Reading Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus, I am unclear on the nature of the Body without Organs. Most literature seems to describe this body as a phase space in the mathematical sense of the term, i.e. as consisting of all possible configurations of organ-machines into assemblages. This leads to the following characterization:
Since D+G propose a materialist theory of psychology, the unconscious must 'experience' the world through the body's organs, which in the language of D+G means that all of our experiences (in the phenomenological sense of the word) can be characterized as machines 'grafted onto' our body parts, which they refer to as organ-machines.
For example, the baby's mouth connects to the mother's breast to gain milk; this experience takes on the form of a machine: the mouth machines connects to the breast machine.
The objects involved in these experiences are 'partial' in the sense of only existing in the unconscious as components of the machine, rather than as objects in of themselves. Hence the it is not really the mother's breast, but merely a breast, that is contained in the aforementioned machine.
Since each such machine involves the body's organs into some machinic assembly, it can be identified with an 'organization of the body' or a point in the phase space (Body without Organs). The 'location' of this point is then recorded, with D+G's multiplicitous sign-systems consisting essentially of multiplicitous coordinate systems on the phase space.
Two questions follow:
Is the presentation of the disjunctive synthesis as a series "either.... or.... or... or..." a series of equivalent means of describing the 'location' of a particular body-organization in different sign-systems? Does the illegitimate use of the disjunctive synthesis then consist in restricting such to some finite set of sign-systems?
How does the unconscious contain the Body without Organs? How can it contain all possible configurations of organs, since this is of course an infinite amount of information?
If we resolve the problem of information overload by simply calling the BwO the 'attained' phase space or as consisting of those configurations which have been 'experienced', then it would seem we have a fairly cohesive picture: At the climax of the desiring-machine or equivalently, the experience, e.g. when the baby has had its fill of milk, the connective-synthetic bonds dissolve and their energy records a 'memory' of that experience in an (indeterminate) code of representation.
Yet this seems to clash in some respects with the language D+G use to describe the recordings, specifically how they are "on" the BwO.
We could instead take the BwO to be an image of the body as an undifferentiated mass, or equivalently at the point where every organ is in a state of quiescence; the disjunctive synthesis would then attach to each quiescent organ the phase space of possible (or attained) assemblages grafted onto that organ. For example, we have the series "either resting hand or hand-object A or hand-object B or hand-object C...;" all of which are written in parallel on the BwO's hand, so to speak.
To summarize, so far I have found two understandings on the BwO, neither of which seems completely reasonable.
a. The BwO is a phase space (or attained phase space) for what D+G call the various "organ-izations" of the body, i.e. the various configurations of body parts into desiring-machine assemblages. Disjunctive synthesis operates at each configuration in the BwO (point in the phase space) to link together the representations of that configuration in the various sign-system. So for example we have "either a hand or una mano or la main or die hand or..."
b. The BwO is an 'image' of the physical body as an undifferentiated mass, where every body part is in a state of quiet. The disjunctive synthesis attaches to each body part representations of all attained assemblages containing that part as an organ-machine. So for example we have "either a resting hand or a hand touching something or a hand touching something else or a hand making a rude gesture or..."
Which of these is what we are going for in Anti-Oedipus? Buchanan remarks off hand that the "disjunctive synthesis... is functionally equivalent to Althusser's interpellation" - a statement that I can't quite make heads or tails of.