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Conference – Multimodality: Illusion, Performance, Experience (Aarhus University, 2019)
October 24, 2019 - October 25, 2019
Multimodality: Illusion, Performance, Experience
Aarhus University (Denmark), 24-25 October 2019
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University, in association with
B-Magic, an EOS research network (Excellence of Science / FWO-FNRS, Belgium)
While perception is multimodal, researchers in most disciplines have studied it through a predominantly unimodal lens. Studies that examine visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory phenomena often do so in isolation from each other, neglecting the fact that our environment typically stimulates multiple sensory modalities simultaneously. Researching multisensory experience–acknowledging not just concurrent, but integrated modalities –requires a different theoretical and empirical approach. Recent studies suggest that scholars in philosophy, cognitive science, psychology and media and performance studies are starting to meet this challenge. For researchers working in the arts, media, and technology, a better understanding of multimodality might further enrich the intermedial studies that have already risen to prominence in the past few decades. Media-archaeological and media-historical research indicates that multimodality has always been the practitioners’ working ground; artists, performers, educators, and even politicians seek to move and persuade spectators by appealing to multiple senses. These practices, too, have a long history, reaching back to nineteenth- and early-twentieth century debates in the fields of pedagogy, didactics., psychology, philosophy, and theories of theater and film, among others.
Multimodal effects are key to artistic and theatrical mediaillusions, wetherparticularly theythose that stimulate a sense of wonder andor astonishment or deploy different strategies of addressing the senses trying to produce rational or emotional responses in the service of learning, persuasion, dissemination of knowledge, critical reflection.. In the past decade, neuroscientists have for an example discovered the value in conjoining studies of perception and illusion, collaborating with magicians to uncover the perceptual mechanisms that make conjuring effects work. These types of studies, which reach across different historical periods and bridge disciplinary gaps between psychology, cognition, media, theater, and performance art, have helped illuminate longstanding puzzles concerning the nature of multimodal perception. Their implications have yet to be fully realized in a number of other disciplines, including musicology, literature, and the visual arts—fields in which researchers often attend to simultaneous sensory experiences, but less commonly examine cases of one sense modality altering perception in another.
This conference seeks to expand the methodological scope of current research on multimodal perception in a transdisciplinary and transhistorical perspective.
The conference program will be announced in June.
Jessie Fillerup (Aarhus University)
Kurt Vanhoutte (University of Antwerp)
Marc Malmdorf Andersen (Aarhus University)