This chapter proposes a conceptual synthesis able to think media and mediation through affect theory. Its objective is to expand our traditional conceptual frame with a new concept: immediation. Through its capacity to render the power of affect’s sociality, immediation enables us to better grasp the social life of affectivities underlying every media experience. William James defines “pure experience” as the “primal stuff of material in the world, a stuff of which everything is composed” (2003, p. 2). This is “relation,” understood as a passage where affective lines of creation come together as one “concrescence” (Whitehead, 1978). How does the binding of these affective variations occur, giving pure experience the power to express itself as an esthetic feeling? Alfred North Whitehead’s answer to this question revolves around his notion of “society” (1978). It points to a virtual society composed of affective forces. Considering that “pure experience” is a process, it would be reasonable to conceive of it as passing a threshold in its becoming. Clearly, this threshold is not fixed, but rather a “mobile differentiation” (Massumi, 2002, p. 34) – emerging from the internal cohesion of the event of experiencing an esthetic quality. It should thus be understood as a process of emergence (or an actualization of virtuality). Affective passages, events, processes of emergence, and intensities are pulsations of radical novelty. They consist in what qualitatively happens in experience: what emerges as an event. Consequently, what happens to the concepts of media and mediation if we think them through this conceptual lens?
I am grateful to the SenseLab (Concordia University, Canada) and the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council for the Partnership program that funded the Immediations grant that made it possible to write this chapter.
Ramos, A. (2018), "Affective (Im)Mediations and the Communication Process", The M in CITAMS@30 (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 18), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 181-194. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2050-206020180000018012Download as .RIS
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