Haptic Criticism/Contact

“Sudden Language”

“That vision should have ceased to be understood as a form of contact and instead become disembodied and adequated with knowledge itself is a function of European post-Enlightenment rationality. But an ancient and intercultural undercurrent of haptic visuality continues to inform an understanding of vision as embodied and material. It is timely to explore how a haptic approach might rematerialize our objects of perception, especially now that optical visuality is being refitted as a virtual epistemology for the digital age…

We critics cherish our ideas and forget that they become hard tools that chip at, or merely glance off without ever touching, the surface of the other…The best criticism keeps its surface rich and textured, so it can interact with things in unexpected ways. It has to give up ideas when they stop touching the other’s surface…”

— Laura U. Marks, Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory media.


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