Affect Lab, a not-for-profit foundation I co-founded in 2012, is where my research into mobile phones takes place.
Understanding human-machine relations is fraught with challenges. It’s a deeply complex, nuanced and varied landscape to navigate. No more so than in the world of mobile phones. While we live increasingly mobile-mediated lives, we only have a small inkling of the full affective bandwidth of this technology. But, opportunities exist to reflect on everyday gestures, stories, gather rich insights, and better understand our mobile and affective practices.
Affect Lab is a mobile culture archive in the making.
Read more about Affect Lab on the website: www.affectlab.org
My PhD research is supervised by Dr Sarah Kember & Dr Joanna Zylinska at Goldsmiths College, Media and Communications department. My research is concerned with affective aspects of mobile culture. I offer an alternative mobile story – one that aims to rewrite the cultural history of the mobile phone from what could be termed an affective perspective, one that takes issue with detached observation and the analysis of logical cause-and-effect scenarios. The main focus of this story is the affective connection – articulated as kinship, romance and other, more ambiguous attachments and passions – that exists between people and their mobile phones.
The line between human and computer is no longer drawn at the ability to think but the capacity to feel. With a recent focus on emotion in human-computer interaction, research has extended past the cognitive to understand new aspects of human experience. My masters thesis, completed in 2011 at the University of Amsterdam under the supervision of Geert Lovink, explored the affective turn of mobile phones using ethnographic methods. To download a copy of my thesis please click here.