Part III: This bit about Reagan is fascinating in light of the reign of Donald Trump.
“He was able to produce ideological effects by non-ideological means, a global shift in the political direction of the United States by falling apart. His means were affective. Once again: affective, as opposed to emotional. This is not about empathy or emotive identification, or any form of identification for that matter.” Reagan politicized the power of mime” (102). ***Wow! This is Trump! Seriously!
“That power is in interruption. A mime decomposes movement, cuts its continuity into a potentially infinite series of submovements punctuated by jerks. At each jerk, at each cut into the movement, the potential is there for the movement to veer off in another direction, to become a different movement” ***(fields of possibility).
“At that point, the mime almost imperceptibly intercalates a flash of virtuality into the actual movement under way.” (102)… THE MIME METAPHOR.
But the mime metaphor needs a particular point of view? A particularly informed (or not) point of view? The suggestion here is that the experience of the mime is universal. Is it?”Reagan’s gestural idiocy had a mime effect. As did his verbal incoherence, in the register of meaning. He was a communicative jerk. The two levels of interruption, those of linear movement and conventional progressions of meaning, were held together by the one Reagan feature that did, I think, hold positive appeal-the timbre of his voice, that beautifully vibratory voice” (102). **And what would be the “holding together” feature for Trump? His image of wealth? Paternalism?
“That is why Reagan could be so many things to so many people; that is why the majority of the electorate could disagree with him on every major issue, but still vote for him. Because he was actualized, in their neighborhood, as a movement and a meaning of their selection—or at least selected for them, with their acquiescence. He was a man for all inhibitions” (102). ***Trump does this in much more explicit and linguistic ways, I think, though he is not actualized in many “neighborhoods,” just key neighborhoods that have been gerrymandered into prominence. The evangelical community and Fox News are perhaps the two most powerful “neighborhood” creating forces that maintain Trumpism.
“Confidence is the emotional translation of affect as capturable life potential; it is a particular emotional expression and becoming conscious of one’s side-perceived sense of vitality” (102).
“Everywhere, the cut, suspense—incipience. Virtuality, perhaps?” (104). ***Opposing (but not opposite): continuity, length/slowness, meditation, inwardness? “Being in nature”? Is it possible for New Media to produce a sustained/sustaining experience?
“Affect holds a key to rethinking postmodern power after ideology” (104). ***There is no ‘postmodern condition’? What is meant by ‘postmodern power’?
“This makes it all the more pressing to connect ideology to its real conditions of emergence” (104). ***Are those conditions universally felt? Is affect shared and shared equally? Individuation is perception actualizing one of all potentialities of a moment’s condition, but that condition is universal? The “all-in-each”?
“One way of conceptualizing the nonideological means by which ideology is produced might deploy the notions of induction and transduction-induction being the triggering of a qualification, of a containment, an actualization; and transduction being the transmission of an impulse of virtuality from one actualization to another, and across them all (what Guattari calls transversality)” (104). ***I’m thinking Freire now. How does his work tap into the virtual? Or operationalize the virtual? **much research to be done into who has studied the connection between affect and freire’s pedagogy.
“Transduction is the transmission of a force of potential that cannot but be felt, simultaneously doubling, enabling, and ultimately counteracting the limitative selections of apparatuses of actualization and implantation. This amounts to proposing an analog theory of image-based power: images as the conveyors of forces of emergence, as vehicles for existential potentialization and transfer [WORDS TOO? METAPHORS? WHAT IS TRANSLATION HERE?]. In this, too, there are notable precursors. In particular, Walter Benjamin [arcades project? Robin? Alexander & Rhodes?], whose concept of shock and image bombardment, whose analyses of the unmediated before-after temporality of what he called the “dialectical image,” whose fascination with mime and mimickry, whose connecting of tactility to vision, all have much to offer an affective theory of late-capitalist power” (104).
“The affective “atoms” that overfill the jerk of the power-mime are monads [all-in-each? nexus?], inductive/transductive virtual perspectives fading out in all directions to infinity, “separated“ from one another by dynamic thresholds. They are autonomous, not through closure but through a singular openness [Like string theory?]. As unbounded “regions” in an equally unbounded affective field, they are in contact with the whole universe of affective potential, as by action at a distance. Thus they have no outside, even though they are differentiated according to which potentials are most apt to be expressed (effectively induced) [this establishes ‘region’…Doesn’t this require an individual? A person? A Mind? or just a presence? A perception?] [which is form] as their “region” passes into actuality. Their passing into actuality is the key. Affect is the whole world: from the precise angle of its differential emergence. How the element of virtuality is construed—whether past or future, inside or outside, transcendent or immanent, sublime or abject, atomized or continuous—is in a way a matter of indifference. It is all of these things, differently in every actual case. Concepts of the virtual in itself are important only to the extent to which they contribute to a pragmatic understanding of emergence, to the extent to which they enable triggerings of change (induce the new) [they ENABLE, don’t produce]. It is the edge of virtual, where it leaks into actual, that counts. For that seeping edge is where potential, actually, is found” (105). **Does this mean it can be identified? tracked? discovered? accounted for? there is evidence? empirical? But what about language?
I think affect has to do with “sense.” Am I right?
I think, too, that Massumi identifies a way to operationalize this “sense”…. To attune people to that “sense” (the side-perception of the un-actualized in any given moment) so that they can use it. How does Montessori’s work do this? Freire’s? Berthoff’s? How to do it for good? How do people do it for selfish or evil purposes? The field is neutral.
“Media transmissions are breaches of indetermination. For them to have any speczjic effect they must be determined to have that effect by apparatuses of actualization and implantation that plug into them and transformatively relay what they give rise to (family, church, school, chamber of commerce, to name but a few)” (105). ***So here we have “indetermination” … Is this in a “deconstructionist” sense? Or are we talking a state of incipience, potential? What about ambiguity here? How does Berthoff’s notion of ambiguity speak to this?
“The need actively to actualize media transmission is as true for reactive politics as it is for a politics of resistance, and requires a new understanding of the body in its relation to signification and the ideal or incorporeal” (105). ***“a new understanding of the body in its relation to signification”… Notice “the ideal” is qualified; this is not “the ideal” is in The Phaedrus. Right? And what kind of “new”? The body is not new. How is the understanding new?
“In North America at least, the far right is far more attuned to the imagistic potential of the postmodern body than the established left, and has exploited that advantage for the last decade and a half. Philosophies of affect, potential, and actualization may aid in finding counter-tactics” (106). **Oh where or where is Massumi now?? We could use some effective counter-tactics. But in terms of comp/rhet… they may aid in actualizing a more effective conception of pedagogy?
“The ability of affect to produce an economic effect more swiftly and surely than economics itself means that affect is itself a real condition, an intrinsic variable of the late-capitalist system, as infrastructural as a factory” (106). ***AFFECT IS GEIST!! ***AFFECT IS GEIST!! ***AFFECT IS GEIST!! ***AFFECT IS GEIST!!
“The ability of affect to produce an economic effect more swiftly and surely than economics itself means that affect is itself a real condition, an intrinsic variable of the late-capitalist system, as infrastructural as a factory [WHY STRUCTURAL?]. Actually, it is beyond infrastructural, it is everywhere, in effect [HE’S NOT BEING CUTE HERE]. Its ability to come second-hand, to switch domains and produce effects across them all, gives it a metafactorial ubiquity. It is beyond infrastructural. It is transversal. This fact about affect—this matter-of-factness of affect—needs to be taken seriously into account in cultural and political theory. Don’t forget” (106-107). ***IS the sense of learning a particular kind of affect?