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Anja Breljak

Affective machines. On the relationship between affect and media technologies in digital capitalism


Affect is increasingly operationalized and used in the media dispositif of sensory networking. On the one hand, this can be observed under the heading of “affective computing” in the field of assistive technologies and social robotics, where the automated recognition, processing and simulation of affective impulses is presumed to guarantee “more humane” technology. On the other hand, the role of affect is illustrated even more comprehensively in social media and digital platforms, where the data-based recording of user movements not only indicates affective dynamics but also enables commercial and political exploitation.
The dissertation project “Affective machines: On the relationship between affect and media technologies in digital capitalism” takes a look at how the role of affect as a political force shifts with this development towards sensitive media networks. Subsequent questions about subjectivity, becoming collective, about new forms of knowledge and the ability to know with and through technology will be tackled in the project. By focusing on the transformations of care work, privacy and the public, the project aims at providing a critique of governmentality at the dawn of the digital age.


Brief Bio
Anja Breljak studied philosophy and economics in Berlin, Paris and Sarajevo. She then worked as a research assistant at the Open Topic Chair for Legal and Constitutional Theory at the TU Dresden, while studying computer science part-time. She works between the disciplines, organizes and moderates events in the field of political economy, performative philosophy and digital society. Her research interests include body and media history, theories of affect and power, post-structuralism and performative art/critique.