Affect Space

October 20, 2011

Perhaps affect dwells within the heterotopia as described by Foucault as well. Being a notion yet does not have a form nor is a place, the term subjective like the example given in “Of Other Places” of the boat in the middle of ocean, the boat is a place but does not have an address or ‘place’, ‘Affect’ is a term lost in transition as well.

Much has been discussed and explored in the potentiality and interest of interstitial spaces; they mediate, separate and define entities, forms, meanings, etc. They are the white spaces between words and alphabets that give rise to meanings. This is the explorative perspective of ‘Affect’ in Roland Barthes argument, as neutrality.  An interstitial ‘space’ is essential a construct of two entities (not restricted to physicality but as well as language, meaning, understandings of the world around us) and juxtapose for a new understanding or decision. It was further discussed and widely accepted that Affect is a cumulative process and if affect is a construct out of juxtaposing, I question if it is fundamentally our understanding of meaning (and what is around us) that essentially construct each individual’s affect over time. How diverse would the construct of affect differ is two subjects from different culture witnessing an identical affective moment or object (e.g the action of killing) versus two subjects from similar institutionalisation.

The author shows an interest in the reason for debate over understanding ‘affect’ and with each release, a new field of exploration opens up. It seemingly suggests there is a notion of ‘gravity’ attached, constantly pulling the topic across all fields, propelling the investigation further. I can further relate the similar ‘gravitational’ force as ‘affect’ embodied on all objects (human and non-human), to animate life as it is to “learn to be affected, meaning ‘effectuated’, moved, put into motion by other entities, humans or non-humans.”. Here is it interesting to understand with this example that the human body continues to affect even after death, the physical remains turns into a ambiguous object (non-human anymore yet humane), perhaps the interstitial meaning gives a greater gravity of creating affect.

-Barry Lim


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