Preface [Affectology: on desiring an affect of one's own]

In Marie-Luise Angerer (ed.), Ecology of affect : intensive milieus and contingent encounters. Luneburg, Germany: Meson Press. pp. 7-13 (2017)


The question of affect emerges in the daily realm of routine, and survival; of your physical and existential existence. No matter what the situation or condition in life, as observed, different systems are reactive and generative, corruptible and powerful, colonisable and subversive; that is to say, all systems are subject to affects as much as they are affective, and generative of positive and negative affects within and of a system. This proposition can be tested against whatever the degree of sentience or sensitivity that a system’s responsive domains or bodies may hold. This Spinozist principle of understanding – that every body has the capacity to be affected in positive and or negative ways – provides one of the core axioms for any affect ecology. But if affect is to be taken as more than an indicator of change – a barometer of the change of conditions for a system – then how do we describe affect itself? How can the changes that the notions of affect seek to express be registered or measured? How can affect be situated by and generative of a system simultaneously? This question has long been the subject of Marie-Luise Angerer’s extensive research into and analysis of the conception of affect.

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Felicity Colman
Manchester Metropolitan University

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