Monday, January 28, 2013

Developing an Emblem with Proprioception

Yesterday, I finished Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist’s Eye and I want to reflect on some ideas that Francesco Bonami has.  Bonami remarks, “We experience life through encounters, images, objects, and spaces.  Our memory is composed of varied, mostly irrelevant, short experiences: new images, new flavors, new sounds, new touches, and new smells” (14).  Bonami directs our attention to the traditional five senses as universal to human experience.  These senses construct ideologies and paradigms for how we behave within the world.  Tourism though homogenizes these sense experiences across cultures, yet Bonami also articulates that it can “help counter more traumatic events and balance complex cultural differences” (14).  I’m wondering though if we can shift outside the traditional five senses (mostly because I’ve been writing in my thesis about proprioception also known as the kinesthetic sense) for understanding ontology and well-being.  And how important is proprioception to tourism and traveling? Does proprioception get homogenized in tourism (surely it does), and where and when do travelers use the proprioception to engage with not the feeling they are not “moving into a known territory,” (20) but “into a known world to find the unknown [or] to enter into an unknown world to find the familiar, the known” (15)?

So how can proprioception be used in our class project (or should it even be used)?  I believe we are developing an image (a pastiche), but how can an image enable one to physically move through space and time.  Or rather should I consider how a particular past moment of mine required me to move my body through space and time, and then develop an emblem from that experience? What comes to mind right now is when I worked on cars about ten years ago.  After high school, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona and secured a job with Goodyear.  As a mechanic, I constantly had to use my body (and obviously hands) to perform the job, yet for years such performance always felt awkward to me.  Of course not always, but I often felt in my body that I should be doing something else in life, engaging in conversations about philosophical ideas, doing something more for others, and contributing to communities.  In other words, did I feel the “becoming what you are”, or lack of it, as I moved under hoods, undercarriages, and around fenders?  Maybe my emblem may connect to my time at Goodyear and this proprioceptive experience.

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