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Critical and ethical matters

Critical and Ethical Matters — The Affects of Fear, Love, and Disbelief (or an ethics of care)

Published date
02 May 2018
Review by Carl Grinter, PhD at LCC in film production, affect and Sloterdijkian theories of space

When Wednesday 14th March 2018 (evening event) 18:00-20.00
Where Royal Society for the Arts, London – Shipley Room
What An evening seminar responding to readings of affect chosen to critically inform ethical practice

As part of UAL Research Fortnight, Dr Amanda Windle with Dr Sarah Cefai organised a collaborative roundtable discussion focusing on an ethics of care and the affects of fear, love and disbelief. The evening was held at Royal Society of the Arts reflecting a symbolic space for the interdisciplinary relations of the artists, academics, both practicing and theoretically based, professional post-doctoral participants from health care and research students across UAL.

Discussions were centered on two readings from quite different focusses of subject, the first being from Chloe Silverman’s 2011 book, ‘Understanding Autism: Patents, Doctors and Disorder’ and the second being Eugenie Brinkema’s 2014 article, ‘A Tear That Does Not Drop, But Fold’s’ which appeared in the book entitled ‘The Form of Affects’. Chloe Silverman’s chapter focuses on the how parents often have to contend with historical and institutional approaches to autism and  how love and an ethics of care can open dialogues, to complement or challenge these approaches. Meanwhile, Eugenie Brinkema’s chapter takes the tear from Marion Crane’s (Janet Leigh) facial close-up from the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho film (1960) as an affective signifier of the exterior expression of bodily legibility. The article cleverly investigates the manifold means of transmission and the translation of affect between interior and exteriorities. The readings bring together differing means of interpretation across varied philosophical and media-oriented approaches to thinking through affective orientations.

The discussions began around collaborative ethics as they are related to research, arising from shared dialogue. Primarily focusing on how academics working together to balance their own personal interest in their specialised areas of research we gathered, discussed and digested the collaborative group’s means to interpret.

This initial discussion enabled a building of trust and an ethics of care to arose among the participants with a deepened discussion through the ethics consent form. This enabled an open and flowing discussion regarding the articles stemming from our own consent.

The varied viewpoints from both academics, professionals and research students created an atmosphere of respect and consideration, which through the allowing of (neuro)diverse viewpoints enabled an intense and concentrated unfolding of the texts.

We enacted an ethics of care within the reading group, through our negotiation of those different voices we were reading. The affect that the different approaches we engendered, enabled a profound interpretation from the learnings of the group, which it is hoped will form the basis of further research and potential collaborative journal writing.