On 24 October the If I Can’t Dance Reading Group in Toronto will have its second session, taking place at Art Metropole under the guidance of Jacob Korczynksi.
For this session, the group reads a short essay by the Rotterdam-based artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh that was published earlier this year in issue #22 of the e-flux journal. Wendelien van Oldenborgh is one of the five artists commissioned by If I Can’t Dance to develop a new project as part of the current edition on affect and her text discusses the language of right-wing populism specific to The Netherlands at this time, a language that can be located across all levels of government in Canada at the moment as well.
Continuing the discussion of the radical potential of the present moment that began with Sharon Hayes in last time’s session, the Reading Group will look at two texts by the Montreal-based political philosopher and social theorist Brian Massumi, beginning with Navigating Movements, a 2002 interview between him and Mary Zournazi: “In my own work I use the concept of ‘affect’ as a way of talking about that margin of manoeuvrability, the ‘where we might be able to go and what we might be able to do’ in every present situation. I guess ‘affect’ is the word I use for ‘hope’. One of the reasons it’s such an important concept for me is because it explains why focusing on the next experimental step rather than the big utopian picture isn’t really settling for less. It’s not exactly going for more, either. It’s more like being right where you are — more intensely.”
As well as Fear (The Spectrum Said) from 2005 which considers the affective power of fear in relation to the production of a collective body: “Any ground television may have lost to the Web as an information source and as the pivot point for family entertainment was recouped in its resurgent role as the privileged channel for collective affect modulation, in real time, at socially critical turning points.”