DESIRING MACHINES FOR LIVING
“Desiring Machines for Living” is based on a statement by architect / designer Le Corbusier (“The house is a machine for living in”) and Deleuze and Guattari’s “desiring-machines” idea that “desire is a machine, and the object of desire is another machine connected to it.” Le Corbusier’s statement refers to the idea that a house should be designed following the same logic as a machine and towards a standardization in architecture, in response to the basic needs of a human being.
“Desiring Machines for Living” explores through performance, object, and imagery how within the space of a trailer (machine) there can be a projecting onto one’s home a level of desirability (from contentedness to making the best of it) or, conversely, undesirability, projecting away from one’s home desire for something better, i.e. The American Dream. All of this occurs through “a collection of elements (objects) which become significant when made into a whole.”
The question is, do we get what we desire? Or, as writer Lauren Berlant explains, “cruel optimism… a relation of attachment to compromised conditions of possibility.” This investigation included my body working in a performative sensibility to solve these thoughts and questions within a small-scale trailer (2’ x 6’): to note the space limitations (connected to my family’s own). While prone, my body moved quietly in an unscripted, organic manner, feeling the confinement, the material, the uncomfortableness, both physically and emotionally. In response and in reflection to the body movements, I would pause, also quietly, rise to a seated position and collate and create artifacts (by cutting and collaging images, molding clay houses, studying objects) into possible answers of desire and un-desire, attaching / displaying them within the small-scale trailer, while building an archive of my performance. These two acts of movement and creation were repeated a number of times. To conclude the performance, I stood / rose within the small-scale trailer, and searched for meaning through spoken word recitation, autobiographical words that I had written during my research. Then, as a final gesture, I exited the small-scale trailer and placed some of the created artifacts within the materials of the surrounding installation space, an extension of the exhibit. The entire performance la sted approximately two hours.