3.30.2020

What and How is Affect?



Here I talk about a figure that runs through Deleuze: affect, a notion that changed how I think, assess, and live. This is my definition of it, not Deleuze's per se.

* Affect is the invisible state of things. Things have spatial extension but they also have affective extension which is no less real for being invisible. 

* We sense affect with senses other than the five we know so well. Just as light makes an impression on the eye, affect makes an impression on our affective faculties. 

* Affect is objective, not subjective. It is "out there," not inside us. Like all things, affect is perspectival: we experience affect from our perspectives (a glass on pavement shatters; on a pillow, no; so it is with affect, objective but relational in terms of effect).

* Affect is not emotion; it is a-human and interspecial. Affect exceeds the limits of things; it runs through the ether.

* The world is filled to the brim with stuff including affect. The world is a plenum. We live in a kind of affective plasma that surrounds everything including planets, suns, thoughts, events, staplers, cars.

* This affective plasma functions as a communication layer. That's how we communicate with animals, trees, as well as with each other. We are all in this affective gunk so of course we feel what others feel — not one-to-one but we feel with them because we are in the same gunk.

* Once we reckon affect, our knowledge, epistemology, and way of going change.

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