the power to be affected

“..Within my mental dynamics, affects play the role of an interface between what impinges me from the outside and the action I perform in response.
This function of interface, thwarting any simplistic opposition between passivity and activity, leads Spinza to value a seemingly paradoxical faculty: the power to be affected. While we tend to think of power as an ability to affect (actively) the rest of the world, Spinoza suggests that the more we can be affected, the better we can affect in return. This apparent paradox is the paradox of sensitivity: inasmuch as a human being is more sensitive than a pebble, her or she is exposed to a whole series of pains from which the mineral is immune (it is neither jealous nor sad nor surprised nor disgusted). At the same time, because they are sensitive to a tremendous number of factors in their environments, humans have developed amazing powers to act on a wide range of these factors. Sensitivity (exposure to being affected) is therefore constitutive to our power as human agents.
If the media , in the founding definition given by Marshall McLuhan, are extensions that extend our sensitivities, then they also constitute a essential part of our power – at the same time and by the very fact that they expose us to being affected by ever more phenomena which are ever more distant (in time as in space). To describe what circulates in these affects with greater tension, we can resort to a term that is found in Spinoza’s Ethics but very rarely used there: the term ‘affection’ (affectio) which coexists wit that of ‘affect’ (affectus).
Affection, shall we say, represents the sensible reality which, through the mediation of the media, affects our mental state. Affection is the moment of objectivity (the physical sensation) of a relationship to the world of which affect comprises the subjective moment (the felt emption).”
Our mediarchies, then, need to be understood as regimes of power within which the media are vectors of affections operating as catalysts of affects.

Yves Citton, Mediarchy, p. 68

glorious past

Ik was in De Appel waar weer een archief expositie is. De Appel is trots op haar indrukwekkende verleden, vooral de beginjaren waarin zijn voorop liepen in het presenteren van de nieuwste kunst.

Op de fiets terug dacht ik dat het begrijpelijk is dat terugblikken op een roemrucht verleden en op welke toekomst zou je nog kunnen en willen vooroplopen nu we keihard naar de ondergang hollen?

De projecten in de jaren 1970 en – 80 waren onderzoekend, speels, enthousiast en hoopvol. Kunnen de archief exposities nog energie bieden aan de strijd voor een leefbare toekomst? Ik vrees van niet als ik één van de twee bezoekers ben in de vervallen aula waar De Appel nu gevestigd is, midden tussen de bouwplaatsen voor dure appartementen. De volgende locatie van De Appel is bekend, een voormalige theosofische tempel in de Pijp.

science fiction

AI is een suf woord. Ze bedoelen er machine learning mee, met intelligentie heeft het niets te maken. Maar ach wat wil je in een tijd dat een zakrekenmachine smartphone genoemd wordt.

assemblage van mythen

Bij McKenzie Wark kwam ik Yves Citton tegen. Bij Citton Eric Kluitenberg die weer meewerkte aan tijdschrift open waarvan ik een aantal nummers heb. Vervolgens bestelde ik het nummer Hybrid Space waar Citton en Kluitenberg aan meewerkten.

open was/is een uitgave van SKOR, Stichting Kunst in de Openbare Ruimte. De openbare ruimte is dan ook het hoofdthema van het tijdschrift, waarbij telkens weer moet worden gedefinieerd wat openbare ruimte is, hoe dat ervaren kan worden. En ook hoe dat teruggewonnen kan worden want in het neo-liberale tijdperk is de openbare ruimte commerciële ruimte geworden, exploitatieruimte voor Big Money en Big Tech.

Het mooie van Citton is dat hij voortdenkt op Spinoza en Deleuze/Guattari. Met name Spinoza’s affectenleer. Zo schrijft hij o.a. dat we rechtse mythes (aka fake news) niet kunnen bestrijden met feiten maar wel met sociale mythen. En hier is natuurlijk een rol voor de kunsten, het vertellen van mooie onware verhalen aldus Oscar Wilde.

Sonic Fiction Is a Subjectivity Engine

In UR*, a constantly proliferating series of sonic scenarios take the place of lyrics . Sonic Fictions, Phono Fictions generate a landscape extending out into possibility space. These give the overwhelming impression that the record is an object from the world it releases. This interface between Sonic Fiction and track , between concept and music , isn’t one of fiction vs reality or truth vs falsity .

Kodwo Eshun in More Brilliant Than The Sun
*Underground Resistance


Does the progress of science show us that we are going inevitably towards a realm where our intuition doesn’t
apply? I think there are a few things to mention here. One is what has been termed the ‘unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics’ – why does mathematics describe the world in the first place? It can be argued that mathematics is ultimately just a product of the mind, which is arguably a manifestation of our brain structure, which, in turn, as a biological entity, must be a product of evolutionary forces that have shaped our cognitive behaviour in terms of responses to the world. But then this wouldn’t explain why we’re able to grasp things like Quantum Mechanics or General Relativity, of which we have no experience at all. I’m not sure whether there is an explanation for the fact that there are things of which we don’t have any immediate experience – QM, something which is completely counterintuitive, weirder than you could possibly think – but which are accounted for by our mathematical constructs. This for me is the biggest puzzle of all – why should mathematics have anything to do with physical reality, and why should physical reality conform to this very abstract product of our minds? I don’t have an answer for this question, but I think it is something that tends to be swept under the carpet, in operational terms.

Robert Trotta in Collapse II


But let me just come back to what you said about our intuitive ideas of space and time breaking down and
becoming meaningless. And my reaction is – why shouldn’t they? After all, our intuitive perception of reality
is an immediate perception of reality that has developed from our brains and our experience of the world shaped by evolution, and clearly evolution knows nothing of quantum reality, nor does it know anything about the vast expanse of time and space of cosmology. And so, it’s not astonishing that those notions become counter-intuitive since we are actually extending our capability of making
statements about realities way beyond the scales which our brains were designed to interact with. And so it’s not an astonishing thing.

Robert Trotta in Collapse II
The article at Academia.

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