Archive for materiality

Zoning the Eastside: Public Pathos and Distributed Emotion (Essay in progress)

NOTE: This essay is being written online as we speak. It is currently in its developmental stages, so please forgive the mess.

It was late one summer afternoon, many years ago. I sat in an apartment hunter’s office, where he had spread open a large map in order to show me the neighborhoods in Austin where affordable housing could be found. “Of course,” he said, “you don’t want to live east of I-35.” He pointed to the highway on the map, and then to the neighborhoods running east of the thin line representing the massive freeway. “It’s just not a very nice place to live.” The phrase rang in my head immediately: east of I-35. It was such a concrete marker to observe. I would later hear the same kind of warning many other times throughout my life in Austin. Even after I rented a house on the eastside, friends
would take comfort in knowing that I was not living “too far east.”
… continue reading this entry.


Materials of pathos

Lanham talks about looking at/looking through as a way of drawing attention to the fact that print (or type) are not just transparent or neutral containers for thought.  The same can be said for the materials that lodge or archive public emotion. Pathos is actually distributed and archived in public materials (texts, images, topoi, zonings, etc.). Together, these “things” enact what we know as pathos in public. They are the sources, rather than the effects or reflections, of public pathos.

See B. Brown’s “Thing Theory.”

Is this a phenomenological take on pathos? Perhpas.