Ruth Bernhard, Conductor's Hands, 1938
We tend to think of knowledge as school-taught, language-based and to a large extent visually acquired – through reading, viewing and insight. Yet we also know that our bodies are reservoirs of other forms of knowledge acquired through a collaboration of multiple senses: hearing, taste, smell and touch. We use our hands and noses to select fruit at the market. We smell to find a suitable mate, listen to sense danger and intuit to gauge the insecurity of others.
The senses also provide information we are not always aware of. We know that a cook uses his sense of smell and taste to determine the freshness and combination of ingredients. Much less obvious is that a physician needs to train her hands to feel her way to a diagnosis or that a ceramics expert needs to hone his hearing to authenticate a porcelain bowl.
This Training the Senses series consist of presentations, workshops and even warm-ups focused on providing insight into these knowledge fields. They explore the ways we use our senses and, through training, also make sense of the world around us.
The 2017 Fall season for our Training the Senses Program encompasses touch, taste and embodied knowing with Roger Kneebone, Dusia Kneebone and Jozef Yossef, sound experiments and the hearing body with Ana Tajadura-Jiménez & Paul Devens and the relationship between public spaces and audience participation by David Helbich and Rudi Laermans.