I’ve got a strange feeling : a grimoire of affective materiality and situated weirdness
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This paper seeks to forge a grounds for conversation between the affective turn in contemporary theory and a vital materialist ontology. This conversation focuses on materials and their affects through the experience of weirdness. I use weirdness to describe a register of enchantment which is disruptive and alienating, rather than enticing and delightful. The project is motivated by a desire for ways to think about our relationship to the natural world that afford for fuller experiences of perception. The paper works through four major sections; the first three form a conceptual framework while the fourth is an exercise in mobilizing the concepts through subjective readings of affect. It begins by establishing a concept of vitalism with which to think about interactions with a moving, active world and, in following vitalism across borders of embodied flora and fauna, agitates the notion of what constitutes life. To put vitalism into a dynamic of engagement between entities, I then chart processes of affect through various conditions and situations, such as haunting, hallucination, anticipation and psychotropics. I then address the concept of the event in order to trace the contours of affect as it manifests through situated, temporal passages of force. This conceptual netting culminates in episodic readings of affective experiences, taking a kaleidoscopic form oriented toward anxious fascination.