Angelica Mesiti's rapture (silent anthem): hearing with our eyes

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Publication details

Kerruish, E 2015, 'Angelica Mesiti's rapture (silent anthem): hearing with our eyes', Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 593-604.

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The paper examines the ways in which affect is shaped by technology and culture through a reading of Angelica Mesiti's video artwork Rapture (Silent Anthem), winner of the 2009 Blake Prize. I argue that experiences of her artwork integrate mental and bodily processes in affect, and thus the paper contributes to the body of literature which suggests that understandings of affect should see affect as more than an autonomic, pre-conscious bodily state. Mesiti's artwork instantiates a relationship between rapture and art, a subject to which Friedrich Nietzsche's writings give sustained attention. Nietzsche understands rapture as an embodied process embedded in the surrounding ethos. Two practices of aesthetic rapture – tragic rapture and the rapture of reading – are explored to develop an account of the structure of affect. Reading this structure through Mesiti's video artwork shows how neoliberal culture engages sensation and affect.

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