Affecting Objects: The Minor Gesture Within a Performative, Artistic Research Enquiry

  • Sarah BennettEmail author


Emerging from artistic research undertaken at the Museo Laboratorio della Mente (Museum of the Laboratory of the Mind), in Rome, this chapter considers the affective potential of specific museum objects, fagotti—packages containing the abandoned possessions of former patients of a closed psychiatric hospital. The author recounts the instant of her first encounter with the fagotti when affect, which is non-representational, took place followed by subsequent reflection when cognitive processes were set in motion. The methods of this artistic research enquiry required meaningful interpretations and imaginative insights and discernments in order to shift the register of the artistic research from a semi-fictive account to a credible critique of the now discredited Italian psychiatric system. The final artwork—a four-channel video installation produced through embodied enactments—is described as oscillating between, and contributing to, both non-representational and representational modes of ‘knowing’, which itself provides an affective encounter for the viewer.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kingston University LondonKingston upon ThamesUK

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