Latest Issue of Dark Matter

There’s a nice article on recent viral events in the latest issue of Dark Matter…

On the Borders of the Political Event in the Age of Hashtags: From #BlackLivesMatter to #JeSuisCharlie by Oana Parvan   

“We choose the faction and unleash our social media gestures, engage in debates and sometimes take to the streets. But what triggers our affiliations and actions? What empathy patterns are activated in the process? How is this empathy constructed from below and above? And how can we build a critical stance around the way events affectively colonize our interiority and possibility of action?”

“What #BlackLivesMatter and #JeSuisCharlie reveal  is an uneasy political truth. No political emergence will be possible without conceiving the possibility of new alliances, and reflecting on privilege polarization. For the political is not locked in the Idea, but surrounds us. Giving a chance for unpredictable connections and yet unimagined possibles, might be a necessary prospect in the years to come, since, as Massumi claims:

What you can do, your potential, is defined by your connectedness, the way you’re connected and how intensely, not your ability to separate off and decide by yourself. Autonomy is always connective, it’s not being apart, it’s being in, being in a situation of belonging that gives you certain degrees of freedom, or powers of becoming, powers of emergence.[38]


About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. A former musician, he studied computer technology and cultural theory before receiving a PhD in sociology from the University of Essex. His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, due 2018). He is organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK, a co-founder of Club Critical Theory and Director of the EmotionUX Lab at UEL. He occasionally blogs at: Full academic profile:
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