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Not being there - the collaboration of senses 
Maria Cifre Sabater (Open University of Catalonia)
Joonas Plaan (Tallinn University)
Start time:
1 August, 2014 at
Time zone: Europe/Tallinn
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This laboratory will explore environment-human relations through sound, smell, texture, taste and image, which will propitiate the reflection of how past history, present moment and future expectations are inevitably embedded; of how environmental knowledge is constantly reproduced and transformed.

Long Abstract:

This interactive laboratory tries to show if collaborations of senses can become instruments of playback, capturing moments of experience and engage them to a reflexive perception for succeeding review and interpretation. The laboratory is inspired by two studies about how locals perceive the environment in different parts of Europe. Tim Ingold posits that the practices by which human dwell in and, by dwelling, they perceive the environment and incorporate the landscape (2000). The question our laboratory raise is, can we become into a dialogue with the environment if the body is not there and what kind of perceptions the senses produce?

To answer that question, participants will immerse into a context of exploration and active experimentation. They will listen sounds from seascape and landscape, smell and taste local products, touch material artefacts, and see images from both fields. The images that refer to each sense will be disclosed through small windows that each person will consult according to their curiosity and interest of understanding. Therefore, we will enhance the infinite interpretation and reflection that emerge from the direct sensory experience. The experimental laboratory will end with a discussion with its participants.

We hope to contribute to the debate around the methodological and epistemological implications of using non-text based forms of knowledge in anthropological research. Furthermore, we are committed to the exploration of forms of presentation of anthropological knowledge that play with the boundaries of the traditional schemes of anthropology, which are mainly based on the production of academic papers.