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Affective space: Looking back

Tampalini, S. (2006) Affective space: Looking back. In: 4th European Conference of the Society for Science, Literature and the Arts, 13 - 16 June 2006, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


Traditionally sight is understood in terms of vision. When I use the term vision I mean that particular characteristic of sight, which connects seeing to thinking; that rationalizing vision that is both indicative and resultant of the habitual way of seeing the world that was fostered by our parents when we were babies, and de- veloped by us as children. A way of looking that defines a relationship between a subject [which does the looking] and object [which is being looked at]. Consider what happens if the object were to appear to suddenly look back at the subject? I’m sure we have all had the experience of being caught looking at someone, when suddenly we become aware that they are “looking back” at us. We are changed in someway, more consciously aware...embarrassed even, our emotions are heightened; it’s like having to negoti ate a moment of our reality, which under “normal” conditions would not present an y problems. However faced with the pre- dicament of being caught unaware, we are fo rced to quickly assimilate this “other” space, as it were, into our familiar subjec tive reality. This is the experiential na- ture of the “affective”.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
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