Uncertain States – Affective Societies
Zones of Conflict and Pain:
Online Media Witnessing and Its Affective Dynamics
Images of conflict, war, and escape are omnipresent in our daily life. Although media witnessing is not a new phenomenon, the internet era has significantly intensified the affective dynamics of images from zones of political conflict.
On the basis of their artistic and scholarly work on images from the internet and social media, Reza Aramesh and Kerstin Schankweiler discuss the de- and recontextualizing of iconic images of violence.
How can one approach and engage with these affecting images, and what role do we play as the spectators? What is the political of affectivity? How can media witnessing be aesthetically reflected in the arts? And which new perspectives can be offered by artistic practices remediating images from zones of conflict and pain?
Reza Aramesh is a painter, photographer and sculptor, born in Ahwaz (Iran), lives in London. He draws on war photography taken from the internet that report on historical and contemporary political conflicts in Vietnam, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan or Korea.
Kerstin Schankweiler is an art historian and postdoctoral research fellow in the Collaborative Research Center “Affective Societies”, where she is researching the affective dynamics of images in the era of social media.
As part of the lecture series "Emotions and their Effects. Affective Dynamics of Flight and Migration".
A cooperation between the Akademie der Künste and the Collaborative Research Center “Affective Societies” at FU Berlin.
What role does affectivity play in the social and cultural upheavals presently shaping our globalised world? How do emotions contribute to the impression of social stability and security, and how do they provoke insecurities, threats and marginalisation? Which affective dynamics accompany the loss of familiar environments, and which emotions promote or hinder arrival in a new life? How is emotion used to shape the political agenda, and why it is often so difficult to counter this by argument?
This series of lectures and talks looks at contemporary art as an outstanding location for investigating and reflecting on emotions and affectivity in the context of flight, migration and mobility. In the process, academics and scholars involved in the “Affective Societies” Collaborative Research Center at Freie Universität Berlin enter into a dialogue with the artists, works and topics in the Uncertain States exhibition.
The interdisciplinary “Affective Societies” research centre at Freie Universität Berlin is investigating the fundamental importance of emotions and affectivity for social life in the mobile, networked and mediatised worlds of the twenty-first century.