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Philosophy for Multisensory Communication and Media

Keith Kenney

Multisensory media – hybrid media that engage more than the auditory and visual senses – is beginning to change the way that we communicate. While hardware and software for capturing and emitting different types of sensory data are still being developed, this book lays a theoretical foundation for their use. Drawing upon the ideas of philosophers who write about sensory perception as well as each of the senses, Keith Kenney explains the issues that communication and media scholars will need to investigate as we begin to exchange haptic, olfactory, and even gustatory messages.

Scholars interested in communication theory, media theory, and multimodality will discover new ideas by current philosophers, while scholars of sensory studies will learn how their field can be extended to communication and media. Designers of multisensory experiences, such as videogame developers, will find practical suggestions for creating richer and more meaningful experiences. A dozen sidebars apply philosophical ideas to common experiences so that the text can be used in advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses.


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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii Foreword ix Chapter 1. Introduction 1 “Either- Or Statements” Table 16 Chapter 2. Current Multimedia Theories 19 Un- Dating in the Digital Age, by Tara Marie Mortensen 38 Chapter 3. Perception and Sensory Meanings 41 Improvisational Sketch Comedy, by Katherine Beth LaPrad 58 Chapter 4. Haptic Media 61 A Kiss, and All Was Said, by Jane O’Boyle 80 Let Joy Be Unconfined, by Jane O’Boyle 83 Chapter 5. Olfactory Media 87 The Sweet Smell of Power, by Jane O’Boyle 106 Chapter 6. Gustatory Media 109 Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee, 1994), by Keith Kenney 128 Interactive Art Exhibitions, by Katherine Beth LaPrad 130 vi philosophy for multisensory communication and media Chapter 7. Auditory Media 133 There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007), by Keith Kenney 160 The Saddest Song, by Jane O’Boyle 161 Chapter 8. Visual Media 165 Temple Grandin, by Keith Kenney 186 Mark Rothko, by Katherine LaPrad 188 Chapter 9. Human- Technology Perception and Agency 193 Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966), by Keith Kenney 213 Philosophy of Machinima, by Nicholas David Bowman and Jaime Banks 214 Chapter 10. Future Multisensory Theories 219 References 225 Index 239

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