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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10002/718

Title: Coming To Our Senses: A Report on the Sensory Turn in Curatorial and Media Art Practice
Authors: Howes, David
Issue Date: 5-Jul-2016
Series/Report no.: Theories: Other Senses;07.11.2015 Session 6A
Abstract: This paper begins by charting the emergence of sensory studies as an autonomous field and method of inquiry. Its genesis is traced to the sensory turn in a range of humanities and social science disciplines, which gave rise to such fields as the history of the senses, anthropology of the senses, and, most recently, sensory museology. Incorporating a sensory studies approach into the curation of indigenous artifacts has resulted in a radical transformation of “the exhibitionary complex.” In place of didactic displays which isolate artifacts in glass cases, the emphasis now is on the museum space as a kind of sensory gymnasium in which visitors are invited to experiment with alternate ways of sensing through encounters with objects of diverse provenance. Citing examples which range from Iroquois false face masks to the Inca quipu (a 3­D mnemonic device composed of knotted strings of varying colours), this paper makes a case for sense­based investigations of the varieties of aesthetic experience across cultures. It also reports on some of the findings of the “Mediations of Sensation” project (on which I have been collaborating with Chris Salter) that has involved creating intercultural, performative sensory environments for the communication of anthropological knowledge, as an alternative to both the ethnographic monograph and ethnographic film.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10002/718
Appears in Collections:re-CREATE Presentation VIDEOS

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