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Lara Baladi
Lara Baladi

April 6, 2016

ACT Cube (E15-001)
20 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA

A workshop exploring the politics and aesthetics of Affect Space with

Eric Kluitenberg, media theorist, writer, and researcher for Open! Platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain

Lara Baladi, Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at MIT’s Center for Arts, Science & Technology and lecturer in MIT’s ACT program

Alessandra Renzi, artivist and Professor of Emergent Media, Northeastern University

Sasha Costanza-Chock, Media maker and Professor of Civic Media, MIT

April 6, 2016 / 11:00am – 1:00pm

Spaces limited register now via Eventbrite

Since 2011 we have witnessed a recurrent global media spectacle where massive protest gatherings in public space seem to emerge from out of nowhere, accompanied by an avalanche of self-produced media mostly distributed over the Internet. From Tahrir Square in Cairo to the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore, this recurrent spectacle appears across vastly different contexts and around a wide variety of issues. The pattern we see in these gatherings remains remarkably constant: mobilizations via the Internet spill over into public space, but because this public space is awash with mobile media and wireless networks, the “action in the street” immediately feeds back into the media network. How do we understand and engage with these massive ephemeral events and the techno-social dynamics producing them?

In his essay “Affect Space: Witnessing the ‘Movement(s) of the Squares’” (2015), media theorist Eric Kluitenberg suggests that these protest gatherings exhibit aspects of a new “techno-sensuous spatial order,” which he calls Affect Space, constituted by the intermingling of (mobile media and wireless) Technology, Affect-driven mobilizations, and (urban public) Space. Following up on Kluitenberg’s article, Open! (an online publication platform for Art and the Public Domain) launched a public research project to explore this dynamic beyond the protest gatherings themselves.

In the spirit of this larger project, the T/A/S workshop will introduce participants to the core elements of Affect Space, question its premises, and explore different ways in which this incipient spatial order impacts art, activism, and civic engagement in our contemporary, media-saturated global culture.

Participants are encouraged to read Eric Kluitenberg’s essay on Affect Space and to add images and ideas to #AffectSpace—the thread will be in play during the workshop!