On Atmosphere





atmosphere, institutional psychotherapy, La Borde, psychosis, treatment


This paper traces the work of Tosquelles, Oury and Guattari in transforming psychiatric care by reshaping the "atmosphere" of asylums. Breaking down asylum walls and hierarchies, Tosquelles sought to liberate patient expression and agency. Oury built on this through the notion of "antennas" attuned to environmental subtleties often imperceptible to clinicians. For both, transforming institutional spaces was paramount. Guattari helped reveal how such environments could foster the emergence of new subjectivities. For all three, the sustained “atmosphere” was a central concern. Building on this work, I discuss my co-founding of the Ueinzz theatre group, which provides an artistic outlet for individuals experiencing psychological distress and fosters radical solidarity by empowering marginalized subjectivities. Such micropolitical interventions, I argue, are vital given the contemporary context of pervasive "normo-pathy" and pressures imposing psychic confinement. 

Author Biography

Peter Pál Pelbart, Pontifical Catholic University São Paulo

Peter Pál Pelbart is is a philosopher and an essayist. He is part of the Ueinzz Theater Company, a schizoscenic project based in São Paulo, Brazil. He writes mainly about madness, time, subjectivity and biopolitics. He published in English "Cartography of Exhaustion: Nihilism Inside Out," and has translated the works of Deleuze into Portuguese. He is a professor at Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo. 




How to Cite

Pelbart, P. (2023). On Atmosphere. International Review of Theoretical Psychologies, 2(1), 27–35. https://doi.org/10.7146/irtp.v2i1.142788