Augmented Affectivity

Saturday 19 June 2021 at 3 pm

Affectivité Augmentée is a collective reflection organized by If It’s Good, a research platform founded by Théodora Domenech and Angela Blanc. The aim is to think about the transformation of affective life induced by the use of new technologies through the sharing of multidisciplinary texts and contemporary works. Their guest, Ingrid Luquet-Gad, will enrich this exchange with the practices and reflections she has engaged on this subject.
Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Seroquel®, HD video and CGI animation on flatscreen, duration: 8 min., 2014 All images courtesy the artist and Rodeo, London / Piraeus.

For several years, artists have been seizing upon the post-digital world through their materials, subjects or aesthetics. Many exhibitions on art and digital technology convey a need to think about our relationship with these mediums. The recent COVID-19 lockdown experience has reinforced our consciousness of our dependence on communication interfaces. This period has also favoured the proliferation of digital projects. In these practices, recurrent themes appear: adjustable materiality, posthumanism, gender fluidity, disidentification, but also ethnocentrism, cognitive capitalism and manipulation by media.

Taking emotions and privacy as points of departure for analysing our contemporary “post-digital” condition makes it possible to highlight the tensions inherent in the digital subject: being a space of both liberation and alienation.

Augmented affectivity inherits from the Cyborg identity, conceived by Donna Haraway as a subject of liberation. But is this still the case in the time of connected humanity? On the model of the cyborg figure, augmented emotions are neither natural nor artificial, but both at the same time. Computers, phones and connected objects of all kinds are not just mechanical prostheses. They generate cognitive, kinaesthetic and emotional habits. The most effective systems of domination are precisely those which, incorporated, act upon subjects from inside: like a biopower, or like pharmaceutical technology, which Michel Foucault and Paul B. Preciado have identified as insidious forms of behaviour training. Alienation is not caused by technologies as such, but primarily by underlying systems of domination. The affective habitus generated by digital platforms are also the effect of capitalist, imperialist and sexist ideologies arising from their conception contexts. But are these effects reversible, using the same tools? This is the argument made by Arjun Appadurai, who wants us to collectively think about communication mediums and mass migrations, analysing the formation of new diasporic solidarities.

Pondering how digital technology influences our lives presupposes stepping outside of the debate between those who are progressive and those who are nostalgic. Many artists are getting beyond this technophile-technophobe binary to explore augmented affectivity: diverting or caricaturing internet and social media practices, or using them with a liberating aim. These artists include Melissa Airaudi, Salomé Chatriot & Samuel Fasse, Tamar Clarke-Brown, Kate Cooper, Caroline Delieutraz, Keiken collective, Isaac Kariuki, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Salvia and Tabita Rezaire. By avoiding taking a position against new technologies, but rather siding with them, it becomes possible to conceive the framework for an ethical digital space that is inclusive and safe.

AA.II.2 IMAGE COM _Sidsel-Meineche-Hansen_Seroquel_2014
AA.II.2 IMAGE COM _Sidsel-Meineche-Hansen_Seroquel_2014

Théodora Domenech
Angela Blanc
Ingrid Luquet-Gad

Fondation Pernod Ricard
1 cours Paul Ricard
75008 Paris
Free entrance
Free admission, without reservation