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Department of Film Studies Digital Affects Seminar Series

The lecture Mined and Mediated Bodies: Acting, Emotion and Affect in Art Practice will be presented by Dr. Maeve Connolly from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology.

Photo credit: Gerard Byrne, Untitled Acting Exercise (in the Third Person) HD video, 2008

You are invited by to attend the Digital Affects Lecture Series hosted by the Department of Film Studies.

The lecture Mined and Mediated Bodies: Acting, Emotion and Affect in Art Practice will be presented by Dr. Maeve Connolly from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology.

Date: Monday 7th March 2016
Time: 18:00
Venue: AB3074 (Arts Block)

Digital Affects (Organized by Dr. Lisa Åkervall, Department of Film Studies)
What are digital affects? What are the mutations that affect the realm of affect today, in contemporary arts and media? Frederic Jameson famously claimed in In The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism that postmodern culture was characterized by a “waning of affect.” And yet, as Brian Massumi observes, today we seem not to suffer from the lack of affect, but rather its surfeit. Whither, then, affect today?
The lecture series Digital Affects investigates these transformations and the changed relationship to affect in digital cultures. It examines films, TV, social media, and media art to define the role of digital affect in today’s networked digital cultures.

Maeve Connolly
Mined and Mediated Bodies: Acting, Emotion and Affect in Art Practice

Since the late 1990s, many artists (including Phil Collins, Christian Jankowski, Liz Magic Laser and Gillian Wearing) have produced video works responding to the changing form of news and documentary media, and to the rise of reality television and its associated modes of performance and production. Some of these artists were particularly concerned to highlight and investigate the (often self-exploitative) emotional labour of generally low-paid television workers, ranging from researchers and producers to professional and non-professional performers (Vicki Mayer 2011). Paralleling this investigation of news and reality TV performance, artists such as Clio Barnard, Gerard Byrne and Sam Taylor-Johnson also drew attention to acting, whether for the stage or screen, as a privileged technique for the organisation, storage and display of emotional or sense memory.

The figure of the actor remains relevant to the work of a younger generation of artists, including Xavier Cha, Kate Cooper, Melanie Gilligan and Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, who share an interest in the forms and properties of digital media. Yet, although their work is attuned to the exchange of emotional labour, these artists are more interested in exploring a much broader affective economy, extending well beyond the spheres of film and television production. Informed by theorisations of affect (Sarah Ahmed 2004, Patricia Clough 2008, Brian Massumi 1995) and the digital uncanny in contemporary art (Melissa Gronlund, 2014), this paper considers the complex relationship between affect and emotion, as articulated in media art practice, exploring the particular significance of Method acting as a technique for the storage and management of data.

Dr. Maeve Connolly co-directs the Masters in Art & Research Collaboration ( at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology. Her publications include the books TV Museum: Contemporary Art and the Age of Television (Intellect, 2014) and The Place of Artists’ Cinema: Space, Site and Screen (Intellect, 2009) and contributions to various journals, including Afterall, Journal of Curatorial Studies, Millennium Film Journal, Screen and The Velvet Light Trap

For further information on this series, please contact:
Dr. Lisa Åkervall
Assistant Professor of Film Studies
with a specialism in Digital Theory and Practice
Department of Film Studies
School of Drama, Film and Music
Trinity College Dublin
The University of Dublin
Dublin 2, Ireland