Monday, December 19, 2011

Mirror Neurons, Embodied Simulations and the Aesthetic Experience

"The implications of the discovery of mirroring mechanisms and embodied simulation for empathetic responses to images in general, and to works of visual art in particular, have not yet been assessed. Here, we address this issue and we challenge the primacy of cognition in responses to art. We propose that a crucial element of esthetic response consists of the activation of embodied mechanisms encompassing the simulation of actions, emotions and corporeal sensation, and that these mechanisms are UNIVERSAL. This basic level of reaction to images is essential to understanding the effectiveness both of everyday images and of works of art.
HISTORICAL, CULTURAL and other CONTEXTUAL factors do not preclude the importance of considering the neural processes that arise in the empathetic understanding of visual artworks".
(Vittorio Gallese, David Freedberg. Whole document here:

What if the artwork goes far beyond aesthesia? What if an art practice becomes a PROJECT (the "anti-aesthetics" for Hal Foster) which re-processes existing documents and information? Are in this case historical, cultural and contextual factors so irrelevant?

Visit The Atlas Group's archives and their work on lebanese history:

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