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Schizoanalysis (or ecosophy, pragmatics, micropolitics, rhizomatics, or nomadology) (French: schizoanalyse; schizo- from Greek σχίζειν skhizein, meaning "to split") is a set of theories and techniques developed by philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychoanalyst Félix Guattari, first expounded in their book Anti-Oedipus (1972) and continued in their follow-up work, A Thousand Plateaus (1980).[1][2]


[T]he goal of schizoanalysis: to analyze the specific nature of the libidinal investments in the economic and political spheres, and thereby show how, in the subject who desires, desire can be made to desire its own repression—whence the role of the death instinct in the circuit connecting desire to the social sphere. [...] Schizoanalysis is at once a transcendental and a materialist analysis.[3]

The practice acquires many different definitions during the course of its development in their collaborative work and individually in the work of Guattari.

In his work Chaosmosis, Guattari explains that "rather than moving in the direction of reductionist modifications which simplify the complex", schizoanalysis "will work towards its complexification, its processual enrichment, towards the consistency of its virtual lines of bifurcation and differentiation, in short towards its ontological heterogeneity".[4]


Schizoanalysis [...] has no other meaning: Make a rhizome.[5]

Schizoanalysis was developed by Guattari as a response to the shortcomings of French psychoanalytic practice and as the culmination of his work with institutional psychotherapy at the La Borde clinic. Guattari was directly confronted with the use of the Oedipus complex as a starting point for analysis, and the authority figure of the psychoanalyst in relationship to the patient. Guattari was interested in a practice that could derive, from given systems of enunciation and subjective structures, new "assemblages [agencements] of enunciation" capable of forging new coordinates of analysis, and to create unforeseen propositions and representations from the standpoint of psychosis.

The new materialism takes from Nietzsche the notion that each body or product is a synthesis of forces, a sign or symptom of a mode of existence. Desire is never something that is missing, forbidden, or signified: desire is a power of synthesis that constructs an assemblage in order to increase its power of acting.[6]

— Philip Goodchild

Deleuze later broke away from the framework, stating that "we no longer want to talk about schizoanalysis, because that would amount to protecting a particular type of escape, schizophrenic escape".[7]


Schizoanalysis, then, is a form of social analysis according to abstract machines, lines of flight or deterritorialisation, regimes of signs, the stratification of molecular elements or their destratification, and planes of consistency. It maps the social unconscious according to its movements and intensities of desire. [...] so that lines of experimentation or becoming may be constructed through a reassembling of the abstract machines that lie between the strata and produce them.[6]

— Philip Goodchild

Deleuze and Guattari write in the fourth chapter of Anti-Oedipus, "Introduction to Schizoanalysis", that in effect, schizoanalysis asks "What are your desiring-machines, what do you put into these machines, what is the output, how does it work, what are your nonhuman sexes?".[8]

Deleuze and Guattari develop four theses of schizoanalysis:

  1. Every unconscious libidinal investment is social and bears upon a socio-historical field.
  2. Unconscious libidinal investments of group or desire are distinct from preconscious investments of class or interest.
  3. Non-familial libidinal investments of the social field are primary in relation to familial investments.
  4. Social libidinal investments are distinguished according to two poles: a paranoiac, reactionary, fascisizing pole and a schizoid revolutionary pole.


The schizoanalyst is a mechanic, and schizoanalysis is solely functional. [...] Analysis should deal solely [...] with the machinic arrangements grasped in the context of their molecular dispersion. [...] every partial object emits a flow [in the field of multiplicity ] [...] Partial objects are direct powers of the body without organs, and the body without organs, the raw material of the partial objcts. [...] The body without organs is an immanent substance [...connecting] Spinozist [...partial-object-like] attributes [that enunciate its haecceity ][.][9][10]

A schizoanalyst is not a deconstructionist; they churn logos through a partial-object text-machine-subject to express praxis-enslavement by puissance.[11][12] Schizoanalysis addresses ressentiment by leading the neurotic subject to a rhizomatic state of becoming.[13][14] Schizoanalysis uses psychosis as a figurative-philosophical diagrammatic model, creating abstract machines that go beyond a semiotic simulacrum, generating a reality not already present.[15][14] Contradistinct from the psychoanalytic axiom of lack generating the kernel at the core of the subject, schizoanalytic desiring-production of intensities decode "representational territories" by self-generating the subject-becoming-BwO as a multiplicity.[16][17] Desiring-production is a virtuality of becoming-intense, a becoming-Other.[18][19] Schizoanalysis deterritorializes-reterritorializes found assemblages through rhizomatic desiring-production.[20]

Body without organs[edit]

The body without organs is a central concept in schizoanalysis; Deleuze and Guattari write in A Thousand Plateaus that it is "the only practical object of schizoanalysis".[21] It is "the unproductive, the sterile, the unengendered, the unconsumable",[22] a disorganized body of loose and erratic desires that they strongly identify with schizophrenia, as well as masochism and repressed forms of love, and that they compare in Anti-Oedipus to a desert of sorts. Bodies without organs are produced by the unconscious when desiring-production achieves its third nonproductive stage; a body without organs is "produced as a whole, but in its own particular place within the process of production, alongside the parts that it neither unifies nor totalizes."[23] Deleuze writes in The Logic of Sense (1969) that "a body without organs, with neither mouth nor anus, having given up all introjection or projection, and being complete, at this price",[24] is "closed on a full depth without limits and without exteriority."[25]

Four functors[edit]

The four ontological dimensions are concepts within a clinical model of the unconscious, laid out in the following schema:[26]

  1. Fluxes: material, energetic and semiotic transformations (qv., libido)[27]
  2. Territories: finite existential subjectifications (qv., self and transference)[27]
  3. Universes of reference (value): virtual incorporeal enunciative alterifications (qv., complexes and sublimation)[27]
  4. Phylum (machinic): drive deterritorialization[28][27]

The territory (first assemblage that appears by decoding) is the social field of deterritorialization and reterritorialization,[29] while the flux and phylum are the components of abstract machines. With these functors, there are four circular components that bud and form rhizomes:[30][31]

  1. The generative component: the study of concrete mixed semiotics; their mixtures and variations, making a tracing of the mixed semiotics.
  2. The transformational component: the study of pure semiotics; their transformations-translations and the creation of new semiotics, making the transformational map of the regimes, with their possibilities for translation and creation, for budding along the lines of the tracings.
  3. The diagrammatic component: The Real as an Absolute synchronic-parallel diagram of Reality (or Nature), surpassing all regimes of signs by the merging of content and expression.[32]
  4. The machinic component: the study of the assemblages that effectuate abstract machines, simultaneously semiotizing matters of expression and physicalizing matters of content, outlining the program of the assemblages that distribute everything and bring a circulation of movement with alternatives, jumps, and mutations.


Nick Land[edit]

British philosopher and theorist Nick Land, whose critical work and experimental texts in the 1990s frequently cited from Deleuze and Guattari, wrote that "schizoanalysis shares in the delicious irresponsibility of everything anarchic, inundating and harshly impersonal."[33] In his 1992 essay "Circuitries", Land described the practice of schizoanalysis as a prescient theory, writing that it "was only possible because we are hurtling into the first globally integrated insanity: politics is obsolete. Capitalism and Schizophrenia hacked into a future that programs it down to its punctuation, connecting with the imminent inevitability of viral revolution, soft fusion."[34] Land's later work in the 1990s, associated with the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, also further reinterpreted and developed schizoanalysis alongside cybernetics, cyberpunk aesthetics and occultism, most prominently in his 1995 essay "Meltdown":

Machinic Synthesis. Deleuzoguattarian schizoanalysis comes from the future. It is already engaging with nonlinear nano-engineering runaway in 1972; differentiating molecular or neotropic machineries from molar or entropic aggregates of nonassembled particles; functional connectivity from antiproductive static. Philosophy has an affinity with despotism, due to its predilection for Platonic-fascist top-down solutions that always screw up viciously. Schizoanalysis works differently. It avoids Ideas, and sticks to diagrams: networking software for accessing bodies without organs. BwOs, machinic singularities, or tractor fields emerge through the combination of parts with (rather than into) their whole; arranging composite individuations in a virtual/actual circuit.[35]

Bard & Söderqvist[edit]

Swedish philosophers and futurologists Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist build from Deleuze & Guattari's schizoanalysis in their book The Body Machines (2009), the third and final installment of The Futurica Trilogy (2000-2009) with Lacan's empty signifier re-added as an extra +1 to a properly implemented 12+1 structure – developed in collaboration with Stockholm's Royal Institute of Art – as both the empty unifier of the psyche and the dissolution of social hierarchy. The authors argue the 12+1 model is a psychoanalytic improvement to the otherwise "Kantian all too Kantian" technique of compartmentalization in psychology. As cultural examples of 12+1 are cited the hour prior to and following the twelve hours of a clock, Christ as living present and dead absent in relation to the twelve Apostles in the New Testament, and the ace card as both superior to the king and inferior to two in a playing card series. In this sense, the socially constructed +1 is nothing but a subject's passport name, understanding capitalist subjectivity as multipolar (twelve being a random number) akin to the urban intersubjectivities explored in musical theatre pieces like Puccini's La bohème and Jonathan Larson's Rent.

Radical Black Aesthetic[edit]

John Gillespie posits that writers Amiri Baraka and Frantz Fanon are schizoanalytic under the lens of critically examining racism (e.g., Black Dada Nihilismus on Dada).[36]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Bates, Benjamin R.; Stroup, Kristopher (2007). "The Eternal Sunshine of the Solar Anus: A Schizoanalytic Perspective on Critical Methodology". Rhetoric Review. 26 (1): 60–79. Retrieved 2022-07-03.


  1. ^ Guattari, Félix (2006) [1992]. Chaosmosis: an ethico-aesthetic paradigm. Translated by Bains, Paul; Pefanis, Julian. Power Publications. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-909952-25-9. [T]he ecosophic (or schizoanalytic) approach[.]
  2. ^ Kennedy, Barbara M. (2011). "'Memoirs of a Geisha': The Material Poesis of Temporality". Discourse. 33 (2): 203–220. Retrieved 2022-07-03. Referred to as pragmatics, micropolitics, rhizomatics, and nomadology, schizoanalysis has the potential to open up new lines of flight not merely through the more molar political spaces, but in the life-flows of molecular spaces in art, literatures, and performative aural and visual media; through the understanding of the libido as an economy of flows, not an economy of lack, loss, and the abyssal.
  3. ^ Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Félix (2009) [1972]. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Hurley, Robert; Seem, Mark; Lane R., Helen. Penguin Books. pp. 105, 109. ISBN 978-0-14-310582-4.
  4. ^ Guattari (1992, 61).
  5. ^ Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Félix (1987). "Becoming-Intense, Becoming-Animal, Becoming-Imperceptible...". A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Massumi, Brian. University of Minnesota Press. p. 251. ISBN 978-1-85168-637-7.
  6. ^ a b c d e Goodchild, Philip (2006). "Gilles Deleuze (1925–95) and Felix Guattari (1930–92)". In Simons, Jon (ed.). Contemporary Critical Theorists: From Lacan to Said. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 168–184.
  7. ^ Gilles Deleuze, Desert Islands and Other Texts, 1953–1974, MIT Press, 2004 (pp. 274--280), originally published in "Relazione di Gilles Deleuze" and discussions in Armando Verdiglione, ed., Psicanalisi e Politica; Atti del Convegno di studi tenuto a Milano l'8—9 Maggio 1973. Milan: Feltrinelli, 1973, pp. 7-11, 17-21, 37-40, 44-45, 169-172. Abridged and edited
  8. ^ Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (2004, 322).
  9. ^ Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Félix (2009) [1972]. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Hurley, Robert; Seem, Mark; Lane R., Helen. Penguin Books. pp. 322–327. ISBN 978-0-14-310582-4.
  10. ^ Deleuze, Gilles (1988) [1970]. Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. Translated by Hurley, Robert. City Lights Books. pp. 51, 52. ISBN 978-0-87286-218-0. Attribute—'What the intellect perceives of a substance, as constituting its essence' (Ethics, 1, def. 4). [...] Each attribute 'expresses' a certain essence (I, 10, schol. 1) [...] And immanence signifies first of all the univocity of the attributes[.]
  11. ^ Cross, D. J. S. (2017). "Apocrypha: Derrida's Writing in Anti-Oedipus". CR: The New Centennial Review. 17 (3): 177–197. Retrieved 2022-07-03. The schizoanalyst doesn't read a text to comment on it; the schizoanalyst reads for the sake of extra-textual currents of desire traversing it. 'For reading a text is never an erudite exercise in search of signifieds, much less a highly textual exercise in quest of a signifier, but rather a productive usage of the literary machine, a montage of desiring machines, schizoid exercise that extracts [dégage] from the text its revolutionary power [puissance]' [...] A text is only a small gear in a much larger machine. The schizoanalyst doesn't 'deconstruct.'
  12. ^ Guattari, Félix (2011) [1979]. The Machinic Unconscious: Essays in Schizoanalysis. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Series. Translated by Adkins, Taylor. Semiotext(e). p. 159. ISBN 978-1-58435-088-0. The subject and the machine are inseparable from one another. A degree of subjectivity enters into every material assemblage. And reciprocally, a degree of machinic enslavement enters into every subjective assemblage. [...] Being-in-itself and being-for-itself are only relatively equivalent to being-for-praxis, being-for-assemblage.
  13. ^ Kennedy, Barbara M. (2011). "'Memoirs of a Geisha': The Material Poesis of Temporality". Discourse. 33 (2): 203–220. Retrieved 2022-07-03. Schizoanalysis provides a diagnosis and healing of the man of ressentiment, the slave of neurosis, castration, loss, lack, and oedipal desire. Schizoanalysis erects the schizo, not the subject.
  14. ^ a b Marriott, David S. (2021). Lacan Noir: Lacan and Afro-pessimism. The Palgrave Lacan Series. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 98. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-74978-1. ISBN 978-3-030-74977-4. Lacan knew, with genius, how psychosis reversed meaning, was ensnared in ressentiment[.]
  15. ^ Kennedy, Barbara M. (2011). "'Memoirs of a Geisha': The Material Poesis of Temporality". Discourse. 33 (2): 203–220. Retrieved 2022-07-03. Taken from the medical model of schizophrenia within psychiatry, concepts such as the cracks, fissures, and dissolutions experienced by patients are transversed into an empiricist and diagrammatic model [...] to explore differently conceived mechanisms of desire and pleasure. [...] a diagrammatic component. This is often referred to as the abstract machine[.] [...] Unlike semiotics and signs, the abstract machine does not function to represent, but rather to construct a reality of a different order.
  16. ^ Penney, James (2014). "Capitalism and Schizoanalysis". After Queer Theory: The Limits of Sexual Politics. Pluto Press. pp. 111–144. Against this [Lacanian] emphasis [of lack via Freud], Deleuze and Guattari offer an alternative account of desire as self-generating production.
  17. ^ Sellar, Sam (2015). "A Strange Craving to be Motivated: Schizoanalysis, Human Capital and Education". Deleuze Studies. 9 (3): 424–436. Retrieved 2022-07-03. Schizopanalysis conceives of desire as a productive force that constitutes subjects from multiplicity. [...] [D&G] see the process of decoding, which frees desiring-production from its representational territories, as a positive development[.]
  18. ^ Brown, William; Fleming, David H. (2011). "Deterritorialisation and Schizoanalysis in David Fincher's 'Fight Club'". Deleuze Studies. 5 (2, Special Issue on Schizoanalysis and Visual Culture): 275–299. Retrieved 2022-07-03. In Anti-Oedipus (1983), Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari advanced a radical conception of desire, no longer shackled to absence and lack, but based on a productive process of presence and becoming. [...] one in which the conventional distinctions between inside and outside, actual and virtual, and even between self and other significantly blur.
  19. ^ Kennedy, Barbara M. (2011). "'Memoirs of a Geisha': The Material Poesis of Temporality". Discourse. 33 (2): 203–220. Retrieved 2022-07-03. Deleuze and Guattari describe the body as a set of variously informed speeds and intensities.
  20. ^ Sellar, Sam (2015). "A Strange Craving to be Motivated: Schizoanalysis, Human Capital and Education". Deleuze Studies. 9 (3): 424–436. Retrieved 2022-07-03. [D&G] identify three inseparable tasks of schizoanalysis: destroying Oedipus or the representational territorialities of desire, discovering the desiring-machines operating outside of representation and reaching the investment of unconscious desire in the social field, as distinct from preconscious investments of interest.
  21. ^ Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (1980, 203).
  22. ^ Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (2004, 8).
  23. ^ Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (2004, 43).
  24. ^ Deleuze, The Logic of Sense (1990, 188).
  25. ^ Deleuze, The Logic of Sense (1990, 198).
  26. ^ Guattari, Félix (2006) [1992]. Chaosmosis: an ethico-aesthetic paradigm. Translated by Bains, Paul; Pefanis, Julian. Power Publications. pp. 53, 125. ISBN 978-0-909952-25-9. The machine is always synonymous with a nucleus constitutive of an existential Territory against a background of a constellation of incorporeal Universes of reference (or value). [...] [T]he four ontological dimensions of Fluxes, Territories, Universes and machinic Phylums.
  27. ^ a b c d Guattari, Félix (2006) [1992]. Chaosmosis: an ethico-aesthetic paradigm. Translated by Bains, Paul; Pefanis, Julian. Power Publications. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-909952-25-9. To speak of machines rather than drives, Fluxes rather than libido, existential Territories rather than the instances of the self and of transference, incorporeal Universes rather than unconscious complexes and sublimation, chaosmic entities rather than signifiers—fitting ontological dimensions together in a circular manner rather than dividing the world up into infrastructure and superstructure—may not simply be a matter of vocabulary!
  28. ^ Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Félix (1987). "Treatise on Nomadology—The War Machine". A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Massumi, Brian. University of Minnesota Press. p. 410. ISBN 978-1-85168-637-7. machinic phylum, the flow of matter, [is] essentially [...] (deterritorialization).
  29. ^ Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Félix (1987). "Of the Refrain". A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Massumi, Brian. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 322, 323. ISBN 978-1-85168-637-7. the territory[...]seems to form at the level of a certain decoding. [...] The territory is the first assemblage[.]
  30. ^ Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (1980, 160-2).
  31. ^ Guattari, Félix (2011) [1979]. The Machinic Unconscious: Essays in Schizoanalysis. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Series. Translated by Adkins, Taylor. Semiotext(e). p. 188. ISBN 978-1-58435-088-0.
  32. ^ Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Félix (1987). "On Several Regimes of Signs". A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Massumi, Brian. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 136–142. ISBN 978-1-85168-637-7. transformations that blow apart semiotics systems or regimes of signs on the plane of consistency of a positive absolute deterritorialization are called diagrammatic. [...] An abstract machine [...] is diagrammatic [...] It operates by matter, not by substance.; by function, not by form. [...] The abstract machine is pure Matter-Function [...] A diagram has neither substance nor form, neither content nor expression. [...] Writing now functions on the same level as the real, and the real materially writes. [...] This Real-Abstract is totally different from the fictitious abstraction of a supposedly pure machine of expression. It is Absolute, but one that is neither undifferentiated nor transcendent. [...] there are no regimes of signs on the diagrammatic level, or on the plane of consistency, because form of expression is no longer really distinct from form of content.
  33. ^ Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007 (2011, 265).
  34. ^ Nick Land, Fanged Noumena (2011, 317).
  35. ^ Nick Land, Fanged Noumena (2011, 442).
  36. ^ Gillespie, John (2018). "Black Dada Nihilismus: Theorizing a Radical Black Aesthetic". Critical Ethnic Studies. 4 (2): 100–117. Retrieved 2022-07-03. [S]chizoanalysis, as written about her, should not be considered as an idea that Deleuze and Guattari conceived of but rather as a label that Deleuze and Guattari (mis)place on the actions of white artists, and Black artists like Amiri Baraka and psychiatrists like Frantz Fanon have always already been doing.


  • Ian Buchanan, 'Schizoanalysis: An Incomplete Project', in B. Dillet, I. Mackenzie & R. Porter eds., The Edinburgh Companion to Poststructuralism, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013, pp. 163–185.
  • Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1972. Anti-Oedipus. Trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Vol. 1 of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 2 vols. 1972–1980. Trans. of L'Anti-Oedipe. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit. ISBN 0-8264-7695-3.
  • ---. 1980. A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Vol. 2 of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 2 vols. 1972–1980. Trans. of Mille Plateaux. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit. ISBN 0-8264-7694-5.
  • Guattari, Félix. 1989. Cartographies Schizoanalytiques. Paris: Editions Galilee.
  • ---. 1992. Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm. Trans. Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1995. Trans. of Chaosmose. Paris: Editions Galilee. ISBN 0-909952-25-6.
  • Holland, Eugene. 1999. Deleuze and Guattari's Anti Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis. Oxford: Routledge.