SenseScapes / Sensory Studies – senses everywhere

This site – creating a place for SenseScapes – sounds pretty interesting …

The study of ‘SenseScapes’ is a newly emerging interdisciplinary field focussing on sensorial studies of human interaction with physical environments. Challenging an ocular-centricism that arguably underpins much scholarship in the arts, humanities and social sciences, a new multi-sensory research agenda is being critically developed. The concept of ‘sensescapes’ incorporates the full range of sensory experience in the broadest range of disciplines as sensual experience is mediated through hearing, smell, touch, taste, as well as sight. Including the visual, the auditory, the olfactory, the gustatory and the haptic, the concept of sensescapes enables an interrogation of everyday life that incorporates the meeting of mind, body and environment.

They also link to the latest issue of The Senses and Society as relating to their theme. The Journal indeed defines its field as covering a bit of a wider spectrum than the website cited above – the first issue of the Journal from November 2006 is still available as a free download. Their initiating Introducing Sensory Studies (pdf) outlines its purpose as following:

… The sensorium (meaning: “the entire perceptual apparatus as an operational complex”) is an ever-shifting social and historical construct.1 The perceptual is cultural and political, and not simply (as psychologists and neurobiologists would have it) a matter of cognitive processes or neurological mechanisms located in the individual subject. ….
the emergent focus on the social life of the senses is rapidly supplanting older paradigms of cultural interpretation (e.g. cultures as “texts” or “discourses”, as “worldviews” or “pictures”), and challenging conventional theories of representation. The senses mediate the relationship between self and society, mind and body, idea and object. The senses are everywhere. …
A further objective of The Senses and Society is to recuperate the original meaning of the term “aesthetic” not as a form of judgment but as the disposition to sense acutely. … this journal will be centrally concerned with analyzing the increasingly widespread phenomena of the “aestheticization of everyday life” and “technologization of perception” among the design and media arts….
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