Dr Işıl Ezgi Çelik | 28 May 2023
The concept of the “Desiring-Machine” comes from the philosophical work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, particularly in their book “Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia.”
According to Deleuze and Guattari, desire is not simply a psychological or individual phenomenon, but rather a social and productive force that operates through the Desiring-Machine. The Desiring-Machine is a theoretical construct that represents the complex interplay of desire, power, and social organisation.
In their view, desire is not a lack or a need to be fulfilled, but a positive and productive force that constantly seeks to create and produce. The Desiring-Machine is a network or assemblage of desire, incorporating various elements such as bodies, objects, social structures, and discourses. It is an immanent and productive system that operates through flows and connections.
The Desiring-Machine is characterized by its capacity for deterritorialization and reterritorialization. De-territorialisation refers to the breaking down of established social and psychological structures, while re-territorialisation involves the creation of new forms and structures. These processes are driven by the intensities and flows of desire.
Desire, as expressed through the Desiring-Machine, is not confined to specific objects or aims. It is a multiplicity that operates through connections and relationships, constantly seeking new expressions and intensities. The desiring machine is not limited to individual subjects but extends to social and collective formations as well.
Deleuze and Guattari argue that the desiring machine is repressed and constrained by various social and psychological mechanisms, such as the Oedipal complex and capitalist modes of production. These mechanisms aim to channel desire into predetermined forms and limit its potential for creativity and transformation.
The concept of the desiring machine is part of Deleuze and Guattari’s broader critique of traditional psychoanalysis and social structures. They propose alternative modes of subjectivity and social organization that embrace the productive and liberating potential of desire. By understanding desire as a Desiring-Machine, they seek to challenge and subvert established power structures and open up new possibilities for the individual and the collective agency.