Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media

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U of Minnesota Press, 2002 - Performing Arts - 259 pages
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In Touch, Laura U. Marks develops a critical approach more tactile than visual, an intensely physical and sensuous engagement with works of media art that enriches our understanding and experience of these works and of art itself.

These critical, theoretical, and personal essays serve as a guide to developments in nonmainstream media art during the past ten years -- sexual representation debates, documentary ethics, the shift from analog to digital media, a new social obsession with smell. Marks takes up well-known artists like experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs and mysterious animators the Brothers Quay, and introduces groundbreaking, lesser-known film, video, and digital artists.

From this emerges a materialist theory -- an embodied, erotic relationship to art and to the world. Marks's approach leads to an appreciation of the works' mortal bodies: film's volatile emulsion, video's fragile magnetic base, crash-prone Net art; it also offers a productive alternative to the popular understanding of digital media as "virtual" and immaterial. Weaving a continuous fabric from philosophy, fiction, science, dreams, and intimate experience, Touch opens a new world of art media to readers.

 

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Contents

1 Video Haptics and Erotics
1
2 Animal Appetites Animal Identifications
23
3 I Am Very Frightened by the Things I Film
41
4 Heres Gazing at You
57
Straight Women Gay Porn and the Scene of Erotic Looking
73
6 Loving a Disappearing Image
91
7 The Logic of Smell
113
An Olfactory View
127
10 Videos Body Analog and Digital
147
11 How Electrons Remember
161
12 Immanence Online
177
13 Ten Years of Dreams about Art
193
Notes
217
Filmography and Videography with Distributor Information
241
Publication Information
247
Index
249

A Shot List
141

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About the author (2002)

Laura U. Marks is Dena Wosk University Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of "Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art" (MIT Press).

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