Maska, letn./vol. XXIV, št./no. 125–126, jesen/autumn 2009
Art, Society and Feelings
In recent years we are seeing growing tendencies to study and research feelings and emotions in the field of human sciences. Especially in North American theoretic circles, there is much talk about “the affective turn”, in an analogy with the linguistic, cultural turn. In the frame of this affective turn, the research of emotions and feelings revolves around the term affect, which is becoming a kind of vortex/intersection point of the body and the emotions, or better yet, a synthesis of both. This offers fertile theoretical implications, which continue to tear down mind hierarchy in the Western intellectual history.
In the last issue for this year we are therefore embarking on the issue of art, society and feelings. The issue was edited by Eda Čufer and Katja Praznik and it offers a selection of some of the fundamental texts that associate the term affect with contemporary art and culture, while also suggesting the power and relevance human emotions bring into the domain of human actions and creativity. The chosen texts represent first and foremost the applications of the concept of affect to the field of society and art. They are especially concerned with the questions of how the system instrumentalizes affects (Massumi), how new ways of affective processes and feelings are being developed in contemporary social conditions of neo-liberal capitalism (Ngai), where the power and the potential of the affect(ive) (Grossberg) lie, and how the structures of feeling and the meaning of the affect is performed by artists (Čufer).
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