Personal tools

The Science and Technology of Music

Home Activities Seminar Series Constance Classen: Multi-Media: Integrating the arts and the senses

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Constance Classen: Multi-Media: Integrating the arts and the senses

— filed under: ,

  • promo
  • Seminar
When Mar 17, 2014
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where A-832, New Music Building, 527 Sherbrooke Street West.
Add event to calendar vCal


In the Middle Ages the Arts formed a sensory whole: artworks were made to be touched as well as seen, music was closely linked to dance, and feasts and festivals provided the occasion for an integrated experience of multiple art and craft forms. In numerous traditional cultures one can find similar artistic and sensory integrations. Japanese tea bowls, for example, are valued for both their visual and tactile aspects, and for their ceremonial role when filled with warm, aromatic tea. In the eighteenth and nineteenth century West, however, the arts and the senses were separated and hierarchized. The visual arts and music were respectively linked to the senses of sight and hearing and divorced from their connections with the so-called lower senses of touch, smell and taste. This splitting of aesthetic experience and expression provoked numerous responses. In the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from the perfumed concerts of the Symbolists to the tactile artworks of the Futurists. Such aesthetic experiments resonate with contemporary forays into multimedia art.



Constance Classen is a writer and researcher based in Montreal. She has held fellowships at Harvard University, the University of Toronto, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. She is the author of numerous essays and books on the cultural history of the senses, including The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch (University of Illinois Press, 2012), The Color of Angels: Cosmology, Gender and the Aesthetic Imagination (Routledge, 1998), Worlds of Sense: Exploring the Senses in History and across Cultures (Routledge, 1993).

Document Actions