Sense of Art

Thursday, 15 September, 2011 - 13:00 - 14:30
Chair Person: 
Kasia Wozniak


Chair: Kasia Wozniak

The panel "Sense of Art" will be a conversation with Professor Semir ZEKI.
Throughout the 20th century majority of limitations constraining artistic practice were dissolved what redefined the work of art. No longer an object, but a three-dimensional, processual image, performative event, neural image.  Such work of art became part of immediate reality perceived by the viewer. In consequence, what and how s/he perceives can become a field of artistic research and expression.

This interview aims at discussing recent disturbances in the hierarchy of the five-senses-order putting emphasis on the powerful emergence of previously minor senses, like touch and smell, into the domain of appreciated and intensely researched art interests. Noticeable and deliberated shall also be hybrid forms like, already known for over a century, synaesthesia, and, for instance, the notion of immersion which aims at addressing the whole of  human perception.

Within the panel question shall be raised how and to what extend unprecedented technological and scientific revolution resulting in creation of new media art and art & science research field contributed to the  above-mentioned changes. Can all these changes still uphold the old-fashioned criteria for privileging sight over other senses?

Panel chair, Kasia WOŹNIAK, will have the honour to discuss the above-raised problems with Professor Semir ZEKI.

Bios of the Participants

Semir Zeki

Professor Semir ZEKI is now Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College London, after having served for many years as Professor of Neurobiology there. He pioneered the study of the higher visual areas of the brain, and discovered, among other things, its colour and motion centres and hence the functional specialization within it.  More recently, he has expanded his work to enquire into the neural correlates of aesthetic and artistic experience. In addition to his published scientific papers, he is author of A Vision of the Brain, Inner Vision: an exploration of art and the brain, and Splendours and Miseries of the Brain, and co-author with the late French painter Balthus of La Quête de l'essentiel and with Ludovica Lumer of La bella e la bestia: arte e neuroscienza.  His artistic work is currently on exhibit at the Luigi Pecci Museum of Contemporary Art in Milan: Bianco su bianco: oltre Malevich (White on White: Beyond Malevich). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Foreign Member of the American Philosophical Society. He was awarded the King Faisal International Prize in Biology in 2004 for his work on the brain, and founded the Institute for Neuroesthetics in London and California.

Kasia Woźniak

Kasia WOŹNIAK is researcher in research team of Professor Martin KEMP focused on the recently discovered female portrait by Leonardo da Vinci known as "La Bella Principessa". She worked as curator for numerous art centers and museums, including, Manggha Centre for Japanese Art and Technology (Cracow), Goethe Institute (Cracow), Künstlerhaus Bethanien/ Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin), Centre for Contemporary Art Łaźnia (Gdańsk), Richard J. Massey Foundation for Arts and Sciences (New York) and others. She completes her PhD in the Institute of History of Art and Image of the Humboldt University in Berlin (dissertation adviser – Prof. Horst Bredekamp). In the past, cultural journalist (National Geographic/ NOVA PBS, ZDF Berlin).
Her research focuses around question as to what level the human sensory system is attracted, changed and expanded by the confrontation with New Media Art.