(full paper) http://hdl.handle.net/10002/457
Haptic Connections - On Hapticality and the History of Visual
This paper will discuss the relationship between media history and the
senses, with special attention to the concept of the haptic. The coming
of cinema as well as the coming of digital media some hundred years later
seem to be accompanied by an intensification and rearticulation of the
role of the senses in cinematic and cultural experience. Why is this so
and what may a closer look at the senses in the history of visual media
have to tell us about the period-building strategies and methodologies
of art and media history?
Why for example is the philosophical work of Henri Bergson often used
when discussing the aesthetic and temporal experience of cinema, as well
as when discussing the bodily experience of digital media? Why is there
a focus on sensorial experience in late 19th century as well as in late
20th century? How dependent are the categories of modernity and postmodernity
on an implicit (or sometimes explicit) periodization of the senses? May
hapticality be understood as a marker of transitional periods (in relation
to media change)?
This paper will set out to investigate these questions in relation to
recent film and media theory and in so doing contribute to both the debate
concerning "modernity/postmodernity" and to a possible new framework
for understanding the connections between, film, art, and media history.
May hapticality be used as one way to bridge the divide between art and
media history as well as between artistic work and scientific research?
I will build the paper on some art historical connections regarding the
sense of touch (for example Alois Riegl’s distinction between the
optic and the haptic), but also on recent developments in media theory
by for example Laura U. Marks and Mark B. N. Hansen. A development of
the theoretical work on haptic visuality may contribute to our understanding
of large parts of the visual flow of images that today inhabits the gallery
space, but also of visual culture in a broader sense (where elements of
a haptic visuality seem to be important for example in many commercial
films and music