The Machines

Deleuze and Guattari, “The Machines”, pp.36-41, in:

Deleuze, G., Guattari, F., 1983. Anti-Oedipus: capitalism and schizophrenia. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.


A machine may be defined as a system of interruptions or breaks (coupures).

Every machine, in the first place, is related to a continual material flow (hyle) that it cuts into.

Each associative flow must be seen as an ideal thing, an endless flux, flowing from something not unlike the immense thigh of a pig.

In a word, every machine functions as a break in the flow in relation to the machine to which it is connected, but at the same time is also a flow itself, or the production of a flow, in relation to the machine connected to it.


In the second place, every machine has a sort of code built into it, stored up inside it. This code is inseparable not only from the way in which it is recorded and transmitted to each of the different regions of the body, but also from the way in which the relations of each of the regions with all the others are recorded . An organ may have connections that associate it with several different flows; it may waver between several functions, and even take on the regime of another organ – the anorectic mouth, for instance.


The third type of interruption or break characteristic of the desiring-machine is the residual break (coupure-reste) or residuum, which produces a subject alongside the machine, functioning as a part adjacent to the machine.