Fibreculture 25

With Nick Dyer-Witheford, Nandita Biswas Mellamphy and Alison Hearn, I was a guest editor of the forthcoming issue of The Fibreculture Journal on Apps and Affect ( Fall 2015). This issue explores a moment along this hypothetical trajectory by investigating the contemporary intersection of ‘Apps and Affect’, publishing papers from a conference of that name organized in October 2013 by faculty and students at Western University (specifically from its Faculty of Information and Media Studies and Center for the Study of Theory and Criticism). By recognizing apps as objects that are related to the constitution of subjects, as a component of biopolitical assemblages, as a means of digital production and consumption, our conference aimed to make an intervention in what had – since the announcements of the App-Store and the iPhone3 in 2008 – been a largely technical and rather technophiliac public discussion of apps. Isn’t it paradoxical, we asked, that instead of becoming ‘transparent’ and ‘invisible’ – as envisioned by the thinkers of ubiquitous computing decades ago – the app-ecosystem manifests itself as permanent excess: excessive downloads, excessive connections, excessive proximity, excessive ‘friends’-qua-‘contacts’, excessive speeds and excessive amounts of information? If apps are micro-programs residing by the hundreds and thousands on cell-phones, mobile-devices and tablets, and affects are corporeal excitements (and depressions) running beneath and beyond cognition, what is the relation of apps to affects?