[artinfo] affect symposium

Adele Eisenstein adele at c3.hu
Sat Aug 12 17:03:53 CEST 2006

Thinking through Affect

A two-day symposium on body, affect, emotion and moving images

Friday 8 ­ Saturday 9 September
Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht

Lectures by Steven Shaviro /Anna Powell /Lesley 
Stern /Norman Bryson /Barbara M. Kennedy /Tarja 
Laine /Tim Stόttgen /Monika Bakke /Erin Manning /Maaike Bleeker

Website : http://affect.janvaneyck.nl

In Deleuze and Spinoza's view the body is not 
considered a substance but a kinetic and dynamic 
thing that is organised by "a capacity for 
affecting and being affected." Affect exists only 
as relation between two bodies and transgresses 
the borders between self and other, between 
subject and object. Affect takes place on an 
automatic level not consciously registered unless 
it is actualized into feeling or emotion. 
According to Brian Massumi affect operates on a 
'superlinear' level that is registered by the 
skin and the visceral senses as 'intensity,' 
virtual and unqualified experience.

This symposium will closely draw on theories on 
visual media, especially cinema and media 
studies, since technological media confront us 
with forms of perception that are non-intentional 
and a-subjective, not subdued to the laws of 
representation and meaning. They can create a 
shortcut to sensual and bodily experiences and 
have the capacity to intensify, alter or distort 
the affective dimensions of an image, sound, 
voice, face or gesture. Since the meaning and 
intensity of an image are not necessarily 
congruent with each other, affect can be and is 
easily exploited for political or commercial use.

Apart from the philosophical and aesthetic 
discourse on affect and embodiment, recent 
findings in empirical psychology and neurobiology 
have shown that the effects of affect are real 
and point to an intelligence of emotions, as well 
as an intelligence of the body; they operate on a 
different level than that of the rational mind. 
How do non-conscious automatic reactions affect 
and shape the viewer's experience? How can we 
write and think about affect? Which concepts from 
philosophy and art theory but also from science 
can be useful? And how does this level of 
corporeal experience resonate with conscious 
emotions and with processes of recognition and interpretation?

-affect, feeling, emotion
-viscerality, tactility, synaesthesia, proprioception
-the body-mind as movement, process, becoming
-duration, intuition, memory
-affective mimicry and feedback reactions
-emotional and tactile contagion

Day one



introduction by Ils Huygens (Theory Department, Jan Van Eyck Academie)

Barbara M. Kennedy (Film Studies School, University of Staffordshire)
Thinking ontologies of the mind/body relational: 
fragile faces and fugitive graces in the 
processuality of creativity and performativity


Monika Bakke (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan)
I'm too sad to tell you
the story of the Grizzly Man

Lunch break

Steven Shaviro (DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University, Detroit)
Emotion Capture : Affect in Digital Film and Video

Maaike Bleeker (Theater Studies, Amsterdam University)
'Hit Me, if You Can'; Martin, Massumi and The Matrix


Lesley Stern (Dept of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego)
Motility, transference and conversion: an 
exploration of cinematic affect as exemplified in Black Narcissus

Day two

Norman Bryson (Professor of Art History, University of California, San Diego)
Affect, Sensation, Empiricism

Tarja Laine (Media and Culture Dept, University of Amsterdam)
Eija-Liisa Ahtila's affective images in The House

Lunch break

Tim Stόttgen (Theory Dept. Jan Van Eyck)
Bodies that shatter: watching porns with 
Williams, Deleuze and Preciado. A reconsideration 
of Linda Williams΄ term 'body-genre'

Anna Powell (Sr Lecturer in Film and English, 
Manchester Metropolitan University)
Jack the Ripper's Bodies Without Organs: affect under the scalpel in From Hell

15:00 break

Erin Manning (director of The Sense Lab, Concordia University, Montreal)
How Leni Riefenstahl moves through fascism: from biopolitics to biograms

Admission: free
Language: English
Organisation and info: Ils Huygens
ilshuygens at gmail.com

Advance booking and online registration are recommended.
For info and bookings please contact Madeleine Bisscheroux
madeleine.bisscheroux at janvaneyck.nl
+ 31 (0)43 350 37 29

Jan van Eyck Academie
Academieplein 1
6211 KM Maastricht
The Netherlands


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