Vol. 14 No. 1 (2021): Aesthetics in Times of Contagion

The Optical House of Tactile: The Bricolage-Like Response to COVID-19

Marco Innocenti
Università degli studi di Bergamo

Published 2021-07-20


  • Bricolage,
  • Alois Riegl,
  • Martin Heidegger,
  • Aura,
  • COVID-19

How to Cite

Innocenti, M. (2021). The Optical House of Tactile: The Bricolage-Like Response to COVID-19. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 14(1), 45–55. https://doi.org/10.36253/Aisthesis-12104


This paper aims to analyse how COVID-19 pandemic is changing our perception of reality. It starts looking at our situation from the point of view of Riegl’s distinction between optical and tactile, and then it compares the nature of the relationship between these two approaches to Lévi-Strauss’s description of bricolage. Our current world-view turns out to be not only an optic one, because the optical approach is just the means by which we can articulate a private and social life messed up by Coronavirus. Thereby, optical takes care of tactile without replacing it, and this article draws parallels between this aspect and language as described by Heidegger. Finally, after having argued the presence of an aura in this “optical house of tactile” in both Walter Benjamin’s and Hito Steyerl’s forms, this article tries to figure out how this perspective could last beyond the end of this emergency. 


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