Affect Never Felt So Evil


Matthew Fuller’s Evil Media, explores not only the ostensible effects of media, but also the less obvious secondary effects. One of the more unintended effects that media inherently bears is a sense of “evilness” that is beyond the initial understanding of human consciousness. This evilness permeates in the areas of compositionally formed grayness. In this area lies the less explored “…ways in which the dimly sensed links between affective configurations and the broader, unstable networks of agents and mediators of which we are a part, with their difficult-to-perceive boundaries and their correlative scope for producing troubling uncertainties, are being assembled.” The term “media” has been categorized into countless genres, yet many fail to consider that every categorization placed on the term, whether it is a study, theory, philosophy, or science, is a mere thread of the affective fabric of technology.

But why is this so evil? Fuller describes the evilness of media as something that exists beyond the tangible, readably feasible frame of apprehension—and that it lies in a realm of ambiguity, obscureness, and abstraction. Fuller delves into the underlying strategematic logics that lie beneath the façade of “transparency” and “instrumental rationality” in our media acculturated world.

One’s reaction to music is something that is difficult to describe. The association between the expression of sound or noise, and your perception of that sound as it contacts your eardrums, is one that has a lot more depth than one may think upon first glance. Unlike the food, television, or sports industries, it is difficult for those behind the music industry to target the specific sense of affect that one wants to hear after listening to a sound. Because food, television, and sports are more tangible in form, it is easier for one to describe their feelings towards such a thing. Thus, it is easer for those on the business side, to control the economy of those industries because the sense of demand for one thing or another is far more identifiable.


Music, especially in the context of live performance, is something that exists abstractly and is dependent upon many other factors that effect more than one sense at once. That being said, how are those in charge of the show supposed to gage what the audience wants? Because the act of hearing music is pretty inexplicable in its nature, people who enter a concert venue don’t bother to question anything that may lie beyond their understanding because they assume that the affective quality of music and the experience it fosters is out of their control. According to Fuller, this is the evilness of deception within media that sways the user into believing in its pure transparency.

~ by avaburnes on April 26, 2015.

3 Responses to “Affect Never Felt So Evil”

  1. Most informative! Loved the way you explained evil media. Amongst all posts, it was easiest to understand you definition. Like the connection to your ecology as well. – Kanika

  2. I thought your post was the most informative because you incorporated the psychical element into your writing in relation to evil media and the abstraction layer (partially due to my interest in music as well!). I agree that, unlike other entertainment industries such as food or sports, the music industry has to employ this abstraction layer and affective quality of music that quite evily deceives the audience into its metaphysical form.

  3. Your post is the most informative blog post for me this week! Unlike the other posts, yours really delves into Fuller’s ideas and explains “evilness” and “media”. Also, I loved how you talked about the music business leaders as the ones who control the industry, while the audience simply listens and does not bother to question. Great job! 🙂

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