September 2, 2015

“did you feel it?”

Dutch Art Institute (DAI)
(1) Monique Hendriksen, Delusional Cause (still), 2015. (2) Jammie Nicholas, The Single Tear (still), 2015. Courtesy of the artists.

Your Facebook friends are editing and mediating their lives so that you can engage with them through liking and sharing. The news media increasingly appeals to us on an affective register, influencing our reactions from occupation to commodification.

The symposium “did you feel it?” will approach the concern of how affect manifests through technology, taking the idea of the interface as a way of understanding the creation and mediation of affective forces and their influence on our social, political and artistic encounters.

In what ways does experiencing affect, mediated through an interface, impact our daily lives? How can we as artists, designers and “users” engage in the zone of aesthetic activity that the interface opens?

“did you feel it?” is the outcome of the 2014–15 course Affective Images: How Public Images Produce Affect in a Digital Age, a common project between DAI, school for art, research, experiment, roaming, curating, performance, writing and publishing, and Open!, a platform for art, culture and the public domain. Advised by Open’s editor-in-chief Jorinde Seijdel and artist researcher Florian Göttke, the participating master students teamed up and inaugurated a curatorial collective responsible for the conceptual framework and the practical organization of the symposium.

Through lectures, artworks and performances, Amir Avraham, Ben Burtenshaw, Eduardo Cachucho, Charlie Dance, Sebastian De Line, Chris den Dulk, Monique Hendriksen, Yung Han Juan, Jammie Nicholas, Marie-Andrée Pellerin, Miguel Angel Rego Robles, Kaste Šeškeviciute, Aarti Sunder, and Hu Wei invite you to join them in their attempts to understand how interfaces shape, transform and transmit affect. Moderators: Niels van Doorn & Ben Burtenshaw.


Mercedes Bunz: “Well, hello there! Talking to technical interfaces”
“How is technology addressing us? What roles are on offer when we are being addressed, and what does art have to say to this? What kind of place is it, where this conversation is happening? As the interface has become a public stage, what does this mean for art?”

Mark Fisher: “TELEPATHOS”
Juxtaposing 1980s popular culture’s preoccupation with telepathy (typically understood as a faculty that, while currently possessed only by some “higher order” humans, would soon be shared by all) with today’s technologically enabled telepathy, Mark Fisher will argue that the sharing of feelings will not be sufficient in and of itself to break down neoliberal subjectivity. Neoliberal capitalism has not only exploited our emotions, it has demanded that we identify as feeling subjects. 

Nishant Shah: “The object of our affection: Pornography, Perversion, and Pleasure in the digital” 
“With the emergence of the social web, there is a focused attention on perversion as an antithesis to love, leading to a gentrification of love that regulates industries of love, as well as the love that shall not be named. Drawing from three incidents of regulation and control that show the inherent paradoxes of affection and affect in digital circuits of connectivity, I unpack for us the idea of the digital as an object of affection, and how the tropes of pornography, perversion, and pleasure triangulate the new forms and protocols of feeling love.”

The talks will be interspersed with artist contributions by Benedict Drew, Erica Scourti and Veridiana Zurita.

Throughout the day, the course participants will each launch a textual and/or visual essay revolving around “image-production and affect in the digital age,” which will all be published online by Open! from September 16 onward.

Fee for non-DAI students: 10 EUR to be paid upon entrance.

Free coffee and tea,as well as a delicious and healthy communal lunch prepared by DAI’s vegan chef Mari Pitkanen, are included with your fee. Please note that registration is conditional: [email protected]

“did you feel it?” is a collaboration between DAI and Open! empowered by the Van Abbemuseum & the Designhuis in Eindhoven.



"did you feel it?" a symposium on digital interfaces and their affect presented by DAI & Open!

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