The Bachelor Machine as apparatus of Eros and Thanatos: Marcel Duchamp's work as a prophecy for erotic digitization
Date and Time: 15/10/2022 (10:00-11:45)
Anastasios Tsakaliadis-Sotirakoglou
Keywords: Sublimation, Eroticism, Machine

Marcel Duchamp's early 20th-century work "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even" (aka "The Large Glass") brought into view a socio-psychological phenomenon that has been intricately linked to the very notion of modernity. The bachelor machine is manifest through the subtitution of the human body with that of an apparatus which cyrculates its erotic drive, while keeping it out of contact with its object of desire. This process of sublimation relates to a dialogos between the contradictory forces inherent in the nature of eroticism.
While Duchamp himself describes most of the aforementioned ideas in a book supplementary to the work called "The Green Box", writers such as Michel Carrouges have attempted to connect it to literary forms such as Kafka's "Penal Colony", while Alberto Boatto has investigated its dual functionality as a feminine apparatus of love and death, resembling the guillotine.
Taking into consideration the Freudian concepts of Eros and Thanatos, critically inspired by Sabina Spierlein's concept of "death instinct", first discovered in her original paper "Destruction as a Cause of Coming into Being", I shall attempt to investigate how the bachelor machine can be seen as the primary field in which the erotic dialogos between man and machine is manifest as a dialogos between forces of love and death, desire and repulsion.
This study, of course, includes original research and speculation on the relation of the bachelor machine concept to practices of mediated eroticism within our contemporary digital culture. The socio-technological changes that characterise our contemporary society will be examined through the lens of the bachelor machine concept.
Thus, I will attempt to investigate not only the role of the machine as a medium or object of desire, but the nature of man-as-machine in the world of digitized eroticism, while exploring the complex capabilities of sublimation, erotic dependency, de-mystification, and de-personalization we can observe in the contemporary subject's struggle for erotic emancipation through the digital mediation of its supplementary drives.


EUTIC 2022

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