Sensory studies arises at the conjuncture (and within) the fields of anthropology • sociology • history • archeology • geography • communications • religion • philosophy • literature • art history • museology • film • mixed media • performance • phenomenology • disability • aesthetics • architecture • urbanism • design

Sensory Studies can also be divided along sensory lines into, for example, visual culture, auditory culture (or sound studies), smell culture, taste culture and the culture of touch, not to mention the sixth sense (however it might be defined)

Picture Gallery » Dis-Armor



Krzysztof Wodiczko
1999-2000, © Krzysztof Wodiczko
Image courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Dis-Armor is designed for socially withdrawn Japanese youths – mostly dropouts – who shun interaction, speech or expression – alienated users for whom normative modes of behavior and rules don’t apply. Krzysztof Wodiczko has here created a wearable prosthetic device and helmet that allow one to see through one’s back. He gives these youths a chance to reconnect with society by allowing them mediated communication. The form itself is empowering; Dis-Armor is a muscular warrior suit with a detached headpiece that makes one look like a super hero.
The wearer’s exaggerated eyes appear in two LCD monitors affixed to the metal exoskeleton at the top of the back. Metal eyelids effectively and dramatically begin and end conversations. They can be controlled by the wearer from the helmet, and they make a satisfying electronic noise as they open and close. The voice is amplified through a speaker positioned below the screens. The wearer has access to a rearview mirror, a microphone, a video camera and headphones so that they can see behind them, and hear and talk as well. The piece promises indirect communication, and ultimately, a way out of silence and seclusion.
Madeline Schwartzman
Author of See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception

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