never felt at home and was always at odds with the environment, inconsolable about the past, bitter about the present and future. There has always been an association between the idea of exile and the terrors of being a leper, a social and moral untouchable. During the twentieth century, exile has been transformed from the exquisite, and sometimes exclusive, punishment of special individuals -such as Ovid, who was banished from Rome to a remote town on the Black Sea- into a cruel punishment of whole communities and peoples, often as the inadvertent result of impersonal forces such as war, famine, and disease.”
exile and migration have been in a productive relationship with art throughout
history. It has served as a catalyst producing modern art and literature. Its
reason is as follows: “The independent artist and intellectual are among the
few remaining personalities equipped to resist and to fight the stereotyping
and consequent death of genuinely living things. (…) the capacity continually
to unmask and to smash the stereotypes of vision and intellect with which
modern communications swamp us.” A
painful way and a sad fate with which we shall be able to resist the
unbelongingness, stereotyping, languishing, cliches and taking a fixed form
created by migration returns to haunt us as a necessity. The works of the
literature of utopia are nothing more than the lost hearth and home in the
minds of exiles like Thomas Mann.
Discussing the relation of contemporary art to nomadism will at the same
time mean discussing the relation of art to sense of belonging. Therefore,
migration is not only a disengagement, a kind of discomfort and a source of
pain, but it opens up a kind of debate in the sense of self-emancipation,
search and opening the gates of newness as well. In history, the relation of
migration and exile to art began within the literature of education and
discovery and emerged from the genre of Nostos (Nóstos in ancient Greece) for the first time. Nostos
is a theme used in Greek literature and that narrates the stories of the epic
hero who returns home by sea. This journey that encapsulates great heroism
contains many dangers that for the most part test the hero. Returning not only
means returning home physically, but at the same time it means making a life in
certain situations even being homeless. The hero is actually returning to
himself and exploring himself. The Nostos theme gives its highest yield in
Homer’s works. Odysseus is a hero who fought to return home after the struggle
in the Trojan War. The whole work narrates how he overcame the difficulties
that he faced in the realms where he was feeling out of place. Even so, the
pathos of exile is actually caused by the fact that returning home is no longer
a matter of discussion. Every single obstacle forces the hero to produce
creative solutions and in a manner of speaking to be an
 C. Wright Mills, Power, Politics, and People: The Collected Essays of C. Wright Mills , compiled by Irving Louis Horowitz (New York: Ballantine, 1963), p. 299.
“artist” or develops the hero as an artist or intellectual. Therefore, being in exile, being a stranger and not feeling belonged turn into the condition for being an artist and an intellectual. That is precisely why “all thinkers are nomadic.” This statement, of course, does not only refer to a physical, but also a psychological break. A person who has broken away from his hearth and home in order to discover new ways of thinking, feeling and living can generate philosophy or art. This Christian-inspired statement can be traced back to the story of Adam who was expelled from the Garden of Eden and to the Divine Comedy of Dante who was exiled from Florence. In Western philosopy, the same theme has lasted from Nietzsche to Sartre and to Edward Said. According to Edward Said, modern Western culture is in large part the work of exiles, émigrés, refugees:
“If true exile is a condition of terminal loss, why has that loss so easily been transformed into a potent, even enriching, motif of modern culture? One reason is that we have become accustomed to thinking of the modern period itself as spiritually orphaned and alienated. This is supposedly the age of anxiety and of the lonely crowd. Nietzche taught us to feel uncomfortable with tradition, and Freud to regard domestic intimacy as the polite face painted on patricidal and incestuous rage. The canon of modern Western culture is in large part the work of exiles, émigrés, refugees. American academic, intellectual, and aesthetic thought is what is it today because of refugees from fascism, communism, and other regimes given over to the oppression and expulsion of dissidents. One thinks of Einstein, and his impact on his century. There have been political thinkers, such as Herbert Marcuse. The critic George Steiner once proposed that a whole genre of twentieth-century Western literature, a literature “beyond countries” and by and about exiles -among them Beckett, Nabokov, Pound- reflects “the age of the refugee.”
Steiner, who is also quoted by Said, says about
immigration and art as follows: “It seems proper that those who create art in a
civilization of quasi-barbarism, which has made so many homeless, should
themselves be poets unhoused and wanderers across language. Eccentric, aloof,
nostalgic, deliberately untimely…”
 Edward W. Said, The Mind of Winter, Reflections on life in exile, pp. 28-9, translated byTuncay Birkan, Metis Publishing House, 2006, Istanbul.
 Edward W. Said, The Mind of Winter, Reflections on life in exile, p. 29, translated byTuncay Birkan, Metis Publishing House, 2006, Istanbul.
There is an enormous difficulty in describing those distant lands, the “home” of the artist, is: “that nationalisms are about groups, whereas exile is about the absence of an organic group situated in a native place. How does one surmount the loneliness of exile without falling into the encompassing and thumbing langauge of national pride, collective sentiments, group passions? What is worth saving and holding on to between the extremes of exile on the one hand and the often bloody-minded affirmations of nationalism on the other? Are nationalism and exile reactive phenomena? Do they have any intrinsic attributes? Are they simply two conflicting expressions of paranoia?” So, these questions, which are asked by Said, find different answers in the works of the “homeless and rootless” artists who produce in the field of nomadic contemporary art. Being an immigrant is a discontinuous and insecure state of existence. For this reason, people who have been uprooted from their roots move with an urgent need to rebuild their broken lives in narrative form. The power of art inevitably emerges when meeting this need.
It is possible to see a drama about returning in the sense of a constantly deferred existence (Derrida), positioning and ‘rebuilding’ of the self, in the field of contemporary art. The Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who had to emigrate to Lebanon, expresses this situation in his first poems. Darwish expresses ‘the feeling of being deprived of a country’ as follows:
O mom, O my dear mom,
to whom I wrote these lines,
which postman will bring you this letter?
Highways are closed,
air routes are blocked,
sea routes are closed.
Just like the horizon.
O my mom, my daddy, my sisters and brothers, my friends…
 Edward W. Said, The Mind of Winter, Reflections on life in exile, p. 32, translated byTuncay Birkan, Metis Publishing House, 2006, Istanbul.
perhaps you are dead.
Or perhaps, like me, you have no address.
What’s the worth of a man
without a hearth and home,
without a home and root,
without a flag,
without an address?
What is the worth of such a man?
represented by migration, vitalities and crossing the borders have been big
themes in the art of the postcolonial era. We precisely now should mention the
association between nationalism and exile. “Nationalism is an assertion of
belonging to a place, a people, a heritage. It affirms the home created by a
community of language, culture, and customs; and by so doing, it fends off the
ravages of exile. (…) Just beyond the perimeter of what nationalism constructs
as the nation, at the frontier separating “us” from what is alien, is the
perilous territory of not-belonging. This is where, in primitive times, people
were banished, and where, in the modern era, immense aggregates of humanity
loiter as refugees and displaced persons.”The
relationship between nationalism and exile, in the postcolonial period, holds a
more interesting context when it comes to national liberation struggles. The
approaches of the artists and the literary figures that have left their mark on
the peoples’ struggles for freedom with their works to nationalism is a topic
written about widely. As Said determines in his work Culture and Imperialism
(2016); in general there is an oppositional quality to the Third World scholars
and intellectuals, particularly those who are exiles, expatriates, or refugees
and immigrants in the West.
“Their work in trying to connect experiences
across the imperial divide, in re-examining the great canons, in producing what
in effect is a critical literature cannot be, and generally has not been,
co-opted by the resurgent nationalisms, despotisms
 Mahmoud Darwish, A Letter from Exile, in the compilation and translation titled The Poetry of Palestine, compiled and translated by A. Kadir & Afşar Timuçin, Yazko, 1982, Istanbul.
 Edward W. Said, The Mind of Winter, Reflections on life in exile, pp. 31-2, translated by Tuncay Birkan, Metis Publishing House, 2006, Istanbul.
and ungenerous ideologies that betrayed the liberationist ideal in favor of the nationalist independence actuality.”
Therefore, evaluating the tense and impermanent relationship between nationalism and the homeless artist, who actually will never be able to return to his home in real terms, through contemporary art works, is an at-hand issue deserving to be worked on.
When Edward Said writes on the artists in exile
in his work The Mind of Winter, he describes them thus: Composure and serenity
are the last things associated with the work of exiles. “Artists in exile are
decidedly unpleasant, and their stubborness insinuates itself into even their
exalted works. (…) Who but an exile like Dante, banished from Florence, would
use eterntiy as a place for settling old scores?”
In this sense, the field of artistic production is “a place for settling old
scores.” In other words, it is the restless nest of exile. However, it should
not be forgotten that this restless nest is surrounded by new social relations
and relative belonging relations. Because the artists who are getting beyond
the limits and trying to adapt to new environments are not always angry, timid,
and propertyless refugees; they are up for being the producers of the global
art institution, a whole cultural industry that is ubiquitous and easily
exceeds national limits.
Cultural groupings that immigrant artists have
been forming in the places they have gone to, or got involved in, have created
important focuses in cultural history. The abundance that immigration brings
about to culture and art in the global terms, let’s put it aside, what is
important is to work on the forms of belongingness developed by the immigrant
artist. When those groupings in question are transformed into global or
regional successes, it doesn’t mean that the immigrant artist is back at his home.
Still, will a kind of transformation that may have an impact on the artistic
production occur? Or in what way will this transformation occur? For instance,
in what aspects will a Middle Eastern artist’s approved success in the field of
 Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism, p. 90, translated by Necmiye Alpay, Hil Publishing House, 2016, Istanbul.
 Edward W. Said, The Mind of Winter, Reflections on life in exile,p. 37, translated byTuncay Birkan, Metis Publishing House, 2006, Istanbul.
influence her or his production? These are the questions that can find answers only in fieldwork.
In this regard, Edward Said gives a seminal example for our work:
“While we should rightly admire both the material and the achievements of Rushdie’s work, say, as part of a significant formation within Anglophone literature, we should at the same time note that it is encumbered, that aesthetically valuable work may be part of a threatening, coercive, or deeply anti-literary, anti-intellectual formation. Before The Satanic Verses appeared in 1988, Rushdie was already a problematic figure for the English thanks to his essays and earlier novels; to many Indians and Pakistanis in England and in the subcontinent, however, he was not only a celebrated author they were proud of but also a champion of immigrants’ rights and severe critic of nostalgic imperialists. After the fotwa his status changed drastically, and he became anathema to his former admirers. To have provoked Islamic fundamentalism when once he had been a virtual representative of Indian Islam -this testifies to the urgent conjunction of art and politics, which can be explosive.”
On account of this fact, the political and
cultural influences of the works of immigrant artists need to be assessed in
different geographies and scales. These works not only produce effect in the
new living spaces, but also in the territories that had to be abandoned. It is
also possible that there are contradictions between these effects.
In order to deepen the discussion of political
and cultural influences of the works of immigrant artists, it is inevitable to
refer to Edward Said, who discussed how the role of the United States during
the Second World War was interpreted by artists and intellectuals. Because this
historical context will give an important discussion stem for the study that
will be carried on the immigrant contemporary artists settled in Europe today.
As Said reminds in his book titled Intellectual Exile: Expatriates and
Marginals, during the Second World War the U. S. played the role of savior,
providing refuge for a whole generation of scholars, artists, and scientists
who had fled Western fascism for the metropolis of the new Western imperium.
A large group of distinguished academics went to the United States and some of
them entered the Cold
 Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism, p. 385, translated by Necmiye Alpay, Hil Publishing House, 2016, Istanbul.
War lists as new Americans. After the war, this concern was all-engrossing: it has recently been revealed how well-placed American intellectuals in the social sciences managed to recruit former Nazis known for their anticommunist credentials to work in the U. S. as part of the great crusade.”In this historical context, Edward Said discusses about the responsibility of the intellectual, who takes position only to save himself, without adopting a particular attitude in the sovereign power structure. The same discussion is also important in terms of evaluating the political position of an artist, for example a Middle Eastern contemporary artist, who has taken refuge in Europe’s saviourship today. “The intellectual who because of exile cannot or, more to the point, will not make the adjustment, preferring instead to remain outside the mainstream, unaccommodated, uncoopted, resistant,”and artists as well, it should not be forgotten that there are artists, too, who take place in the sovereign power structure. This “accommodation” can be observed in institutional, economic relations as well as searched in artistic expression forms. Of course, one of the points we reach here is the “center” problem. How does the immigrant artist incorporates himself into the problem of re-definition of the center of civilization and culture in the places where comes to, which are mostly in Europe and North America? How have the artists that are focused by this study positioned themselves according to the big chasm between the Islamic Arab world and the West? What kind of a world of images do they produce about the lands that are mentioned with war, blood, brutality and injustice today?
Barsamian, in the interview he did with Said, says:
“It’s a matter of some concern to me that almost
no attention is paid to Iraq as the cultural center of the entire Arab world
and indeed of Muslim civilization. Iraq’s an unbroken civilization that goes
back millennia to Sumeria, Assyria, and Babylon. But it’s all been reduced to
“Sodom,” as you point out. Don’t forget that Iraq was the seat of the Abbasid
caliphate, which is the high point of Arab civilization. Iraq today is still
vital to Arab culture. There’s a saying that the Egyptians write, the Lebanese
 Edward W. Said, Intellectual Exile: Expatriates and Marginals, p. 57, translated byTuncay Birkan, Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1995, Istanbul.
 Edward W. Said, Intellectual Exile: Expatriates and Marginals, p. 57, translated byTuncay Birkan, Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1995, Istanbul.
publish, and the Iraqis read. (…) It’s just another sign of chasm that exists between the Islamic Arab world, on the one hand, and the West, on the other.
It is necessary to finish the section with the following expressions of Said:
“For the intellectual an exilic displacement
means being liberated from the usual career, in which ‘doing well’ and
following in time-honored footsteps are the main milestones. The sorrowful but
vivid destiny of the nomadic artist is an endless process of self-discovery. If
we take over the meaning that he attributes to intellectuals and use it for
artists, being in exile is a form of production for artists. “Exile means that
you are always going to be marginal, and that what you do as an intellectual
has to be made up because you cannot follow a prescribed path. If you can
experience that fate not as a deprivation and something to be bewailed, but as
a sort of freedom, a process of discovery in which you do things according to
your own pattern, as various interests seize your attention, and as the
particular goal you set for yourself dictates: that is a unique pleasure.”
 Edward W. Said, Culture and Resistance – Interviews with David Barsamian, p. 192, translated by Osman Akınhay, Agora Publishing House, 2009, Istanbul.
 Edward W. Said, Representations of the Intellectual, p. 65, translated byTuncay Birkan, Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1995, Istanbul.