An-aesthetic: Performed philosophies of sensation, confusion, and intoxication
Keywords:Michel Serres, Aesthesia, Anaesthesia, Senses, Experience, Food
AbstractIn Michel Serres’ The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies, he establishes an opposition between two mouths: the anaesthetising, speaking mouth of discourse and analysis and the aesthetic, tasting mouth of sensation. This article uses Serres’ model of the two mouths to think about the performance of knowledge and philosophy in a sensory performance event and the potential of intoxication to unveil or reveal through a process of ‘making strange’. The article begins with an outline and reading of Serres, considering his writing on the two mouths and their indicative models of knowledge, before moving to think about philosophies of confluence or confusion; the pouring or flowing together of different forms of knowing. This is coupled with outlining two modes of intoxication (losing oneself into the status quo and a process of estrangement) to think about the politics of aesthetic sensory experience in the age of commodification of live(d) experience. The second half of the article turns to a dining-performance event by Kaye Winwood entitled After Dark (2016). The event is used as a basis for more personal reflections, considering the ways intoxication makes strange and enters into performance as a revelatory experience. The article proposes a number of interconnected arguments: that sensory experience and embodiment offer a mode of knowledge; that intoxication as ‘making strange’ has potential as a philosophical gesture; and that in that estrangement, there is potential to resist the coopting of live(d) or sensory experience in an economy of commodification.
Baudrillard, Jean. 2014. Screened Out. Translated by Chris Turner. London and New York: Verso.
Howes, David. 2015. “Senses, Anthropology of the.” International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences 21: 615–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.12224-X
Jameson, Fredric. 1999. Brecht and Method. London and New York: Verso.
McGee, Harold. 2004. McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
Serres, Michel. 2016. The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies. Translated by Margaret Sankey and Peter Cowley. London and New York: Bloomsbury.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal, provided it is for non-commercial uses; and that lets others excerpt, translate, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).