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Rethinking affective atmospheres: Technology, perturbation and space times of the non-human

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Ash


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This paper develops literatures on affective atmospheres to rethink the status of technical objects in human geographical analysis. Suggesting that narratives of affect and affordance have difficulty accounting for objects when they are not directly encountering one another, the paper draws upon Levi Bryant’s discussion of allopoietic objects and Graham Harman’s analysis of space and time to advance the concept of perturbation. In doing so, the paper argues that technical objects are not lifeless mechanisms but actively produce spatio-temporal atmospheres, which shape the humans who are immersed in these atmospheres. Using the iPhone 4 as a thought experiment to think through the different types of atmosphere that can be generated by technical objects, the paper suggests that geographers should attune themselves to these atmospheres and recognize the role they play in the organization and experience of space and time for humans.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ash J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geoforum

Year: 2013

Volume: 49

Pages: 20-28

Print publication date: 01/10/2013

ISSN (print): 0016-7185

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9398

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.05.006


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