death of affect, and it’s return

As the human figure is replicated and flattened (allá Warhol) and enlarged (allá Oldenburg) the body loses affect. This representation mirrors advertised, commodified objects: objects without spirit or agency.

Frederic Jameson calls this the “death of affect.”

To clarify, it is a spread or dispersal of affect. Affect of the body (it’s agency to produce effect) is siphoned into the image and distributed ubiquitously. This is not profound, but a banal vampiric bleeding-off the affect of a real body into a sans-animate representation.

Our true death is that we lose the ability to experience the real.

But, let’s not be hasty: one encounter with the primal real, a real body, can reactivate the giddy potency so carefully neutered.

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