Erotic Art as Proprioceptive Art
The philosophical discussion about erotic art has often been understood in terms of the possibility of erotic art as a form of visual or auditory art. In this article, I focus on erotic experiences qua proprioceptive experiences and I defend the claim that, under the right circumstances, such experiences can bring about proprioceptive artworks.
Bodies in Motion. Enactivist Reflections on Art and its Shifts in Understanding in the Context of Proprioception
How can artistic works be understood that address our body in its ‚body schema‘? What distinguishes these works and what shifts do they initiate? Based on concrete artistic works, these questions will be explored in the context of the lecture by drawing on phenomenological and, above all, enactivist approaches. The discussion will focus on the theoretical implications of talking about ‚proprioceptive art‘ in the sense of an ‘art form‘ or ‘category’. How does this relate to installative, performative and participative art? And what rethinking movements result with regard to what we understand as reception aesthetics?
Distributed Self: Artistic Tactics of Sensing Across and Beyond the Bodily Boundaries
The history of networked art (from telematic performances of the 1960s to works by Stelarc, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, David Bowen and many others) offers a plethora of tactics to reveal the connections between the individual human and nonhuman entities. In today’s era of ubiquitous computing the discourse of remote sensing acquires new critical and political dimensions (e.g. in the work by Jenifer Gabrys). Yet, it is still important to see how the intensification of connectedness works at the phenomenological and aesthetic levels, namely in regard to the perception of the self and the boundaries of the self. I will analyze a number of artworks based on various sensing media in the context of the theories of distributed, situated and extended cognition in order to define features of proprioception characteristic to contemporary media defined world and discussing how the new technologies reconfigure our experience of the self.
Empirical Aesthetics for Installation Art
Over the last two decades experimental aesthetics has offered important behavioral and neurophysiological insights into the perceptual, emotional, and cognitive processing of visual art. Although being an equally and increasingly prominent art form that provides psychologically interesting conceptually challening and emotionally moving experiences, installation art has not yet been a frequent subject in empirical aesthetics.
A main issue limiting current knowledge on art experience with installation art are paradigms which focus on disembodied visual aspects, neural activity, and generic response in the lab, that do not grasp the in situ and embodied qualities installation art offers: Compared to two-dimensional visual art, which requires a focus on formal and compositional aspects of objects in front of the viewer, installation art, as an artform noted to evoke and require use of the body, also requires juxtaposition of context, space, as well as one’s body and interaction.
To address this gap, I suggest somaesthetics, according to which art experience is not mainly based on the object and its visual attributes, but also on the aesthetic experience of one’s own body, proprioception and kinesthetics, to be included into a fruitful empirical aesthetics study of installation art. On that account, I propose to empirically assess whether and how awareness of one’s body, and appreciation thereof is an integral part of the experience of installation art and perhaps key to its enjoyment, as well as, with regards to proprioception as a modality for self-reflection, key to the unlocking of ‘profound’, reflective, awe-inspiring, or even transformative experiences.
Barbara Gail Montero
The Proprioceptive Art of Choreography
Great choreography is a treat for the eyes, but is it also a treat for the body? In this talk, after touching on the role of proprioception in choregraphing a dance, I explore some of the ways in which a choreographed dance can be appreciated via proprioception in the body.
Is Proprioceptive Art possible?
Many works of art are predominantly visual or auditory in nature (visual arts such as drawing, painting, photography or performing arts like music). Only some art works (happenings, fluxus, performance) might also crucially involve the audience’s own physicality and thereby intentionally provoke the recipients’ perception of their own body, i.e. their proprioceptions.
Could there be works of art that are either primarily or predominantly proprioceptive in nature: i.e., that have the perception of one’s own bodily movement, position in space, balance, muscle tension, pain, temperature, energy and stress levels, etc., at their core?
My talk will be an introduction to the workshop’s theme and its most pressing research questions. Is proprioceptive art possible?
Proprioception – Aesthetic versus Artistic Practice
My talk will address the difference between aesthetic and artistic practices. I will ask which aspects of a proprioceptive practice would make it an aesthetic practice, and which, in difference to these, would make it an artwork. Do the examples we have of art works involving proprioception qualify as art works because of proprioception or is it merely also involved, but not constitutive for it being art? What would be an example for a practice that is artistic because it is based on proprioception? It will be clear that if we address this question, neither institutional nor experiential approaches to art are sufficient.
While once the preserve of the fairground/theme park ride – everything from the helter skelter to the dodgems (Lukas, 2008; Lynn, 2006), the notion that ‘proprioceptive pleasures’ may have artistic merit has recently been brought to the fore by artists from Carsten Höller (with his Test Site; at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall) to the work of Cildo Meireles. At the same time, there has also been a growing interest in foregrounding the proprioceptive/vestibularly-experienced body in both contemporary architectural practice (Spence, 2020) as well as playful workplace design (Spence, 2021). While proprioceptive awareness typically co-occurs with tactile, kinaesthetic, and vestibular awareness/sensations, it is nevertheless intriguing to see the foregrounding of what have been essential ‘silent senses’ in an artistic/architectural sense, and can be seen as fitting within broader trends around embodied cognition and ‘edutainment’ (Carù & Cova, 2007).
Proprioception in Visual Art
While proprioceptive sensory input is often clearly detectable and experienced in participatory art forms, it has been virtually overlooked in artworks that have been hitherto described as primarily visual.
Yet, although phenomenologically perhaps less obvious, physiologically there is much to suggest that proprioceptive input is often present in, and crucially shapes, responses to works of visual art. In fact, recent discoveries in neuroscience challenge the unquestioned primacy of vision, not only in responses to performative art, but also to the so-called visual arts. There are indications that, surprisingly, the visual elements in the aesthetic experience of a work of visual art are overrated and the contribution of the bodily senses, and here especially of the proprioceptive perceptual apparatus, is unduly neglected.