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Digitalization and the Production of Feeling and Emotion: The Case of Words Cut into the Skin
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2071-349X
2015 (English)In: Acta Universitatis Sapientiae Film and Media Studies, ISSN 2065-5924, E-ISSN 2066-7779, ISSN 2065-5924, Vol. 10, no 1, 183-199 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates one example of how affect is articulated in the self-cutting of words into the skin and how the meaning of this multimodal statement is modified through remediation. According to Tomkins, affects are understood as intensities that are impossible to frame as feelings or emotions. A theoretical framework based on Laclau’s and Mouffe’s discourse theory and the multimodal categories developed by Kress and van Leeuwen is used. Photographs of self-cutting and statements from people who cut themselves are examined through content analyses. The results show that words that had been cut into the skin often referred to painful experiences, disgust directed against themselves or social isolation. Further, the study shows that when the cut-in words are remediated through a photograph, digitalized and published online, other meanings appear. Inside Internet communities for people who self-injure, the photographs were associated with a communal experience, identification and prescribed activity. The original self-oriented feelings about one’s shortcomings and isolation attached to self-cutting could be altered so that those connoted, instead, experiences of solidarity, identity and intimacy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Walter de Gruyter, 2015. Vol. 10, no 1, 183-199 p.
Keyword [en]
self-cutting, pain, affect theory, discourse theory, multimodality, remediation
National Category
Visual Arts Cultural Studies
Research subject
Humanities; Humanities, Art science
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-46877DOI: 10.1515/ausfm-2015-0012OAI: diva2:864192
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2016-05-12Bibliographically approved

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Sternudd, Hans T.
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