[-empyre-] sensory motor art

i'd like to consider strategies for harnessing the enormous potential for artwork about normal and abnormal and supernormal sensory motor forms and experiences. in our last collision show, "COLLISIONsix, senses", a catalog of which you can download at:


a number of pieces gave brief glimpses of the many possibilities. i will highlight a few:

patten's piece, "three rotations", considered new forms of sensing as well as the potential coupling between senses (e.g., touch and hearing). this perhaps is a synesthesia machine. the human senses, acts and then the machine senses and acts causing another human sensation.

raffle and maynes-aminzade in "you're in control" examine sensing beyond your body. the human is giving a new motor ability and is able to excite a distal skin which then feeds back this information through a visual proprioception guiding future human action.

lieberman's "slink" considers perceiving the imperceivable, namely a sound wave, or seeing sound itself. his artwork is giving us superhuman sensing abilities.

ramash and agrawal in their "camera non-photo" show a machine that is able to reveal perhaps a more primitive visual representation, a sort of primal sketch. a viewer's internal visual representations is potentially being tickled and thereby awakened.

breyer and my "walking wall" and neumann's "quartet" show multiple simultaneous viewpoints both spatially and temporally. perhaps these multiple representations are rampant in our brains?

tremblay's "bionic log" provides a confrontational sensory motor world that we absorb sympathetically from a far. perhaps we learn about our own sensory motor system from this simple creature, or at least learn the power of random motor rules. dan roe's "specimen" uses a similar strategy. neumann's piece also plays out a primitive sensor motor system replete with proprioceptive feedback.

finally, my piece, "the intimacy machine", focussed and distorted the users' sensory world to one not usually available. in particular, the machine acted as a mediator for perception and intimacy. two bodies formed a reflexive sensory system.

in summary some of the tactics were :

1. giving a voice to underlying sensory motor representations
2. providing superhuman sensory capabilities
3. engaging the user within an extended sensory motor system
4. simplifying, focussing, or distorting sensory motor
5. viewing a simplified sensory motor system from a far

i'm wondering what other ways there are to examine the human sensory motor system within artwork. could we come up with a categorization of strategies for making and showing art about the sensory motor system? could we then identify novel combinations that have yet to be employed? i'm also interested to hear about existing artworks that are particularly successful and why.

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