From time to time, I collect thoughts and citations here. In fact I miss that relationship we used to have within the blogs of years ago. Social media has disrupted that sense of quietness in writing and reading someone’s thoughts in a more intimate and safe sphere. Little by little I’m also building a library on the history of the senses–with a focus on Tactility and proprioception–, on embodied and somatic intelligence, and other ways of knowing.
4 December 2022
I am deeply moved by Herzog’s documentary ‘Land of Silence and Darkness’ (Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit) from 1971. I watched it yesterday. One has to make great efforts to imagine living without both sight and audition. The documentary follows among others, deaf and blind lady Fini who travels throughout Germany to cherish and socialize with other deaf and blind people. Her constructive energy, her impetus and love for her peers are stunning to see.
And how powerful is the tactile language–a language of total proximity. Herzog quotes one of the interviewed people: “When you let go of my hand, it is as if we were a thousand miles apart”.
Some people have lost their sight and hearing at some point of their lives. Others have been born deaf and blind. Some were more fortunate than others in being cared for and educated in some form of tactile language. Being able to communicate this way is their great leap from a life of isolation.
08 June 2022
This month my essay On Warmth and Solace will be published by Valliz, as part of the Art & Theory Research Group that I participated between 2020 and 2021 at the Royal Academy of Art, KABK. The book is titled:
BRIDGING DISTANCE: ARTISTIC RESEARCH DURING A PANDEMIC
Four KABK research group projects
With contributions by Maya Rasker, Dina Danish, Loek van Vliet, Ludmila Souza Rodrigues.
On Warmth and Solace reflects on our troublesome attempts of technologically mediating the sense of touch or the sense of presence, as I try to explore. There is a quite a wealth of studies on the notion of Presence in the field of human-machine interaction. In this essay I draw on the different facets of this complex sensory experience, touch, to raise awareness of the feeling of warmth as a profound dimension of tactility.
29 May 2022
I thought this resonated with what I’m trying to tackle with in my work, the importance of becoming aware of our immediate reality, informing our sensations and therefore feelings:
“In recent years, there has been enormous concern about the time we spend on our web-connected devices and what that might be doing to our brains. But a related psychological shift has gone largely unremarked: the way that, for a certain segment of the population, the news has come to fill up more and more time – and, more subtly, to occupy centre stage in our subjective sense of reality, so that the world of national politics and international crises can feel more important, even more truly real, than the concrete immediacy of our families, neighbourhoods and workplaces. It’s not simply that we spend too many hours glued to screens. It’s that for some of us, at least, they have altered our way of being in the world such that the news is no longer one aspect of the backdrop to our lives, but the main drama.” – Oliver Burkeman, How the News Took Over Reality, The Guardian, May 3rd, 2019