On the aesthetic production of atmospheres: The rhetorical workings of biopower at The CELL

Brian L. Ott, Hamilton Bean, Kellie Marin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drawing upon Foucault’s notion of biopower and Böhme’s theory of atmospheres, we analyze The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (The CELL), a nonprofit institution in Denver, Colorado dedicated to preventing terrorism. Specifically, we argue that The CELL rhetorically induces visitors to submit to and actively participate in continuous surveillance by subjecting them to a strategic succession of atmospheres that affectively and emotively enlists their bodies in its cause. This largely material rhetoric utilizes the design aesthetics of controlled movement, simulation, interactivity, and pseudodialogue. We conclude by reflecting on the implications for rhetorical and security studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-362
Number of pages17
JournalCommunication and Critical/ Cultural Studies
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • Aesthetics
  • Affect
  • Atmospheres
  • Biopower
  • Security

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