Guattari, Pierre-Félix
(1930-92)
  ---- by Gary Genosko
  Pierre-Félix Guattari was fifteen when he met psychoanalyst Jean Oury, founder of Clinique de la Borde, through Jean's brother Fernand, developer of institutional pedagogy in France. By the time he reached twenty years Guattari was taken under Jean's wing. Jean convinced Guattari to abandon his study of commercial pharmacy and, in the early 1950s, he visited Jean at Clinique Saumery, a precursor of La Borde. Saumery was Guattari's initiation into the psychiatric milieu. While a teenager Guattari had met Fernand Oury through the youth hostelling movement (Fédération Unie des Auberges de Jeunesse). Fernand Oury was instrumental in getting Guattari involved in the summer caravans he organised in the Paris suburb of La Garenne-Colombes for working-class suburban youth like Guattari himself, who grew up in the same department in nearby Villeneuve.
  Guattari assisted in the foundational work at La Borde where he helped write its Constitution de l'An 1 the year it opened in 1953. Guattari's next task was to organise intra-hospital Therapeutic Clubs for patients. Guattari's involvement increased after 1955.
  Guattari's career was also shaped by the friendly tutelage of another master, whom he had met when he was just twenty-three, Jacques Lacan. It was not until 1962 that Guattari graduated to a didactic training analysis with Lacan, joining the École freudienne de Paris as an analyst member in 1969. Guattari's formative intellectual milieu was Lacanian.
  By the mid-1960s Guattari had developed a formidable battery of concepts organised around the problem of delivering therapy in institutional settings. Psychanalyse et transversalité exposed the limits of the psychoanalytic unconscious by arguing that it was not a concern of specialists treating individuals but rather perfused the social field and history. For Guattari the subject was a group or collective assemblage of heterogeneous components whoseformation,delinkedfrommonadicindividualsandabstract,universal determinations like the Oedipus myth, structural matheme and part object, could be seen through critical analyses of the actual vicissitudes of collective life in which patients found themselves. A Sartrean-inflected theory of groups emerged distinguishing non-absolutely between subject-groups (actively exploring self-defined projects) and subjugated groups (passively receiving directions), each affecting the relations of their members to social processes and shaping the potential for subject formation.
  The foundation of what Guattari called schizoanalysis was laid in L'inconscient machinique. Schizoanalysis requires a practical, detailed semiotics as well as a politically progressive and provisional transformation of situational power relations. The analyst's micropolitical task is to discern in a particular assemblage the mutational potential of a given component and explore the effects of its passages in and between assemblages, producing and extracting singularities by undoing impasses, alienating and deadening redundancies: 'Rather than indefinitely tracing the same complexes or the same universal "mathemes", a schizoanalytic cartography will explore and experiment with an unconscious in actuality' (G 1979: 190).
  Micropolitical schizoanalysis will map, in a way specific to each passage, delinguistified and mixed semiotic lines flush with matters of expression, rhizomes released from arborescent structures, molecular schizzes on the run from molar bureaucracies, faciality traits loosened from dominant overcodings, and new machinic connections and breaks, regardless of their level of formation, elaborating their becomings and new terms of reference across the social field. This emphasis on molecularity entails a sociopolitical analysis that privileges creative, oppositional flight and eschews so-called professional neutrality. Guattari introduced the machine as a productive connectivity irreducible both to technologies and to foundational substances; machines form assemblages of component parts.
  The two editions of La révolution moléculaire (1977 and 1980) contained advanced semiotic methods, modified from Hjelmslevian and Peircean roots, adequate to the 'semiotic polycentrism' necessary for engaging in a genuine transversal analysis of the expanded fields of the unconscious, with a less woodenly dichotomous sense of super ego on one side and socius on the other. Guattari's writings on developments in Italy in the 1970s underlined their potential for new molecular forms of collective action, what he called 'generalized revolution'.
  Cartographies schizoanalytiques and Chaosmose elaborated nonrepresentational maps of the self-engendering processes of subjectification, pragmatically attending to the specific ways in which singularities come together, through four ontological functions of the unconscious, their interfaces, and the character of their components: material fluxes and machinic phylums; existential territories and incorporeal universes. The former are actual and discursive on the plane of expression; the latter virtual and non-discursive on the plane of content. Emergent assemblages of enunciation are ontologically complex because in a given situation a schizoanalyst tries to bridge the virtual and actual by discerning the former and attending to how they actually work themselves out relationally betwixt manifestation and possibility, processually and expressively as subjectivity ever emerges.
  Guattari is internationally recognised for his collaborations with Gilles Deleuze on Anti-Oedipus, Kafka, A Thousand Plateaus, and What is Philosophy?, yet his key theoretical statements remain virtually unknown.
  Connectives
   § psychoanalysis

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.

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