algebra, desire, force, form, lacan, libido, love, real, signifier, structure, transference


Responding to a question concerning the loss incurred by the sexuation of living beings, Lacan correlates the opening and closing of the gaps of the unconscious to the opening and closing of the orifices of the body. This inter-relation is real because it is in the unconscious the presence of the living being becomes fixed.

The erogenous zones are indissolubly linked to the unconscious, the organ of the libido itself. At the level of the drive, the relation between the drive and a specific action or passion is purely grammatical — a support, an artifice, literally a machine whose functioning coincides with the outward-return movement of the drive. Re-articulating this machine allows Lacan to indicate not only his tension with Freud, but even to raise concerns regarding the — perhaps masochistic — desire for psychoanalysis as such:

“Today I have shown in the most articulated way possible that each of the three stages, a, b, c, with which Freud articulates each drive, must be replaced by the formula of making oneself seen, heard and the rest of the list I have given. This implies fundamentally activity, in which respect I come close to what Freud himself articulates when he distinguishes between the two fields, the field of the drives on the one hand, and the narcissistic field of love on the other, and stresses that at the level of love, there is a reciprocity of loving and being loved, and that, in the other field, it is a question of a pure activity for the subject. Do you follow me? In fact, it is obvious that, even in their supposedly passive phase, the exercise of a drive, a masochistic drive, for example, requires that the masochist give himself, if I may be permitted to put it in this way, a devil of a job.” [Jacques Lacan, “The Deconstruction of the Drive,” The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis]

The driven-subject or the field of the drives, or what Lacan claims is pure subjective activity, must be rigorously distinguished from the desiring-subject, the lovers and the field of love produced, characterized by inconsistent reciprocity of loving/being-loved. A dimension of eternal force and a plane of inconsistent passion. The question becomes: what is lost in the passage from the drive to its other side which makes sexuality present in the unconscious itself, and what remains? What, then, is left of the sign — and for whom?

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abyss, autopoeisis, chaos, creation, death, decay, deviance, fecundity, health, inevitability, libido, life, machine, nature, parasite, space, symbiosis, Thought

Liquid Generations: Decay, Creation and Morphogenesis


The moment of death is uncertain and inevitable; its shadow approaches from an unknown region like a silent stranger. Death does not need to follow us; it just meets us where we will be. Like a memory fragmenting, bodies rush towards singular points of annihilation, just as the very possibility of negation is implied by the presence of the law. Protection is absurd, insulation a pure minimum; there is but the most fragile and insufficient veil between ourselves and our vulnerabilities.

Even laughter is a deflective shield for the futile anxiety over this very insufficiency. The subject exhausts its becoming and dies; thus until death he is not composed of a lack but indeed an overflowing surplus, of new expressive modalities, energy transformation-processes, event encoding/decoding regimes. Death crumbles the ground beneath us; it is the pure undecodable, it is a decoding space, a pure body with organs, a body full of pulsating acephalous organisms.
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abstract machine, Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze, desire, desiring machines, family, guattari, lacan, libido, machinic unconscious, molecularity, Schizoanalysis, subject-group, transversality

Notes to Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Chapters 1 and 2


Anti-Oedipus 1: Desiring-Machines
For every organ-machine, an energy machine (1).
Schizophrenia and the time before the man-nature dichotomy/split (1).
Nature lived as process of production (2).
Oedipus presupposes a fantastic repression of desiring-machines (3).
The schizophrenic experiences not nature, but nature as a process of production (3).
Production is immediately consumption and a recording process, without any sort of mediation (4).
The recording process and consumption directly determine production, but within the production process itself (4).
Production as process:
Production of production—actions and passions
Production of recording processes—of the distribution and of co-ordinates that serve as points of reference
Production of consumption—sensual pleasures, anxieties, and pain (4).
Man as the eternal custodian of the machines of the universe (4).
Schizophrenia (or the unconscious) does not distinguish between producer-product (5).
Desiring-machines are always binary machines (5). [Probably due to the co-existence of paranoic (repulsive) machines and miraculating (attractive) machines—in order to create the identifications of the celibate machine—more on this later.]
Productive or connective syntheses: and…and…and (5).
Flow-producing machines couple with organ-machines that interrupts the flow (5).
Desire couples flows, causes the currents to flow, flows itself, and breaks the flows (5).
The object presupposes the continuity of a flow; every flow causes the fragmentation of the object (6).
Schizophrenia (or the unconscious) also does not distinguish between product/producing (6).
Production is always something ‘grafted onto’ the product—desiring-production is the production of production (6).
Schizophrenic as universal producer (7).
Levi-Strauss’s bricolage and schizophrenia—the schizo shows an indifference to the tools at hand and the goal of the project; there is only the drive as anti-teleological principle of desire (7).
Bricolage works with whatever is at hand—a limited set of rules, and a finite and heterogeneous set of tools (7).
Product/producing unity allows for D+G to talk about “an enormous undifferentiated object” (7).
Nirvana and the view that it would be better if there had never been machines or connections (7).
The body suffers from being organized in a triangulated fashion (8).
The full BwO is the unproductive, the sterile, the unengendered, the unconsumable (8).
Desiring-machines only work when they break down and work continually by breaking down (8).
BwO is nonproductive but is produced as the identity of producing-product in connective synth (8).
BwO is the body without an image (8).
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affirmation, creativity, Dionysos, drives, evolution, human, libido, metaphor, morality, Nietzsche, reality, relation, truth, unconscious, will

The Genealogy of the Unconscious: Evolution, Awareness, Creativity

“What does man actually know about himself? Is he, indeed, ever able to perceive himself completely, as if laid out in a lighted display case? Does nature not conceal most things from him — even concerning his own body — in order to confine and lock him within a proud, deceptive consciousness, aloof from the coils of the bowels, the rapid flow of the blood stream, and the intricate quivering of the fibers! She threw away the key.” (On Truth and Lying in an Extra-moral Sense, Part 1)

“To calm the imagination of the invalid, so that at least he should not, as hitherto, have to suffer more from thinking about his illness than from the illness itself! –that, I think, would be something! It would be a great deal! Do you now understand our task?” (Daybreak 54)

A Simple Theory of the Unconscious?

There is no simple theory of the unconscious in Nietzsche’s work. This is because the unconscious is complex, a site for transformation and not a singular ‘object’ of analysis. The unconscious would be everything which accounts for image-object-thought associations, and therefore that by which we could explain relations between thoughts and activities. However, Nietzsche clearly recognized that we cannot simply analyze the unconscious as a thing in-itself: it was very important for him that we should not be taken in by the idea that our explanations for things are adequate expressions of an underlying reality. Because in fact there is no necessary relation between human beings and reality; rather, we artistically create the mode in which we confront and understand the world. Thus there are no longer any laws of nature for Nietzsche: “…what is a law of nature as such for us? We are not acquainted with it in itself, but only with its effects, which means in its relation to other laws of nature — which, in turn, are known to us only as sums of relations. Therefore all these relations always refer again to others and are thoroughly incomprehensible to us in their essence.” (Truth and Lying, Part 1) We cannot reach the essence of a relation except by being deceived into thinking they are simple; like the will, which we are apt to conceive as a pure simple essence of participation, an ‘inclination,’ when it fact it may be the most complex phenomena in the entire world.
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freud, libido, oedipus, one, rhizome, surplus-reality, the mother


What is it to say “we are one”?

The beginning of psychic life is not in principle distinguishable from the beginning of material life [1]. What a laugh to have for so long wrongly conjoined so directly: the mother, the One! A primary narcissism, Freud quips– as though biology really were our destiny! As though the intermediate steps weren’t the most important, those developmental phases whose traversal would precisely trace the outline of the crack between Freud’s Oedipalized unconscious and the event of language: Freud’s answer is self-love, presuming the mystical division he would sek to explain. Doctor, how does our subjectivity awaken? Outgrowing a primary narcissism, indeed!

But only a (lost) love: of the One that is the Self that is the One that is the Self… what he means, we must insist, is that the early mind is merely a little repeating-machine: for Freud, the interconnected flows which constitute our psychic life can never be properly said to be identical to those machinic material assemblages which constitute our organic rhizomatic substrate and origin. Is he wrong–is this a broken Oedpial fantasy or merely egoistic and monotonous delirium? Does the emergence of a proto-subjectivity rather constitute the intervention of an alien multiplicity within the “One”–which was not (and never was)?

Being-One with the Mother/Father — is this not also the primordial diagram/genealogy? The “intrusion” of an alien One, which mystically reproduces itself in the Same by precisely an excess of “primal” self-love? Libido becomes surplus-reality, bodies turned reality-producing machines– what, then, is this mysteriously doubled One? From what mysterious inner space emerges proto-subjectivitiy, this extra-terrestrial surplus territoriality?

But we are not just “one” with the mother–the flow of desire doesn’t begin and end with her Womb, nor even Libido. We won’t find the origin by tracing the event of becoming-Other to its symbolic source: we are not just One with God, not just One within a void-enraptured Mother-Father-Me constellation; becoming is about becoming-Universe, becoming-Woman, becoming-Energy, yes, even becoming Mother-Father… but we “become” by a truth-event which is misrecognized as a unity; the Arising of a not-One within the One that really isn’t. We are not anti-matter, but a colony of parasites, a multiplicity without a place, with only hungry and open connection-holes, not a rapturous void but music and light– a not-One connected to an energy field which produces a self-recording as the ghost of a repressed Truth. To speak of a process, or perhaps more radically of the event of becoming, still imagines the Other to be One, still preserves the primordial transcendence of an alien Same within the Other-which-is-me.

1. This can be thought of as an alternate statement of Chalmer’s Hard Problem of Consciousness.