The Deepest Sense

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On Tactility in the Arts and Sciences from the Early Modern Period to the Present Day. Organized by ACCESS, Meertens Instituut, Huizinga Instituut and Rijksmuseum, June 26th and 27th 2014.

This conference focuses on the experience of art beyond the visual; artists and scientists will make us understand and experience art and history through the sense of touch by embodied imagination and sometimes even by the actual act of touching a replica.

In spite of its important role in daily life, the sense of touch has been neglected in academic debate as it was considered a crude and uncivilized mode of perception. The two-day symposium The Deepest Sense draws attention to our most primary, sensual and thought-provoking sense in relation to history of art, culture and science.

In institutions such as museums, sight seems to be the only way to relate to (often) motionless objects. Yet it is the embodied imagination evoked by sight that makes us feel, caress or suffer and that makes history and its main characters come alive. For centuries, but in particular during the avant-garde, artists intentionally created tactile works of art, in order to experience them in a direct and intimate way.

Internationally acclaimed scientists from the realm of anthropology, psychology, cultural and art history will approach the subject from different angles. Artistic performances and tactile experiments will make the visitor become more aware of their own deepest sense: touch.

Keynote speakers: Constance Classen, David Howes, Garmt Dijksterhuis and Monika Wagner.

Practical information

  • Location day 1: Auditorium Rijksmuseum; Location day 2: Oudemanhuispoort
  • Language of communication: English
  • Registration is mandatory

Conference Program

Preliminary program
Biographies speakers

Registration

Click here to register

Registration fees:

  • € 20
  • Students: € 15

Lunch not included on day 1. Entrance to the museum not included.

Contact information

herman.roodenburg@meertens.knaw.nl

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