This week we were to read Steven Shaviro’s, “Post-Cinematic Affect: On Grace Jones, Boarding Gate, and Southland Tales,” though we primarily focused on Shaviro’s discussion of Grace Jones in her music video ‘Corporate Cannibal’. What I took from this read was the potentiality in affective stimuli to engage the viewer in more than your quintessential cinematic experience. Shaviro’s discussion on Grace Jones focuses on Jones’ lack of a clear/solid identity the entire video, which went swimmingly with the message of the actual song. Jones’ modulations and such were emphasizing the issue the song was exploring. Jones’ lyrics were indicative of the society within which we function and the video was a very visceral affective avenue of engagement with the issues the song is so aggressively confronting. We can see other examples of this effective affect in Janelle Monáe’s music as well. Monáe is the Android, the Electric Lady who brings her afrofuturistic messages in very visceral ways. You ready?
Modulation medium as message:
Effective Affect Android:
Affective effects seem to have a lot of potentiality for disorienting our current hegemonic structure. It’s in that visceral connection, that discomfort, that physical reaction that could have the potential to make change. But seriously, can it? I mean, with ALL of the articles on disparate power relations and the futility in the spaces marginalized people have forged for ourselves, how can these moments of potentiality NOT simply be eaten and utilized to serve hegemonic purposes? I mean, I’m not here to say all this effort is futile, but are people REALLY getting these messages I read about within the scholarship? Or are they badass because they’re so ‘different’, and because of their uniqueness people want to emulate what they see, thus feeding the hegemonic beast (by simply buying into an aesthetic without attending to the very real and unnerving messages)?