Atmospheres of law: senses, affects, lawscapes

Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Andreas (2013) Atmospheres of law: senses, affects, lawscapes. Emotion, Space and Society, 7. pp. 35-44. ISSN 1755-4586

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In this article, I deal with airs and sounds and scents, while keeping an eye on the law. My field of enquiry is the interstitial area between sensory and affective occurrences, namely sensory experiences that are traditionally thought to be a causal result of external stimuli, and affective experiences that are mostly associated with emotional changes and generally allude to something internal. I am arguing that there is no constructive difference between internal and external origin of occurrences. In its stead, I suggest the concept of atmosphere, namely an attempt at understanding affective occurrences as excessive, collective, spatial and elemental. However, it quickly becomes apparent that an atmosphere is legally determined. The law controls affective occurrences by regulating property of sensory stimulation. At the same time, the law guides bodies into corridors of sensory compulsion – an aspect of which is consumerism in capitalist societies. The law achieves this by allowing certain sensory options to come forth while suppressing others, something which is particularly obvious in cases of intellectual property protection that capture the sensorial. I deal with the law in its material, spatial manifestation and in particular through what I have called the ‘lawscape’, namely the fusion of space and normativity. I employ a broadly Deleuzian methodology with insights from radical geography, affective studies, and urban and critical legal theory in order to develop and link the various parts of the text.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Westminster Law School
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Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2013 11:10
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2017 12:26

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