Feelings in the Air – Eric Kluitenberg

16th Nov – 5:30 pm – Accademia Albertina of Fine Arts, Turin

2011 saw the maturing of a new connective pattern of political mobilisation and destabilisation referred to by a variety of commentators as the ‘Movement(s) of the Squares’.  Two key characteristics of these new types of popular protest stand out: first the prominent use of self-mediating techniques and structures across a variety of media channels and platforms, secondly the recurrent pattern of public urban space occupations, most notably public urban square occupations.

While initial  preparations and mobilisations happened mostly via the ‘placeless’ internet based platforms, urban public spaces acted as the embodied place of encounter and face to face exchange. These public urban spaces were, however, in turn permeated by localised mobile and wireless media networks, resulting in a ‘double presence’ (both physical and mediated) of the protestors.
The deployment of  self-produced and non-professional media forms (‘self-mediation’) in these protests  raises the question of subjectivity of the protestor. Subjective experience is not just guided by consciously articulated aims and emotions, but also by powerful non-conscious flows of ‘affective intensity’.
This connective pattern of double presence and affective linkage expands the range and complexity of potential interactions and associations between previously unrelated actors (human and non human), resulting in largely unpredictable (but not arbitrary) affective resonance and feedback loops that generate a continued source of political instability.