Affect as Disruption: Affective Experimentation, Automobility, and the Ecological Crisis.
Schütze, Paul; Jörg, Kilian; Maur, Imke von; Slaby, Jan – 2022
In this text we construe affect as a conservative force, as glue that holds social life in place. With this starting point, we direct our attention towards the unfolding of the ecological crises. Using the case of ‘automobile supremacy’, we discuss a paradigmatic affective formation that keeps Western societies deadlocked in a loop of business as usual, preventing them from adequately addressing the climate catastrophe. Drawing on the concepts of affective arrangement and affective milieu, we chart some of the affective groundings of automobile supremacy and of the widespread failure to overcome the status quo. In response to this conservative thrust of affect, we then survey how ossified affective formations can be disrupted and eventually left behind. Can affect itself be deployed as a resource to disturb, fracture, and break sedimented social formations and patterns? In search of an answer, we explore prospects of obstruction leaning on affective experimentation as a creative method of disruption. By discussing ways to disturb automobility in its unfettered flow, we provide an angle on modes of disruption as small-scale openings that abruptly and momentarily halt the affective relations that were sustaining social formations before.