We experience entangled events with people, places, technologies and things that register affect. We try to save and pass some of this on for ourselves and others using more technologies. What sticks in the network? What chips? What stays clear as the light of day and what lives best in the shadows? What registers in, across, and between the many media forms where we effortless cut/paste innumerable fragments of ourselves and others? Who uses us? What is lost? How do we account for what seeps out or bleeds between networked relays of affect?
From 2015-2016, the ev-ent-anglement was a digital and embodied experiment performed and led by Alexandra Juhasz, and engaged with by scores of feminists, online and off. It was an experiment in digital embodied collective feminist media praxis that co-registered an event’s entangled affect, thinking, history, place, and politics in rooms, on websites, and elsewhere by the use of digital fragments gifted to the ev-ent-anglement as words, images, and links by way of hashtags. Across its five live iterations, performance and technology were pushed to further entangle events and communities outside the logics of buying and selling, when possible.
The project attempted to mark that every simple cut/paste in a digital environment has an unseen but sometimes felt consequence: a violence and a power. It asked: could this gesture have different meanings or purposes in other formats, environments, and communities? It asked to account for “the bleed.” The ev-ent-anglement attempted to use technology to collectively cut/paste+bleed our abundance of digital fragments with principled, self-aware, grounded gestures that might add up to more.
All of these fragments were held and activated on two websites: ev-ent-anglement.com and cells.ev-ent-anglement.com built by Risa Goodman and Laila Shereen Sakr (VJ Um Amel). The files for the websites were erased by their corporate host when Alex forgot to pay the bill after moving from LA to NY in 2016.
But the ev-ent-anglement encompassed many things. As is true for many digital projects, a lot of data, affect, and ideas were mobilized and shared and even though the websites went dark many of the objects remain on the internet, Alex’s hardrive, and in some of our memories.
There were five live ev-ent-anglements, with hundreds of participants contributing their digital fragments during and after.
- Utrecht: August 2014 at the Noise Summer School in Women’s Studies at Utrecht University. A special issue, 17:4 (2017) of the journal Feminist Media Studies, “Affective encounters: tools of interruption for activist media practices,” eds. Marta Zarzycka and Domitilla Olivieri brought together many of the talks presented at that encounter, including my own.
- Dehli: at the Visible Evidence Documentary Conference in December 2014
- Dublin: Console-ing Passions Feminist Media Conference in Dublin in June 2015
- Montreal: Summer 2015, Affective Encounters Workshop, McGill University, sponsored by Alanna Thain.
- Highland Park, LA: a performance at PAM in with several collaborators including Brian Getnick and VJ Um Amel, Fall 2015.
There are several pieces of academic writing about the project:
- “Ev-Ent-Anglement Cells: Network, Affect, and Feminist DH in Highland Park,” with Laila Shereen Sakr in Elizabeth Losh and Jacqueline Werimont, eds. Screening Mechanisms: Feminist, Anti-Racist, Postcolonial, and Queer Digital Humanities (Minnesota, forthcoming)
- “#cut/paste+bleed: Entangling Feminist Affect, Action and Production On and Offline,” in Jentery Sayers, ed. Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities (Routledge: 2018): 18-32.
- “Affect bleeds in feminist networks: an ‘essay’ in six parts,” Feminist Media Studies 4 (2017): 660-687 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14680777.2017.1326579
Although its dedicated online platforms are now lost, ev-ent-anglement’s fragments live on. Justice to our fragments!
Powerpoints from six of the ev-ent-anglements can be found on Slideshare.
You can find scores of images on instagram using #eventanglement.
Comments from the Blog
16 comments from the blog, often quite extensive and intricate (by Sarah Kember, Petra Kuppers, Joanna Zylinska, T.L. Cowan, KJ Surkan, Pato Hebert, Sabine, Yumke, Domi Olivieri, Noortje) can be found, with some of the project’s instagram images, as a PDF here, comments from the blog.pdf
Here are some of the images used by or gifted to the project, for your enjoyment.