Over the last 25 years, major research in media and cultural studies has investigated the play of affect in our cultures. ‘Affect’, as a term derived from its neurophysiological and psychological origins, defines the particular movement of feeling from sensation to its attribution as an identifiable emotion. This article explores the way that ‘affect’ to emotion is being curated online by users particularly of social media as they learn to structure how they are perceived in online culture by others. It also investigates how the specific correlating of affect to emotion is one of the essential algorithmically generated activities of social media and online corporations. To discern this flow of affect and emotion, the article works to identify how this online cultural pandemic has intersected with the COVID-19 pandemic and produced a new level and intensity of affect and emotion curation as greater parts of our connected cultures are being managed and moderated by ourselves as well as governments, corporations and institutions. The neologism ‘covidiquette’ is used to describe this new form of online curation of cultures, and a further pandemic expansion of this movement of affect into attribution – transnationally, governmentally and commercially. Key pathways for investigating this correlation – and curation – of affect are analysed in this paper during 2020 and 2021 and the ever-presence of COVID-19 and its unique capacity to produce a proliferation of sharing, connection and – critically – surveillance.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Thesis Eleven: critical theory and historical sociology|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Jan 2022|