Bodies of Knowledge: Corporeal Landscapes and Aesthetic Practices

This seminar sets forth from the premise that, contrary to the notion of art practice as expressing the free will of the individual, aesthetic practices rather emerge from corporeal knowledge and the body’s engagement with space. How we learn through our bodies—how we reserve, carry, convey and create embodied knowledge—reflects a necessary relationship between the social body and the physical body. Bodily habits reflect a “common sense” that is culturally specific, and both grounds and builds upon persistent social ideas. We will investigate bodies of knowledge in two senses: First, we will examine how the physical bodies through which we sense and intellectualize the world form repositories of collective social, and not just individual, knowledge; second, we will interrogate the collectivity of ideas that accumulate through the corporeal schema and the ways in which these ideas are transmitted through aesthetic practices.

Fall 2011: Cranbrook Academy of Art.