Monday, March 1, 2010

[Yasmin_discussions] Multisensory Perception

Multisensory perception
Introduction by Raewyn Turner and Richard Newcomb
Invited Respondents:
Jenny Marketou, Hilda Kozari, Sergio Basbaum and Ian Ferguson

We are perceiving the world with all our senses;
In visual media we've become mesmerised by the
vibrancy of saturated coloured light, it reminds
us of the colours of the hypnagogic fireworks in
our minds. Ipods and MP3 players allow singular
insular worlds of sound, which have become a
personal soundtrack to real life instead of its
own sound. Our sense of smell is informed by a
synthetic overlay of fragrance in our personal
space, the larger environment is re-perfumed with
substitutes for the smells of nature and we make
new associations with smells never before

How do these combined nuances of mediated sensing
feel under our skins? What would a synthetic
smell receptor be able to sense in 2020? and
what are the consequences of being able to smell
more-are we numbed to most of the fragrance of
our time? Although we seem to be 'anosmic?'?..
(the term for a lack of sense of smell) to most
of the fragrance of our time, odour signals are
being transmitted, received, translated and
associated by all living beings in nature. Could
we grow an awareness of the full cross-sensory
fragrance of life? These are some of the
questions we would like to discuss in the coming

Our first venue for discussing these issues was
through a public theatre/laboratory we
constructed called 'Crossing Wires' which ran
over three weeks during November 2009 in a
downtown storefront in Auckland, New Zealand. The
installation was both a working laboratory and
a performative spacewhich provided us with an
alternative venue to develop our dialogue on
cultural, social and temporal constructions of
olfactory sensing, building a relationship
between the languages of science and art. Human
smells were collected and processed, and
passers-by were invited to experience, the
smells and engage in dialogue. The lab was the
1st step towards collecting, categorising and
coding of the human plume. For more detail see
our blogsite for the installation

Our respondents: Jenny Marketou, Hilda Kozari,
Sergio Basbaum and Ian Ferguson will join this

Richard Newcomb is a molecular biologist
interested in the mechanism and evolution of
odour sensing in animals. Current projects
include the development of an olfactory biosensor
using insect odorant receptors and understanding
the genetic bases of odour sensory acuity and
food preference in humans. Richard conducted his
PhD in Canberra. In 1996 he returned to New
Zealand and has been based at The Mt Albert
Research Centre where he is Science Team Leader,
Molecular Sensing, Plant & Food Research, and
Associate Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at
the University of Auckland. Richard is an author
on over 50 publications and is an inventor on
five patents.
He is an investigator at two of New Zealand's
Centres for Research Excellence: a Principle
Investigator at the Allan Wilson Centre for
Molecular Evolution and Ecology and an Associate
Investigator at the Maurice Wilkins Centre for
Molecular Biodiscovery.

Raewyn Turner is an interdisciplinary artist
investigating cross-sensory perception and the
uncharted territories of the senses. Her
multi-sensory, mixed media works have been shown
in numerous national and international
exhibitions and performances, including Museum of
Contemporary Art, LA, Parque de las Ciencias,
Granada, Spain, 11th Prague Quadrennial of
Scenography and Theatre Architecture
2007,Prumyslovy Palace, Prague, Argentina,
Georges Pompidou Center, and Te Papa Museum of
New Zealand.
Her work includes video, smell, coloured light,
artefacts, and live performance with orchestras,
jazz and contemporary music and dance; and has
been published in 'Art of the Biotech Era',
International Congress Synaesthesia, Art and
Science 2009, 2007, Generative Art 2006, 2004,
and Performance Research 2003 'On Smell'.

(Please note we are expecting Sergio Basbaum and
Ian Ferguson introducing themselves).

Visual artist Hilda Kozári studies how the sense
of smell affects emotions and visual expression.
Her works (objects, paintings and installations)
evoke connections between scents, places, memory
and identity.

Born in Hungary, Kozári lives in Helsinki and
exhibits in both Finland and abroad. Her
olfactory installation AIR, Smell of Cities, was
first exhibited in the Contemporary Art Museum
Helsinki Kiasma in 2003 and now belongs to the
collection of the museum. The artwork was part of
the touring exhibition SAUMA, which was shown in
the USA and Europe. In 2006, her Memo-trip
installation provided an artist's reflection on
Finnish Christmas and the collection of the
Finnish National Gallery, Ateneum.

Kozári's projects are also inspired by the
culture of the visually impaired: her
SenseGraffiti installations, created with
visually impaired students, were shown at the
Vantaa Art Museum, Finland, and her multi-sensory
White Wall cooperative exhibition was built in
the WARC Gallery, Toronto, in 2008.

Among other projects she is currently working
with a group of artists on a long-term public art
project for the city of Vantaa, Finland.

Jenny Marketou ( was born
in Athens, Greece and since 1984 she lives and
works in New York City. She is an insatiable
traveler as well as an interdisciplinary artist
- educator- public speaker whose work is
participatory and combines her interest in fusing
art and technology. Be it installation, networked
environments, videos, texts, internet projects,
public interventions or performance, she has been
especially interested in the appropriation and
reinterpretation of familiar objects , simple
actions and senses ,like smelling, walking,
watching, drifting as esthetic experiences and
how to use them at the centre of surprising
actions and interventions that defy limits,
transgress boundaries, and exceed expectations .
In her video and time based work she explores the
process of image making in relation to the space,
spectatorship and the idea of the " iconic"
reproduction of reality.

Her work has been shown worldwide, including the
3rd International Biennale of Seville, Spain, the
Biennale of Venice, the Biennale of Sao Paolo,
Brazil, MANIFESTA, The Breeder Gallery in Athens,
Greece; Anita Beckers Gallery, Frankfurt/Maine
and most currently a solo show " Red Eyed Sky
Walkers" at the National Museum of Contemporary
Art, Athens, Greece and Lighter then Fiction at
the Project Room, Chelsea Art Museum, New York
City; Le Grand Palais, Paris; Apex Art, New York
City; Art in Odd Places, New York City; Tina B,
Festival of Contemporary Art of Prague, Czech
Republic; Pulse, International Art Fair, New York
City; Esther M Klein Art Gallery, Philadelphia ;
Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester, UK; ZKM, Media
Center for Art and Technology, Karlsurhe,
Germany; Museum Abteiberg, Monchengladbach;
Strozzina Center of Contemporary Art, La
Fondacione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; Kunstverein
Ludwigshafen, Ludwigshafen Mannheim among others.

She has won grants and several awards and artists
residencies such as in CCA in Santa Fe, New
Mexico; Banff in Alberta Canada; Eyebeam in New
York City; MECAD in Barcelona, Spain .

She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York
And she is the author of the book "The Great
Longing: The Greeks Immigrants of Astoria,
Queens" Kedros Publishing.

Apart from having taught photography and studio
art as adjunct faculty at Cooper Union School of
Art and Science in New York she has also taught
courses on studio art and video as a visiting
artist at the New School ,at Parsons School of
Design in New York City , at Rutgers University,
New Jersey, MFA program .She has lectured at Pen
World Voices Festival ,NYC; The New School,Terens
Lang Center,NYC; Apex Art,NYC; Basel/ Miami
Beach International Art Fair, Miami; Reina Sofia
Museum of Contemporary Art, Madrid ,Spain among
other venues.

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