Research Project
Affective Images


Affective Images

Affective Images: How Public Images Produce Affect in a Digital Age is a year long research and design project of DAI with Open! as structural, discursive and productive framework. The project spans curatorial, editorial and artistic practices, and its overall aims are to better understand the working of mediatisation and digitization processes for the public sphere by working and reflecting on a specific topic within a globalised digital publishing environment. Part of the project is to -as a group- organize the symposium 'did you feel it?' which approaches the concern of how affect manifests through technology, by taking the idea of the interface as a way of understanding the creation and mediation of affective forces and their influence on our social, political and artistic encounters.

Through lectures, artworks and performances we attempt to understand: How do interfaces shape, transform and transmit affect? In what ways does experiencing affect, mediated through an interface, work upon our daily lives? And how can we as artists, designers and 'users' engage in the zone of aesthetic activity that the interface opens?

Participating artists are: Ben Burtenshaw, Eduardo Cachucho, Charlie Dance, Sebastian De Line, Chris den Dulk, Monique Hendriksen, Yung Han Juan, Jammie Nicholas, Marie-André e Pellerin, Miguel Angel Rego Robles, Kastė Šeškevišiütė, Aarti Sunder, Hu Wei and Amir Avraham.

Affect can be defined as as "a pre-personal intensity corresponding to the passage from one experiential state of the body to another and implying an augmentation or diminution in that body's capacity to act" (Brian Massumi). In our contemporary situation these experiential states and feelings are readily exchanged and traded upon in many areas of life: Your Facebook friends are editing and mediating their lives so that you can engage with them through liking and sharing. News media increasingly appeals to us on an affective register, influencing our reactions from occupation to commodification. With the growth of the service industry, an increasing number of workers no longer merely exchange the labour of their bodies, rather they exchange on an affective spectrum, like the call centre worker who must present a relentless kind and civil demeanor, no matter what. What we do in the media is enabled and disabled by interfaces. The interface is the ubiquitous and largely hidden layer between human and machine, but its transparency does not make it neutral. It is also an autonomous zone of aesthetic activity, guided by its own logic and its own ends. (Alexander Galloway). The interface permanently shapes our view of the material, the social, the political and the technological.

COOP Academy, Dutch Art Institute
did you feel it? on Open!

  did you feel it? symposium at Designhuis Eindhoven, September 2015

  Mercedes Bunz at did you feel it? September 2015

Photographs by Kastė Šeškevišiütė and Sebastian De Line