Formative Affect

July 28, 2011

The notion of ‘Affect’ is differs to each his own and is always evolving over time by external stimulus. It is sub-conscious and involuntary. The evolution of ‘Affect’ does not begin from scratch as argued by Massumi , “Even one body alone is pre-populated by instincts, by inclination, by teeming feelings and masses of memories, conscious and non-conscious.”. ‘Affect’ changes and adapts with each occurrence the body experiences and explained in two key term, ‘relation’ and ‘tendency’. Relation being the ability to relate past event to create new potential outcomes for the future, in a reductive perspective would the past event opens up new possibility for choices to be made while tendency of situation creates a hub of relations that eventually becomes something similar as an advisor in mental thinking to decision making.

Described as a momentary interruption or cut, microperceptions can be unnoticed by consciousness but still induces it effects subconsciously. It can be a subjective event or a collective event. This has given rise to another crucial concept by Daniel Stern, the “Affective attunement” and explained by Massumi in the concert example. Massumi mentioned “There is no sameness of affect. There is affective difference in the same event”, was interpreted by me that every body is infused with the same instinctive qualities in the beginning but takes individualistic forms over different experience and is reflected in the subtle difference in reactions over the same event.

Bibliography -Brian Massumi, ‘Of Microperception and Micropolitics, in Inflexions online journal, no. 3, October 2009.

– Barry Lim


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