Reading & Thinging #5
On emotional labour, private life, art and politics

For this session we looked at how how empathy and emotion are used to blur the boundaries between the personal and the political, because after all, the personal is political and politics is personal.

Are we enslaved to the network to the point of becoming brains without bodies? How can we “weaponise our empathy”? Is it possible, desirable, (inevitable?) that emotions like sadness are used to leverage votes, for short/longer term political ends? Does emotion belong to a specific political ideology?

Readings for this session included texts by Bifo Berardi (Heroes, The Soul at Work, Dyst-irony), and videos by Nina Power and Erica Scourti (Negative Docs, Life in AdWords).

During the discussion, we broke and re-assembled personal ceramic objects in order to better understand the concepts of cognitive capitalism, emotional labour and the role of anger in politics as presented in the texts.