By accident and by design: Composing affective atmospheres in an urban art intervention

Item Type Journal paper

This article argues that the notion of affective atmosphere provides a privileged access to the study of organizational affect as it relates to a spatial ontology of ‘being-together-in-a-sphere’. Drawing on the study of affective atmospheres in philosophy and cultural geography, we develop a conceptual positioning from which to analyze a musical intervention in the streets and squares of Berlin. The study traces the preparation and enactment of a 2-day music event that breaks with the emotional experience of a ‘mainstream’ classical concert, and instead intervenes in urban atmospheres by mingling
music performances with everyday urban life in an attempt to affect chance spectators. Tracing how the concert’s atmospheres emerged through a series of encounters between various bodies and their
specific affective capacities, the analysis emphasizes the tension between the possibility of designing and crafting atmospheres and its emergence in erratic, ephemeral, and excessive ways. Therefore,
we propose that affective atmospheres make perceptible the potentialities of organizational space and give scope to our feelings as we experience their spatial recomposition. In the conclusion, we
emphasize affective atmospheres as a key concept for the critical study of affect, as it advances a politics that attends to new possibilities of feeling and acting collectively in spaces of organizing.

Authors Michels, Christoph & Steyaert, Chris
Journal or Publication Title Organization : the critical journal of organization, theory and society
Language English
Keywords Affect, affective atmosphere, art intervention, more-than-representational theory, Xenakis
Subjects social sciences
cultural studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date January 2017
Publisher Sage Publ.
Place of Publication London [u.a.]
Volume 24
Number 1
Page Range 79-104
ISSN 1350-5084
ISSN-Digital 1461-7323
Publisher DOI 10.1177/1350508416668190
Depositing User Christina Ihasz
Date Deposited 08 Jun 2017 15:34
Last Modified 31 Aug 2017 14:36


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Michels, Christoph & Steyaert, Chris (2017) By accident and by design: Composing affective atmospheres in an urban art intervention. Organization : the critical journal of organization, theory and society, 24 (1). 79-104. ISSN 1350-5084

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