Manuel DeLanda

Alongside his intellectual work, DeLanda made several short 
Super 8 and 16mm films in the 1970s and early 1980s, 
all of which are now out of circulation [sic].  
                                        -- Wikipedia (March 2010, emphasis added) 

Born in Mexico City in 1952, Manuel DeLanda, moved to New York in 1975 to study filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts. While in his earlies thirties, he stopped making film and video. He now teaches at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and is an influential philosopher, theorist, and author (see bibliography, below). 

The DeLanda films Raw Nerves: A Lacanian Thriller (1980) and IsmIsm (1979) were preserved by Anthology Film Archives in 2010 with a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation. The new print of Raw Nerves unfurls at the 7th Orphan Film Symposium. 

In 2008 and 2009, under the direction of Anthology's archivist Andrew Lampert, NYU students researched and compiled dossiers for Cinema Studies/MIAP courses taught by Dan Streible. Lampert provided the names of filmmakers whose work is being preserved by Anthology with a major grant from the Warhol Foundation. 

NYU Cinema Studies doctoral candidate Sonja Simonyi researched the films of Manuel DeLanda.  

          Showing the works in various illegally-circulating commercial formats and through unauthorized copies adds to the subversive, underground feel of DeLanda’s oeuvre. However, such an act is also problematic, as it doesn’t do justice to the dazzling, formally innovative aesthetic employed throughout his films. The most recent screening of Raw Nerves: A Lacanian Thriller (1980), for example, a film originally on 16mm, was screened on video at the 2008 New York Underground Film Festival. As DeLanda himself did not know this copy existed, there seems to be a disconnect between the artist and various circulating copies "celebrating" his work in theatrical settings. Similarly, the filmmaker recently confirmed my suspicion that his originally silent film IsmIsm (1979) was provided with a generic punk-rock soundtrack on the BFI's Cinema of Transgression VHS compilation (1986), corrupting his artistic intentions and the original concept behind the film. These instances could be avoided by making the films available again in their original formats.  As a minimum, one would be made aware of the discrepancy between manipulated and badly transferred images and the original works.  

                              -- excerpt from Sonja Simonyi, "Rediscovering the Work of Manuel DeLanda"



1975Shit (Super-8, b&w, 30 min.) Super-8 print lost, footage used and blown up to 16mm in Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed (1982).

1976Song of a Bitch (Super-8, color, 30 min.) Super-8 print lost, footage used and blown up to 16mm in Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed (1982). 

1976 Saliva Dildo – Premature Ejaculators (16mm, color, 8 min.)

1977The Itch Scratch Itch Cycle (16mm, color, 8 min.)

1978Incontinence: A Diarrhetic Flow of Mismatches (16mm, color, 18 min.)

1979Ismism (Super-8, color, silent, 8 min.)

1980Raw Nerves: A Lacanian Thriller (16mm, color, 30 min.)

1981Magic Mushroom Mountain Movie (Super-8, color, silent, 8 min.) The footage used in the film was originally shot in 1973, edited in 1981.

1982Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed (Super-8, b&w, 8 min.) Original Super-8 version of the film, now lost.

1982  Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed (Super-8 blown up to 16mm, color & b&w, 12min.) This film incorporates footage from Shit and Song of Bitch, in addition to the original Super-8 version of the film, made in the same year.

1983 – Judgement Day (Super-8, color, 7 min.)


1983 Natalie Didn't Drown (¾ inch tape, color, 28 min.) co-directed and co-edited with Joan Braderman.

 1986 Joan Does Dynasty (½ inch tape, color, 35 min.) co-directed and co-edited with Joan Braderman.


1981 - Joe Coleman’s Police Sexuality Performance footage (Super-8, color, duration unknown) Untitled footage. Part of this footage is included in RIP: Rest in Pieces, A Portrait of Joe Coleman (1997). See below.



1981 – The Super-8 Show: Beyond Home Movies, Produced by John Sanborn and Kit Fitzgerald for WNET/New York. Broadcast 1981, August 16, 11pm. (28 min.). The documentary introduces New York filmmakers working with Super-8. It incorporates an interview with and footage by DeLanda’s films.

1997 – RIP: Rest in Pieces, A Portrait of Joe Coleman, (35mm, color, 112 min.) Adrian-Robert Pejo. Conversation between Manuel DeLanda and artist Joe Coleman filmed in 1996. Also includes two minutes of Super-8 footage filmed by DeLanda at The Kitchen in 1981. See above.

2008 – Meeting of the Minds trailer, produced by the Film Arts Foundation. (10 min.) Promotional trailer for a planned TV series on art, science and philosophy, featuring short segment (interview) with DeLanda.  

DELANDA LECTURES recorded on video

2002  Manuel DeLanda, “Deleuze and the Use of the Genetic Algorithm in Art." The Art & Technology Lectures, Columbia University, New York, NY, Sept. 4, 2002. Available at         

          Manuel DeLanda, “Policing Intellectual Property.” Sob Vigilância (Under Surveillance), Oeiras Municipal Library, Oeiras, Portugal, Sept. 28, 2002. Available at 

2004   Manuel DeLanda, “Nature Space Society.” Tate Modern, London, May 3, 2004. Available at 

    Manuel DeLanda, “Democracy, Economics and the Military.” Democracy Unrealized, Vienna, Apr. 20, 2001.  Available at

2006  Manuel DeLanda, “The Philosophy of Giles Deleuze.” The European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, June 3, 2006. Available at

2007   Manuel DeLanda, “The Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze.” The European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, June 10, 2007. Available at

   Manuel De Landa, “The Origins of Artificial Intelligence.” Penn Humanities Forum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, July 11, 2007. Available at 

2008  Manuel DeLanda, “Materialism, Experience and Philosophy.” The European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, 2008. Available at

COMPILATIONS FEATURING DELANDA FILMS                                                           

1986 Cinema of Transgression, produced by The Monday Wednesday Friday Video Club (VHS, color and b&w, 100 min.) Includes Ismism and Judgement Day by Manuel DeLanda. Other works featured are Bogus Man and Go to Hell Nick Zedd, Shithaus John Spencer, Worm Movie Ling Leg, A Suicide Richard Klemann, Mutable Fire / Erotic Psyche and Simonland Tommy Turner, You Killed me First and King of Sex Richard Kern, Nigger Night Michael Wolfe.

 ca.1987 – A Crack in the Tube, produced by Lyn Blumenthal for the Video Data Bank. (VHS, color and b&w, 90 min.) Includes Joan Does Dynasty. Other works featured are: Made for TV Ann Magnuson and Tom Rubnitz (1984, 15 min.), Betty Furness for Westinghouse, part 1(1950, 1 min.), Kiss the girls, make them cry Dara Birnbaum (1979, 7 min.), Aqui en esta esquina = Here on theis corner Sistema Sandinista de Television (1987, 13 min.) Betty Furness for Westinghouse, part. 2 (1950, 1 min.).  


Books, solo author MDL:

  • A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity (2006).
  • Real Virtuality: Meshworks and Hierarchies in the Digital Domain (2006).
  • Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (2002)
  • A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (1997)
  • War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (1991) 

Very select interviews

Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky). Essay on and interview with Manuel DeLanda (1997?), 

Karlo Pirc, “Interview with Manuel DeLanda” (1994),

Scott MacDonald, “Raw Nerves: An Interview with Manuel DeLanda,” Afterimage, 13.6 (Jan. 1986): 12-15


The Center for Digital Discourse and Culture (Virginia Tech University) created the excellent Manuel DeLanda Annotated Bibliography,

Finally, Nick Zedd's "Cinema of Transgression Manifesto" (1984), which mentions DeLanda as one of seven exemplary filmmakers, is posted on U B U W E B, along with streaming video of 12 works from the so-called "No Wave" movement.