Exhausting events: cities, commuting mobilities and labour — ASN Events

Exhausting events: cities, commuting mobilities and labour (14631)

David Bissell 1
  1. The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Writings on the relationship between labour and exhaustion often appeal to a thermodynamic understanding of bodies, conceptualized in terms of depleted energy reserves. There is an extensive literature that draws attention to how exhausted bodies become conscripted into regimes that aim to restore these reserves. In this paper, I consider how exhaustion might be differently problematized in terms of the impersonal forces of active and passive affections. Drawing succour from Foucault's writings on self-techniques, much recent work that has investigated therapeutic practices of bodily revival emphasizes the activity germane to the modulation of affect in exhaustion. However, in this paper I argue that this emphasis on the modulation of affect through activity comes at the expense of considering how passive affections become worked on. This paper explores the evening commute in Sydney, Australia as a milieu that works on the passive affects of exhausted bodies. Specifically it explores how MX, a free commuter newspaper characterized by its jovial lightness, works to intensify receptivity to specific affects of the commuting milieu that do not restore exhausted bodies, but rather render them more susceptible to other affective potentials. Drawing on Deleuze's writing on the dual conceptual valence of exhaustion, I argue that this opens up an alternative way of considering everyday therapeutics.