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<nettime> Just out at Online Open: Affect Space - Witnessing the 'moveme
Eric Kluitenberg on Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:49:48 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Just out at Online Open: Affect Space - Witnessing the 'movement(s) of the square'

   Dear nettimers,

   My latest essay just came out at the excellent open! online platform
   for art and the public domain. It's called Affect Space - Witnessing
   the `movement(s) of the squares'.

   Here is the link:


   The `print-friendly format' will allow you to read the entire text on
   one page - this is a long read of apr. 12.000 words.

   This essay is part of an on-going investigation into the affect driven
   dynamics behind the massive outpourings of popular dissent we have been
   seeing around the planet since 2011, and the curious

   pattern of simultaneous online mobilisation and public space
   occupations. The simultaneous massive presence of self-produced media
   forms, the context of (occupied) urban public spaces, and the deep
   permeation of affective intensity in these emergent protest formations
   results in a specific and paradoxical techno-sensuous spatial order,
   which I refer to in this essay as Affect Space.

   Below the frist three paragraphs:

   Hope this is of interest.


   Affect Space - Witnessing the "movement(s) of the squares"
   Ever since early 2011, we, as a global media audience, have been
   witnesses to an unabating and strangely recurring yet unpredictable
   urban spectacle - sudden massive forms of popular protest staged in
   public squares and streets, disrupting the spatial, legal and political
   order, curiously drenched in the massive presence of "the camera" and
   near real-time, media reports. Markedly different from previous
   revolutionary moments, however, these stagings are no longer
   predominantly mediated by the classic global mass media spectacle
   machines (corporate and state TV, newspapers and magazines), but by an
   unending avalanche of self-produced media expressions - the inevitable
   Tweets and Facebook posts, online videos, digital photographs on a
   variety of image-sharing platforms (open source, corporate,
   sub-cultural and mainstream alike), activist blogs and discussion fora,
   and a host of other homegrown media outlets. Virtually none of the
   producers of this media avalanche can be characterised as "media
   Meanwhile, the former "news" media are playing a catch-up game with the
   next unanticipated eruption of real-time, globally mediated, popular
   dissent. The spectacle is not characterised primarily by monumental
   heroism but by volatility and a paradoxical air of ephemerality. Though
   consequences of the actions unfolding can be dramatic and severe, these
   public gatherings themselves seem to dissipate as suddenly as they
   burst into existence. Subterranean tensions can be identified, and
   (professional) media commentators rush to point to "underlying issues"
   (in Egypt: Mubarak, in Spain and Greece: youth unemployment, in the US:
   income inequality, in Ukraine: Yanukovych, in Brazil: failing or absent
   social policies, in Syria: Assad, in Hong Kong: electoral reform, in
   the UK: tuition fees, in Haren: "You Only Live Once", in Ferguson, MO:
   racialised police violence). However, as the list grows the "issue at
   stake" appears to become increasingly arbitrary.
   Rather than focussing on the "issue at stake", it seems necessary to
   begin analysing the pattern of these events unfolding before our eyes.
   For all the emphasis that has been put on the technological component
   of this evolving pattern, the internet, "social" media, wireless and
   mobile media by a variety of commentators (including myself), and,
   despite the crucial and constitutive role that the massive presence of
   such media technologies has played in these intense public gatherings,
   the events we have witnessed and the pattern that has emerged cannot be
   reduced to this technological presence alone.
   Continued here:

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