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Habitus in Habitat III

Synaesthesia and Kinaesthetics

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Edited By Joerg Fingerhut, Sabine Flach and Jan Söffner

A myriad of sensations inform and direct us when we engage with the environment. To understand their influence on the development of our habitus it is important to focus on unifying processes in sensing. This approach allows us to include phenomena that elude a rather narrow view that focuses on each of the five discrete senses in isolation. One of the central questions addressed in this volume is whether there is something like a sensual habitus, and if there is, how it can be defined. This is especially done by exploring the formation and habituation of the senses in and by a culturally shaped habitat. Two key concepts, Synaesthesia and Kinaesthetics, are addressed as essential components for an understanding of the interface of habitat and the rich and multisensory experience of a perceiving subject.
At a Berlin-based conference Synaesthesia and Kinaesthetics, scholars from various disciplines gathered to discuss these issues. In bringing together the outcome of these discussions, this book gives new insights into the key phenomena of sensory integration and synaesthetic experiences, it enriches the perspectives on sensually embedded interaction and its habituation, and it expands this interdisciplinary inquiry to questions about the cultures of sensory habitus.

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Learning to Live with Abstraction Filmic Reception and Sensory Intermodality ROBIN CURTIS Popular interest in the cooperative functioning of the senses has made itself in- creasingly tangible of late, from the demand for 3D effects that has swept Holly- wood since the premiere of James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar in late 2009, to the strategic reference to the immersive abandon made available when a given product – anything from a scoop of ice cream to the luxury of a hotel room – ap- peals to the human being in his or her sensory complexity. Even if only implicitly, rather than by name, synaesthetic phenomena have gradually regained a popular currency that they had not enjoyed since the beginning of the twentieth century. A shift has also taken place in recent years within contemporary synaesthe- sia scholarship. The swell of writings that appeared in the late twentieth century (from those of Lawrence Marks and Simon Baron-Cohen, to Richard Cytowic’s own) employed experimental methods to confirm the existence of synaesthesia. However, newer publications, such as The Hidden Sense: Synaesthesia in Art and Science, written by the Dutch social scientist, Cretien van Campen, or Richard Cytowic and David Eagleman’s Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synaesthesia, have increasingly sought to move towards a better under- standing of multisensory perception in general. Increasingly at issue is less the manner in which discrete senses are mingled, but rather a better understanding of the fundamental complexity of perception. In The Hidden Sense, van Campen offers an extremely...

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