Quotes by Brian Massumi

"Take joy in your digressions. Because that is where the unexpected arises. That is the experimental aspect. If you know where you will end up when you begin, nothing has happened in the meantime. You have to be willing to surprise yourself writing things you didn't think you thought. Letting examples burgeon requires using inattention as a writing tool. You have to let yourself get so caught up in the flow of your writing that it ceases at moments to be recognizable to you as your own. This means you have to be prepared for failure. For with inattention comes risk: of silliness or even outbreaks of stupidity. But perhaps in order to write experimentally, you have to be willing to 'affirm' even your own stupidity. Embracing one's own stupidity is not the prevailing academic posture (at least not in the way I mean it here)."
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"Ethics is about how we inhabit uncertainty, together."
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"so-called master narratives are perceived to have foundered. Fredric Jameson notwithstanding, belief has waned for many, but not affect. If anything, our condition is characterized by a surfeit of it. The problem is that there is no cultural-theoretical vocabulary specific to affect.2 Our entire vocabulary has derived from theories of signification that are still wedded to structure even across irreconcilable differences (the divorce proceedings of poststructuralism: terminable or interminable?). In the absence of an asignifying philosophy of affect, it is all too easy for received psychological categories to slip back in, undoing the considerable deconstructive work that has been effectively carried out by poststructuralism. Affect is most often used loosely as a synonym for emotion.3 But one of the clearest lessons of this first story is that emotion and affect—if affect is intensity—follow different logics and pertain to different orders. An emotion is a subjective content, the sociolinguistic fixing of the quality of an experience which is from that point onward defined as personal. Emotion is qualified intensity, the conventional, consensual point of insertion of intensity into semantically and semiotically formed progressions, into narrativizable action-reaction circuits,"
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"unexpected and inexplicable that emerged along with the generated responses had to do with the differences between happiness and sadness, children and adults, not being all they’re cracked up to be, much to our scientific chagrin: a change in the rules. Intensity is the unassimilable. For present purposes, intensity will be equated with affect. There seems to be a growing feeling within media, literary, and art theory that affect is central to an understanding of our information- and image-based late capitalist culture, in which so-called master narratives are perceived to have foundered. Fredric Jameson notwithstanding, belief has waned for many, but not affect. If anything, our condition is characterized by a surfeit of it. The problem is that there is no cultural-theoretical vocabulary specific to affect.2 Our entire vocabulary has derived from theories of signification that are still wedded to structure even across irreconcilable differences (the divorce proceedings of poststructuralism: terminable or interminable?). In the absence of an asignifying philosophy of affect, it is all too easy for received psychological categories to slip back in, undoing the considerable deconstructive work that has been effectively carried out by poststructuralism. Affect is most often used loosely as a synonym for emotion.3 But one of the clearest lessons of this first story is that emotion and affect—if affect is intensity—follow different logics and pertain to different orders. An emotion is a subjective content, the sociolinguistic fixing of the quality of an experience which is from that point onward defined as personal. Emotion is qualified intensity, the conventional, consensual point of insertion of intensity into semantically and semiotically formed progressions, into narrativizable action-reaction circuits,"
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"More than a doctrine, preemption has taken on a life of its own. It launches into operation wherever threat is felt. In today’s multidimensional “threat environment,” that is everywhere."
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Books by Brian Massumi

Brian Massumi
  • Brian Massumi

  • Date of birth: May 08, 1956
  • Born: in Lorain, OH, The United States.

  • Description: Brian Massumi is Professor of Communication at the University of Montreal. He is the author of several books, including What Animals Teach Us about Politics and Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation.

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