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

Marco Innocenti

Aisthesis. DOI: 10.13128/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.

Accepted on 2020, 28 December

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Les frontières entre réel et imaginaire à l’épreuve des promenades sonores in situ (Soundwalks)

Lucia Angelino

Aisthesis. 11. DOI: 10.13128/Aisthesis-24936

Abstract. This article examines the particular aesthetic experience brought about by soundwalks where the spectator circulates in a more or less structured fashion. In each case, the point of departure is the phenomenological analysis of a few examples taken from Janet Cardiff’s Walks and the audio-tours Remote x by Rimini Protokoll. Based on a rereading of texts by Merleau-Ponty and Husserl, I will examine the conflicts of perception and the peculiar shift from one order of perception to another that punctuate the spectator’s walking, as well as the intertwining of the real and the imaginary coming into being in such performances and experienced at the very level of his bodily inscription in space. Overall, by reinvestigating Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception, I hope to demonstrate that many issues raised by these itinerant performances (soundwalks) have already been anticipated by Merleau-Ponty and, in turn, place a spotlight on his phenomenological approach as the most pertinent and insightful to articulate both the nuances (complexities) and the depth of the aesthetic experience here in question.

Accepted on 2019, 19 March

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A proposito di realtà percettive artificiali

Andrea Togni

Accepted on 2019, 8 April

Abstract. While shaping and defending a criterion to individuate the sensory modalities, philosophers have to deal with groups of perceptual states that don’t fit into the catalogue of the senses comfortably. I call these groups «grey areas». In this paper, I present the «artificial grey area», which is about perceptions obtained through artificial devices that replace or augment one’s sensory abilities. More precisely, the spotlight is on the results that the experiential criterion, the experiential-ontological criterion and the subtractive criterion provide when artificially-assisted perceptions fall under their scope. The main theses of the paper are that each sensory device allows users to access a peculiar sensory world, and that each of these worlds should be associated with a peculiar, independent sensory modality. 

Key words: Individuation of the senses; artificial grey area; sensory substitution devices; experiential-ontological criterion; subtractive criterion.

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