Affective Economics — But Not That Kind

Is there a social economy of affect?

Is the best analogy to understand it an ecosystem or a well-oiled machine?

I think the one (machine analogy) is well suited for weighing the drift and strength of flows; the other (ecosystem analogy) is good for deterring the who and the when of distributions. The one trades in reactions and provocations; the other, in dampening and amplyfing. It seems that the whole distinction collapses on close examination.

I come to this by juxtaposing two quotations.

Reframing the economy through the iceberg [analogy] is a[t] first, somewhat chaotic step toward sorting out in a more systematic way the diverse economic practices we have to work with. If we are going to take back the economy “any time, any place,” we need to know what we are starting with. The diverse economy offers a template for a more comprehensive inventory.

J.K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, Stephen Healy Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities

Emotion doesn’t produce clarity but destabilizes you, messes you up, and makes you epistemologically incoherent—you don’t know what you think, you think a lot of different kinds of things, you feel a lot of different kinds of things, and you make the sense of it all that you can.

Lauren Berlant interviewed by Sina Najafi, David Serlin in Cabinet Issue 31 / Shame

Now I need to go and read more Deleuze in search of ecosystem-as-machine … A Thousand Plateaus beckons.

And so for day 2647

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