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  Atmospheres of law: Senses, affects, lawscapes q Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos * University of Westminster, School of Law, 4-12 Little Titch  fi eld Street, London W1W7UW, United Kingdom a r t i c l e i n f o  Article history: Received 12 August 2011Received in revised form29 February 2012Accepted 1 March 2012 Keywords: SensesAffectsAtmosphereLawSkinDeleuze a b s t r a c t In this article, I deal with airs and sounds and scents, while keeping an eye on the law. My fi eld of enquiryis the interstitial area between sensory and affective occurrences, namely sensory experiences that aretraditionally thought to be a causal result of external stimuli, and affective experiences that are mostlyassociated with emotional changes and generally allude to something internal. I am arguing that there isno constructive difference between internal and external srcin of occurrences. In its stead, I suggest theconcept of atmosphere, namely an attempt at understanding affective occurrences as excessive, collec-tive, spatial and elemental. However, it quickly becomes apparent that an atmosphere is legally deter-mined. The law controls affective occurrences by regulating property of sensory stimulation. At the sametime, the law guides bodies into corridors of sensory compulsion e an aspect of which is consumerism incapitalist societies. The law achieves this by allowing certain sensory options to come forth while sup-pressing others, something which is particularly obvious in cases of intellectual property protection thatcapture the sensorial. I deal with the law in its material, spatial manifestation and in particular throughwhat I have called the ‘ lawscape ’ , namely the fusion of space and normativity. I employ a broadly Del-euzian methodology with insights from radical geography, affective studies, urban and critical legaltheory in order to develop and link the various parts of the text. Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 1. Please, come in You walk into a room that smells of roses. The walls are painteda stimulating combination of red and yellow. The fi rst notes of Beethoven ’ s Für Elise are piped in the air. You touch the smoothsurface of the table, you sit on a comfortable chair, you switch onyouriPadandgetreadytobrowsetheinternet.Thereisevenadartsboard, should you feel like playing. You feel well, at ease, energetic.You perceive the surrounding atmosphere as pleasant, familiar,protective. You take a sip from your Coke and settle in.You haveentered the lawscape. Or rather, you neverquiteleft it.Even as you took the lift to this fl oor, orearlieras you walked downthe street, or even earlier as you came out of the underground: it isall lawscape. An in fi nite plane where the city is interlaced with thelaw. In the lawscape, every surface, smell, colour, taste is regulatedby some form of law, be this intellectual property, planning law,environmental law, health and safety regulations, and so on. Lawregulates traf  fi c, allows you to cross the road or not, allows you todrive your car, to go to the cinema, to enter the zoo, to stay at yourownhome.ItallowsyoutoswitchonyourTV,toaccesstheinternetor read a newspaper. Even the simplest acts are controlled toa greater or lesser extent by some legal agreement, limitation orprescribed direction, whether this is in the public or private space.The fact for example that one goes tothe bathroom, this sacrosanctof private spaces, is regulated by legal provisions of waterprocurement, building regulations with regardstothe material andplacement of pipes, legal ownership of sewers and regulations onwaste disposal, planning relation of the bathroom space to the restof the home in the sense of where it is and what provisions havebeen made for emergencies, the kind of wall paint and othermaterials used, and so on. Perhaps less metaphorically than itmight sound, the law is spread on pavements, covers the walls of buildings,opensandcloseswindows,letsyoudressinacertainway(andnotother),eat inacertainway,smell,touch orlistentocertainthings, touch other people in a certainway (and notother), sleep ina certain space, move in a certain way, stay still in a certain way.The “ where? ” of the law can only be answered with an ambig-uous “ all over ” (Sarat, 1990). Such ambiguity, however, just aboutmanagestoveiladecisivefactthataffectsthelawscape.If,asIshowbelow, the lawscape is the interfolding of law and the city in botha material and an immaterial sense (Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos,2007a),thehystericubiquityof thelawinithasasaresultthelaw ’ s q I am grateful to Danilo Mandic, Chris Ellins, Andrea Pavoni, Timothy Choy,Brenna Bhandar and Marta Iljadica for their help in thinking this text. * Tel.: þ 44 20 7911 5000. E-mail address: [email protected]. Contents lists available atSciVerse ScienceDirect Emotion, Space and Society journal 1755-4586/$ e see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.emospa.2012.03.001 Emotion, Space and Society xxx (2012) 1 e 10 Please cite this article inpress as: Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, A., Atmospheres of law: Senses, affects, lawscapes, Emotion, Space and Society(2012), doi:10.1016/j.emospa.2012.03.001  very imperceptibility. The fact that one goes to the bathroomwithoutthinkingaboutalltheseregulationsdoesnotmeanthatthelaw is not there. Rather, it means that the city is so thick with lawthat, just like air, the law is not perceived. It becomes ‘ invisible ’ (Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos and FitzGerald, 2008), white noise,thin air. It becomes an atmosphere e there but not there, imper-ceptible yet all-determining. But, just like air that smells foul whensomething has gone wrong, the law can easily re-emerge frombetween the shiny tiles and screeching pipes and claim its space inthe lawscape. A series of regulations, contractual agreements,statutes and cases visit you in your bathroom, and the whole thingquickly becomes overcrowded if you have also called insurance.The mention of air is not just for the metaphor effect. In thiscontribution,Iamdealingwithsounds,scentsandsweetairs,whilekeepinganeyeonthelaw.My fi eldofenquiryistheinterstitialareabetween sensory and affective occurrences, namely sensory expe-riences that are traditionally thought to be a causal result of external stimuli, and affective experiences that are mostly associ-ated with emotional changes and generally allude to somethinginternal. Instead, I am arguing that there is no constructive differ-ence between internal and external srcin, namely senses andemotions, or indeed experiences and occurrences. The distinctionbetween a self-contained individual and an environment hascollapsed, and this is not only because of the forced mendacity of either side of the distinction. In its stead, I suggest the concept of atmosphere, namely an attempt at understanding affective occur-rences as collective, spatial and elemental. Even immersed intoatmospheres however, one cannot fail to notice that they are alsolegallydetermined.Thus,yourearlierentrancetotherose-smellingroom was a piece of engineered atmosphere, namely an atmo-sphere that embodied the lawscape along with its receding visi-bilities. The law determines an atmosphere by allowing certainsensoryoptionstocome forth whilesuppressingothers.Thismightwellbeusedpositivelyinanattempttoreducecrime(Borch,2008),but it might also be used as a tool for political or economic strat-egies that guarantee speci fi c sensory responses and anticipateaffective responses. I employ a broadly Deleuzian methodologywith insights from radical geography, affective studies, and urbanand critical legal theory in order to develop and link the variousparts of the text. Thus, in the following part I explain brie fl y theconcept of the lawscape and prepare it for its contextualisation,which takes place in the third section that deals with senses andaffects. In section four, I engage with current notions of atmo-spheres and then present my version that departs from most of them and aims at a post-phenomenological, non-anthropocentricdescription. This is fi nally linked to a brief discussion on currentintellectual property law developments with regards to atmo-spheric engineering.Let us, then, go a little deeper in the lawscape. 2. Lawscape Simply put, the lawscape is the epistemological and ontologicaltautologyoflawandthecity(Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos,2007b,2008). The neologism risks making the use of individual termsredundant. A city without law is a holy city of justice, perpetually fl oating in a post-con fl ict space where everything is light andforgiveness. Likewise, a law without a city is a law without mate-riality, an abstract, universal, immutable law that trammels theglobe. Both the above are fantastic beasts that operate at best ashorizon and at worst as cheap rhetoric. Think of the horizon of  justice as a justice always-to-come, a messianic justice thatdemands present calculation (Derrida,1992). Law is needed in thecalculation part. After that, and once justice has been achieved (if ever), the law recedes for a well-deserved rest, since it becomessuper fl uous when the city is just. The law only emerges in con fl ict,in quest (for justice), and in need to capture the future. A just city,however, has captured time itself, engraved it right here , onto thesurface of its urban sprawl. A just city is a theological concept andcannot accommodate anything that falls sort of divinity ( contra Fainstein, 2010). Likewise, law as an abstract universal that is freefrom the constraints of matter and space is one of the illusions law(and some existing legal theory) insists on maintaining. Law ascontrol is by de fi nition material and more speci fi cally spatial, for itis only through its very own emplaced body that the law can exertits power. Law comes from within the controlled, their bodies of appearance and their corridors of movement, as post-colonialtheory has taught us (Bhabha, 2005). This is more than just bio-political control, since it addresses the material nature of the lawitself. To posit a law without a city is tantamount to positing, say,a universal human right that applies to everyone, without the needfor contextualisation, namely that supreme need for closing in andeavesdropping on this particular body ’ s speci fi c circumstances.For clari fi cation ’ s sake, I should mention that by law I under-stand both standard law and regulation, as well as the generaliseddiffused normativity that characterises life e whatSpinoza (2007)has called “ rules for living ” . This includes human and other bodiesaswell asobjects. Just as a body, an object isalready functionalised,normalised, never independent of its normative position in theworld. The law is an expansive institutional affect  that permeatesthe formal and the informal. What is remarkable, however, is thatthe latter diffused form of normativity exhibits the paradox of appearing both as a corporeally embedded preference for indi-vidual self-preservation, and a feature compliant with the currentsurveillance and control culture. This sense of normativity takesfewrisksanddelegatescon fl ictresolutiontowhatitconsiderstobehigherlevelsofjudgement-making e indeed,togobacktoSpinoza,a sort of guardian authority that pursues ef  fi ciently the individualinterests of its subjects. The phenomenon of the “ nanny state ” isboth an anathema and a desire, a direct result of which is theperceived political apathy. It is not all bleak though. This isa comfortable sense of normativity that covers speci fi c needs, suchas issues of belonging, constructions of home and community, aswell as emplacement. It is, properly speaking, a product of its ownspatiotemporal conditions, and as such it manages to make itself invisible and neutral, to recede from the surface and conceal itsforce. This works both ways: legal subjects recede from activelyquestioning the law (complacency or reassurance), and the lawrecedes from claiming a role in the construction of the everyday.This does not mean that the law is not there e simply that it is notperceived as being constantly there. This is a strategic move thataimsatdiffusinganddissimulatingtheforceoflaw,offeringinsteada smooth, anomic atmosphere. Even so, things can on occasionover fl ow, exceed themselves and embark upon a fl ight of radicalself-rede fi nition. In such cases, the already ‘ contagious ’ (in thesense of epidemic imitating, seeTarde, 1903) nature of thenormative doubles up and becomes rapid, horizontal and fi ery,engendering such eruptions as demonstrations, revolts, revolu-tions, coups. In all these cases, the law does not leavethe stage. It ismerely supplemented by a different normative direction andsometimes a higher velocity.With city I understand the thick spatiality of bodies (humans,non-humans, linguistic, spatial, disciplinary), buildings, objects,animals, vegetables, minerals, money, communication, silence,open spaces, air, water, and so on. This spatiality is a fractal mani-festation of what I have elsewhere called ‘ open ecology ’ (Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, 2011), namely the assemblage of thenatural, the human,the arti fi cial, thescienti fi c, the political,theeconomic and so on, on a plane of contingency and fl uid bound-aries, or as Andrea Brighenti puts it, “ a series of territories, which  A. Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos / Emotion, Space and Society xxx (2012) 1 e 10 2 Please cite this article inpress as: Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, A., Atmospheres of law: Senses, affects, lawscapes, Emotion, Space and Society(2012), doi:10.1016/j.emospa.2012.03.001  can be thought of as superimposed . or mutually exclusive . oreven criss-crossed and overlapping ” (2006: 80). The open ecologyof the city is simultaneously open and closed. Hinterlands, globe,outer space, hybrid technohumans, technologically manipulatedmeteorological phenomena ‘ and so on ’ (see AnnaGrear ’ s 2011collapse of the anthropomorphic ef  fi gy) are all grounded on theurbanmaterialityof  here ,itselfopentoany de fi nitionofmaterialitymay come from over there. Thus, while in fi nite, open ecology isentirely immanent. Any transcending movement is inscribedwithin, in the recesses of the unknowable here. There is nothingthat is not, actually or virtually, included in open ecology. Andnothing that is not, actually or virtually, connected to everythingelse in some form of connection that enables everything to become everything else. This is a processual rather than value-basedecology and, to quote Deleuze and Guattari (1986: 4), “ we makeno distinction between man and nature: the human essence of natureandthenaturalessenceofmanbecomeonewithinnatureinthe form of production of industry ” . Instead of a distinction,a fractal fl uctuation between human/arti fi cial and natural. Insteadof one city, an in fi nite multiplicity that repeats itself as difference.The lawscape therefore operates as a surface onwhich the opennormativity of the lawand the open ecology of the cityemerge. Yetit does not constitute a new unity. The surface of the lawscapeenablesthereciprocaldissimulationoflawandthecity.Thus,inthelawscape,thecityshedsitsasphyxiatingnormativityjustasthelawsheds its ever-present materiality. Law and the city are mutuallyexclusive in their emergence, thus dissimulating and diffusing theoppressive nature of the lawscape. In that way they can both carryonwith their self-perpetuating myths, such as the cityas an accueil of difference and the breeding ground of communitarian nostalgia,and of the law as a universal good that has the potential of uni-versalising values such as right and wrong. Some elements remain,however. First, the inescapable lawscape. Wherever one is in thecity (and arguably beyond it, in its global hinterlands), one swimswith and against the various normative fl ows that constitute themateriality of its lawscape. Second, the posthuman lawscape.De fi ningthe cityasa sliceofopenecology meansthatthe lawscapelies beyond such distinctions as human/natural/arti fi cial (Wolfe,2009). Third, the fractal lawscape. While each lawscape isdifferent, they all fractally repeat the reciprocally invisibilisingembrace between open normativity and open ecology. There is noglobal lawscape that operates as a semantic and material commonsurface for the totality of cities, yet there is a plane of immanence ,notunlike theearthornatureasDeleuzeandGuattari putit(1986).This plane trammels the lawscapes like a line of  fl ight  , namely aninternal movement that begins and ends within the plane of immanence yet pushes the edges of this plane always further. Anexampleofsuchalineof  fl ightwouldbethecreativeorcompetitiveedge of any city that wants to attract the globe and that, by placingitself alongside other cities, manages to develop creatively its ownpotential.The above characteristics set the lawscape apart in relation toother fusions of the legal and the spatial, such as the nomotop(Sloterdijk, 2006) or the nomosphere (Delaney, 2010). The main difference betweenthe lawscape andtheseotherfusionsis thatthelatter are characterised by a compartmentalisation of the non-human in relation to a spatially determined human community.Sloterdijk (2006: 10) talks about “ the ‘ tensegral ’ nature of humanassociation in the nomotopic fi eld ” , Delaney (2010: 25) about “ cultural-material environs . and the practical performativeengagements [with them] ” . In both cases, the human remainsa central fi gure of perception, performance or action. Even Slo-terdijk ’ sseriesofhuman ‘ islands ’ ,oneofwhichisthenomotop,thatmoves further in the direction of a material emplacement of nor-mativity through the use of architectural structures such astensegrities (the thin but necessary structures that support airbuildings), even so, its post-phenomenological structure stillretains the centrality of a human, anthropocentric and anthropo-morphic subject. On the contrary, what is proposed here, largelyfollowing Deleuze and Guattari (1986: 314 e 317) on their ‘ allo-plastic stratum ’ , namely the level of creative construction of signsnot limited to humans, is a proper decentring of whatever residueof centrality might remain in the con fi guration of the connectionbetween the human and the environmental. This, as I have shown,entails a radical opening of both understandings of the cityand thelaw towards an unmediated wilderness. 3. Senses and affects Sensorystimulation in the lawscapeis a beguiling, confounding,excessive affair. DavidHowes (2005)calls this ‘ hyperesthesia ’ ,namely the sensory overstimulation characteristic of capitalistsocieties. All senses are summoned to participate in one ’ s experi-ence of the lawscape: visual displays are in some ways the mostinnocuous stimuli since one has learnt to expect them, althougheven this is no longer the case with product placement andsubliminal messages that catch us unawares. Supermarkets areperhaps the most typical example of consumer sensory stimula-tion, with the piped smell of baked bread and studied productshelving a thing of intense marketing scrutiny. But one must notforget the relevance of textures of products that respond to thetouch in inviting ways, or music meant to encourage eithera lingering and luxurious or indeed a self-con fi dent and energeticshopping experience. The new design credo is no longer beauty inappearance but “ beauty in interaction ” , as Howes (2005: 284)reminds us. The body is now fi rmly emplaced in a society of commodities, with chunks of its being claimed by various sensorystimulifromall angles.Nolongerwhole,thebodyisan aggregationofsensorytopoithatmoveaboutanddragtherestofthebodywith.The urban body throws itself with abandon to a hyperaesthetichedonism.Cities, however, are characterised by a paradox. Urban hyper-esthesiagoeshandinhandwithapunctiliousattemptatseparatingthesenses.Museumsandartgalleriesareperhapsthemostobviousexample of such sensory deprivation. The Aristotelian hierarchy of senses returns, where touch is considered the lowest of the orderbecause of its commonality with animals, closely followed by tasteand smell. JimDrobnick (2005)has studied the disciplinary tech-nology of the ‘ white cube ’ space, namely the sparse, ocularcentricform of the standard contemporary art experience. He calls them “ anosmic cubes ” (266) because of the concentrated attempts atdeodorisation that take place in them, geared towards the trainingof art appreciation in a highly visual, non-touching, aurally insu-lated atmosphere. An anosmic space is a ready-made that hasexpelled the process of deodorisation from its folds, thus makingsure that its sanitisation is seen as a fi nished and indeed prior andpermanent state of being. No aggressive chlorine smells, no openwindows, no visible air conditioning, just a cube dissociated fromitssocialcontext e oratleastsothestorygoes,sincethesparsenessand anosmia of the space points to a masculine, linear, white,middle-class adherence to a supposedly Spartan way of living thatsqueezesallitsfrills,pathologiesandperversionsinthe(concealed)white closets around the room. This is what PaulVirilio (1993)refers to when he talks about sanitisation as ideology: all in theservice of segregation, ghettoisation and suburbanisation. Suchattempts to achieve sanitising anosmia, however, only vaguelymanage to hide the aspiring anomic  nature of the cube: a spaceseemingly outside the lawscape, where the violence of urban legalcontrols is leftoutside for the sake of pure artenjoyment. This is anegalitarian space, where everyone can walk in and appreciate art.  A. Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos / Emotion, Space and Society xxx (2012) 1 e 10 3 Please cite this article inpress as: Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, A., Atmospheres of law: Senses, affects, lawscapes, Emotion, Space and Society(2012), doi:10.1016/j.emospa.2012.03.001  Yet, just as the various residual odours, the law is as well (or asbadly) hidden: despite appearances, the white cube is a striated,controlled space (Deleuze and Guattari, 1986), full of corridors,walls, barriers, micropanoptica, pillared vistas, differentiatedvelocities of movement. What is more, it is a striated spacedissimulating as smooth, yet completely populated by propertylines, health and safety regulations, consumer protection barriers,public morality risks, insurance dictates and so on. Despiteits attempts to the contrary, the anomic is very much of the law-scape e steeped into law yet striving to hide it.From single-sense domination to hyperaesthetic stimulation,contemporaryurbanenvironmentsaresitesofsensoryextremes.Inevery case, the normativity of the lawscape becomes obvious onceone scratches the surface and sniffs. A body moves along urbancorridorsofsensorydirection,consciouslyorunconsciouslyobeyinginvitations and exclusions, sensory barriers or gestures of guilt-freeoverload. During the last few years, one of the most iconic Londondepartment stores, Selfridges, has been repeating its obviouslysuccessfulsalescampaign,withbigsignsscatteredaroundthestorereading “ Buyme,Iwillchangeyourlife ” , “ Touchhere ” , “ Youdidnot fi nd me, I found you ” and “ I shop, therefore I am ” ( ¼ 9706). Ironicand playful, yet squarely hitting the spot of alleviating the over-spending consumer from guilt, the campaign reinforces the multi-sensory attack with invitations to luxuriate in the freedom of touching, smelling, feeling of what can very easily turn into a verycostlyexperience. Itcanbeargued,however,thatthis kindof  ‘ edgy ’ campaign only works in some consumer societies. Indeed, thecultural base of sensory stimulation becomes very quickly obviouswhen, to take an example, one fi nds oneself in the London under-ground, after having been used to, say, its Madrid equivalent. One ’ spersonal space is much more extensive in London, where even atrush hour, passengers avoid looking at each other however closelythey might stand, generally obey the London Transport signs thaturge them to avoid eating smelly foods, endure dirty looks if theylisten to their earphone music too loudly, and of course never, evertouch each other (seeBorch, 2011, on Canetti ’ s idea that the touchreactualises the relation between hunter and prey; alsoSennett,1994, on the fear of touching). And if by accident they do touch,a highly formalised and rather empty “ sorry ” comes as a linguistic deus ex machina and dispenses with the impropriety of the othersenses.Why is it that linguistic communication is preferable to beingtouched or exposed to someone else ’ s odour? Darwin ’ s famousdealings with emotions and expressions points to the element of  disgust  , with its obvious links to taste. He marvels at “ how readilythisfeelingisexcitedbyanythingunusualintheappearance,odour,or nature of our food. ” (1965: 256) The association with taste is, Ithink, not just an etymological coincidence (  gustus , ‘ taste ’ in Latin).Taste is a private necessity, the one sense associated more closelywith food, and as such it retains a privilege of voluntariness. Onecannotalways controlwhatone hearsorsmells butone isexpectedto be able to control what one tastes. To fi nd someone ’ s touch orsmell or even appearance disgusting is an expression of loss of control. The violation of one of the intimate corporeal cavities, themouth, points to an undesired reduction of distance between thebody and the world. This is through and through a class issue(Corbin, 1986) that reinforces the perception that the educatedclasses enjoy a distance between necessity and pleasure, whereasthe working masses are given to an unmediated, soil-infestedsatisfaction of necessity. To be fed smells, noises, bad dress senseor unnecessarily tactile attitudes makes the recipient feel less of aneducated member of society and more of an animal. As SarahAhmed (2006: 86) points out, “ to be disgusted is after all to beaffected by what one has rejected. ” Unsurprisingly, the law jumpsin and limits such opportunities of affect, as MarthaNussbaum(2000)shows when she examines how the law considers disgustas a reason and excuse for conduct norm-making.A couple of things become evident from the above. First,through the senses, the human approaches its elemental materi-ality and animality. This is often uncomfortable (especially froma class perspective) and the lawscape attempts to minimise itthrough linguistic prioritisation, control of sensory stimulation, orreservation of such stimulation for cases, such as subliminalmarketing (Karremans et al., 2006;Lakhani, 2008), where one succumbs to one ’ s senses without becoming aware of it. The law-scape has a colonising relation to animality, at the same timeexploitingitandconcealingit.Itisin theinterestof thelawscapetoretain the illusion of centrality of  “ the white man ” , the emptyhuman ef  fi gy (Grear, 2011), while at the same time engineer allthese hybrid, déclassé, taste-less, animal qualities towardsa controlled, smooth, anomic society. The posthuman lawscape is,therefore, populated with what Catherine Ingraham (2006: 85)calls “ the human animal of the post-animal world ” , a body “ uniquely amenable to capture ” without any “ psychological resis-tancetothe actofbeinghousedorcaged e in fact,thereverse. ” Theposthumanlawscape isnotsomethingbeyondthehuman butdeepinto human animality, in the swollen limit between the anthro-pomorphic animal resource and the anthropocentric humananimal, creating an atmosphere of dissimulation of precisely suchdepth.Second, sensory stimulation is not just about senses. Nothing isas deep as skin. I touch something, it feels good, I want it. Note thepassage: I feel it  e it  feels good. The object becomes the subject of the sentence, and both share a sense, a direction of desire. Sensesare all about emotions (see alsoAhmed, 2006). Desire springsbetween me and the thing like scented mist. The thing becomespart of my body, my body extends to the thing (and the thingbecomes a Hegelian property). The feeling is shared on the skin of the lawscape, spreading like skin rash, piling up an economy of desire.InJeanFrançoisLyotard ’ s libidinaleconomy ,thebodyandthecity, the one who touches and the one who is touched, share thesame skin: “ in libidinal economy there is nothing but skin on theinside and the outside, there is only one monoface surface, thelibidinal body is a Moebius strip ” (1993: 156). This goes beyonda material continuum of body and world. If senses are, so to speak,the libidinal formation, the locus where desire is formed, andemotions are the representation of the material desire, the signs of the material, then any distinction between the two is forced. AsLyotard says, “ there is no notable difference between a libidinalformation and a discursive formation ” (1993: 25), echoing Del-euze ’ s understanding of the common surface between the materialand the discursive. Lyotard again: “ wewell known that this surfaceis at the same time , indiscernibly, the libidinal skin . and the wise fl at sheet of the account book ” (1993: 18). Sense and emotion,desire and desire, one skin.Albeit in a different register, the above become palpable in thework of Michel Serres, one of the great theorists of the bodyand itsconnection to open ecology. In his seminal book The Five Senses (2008), Serres has carefully yet idiosyncratically assembled a con-textualised analysis of the senses that goes well beyond thephenomenological and augurs, at least for Serres ’ s subsequentwork, a kind of new ecological embodiment (seeConnor, 2005).One of his basic assertions is thatbodies and senses aremingled (inthemselves) and intermingled (hence the subtitle of the Englishedition,  A PhilosophyofMingled Bodies ).Serrestracesthemeetingof the body with the world on the skin. Not unlike Lyotard, Serresthinks of skin as the membrane that has both an inside and anoutsideyet whose stimulation cannot always be attributed causallyto one of the two. Serres writes: “ the skin is a variety of   A. Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos / Emotion, Space and Society xxx (2012) 1 e 10 4 Please cite this article inpress as: Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, A., Atmospheres of law: Senses, affects, lawscapes, Emotion, Space and Society(2012), doi:10.1016/j.emospa.2012.03.001  contingency: in it, through it, with it, the world and my body toucheach other, the feeling and the felt . I mix with the world whichmixeswithme.Skinintervenesbetweenseveralthingsintheworldand makes them mingle. ” (2008: 80). But skin is not only a humanprerogative. Contingency is common to all bodies and elements:Contingency means common tangency: in it the world and thebody intersect and caress each other . We cannot claim to be soexceptional. We are not the only ones, surrounded by bound-aries, to throw ourselves in contingency . Everything meets incontingency, as if everything had a skin. Contingency is thetangency of two or several varieties and reveals their proximityto each other. Water and air border on a thick or think layer of evaporation, airand watertouch in a bed of mist. (2008: 80-81).Through skin, contingency is enacted in both senses of randomness and proximity. In another of his works, Serres writes: “ I am anyone, animal, element, stone or wind, number, you andhim, us ” (1995: 35). This is a distinctly posthuman, animal body, intouchwithitssensesthroughtheskin.Atthesametime,thebodyisthe skin of the world, exposed to the noise inside and outside, “ strung tight, covered head to toe with a tympanum ” (2008: 141).The vibrations of the body are the vibrations of the world, fractalfeelings that ripple across the shared skin without discerniblesrcin: is it the world that makes me feel like this, or is it my moodthat makes the world feel like this? We can never know this.Between hearing ourselves and hearing the world, there is a blackbox resounding with silence. For Serres there are three kinds of theaudible: the propioceptive hearing of the workings of one ’ s bodywith its organs and cells and molecules; the hearing of the world ’ snoises that “ reach the monad softly, through doors and windows ” ,for indeed, “ being part of [it] means not hearing it. ” (107); and thelast kind, which is the audible rupture of that which cannot beheard, “ interrupting the closed cycles of consciousness and thesocial contract ” (111), and constituting itself the black box of knowledge. For Serres there are innumerable black boxes thatconsist the body and the world, all of which allow sense to come inand meaning to come out. In French, the term used is le sens whichstandsforbothsigni fi cationsof theword( ‘ sense ’ and ‘ meaning ’ ),aswell as, importantly, ‘ feeling ’ . In other words, we can think of  sense as the fl ow of sensory, emotional and informational events thatenter and exit the black boxes, having submitted themselves toa process of transformation that is to remain unknown.Serres ’ s black box is reminiscent of whatGoonewardena (2005)has called the ‘ urban sensorium ’ , namely the parapet that concealspolitical and legal engineering of the urban space from humanperception. The difference with Serres is that the urban sensoriumremains a thing between the bodyand the city, whereas a black boxistobefoundeverywhere,bothinsideandoutsideofeither.Ablackbox is like the skin that as such neither merely stops, nor justtransmits but is shared and extends either side, and whose inputand output can be known and followed, but whose precise processremains inaudible. A black box therefore is a fl ow-throughcontainer that mediates without concealing the outcome, just theprocess.Whattheconceptoftheblackboxshowsabundantlyisthelack of constructive distinction between external and internalsrcin ofoccurrences, namelybetween feelings and senses. What isthought to come from ‘ inside ’ such as emotional states, fl ows andfolds itself alongside what is thought to come from the ‘ outside ’ ,such as sensory reactions to textures, smells, sounds. Sense andemotion circulate in the black box that, like skin, extends itself inthe interstices between inside and outside. In that sense, one canproductively read Lyotard ’ s libidinal skin together with Serres ’ sblack box, notonly for their function of contingent surface, but alsofortheaddedreasonthatLyotard ’ s politicalpositionconnectsmorereadily with the discussion on engineered atmospheres thatfollows below. The skin in Lyotard operates as the container of libidinal intensities that mediate between emotions and systems.Lyotard ’ s Libidinal Economy (2004) starts with the body like anopen wound, initially splayed fl at and then turned uroborosly intoitselfinordertoproduce theinfernalcircle of thelibidinal skin.TheMoebius strip of the skin eventually gives up itself to a theatre of binary rationality and non-contradiction, made out of its very ownmateriality. In that theatre, skin becomes the facilitator of systemicengineering. Desire is exploited by the system and channelledtowards smooth, non-contradictory, non-con fl ictual, seeminglyanomic spaces, inwhichsystems reign free.Thiskind of channelleddesire, however, as Rosi Braidotti (2006: 152) argues, results ina “ suspension of active desire, in favour of the addictive pursuit of commodi fi ed non-necessities. ” Iwouldliketofocusontwothingshere: fi rst,thenatureoftheseconnections between sense, feeling and meaning; and second, theway these connections are being exploited while at the same timedissimulated, indeed hidden by the lawscape in order to engineerthe movements between law and space. While I deal with thesecond issue in the following section, it is perhaps relevant to sayhere that this interplay between dissimulation and appearance iswhat I would call atmosphere . Atmosphere, at least at this fi rstinstance, is the varying measures of normativity and space that appear simultaneously in the lawscape. These measures are oftenengineered (but even then, there is a large element of contingencyand randomness in how they come about). In any case, the varyingmeasures of appearance produce a certain meaning, a certainatmosphere. This building of atmospheres is based on theconnectionbetweensenses,feelingsandmeanings.Toreturntothe fi rst issue then, I will partly follow Lyotard in this and call thesecombinations affects .ForLyotard,andatleastinthiscontext,affectsare thelibidinal intensities thatallow thesystem todirectdesire. Inthat sense, affects are the connections between the body and theworld that are being exploited and channelled in a predeterminedpolitical direction. This de fi nition shares some characteristics withanother, perhaps better known de fi nition of affect by Brian Mas-sumi, who equates intensities with affects. For Massumi, affects are “ virtual synesthetic perspectives anchored in (functionally limitedby) the actually existing, particular things that embody them ” (2002: 35). This means that the body that embodies the affect alsolimitsthewaytheaffectismaterialised.Anaffectdoesnothaveonesrcin e thebodyortheworld e butismaterialisedasaperspectiveof a body. This perspective connects the body to the world (usuallythrough other bodies). It involves the senses in the synestheticmeaning of intermingled senses, but is not limited to them.These de fi nitions of affect have moved away from the moreintuitive understanding of the term that identi fi es affect asemotion. Arguably, this might be the answer to the problem withfocussing on emotions, since they merely concern the individualand miss out on the collective, the contagious and the posthuman,as NigelThrift(2008)convincinglyshowsin his genealogyof affect.Still, to leave the emotional out of this altogether is also problem-atic. Massumi brings it in and indeed elevates it to “ the mostintense (most contracted) expression of [the] capture [of affect] ” (2002: 35). Massumi ’ s de fi nition is usually understood in thecontext of the Deleuzian affect, which, in its turn, is based on Spi-noza ’ s de fi nition of affect. Let me brie fl y look into them. Spinoza ’ sby now famous de fi nition of affect is “ the affections of the body bywhich the body ’ s power of acting is increased or diminished, hel-ped or hindered, and at the same time the idea of these affections. ” (2000:164,IIIdef.3).Thus,anaffectisideaandmatter,thoughtandbody, involving senses as well as ideas on such senses. For Spinozathere is no difference between “ passions ” such as emotional statesof love, hate, anger etc, and material properties, such as heat, cold,storm, thunder and so on. What counts is the af  fi rmation of an  A. Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos / Emotion, Space and Society xxx (2012) 1 e 10 5 Please cite this article inpress as: Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, A., Atmospheres of law: Senses, affects, lawscapes, Emotion, Space and Society(2012), doi:10.1016/j.emospa.2012.03.001