Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Metaphysics (or Phantasma) of Desire

Since the 21st century might be Deleuzian “we” (in the sense that “I” is a multiplicity of many “Is” = “we”) would do well to submerge ourselves in the fluid production of desire.

Desire is not a relation between terms – the desire of the subject and the absent object which the former lacks. Desire is creation. All life is desire, a flux and flow of positive difference and becoming, a full series of productive connections…Desire is more and other than human life …Desires are not images we have of what we lack; desires are positive events – including all the perceptions and sensible encounters of all bodies. Once we free desire from representation, once we see desire as the act of the body itself and not the representation or wishful hallucination of an act, then we can also free desire from the human. Humans, as speaking beings, are no longer the sites for desire.

Desire is creative evolutionism, the construction of assemblages, the chaotic flows of production. And it is important to de-personalize and de-sexualize it. Sexuality is one flow that enters into conjunction with others in an assemblage. It is not a privileged infrastructure within desiring assemblages, not an energy able to be transformed or sublimated into other forms.

Desire is not a process whose goal is dissolution in pleasure. It is the construction of a plane of immanence in which desire is continuous in a process in which everything is permissible and possible.

In that Deleuzian sense, it seems “we” cannot put any distance to it, as you wish Yusef. Nor can we “make” desire. Not even surrender is possible, much less resistance. “We” are desire – in the most universal, affirmative life-enhancing meaning of the concept. It is a warm world.


Anonymous Yusef said...

1. “And it is important to de-personalize and de-sexualize it [desire]. Sexuality is one flow that enters into conjunction with others in an assemblage. It is not a privileged infrastructure within desiring assemblages,”

2. “In that Deleuzian sense, it seems “we” cannot put any distance to it, as you wish Yusef.”

What is said in 1 is impossible without putting distance to desire because to depersonalize and to desexualize desire is putting distance to desire, though in 2 you seem to deny this. We misunderstand each other.

1. “Desire is creative evolutionism, the construction of assemblages”

2. “It is the construction of a plane of immanence”

3. “Nor can we “make” desire.”

What was said in 1 and 2 directly contradicts what is said in 3 unless there is some way in which to create or to construct is not to make and I don't think so. If we can’t “make” desire I don’t think we can “make” a desiring machine, and if we can’t “make” a desiring machine, we may as well go back to the original idea of ideas, adequation of all that exists to the immutable forms, etc.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Orla Schantz said...

Thank you, Yusef, for putting the text under the scrutiny of logic. There are indeed signs of fallacies in Deleuzian metaphysics which I also tried to hint at in the title of my post :-)

Isn't Deleuze transforming desire into the metaphysical realm or even into the universe of phantasms?

That was what I was trying to warn us about.

In ATP he writes that we need resistance against the present. That the creation of concepts in itself calls for a future form, a new earth and a people that do not yet exist.

In the same way, I think you are right, Yusef, in calling for more resistance to desire. We need to irritate it. Deterritorialize it.

How do we go about it?

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