Assessment 1 Statement

Question: Desire has often been conceived in terms of a lack: we desire what we lack, and we move endlessly (and impossibly) towards the object of desire. Against this notion, Gilles Deleuze conceives desire as a constructive force: desire produces its own objects. Taking up this idea of desire as a constructive, creative, productive activity, consider art and design practices as ways of exploring the radical possibilities of desire. 

I began addressing this question by researching further into Deleuze’s and Guattari theory of desire as a constructive force. This theory opposes the Freudian conception of desire as lack, neither productive nor liberating but rather subjected to a constant search for, and failure to find, satisfaction. This idea is supported by capitalist structures that feed the idea that absence must be filled with commodities or ‘artificial desires.’ Delueuze and Guttari suggest that desire is a positive tangible reality, which is behind and within all aspects of social production.

Delving deeper into these ideas, I then began to look into Delueze theory of “desiring-production” and the “desiring machine.” Desiring-production is a termed often used by both Delueze and Guttari. This conception again looks at desire as a productive force with real material results. According to Delueze desire produces reality, and thus it should be embraced.’ Additionally the idea of the ‘desiring machine’ reiterates the idea of desire as productive. Delueze wanted to recapture the revolutionary quality of desire by introducing desire into the mechanism and introduce production into desire; “desiring production is the primary form of human production.” (Chris Hubert).

I wanted to explore these ideas further by creating a physical representation of Delueze and Guttari’s “desiring machine.” My poster consists of numerous mechanical pieces that form a cohesive and connected machine. This is to underline Delueze’s notion of desire as a positive and productive flow connecting all aspects of life. Similarly, I attempted to design the machine so it resembled a human digestive system, something integral in bodily function just as desire is to the production of social realities. This motif also addresses the cyclical nature of desire that Delueze discusses, that the ‘desiring machine is, at the same time, producing its own flow of desire. In other words “desire can be made to desire its own repression” (Grace McQuilten). It is through this capability that Deluze believes capitalism has controlled desire in order to turn it into a lack. Deleuze suggests that the only way to escape capitalism can only occur via the liberation of unconscious desire; “returning production itself to desire.”