Lecture Series SoSe 2023

The Affect Theory challenges the alleged primacy of the ‘physical’ world. We engage with a world replete with capacities, tendencies and values, not with an aggregate of objects. In the Nietzschean tenor, there is no antonym for the word ‘value’ and it can certainly not be found in the word ‘fact’. The emphasis is on the encounter, where experience is seen as an emergence that returns the body to a process field of exteriority. Sensibility introduces an aleatory moment into the development of thought and turns contingency into the very condition for thinking. Not only does this upset logical identity and opposition, it also places the limit of thinking beyond any dialectical system. Thought cannot activate itself by thinking; it has to be provoked. Art and architecture may provide such provocation. If to think differently one has to feel differently, and if the ultimate purpose of design is to change us, then architecture is a ‘psychotropic practice’ that modulates and compels routines of subjectification. This makes the concept of affect fundamentally transindividual. The paper seeks to invigorate radical empiricism as a means of tapping not into the solipsistic world of design, but into the relation of exteriority – the design of the world. Such an anti-representational disposition resonates strongly with Félix Guattari’s Ethico-Aesthetics, or eco-logical ‘power-to’ experimentation, that seeks to challenge all-too-reductionist ego-logical conceptions of ‘power-over’ relations. The lecture juxtaposes three conceptual triads related to feeling, acting and learning: Charles Sanders Peirce’s firstness, secondness and thirdness; James Jerome Gibson’s Ambient Optic Array, Occluding Edge and Affordance; and Gilles Deleuze’s three syntheses of time. The concept of affect, as a near synonym of affordance, becomes indispensable in overcoming the subject/object opposition by tying sensibility to sense, and matter to manner. The main thesis is inspired by Gilbert Simondon’s ‘formula’ that knowledge of individuation is itself the individuation of knowledge.

Asignifying Semiotics, Epiphylogenetic Memory, Ethico-Aesthetics, Transcendental Empiricism, Radical Perspectivism, Speculative Pragmatism, Transindividuation.

Andrej Radman is Assistant Professor of Architecture Philosophy and Theory, and coordinator of the Ecologies of Architecture research group at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. Over the past eighteen years Radman’s research has focused on the nexus between Architecture and Radical Empiricism. He is a member of the National Committee on Deleuze and Guattari Scholarship, and the production editor and member of the editorial board of the peer-reviewed architecture theory journal Footprint. Radman is a co-editor of Critical and Clinical Cartographies (EUP, 2017), Architecture of Life and Death (RLI, 2021), and The Space of Technicity (RLI, 2023). He is the author of Gibsonism (TUD, 2012) and Ecologies of Architecture: Essays on Territorialisation (EUR, 2021). He is also a licensed architect with a portfolio of built and competition-winning projects. Radman received the Croatian Association of Architects annual award for housing architecture in Croatia in 2002.