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Theory and Affect

Organisational Units
Location Description
Location Venue (1)
Main Building
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Schillerplatz 3
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1010 Vienna

Conference at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Concept: Marie-Luise Angerer, Sabeth Buchmann
Organization: Dunja Reithner, Katharina Opara


12:00 Adress of Welcome:
Sabeth Buchmann

12:30-13:30 Marie-Luise Angerer
„Vom Begehren nach dem Affekt“

14:15-15:00 Gregg Bordowitz
"There: A Feeling" ("Dort: Ein Gefühl")

15:15-16:15 Helen Molesworth
"Sentiment, Sentimentality, Ree Morton, and Installation Art"

16:30-17:15 Andreas Spiegl
„Out of Place Revisited“

17.15-18.00 Kathi Hofer
„’Es funkt.’ Die Ereignishaftigkeit der Empfindung als Denkmodell“

18:30-19:30 Jackie Stacey
„Cloning Films with a Difference: Engineering Life, Animating Gender“

“What”, writes Paul Rabinow in his Essays on the Anthropology of Reason, “if we took up recent changes in the logoi of life, labour, and language not as indicating an epochal shift with a totalizing coherence but rather as fragmented and sectorial changes”. What, one might continue, if we were to understand the current debates between theory and affect, between language and emotion, between logos and experience as attempts to reformulate our grasp of the human? Alain Badiou, too, identifies this debate as one between life and concept, stating that only once in the course of the 20th century was there a comparative rapprochement of these contrary movements in philosophy and the fields of art, film, etc..
According to Badiou, in the late 1960s people suddenly felt a compulsion, a pressure, a need to conceive of the subject as something “more closely connected with life and the body, something more all-encompassing than the conscious mind, something that resembles a production or a creation in which more far-reaching forces are concentrated.” One product of this need was Anti-Oedipus by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. But whereas Deleuze and Guattari were trying to break down the self-imposed borders of psychoanalysis, today, people are prophesying the death not only of psychoanalysis but above all of language. From John Searle to Antonio Damasio to Derrick de Kerckhove, the brain, the body and its senses are being harnessed to a new apparatus (of affects, of digital signals). According to their prognosis, the “end of theory” and the end of the “dominance of the visual” are imminent.
This conference will aim to discuss these short circuits and ambivalences in terms of art theory, cultural and media studies on the basis of their current manifestations and applications.


Marie-Luise Angerer, Gregg Bordowitz, Sabeth Buchmann, Achim Hochdörfer, Kathi Hofer, Tom Holert, Helen Molesworth, Andreas Spiegl