On Affect, Motion, and Nonverbal Art: A Case and a Theory

in Projections
Gilbert J. Rose Independent scholar giljrose@optonline.net

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Examining his childhood portrait over many months within the safety and resonance of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, an older patient recovered lost childhood feelings. His viewing the picture with motoric empathy points up a crucial relation of motion to affect in all nonverbal art, namely, affecto-motor sublimation. How do artist's affects become transformed and embedded in art and music to stimulate affective responses? The artist's kinesthetic somatic tension and release are personal expressive substrates of the affects that accompany the making of art. Using artistic tools to regulate the salience of perceptual features, the somatic tension and release of affect turns into the virtual implicit motion of tonal/visual gestures of music/art; thence, transformed by a receptive receiver back into the somatic tension and release appropriate to his/her own personal, kinesthetic, affective response.

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