Articles | Volume 70, issue 4
Geogr. Helv., 70, 255–263, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-70-255-2015

Special issue: Affect, emotions and more-than-representational geographies

Geogr. Helv., 70, 255–263, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-70-255-2015

Standard article 05 Oct 2015

Standard article | 05 Oct 2015

Researching affective atmospheres

C. Michels C. Michels
  • Research Institute for Organizational Psychology, Research Area Cultures Institutions Markets, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland

Abstract. In this contribution, I suggest activating the notion of atmospheres as a heuristic device to empirically research affects. I will argue that analysing the composition of atmospheres allows one to take into account three key dimensions of affects: their spatio-materiality, their sensuality and their (in)stability. Building on a process understanding of atmospheres, I reflect on how each of the three dimensions can be empirically researched and how they interplay in the emergence of atmospheres. I will illustrate these reflections with examples from a current research project on an artistic intervention into public spaces in Berlin.

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Short summary
In this contribution, I suggest activating the notion of atmospheres as a heuristic device to empirically research affects. I will argue that analysing the composition of atmospheres allows one to take into account three key dimensions of affects: their spatio-materiality, their sensuality and their (in)stability. Building on a process understanding of atmospheres, I reflect on how each of the three dimensions can be empirically researched and how they interplay in the emergence of atmospheres.