[ISEA2011] Panel: Anke Fin­ger & Chris­tiane Heibach (moderators) – Interart/Intersensorium: On the Interrelation of Media and the Senses

Panel Statement

Chair Per­sons : Anke Fin­ger & Chris­tiane Heibach
Pre­sen­ters: Ran­dall Packer, Cre­tien van Campen & Bir­git Mers­mann

In­ter­art Stud­ies has es­tab­lished it­self as a field wherein schol­ars from a va­ri­ety of dis­ci­plines an­a­lyze the in­ter­re­la­tion be­tween dif­fer­ent art forms based on his­tor­i­cally di­ver­gent con­cepts of mono- and in­ter­me­di­al­ity. In­ter­me­di­al­ity, in turn, de­notes in­ter­re­lated strate­gies of dif­fer­ent media de­signs that gen­er­ate new forms of pre­sen­ta­tion and re­cep­tion modes – modes that amount to more than just an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of the media in­volved. To cite one ex­am­ple: the in­te­gra­tion of film/video in some the­atre per­for­mances today merges 3-D-(the stage) and 2-D-(the screen) tech­nolo­gies. This in­ter­re­la­tion not only changes the stage de­sign, but also af­fects the ac­tors’ per­for­mances as they in­ter­act with each other while main­tain­ing vis­i­bil­ity in front of the screen. This si­mul­tane­ity de­mands in­creased at­ten­tion to both nat­ural (the co-ac­tors) and tech­ni­cal media (film/video) – and, by de­fault, the same ap­plies to the re­cep­tion modes of the au­di­ence. Con­se­quently, the no­tion of in­ter­me­di­al­ity com­prises media pre­sen­ta­tion strate­gies and in­ter­sen­so­r­ial per­cep­tion modes.  This new phe­nom­e­non or trend is, as of yet, barely ac­counted for in In­ter­art Stud­ies, ex­cept­ing a few no­table mod­els such as Car­o­line A. Jones’s con­cept of “sen­so­rium” that re­lates sen­so­r­ial per­cep­tion to cul­tural me­di­al­iza­tion. In­ter­sen­so­r­ial per­cep­tion, nonethe­less, is cur­rently emerg­ing as a promi­nent area in var­i­ous dis­ci­plines, show­cas­ing new phe­nom­e­no­log­i­cal ap­proaches. This panel, then, seeks to push this area fur­ther, par­tic­u­larly em­pha­siz­ing the role of media and me­di­al­iza­tion: Brian Mas­sumi’s and Mark Hansen’s work, for ex­am­ple, de­spite its sig­nif­i­cance, con­tin­ues to em­ploy an un­dif­fer­en­ti­ated no­tion of “em­bod­i­ment“ to de­scribe in­ter­sen­so­r­ial per­cep­tion. As a re­sult, they ig­nore the dif­fer­ences of sen­so­r­ial data, which an­chor sense per­cep­tions in di­verse cul­tural con­texts. Ad­di­tion­ally, the me­di­ated and hence cul­tur­ally pre-formed char­ac­ter of sen­sual per­cep­tion is mostly dis­re­garded in favour of a con­cept that em­braces a dif­fuse, im­me­di­ate sens­ing process that seems to be ‘pre-me­dial’ or ‘ex­tra-me­dial’. At its core, and to high­light the cul­tural dif­fer­ences of sen­so­r­ial data, this panel seeks to ad­dress cur­rent re­search un­der­taken by the cog­ni­tive sci­ences to em­pha­size the in­ter­sec­tions of in­ter­art and in­ter­sen­so­rium as processes of per­cep­tion that are in­ter­locked with cul­tural for­ma­tions – a tri­an­gu­lar con­t­a­m­i­na­tion or rec­i­p­ro­cal process much in need of fur­ther ques­tion­ing and ex­am­i­na­tion.

  • Dr. Anke Finger is Associate Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, USA. Her research interests include German and Comparative Modernism, Interart Studies/Literature and Other Arts, Avant-Gardes, Aesthetics, Media Theory and Philosophy, Interculturality and Comparative Literature. Recent publications: The Aesthetics of the Total Artwork: On Borders and Fragments (ed., with Danielle Follett, 2011); Das Gesamtkunstwerk der Moderne (2006); Vilém Flusser: An Introduction (with Rainer Guldin and Gustavo Bernardo (2011)). She is co-editor of the online-journal “Flusser Studies: Multilingual Journal on Cultural and Media Theory”.
  • Chris­tiane Heibach is a re­searcher in aesthtics, media and lit­er­ary stud­ies at at the        Karl­sruhe Uni­ver­sity of Arts and De­sign (Germany). Since 2009 she is con­duct­ing her own re­search pro­ject “Epis­te­mol­ogy of Mul­ti­me­dia”, funded by the Ger­man Re­search Foun­da­tion and is Re­search Fel­low at the HfG-Re­search In­sti­tute. In 2007 she com­pleted her ha­bil­i­ta­tion on mul­ti­me­dia per­form­ing art forms at the de­part­ment of Com­par­a­tive Lit­er­ary Stud­ies and Media at the Uni­ver­sity of Er­furt where she worked as as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor until 2008. Re­search fields: Me­di­aepis­te­mol­ogy, aes­thet­ics of new media, his­tory and aes­thet­ics of in­ter­me­dia and mul­ti­me­dia art forms, his­tory of aes­thetic com­mu­ni­ca­tion, mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary media and lit­er­ary the­o­ries.                                                                                                    christiane-heibach.demedienepistemologie.denetzaesthetik.de