'The capacity to affect and to be affected'. This simple definition opens a world of
questions - by indicating an openness to the world. To affect and to be affected is to be
in encounter, and to be in encounter is to have already ventured forth. Adventure: far
from being enclosed in the interiority of a subject, affect concerns an immediate
participation in the events of the world. It is about intensities of experience. What is
politics made of, if not adventures of encounter? What are encounters, if not adventures
of relation? The moment we begin to speak of affect, we are already venturing into the
political dimension of relational encounter. This is the dimension of experience in-the-
making. This is the level at which politics is emergent.
In these wide-ranging interviews, Brian Massumi explores this emergent politics of
affect, weaving between philosophy, political theory and everyday life. The discussions
wend their way 'transversally': passing between the tired oppositions which too often
encumber thought, such as subject/object, body/mind and nature/culture. New concepts are
gradually introduced to remap the complexity of relation and encounter for a politics of
emergence: 'differential affective attunement', 'collective individuation',
'micropolitics', 'thinking-feeling', 'ontopower', 'immanent critique'. These concepts are
not offered as definitive solutions. Rather, they are designed to move the inquiry still
further, for an ongoing exploration of the political problems posed by affect.
Politics of Affect offers an accessible entry-point into the work of one of the defining
figures of the last quarter century, as well as opening up new avenues for philosophical
reflection and political engagement.