The Opaque Lens: Affect and Subversion in Media Practices

Edith Doove

This seminar ties together some of the emerging research undertaken within the context of the TTiROL laboratory within Transtechnology Research. The seminar will contextualize the state of ‘opaqueness’ within both poetic and scientific contexts as an affective driver in the very creative act of re-training perception and awareness (Stengers, 2014). A re-reading of the experimental psychologist Gertrude Stein’s so called ‘poetic science’ (as demonstrated within her 1914 text ‘Tender Buttons’), will be used as a way of focusing upon language as an affective medium though which perception is re-trained. The seminar will position itself philosophically through the current wave of affect theory within philosophy and cultural studies via the work of Brian Massumi (2002) and Lisa Blackman (2012) to re-examine the relevance of the historical work of Gertrude Stein within a twenty-first century context.


Blackman, L. (2012). Immaterial Bodies: Affect, Embodiment, Mediation. London: Sage.

Massumi, B. (2002). Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. London: Duke University Press.

Meyer, S. (2001). Irresistible Dictation – Gertrude Stein and the correlation of writing and science. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Stengers, I. (2014). ‘A Constructivist Reading of Process and Reality’, in Gaskall, N., Nocek, A., The Lure of Whitehead. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press.

Recommended reading/listening:

Stein, G. (1914). Tender Buttons. New York: Clair Marie