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Book Review: The User Unconscious: On Affect, Media, and Measure by Patricia Ticineto Clough

Book Review: The User Unconscious: On Affect, Media, and Measure by Patricia Ticineto Clough The User Unconscious: On Affect, Media, and Measure , by Patricia Ticineto Clough. University of Minnesota Press, 2018. 209 pp./$100 (hb), $25 (sb). In this collection of previously published essays Patricia T. Clough is taking the measure of what she describes as “[m]oving from the affective turn to the datalogical turn ” (ix). Increasingly concerned with looking at this exact “measure” of affect, or “affect-itself” (3), and proposing to move toward a “datalogical turn,” Clough is in the midst of moving beyond the focus of her prior work, which has so helped define the debate and influence around the notion of “affect,” including Autoaffection: Unconscious Thought in the Age of Technology (2000), The End ( s) of Ethnography: From Realism to Social Criticism (1998), Feminist Thought (1994), and as editor (with Jean Halley) of The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social (2007). Composed of articles often written for book collections, and other, perhaps less successful, “experimental compositions” (x) that elucidate her collaborative performances and collective artistic works that emerged from this attempted revision of subjectivity and experience, The User Unconscious continues to circle around psychoanalytic notions. Drawing on the work of psychoanalyst Sue Grand, for example, who proposed, “there is a nonhuman stratum to early self experience and thus, the self can accrue a nonhuman physical form” (qtd. xxxi), Clough emphasizes the human psyche’s relation to the nonhuman world. Grand’s idea of the “thing-self,” linked not only to trauma but also to positive cosmological and ecstatic experiences, helps conceptualize what “affect-itself” might look like. For Grand, … http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism University of California Press

Book Review: The User Unconscious: On Affect, Media, and Measure by Patricia Ticineto Clough

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Publisher
University of California Press
Copyright
© 2019 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press’s Reprints and Permissions web page, https://www.ucpress.edu/journals/reprints-permissions.
eISSN
2578-8531
DOI
10.1525/aft.2019.463012
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The User Unconscious: On Affect, Media, and Measure , by Patricia Ticineto Clough. University of Minnesota Press, 2018. 209 pp./$100 (hb), $25 (sb). In this collection of previously published essays Patricia T. Clough is taking the measure of what she describes as “[m]oving from the affective turn to the datalogical turn ” (ix). Increasingly concerned with looking at this exact “measure” of affect, or “affect-itself” (3), and proposing to move toward a “datalogical turn,” Clough is in the midst of moving beyond the focus of her prior work, which has so helped define the debate and influence around the notion of “affect,” including Autoaffection: Unconscious Thought in the Age of Technology (2000), The End ( s) of Ethnography: From Realism to Social Criticism (1998), Feminist Thought (1994), and as editor (with Jean Halley) of The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social (2007). Composed of articles often written for book collections, and other, perhaps less successful, “experimental compositions” (x) that elucidate her collaborative performances and collective artistic works that emerged from this attempted revision of subjectivity and experience, The User Unconscious continues to circle around psychoanalytic notions. Drawing on the work of psychoanalyst Sue Grand, for example, who proposed, “there is a nonhuman stratum to early self experience and thus, the self can accrue a nonhuman physical form” (qtd. xxxi), Clough emphasizes the human psyche’s relation to the nonhuman world. Grand’s idea of the “thing-self,” linked not only to trauma but also to positive cosmological and ecstatic experiences, helps conceptualize what “affect-itself” might look like. For Grand, …

Journal

Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural CriticismUniversity of California Press

Published: Sep 3, 2019

References