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Affect: First draft

Affect: First draft

What is affect?

Annotated version with notes on fashion below.

Affect cannot[1] be explained easily but can easily be encountered.

Affect (in philosophy) emphasizes the bodily or embodied experience.

Affect (in psychology) refers to the underlying intensities when processing an emotion or mood. [2]

Affect allows us to understand spheres of experience and the wider set of relationships.

Affect can be broad: the point of intensity, the line of variation and the plane of potential.[3]

Affect cannot be represented or fully realized in language.

Affect exists outside of the dominant paradigms of rhetoric and semiotics.[4]

Affect deliberates beyond cartesian segregation. 

Affect can be both positive and negative stimulation.

Affect lies in the latent potentiality to engage vitality.

Affect blends the intra-connected relationships between affordances.[5]

Affect exists in the pre-conscious, subconscious, conscious, unconscious and non-conscious.[6]

Affect has no ontology but is part of the ontology of the body.[7]

Affect cannot be within structure; it is felt at the level of the skin and the body.[8]

Affect can make us feel skin charges but doesn’t stop at the boundary of the skin.[9]

Affect can be transmissible; it can circulate in and among and through bodies.[10]

Affect tries to locate the mind and consciousness outside of the material.

Affect seeks to synthesize the mind-body divide.

Affect wants to bridge the dualistic gap; fluid instead of binary; continuum vs finite.

Affect happens prior to seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting. 

Affect subsists of matter in flux, matter always moving. 

Affect encompasses the abstract and the material, the process, and the coding. 

Affect presupposes a range of possibilities and possibilities presupposes a range of effects.

Affect moves bodies, is in the movement of bodies and other bodies’ potential to move us.[11]

Affect subverts the ramifications of ideological interpellation.[12]

[1] I switched from using is to can as can implies possibilities, whereas is stable, something frozen in time. Can is more related to affect. Minute 5:33 of this YouTube video -Aghast, A. (2019). Introduction to Affect Theory: Brian Massumi & Eve Sedgwick. (Youtube). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeMS8QEYIQU

[2] Taken from the introduction paragraph on Wikiepedia – Affect (from Latin affectus or adfectus) is a concept, used in the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza and elaborated by Henri BergsonGilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, that places emphasis on bodily or embodied experience. The word affect takes on a different meaning in psychology and other fields. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affect_(philosophy)

[3] Prof. Gregory Seigworth, a professor of communication studies in the department of communication and theatre at the Millersville university, explains his take on ‘Affect’ in an interview on ‘What is Affect Theory’ on the Let’s Talk about Art and Culture YouTube series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuKIqF72Bwo

[4] Patricia Ticineto Clough, Jean Halley (eds.), The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social, Duke University Press, 2007, p. 1; Paul Hoggett, Simon Thompson (eds.), Politics and the Emotions: The Affective Turn in Contemporary Political Studies, Bloomsbury, 2012, p. 1.

[5] Interaction design foundation. (N.A.). Affordances. Interaction design foundation. https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/affordances

[6] Cherry, K. (9 December 2020). The Preconscious, Conscious, and Unconscious Minds. VeryWellMind. Online at: https://www.verywellmind.com/the-conscious-and-unconscious-mind-2795946. Accessed: 6 March 2022. 

[7] To be a body is to be exposed to social crafting and form, that is what makes the ontology of the body a social ontology. In other words, the body is exposed to socially and politically articulated forces as well as to claims of sociality – including language, work, and desire – that make possible the body’s persisting and flourishing. – Butler, J. (2010) Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? London and New York: Verso

[8] Bazzano, Manu. (2020). The Skin is Faster than the Word. 31:1. 53-64.

[9] Intensity is embodied in purely autonomic reactions most directly manifested in the skin-at the surface of the body, at its interface with things. Depth reactions belong more to the form/ content (qualification) level, even though they also involve auto- nomic functions such as heartbeat and breathing.’ p.85 & ‘The skin is faster than the word’ p:86 – Massumi, B. (1996) ‘The Autonomy of Affect’, in Patton, P. (ed) Deleuze: A Critical Reader. Oxford: Blackwell, pp 217-239.

[10] Abby Kluchin, Visceral Theory: Affect and Embodiment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP_AfO7Ms4I

[11] Massumi, B. (2002). Parables for the virtual: movement, affect, sensation. Durham, NC, Duke University Press.

[12] I am referring here to Louis Althusser’s work and his ideas of subjugation because of the process of interpellation. Althusser, Louis. 1972. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. Monthly Review Press.

Annotated version