Deleuze's Oxygen Machine

  • Spencer Roberts (Speaker)
  • Derek Hales (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Between 1976 and 1977 Bernard Tschumi produced a series of images entitled ‘Advertisements for Architecture’. One such image depicts a figure, descending through the air before the façade of a building - apparently having fallen from an open window above. A second figure leans from the window with arms outstretched. The image is captioned “To really appreciate architecture, you may even need to commit a murder”. This paper proceeds from the premise that the falling man is Deleuze, and that the figure in the window above is Guattari’ – or perhaps his ghost, following his own death from a heart attack, roughly three years earlier.

Beneath the image there is further explication. Tschumi's text states that “Architecture is defined as much by the actions it witnesses as by the enclosure of its walls”. This paper will employ a design fictional methodology, to arrive at a depiction of Deleuze falling before the façade of his own philosophical system – a machinic assemblage of desire that must be considered alongside his tracheotomy, the oxygen machines to which he was ‘chained like a dog’, and the severance of his umbilical tie to Guattari.

Relations, as Deleuze insisted, are external to their terms. There are as many instabilities in Tschumi’s image, as there are in Deleuze’s act of Defenestration. Has Guattari pushed, or is he reaching for the figure of Deleuze? Might it be more accurate to position Guattari himself as Deleuze’s oxygen machine? Notwithstanding this, might he, or his ghost be still capable of murder?
Period11 Dec 2019
Event title3rd International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research: Machinic Assemblages of Desire
Event typeConference
Conference number3
LocationGhent, BelgiumShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational