1.2 The Production of Consumption

If desire produces, its product is real...Desire does not lack anything; it does not lack its object. It is, rather, the subject that is missing in desire, or desire that lacks a fixed subject... -p.26 Anti-Oedipus, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.

Every act, every move, every strategy is a production intended for material, formal or social effects. Whether one buys, sells, or manufactures an object within the material matrix of production, a capitalist system is the economic framework by which public desire is monitored and indeed manipulated. Cause and effect, supply and demand, etc. are binary operations within capitalism and thus they are the reciprocating machines of progress and consumption. As these machines are self perpetuating, they withstand the traumas of the system, such as stock market crashes, burst bubble economies, failed mergers, depleted resources, etc. So, despite it all, we are always involved with the concept of objects of desire because our libido for consuming controls our passion for the commodity.

But what happens when the object no longer holds our focus or our anticipation of it overwhelms the objects' very own reality? When the object ceases to fascinate, it exposes the fact that as Deleuze and Guattari point out, there is no subject inside desire. Despite the fixity of the object, desire cannot often times find an equally fixed subject, that is, what is this object about other than the fact that I have it and even though the object has a status signified by it, what is the good of that? What is the subject (matter) of this object?

One contemporary strategy for reinvesting the object with a subject (or a meaning) is to REPRESENT that object by the projection of its image or the coding of it by placing it under the commercial language of identification: THE LOGO (or label or brand name). The use of well known figures in advertising, for instance, supplies a subject in advance of the object that person is pitching. So, if Michael Jordan endorses sneakers ONLY for Nike, we perhaps now know more about the phenomenon of AIR than we know about the product. Jordan is the conduit through which the subject may flow, directed at our desires to believe or to emulate. In fact, unwittingly, the subject becomes a commodity too. ...OR....If one buy the latest cam-corder from SONY, it doesn't so much matter that it has a 45x zoom ratio or infrared steady shot optics as much as it's a SONY ! As it is a SONY, one has bought into the long-standing traditions of (SONY'S) technical progress at the forefront of world electronic production, of quality and miniaturization, and of signform value - (that's what the function of the logo is).
These, ultimately, are not mere marketplace strategies designed to separate money from an individual. They are legitimate cultural practices that give desire a subject. They surround the object with a variety of conceptual surfaces that the individual may project his or her desire onto. Our satisfaction BEGINS the moment we SEE WHAT WE WANT , even if it is not yet the real thing.