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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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Introduction: In Medias Res

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New technologies affect sense perception, our most immediate access to the world, in ways that concern not only what and how we perceive, but the very conditions of perception itself. Transforming the sense of time and space as well as the meaning of the body inhabiting a place, new technologies in fact make us aware of those conditions in new ways. For a long time, the conditions of perception were held to be unchanging and universal, belonging to a natural or transcendental order, but have now proved to be functions of complex historical and technical processes. However, since our awareness of the ways in which technologies transform our sensuous access to the world is mainly non-reflective and practical, based on the everyday use of technological devices, our experience of the changing conditions of perception is essentially a mixture of familiarity and strangeness. In theoretical discussions concerning new media this ambiguousness is manifested in the polarity between technophilic and technophobic accounts.1

At the same time, it has also become evident that we do not confront technologies merely as well-designed instruments serving us in our efforts to achieve particular ends. Especially mass media and information technology make us aware of the fact that new technologies organize and structure our experience in ways that are difficult to analyze and hard to evaluate. With reference to our perceptual life, technologies are there not simply as instruments at our disposal but, rather, as media of experience. Instead of offering us a...

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