[-empyre-] brain / skin

Elisita Smailus elismailus at vtxmail.ch
Thu Oct 13 22:06:34 EST 2011

Consciousness itself, that Holy Grail of science and
philosophy, will soon be given a neural explanation (Gordana) 

Sorry Gordana, I quoted too short... and would like to add your point of view concerning this scientific belief:

And yet, after decades of research, only one proposition about how the brain makes us
conscious—how it gives rise to sensation, feeling, and subjectivity—has emerged unchallenged: we don’t have a clue.’ (Gordana)

In some respect I really like the idea that we are still far from answering all these questions, so there is a lot more to find.
So with you, I am intrigued and agree

 to see whether and how Noë’s approach, and the broader field of brain plasticity in neuroscience, will affect our
understanding of the visual and multimedia experiences that occur in response to digitally mediated data and artworks in the future. One thing is certain: the current focus on the technologies themselves is misguided, since what can and will be perceived is determined as much by the internal nature of the perceiver as by the external manipulations of the objects of perception. (Gordana)

Here, I would like to cite Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen in respect to the traditionally so-called  sensory-motor or perceptual-motor process which she studied for a long time, consisting of the following phases: sensory input - perceptual interpretation - motor-planning - motor response - sensory feedback- perceptual interpretation, in which she "found that there are two more phases which are essential for facilitating change by creating the possibility for more choices" requiring "an alternative approach to the traditional concept of perceptual-motor or sensory-motor process" recognizing that "both the input and output aspects of the stimulus/response loop have both motor AND perceptual activity." (p. 114)

How this may be of any relevance for the discussion about interactive art/installation performance etc. I do not know at the moment. I just throw it in. 

Concerning subjectivity, Bonnie differentiates beween sensing and perceiving: SENSING is the more mechanical aspect, involving the stimulation of the sensory receptors and the sensory nerves. PERCEIVING is about one's personal relationship to the incoming information. We all have sense organs which are similar, but our perceptions are totally unique. Perception is about how we relate to what we're sensing. Perception is about relationship - to ourselves, others, the Earth and the universe. And it contains the interweaving of both sensory and motor components." (p. 114)

Her expanding the traditional list of the five senses from a mover's point of view to the the sensations of movement and visceral activity in the EXPERIENCE of movement requires the vestibular system (proprioceptors, interoceptors and kinesthetic receptors throughout the body) for our proprioception and kinesthetic experience to be of significance in scientific studies (also in combination with movement classes) and acknowledged through experiental anatomy as well as the dialogue between movement and touch - which is happening (hopefully) more and more in the scientific/dance world.

So now I am indeed off for the conference in Cologne looking for new insights on the subject of TANZerfahrung und WELTerkenntnis (Experience of Dance / Realization of World - not a very good translation I assume... even though to me exploring and experiencing dance and movement principles in the Laban/Bartenieff-way and with some notion of Body-Mind Centering led me indeed to realize more about myself and the surrounding world - becoming more consciously embodied, hopefully.


More information about the empyre mailing list