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Palgrave Macmillan

Intensive Media

Aversive Affect and Visual Culture

ISBN 9781137273505
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

There is something unsettling, but also powerful, in the encounter with individual and collective experiences of human suffering. Intensive Media explores the discomfort and fascination initiated by instances of pain and suffering, their 'aversive affects', as they trouble but also vitalise contemporary media environments. In the contexts of crisis, conflict and suffering explored throughout this book, aversive affect operates micropolitically to make explicit or hide the material conditions that surround instances of pain in all its specificity. That is, in so many scenarios, personal, social and political stakes are set around the thresholds of intensity that give rise to a 'sense' of pain and the unpredictable valences of its aversive affects. It is in this sense that McCosker and his case studies develop outwards from the middle of what has been referred to as 'the problem of pain', a problem that traverses media, communication, art, sociality and politics in their confrontation with affect, biology and neurophysiology.

Anthony McCosker lectures in Media and Communications in the Faculty of Life and Social Sciences at Swinburne University, Australia. His research explores media affect, digital and visual cultures and social media practices and publics.

1. Pain: Aversive Affects and Micropolitics
2. War: Visual Brutality and Affective Vectors
3. Torture: Obscenity and Complicity, from East Timor to Abu Ghraib
4. Disaster: Intensive Encounters with Scenes of Suffering
5. Masochism: Painful Pleasures
6. Salvation: Medieval Techniques, New Affective Communities
7. Illness: Putting it All Online
Works Cited


'McCosker's book is a very interesting read with its focus on pain images as forms of mediation aimed at appealing to a shared human vulnerability, on the affective and political complexity of pain images, and on the development of concepts to describe
more-than-representational forms of communication.' - Carsten Stage, Journal of Media and Communication Research
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