Places, Affordances, Atmospheres. A Pathic Aesthetics by Tonino Griffero

We are pleased to inform that the last book by Tonino Griffero, Places, Affordances, Atmospheres. A Pathic Aesthetics has been published by Routledge

The book begins by tracing back to the model of experience called the “pathic”. Drawing on the phenomenology of theorists Hermann Schmitz and Gernot Böhme, introductory chapters offer a grounding for the beginnings of pathic research. The chapters go on to apply pathic framework to a range of practical cases from theatre studies to education. Atmospheres are often defined as affects one feels in a “lived space” and researchers are becoming more interested in the emotions we feel in natural and artificial environments across day to day life.By providing a critical re-evaluation of phenomenology and aesthetics, the book brings a series of unexplored and controversial subjects to light, opening up a new context for thinking about our everyday life and experiences inscribed within aesthetics, politics, literature, spatial practices and pedagogy and effectively merging abstract philosophy and concrete practice.


New Book on Psychopathology and Atmospheres

A new book entitled Psychopathology and Atmospheres. Neither Inside nor Outside edited by Tonino Griffero and Gianni Francesetti has been published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Feeling sad during a funeral and being relaxed while having dinner with friends are atmospheric feelings. However, the notion of “atmosphere”, meaning not only a subjective mood, but a sensorial and affective quality that is widespread in space and determines the way one experiences it, has intensified only recently in scientific debate. The discussion today covers a wide range of theoretical and applied issues, involving all disciplines, paying attention more to qualitative aspects of reality than to objective ones. These disciplines include the psy- approaches, whose focus on an affective experience that is emerging neither inside nor outside the person can contribute to the development of a new paradigm in psychopathology and in clinical work: a field-based clinical practice. This collection of essays is the first book specifically addressing the link between atmospheres and psychopathology. It challenges a reductionist and largely unsatisfactory approach based on a technical, pharmaceutical, symptomatic, individualistic perspective, and thus promotes the exchange of ideas between psy- disciplines, humanistic approaches and new trends in sciences.

Issue on Atmosphere – Journal of Architectural Education

We are glad to inform you that the new issue of the Journal of Architectural Education entirely dedicated to the theme of Atmospheres (vol. 73, n. 1, 2019) is now available online.

In this issue, you can read an interview with Tonino Griffero to Martin Bressani:

Martin Bressani: You have written that “philosophers have so far only interpreted the world, in various ways, and that now the point is to ‘perceive’ it.” You then go on to say that “to describe
human experience atmospherically is not grasping ‘sense data’ and, only afterward or accidently, states of things, but it is instead being involved by things, or, even better, situations.” Do you mean to say that our perception of atmosphere precedes any moment of objectification or that it
replaces objectification altogether?

Tonino Griffero: In my “ecological” account of perception, I am deeply influenced by the neophenomenological externalization of affect (i.e., by a vigorous campaign against the epistemologically and commonsensically dominant introjectionist paradigm). According to the ordinary (i.e., objectifying, dualistic, introjective) paradigm, the human subject puts the five senses “on parole,” reducing them to suspect descriptors that cognition only ever allows to testify about external phenomena when the mind judges the world as an object. Conversely, the neophenomenological externalization of affect subjects us to a deep reconsideration of our explicit and implicit ontological background, thus making the “lived” space an acting subject.
A perceiver is not at first surrounded by things and situations that are devoid of meaning. Rather,
a perceiver is surrounded by things, and especially “quasi-things” (a genus that includes atmosphere as its emblematic species) and situations, always already affectively connoted.
This so-called demand or invitation character of our environment, understood as a lived space suggesting felt bodily tensions and expressive orientations, is based on a set of affordances (I extend here James Gibson’s concept in a more aesthetic than pragmatic sense) that don’t
completely change according to an actor’s need or intention. Spatialized feeling—what I call the “prototypic” atmosphere—is sometimes fully refractory to a more or less conscious attempt at a projective reinterpretation or reflective reductionism, thus generating an almost unavoidable felt bodily involvement in the perceiver and completely reorienting their mood, such as when, entering a building or coming to a group of people, their tense atmosphere can really challenge my inner calmness and undermine my mood. […]

To read the full interview please click here.