Video: Oceanic feeling and C******** Affect by Jackie Wang

At the Art Biennale Riga, Wang examines the concept of “Oceanic feeling” in psychoanalytic and philosophical discourses, for the purpose of elaborating a project of communist affect: “Given that the oceanic has the potential to unsettle subjectivitiy, I argue that the oceanic can be a point of departure for new socialities and potential modes that do not rely on discrete selves.”

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Interested in the desire for life and mental structures that cannot be contained, Wang has been exploring the creative, social, and political implications of oceanic feeling as well as the enmeshment of the psychoanalysis of mysticism and psychoanalytic debates about religion.


Jackie Wang is a black studies scholar, prison abolitionist, poet, performer, and author of Carceral Capitalism (2018), ‘one of the most wide-ranging, critical, and theoretically nuanced examinations of the political economy of the carceral state in the USA to date’. She is a PhD candidate in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and the the author of a number of punk zines including On Being Hard Femme, as well as a collection of dream poems titled Tiny Spelunker of the Oneiro-Womb.

MIT-Press writes about her book Carcereal Capitalism (2018) that MIT distributes via their website (text on demand in MoBo):

Wang shows that the new racial capitalism begins with parasitic governance and predatory lending that extends credit only to dispossess later. Predatory lending has a decidedly spatial character and exists in many forms, including subprime mortgage loans, student loans for sham for-profit colleges, car loans, rent-to-own scams, payday loans, and bail bond loans. Parasitic governance, Wang argues, operates through five primary techniques: financial states of exception, automation, extraction and looting, confinement, and gratuitous violence. While these techniques of governance often involve physical confinement and the state-sanctioned execution of black Americans, new carceral modes have blurred the distinction between the inside and outside of prison. As technologies of control are perfected, carcerality tends to bleed into society.