Some years ago, we established a pop-up laboratory at a suburban secondary school in Denmark. Let us call the school ‘X-school’. By the term ‘pop-up laboratory’, we mean a laboratory setting, or a ‘a place to work’, that pops up in a limited time at a particular place and that is designed for working (‘laborara’) with and testing assumptions on a particular research subject on the spot. Our ambition with this laboratory was to get closer to some of the precision mechanisms of new forms of biopolitics. Or, more precisely we were curious about how affects and senses are constructed and governed by new forms of educational leadership, when educational leadership expects students to affectively engage themselves in their own learning processes and to be committed and motivated for further schooling: How did the students feel about this management? How did they the experience to be a ‘human resource’ that could constantly be cultivated and potentialised? Borrowing Brian Massumi’s (2009) term, we might say that we were (and are still) interested in the ‘ontopower’ of today’s schooling and educational leadership, targeting cognition, perception, and affertivity as the objective as well as the means. However, in this chapter, we revisit the format of the pop-up laboratory and more particularly the visual methodologies that we used for producing empirical material. By critically scrutinizing the unintended effects of our lab and how the research design produced and experimented with conflicting affects, this text attempts to contribute with self-critical and nuanced reflections, rather than only celebrate or abandon our own experiment.
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- Experimenting with Affects and Senses — A Performative Pop-Up Laboratory (Self-)Critically Revisited
- Palgrave Macmillan UK