Joined Sensation in Visual Art: an endless attempt to engage audience

Raivo Kelomees Estonian Academy of Arts e-mail:

Abstract[muuda | muuda lähteteksti]

We can write history of the arts as endless attempt to engage and immerse the audience, to influence their senses to feel as being in another world. I will start form defining the phenomena of synesthesia as it means "with" and "sensation", – a neurologically-based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. There are several examples form futuristic visual art, as there are examples from painting, music and sculpture, where the artists tried to expand their and the viewers experience, what we can call synaesthetic (paintings and sculpture by the following futurists: Giacomo Balla, "Abstract Speed + Sound", 1913–1914; "Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash", 1912; Umberto Boccioni, "Unique Forms of Continuity in Space" 1913, Natalia Goncharova, “Cyclist”, 1913 etc.). Artworks contain visuals, but also sounds and movements, which should be perceived by the audience with sufficient sensitivity. We can understand the intention of the artist to make painting "noisy", "auditive", to fill the viewer with information for other senses as vision. The main goal of the artist seems to be to build a consistent world which swallows the spectator. The same attempt is visible in other art forms as theater, performance, film, interactive art, virtual reality. I would like to follow this tread of engagement and immersivity in different arts, futurism is one example among others.


Raivo Kelomees: curriculum vitae[muuda | muuda lähteteksti]

Artist, critic and new media educator. Studied psychology, art history, and design in Tartu University and the Academy of Arts in Tallinn. Professor at the Fine Arts Department of Estonian Academy of Arts. Has published articles in main cultural and art magazines and newspapers of Estonia since 1985. Book author, “Surrealism” (Kunst Publishers, 1993) and an article collection “Screen as a Membrane” (Tartu Art College proceedings, 2007). Doctoral thesis „Postmateriality in Art. Indeterministic Art Practices and Non-Material Art“ (Dissertationes Academiae Artium Estoniae 3, 2009).

Participated in festivals and exhibitions: French-Baltic Video Art Festivals (Grand Prix in 1994); WRO 95, Wroclaw; Second International Video and Electronic Art Manifestation in Montreal 1995; 20th Tokyo Video Festival, 1998 (Silver Award); MuuMediaFestival in Helsinki (1998); Ars Electronica Mediathek, Linz (1999); 4th International Festival of New Film, Split (1999); ISEA 2000 (Paris); ISEA 2002 (Nagoya); FILE 2005 (Sao Paolo); Media Forum at the Moscow International Film Festival, 2006 (Moscow); Fluxus East. Fluxus Networks in Central Eastern Europe, Kumu Art Museum, 2008 (Tallinn) and many others.

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