9/07/2014

Desiring-machines work only when they break down, and by


continually breaking down. Judge Schreber "lived for a long time
 


without a stomach, without intestines, almost without lungs, with a torn


oesophagus, without a bladder, and with shattered ribs; he used sometimes
to swallow part of his own larynx with his food, etc."7 The body
without organs is nonproductive; nonetheless it is produced, at a certain
place and a certain time in the connective synthesis, as the identity of
producing and the product: the schizophrenic table is a body without
organs. The body without organs is not the proof of an original
nothingness, nor is it what remains of a lost totality.

Above all, it is not a
projection; it has nothing whatsoever to do with the body itself, or with
an image of the body. It is the body without an image. This imageless,
organless body, the nonproductive, exists right there where it is produced,
 



in the third stage of the binary-linear series. It is perpetually
reinserted into the process of production. The catatonic body is produced
in the water of the hydrotherapy tub. The full body without
organs belongs to the realm of antiproduction; but yet another characteristic
of the connective or productive synthesis is the fact that it
couples production with antiproduction, with an element of antiproduction.






2 The Body without Organs
An apparent conflict arises between desiring-machines and the
body without organs. Every coupling of machines, every production of a
machine, every sound of a machine running, becomes unbearable to the body
without organs. Beneath its organs it senses there are larvae and loathsome
worms, and a God at work messing it all up or strangling it by organizing it. "The
body is the body/it is all by i
tself/and has no need of organs/the body is never an
organism/ organisms are the enemies of the body."* Merely so many nails
piercing the flesh, so many forms of torture. In order to resist organ-machines,
the body without organs presents its smooth, slippery, opaque, taut surface as a
barrier. In order to resist linked, connected, and interrupted flows, it sets up a
counterflow of amorphous, undifferentiated fluid. In order to resist using words
composed of articulated phonetic units, it utters only gasps and cries that are



sheer unarticulated blocks of sound. We are of the opinion that what is ordinarily
referred to as "primary repression" means precisely that: it is not a
"countercathexis," but rather this repulsion of desiring-machines by the body
without organs. This is the real meaning of the paranoiac machine: the
desiring-machines attempt to break into the body without organs, and the body
                                   without organs repels them, since it experiences them as an over-all persecution
apparatus. Thus we cannot agree with Victor Tausk when he regards the
paranoiac machine as a mere projection of "a person's own body" and the genital
organs.8 The genesis of the machine lies precisely here: in the opposition of the
process of production of the desiring-machines and the nonproductive stasis of
the body without organs.


                                                 The anonymous nature of the machine and the
nondifferentiated nature of its surface are proof of this. Projection enters the
picture only secondarily, as does counter-investment,t as the body without organs
invests a counterinside or a counteroutside, in the form of
a persecuting organ or
some exterior agent of persecution.



But in and of itself the paranoiac machine is
merely an avatar of the desiring-machines: it is a result of the relationship
between the desiring-machines and the body without organs, and occurs when the
latter can no longer tolerate these machines.
 


*Antonin Artaud, in 84, nos. 5-6 (1948). The French text reads: "Le corps est !e co




*Antonin Artaud, in 84, nos. 5-6 (1948). The French text reads: "Le corps est !e corps/il est seul/et n'a pas
besoin d'organe/le corps n'est jamais un organisme/les organismes sont les ennemis du corps." {Translators'
note.) (Throughout, all English translations of works cited in the text are by the translators, unless otherwise
noted.)
■fWe have adopted this term throughout, except when quoting directly from psychoanalytic literature,
because it renders more faithfully the meaning of Investlssement, which in French does service in libidinal
as well as political economy. We have likewise chosen to translate investir as "to invest" instead of "to
cathect." (Translators'note.)

 


THE DESIRING-MACHINES 8