An Affect of an Experience (Book)

and how I learnt to write about it in the context of fine art

Philosophy of Experience and the Practice of Writing explores how writing can be a practice of fine art as much as painting or drawing are, and how the creation and interpretation of experience can be developed as a methodology.


The overarching conceptual aim of the book is to examine the concept of experience as both content and as interpretative register in the context of Fine Art. It explores the reasons why experience, as opposed to other modes of consciousness such as understanding, knowing, perceiving or recognising, is much more likely to be run together with the notion of actuality and therefore often thought of in terms of authenticity. It then discusses the idea of writing about experience as a practice in Fine Art (the idea that writing can be understood as a practice like painting, sculpture, video etc) and how ‘affect’ is a viable methodology for the art writing practice.


The book seeks to provide a more fluid interpretation of experience. In so doing it explores the following questions: ‘why does the reading of experience as self-presence predominate’, ‘what does it mean to say you have had an actual experience’, ‘what is the status and value of experience as evidence’ and ‘how is experience written and seen’? Therefore, in order to write the text the process of being taken by a particular scene of experience and writing to ‘meet’ the affect of that experience with critical interpretation is developed as a methodology.

Kate Love is an artist/writer and theorist whose work is primarily concerned with exploring the idea of writing as a practice in relation to the philosophical examination of experience in the context of fine art. She is senior lecturer at Central Saint Martins, London.

1 Introduction to the Materiality of Writing as a Practice  

2 Introduction to the Concept of Experience  

3 Problems with Experience as Self-Presence 


4 An Examination of the Idea of the Subject as the Source of Experience

5 Writing to Meet the Affect of the Antagonism as Experienced in the Hospital off the City Road 

6 Hovering Words: Part 1 Speaking Experience


7 Hovering Words: Part 2 Writing Experience

8 Experience and Representation

9 Experience as a Relation that is In and At the Limits of Language 

10 To Test the Above: To Look at the Separation of Experience and Language

11 Beginnings of a More Adequate Interpretation of Experience: Separation of Experience and Language (Under Erasure)

12 To Get to Some Sort of Ending: Actually More Precisely the Gradual Realisation that there is No Real Beginning, Middle or End to this Research       


'As a reader I was informed and absorbed in equal measure. This book is a refreshing text to read as it opens up the multiple possibilities for writing in art and design academic settings, especially for academics who are pursuing practice-based, practice-led and practice-involved research.'

Mark Ingham, London College of Communication

Mark Ingham
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