A term used by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze.
The “Body without Organs” or BwO is a term Deleuze and Guattari have taken from Antonin Artaud which consists of an assemblage or body with no underlying organizational principles, and hence no organs within it. The BwO is a post-Enlightenment entity, a body but not an organism.
You never reach the Body without Organs, you can’t reach it, you are forever attaining it, it is a limit. People ask, So what is this BwO?—But you’re already on it, scurrying like a vermin, groping like a blind person, or running like a lunatic; desert traveler and nomad of the steppes. On it we sleep, live our waking lives, fight—fight and are fought—seek our place, experience untold happiness and fabulous defeats; on it we penetrate and are penetrated; on it we love…The BwO: it is already under way the moment the body has had enough of organs and wants to slough them off, or loses them. (D&G 150)
The Body without Organs is thus, as Deleuze and Guattari explain, also a “plane of consistency,” which, concretely ties together heterogeneous or disparate elements” (507). In other words, the BwO provides the smooth space through which movement can occur. Rather than the unifying principles of a system of organization, the BwO’s system of embodiment is constituted through principles of consolidation.