Autonomy of Affect

August 3, 2011

The snowman story looks at the linguistic affect that adds an additional layer onto the visual element, therefore, creating a ‘larger system composed of two interacting subsystems following entirely different rules of formation’. In doing so, the story acquires an emotional tone that otherwise would never be there if it remained purely a visual video.

‘The factual version of the snowman story was dampening. Matter-of -factness dampens intensity.’

It is as though factual information regardless of what the story is, attains no intensity, even if the expression of words and language used in the conveyance of the ‘emotional’ story bears little factual progression to the story.

What we want as a society driven by affect is to be able to connect with the scenario, and this seems to resonate strongest through the two levels of the visual and the language combined, where each function separately.

The relationship to a prison scenario would be the difference between the visual aspects of two crimes and the incarcerated, whilst one was purely images with no accompanying language, and the other had a factual language with emotive qualities at certain points. The second example would resonate and be more memorable than the first, largely due to the intensity and the fact that it would be between conveying a sympathetic or unlikeable tone towards the incarcerated, thereby applying some sort of emotive connection.


Jacky Chan

One Response to “Autonomy of Affect”

  1. Take care! Affect is exactly extra-linguistic, or else it comes before the cognitive, logical, rational work of language. Affect is that virtual feeling that is stirred in the midst of an encounter, before the subject can even feel herself, as such. The subject only recognises herself in the wake of the after-image of affect.

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