The Alphabet of Feeling Bad: Environmental Installation Arts and Sensory Publics

— Ann Cvetkovich

This paper will address the conference’s concern with the place of language and affect in the public sphere through discussion of my collaboration with Berlin-based artist Karin Michalski on the video/installation, The Alphabet of Feeling Bad (2012), an abecediary of political feelings that has been exhibited in Berlin, Karlsruhe (Badischer Kunstverein), and Sweden (Umea and Goteborg), among other locations.  Michalski’s work will be placed alongside other queer and feminist installation projects, such as Zoe Leonard’s camera obscura series and Rachael Shannon’s Breastival Vestibule inflatables, in order to consider how built environments create affective and sensory, rather than rational, publics.