How do you make yourself a theatre without organs? Deleuze, Artaud and the concept of differential presence

Cull, Laura (2009) How do you make yourself a theatre without organs? Deleuze, Artaud and the concept of differential presence. Theatre Research International, 34 (3). pp. 243-255. ISSN 0307-8833

PDF (Article)
cull_How do you make yourself a theatre without organs.pdf

Download (126kB) | Preview
Official URL:


This article provides an exposition of four key concepts emerging in the encounter between the philosophical man of the theatre, Antonin Artaud, and the theatrical philosopher, Gilles Deleuze: the body without organs, the theatre without organs, the destratified voice and differential presence. The article proposes that Artaud's 1947 censored radio play To Have Done with the Judgment of God constitutes an instance of a theatre without organs that uses the destratified voice in a pursuit of differential presence – as a nonrepresentative encounter with difference that forces new thoughts upon us. Drawing from various works by Deleuze, including Difference and Repetition, The Logic of Sense, A Thousand Plateaus and ‘One Less Manifesto’, I conceive differential presence as an encounter with difference, or perpetual variation, as that which exceeds the representational consciousness of a subject, forcing thought through rupture rather than communicating meanings through sameness. Contra the dismissal of Artaud's project as paradoxical or impossible, the article suggests that his nonrepresentational theatre seeks to affirm a new kind of presence as difference, rather than aiming to transcend difference in order to reach the self-identical presence of Western metaphysics.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W400 Drama
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2009 11:15
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 12:03

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics