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Senses of Embodiment: Art, Technics, Media

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Edited By Mika Elo and Miika Luoto

This volume is a collection of essays that presents both theory- and practice-based approaches to questions concerning the embodiment of sense.
Exploring the opening of meaning in sensible configurations, the texts also address the medial structures – at once aesthetic, bodily and technical – that condition our access to whatever makes sense to us.
The texts show in various ways how these phenomena call for trans-disciplinary research, and how theoretical or philosophical questioning gains from the experimental possibilities of artistic research.
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Sensuous Knowledge: Making Sense Through the Skin: Alex Arteaga

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Sensuous Knowledge: Making Sense Through the Skin

ALEX ARTEAGA

In this essay I will address some basic aspects of the aesthetic production of knowledge, or as I prefer to call it, the emergence of knowledge in the aesthetic experience. First I will briefly delimit the term “sensuous knowledge” in the framework of a general characterization of “aesthetic experience”. I will then relate this form of knowledge to two established categories – “knowing-how” and “knowing-that” – arguing that sensuous knowledge cannot be reduced to either one of these, although they can be understood as aspects of aesthetic knowledge. Further, I will restate the basic question of aesthetic experience to examine how this specific form of experiencing, that is, this particular modality of engagement of an organism with its environment, affects the boundaries between them and consequently contributes to transforming both of them. Finally, I will briefly postulate the necessity of a specific cognitive approach to sensuous knowledge – an aesthetic approach. I will end up claiming that aesthetic practice constitutes one fundamental research medium for this form of knowledge.

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Sensuous knowledge is a form of cognition that emerges in the aesthetic experience, that is, by experiencing aesthetically. This variety of experience correlates with an organic disposition, which conditions the way in which the interaction between organism and environment occurs.1 The aesthetically disposed organism interacts with its environment primarily in an immediate way, that is, without a significant mediation of signs. The organism is actively moved, affected,...

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