From Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation (Chapter 1)
Affect is equated with intensity.
Intensity: the strength or duration of effect. It is embodied in purely automatic reactions most directly manifested in the skin, at its interface with things. It is outside expectation and adaptation, as disconnected from meaningful sequencing, from narration.
Intensity is asocial, but not prescoial- it includes social elements but mixes them with elements belonging to other levels of functioning and combines them according to different logic (p. 30).
Emotion and affect follows different logics and pertain to different orders.
Emotion: the form/content (qualification) level: depth reactions.
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 progression, into narrativizable action-reaction circuits, into function and meaning (p. 28).
The relationship between the levels of intensity and qualification is not one of conformity or correspondence, but rather of resonation or interference, amplification or dampening.
Will and consciousness are subtractive.
Will and consciousness are limitative, derived functions that reduce a complexity too rich to be functionally expressed.
The body is as immediately virtual as it is actual.
Virtual: the excess of incipiencies and tendencies, a realm of potential. It is the autonomy of relation, the condition under which “higher” functions feed back.
The realm of the virtual has a different temporal structure: the past and future brush shoulders with no mediating present; recursive causalality.
The autonomy of affect is its openness.
Affects are virtual synesthetic perspectives anchored in (functionally limited by) the actually existing, particular things that embody them. The autonomy of affect is its participation in the virtual: the simultaneous participation of the virtual in the actual and the actual in the virtual, as one arises from and returns to the other.
The power of images is indeterminate; it is a postmodern power after ideology.
Images are conveyors of forces of emergence, vehicles for existential potentialization and transfer.
Induction and transduction: the non-ideological means by which ideology is produced. Induction is the triggering of a qualification, of a containment, an actualization; transduction is the transmission of an impulse of virtuality from one actualization to another and across them all.
In Massumi’s description, affect is asocial. It is an indifferent capacity of human bodies. It seems to me that the body here is generic/universal body without any differences or social markers. How do we engage Massumi’s theory of affect to critical studies, which stress particularities, difference, history, etc. of human bodies?