In the general episteme of post-industrialism each particular context is contaminated with heterogeneous but localized contagions. These contagions can be found in different locales and contexts. However, in each singular location, these relationships between contagions – dominant and minor refrains – have utmost significance. Mess has a relationship between the materiality of the contagions, since a mess is not gas where these relationships would be imperceptible.  Instead of rational Fordist-Keynesian organization, sponge subjectivity finds itself amidst a mess of heterogeneous orders. Mess confuses and exhausts the sponge, while signal and noise are not significantly differentiated. (Terranova 2004) There is a lack of direct command and, instead, a mere maintenance of delocalized subjectivities. “Cerebral organization and socio-political organization are collided in the individuation process of subjectivity, in the daily experience of life, in the potential or annihilation aspect of subjectivity.” (Malabou 2008, 49)
In the mess, subjectivity performs only to adjust the delocalized performance in the ever-changing conditions. Yet, it is not the survival of the fittest, per se, but a mode of self-regulation. Therefore, in the mess, there is a strong need to build rhizomatic structures, since each link may collapse or corrupt in any instant. However no archaic community of wolves huddled around the fire is possible. (Deleuze and Guattari 2004, 33-34) Sponges do not stand side by side, but are rather confusedly in a mess; dislocated like the depressed or the ill.
Contagions of neoliberal capitalism are explicitly producing maladies. Performance management, as proposed by Jon McKenzie, may well function in corporations and institutions, but not as a rule in a neoliberal mess of life. (McKenzie 2001, 61) For McKenzie the shift from Taylorist management of labour, starting in the 1980s, into ‘Performance management’ is a paradigm shift. (McKenzie 2001, 6) Taylorism was based on the rational and scientific organization of labour, which had a downside of massive, centralized production lines and a lack of flexibility, insufficient to meet the changed social discourse, emerging in the 1980s. For McKenzie: "Performance Management, in contrast, attunes itself to economic processes that are increasingly service-based, globally oriented, and electronically wired.” (McKenzie 2001, 6) He argues that the shift is from rational management to performance. Following Foucault’s analysis of biopolitics (2008) and Deleuze’s Postscript on the societies of control (1990), McKenzie continues to distinguish disciplinary power from the performative, in that "it is not repressive desire; it is instead ‘excessive’.” (McKenzie 2001, 19) Disciplinary power organizes by regulations and obstructions, while the performative produces through excess amounts of contagious elements.
The indirect product of neoliberal capitalism is a kind of subjectivity, which is compatible with this mess. It is that subjectivity whose attributes are precariousness, cynicism, opportunism, and distractedness: the supple and employable – yet often capricious subjectivity described by Malabou. (Malabou 2008, 68) Possessing this subjectivity, a sponge is able to maintain its form and perform in the conditions required by the neoliberal apparatus.