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Joscha Spoellmink


Lansstraße 5-9
14195 Berlin

Affective Economies in the Art of Placemaking

Dissertation in Culture

Mentoring team:
First supervisor: Prof. Frank Kelleter
Second supervisor: Prof. Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman
Third supervisor: Prof. Martin Lüthe

Traversing disciplines like art history, cultural theory, and urban studies, my dissertation tracks the affective economies at the intersection of art, community activism, and urban planning. The projects I look at occupy multiple social and cultural environments, are to varying degrees situated within racialized zones of inhabitation, and formed by the ambition to turn a site of abandonment into a livable location.

My dissertation probes the affectscapes created in these practices and the ways in which these affectscapes bear relations to broader moods generated within the ongoing (financial) crisis, in particular with respect to the issue of housing. Through this focus, I identify placemaking as an artistic genre and a mode of experience of everyday worldmaking: a network of fields and actors that is, I argue, based on particular transactions of feelings.  

What do these economies of affect tell us with regard to current experiences of shared space? How do artistic approaches to urban space rework notions of utopia, belonging, community, and commonality? And what are the shared gestures of practices that animate a relation between aesthetics, ethics, and real estate investment?

Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft