the Body without Organs

“The body without organs is an egg: it is crisscrossed with axes and thresholds, with latitudes and longitudes and geodesic lines, traversed by gradients marking the transitions and the becomings, the destinations of the subject developing along these particular vectors.  Nothing here is representative; rather, it is all life and lived experience…” Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, 19.

What is the “body without organs” and what can it mean for the disabled body?  Is it a body of pure potential, not bound by a strict organizational system?  The concept of the body without organs is, to me, one of philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychoanalyst Félix Guattari’s most intriguing.  They culled the name “body without organs” from poet Antonin Artaud’s radio play “To have done with the judgment of God”: “The body is the body/it is all by itself/and has no need of organs/the body is never an organism/organisms are the enemies of the body.”

What can we make of the body without organs?  Can it exist materially?  If it conceptualizes the body’s pure possibility, can we use this to theorize the disabled body?  If the body is pure possibility and potential, how would we pathologize it?  What would we then perceive as normal?

I found this artwork, The Body without Organs, by Eva Strohmeier.  She calls these maps “mindmaps” and makes them for other concepts such as the uncanny, abjection, haunt, and etc.

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