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Affective Creativity and the Agency of the Artwork

Mon, May 27, 9:00 to 10:30am, TBA

Abstract

In this presentation, I place a theoretical concept I have been developing, the notion of affective creativity, in relation to Marielle Macé’s reassessment of literary styles as potential existential “pathways” readers wrestle with during the act of the reading. I define affective creativity as the way an artist works, tinkers, and tampers with concrete forms of feeling, reinventing past and present forms of feeling and/or imagining speculative forms of affect, both private and public. One of the primary goals of this theory of affective creativity is to challenge the widespread notion that works of art may capture or express forms of affect, but that these forces predate the creation of the artwork. I argue that works of art and forms of affect enter into relations of co-creation and co-production, and that affect and emotion in themselves are as plastic and available to fictional reinvention as ideologies, power structures, or historical events. In this presentation, I suggest that affective creativity intersects the “styling” of existence as described by Macé through the reconsideration of the agency of artworks and their relation to the visceral, embodied experience of the world. Although this paper is a theoretical piece, it closes with concrete examples of speculative forms of affect and potential styles of existence as they take shape in Amat Escalante’s recent film La región salvaje(2016).

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