Reaction Economies

Affect & The Archive

A Lecture by: 
Axel Stockburger

Tuesday, September 5th  //  7pm

The talk examines the Internet phenomenon of the reaction economy, namely people  who are streaming their emotional or intellectual  reactions to a whole range of different cultural products, from music over films, games, books or products. The hosts of reaction economy channels present themselves as “naive” consumers of content and show strong emotional reactions, which appear authentic. One reason for the popularity of such formats, seems to be the complex logic of desire that drives humans to enjoy situations through the other. Another might be that one gets to enjoy an already archived, old content again, now validated  through the eyes and ears of another person from a different cultural sphere or time. What does this complex phenomenon tell us about digital culture and the ways it reconfigures the social? And, what are the political stakes of assuming the stance of the person in the know whose cultural choices are validated by  a “naive” and impressionable, affectable (capable of strong emotional reactions) other? The presentation will trace some of these issues and introduce a discussion of the consequences of the strategic deployment of affect in reaction economies.

Axel Stockburger
(he/him) Doz. Mag. Dr. Assoc. Prof. (*1974) is an Artist who works as Associate Professor for Art and Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. He studied Visual Media Arts with Peter Weibel at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna and Art History as well as Philosophy at the University of Vienna. In his PhD from the University of the Arts, London, he researched the spatiality of digital games in the context of contemporary art. Stockburger employs global popular culture, such as computer games, cosplay or blockbuster films as a starting point for the production of his videos and text works. His art and writing engage with novel forms of participatory and fan culture that have emerged with the transition from traditional mass media like TV and Film towards the Internet. In his videos he focuses on a wide range of in the wider context of the paradigm shift from analogue towards digital cultures. His videos and installations have been exhibited internationally. He is a member of the research group Technopolitics and, since 2020, a member of the board of the artist association Secession, Vienna.