Our contribution has two aims. First, we will outline and explicate a philosophical model of relational affect that is centered around the notion of relational individuation. Second, we will put the model to work in sketching an approach to the study and critique of affective arrangements in the corporate workplace.
As a philosophical concept, ‘affective relationality’ crystallizes a conceptual field that includes the concepts individuation, resonance, efficaciousness, ontogenesis, intra-action, becoming a field that as a whole coalesces into a process of ontological understanding of reality. By relating this approach back to the seminal work of Gilbert Simondon, we will disambiguate the relevant sense of ‘relational’ and delineate the – often unacknowledged – framework on which important strands of contemporary affect theory are based. This will help to clear up some misunderstandings that have played a role in recent controversies about the viability of affect studies.
Building on this, we will then turn to the study of affective arrangements in digitized and networked work environments. We will illustrate how the relational understanding of affect can illuminate processes of subjectification and complex power relations in the technosocial ambient of the information workplace, and how it might be employed as a tool for critique of exploitative settings.