Pragmatic/Machinic: Discussion with Fe'lix Guattari (19 March 1985)

Charles J. Stivale, Wayne State University

[I received an e-mail msg this past spring from someone named
Michael Current, requesting an address and also very modestly
indicating the existence of the (then) Deleuze-List. With my
response, he subscribed me to the List, and frankly, things haven't
quite been same. I usually only write best when I have an
interlocutor of some sort as addressee, and he served as that for me
on many occasions in the short time we were acquainted. The
following is an unpublished interview with Guattari that Michael had
encouraged me to share with the list. It will appear as hard copy in
_Pre/Text_ 14.3-4 later this year (1995). -- CJS]

[NOTE: this text has not yet been fully html-ized.--MN]
PART I: Pragmatic

1. "Deleuze-thought"
2. Molecular revolutions in Europe
3. French politics under Mitterand
4. Deleuze-Guattari and psychoanalysis
5. The Americanization of Europe
6. Left and right readings of Deleuze-Guattari

1. Minor literature
2. A Thousand Plateaus: A "speculative cartography"
3. A Thousand Plateaus: "Becoming-woman"
4. A Thousand Plateaus: The "Body without organs"
5. A Thousand Plateaus: Modes of encoding and a-signifying semiotics
6. A Thousand Plateaus: The "war machine" and "striated" vs. "smooth" space

+ Notes

Pragmatic/Machinic: A Discussion with Fe'lix Guattari (19 March
1985) -- Charles J. Stivale, Wayne State University

                                       For Michael Current

    The following discussion with Fe'lix Guattari took place in his
apartment in Paris. With the help of a number of friends, I had
prepared a set of questions, and had contacted him to see if he
might be available to answer some of them.\1 He responded
immediately, and left messages with the friend in Paris in whose
apartment I would be staying. Prior to the trip, I also had
contacted Gilles Deleuze to arrange an extended interview, and
although his schedule and health prevented him from agreeing to a
long session, I did visit him at his apartment the night before the
session with Guattari.
    I met Guattari in his in the sixth _arrondissement_ apartment,
near the Odeon, and we spent about three hours talking, then ran
errands in the neighborhood, had lunch, and then continued talking
for a few more hours.  He was extremely generous with his time, more
than willing to consider anything I threw his way, and as the reader
will note, extremely patient. Shortly after the interview, I
realized that I had overdone the barrage of prepared questions and
topics to be treated and should have limited the subjects to a few
that we could have perhaps considered in greater detail. Also, while
preparing this exchange for distribution and publication, I have
winced more than once upon re-reading some of the question/answer
exchanges. Yet, despite having his patience tried, Guattari spoke
entirely without reserve and even outlined quite extensively some of
the elements of his ongoing work.
    Although I tried to interest several journals in this interview
in the following years, the its length as well as the notoriously
"difficult" situation of Guattari for many North American critics
combined to make this publication impossible. Only through Internet
contacts on the Deleuze-Guattari List have I seen the demand for a
more thorough and equitable account of Guattari's contributions to
this collaboration with Deleuze and of his own highly speculative
work.  A decade later, some of the topics that we discussed are
rather dated, but I have retained most of these in the text because
they do shed light on Guattari's thinking, particularly on politics
and culture. While I have also reviewed my translation, I have
refrained from "regularizing" it too completely in order to leave
intact as much of the spontaneity of Guattari's verbal pyrotechnics
as possible.
    Toward the end of our talk, the doorbell rang, and while
Guattari answered, I excused myself for a few minutes. When I
returned, he introduced me to a lean, greying man, Toni Negri, whose
mail Guattari was receiving and who had an appointment with
Guattari. I took my leave, and saw Guattari again only once, in 1990
in Baton Rouge at Louisiana State U, where he presented an edited
version of his _Les trois e'cologies_ (The Three Ecologies).

I. Pragmatic

1. "Deleuze-thought"

CS: Referring to the front cover of _SubStance_ 44/45 (1984), once
    again the name "Gilles Deleuze" blocks out the name of F?lix
    Guattari. This blockage, that quite often occurs when someone
    refers to the schizoanalytic project, seems to correspond to
    the effect you emphasized in "Machine and Structure" (_Molecular
    Revolution_),\2 the effect of transforming a proper name into a
    common noun, i.e. erasing the individual. How do you react to
    these two effects, the blockage of your name and the
    "figuration" of Gilles Deleuze's name?

FG: I can't give you a simple answer because I think that behind
    this little phenomenon, there are some contradictory elements.
    There is a rather negative aspect which is that some people have
    considered Deleuze's collaboration with me as deforming his
    philosophical thought and leading him into analytical and
    political tracks where he somehow went astray. So, some people
    have tried to present this collaboration, often in some
    unpleasant ways, as an unfortunate episode in Gilles Deleuze's
    life, and have therefore displayed toward me the infantile
    attitude of quite simply denying my existence. Sometimes, one
    even sees references to _L'Anti-Oedipe or _Mille plateaux_ in
    which my name is quite simply omitted, in which I no longer
    exist at all.\3 So, let's just say that this is one dimension of
    malice of a political nature.
       One could also look at this dimension from another
    perspective: one could say, OK, in the long run, "Deleuze" has
    become a common noun, or in any case, a common noun not only for
    him and me, but for a certain number of people who participate
    in "Deleuze-thought" (_la pense'e deleuze_) as we would have
    said years ago "Mao-thought". "Deleuze-thought" does exist;
    Michel Foucault insisted on that to some extent, in a rather
    humorous way, saying that this century would be Deleuzian, and I
    hope so.\4 That doesn't mean that the century will be connected
    to the thought of Gilles Deleuze, but will comprise a certain
    re-assemblage of theoretical activity vis-a-vis university
    institutions and power institutions of all kinds.

CS: What are your current projects, and don't you have a book which
    will appear soon on your clinical work?

FG: I have two books which are going to appear, a book with Toni
    Negri,\5 _Les nouveaux espaces de liberte'_ (The New Spaces of
    Freedom); then, a collection of articles dating from the last
    three or four years. I thought of calling it _Les anne'es
    d'hiver_ (The Years of Winter), but I don't know. Then there is
    a third collection which will be texts on schizo-analysis.\6

2. Molecular Revolutions in Europe

CS: You spoke to me earlier about the College International de
    Philosophie,\7 so what are your goals in this activity and your
    hopes for this institution, and in terms of the schizoanalytic
    enterprise, how do you understand your participation there?

FG: I warned you ahead of time: I don't understand it at all now!

CS: Right, you just mentioned that you no longer are involved there,
    that you no longer belong to the College?

FG: No. The people, not the founders, who have taken control of this
    institution, sometimes by means that recall more the life within
    small political groups than a self-respecting, purely scientific
    activity, the people who thus brought off this operation are not
    devoid of qualities quite generally, but have a conception of
    philosophy that, in my opinion, is traditional in its exercise
    and that therefore does not allow the construction of a new
    institution since, after all, the way they want to develop
    philosophical studies could be done entirely in the framework of
    existing university institutions.

CS: How do they understand philosophy?

FG: Well, you understand, this College de Philosophie, we had the
    idea, with a certain number of friends, Jean-Pierre Faye in
    particular, immediately after the arrival of the socialists in
    France in 1981. The idea was to develop completely new forms of
    collective reflection, particularly in the field of
    relationships between science and philosophy, art and
    philosophy, and for my part, in the domains of reflection about
    urbanism, education, health and psychiatric questions. It was
    therefore a conception, let's say, much closer to that of the
    Encyclopedists of the 18th century than to university philosophy
    as it has developed, and in my opinion, as it has dried up
    philosophy. So, instead of accepting the idea of a
    multi-polarity entirely necessary for the project as I just
    defined it, the present team, which took control of the College
    de Philosophie, created a sole central body that distributes
    transitory seminars, without much continuity, uniquely directed
    in the end toward subjects that recall an education in the history
    of philosophy, obviously with some interesting
    innovations, of course, but subjects that finally don't allow
    one to do anything more than present a complementary teaching.
    These subjects don't allow us to undertake or to establish
    research or "think" teams with people who are not in the
    university field of philosophy, therefore to develop a mediating
    or interfacing perspective in completely new ways.
      So, Jean-Pierre Faye and I were entirely prepared to
    collaborate with these people devoted to this way of thinking,
    but provided that they had their precisely delimited territory
    and didn't attempt to invade and direct the College de
    Philosophie like a political bureau with a central committee
    whose general secretary would direct the so-called philosophical
    organizations. We have therefore decided to constitute something
    else, another European college of philosophy, hoping to have the
    means to realize its development.

CS: Given that you're considering a European college, what is
    happening in Europe as far as "molecular revolutions" are
    concerned? Are there any "molecular revolutions" taking place in
    Europe or in France?

FG: That's an interesting and embarrassing question at the same time
    because one might think, a lot of people think, that this whole
    dimension I called "molecular" -- this dimension of
    interrogation of the relationship between subjectivity and all
    kinds of things, the body, time, work, problems of daily life,
    all the becomings of subjectivity addressed by these molecular
    revolutions --, one might think that it was a passing
    phenomenon, connected to events of the '60s, to the new culture
    of the '60s, a flash in the pan, perhaps a dream, a fantasy,
    with no tomorrow. Today [1985], everything seems to have
    returned to order, and it's now the era of the new conservatism,
    something that you know quite well in the United States.
      But, people like me who continue to think that, on the
    contrary, this movement continues, whatever the difficulties and
    uncertainties might be, we are taken either for visionaries or
    completely retro and unhinged. Well, I willingly accept this
    aspect, much more willingly than many other things, because
    basically . . . I think that, in '68, not much happened. It was
    a great awakening, a huge thunderclap, but not much happened.
    What has been important is what occurred afterward, and what
    hasn't ceased occurring ever since. Thus, the molecular
    revolutions on the order of the liberation of women have been
    very important in their scope and results, and they are
    continuing across the entire planet. I am thinking to some
    extent of what I encountered in Brazil, of the immense struggles
    of liberation of women that must be undertaken in the Third
      There is at present a very profound upheaval of subjectivity
    in France developing around the questions of immigrants and of
    the emergence of new cultures, of migrant cultures connected to
    the second generations of immigrants. This is something that is
    manifested in paradoxical ways, such as the most reactionary
    racism we see developing in France around the movement of
    Jean-Marie Le Pen,\8 but also, quite the contrary, manifested
    through styles, through young people opening up to another
    sensitivity, another relationship with the body, particularly in
    dance and music. These also belong to molecular revolutions.
    There is also a considerable development, which, in my opinion,
    has an important future, around the Green, alternative,
    ecological, pacifist movements. This is very evident in Germany,
    but these movements are developing now in France, Belgium,
    Spain, etc.
      So, you'll say to me: but really, what is this catch-all, this
    huge washtub in which you are putting these very different and
    often violent movements, for example the movements of
    nationalistic struggles (the Basques, the Irish, the Corsicans),
    and then women's, pacifist movements, non-violent movements?
    Isn't all that a bit incoherent? Well, I don't think so because,
    once again, the molecular revolution is not something that will
    constitute a program. It's something that develops precisely in
    the direction of diversity, of a multiplicity of perspectives,
    of creating the conditions for the maximum impetus of processes
    of singularization. It's not a question of creating agreement;
    on the contrary, the less we agree, the more we create an area,
    a field of vitality in different branches of this phylum of
    molecular revolution, and the more we reinforce this area. It's
    a completely different logic from the organizational,
    arborescent logic that we know in political or union movements.
      OK, I persist in thinking that there is indeed a development
    in the molecular revolution. But then if we don't want to make
    of it a vague global label, there are several questions that
    arise; there are two, I'm not going to develop them, I'll simply
    point them out. There is a theoretical question and a practical
      1) The theoretical question is that, in order to account for
    these correspondences, the "elective affinities" (to use a title
    from Goethe) between diverse, sometimes contradictory, even
    antagonistic movements, we must forge new analytical
    instruments, new concepts, because it's not the shared trait
    that counts there, but rather the transversality, the crossing
    of abstract machines that constitute a subjectivity and that are
    incarnated, that live in very different regions and domains and,
    I repeat, that can be contradictory and antagonistic. That is
    therefore an entire problematic, an entire analytic, of
    subjectivity which must be developed in order to understand, to
    account for, to plot the map of (_cartographier_) what these
    molecular revolutions are.
      2) That brings us to the second aspect which is that we cannot
    be content with these analogies and affinities; we must also try
    to construct a social practice, to construct new modes of
    intervention, this time no longer in molecular, but molar
    relationships, in political and social power relations, in order
    to avoid watching the systematic, recurring defeat that we knew
    during the '70s, particularly in Italy with the enormous rise of
    repression linked to an event, in itself repressive, which was
    the rise of terrorism. Through its methods, its violence, and
    its dogmatism, terrorism gives aid to the State repression which
    it is fighting. There is a sort of complicity, there again
    transversal. So, in this case, we are no longer only on the
    theoretical plane, but on the plane of experimentation, of new
    forms of interactions, of movement construction that respects
    the diversity, the sensitivities, the particularities of
    interventions, and that is nonetheless capable of constituting
    antagonistic machines of struggle to intervene in power
      I really can't develop much for you on that; this is simply to
    tell you that there is at least a beginning of such an
    experimentation showiing that this is not entirely a dream, not
    only mere formulae like I tossed them out ten, fifteen years
    ago; and this movement, I believe that it's the German Greens
    who are giving us not its model, but its direction, since the
    German model is of course not transposable. But it's true that
    the German Greens not only are people whose activity is quite in
    touch with daily life, who are concerned with problems relating
    to children, education, psychiatry, etc., who are concerned with
    the environment and with struggles for peace. They are also
    people who are now capable of establishing very important power
    relations at the heart of German politics, and who intervene on
    the Third World front, for example, having intervened in
    solidarity with the French Canaques,\9 or who intervene in
    Europe to develop similar movements. That interests me greatly,
    the multi-functionality of this movement, this departure from
    something that is a central apparatus with its program, its
    political bureau, with its secretariat. You see, I've returned
    again to the same terms I used when we were talking about the
    College de Philosophie.

CS: That is, the Greens seem to work on all strata, on both molar
    and molecular strata, of the Third World . . .

FG: Right, and on artistic strata and philosophical strata.

3. French Politics under Mitterand

CS: I'd like to continue the discussion in this political direction.
    You wrote an article last year entitled, "The Left as Processual
    Passion,"\10 and you spoke about several aspects of the current
    political scene. I'd like to know how you see this scene, not
    only from a political perspective, but from an intellectual one
    as well. For example, in this article, you spoke of Mitterand's
    government, and you said, "The socialist politicos settled into
    the sites of power without any re-examination of the existing
    institutions"; that Mitterand, "at first, let the different
    dogmatic tendencies in his government pull in opposing
    directions, then resigned himself to installing a tumultuous
    management team whose terminological differences from Reagan's
    'Chicago Boys' must not mask the fact that this team is leading
    us toward the same kinds of aberrations." Could you develop
    these comments by explaining the resemblance that you see
    between Mitterand's and Reagan's politics?

FG: It is not exactly a resemblance. There is, let's say, a
    methodological resemblance which is that these are people,
    whatever their origins, their education, who have come to think
    that there was only one possible political and economic
    approach, which they deduced from economic indices, etc., the
    idea that they could govern on the basis of the existing and
    functioning economic axiomatic.
       But, very schematically, here is how I see things: current
    world capitalism has taken control of the entirety of productive
    activities and activities of social life on the whole planet by
    succeeding in a double operation, an operation permeating
    world-wide (_de mondialisation_) that consisted in rendering
    homogeneous the Eastern State capitalistic countries and then a
    totally peripheral Third World capitalism in an identical system
    of economic markets, thus of economic semiotizations. This
    operation has completely reduced the possibilities; i.e. at the
    limit, we no longer have the dual relationship between
    imperialistic countries and colonized countries. All are at once
    colonized and imperialistic in a multi-centering of imperialism.
    This is quite an operation, that is, it's a new alliance between
    the deep-rooted capitalism of Western countries and the new
    capitalisms constituted by the "nomenclatura" of the Eastern
    countries and the kinds of aristocracies in Third World
    countries. One incident that I'll point out to you, which in
    fact would be entirely superficial, in my opinion, is lumping
    together Japanese capitalism with American and European
    capitalisms. For I have the impression that we have yet to
    understand that it's a completely different capitalism from the
    others, that Japanese capitalism does not function at all on the
    same bases. I don't want to develop this point, but it would be
    quite interesting to do so.
      The other operation of this capitalism is an operation of
    integration, i.e. its objective is not an immediate profit, a
    direct power, but rather to capture subjectivities from within,
    if I can use this term.\11 And to do so, what better technique
    is there to capture subjectivities than to produce them oneself?
    It's like those old science fiction films with invader themes,
    the body snatchers; integrated world capitalism takes the place
    of the subjectivity, it doesn't have to mess around with class
    struggles, with conflicts: it expropriates the subjectivity
    directly because it produces subjectivity itself. It's quite
    relaxed about it; let's say that this is an ideal which this
    capitalism partially attains. How does it do it? By producing
    subjectivity, i.e. it produces quite precisely the semiotic
    chains, the ways of representing the world to oneself, the forms
    of sensitivity, the forms of curriculum, of education, of
    evolution; it furnishes different age groups, different
    categories of the population, with a mode of functioning in the
    same way that it would put computer chips in cars, to guarantee
    their semiotic functioning.
       Yet, with this in mind, this subjectivity is not necessarily
    uniform, but rather very differentiated. It is differentiated as
    a function of the requirements of production, as a function of
    racial segregations, as a function of sexual segregations, as a
    function of _x_ differences, because the objective is not to
    create a universal subjectivity, but to continue to reproduce
    something that guarantees power with a certain number of
    capitalistic elites that are totally traditional, as we can
    witness quite well with Thatcherism and Reaganism. They aren't
    in the process of creating a renewed and universal humanity, not
    at all; they want to continue the traditions of American,
    Japanese, Russian, etc., aristocracies.
      Thus, there is a double movement, of deterritorialization of
    subjectivities in an informational and cybernetic direction of
    adjacencies of subjectivity in matters of production, but a
    movement of reterritorialization of subjectivities in order to
    assign them to a place, and especially to keep them in this
    place and to control them well, to place them under house
    arrest, to block their circulation, their flows. This is the
    meaning of all the measures leading to unemployment, to the
    segregation of entire economic spaces, to racism, etc.: to keep
    the population in place. One of the best ways of keeping them in
    place would have been to develop politics of guilt such as those
    in the great universalist religious communities. But that didn't
    work too well, these politics of interiorization and guilt,
    which explains the collapse of theories like psychoanalysis. Now
    it's much more a systemic thought that asserts itself: it's a
    matter of creating systemic poles that guarantee that the
    functions of desire, functions of rupture of balance will
    manifest themselves the least possible. What is the best
    procedure? Much better than guilt is systematic endangering:
    you're sitting in a place, you might have a tiny functionary's
    job, you might be a top-level manager; that's not important.
    It's absolutely necessary that you are convinced that, at any
    moment, you could be thrown out of this job. That concerns the
    non-guarantees of welfare as well as the super-guarantees of the
    salaried professions, with their contracts, perquisites, dachas,
    etc. From this point of view, it's the same in Russia as in the
    United States. You are not guaranteed; you are not guaranteed by
    a connection, by a territory, by a profession, by a corporation;
    you are essentially endangered because you depend on this system
    which, from one day to the next, as a function of some
    requirement of production or simply some requirement of power or
    social control, might say to you: now, it's over. You might have
    been the biggest TV star with tens of millions of fans crazy
    about you, but in the next instant, all that could end
    immediately if there were any dissension that suddenly resulted
    in your no longer functioning in the register of functions we
    agree to promote for the production of subjectivity. So it's
    that kind of instrument, I believe, that gives this power to
    integrated world capitalism.
      And so, in that case, what does a socialist government do when
    it comes to power in France? At the beginning, it thinks that it
    will be able to change all of that, it thinks that it will be
    able to change television, hierarchical relationships,
    relationships with immigrants, etc. And there is astonishment
    for six months during the grace period. And then, since it has
    no antagonistic instrument, no different social practice, no
    specific production of subjectivity, since the government is
    itself moulded by bureaucratization, by hierarchical spirit, by
    the segregation formed by the integrated model of capitalism,
    necessarily it discovers with astonishment that it can do
    nothing, that it is completely the prisoner of inflation, of
    mechanisms that render impossible the development of a
    production and a social life in such a country subjugated by the
    overall machinery of world capitalism. A guy I know well, sort
    of a friend, Jack Lang (the Minister of Culture), discovered
    this immediately: he made a few harmless statements, that might
    have passed totally without notice, at the UNESCO convention
    that I attended. Then he found that he had set off an explosion
    because he had dared to touch a tiny wire, a tiny wheel of this
    mechanism of subjectivation. He dared to say: after all, this
    American cinema is something that has taken much too great an
    importance vis-?-vis the potential Third World productions.
    There was a frightening scandal! He had to beat a retreat
    because he questioned, like during the Inquisition, he
    questioned fundamental dogma relating to this production of

CS: You have said about the socialist government that by committing
    itself to "an absurd one-upsmanship with the right in the area
    of security, of austerity and of conservatism," the left has not
    contributed "to the assemblage of new collective modes of
    enunciation." What collective modes of enunciation did you

FG: Listen, from 1977 to 1981, a group of friends and I organized a
    movement, that wasn't very powerful, but wasn't entirely
    negligible either, whose images I have here [FG indicates the
    different posters on his living room walls], that was called
    the Free Radio Movement.\12  We developed about a hundred free
    radio stations, an experimentation, a new mode of expression
    somewhat similar to what happened in Italy. Before 1981, the
    Socialists supported us; Francois Mitterand even came to some of
    our stations, and there was a lawsuit (I lost it, by the way, I
    lost quite a few). When they came to power, they created a
    committee on free radios; they undertook the most incredible
    machinations with their socialist militants, people who aren't
    directly venal in terms of money, but who are part of the
    venality of power, an administrative venality. To speak bluntly,
    they appointed their buddies, people who knew absolutely nothing
    about free radios. The result: at the end of two years, all the
    stations were dead, and all had been invaded, just like the
    invaders we were talking about, by municipal interests, by
    private capitalists, by the large newspapers who already had all
    the power, by other stations, that resulted in their quite
    simply killing the Free Radio Movement. I think that if a
    rightist government had remained in place, we would have
    continued to struggle and to achieve things. It sufficed that
    the socialists came to power in order to liquidate all that.
      I've given you the example of free radios, but I can give you
    the example of attempts at pedagogical and educational
    renovations. They liquidated it all; no, not everything, since
    there are nonetheless some experimental high schools like
    Gabriel Cohn-Bendit's, one of my friends.\13 But after all, one
    sees clearly today, and I said this directly to Laurent Fabius
    [then Mitterand's Prime Minister], that Chevenement is the most
    conservative Minister of National Education that we have seen
    during the Fifth Republic. I could go on and on: in the domain
    of alternatives to psychiatry, there was an _incredible_
    offensive of calumny, of destruction of the alternative network
    through the lawsuit undertaken against Claude Cigala, claiming
    that he had raped little boys, I don't know what else.
      I could make a complete enumeration for all the
    potentialities; they weren't enormous, it wasn't May '68, but
    some beginnings, some new kinds of practices, compositions of
    new attitudes, of new assemblages, of all that have been
    systematically crushed. Not that the socialists did this
    voluntarily; they didn't realize what they were doing, that's
    the worst part! They didn't realize what they were doing!

CS: So, this failure of the left from a political perspective could
    be extended undoubtedly to the intellectual domain.

FG: Well, there, the failure has been total.

CS: You also said in this article, "A whole soup of supposed 'new
    philosophy,' of 'post-modernism,' of 'social implosion,' and I
    could go on, finally ended up by poisoning the atmosphere and by
    contributing to the discouragement of attempts at political
    commitment at the heart of the intellectual milieu."

FG: Well, the socialists weren't responsible for that; it had begun
    well before. But it's true that despite the sometimes
    considerable efforts by the Ministry of Culture, the result is
    quite nil in all domains. For example, in the domain of cinema,
    French cinema is alive from an economic point of view, but it
    doesn't at all have the richness of German cinema or other kinds
    because in this domain as well, the assemblages of enunciations
    remained entirely traditional, in the publishing houses, in the
    classical systems of production, etc.

CS: And your work in _change International_?\14

FG: They helped us a bit, at the beginning, and then they dropped
    us. This was, in my opinion, a very interesting and very
    promising undertaking, but we didn't have the resources, and as
    you know, for a journal with that kind of ambition, one has to
    have resources.

CS: So it no longer exists?

FG: No. Well, there is an issue coming out, we're still going to put
    out one or two issues, but what we wanted to create was a
    powerful monthly, international journal. Instead, the socialists
    spent billions to support stupidities like the _Nouvelles
    litt?raires_ journal. And I mean billions! It's shameful.

4. Deleuze-Guattari and Psychoanalysis

CS: Regarding the current intellectual scene, in a recent issue of
    _Magazine litte'raire_ (June 1983), D.A. Grisoni claimed that
    _Mille plateaux_ proves that "the desiring vein" has disappeared
    . . .

FG: Yeh, I saw that! (Laughter)

CS: . . . and he called Deleuze "dried up".\15 What do you think of
    this? What is your conception of the schizoanalytic enterprise
    right now, and what aspects of the two volumes of _Capitalism
    and Schizophrenia_ appear to you as the most valid?

FG: They're not valid at all! Me, I don't know, I don't care! It's
    not my problem! It's however you want it, whatever use you want
    to make of it. Right now, I'm working, Deleuze is working a lot.
    I'm working with a group of friends on the possible directions
    of schizoanalysis; yes, I'm theorizing in my own way. If people
    don't care about it, that's their business; but I don't care
    either, so that works out well.

CS: That's precisely what Deleuze said yesterday evening: I
    understand quite well that people don't care about my work
    because I don't care about theirs either.

FG: Right, so there's no problem. You see, we didn't even discuss
    it, but we had the same answer! (Laughter)

CS: Deleuze and I spoke briefly about the book by Jean-Paul Aron,
    _Les Modernes_.\16 What astounded me was that despite his way of
    presenting things, he really liked _Anti-Oedipus_. What
    particularly struck me in his statement about _Anti-Oedipus_ was
    that "despite a few bites, the doctor (Lacan) is the sacred
    precursor of schizoanalysis and of the hyper-sophisticated
    industry of desiring machines" (285). A question that one asks
    in reading _Anti-Oedipus_ is what is the place of Lacanian
    psychoanalysis in the schizoanalytic project. One gets the
    impression that you distance yourselves from most of the
    thinkers presented, but that Lacan has a rather privileged place
    to the extent that there is no rupture.

FG: In my opinion, what you are saying is not completely accurate
    because it's true in the beginning of _Anti-Oedipus_, and then
    if you look, en route, it's less and less true because,
    obviously, we didn't write at the end the same way as we did in
    the beginning, and then it's not true at all throughout _A
    Thousand Plateaus_, there, it's all over. This means the
    following: Deleuze never took Lacan seriously at all, but for
    me, that was very important. It's true that I've gone through a
    whole process of clarification, which didn't occur quickly, and
    I haven't finally measured, dare I say it, the superficial
    character of Lacan. That will seem funny, but in the end, I
    think that's how Deleuze and Foucault ... I remember certain
    conversations of that period, and I realize that they considered
    all that as rather simplistic, superficial. That seems funny
    because it's such a sophisticated, complicated language.?
      So, I'm nearly forced to make personal confidences about this
    because, if I don't, this won't be clear. What was important for
    me with Lacan is that it was an event in my life, an event to
    meet this totally bizarre, extraordinary guy with extraordinary,
    crazy even, acting talent, with an astounding cultural
    background. I was a student at the Sorbonne, I was bored
    shitless in courses with Lagache, Szazo, I don't remember who,
    and then I went to Lacan's seminar. I have to say that it
    represented an entirely unforeseen richness and inventiveness in
    the university. That's what Lacan was; he was above all a guy
    with guts; you can say all you want about Lacan, but you can't
    say the contrary, he had no lack of guts. He possessed a depth
    of freedom that he inherited from a rather blessed period, I
    have to say, the period before the war, the period of
    surrealism, a period with a kind of gratuitous violence. One
    thinks of Gide's Lafcadio. He had a dadaist humor, a violence at
    the same time, a cruelty; he was a very cruel guy, Lacan, very
      As for Deleuze, it wasn't the same because he acquired this
    freedom vis-a-vis concepts, this kind of sovereign distance in
    his work. Deleuze was never a follower of anyone, it seems to
    me, or of nearly anyone. I wasn't in the same kind of work, and
    it was important for me to have a model of rupture, if I can
    call it that, all the more so since I was involved in extreme
    leftist organizations, but still traditionalist from many
    perspectives. There was all the weight of Sartre's thought, of
    Marxist thought, creating a whole environment that it wasn't
    easy to eliminate. So, I think that's what Lacan was. Moreover,
    it's certain that his reading of Freud opened possibilities for
    me to cross through and into different ways of thinking. It's
    only recently that I have discovered to what extent he read
    Freud entirely in bad faith. In other words, he really just made
    anything he wanted out of Freud because, if one really reads
    Freud, one realizes that it has very little to do with Lacanism.

CS: Could you specify in which writings or essays Lacan seems to
    read this way?

FG: The whole Lacanian extrapolation about the signifier, in my
    opinion, is absolutely un-Freudian, because Freud's way of
    constructing categories relating to the primary processes was
    also a way of making their cartography that, in my opinion, was
    much closer to schizoanalysis, i.e. much closer to a sometimes
    nearly delirious development -- why not? -- in order to account
    for how the dream and how phobia function, etc. There is a
    Freudian creativity that is much closer to theater, to myth, to
    the dream, and which has little to do with this structuralist,
    systemic, mathematizing, I don't know how to say it, this
    mathemic thought of Lacan. First of all, the greatest
    difference, there as well, is at the level of the enunciation
    considered in its globality. Freud and his Freudian
    contemporaries wrote something, wrote monographies. Then, in the
    history of psychoanalysis, and notably in this kind of
    structuralist vacillation, there are no monographies. It's a
    meta-meta-meta-theorization; they speak about textual exegesis
    in the _n_th degree, and one always returns to the original
    monography, little Hans, Schreber, the Wolf Man, the Rat Man.\17
    So all that is ridiculous. It's as if we had the Bible, the
    Bible according to Schreber, the Bible according to Dora. This
    is interesting, this comparison could be pushed quite far. I
    think that there is the invention of the modelization of
    subjectivity, an order of this invention of subjectivity that
    was that of the apostles: it comes, it goes, but I mean that
    it's moving much more quickly now than at that time, i.e. we
    won't have to wait two thousand years to put that religion in
    question, it seems to me.

CS: It also seems to me that there are many more apostles who have
    betrayed their master than apostles who betrayed Jesus.

FG: I was thinking more of the apostles, I see them more as Freud's
    first psychoanalyses; then, it's the Church fathers who are the
    traitors. Understand, with the apostles, there is something
    magnificent in Freud, he's like a guy who has fallen hopelessly
    in love with his patients, without realizing it, more or less; a
    guy who introduced some very heterodoxical practices, nearly
    incestuous when you think of what was the spirit of medicine at
    that period. So, he had an emotion, there was a Freudian event
    of creation, an entirely original Freudian scene, and all that
    has been completely buried by exegesis, by the Freudian

CS: A few minutes ago, you mentioned Foucault. I asked Deleuze this
    question about Foucault yesterday evening: what are your
    thoughts on Foucault nearly a year after his death? How do you
    react to this absence, and can we yet judge the importance of
    Foucault's work?

FG: It's difficult for me to respond because, quite the contrary to
    Deleuze, I was never influenced by Foucault's work. It
    interested me, of course, but it was never of great importance.
    I can't judge it. Quite possibly, it will have a great impact in
    different fields.\18

CS: Deleuze told me something very interesting: he said that
    Foucault's presence kept imbeciles from speaking too loudly, and
    that if Foucault didn't exactly block all aberrations, he
    nonetheless blocked imbeciles, and now the imbeciles will be
    unleashed. And, in terms of Aron's book, _Les Modernes_, he said
    that this book wouldn't have been possible while Foucault was
    alive, that no one would have dared publish it.

FG: Oh, you think so?

CS: I really don't know, but in any case, when it's a matter of
    machinations on the right . . .

FG: It's certain that Foucault had a very important authority and

5. The Americanization of Europe

CS: There's another question I want to return to. In terms of
    capitalism in the world, I'd like to consider the question of
    the Americanization that penetrates everywhere, for example,
    the "Dallas" effect. There is even a French "Dallas",
    "Chateauvallon" . . .

FG: It's not bad either. It's better than "Dallas," I find.

CS: Of course, for the French. But when you like J.R. . . .

FG: That's true. J.R. is a great character, quite formidable.

CS: But what strikes me in your writing, especially in _Rhizome_,\19
    is the impression of a kind of romanticism about America,
    references to the American nomadism, the country of continuous
    displacement, deterritorialization . . .

FG: Burroughs, Ginsberg . . .

CS: Right, and one gets the impression of a special America, and we
    Americans who read your texts, we know our America, and here in
    France, as a tourist this time, I see the changes, the
    penetration of our culture that has occurred over the last few
    years, the plastification, the fast food restaurants everywhere
    . . .

FG: Ah, it's incredible. And in the popular social strata, among the
    youth, they babble this kind of slang, they've completely
    identified with it, it's incredible. It's all over Europe,
    everywhere, the linguistic phenomenon of the incorporation of
    American rock. It's really surprising.

CS: So there are two conceptions of America: this nomadic conception
    which you present in your works, but that is finally a romantic
    conception in light of the practice of Americanization, the
    penetration of America and, of course, of capitalism. It seems
    that one does not go with the other, so how do you explain this
    difference? It's not really a contradiction, but simply a
    distance between two conceptions of America.

FG: Well, that's complicated. I'm not very clear about that because
    . . . I went to America occasionally, especially during the
    '70s, and then afterwards, during the '80s, I've gone to Japan,
    to Brazil, and to Mexico a lot, and I've no longer wanted to go
    to the United States. I haven't considered it well, I haven't
    understood why.
      You know, it's not certain that this is a romantic vision.
    Americans are often jerks; they have a pragmatic relationship
    with things; they are dumb, and sometimes, this is great because
    they don't have any background as compared to Europeans,
    Italians, but there is an American functionalism that makes us
    pass into this a-signifying register, that transports a
    fabulous creationism, fabulous anyhow in the
    technical-scientific domain, because they are really a
    scientific people; they don't look for complications, it works
    or it doesn't, they move on to something else.
      I met an American last summer, I was in California, at
    Stanford, I don't know where. I was on a tour to study the
    problems of mental health, a mission for the Ministry of
    Exterior Affairs. Americans are people who receive you very
    well, who take time to talk, which isn't the case here, not the
    same kind of welcome. So, each person that I met gave me an hour
    for discussion, and there, this young psychiatrist explained
    what had happened after the Kennedy Act, the liquidation of the
    big psychiatric hospitals and the establishment in his sector of
    half-way houses, a kind of day hospital to replace the big
    hospitals. He made a diagram chart, I remember, there was a
    graph with double entries, there were all the dimensions of
    these establishments, a remarkable organization of what had been
    developed. So, he finished presenting all that to me, and then
    the conversation finally ended, but there still remained ten
    minutes because we had an hour for our discussion, so there was
    no reason to leave. And I asked him a final question: "And so,
    how did all that work? What was the result?" He broke out
    laughing: "Nil. Zero. It didn't work at all!" I said: "Oh,
    really?" He said: "Yes, it's just a program we made, but it
    didn't work at all!" That was like a thunderbolt for me that
    this guy had made this entire development, and then it didn't
    work, so let's do something else. We see this well in Bateson's
    work: he makes a program on something, it works, but that
    doesn't matter, they move on to something else because they were
    on contract.\20 That's what I find to be the marvelous
    a-signifying freedom, going on to something else, going on to
    something else. They massacre Vietnamese for years, then
    afterwards, oh, well, no, that was stupid, let's go on to
    something else.
      So I wonder if that isn't the rather invading, yankee side of
    Americans that makes us ask what they're up to, what they're
    looking for. But one shouldn't try too hard to discover what
    they're looking for or what they're up to. It's the same for the
    Japanese, but with an entire background of mysticism, of
    religiosity, that also exists in the United States, but without
    being structured the same way.

CS: But where could we insert this question of nomadism? We have
    this "go on to something else" nomadism, so perhaps that's it,
    Kerouac, going on to something else . . .

FG: And next, and next, and next, constantly, constantly, and now,
    and now.

CS: . . . but his kind of incessant deterritorialization only exists
    in extreme cases, so to speak.

FG: But, no, that's not true. Jean-Paul Sartre, when he made his
    trip to America -- that must have been in 1947 or thereabouts --
    wrote a magnificent article about American cities. He explained
    that American cities aren't cities in the European sense, i.e.
    they have no contours. They are crisscrossed by avenues, they
    have no limit. In my terminology, this means that these are
    deterritorialized cities. America is entirely deterritorialized.
    "Deterritorialized" means that instead of having obstacles or
    having land, things, curves, there are lines, trains, planes,
    everything crossing, everything sliding, demographic flows
    sliding everywhere, and on top of that, there are extraordinary
    reterritorializations. Henry Miller in Brooklyn, Faulkner in a
    certain sense, because for Faulkner, to what extent isn't it a
    misreading to situate him as an archaic writer of American life?
    Isn't he rather a mythical reterritorialization about
    deterritorialized America? We'd need to debate that; I'm not
    able to undertake it about Faulkner. Anyway, how does one make
    oneself a body without organs, how does one make oneself a
    little territory, a life, a warmth, a childhood, in this
    American mess, in this whole mishmash spread out all over? Look
    at the extraordinary poetry of shop windows in New York! You
    know the shop windows in France or in Italy. But there, in New
    York, most of the windows speak, even on the main streets where
    you have side by side expensive windows and then places where
    you find piles of any old thing; one finds there a kind of
    accumulation of vistas like that, where there are marvelously
    beautiful things from an architectural perspective, and then
    there is a dump, a maximum and then a mess.

CS: I do understand the difference between cities, the constant
    sliding across territorialities between city and suburb.  But
    quite simply, this invasion, the body snatchers, America as body
    snatcher, the grip of capitalism in other countries, for me . .
    . well, perhaps that all belongs to the same process of
    deterritorialization: there is no territory, either in
    individual existence or in capitalistic flows: they invade
    everything, everywhere, everybody, everywhere in the world,
    without limits, without borders, crossing and invading France.

FG: But don't you think that this deterritorialization, catastrophic
    from many perspectives, is precisely the occasion for
    extraordinary reterritorializations? That is, it's difficult to
    make oneself a territory on the moon, really; it's more
    complicated than going out to the French countryside. America is
    a bit like the moon, it's very complicated, and precisely these
    traits create a difference from the Japanese as well because the
    Japanese have means of reterritorialization, a very ancient
    civilization, they have insignia, emblems of this
    reterritorialization, corporal techniques, etc. Whereas there,
    in America, they are forced to re-invent everything, these kinds
    of continental Galeries Lafayette, anything. So that becomes a
    formidable exercise: to create music with a tradition of
    religious music is difficult, but creating music with just
    anything, like that, with these piles of metal, it's something
    else altogether. And when they succeed, it's fantastic.
      But look: take the American mystery novel whose basic material
    is all this deterritorializing trivia, and look at what warmth
    of intimacy, of suspense, of subjectivity that you grab to stay
    warm, to sleep, to feel good, to feel sheltered; it's really
    something. With what do they create that? What are they talking
    about? These aren't tales of chivalry. American cinema as well
    has a lot of that: look at the power of American culture to
    produce a more than tolerable and comfortable subjectivity,
    warm, passionate, exciting, in this pile of metal, this heap of
    shit, this load of stupidities, as I said earlier. Isn't that
    really quite a feat? It's nonetheless a civilization that has
    created some extraordinary forms of subjectivation. Jazz ... do
    you realize? Jazz has a great impact on the level of world
    culture. Line up cinema, jazz, the mystery novel. I'll leave
    painting aside because I find that, in the long run, it's not a
    very noticeable success because it really belongs to
    capitalistic deterritorialization, seriously, with some
    exceptions, but for me, it's really a lot less convincing.

CS: I think that the problem for me is that I'm too close to daily
    life in the States, and I see so much stupidity in all these
    areas. In cinema, one constantly sees exploitation of the body,
    of the individual. In music, there is so much shit . . .

FG: That's true; when one hears the classical music that people
    listen to in the United States, it's overwhelming. Won't you
    ever get fed up with Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and all that . .

CS: I was really thinking about popular music, where all that might
    happen, where changes did occur during the '70s. But what always
    strikes me is that the music comes from England to invade
    America, and then America reterritorializes what the English do,
    and they lose everything. That began with the colonies and
    continues today. But, perhaps its my own problem, being too
    close to this daily life, and not being able to see this
    abstract machine which you are outlining. But, on the other
    hand, the reproach made by friends who read _A Thousand
    Plateaus_ and other works is really that in regards to American
    nomadism, this deterritorialization, they'd like to believe in
    it, but isn't the general schizoanalytic enterprise in the long
    run a utopic dream without any future?

FG: I'm sorry to interrupt you, but in any case, the idea of a
    utopic dream just doesn't hold water. A dream is necessarily
    utopic, in any case. We participated a little in that America,
    that kind of New West. It was our dream, our very own America.
    You are telling me that it's not yours! I find that fascinating,
    but you aren't going to reproach me for having dreamt my dream!
    You have a whole generation of American writers who created a
    dream about Europe, about Greece, who landed here like these
    were colonies, but I'm not going to reproach them for having
    perceived in their own way, "what is this Europe you saw here?",
    that's just not possible! What one has to know is: has it been
    useful for you that we had that dream? has it been useful for us
    that you had that dream, that some American writers had a
    particular dream about Europe before the war? For me, yes, that
    certainly was useful. I haven't looked at Europe in the same way
    because there is this deterritorialized vision by relay from
    American writers. Miller's vision of Paris, for me, is enormous,
    is fundamental! I'm sorry that Deleuze and Guattari's vision of
    the United States hasn't been at all useful for you, but we
    can't all have the same talent as Miller! (Laughter)

6. Left and Right Readings of Deleuze-Guattari

CS: That's not at all what I said, but it's a question that comes
    from a friend who is working on _Anti-Oedipus_ and is waiting
    for the translation of _Mille plateaux_ . He is trying to use
    the developments of schizoanalysis in his work on the philosophy
    of communication, how effects of communication are produced on
    sociological as well as philosophical levels. So, he is
    attempting to present this thought, and his students, from
    another generation of thinkers, reveal a certain cynicism that
    dominates all Western societies, not only in the United States,
    but a cynicism that sees Marxism, or any thought attempting to
    outline a theory and a practice, merely as being a utopic dream
    finally leading nowhere.

FG: But that all belongs to the same reactionary stupidity, it's the
    Restoration, the great Restoration. That's not really important
    because other generations will soon discover, will soon say,
    "Oh, that's right .  . ." That's the dregs of history, it's
    valueless. But that still doesn't prove that there isn't a
    potential America, an America of nomadism. Some people still
    exist . . . I was thinking of Julian Beck, of Judith Molina, the
    former members of the Living Theater. Just because they've been
    completely marginalized is no reason to ignore their existence.
    They still exist nonetheless.

CS: There's another reproach made about _Anti-Oedipus_, and you
    might lump it together with the previous objection, regarding a
    kind of recuperation of schizoanalytic thought by the right.
    There was recently an article in _Le Nouvel Observateur_,\21 an
    article about a book by Michel Noir, _1988. Le grand
    rendez-vous_, where he uses _Mille plateaux_ and a book by
    Prigogine as the organizing model for a new rightist thought.

FG: Oh, really? I didn't know about it. Do you have it there?

CS: Yes. [Guattari peruses the article] So here are two kinds of
    reproach: in the States, some people think that here is a
    thought that merely boils down to a utopic dream, and others
    say, right, but this schizoanalysis is a thought without any
    ideological specificity, if you will; that is, either the left
    or the right can make use of it. It's this question of the tool
    box: a little earlier, when I questioned you about the use of
    schizoanalysis, you said, yes, in the end, I continue to work,
    and what people do with schizoanalysis doesn't interest me,
    they can take it or leave it, but I'm busy with our work. That's
    all well and good, but here is French neo-liberalism, a rightist
    intellectual using it. Still again, that may not matter at all
    to you...

FG: Oh, not at all because what does it mean to attach a name like
    that, to hook our names onto it as a reference? Is it true, does
    it correspond to anything? It's quite simply a paradox. And then
    there is another aspect of this thing: this left-right split is
    absolutely evident in social struggles, in power relations, as
    shown in the current reactionary upheaval, the rise of racism.
    But on the level of thought, it's not at all clear. Let's take a
    very simple example, the example of schools: I'm for free
    schools,\22 not free schools run by priests, but I'm for the
    liberation of schools, I'm in favor of dismantling national
    education, etc. So, is this a theme of the right or the left? A
    while ago, Gerard Soulier, a law professor who organized a
    prisoners' review on culture in prisons, did a study on drugs,
    and he quoted me as explaining that I was for the elimination of
    all repression of the spread of drugs since that was the best
    way to avoid an escalation of dealers, of criminality, etc., and
    right beside this, he placed an identical statement word for
    word from Milton Friedman! Understand?


Notes [for section 1, "Pragmatic"]

\1 For helping me formulate many of the questions examined in this
discussion, I must thank Jack Amariglio, Serge Bokobza, Rosi
Braidotti, Peter Canning, Stanley Gray, Lawrence Grossberg, Alice
Jardine, Charles D. Leayman, Vincent Leitch, Stamos Metzidakis, and
Paul Patton. I would also like to express my gratitude to the
Committee on Grants of Franklin and Marshall College for the
research support which it awarded me for this interview project.

\2 The issue of _SubStance_ in question that I guest-edited,
entitled "Gilles Deleuze", includes articles that discuss works by
Deleuze *and* Guattari, particularly _Mille plateaux_. The
collection of translated essays, _Molecular Revolution: Psychiatry
and Politics_, trans. Rosemary Sheed (New York: Penguin Books,
1984), is a selection of Guattari's essays first published in
_Psychanalyse et transversalite'_ (Paris: Maspero, 1972) and _La
Re'volution mole'culaire_ (Fontenay-sous-Bois: Recherches, 1977).
For an overview of Guattari's works in light of this translation,
see Charles J. Stivale, "The Machine at the Heart of Desire: Fe'lix
Guattari's _Molecular Revolution_," _Works and Days_ 4 (1984):

\3 _L'Anti-Oedipe: Capitalisme et Schizophre'nie_, I (Paris: Minuit,
1972), published in English as _Anti-Oedipus_, trans. Robert Hurley,
Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane (New York: Viking, 1977; Minneapolis: U
of Minnesota P, 1983), henceforth abbreviated AO; _Mille plateaux:
Capitalisme et Schizophre'nie_, II (Paris: Minuit, 1980), published
in English as _A Thousand Plateaus_, trans. Brian Massumi
(Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987), henceforth abbreviated ATP.

\4 Michel Foucault, "Theatrum Philosophicum," _Critique_ 282
(November 1970), 885, trans. Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon,
_Language, Counter-Memory, Practice_ (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1977)

\5 With Toni Negri, _Les Nouveaux espaces de liberte'_ (Paris:
Dominique Bedou, 1985); _Communists Like Us_, trans. Michael Ryan
(New York: Semiotext(e), 1990), that includes an original
"Postscript, 1990" by Toni Negri (but omits Guattari's "Des
liberte's en Europe" (On Freedoms in Europe) and Negri's "Lettre
arche'ologique" (Archeological Letter) to Guattari. Antonio Negri is
the Italian intellectual accused of complicity in the Aldo Moro
affair and of being the chief of the Red Brigade. Jailed under
preventive detention in 1979, Negri was freed after four and
one-half years in prison thanks to a vote by Italian electors.
However, Negri's immunity was subsequently revoked by the Italian
Congress, and at the time of the interview, he was a fugitive living
in exile. See "Italy: Autonomia," _Semiotext(e)_ 3.3 (1980), and
Negri's "Un philosophe en permission," _change International_ 1

\6 _Les anne'es d'hiver, 1980-1985_ (Paris: Bernard Berrault, 1986).
The "third collection" is no doubt _Cartographies schizoanalytiques_
(Paris: Galile'e, 1989), abbreviated henceforth Cs.

\7 For a discussion of the foundation of this College, see Steven
Ungar, "Philosophy after Philosophy: Debate and Reform in France
Since 1968," _enclitic_ 8.1/2 (1984): 13-26.

\8 Le Pen is the leader of the French National Front party.

\9 The "Canaques" are the native residents of the French colony
of New Caledonia who were seeking the independence promised by
Francois Mitterand during his 1981 electoral campaign.

\10 "La Gauche comme passion processuelle," _La Quinzaine
litte'raire_ 422 (1 August 1984), p.4 (my translation); reprinted in
_Les anne'es d'hiver_ 51-54.

\11 See ATP ch.13, "7000 B.C. - Apparatus of Capture" for further
development of this concept; on "cartographies of subjectivity," see
_Cartographies schizoanalytiques_ 47-52, and "on the production of
subjectivity," see _Chaosmose_ (Paris: Galile'e, 1992) 11-52. A
slightly modified version of _Chaosmose_'s second chapter has been
published as "Machinic Heterogenesis," trans. James Creech, in
_Rethinking Technologies_, ed. Verena Andermatt Conley (Minneapolis:
U of Minnesota P, 1992) 13-27.

\12 For an introduction to the relationship between this political
activity and the Italian "autonomia" movement, see "Italy:
Autonomia," _Semiotext(e)_ 3.3 (1980).

\13 Brother of Danny "The Red" Cohn-Bendit. See Susan Brownmiller's
"Danny the Red Is a Green," _Village Voice_ (June 4, 1985): 1-22.

\14 Guattari was a member of the editorial group of this renewed
version of the earlier journal, _Change_.

\15 D.-A. Grisoni, "La Philosophie comme Enfer," _Magazine
litte'raire_ 196 (June 1983):78.

\16 Jean-Paul Aron, _Les Modernes_ (Paris: Gallimard, 1984). Touted
as a collection of memoirs "to do away with the master-thinkers"
(_pour en finir avec les maitres `a penser_), this book contains
several vicious attacks on various French intellectual figures.

\17 See AO ch.2, "Psychoanalysis and Familialism: The Holy
Family", and ATP ch.2, "1914 - One or Several Wolves?".

\18 However, only two months later, in May 1985, Guattari would
present an address in homage of Foucault at a Milan conference.
Published in _Les anne'es d'hiver_ as "Microphysique des pouvoirs,
micropolitique des de'sirs" (207-222), the essay begins: "Having had
the privilege of seeing Michel Foucault adapt a formula that I had
thrown out rather provocatively, stating that concepts are, after
all, only tools and that theories are the equivalent of tool boxes
containing them -- their power hardly surpassing the services that
they render in specific fields and within inevitably circumscribed
historical sequences --, you won't be surprised to see me dig today
inside the conceptual array that he has bequeathed to us, in order
to borrow from him certain instruments and, if need be, to adapt
their use for my own purposes. I am convinced, in any case, that it
was always in this manner that he understood how we would manage his
contribution" (207-08).

\19 Gilles Deleuze and Fe'lix Guattari, _Rhizome: introduction_
(Paris: Minuit, 1976), ATP's introductory chapter, as "Introduction:

\20 Deleuze and Guattari derive the concept of "plateau" from
Gregory Bateson's _Steps to an Ecology of Mind_ (New York:
Ballantine, 1972) 113; cf. ATP 6-7, 158.

\21 Gilles Anquetil, "Dernier Cri du Pret-`a-Penser: Le
Ne'olibe'ralisme," _Le Nouvel Observateur_, 1032 (17 August, 1984).
My thanks to Alice Jardine for pointing out this reference.

\22 In other words, Guattari supported an experimental,
Summerhill-like approach to education as opposed to the
hierarchized, State-supported system in the lay (or _l'ecole libre_)

Pragmatic/Machinic: Discussion with Fe'lix Guattari (19 March 1985)
Charles J. Stivale, Wayne State Univerity

II. Machinic

1. "Minor literature"
2. _A Thousand Plateaus_: A "speculative cartography"
3. _A Thousand Plateaus_: "Becoming-woman"
4. _A Thousand Plateaus_: The "Body without organs"
5. _A Thousand Plateaus_: Modes of encoding & a-signifying semiotics
6. _A Thousand Plateaus_: The "war machine" and "striated" vs.
                                            "smooth" space
+ Notes

Pragmatic/Machinic: A Discussion with Fe'lix Guattari (19 March
1985), Charles J. Stivale, Wayne State University

                                       For Michael Current

    The following discussion with Fe'lix Guattari took place in his
apartment in Paris. With the help of a number of friends, I had
prepared a set of questions, and had contacted him to see if he
might be available to answer some of them.\1 He responded
immediately, and left messages with the friend in Paris in whose
apartment I would be staying. Prior to the trip, I also had
contacted Gilles Deleuze to arrange an extended interview, and
although his schedule and health prevented him from agreeing to a
long session, I did visit him at his apartment the night before the
session with Guattari.
    I met Guattari in his in the sixth _arrondissement_ apartment,
near the Odeon, and we spent about three hours talking, then ran
errands in the neighborhood, had lunch, and then continued talking
for a few more hours.  He was extremely generous with his time, more
than willing to consider anything I threw his way, and as the reader
will note, extremely patient. Shortly after the interview, I
realized that I had overdone the barrage of prepared questions and
topics to be treated and should have limited the subjects to a few
that we could have perhaps considered in greater detail. Also, while
preparing this exchange for distribution and publication, I have
winced more than once upon re-reading some of the question/answer
exchanges. Yet, despite having his patience tried, Guattari spoke
entirely without reserve and even outlined quite extensively some of
the elements of his ongoing work.
    Although I tried to interest several journals in this interview
in the following years, the its length as well as the notoriously
"difficult" situation of Guattari for many North American critics
combined to make this publication impossible. Only through Internet
contacts on the Deleuze-Guattari List have I seen the demand for a
more thorough and equitable account of Guattari's contributions to
this collaboration with Deleuze and of his own highly speculative
work.  A decade later, some of the topics that we discussed are
rather dated, but I have retained most of these in the text because
they do shed light on Guattari's thinking, particularly on politics
and culture. While I have also reviewed my translation, I have
refrained from "regularizing" it too completely in order to leave
intact as much of the spontaneity of Guattari's verbal pyrotechnics
as possible.
    Toward the end of our talk, the doorbell rang, and while
Guattari answered, I excused myself for a few minutes. When I
returned, he introduced me to a lean, greying man, Toni Negri, whose
mail Guattari was receiving and who had an appointment with
Guattari. I took my leave, and saw Guattari again only once, in 1990
in Baton Rouge at Louisiana State U, where he presented an edited
version of his _Les trois e'cologies_ (The Three Ecologies).

II.  Machinic

1. "Minor literature"

CS: You have often referred to works by particular American authors
    as forms of deterritorialization, and I'd like to situate these
    reflections in relation to what you've said about "minor
    literature" (_litte'rature mineure_).\23 Specifically, when you
    speak of one or several "minor literature(s)",  are these
    necessarily forms of deterritorialization, and if so, how?

FG: In Kafka's writing, this kind of deterritorialization of
    language is obvious. That is, his work is located on an edge, a
    border, at the limit of a huge aggregate in order to
    deterritorialize, a way of fighting a kind of "en-sobering", of
    making sober, an active return to sobriety of language. One
    finds this process of deterritorialization, for example, in
    Samuel Beckett's works, an impoverishment that at the same time
    is a placing into intensity, an intensification of expression.
    So, I hadn't thought about it, but in fact, one could make an
    equation by saying that whenever a marginality, a minority,
    becomes active, takes the word power (_puissance de verbe_),
    transforms itself into becoming, and not merely submitting to
    it, identical with its condition, but in active, processual
    becoming, it engenders a singular trajectory that is necessarily
    deterritorializing because, precisely, it's a minority that
    begins to subvert a majority, a consensus, a great aggregate. As
    long as a minority, a cloud, is on a border, a limit, an
    exteriority of a great whole, it's something that is rejected,
    something that is, by definition, marginalized. But here, this
    point, this object, begins to proliferate, to use categories
    suggested by Prigogine and Stengers,\24 begins to amplify, to
    recompose something that is no longer a totality, but that makes
    a former totality shift, detotalizes, deterritorializes an
      For example, to return to what we were saying earlier about
    the German Greens, one could say that this is more or less what
    seems to be produced: a few marginals, whom everybody made fun
    of, created an eruption in Parliament, and became
    representatives. They behave totally differently, for example,
    they have a rotation system, they change every two years, which
    makes quite a mess in the German or European Parliaments. And
    one realizes that the issues they are developing, that were
    marginal issues, are becoming not major issues, but issues that
    upset the whole society, not only their ecological theme
    because, in fact, people realize that the German forests are
    devastated, and that the Greens have been announcing it for
    twenty years; but also because these are attitudes that question
    the regular hierarchy, the orders of value, etc., and this is
    what I call the process of singularization: what was ranked as
    being ordered, coordinated, referenced, now one no longer knows:
    what is the face, what are they doing, what is the reference.
    The system of values is inverted.
      I lived that myself during May '68. I had the impression
    sometimes of walking on the ceiling, of not knowing any more
    what was going on, when I found myself in the occupied areas of
    the Sorbonne where I had been a student, where I had been
    completely bored, the amphitheater Richelieu invaded by students
    writing graffiti everywhere. What was the order of the
    referenced, of the organized, of the coordinated is located in
    the order of process because, suddenly, there are singular
    elements that quit their enclosure, their singularity, their
    isolation and begin to be a kind of exploratory probe, a
    producing probe, precisely engendering systems of
    auto-reference. Instead of being referenced, they are producers
    of new types of reference, they are themselves their own
    referential until the moment when they are rearticulated,

CS: So, this idea of "minor literature" is an auto-production, the
    production of new territories. And the question one asks is why
    you limit your examples, you and Deleuze, to reference points in
    the twentieth century? Aren't there writers in previous
    centuries who can also reveal these kinds of

FG: Yes, certainly. It's a problem of familiarity. It's a little
    difficult because . . . I may be saying something stupid, but it
    seems to me that the examples of eruption of "becoming-minor"
    either have been completely buried, or have taken on
    considerable importance. For example, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    could have been a minor writer, but on the contrary, he has a
    fantastic importance (as perhaps Artaud will have tomorrow),
    being classified as a principal writer of the twentieth century.
    I even think this is presently taking place.
      So, I don't know. One really has to see the "minor" a bit in
    its nascent state, one has to see it a bit closer to oneself
    because the historically distant "minor" has perhaps a different
    impact. I don't know, I haven't thought about this question.

2.  _A Thousand Plateaus_: A "speculative cartography"

[FG's answers to the following sets of questions correspond to
the various schema that he was preparing in the mid-/late 1980s for
his seminars and, eventually, for publication in _Cartographies
schizoanalytiques_ (abbreviated Cs), neither of which I had access
to at the time. In revising the text below, I attempt to clarify the
dense conceptual terrain, to the extent possible, with reference to

CS: I'd like to ask several questions going into some detail about
    ATP.  Referring to two terms, "faciality" (the subject of
    plateau 7, "Year Zero -Faciality"), and another term,
    "hecce'ite'" (introduced in plateau 10, "1730 -
    Becoming-Intense, Becoming-Animal, Becoming-Imperceptible..."),
    could you explain what place these concepts hold in
    rhizoanalysis and to what regimes of signs they correspond? For
    example, what is the relationship of "faciality" with "black
    holes", and what is the function of "haecceity" in the
    cartographic process?

FG: Oh, la la. That's enormous. I'd really have to develop a very
    complex overview. We need to consider a separate speculative
    cartography, divided between two logics: a cardologic, i.e. the
    logic of discursive aggregates, and an ordologic, the logic of
    bodies without organs.\26
      Under the first logic, there are discursive systems, there is
    always an aggregate to connect to another aggregate, it
    engenders a meaning effect, that can refer you to another
    meaning effect, creating a double articulation. There is the
    arbitrary nature of the relationship: for example, one might be
    a phonological chain and the other the semantic content, but the
    double articulation can be triple because there is no primacy of
    the double articulation. But, each time that there are these
    deep structures of meaning, there are also what I call primary
    modules of enunciation that then correspond to an ordological
    aggregate, i.e. they aren't discursive. With this in mind, they
    nonetheless compose subjective agglomerations as well,
    agglomerates, constellations, but that do not accede to
    expression in the direction of discursive differentiation, but
    that emerge in a phenomenon of counter-meaning, which at one
    moment is a statement (_e'nonce'_), for example, the dream -- by
    the way, I'm going to do an analysis of the dream from this
    perspective\27 --which is caught in paradigmatic coordinates, in
    energetic coordinates; it (the statement) also serves in the
    other direction as enunciator (_e'nonciateur_).
      So let's say that there is triple division (_tripartition_) of
    the referential or auto-referential activity of enunciation
    that goes in the direction of the discursivity-logic (the
    cardologic) such that one can bracket, completely set aside the
    problematic of enunciation. But where the problematic reappears
    is when a statement functions as organizer of the enunciation;
    in that case, it's according to completely different logical
    norms because the statement functions to agglomerate, to
    juxtapose primary enunciators (under the ordologic). It's in
    this way that we see the double impact of a statement that can
    work, function both in the direction of discursive aggregates
    and in the direction of what I call "synapses."
      So, we can divide a graph into four categories: the categories
    of material, signaletic Flows and of machinic Phyla (under the
    cardologic), and the categories of existential Territories and
    of a-corporal Universes (under the ordologic).\28 The a-corporal
    Universes would be precisely everything that becomes detached
    from this primary enunciation, all the pseudo-deep structures of
    enunciation because here (under the ordologic) everything is
    flat, whereas (under the cardologic) there are effectively deep
    structures with all kinds of paradigms that intersect.\29 So,
    when all the coordinates are unified, these are capitalistic
    coordinates; if not unified, these are what one can call
    regional or local coordinates.\30
      All this is to tell you that with "faciality," you have a face
    there (under the machinic phylum, in the synapses), a face that
    can be situated in different coordinates, it's big, it's small,
    it's white, it's like this or that; one can put it in all the
    paradigmatic coordinates. One can make a content analysis: what
    is that face? But certain traits of this face can be detached
    from this cardology and function in the ordological logic, and
    then it's the father's superego-ish mustache, the grimace, or
    the gaze of Christ looking at you, and that then is a
    discursive chain, but that doesn't function in those
    cardological coordinates, but functions to put on a mask, to
    coagulate, to constellate, some subjective enunciators. It's a
    bit in the general lineage of the Lacanian object small-a, it's
    a generalized function of the object small-c or transitional
    object.\31 It's this kind of object that one finds in dreams, in
    fantasms, in delirium, or in religion. It's an object that
    functions on two registers: in one register, let's say, of an
    aesthetic unconscious because we can say that it has an
    aesthetic unconscious, and in a machinic unconscious. So, the
    haecceity is the fact that it occurs as an event, but when it
    emerges, it has always-already been there, it is always
    everywhere. It's like the smile of the Cheshire cat in Lewis
    Carroll's Alice, it's everywhere, in the entire universe.\32
      So there remains a paradox to consider, this logic of the
    event that is dated, situated, articulated by a particular use,
    a sign-function. But the sign has this double import, that's why
    a few years ago -- this is another theme -- I preferred to talk
    about a "point-sign" entity, because it's a sign in so far as
    being a surplus-value of meaning that emerges from this
    relationship of repetition. But it begins to function as a point
    of materialization of enunciation at the same time as it is this
    element that is going to catalyze an existential constellation.
    It's something that isn't at all extraordinary in the long run
    since, if you think about it, in the entire cybernetic economy,
    there is the "formalism" function of significations that are
    articulated in many signs, but there is also the material
    function of the sign that functions like a signal, like a
    release mechanism (_de'clencheur_), a material release mechanism
    with its own energy, with its own consistency, with threshold
    phenomena. So I think that it's entirely essential to forge a
    "point-sign" category in which semiotics has an impact in
    release effects (_effets de de'clenchement_). There is a
    particular moment when a sign passes into act, but its way of
    passing into act is something inscribed in machines, in
    recordings, in releases, in release mechanisms; I'm working on
    this subject in an article for one of Prigogine's colloquia
    where I'll speak, an article on semiotic energetics. There is a
    semiotic energetics as well.\33

CS: How could one translate this schema into political terms?

FG: In political terms, one asks: what are the statements, what are
    the representations of images, of echos, of faces that, at a
    certain moment, result in this: instead of hearing/understanding
    (_entendre_) a discourse, a statement is existentializing, and
    an effect of subjectivity is crystallized, an effect not only
    crystallized on the mode of representation, but on the mode of
    enacting (_mise en acte_)? All at once, that [effect] begins to
    exist.  That's when saying is existing; it's no longer when
    saying is doing or when saying is making exist. From this
    results the fact that there's a particular usage of language
    since a mode of politics can be completely aberrant from the
    point of view of meaning, like a ritual usage or religious
    activity. The whole question is knowing if this usage can be
    compatible with a perspective of desire, with an aesthetic
    perspective, or another operation, or if it's a way to construct
    an a-subjective subjectivity.

3. _A Thousand Plateaus_: "Becoming-woman"

CS: I'd like to return to one of the areas you touched on earlier,
    i.e. feminism, in order to consider the term "becoming-woman,"
    whether this conception still functions, if it was a conception
    that had an historical specificity at a given moment or if it's
    still valid today. It's a term to which certain feminists react
    in a very negative way.

FG: In the United States? Because that's not everywhere, there are
    some feminists who react to it quite well.

CS: In the United States and in France.

FG: About the "becoming-woman" question? I didn't know.

CS: Oh yes. One objection is that one finds "becoming-woman",
    especially in _A Thousand Plateaus_, in a kind of progression --
    becoming-woman, becoming-animal, becoming-child, then
    becoming-molecular, and finally becoming-imperceptible --, and
    so the question: why "woman" at the beginning of this
    progression? Why is there this sort of questioning of
    femininity? Where is the woman, where is the woman's body in all

FG: There is no rigorous dialectic, there is no series of
    connections like _The Phenomenology of Mind_. But simply, the
    departure from binary power relations, from phallic relations,
    is on the side of the "woman" alternative; the promotion of a
    new kind of gentleness, a new kind of domestic relationship; the
    departure from this, one might say, elementary dimension of
    power that the conjugal unit represents, it's on the side of
    woman and on the side of the child such that, in some ways, the
    promotion of values, of a new semiotics of the body and
    sexuality, passes necessarily through the woman, through
    "becoming-woman". And this "becoming-woman" isn't reserved to
    women, this could be a "becoming-homosexual" . . . To present
    this simply, brutally: if you want to be a writer, if you want
    to have a "becoming-letters", you are necessarily caught in a
    "becoming-woman". That might be manifested to a great extent
    through homosexuality, admitted or not, but this is a departure
    from a "grasping," power's will to circumscribe that exists in
    the world of masculine power values. Let's say that this is the
    first sphere of explosion of phallic power, therefore of binary
    power, of the surface-depth power (_pouvoir figure-fond_) of
    affirmation. Obviously, it doesn't end there, for this
    "becoming-woman" is nonetheless to a great extent in a
    relationship, even indirect, of dependence vis-?-vis masculine
    power so that it might rapidly be reconverted into the form of
    masculinized power.
      There are other becomings that are much more multivocal,
    that are much more liberated from this bi-univocity, from these
    binary relations of woman-man, yin-yang, etc. So these are the
    other becomings that you've enumerated that . . . well, it's
    obvious that animal-becomings, for example in Kafka, offer an
    exploratory spectrum of intensities, of sensitivities, that is
    much larger than a simple binary alternative, that also exists
    in Kafka, but there are binary machinic alternatives in his
    work: think of his magnificent short story, "Blumfeld", where
    you have a little ping-pong ball bouncing like that. So, the
    "becoming-woman" has no priority, it's no more of a matrix than
    a "becoming-plant", than a "becoming-animal", than a
    "becoming-abstract", than a "becoming-molecular"; it's a
    direction. Toward what? Quite simply, toward another logic, or
    rather a logic I've called "machinic", an existential machinic,
    i.e. no longer a reading of a pure representation, but a
    composition of the world, the production of a body without
    organs in the sense that the organs there are no longer in a
    relationship of surface-depth positionality, do not postulate a
    totality itself referenced on other totalities, on other systems
    of signification that are, in the end, forms of power. Rather,
    these are forms of intensity, forms of existence-position that
    construct time as they represent it, exactly like in art, forms
    that construct coordinates of existence at the same time as
    they live them.

4. _A Thousand Plateaus_: The "Body without organs"

CS: You've suggested this term "body without organs" that continues
    to cause problems for your readers, and I'd like to pursue this
    idea: in the plateau 6 of ATP, the chapter "How Do You Make
    Yourself make A Body Without Organs?", you compare the
    relationship between the organism and the body without organs to
    the relationship between two key terms suggested to Carlos
    Castaneda by Don Juan in _Tales of Power_, the "Tonal" (the
    organism, significance, the subject, all that is organized and
    organizing in/for these elements), and the "Nagual" (the whole
    of the Tonal in conditions of experimentation, of flow, of
    becomings, but without destruction of the Tonal).\35 This
    correspondence between your terms and the Tonal/Nagual couple
    created some problems for me to the extent that the Nagual seems
    to correspond to the general "plane of consistency," to the
    bodies without organs which you pluralize in this plateau. Could
    you explain the difference between the various forms of bodies
    without organs (for example, you designate a particular body
    without organs for junkies and some other very specific forms of
    bodies without organs) and the more general Body without Organs?

FG: Listen. In this, I think we'd get quickly locked into a
    misunderstanding if I passed the time making a zoological
    description of bodies without organs, a taxonomy of bodies
    without organs since, as I just told you, to make oneself a body
    without organs, starting with drugs, with a love experience,
    with poetry, with any creation, is essentially to produce a
    cartography, that has this particular characteristic: that one
    cannot distinguish it [the cartography] from the existential
    territory which [the cartography] represents. There is no
    difference between the map and the territory. That means that
    there is no transposition, that there is no translatability, and
    therefore no possible taxonomy. The modelization here is a
    producer of existence.
      So you'll say: in that case, why use general terms like "body
    without organs", etc. (and God knows that with Deleuze, we've
    had no trouble creating them)? Yes, but then one must
    distinguish between what I call a speculative cartography,
    concepts of trans-modelization, and then the instruments of
    direct modelization, i.e. a concrete cartography. To push the
    paradox to its limit, I'd say that the interest of a speculative
    cartography is that it be as far away as possible, that it have
    no pretention of accounting for concrete cartographies. This is
    its difference from a scientific activity. Science is conceived
    to propose the semiotization which accounts for practical
    experience.  For us, it's just the opposite! The less we'll
    account for things, the farther we'll be from these concrete
    cartographies, those of Castaneda or psychotics (which are more
    or less the same in this case), and the more we can hope to
    profit from this activity of speculative cartography.
      That appears absurd, but think about aesthetics: aesthetics
    isn't something that gives you recipes to make a work of art.
    And in some ways, for it to *make* an impact, it must be totally
    disconnected, unaligned vis-?-vis this perspective of accounting
    for a pragmatic or artistic activity.  The speculative
    cartography, just like any theology or philosophy, isn't there
    to provide an inventory of these different modes of invention of
    existence, of sensitivity, of productions of new types of

5. _A Thousand Plateaus_: Modes of encoding and a-signifying

CS: What you just said reminds me of something in _La Re'volution
    mole'culaire_, where you distinguish different modes of
    encoding.  The third order of these modes of encoding is the
    mode of a-signifying semiotics, i.e. signs functioning and
    producing in the Real, on the very level of the Real. As an
    example, you suggested physics; does this connect with what you
    just said about science, i.e. science as a means of directly
    recognizing processes in the Real or an a-signifying semiotics,
    opposed to other forms of semiotics?

FG: Let's understand each other. The same semiotic material cn be
    functioning in different registers. A material can both be
    caught in paradigmatic chains of production, chains of
    signification (under the cardologic), but at the same time can
    function in an a-signifying register (the ordologic). So what
    determines the difference? In one case, a signifier functions in
    what one might call a logic of discursive aggregates, i.e. a
    logic of representation. In the other case, it functions in
    something that isn't entirely a logic, what I've called an
    existential machinic, a logic of bodies without organs, a
    machinic of bodies without organs. In that case, what are we
    talking about? We're no longer talking about representing, but
    of enunciating, of creating what one might call an existential
    enunciation (_e'nonciation existentielle_), a production of
    subjectivity, a production of new coordinates, an
    auto-coordination, an auto-referentiation. In the domain of the
    logic of discursive aggregates (the cardologic), there's an
    exo-referentiation; there's a referent, like in Peircian
    semiotics, where there is always a third term, a ternary nature
    which refers at one remove to the semiotic reference, whereas
    there (under the ordologic), it's the same mechanism, inside
    this ternary nature, it's the auto-positionality of subjectivity
    that asserts itself there, that asserts itself on all sorts of
    levels, on a modular level or on an incomplete level. It's a
    very complex level of collective assemblage.
      So, just like this example of the domain that has "speech
    acts" at the level of enunciation, that has an engendering
    pragmatic of subjectivity through speech acts (to use Searle's
    categories, etc.), there are also "science acts" or "art acts"
    that produce an enunciation and not a subjectivity. A
    scientific enunciation that produces quarks or a reading of the
    "Big Bang" of the universe, what occurs there? It produces
    semiotic entities that allow us to think about and connect
    completely disparate events. But we can't say that these
    semiotic events are in a relationship of correspondence with a
    being who might be caught in a relationship of denotation. These
    entities obviously produce a vision of the world, they produce a
    world, they produce universes of reference that have their own
    logic in the same way that a musician like Debussy, at one
    point, invented a new type of relationship of musical writing, a
    new type of scale, a new type of melodic and harmonic line, and
    suddenly produced new universes and fertilized an entire series
    of machinic phyla for the future of music. It's a universe
    production, an enunciation production. In one sense, it's true
    that at this vital level of the semiotic production of
    enunciation, I think that one can liken scientific activity to
    artistic activity, not to devalue it, but on the contrary, to
    re-evaluate it. I think that in this case, considering the work
    of people like Kuhn and a certain number of epistemologists, one
    might give greater value to the character of creativity and
    collective creation brought forth by traditionally opposed
    fields like science, social activity, art, etc. (Pause).?
      You don't look very satisfied.

CS: I'm still trying to situate the idea of an a-signifying

FG: OK, here it is. What is important in this a-signifying
    character, in this a-signifying vacillation of chains that
    elsewhere could be meaningful? It's the following: first, a
    spectrum of a-signifying, discreet signs in limited number gives
    a power of representation, i.e. on a spectrum that I master,
    that I articulate, I can pretend to take account of a signified
    description (_tableau signifie'_), on an initial level. But
    obviously, this doesn't stop here. This subjectivation that I
    lose starting from this a-signifying spectrum, gives me an
    extraordinary surplus-value of power; i.e., it opens fields of
    the possible that aren't at all in a bi-univocal relationship
    with the description presented.  When Debussy invented a
    pentatonic scale, he wrote his own music; perhaps he felt it at
    a level we might call "his inspiration," but he engendered
    abstract machinic relationships, a new musical logic that has
    implications, that represents trees of implication or, we really
    must say, rhizomes of implication, completely unforeseen in all
    sorts of other levels, including levels that aren't, strictly
    speaking, musical. It is precisely on the condition that this
    constitution, that this semiotic arbitrarization occurs, to
    generalize Saussure's notion of "arbitrary" in regard to
    signifier and signified, that there also will be the creation of
    these coefficients of the possible. If the representation of
    coding codes too much on the signified description, the
    signifier is like a cybernetic "feedback" and, in the long run,
    does not carry an important coefficient of creativity, of
    transversality. On the other hand, as soon as there is this
    arbitrarization and this creation of a spectrum that plays on
    its own register as an abstract machine, then there are
    possibilities of unheard-of connections, there is a possible
    crossover from one order to another, and then, moreover, there
    is a considerable multiplication of what I call these spectrums
    of the possible.

CS: I'd like to connect this idea to popular, modern music: do you
    think that there are groups or singers who are going in this

FG: I'll take the example of a musician who isn't at all a popular
    musician, who's really difficult to categorize, Aperghis, who
    creates gestual music and theater and who composes his music
    simultaneously with his gestures. One can really see that he
    creates a gestual spectrum, a spectrum of expression, a
    possibility of nearly baroque composition, in the sense of
    baroque music by Bach or Handel, from the simple fact that he
    creates this detachment of a gesture out of gesticulation
    itself, a detachment of faciality out of faces, etc. There is an
    entire scenic writing, an entire deterritorialization of scenes
    onto an aggregate that brings this along.
      So, some examples: I don't see why you want me to give
    examples of popular music which are generally
    reterritorializations. However, there is one that immediately
    occurs to me, it's break dancing and music, all these dances
    which are both hyper-territorialized and hyper-corporal, but
    that, at the same time, make us discover spectrums of possible
    utilization, completely unforeseen traits of corporality, and
    that invent a new grace of entirely unheard-of possibilities of
    corporality. I've also been fascinated -- but this isn't popular
    music either -- by Chicago blues, the Chicago school, because
    these monstrous, elephantine instruments like the bass, they
    begin to fly with unheard-of lightness and richness . . .
      Here's another amazing work of composition, a record by Bonzo
    Goes to Washington entitled "Five Minutes," a CCC Club Mix.

CS: Oh, right, it's developed from Reagan's statement on the radio
    announcing that he was ready to drop the bomb on the Russians in
    five minutes.

FG: That's it. Let's listen to this:
    [Song: in a slowed down recording, Ronald Reagan says in a bass
    voice: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that
    I've signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We
    begin bombing in five minutes." There follows a very rhythmic
    music dominated by drumbeat and bass guitar, on top of which the
    lyrics consist of the recurrence of various syllables of
    Reagan's statement, repeated in such a way as to create a
    "song". For example:
              "Bombing in five minutes, bombing in five minutes,?
              I'm pleased to tell you today that, I'm pleased to
              tell you today that, to tell you today, to tell you
              today, to tell you today, to tell you today,
              Bombing in five minutes, five minutes ..."
    This continues for about five minutes with different variations
    between rhythms and Reagan's words, sometimes accelerated,
    sometimes slowed down, always distorted.]

CS: One of the "composers" of this "mix", Jerry Harrison, is one of
    the four members of Talking Heads, and Bootsy Collins is the
    leader of a group called The Rubber Band, a group of black
    singers who are, in some ways, precursors of break music.

6. _A Thousand Plateaus_: The "war machine" and "striated"
    vs."smooth" space

CS: I have a final question about a term which you suggest in ATP in
    plateau 12, the concept of "war machine." This concept is
    paradoxical to the extent that it does not have "war" as its
    object, and that this term is currently used in the militaristic
    milieu to designate the military apparatus of the super-powers.
    But the "war machine", if I understand it correctly, is a
    machine _against_ this militarism. So, there's a dual problem:
    first, how does one resolve this paradox, but also, for the
    translators of your works, especially of ATP, doesn't this term
    "war machine" run the risk of stifling acceptance of these

FG: It's not a matter of a power formation, but of machinic,
    deterritorialized elements, that are placed into operation in a
    social situation, of which military incarnation does not
    acknowledge the character that, when it's a war machine, it can
    be a scientific war machine, an aesthetic war machine, a loving
    war machine. Courtly love is a kind of war machine of
    "woman-becomings", the transformation of relationships with
    women. And that refers back to machinic phyla, and the war
    machine is its abstract, mutational name.
      Why do we call it "war machine"? Because, after all, it is the
    coveted object of State power that constitutes an army seeking
    to take hold of this war machine, just as capitalism wants to
    capture all the technical-scientific machines and all the
    elements of deterritorialization to incorporate it into its
    segmentarity. [cf. ATP, cf.13] So, to some extent, we accept the
    ambiguity since the problem remains complete; there isn't a good
    war machine and a bad, a good science and a bad. There is this
    fact that the most deterritorialized elements and, let's say,
    the most potentially creative are precisely at the heart of
    armies, of State machines, of oppressive powers, just as fascism
    is really an example as equally at the heart of desire.

CS: In the schema you just developed [of the "speculative
    cartography"], where do you situate the concepts of "striated"
    and "smooth" space?

FG: "Striated" space is all that comes under the
    energetic-spatio-temporal coordinates; it's numbered space
    (under the cardologic), whereas there (under the ordologic),
    it's the numbering domain. [cf. Appendix] So, one can't call it
    a space, that's saying too much, it's just "smoothness", both in
    a content and in an absolute ethericity (_etherge'te'_). For
    example, subjectivity is presented like a continuum: in
    subjectivity, there is your subjectivity, there's the whole
    world, there's no possibility of numbering subjectivity; and
    yet, it is singular, it maintains differential relations of
      So, "striated" space is the energetic-spatio-temporal; I'd
    like to make a logical category out of energy. Under the
    category of material, signaletic Flows, the modules are primary
    modules of actuation, and on these modules of actuation are
    developed the deep and pseudo-deep structures. The symmetrical
    difference is that there (under the machinic Phyla), there are
    surplus-values that give a space of coordinates of
    differentiation, but there (under the ordologic), there is a
    total phenomenological flattening, i.e. it relates to analyses
    by Searle and other phenomenologists, that, after all, an
    existence's relation of intelligibility passes through a
    sort of total solipsism of existential relationships. One only
    has knowledge of an existence in so far as one is oneself in the
    field of existential, and even imperialistic, relationships.
      I've presented my whole seminar for three years on this; I've
    received a stack of reports up to here by psychoanalysts.
      Under the machinic phyla are situated the synapses, i.e. the
    points of reversal in which the module, instead of going in the
    direction of differentiation, goes from a differentiated point
    toward points which are non-differentiatable, there and there
    (under the ordologic); there are no deep structures at that
    level, all the parenthesism is called forth. Let's say that
    there (under the existential territory), it's visual perception,
    the sex, so that it's all the same to have an existential access
    to visual perception or to sex or to a collective enunciation;
    there is no means to pry it loose (_de'coller_).  Sartre
    described it, I had a sexual appreciation of the charismatic
    leader, I exist it/him (_je l'existe_), I can't put him in the
    same coordinates, it's the same object that hands him over to
    me, this idea of existential "grasping".

CS: Are "synapses" faciality as well?

FG: Well, no, that was only one example; they could be anything,
    they could be a partial object, a haecceity, a refrain
    (_ritournelle_), anything.  That was a way of providing an

CS: And you said, about the synapses, that they also relate to the
    object small-a?

FG: For me, yes, it's a generalization. Just as my notion of
    "machine" was a generalization of Lacan's "small-a" notion, the
    notion of "machinic phylum" is the double play of the machine
    that is both in the order of mechanical coordinates, let's say,
    and at the same time, is life itself, both the most mechanical
    and the most living. Because it's from there that the fields of
    the possible are created as well as the existential
      But then, if we start off in that direction, toward this kind
    of analysis, we'll never get out of it.
Notes [to second section, "Machinic"]

\1 For helping me formulate many of the questions examined in this
discussion, I must thank Jack Amariglio, Serge Bokobza, Rosi
Braidotti, Peter Canning, Stanley Gray, Lawrence Grossberg, Alice
Jardine, Charles D. Leayman, Vincent Leitch, Stamos Metzidakis, and
Paul Patton. I would also like to express my gratitude to the
Committee on Grants of Franklin and Marshall College for the
research support which it awarded me for this interview project.
[fn's 2-22 correspond to section 1, "Pragmatic", separate post]

\23 Gilles Deleuze and Fe'lix Guattari, _Kafka. Pour une litte'rature
mineure_ (Paris: Minuit, 1975); _Kafka. Toward a Minor Literature_,
trans. Dana Polan (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1986), and ATP

\24 Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers, _La Nouvelle Alliance:
Me'tamorphoses de la science_ (Paris: Gallimard, 1979). A revised
translation appears as _Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with
Nature_ (New York: Bantam, 1984).

\25 The terminological density of this "cartography" arises from
Guattari's attempt to re-conceptualize the unconscious and
subjectivity without falling into the "topical petrification" of the
Freudian and Lacanian psychic agencies. As he says in Cs, "we
believe it necessary for reconstructing the analysis of formations
of the Unconscious to minimize as much as reasonably possible the
use of notions such as subjectivity, consciousness, meaning
(_signifiance_)...  understood as impermeable, transcendental
entities for concrete situations. The most abstract and most
radically a-corporal references are attached to the real; they cross
into the most contingent Flows and Territories. . . . Thus, we have
deliberately chosen to consider situations only from the perspective
of intersections of Assemblages (_carrefours d'Agencements_), that
secrete, up to a certain point, their own coordinates of
meta-modelization. An intersection can, of course, impose
connections; but it does not constitute a fixed limit; it can be
sidestepped; its linking power can decrease when certain of its
components lose their consistency" (Cs 36; all translations my own).

\26 For readers familiar with FG's own work on the "machinic
unconscious," contemporary with ATP, in _L'Inconscient machinique_
(Fontenay-sous-Bois: Recherches, 1979), what Guattari calls therein
a "generative schizo-analysis" would correspond to the "concrete
cartography," "whose objective is to bring to light _new machinic
meanings/directions_ in situations where everything seems determined
in advance" (IM, p.192), i.e. molecular politics in action. On the
other hand, what he designates as "transformational schizo-analysis"
(IM, pp.193-196) and "three-dimensional schizo-analysis" (IM,
pp.196-199) would correspond to the "speculative cartography", i.e.
the "machinic kernels (_noyaux machiniques_) that both detach
assemblages from the rest of the world and connect them to the whole
of the 'mecanosphere.' Each living being, each process of
enunciation, each psychic instance, each social formation is
necessarily connected to (mechanically subjugated by) a
intersection-point (_point-carrefour_)," i.e. the "synapses",
"between, on the one hand, its particular position on the objective
phylum of concrete machines," i.e. the "material flows", "and on the
other hand, the hooking of its formula for existence onto the plane
of consistency of abstract machines," i.e. the "ordologic." "It's up
to the machinic kernels to hold together these two kinds of
branching so that the most abstract machines are able to find their
path to manifestation and so that the most material machines are
able to find their path to metabolization and, eventually, to
semiotization" (IM, pp.197-198).
    During our discussion, FG traced out a schema of this
speculative cartography, the terms of which he would later develop
in Cs, there abandoning the starkly binary cardologic/ordologic
distinction. I have nonetheless reconstituted the 1985 schema and
attempted to enhance it based on FG's answers to later questions.

\27 An example of this analysis appears in Guattari's "Les reves
de Kafka," _change International_ 3 (May 1985). See also in Cs, "Les
ritournelles de l'Etre et du Sens (l'analyse du r?ve d'A.D.)"

\28 In figure 1 of Cs, FG traces a square matrix at the angles of
which are situated four categories of _foncteurs_, or "performants":
at bottom left are the "material and signaletic Flows [F.] (libido,
capital, signifier, work)"; at top left, the "machinic Phylum
[phi]"; at bottom right, "existential Territories [T.]"; at top
right, "a-corporal Universes [U.] (qualified as _conscientiels_
[conscious-als]".  Between each angle are both vertical (phi--F.;
U.--T.) and horizontal (phi--U.; F.--T.) connections: the verticals
are reciprocally linked (via a single unbroken line with arrows at
both ends) and designated as (phi--F.) "processes of objective
(content) deterritorialization -- Expression" and (U.--T.) as
Processes of subjective (enunciation) deterritorialization"; the
horizontals axes each contain two lines, a one-way unbroken line
pointing from right to left (i.e. from U. to phi and from T. to F.)
and a one-way broken line pointing from left to right (i.e. from phi
to U. and from F. to T.). The upper lines (phi--U.) are designated
as relations of "propositional Discursivity", the lower lines
(F.--T.) as relations of "energetic Discursivity".

\29 FG introduces figure 1 in Cs as follows: "The category of
deterritorialization should allow us to separate the problematic of
consciousness -- and consequently, of the unconscious -- with the
problematic of the representation of the I/ego (_Moi_) and of the
unity of the person. The idea of a totalizing, indeed totalitarian,
consciousness ('I am the master of my universe'), functions as a
founding myth of capitalistic subjectivity. In fact, there only
exist diversified processes of _conscientialisation_
["consciousness-becoming"], resulting from the deterritorialization
of existential Territories, equally multiple and overlapping. But,
in turn, these different instruments of catalysis of a _pour-soi_
and of singularization modes of the relation to worlds of the
_en-soi_ and of alter egos, can only acquire the consistency of an
existential monad to the extent that they [the instruments] succeed
in affirming themselves in a second dimension of
deterritorialization that I qualify as energetic discursivisation"
(Cs 39).

\30 This distinction roughly corresponds to the more elaborate
development of an "apparatus of capture" by the State in ATP ch.13.
See also F?lix Guattari and Eric Alliez, "Le capital, en fin de
compte," _change International_ 1 (Fall 1983), republished in _Les
anne'es d'hiver_ 167-192, translated as "Capitalistic Systems,
Structures and Processes" in _Molecular Revolution_.

\31 In _Psychanalyse et transversalite'_, Guattari states that the
_institutional object_ (or "object-c") "complements the notion of
'part-object' in Freudian theory" (which Guattari associates with
Lacan's "object-a") "and the notion of 'transitional object' in a
manner derived from the definition given by D.W.. Winnicott" (or the
"object-b") (PT 87-88). In _The Language of Psychoanalysis_ (London:
Hogarth Press, 1973), J. Laplanche and J.-B. Pontalis define these
latter "objects" as follows: the "part-object" is the "type of
object towards which the component instincts are directed without
this implying that a person as a whole is taken as love-object. In
the main part-objects are parts of the body, real or phantasied
(breast, faeces, penis), and their symbolic equivalents" (301); the
"transitional object" is a term "to designate a material object with
a special value for the suckling and young child, particularly when
it is on the point of falling asleep (e.g. the corner of a blanket
or napkin that is sucked)" (464). Guattari argues that while "'_Je
est un autre_'" (Rimbaud's famous formula for the "I"'s alterity),
"this other is not a subject.  It's a signifying machine which
predetermines what must be good or bad for me and my peers in a
given area of consumption" (PT 93), i.e. a "group subjectivity"
which unblocks the impasse of "repeated alterity" in which the grids
of language capture the "object-a". This "object-c" is thus a
fundamental principle of Guattari's clinical schizo-analytic
practice: whereas the "object-a"'s "individual phantasy *represents*
this impossible sliding of planes" thereby anchoring "desire onto
the body's surface,"  "the group phantasy" (or object-c)
"*superposes* the planes, exchanges and substitutes them" (PT
244-245), allowing a collective enunciation of group subjectivity
which is "an *absolute prerequisite* for the emergence of any
individual subjectivity" (PT 90). See Guattari's essay "Machine and
Structure" (PT 240-248; _Molecular Revolution_ 111-119).

\32 In ATP, Deleuze and Guattari derive the concept of "haecceity"
from Duns Scotus, and use it to suggest a "thisness," a mode of
individuation distinct from that of a person, a thing, or a subject:
"It is the entire assemblage in its individuated aggregate that is a
haecceity; it is this assemblage that is defined by a longitude and
a latitude, by speeds and affects, independently of forms and
subjects which belong to another plane. It is the wolf itself, and
the horse, and the child, that cease to be subjects to become
events, in assemblages that are inseparable from an hour, a season,
an atmosphere, an air, a life. . . . A haecceity has neither
beginning nor end, origin nor destination; it is always in the
middle. It is not made of points, only of lines.  It is rhizome"
(ATP 262-63).

\33 The second chapter of Cs is entitled "Energetic semiotics,
that FG introduces as follows: "Before developing my own
conceptions on the topic of 'schizoanalytic cartographies,' I will
briefly examine certain invalidating effects from the importation
of thermodynamic notions into the human and social sciences. I will
also evoke the stroke of genius, not to say stroke of madness, that
led Freud to invent _a semiotic energetics_, of which the first
theorizations, despite their naively scientifistic character, were,
in the final analysis, less reductionist than those that he was to
develop subsequently, in the context of the institutionalization of
psychoanalysis" (Cs 67). The five sub-divisions of this chapter are:
"The Entropic Superego," "The Freudian Semiotic Energetics," "The
Schizoanalytic Unconscious," "Non-separability, Separation, and
Quantification," and "The Cartography of Assemblages" (67-92).

\34 For discussions of the concept of "becoming-woman," see Alice A.
Jardine, _Gynesis: Configurations of Woman and Modernity_ (Ithaca:
Cornell UP, 1985) 209-17; Brian Massumi, _A User's Guide to
Capitalism and Schizophrenia_ (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992) 86-89;
Elizabeth Grosz, "A Thousand Tiny Sexes: Feminism and Rhizomatics,"
in _Gilles Deleuze and the Theater of Philosophy_, ed. Constantin V.
Boundas and Dorothea Olkowski (New York: Routledge, 1994) 187-210.
\35 Carlos Castaneda, _Tales of Power_ (New York: Pocket Books,
1974; 1976), especially part two, "The Tonal and the Nagual", as
well as ATP 161-62.