Mediated atmospheres — ASN Events

Mediated atmospheres (12427)

Shanti Sumartojo 1
  1. RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

A growing body of scholarship within the ‘affective turn’ grapples with the nature, extent and constitution of atmospheres and ambiances (ie Anderson 2009, McCormack 2008, Pile 2010, Thibauld 2003). Such atmospheres are often understood as spatially-contingent and reliant on the relationship between bodies and with space, but also as political, with powerful groups attempting to exercise discursive control through various techniques of ‘engineered affect’ (Thrift 2004). At the same time, vernacular responses might resist or reframe such attempts to control atmosphere, complicating ‘official’ narratives. Empirically, such interactions have been shown to arise in a range of collective experiences, from passenger trains (Bissell 2012, 2013) to seasonal festivals (Edensor 2009) to national events (Closs Stephens 2007, 2013).

This session probes the terrain of such collective atmospheres, asking how they might be purposefully generated, designed, manipulated, mediated or ‘engineered’. We welcome theoretical or empirical papers that address aspects of this, including:

• How are atmospheres generated?

• Can they be designed? By what means are they manipulated or mediated? Do they evade control?

• What do technologies contribute to shaping atmospheres. This might include theatrical technologies, natural and artificial light, digital media or broadcast technologies?

• How are they shaped by the built environment?

• How do participants co-constitute and react to such atmospheres?

• What are the politics of such interventions, who is included and excluded, and what is the nature, means and extent of potential resistance?

This session is sponsored by the Cultural Geography Study Group.

Keywords: atmosphere, affect, technology, design

Organiser: Shanti Sumartojo
School of Architecture and Design
RMIT University