Claudia Landolfi

The Italian philosopher Claudia Landolfi studies the transformation of modern subjectivity. Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, Netherlands is a center for research in art, design, and philosophy.

She has spent the last two years there after finishing her Ph.D. dissertation on Deleuze and Hume regarding the linkages between desire, law, and institutions. She has been a selected and invited speaker at several international conferences throughout her time working in the Theory Department under the guidance of Slovenian theorist Mladen Dolar.

She has published works on Western philosophy from the modern era and beyond, with an emphasis on how neoliberal digital apparatuses subjectivate and reshape the relationship between culture and nature, as well as desire and power.

She is developing a theory on subjectivity that defines terms like “informational matter,” “digital shrift,” “psychic enclosure,” “digital governmentality,” and “legal principle of subjectivation” in relation to digital media.

One manifestation of mental confinement is the formation of an internalized norm based on judgment that controls one’s emotions; this norm is then activated by the apparatuses of digital media, leading to the creation of a moralized-judgmental subject who ‘courts’ the affective and informational matter that is unique in its desired aspects.

Digital media are seen as a tool for control and spectacularization, but they are also seen as a court that favors the dominant anthropological model (the judge who works for capitalist production) and rejects unproductive differences.

This is because the internalized judgment is a part of the control apparatus, as self-control. Contrary to popular belief, the key is not an increase in the number of preferences but rather an abundance of non-judgmental and event-based preferences.

The focus of her present affect study is on expanding the subjective potential and removing it from judgment.

Her goal is to put forth an Empiricist ethics of affect that challenges the cause-and-effect law and the anthropological paradigm she terms “the legal subject” by highlighting the ideas of imagination, indetermination, and creation.

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