Schizoanalytic Theory of the Subject

Felix Guattari picked up analysis where Lacan left off at the point of the sinthome as artist, and where Reich left of at the point of a stunted production. Thus commodity fetishism and the production of the symptom is transformed into “desiring production.” Where the drive is submerged and emergent, desire addresses itself to the other who makes a hole, a gap, a space in the fullness of the drive. Thus desiring production is the human drived transformed in the social relation to the other. But now no longer overdetermined by ossified forms the process of desiring production is liberated for what it is in each subject’s life – in each encounter – it must be reinvented again.

Schizoanalysis is what Guattari called his reinvention of psychoanalysis, opened up beyond the psyche to material and social flows. The process of invention takes precedence, borrowing from the artist the creation of signs or semiotics. The schiz is a break and a flow simultaneously: the divided subject of the schiz is redirected back to a potential flow and communion – the schizophrenic breakdown is turned into a schizoanalytic breakthrough provided the body and the other become part of this global analytic process rather than trying to restore the individual ego to the social norm.

Modernist experimentations along these lines included so many political communities, artistic happenings, and amorous encounters that constitute an unfinished project. If postmodernism is to bear fruit it is only as an ubermodernism or hypermodernism where forms are remade and remodeled in baroque fashion aesthetic fidelity – not cynical nostalgia and restoration of the superego. This partakes finally of the chaosmosis – a signifier Guattari borrowed from Joyce the artist whose “Ulysses” and “Finnegan’s Wake” are blueprints of the future of poetics just as Guattari’s own “Chaosmosis” is a blueprint for the future of Freud and Lacan in the twenty-first century.

Pushing mathematical metamodeling of Lacan and Guattari further, Alain Badiou has founded his own version of the sovereign subject on set theory and category theory – a science of the subject so abstract as to bypass the imaginary ideological apparatus of scientific content or dogma toward a pure axiomatics where the empty place of the subjet sketched by Lacan finally comes to behold and uphold the empty void of Being itself. For Badiou the subject is not the empty hole in the fullness of the real. Rather the real is itself void and infinite simultaneously. To exist is to make something out of this nothing – but it is forever fleeting – necessarily so as to remain potent and potential. We only sufferwhen we hold on to this thing where there is no-thing. The subject then is what remains true to the paradoxical nothingness of the real. The divided subject is the subject-effect in a world still grasping substance. True subjectivity emerges in the embrace of the impossible – the struggle over nihilism emerging from awakening to the nature of Being and becoming – Nietzsche’s bridge over the abyss to the new man.

In Badiou’s “Theory of the Subject” the “anxiety” of splitting urges the subject to call in the “superego” of the other where the symptom becomes its counterpart. The alternative is to summon the “courage” to carry forth a new form or idea from the void that emerges at the breakdown of meaning or signification – socially this becomes “justice,” as opposed to law. An event takes place when there is a dissolution of a world. The passive form of the subject is that of Lacan’s divided subject of the symptom. The active form of the subject – subjectivization – recognizes the event and enacts a fidelity to it in order to bring to fruition a new logic – a new signifier – a new world. From “Being and Event” to “Logics of Worlds” there emerges a map of the new world – an atheological spiritualism and futurism of man’s co-creation in the universe in which the question of sexuality and mortality is absorbed into the larger question of transfinitude that faces us on a grand scale every day.

The questions of the limitations of sex and death – to which hysteria and obsessionality are the symptomatic refusals according to Lacan – are only contingent in the real, contingent in the human animal. The biological imperatives which condition our vehicle need not be mythologized: they have little to do with the spirit other than providing primary markings of the contingency and limitation of all things – all that which stands apart and exists. The separation from all things which our life bestows, the separation from this life which death bestows are only stops along the way.

What Freud, Lacan and others offer us through psychoanalysis is not just a cure where medicine fails but an offer for a new form of social relation based on individuation in common – collective co-creation – a portrait of the young man as an artist. Either we have the courage to face the angst of Being or we institute so many versions of the law – the superego which mirrors our egos as legal identities. Rather would we sign our portrait with letters – autopoetically.