- #1 Making a Body without Organs
- #2 Anti-Oedipus: Full Empty
- #3 Anti-Oedipus: Emptiness as Resistance
- #4 Anti-Oedipus: paranoid machine
- #5 Anti-Oedipus: BwO
- #6 Anti-Oedipus: BwO
- #7 Anti-Oedipus: BwO
- #8 Anti-Oedipus: BwO
- #9 Anti-Oedipus: BwO
- #10 A Thousand Plateaus: BwO
- #11 A Thousand Plateaus: BwO
- #12 A Thousand Plateaus: BwO
- #13 A Thousand Plateaus: BwO
What is a desiring machine?
For D&G, there is no such thing as desire, only desiring-machines. It’s not a thing, but a process.
Roland Bogue describes desiring machines by way of an infant feeding a the mother’s breast. Here the “mouth-machine” of the infant and the “breast machine” enter into an circuit (through the flow of milk) (Bogue, 60). The mouth machine is coupled with an esophagus-machine, a stomach-machine, an intestine-machine where nutrients are converted into “energy circuits of collateral desiring-machines” (60). Therefore “each circuit extend[s] into other circuits that spread in ever-widening networks of activity” (61).
This example also operates in another way. In using the a textbook example of psychoanalytic infantile desire, Bogue reveals the ways that Deleuze and Guattari stray from Freudian familialism. Here, the mouth-machine can also be “a breathing-machine, spitting-machine, a crying machine” depending on the codes that are ‘stockpiled’ in it (61). Desiring machines are pure production, the mouth-machine does not desire the milk, nor does the esophagus-machine or the stomach-machine. These machines connect to each other to form a network or circuit. The BwO is this circuit, like a trace of energy transer within an ecological system… the BwO are the connections between the mouth-machine, breast-machine, stomach-machine, etc… the grid-like structure the precedes the connections between desiring machines.
A desiring- machine is:
- not a thing but a process, an act of producing.
- has no subject and no object. The subject does not exist before desiring-machines but only after, as an effect or residue of production.
- cannot be conceived as a desire to do or have an object or even achieve a state. Rather, they are completely invested in the process, the production.
- can thus never be “satisfied” or come to a completion.
** In this sense, desiring-machines are again very like Nietzsche’s notion of will to power. The will to power is not the will to have power (such as the will to be president of the United States) nor even really the will to be powerful. If it were then the will to power could be satisfied, it could come to an end. He is made president and thus his will to power goes away. The will to power does not have an object in that way. It is a driving force. Desiring- machines similarly are focused a movement or a production, not on a goal or an object.
The only object of desiring-machines is production itself. “The satisfaction the handyman [bricoleur] experiences when he plugs something into an electric socket or diverts a stream of water can scarcely be explained in terms of “playing mommy and daddy.” or by the pleasure of violating a taboo [transgression]. The rule of continually producing production, of grafting producing onto the product, is a characteristic of desiring-machines or of primary production: the production of production” (p. 7). So desire is always about production, or even the production of production. This is also why desire here has nothing to do with lack as it does in Freudian and Lacanian terminology. Since desiring machines are focused only on their own production, there is no object of desire and hence no object lacking. “Lack is created, planned, and organized in and through social production” (p. 28). Lack is not cause but a result.