Media and the Senses

A two-day conference, New Academic Building, Goldsmiths, University of London, Thursday 5th and Friday 6th May 2011


Accompanying a week-long exhibition of art and media projects to celebrate the launch of the new Goldsmiths’ Media and Communications building, this interdisciplinary two-day conference will include talks from leading international speakers, as well as from Goldsmiths’ staff and PhD students.
As part of the ‘corporeal turn’ there is a renewed interest in the senses. Changes in the senses historically have and continue to be entangled with claims about the senses, claims made for technologies such as media and communication technologies, claims made on behalf of institutions such as media, marketers and others.
The conference brings together recent debates about the changing nature and definition of the senses, as well as artistic interventions that explore this change. Central topics include sense perception, memory, archiving, immediacy, immersion, pervasiveness in computing, and developments in commercial communication.


Specially invited speakers:
Michael Bull, editor, Senses and Society
– Sissel Tolaas, Scent Research Lab, Berlin
– Martyn Ware Illustrious
Iain McGilchrist, psychiatrist, author of The Master and His Emissary
– Vesna Petresin Roberts and Lauren-Paul Robert, Rubedo, London


Also features presentations, installations and a week-long exhibition from Goldsmiths research students and staff, including:
Les Back, Lisa Blackman, Brock Craft, Eleanor Dare, Jonathan Freeman, Michael Guggenheim & Britt Hatzius, Christopher Hauke, Julian Henriques et al., Janis Jefferies, David Kendall, Kyoung Kim, Carol MacGillivray, Cláudia Martinho, Nirmal Puvvar, Gareth Stanton, Bev Skeggs, Nina Wakeford, Joanna Zylinska.
Organised by the Department of Media and Communications, with support from Computing, Sociology, Anthropology, Music, the Centre for Cultural Studies and the Graduate School.
Media and the Senses is the first event in the Goldsmiths Graduate Festival.



Media and the Senses, Thursday 5th and Friday 6th May 2011
All sessions take place in NAB LG01 and LG02 unless otherwise stated

Thursday 5th May
10.00-10.15: Introduction and welcome
10.15-11.00: Iain McGilchrist, ‘The divided brain and the making of the western world’
11.30-1.00: Rubedo, title tbc – Lisa Blackman, ‘The seventh sense’ – Paola Crespi, ‘The sixth sense: kinaesthesia’
1.00-2.00: Lunch (not provided)
2.00-3.30: Parallel panel sessions
Panel 1: Carol McGillivray, ‘Running Backwards: what the retrotropic reveals about perception’
Eleanor Ratcliffe and Jonathan Freeman, ‘Fascinating views and sounds: their relationship to attention restoration’
Gareth Stanton, The Sensuous Anthropologist contemplates his own demise: reflecting again on Paul Stoller and the anthropology of the senses’ Panel 2:
Zlatan Krajina, ‘Negotiated Encounters with Urban Screens: the “sense of place” in a technologically mediated city’
Claude St Arroman, title tbc Rachel Jones, ‘Lumino-city: the role of light in the perception of urban temporality’
4.00-6.00: Bev Skeggs and Helen Wood, ‘The Performance of the Sensual Spectacle: Affect and Emotional Labour on Reality TV’
Chris Hauke, ‘The Double: making sense of what you see’
Eleanor Dare, ‘Lost Memories and Embodied Traces’
Marina Peluffo, ‘Commercial Communication and the Senses’

6.00-7.00: Exhibition and installation opening reception (NAB gallery space)
Exhibiting artists: Brock Craft, Eleanor Dare, Julian Henriques et al., David Kendall, Kyoung Kim, Carol MacGillivray, Cláudia Martinho, Nina Wakeford, Michael Guggenheim & Britt Hatzius, Joanna Zylinska

Friday 6th May
9.30-10.00: Arrival and coffee
10.00-11.00: Les Back, ‘Trust Your Senses? War, Memory and the Racist Nervous System’
11.30-1.00: Michael Bull, ‘Training the Senses in the City’ & Alex Rhys Taylor, ‘The Smell of Fear’
1.00-2.00: Lunch (not provided)
2.00-3.40: Parallel panel sessions
Panel 1: Janis Jefferies, ‘”…some traces of her”; Katie Mitchell: Intimate technologies and sensory experience’; Isobel Harbison, ‘Plasmaticness: the moving skin of the moving image’; Gabriel Menotti, ‘Blind Optics’
Panel 2: Nirmal Puwar, Francis Silkstone, Kuldip Powar, Sanjay Sharma, ‘Noise of the Past’; 4.00-5.30: Sissel Tolas and Martyn Ware, ‘Molecular sound’; Julian Henriques, ‘The Circle of Sound Sculpture’
5.30-6.00: Closing plenary followed by drinks


Venue: Goldsmiths, University of London, New Academic Building
How to get to Goldsmiths
For more information here
The event is free and open to all