A new article ‘Affective labour of creating atmospheres’ by our postdoctoral research fellow Marjo Kolehmainen has been just published in European Journal of Cultural Studies. The article is co-authored with Dr Katariina Mäkinen.
In this article, we suggest that the production of atmospheres is a significant form of the capitalisation of affect – the ongoing cultural shift that encompasses diverse ways in which affect itself has become a selling point. We further the discussion of this capitalisation of affect by offering insights into forms of capitalisation that mobilise atmospheres rather than single, individual or clearly identified affects. Through two ethnographic case studies, we examine how affective labour is invested in the co-production of atmospheres during collective events in commercial settings. Audiences or participants are actively involved in the production of atmospheres, both intentionally and unintentionally. This kind of affective labour is collective, intercorporeal and trans-subjective and takes various forms from embodied activities to virtual processes. Furthermore, the co-production of atmospheres is itself a component of atmospheres. The article thus opens up new paths into the study of both affective labour and atmospheres, by providing alternative imaginaries to prevailing notions of affective labour.
Keywords: Affect, affective labour, atmosphere, co-production, ethnography