Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media

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In Touch, Laura U. Marks develops a critical approach more tactile than visual, an intensely physical and sensuous engagement with works of media art that enriches our understanding and experience of these works and of art itself.

These critical, theoretical, and personal essays serve as a guide to developments in nonmainstream media art during the past ten years-sexual representation debates, documentary ethics, the shift from analog to digital media, a new social obsession with smell. Marks takes up well-known artists like experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs and mysterious animators the Brothers Quay, and introduces groundbreaking, lesser-known film, video, and digital artists.

From this emerges a materialist theory-an embodied, erotic relationship to art and to the world. Marks's approach leads to an appreciation of the works' mortal bodies: film's volatile emulsion, video's fragile magnetic base, crash-prone Net art; it also offers a productive alternative to the popular understanding of digital media as "virtual" and immaterial. Weaving a continuous fabric from philosophy, fiction, science, dreams, and intimate experience, Touch opens a new world of art media to readers.

Laura U. Marks, associate professor of film studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, is a critic and curator of artists' independent media. She is the author of The Skin of the Film (2000).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816638895
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 750,605
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Video Haptics and Erotics 1
I The Haptic Subject
2 Animal Appetites, Animal Identifications 23
3 "I Am Very Frightened by the Things I Film" 41
II Haptics and Erotics
4 Here's Gazing at You 57
5 Love the One You're With: Straight Women, Gay Porn, and the Scene of Erotic Looking 73
6 Loving a Disappearing Image 91
III Olfactory Haptics
7 The Logic of Smell 113
8 Institute Benjamenta: An Olfactory View 127
9 J's Smell Movie: A Shot List 141
IV Haptics and Electronics
10 Video's Body, Analog and Digital 147
11 How Electrons Remember 161
12 Immanence Online 177
13 Ten Years of Dreams about Art 193
Notes 217
Filmography and Videography (with Distributor Information) 241
Publication Information 247
Index 249
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