Operating between Either/Neither

July 27, 2011

Relative Affects

Similar to Deleuze’s notion of “catastrophe” in the diagram, Brian Massumi speaks in his discussion with Joel McKim of a “shock” that must occur prior to an event which facilitates an affect. This shock can be major, but can similarly occur on the periphery of realisation, acting as a “microperception”. Nevertheless this acts as a jolt which allows the self to recognise a differing sensation. Importantly, this occurs in an “in-betweenness” between object and subject, between affecting and affected. Massumi is interested in the “relations” that become apparent in this either/neither space, or “region”, for it is in this space that it is possible to “create new potentials for the future”.


The shock is based on our personal and individual presuppositions that we bring to all encounters, and it is these “tendencies” of behaviour and thought which influence and connect the in-between space – but in doing this (for this is an active pursuit) one begins to question these links. If you “accept the challenge to regenerate your terms, and their cohesion to each other” you can begin to comprehend a “rational complex, a nexus, rather than a particular definition”. For the goal is not an answer, but a series of potentialities, or multiple and divergent possibilities for the future. Massumi advocates for a continual act of becoming.

-Tim Brooks


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: