December 4, 2005
late entry for 'Sense and Place'!
Apologies for this really late entry – something I missed some weeks back, and did not want to remain ‘voiceless’ on and so here’s my two cents on it. Edward’s Casey’s article ‘Between Geography and Philosophy’ is an interesting insight into the relationship between self and place.
The way we conceptualize a place and experience it is not a given but is influenced and determined by its relationship and conversation with the place not necessarily in a conscious way. The Surveillance camera tour elucidates an ‘uncertain’ or an overtly ‘care-less’ relationship between self and place, geography, space and agency. I am particularly interested in the affectual dimensions of this relationship, as in how a place is actually sensed and felt, and how these senses are critical in the self’s construction of place. Steven Feld writes about how places are sensed and senses are placed – “as places make sense, senses make place”.
In my research of the Hornbill Festival which I have not yet had the opportunity to attend, there are two kinds of music that are performed – traditional folk music in the day and in the same space in the evenings, western rock and popular music with electric live bands. The experience and the sense of the place and the festival indeed – the relationship of self to place differs for the Naga youth particularly, in the day the space is an offering to a constructed heritage and a reiteration of one’s idealised identity. Whereas in the evening, the same youth experiences the space actively participate in the music, socialize and enjoy. The bodily experience within the same geographical space is sensed sonically and determines the experience. Feld calls this the acoustemology of place, in that the experience of place potentially can always be grounded in an acoustic dimension. The visitors at the festival perhaps are oriented in their experience of the space by other sensory dimensions not necessarily the ‘acoustemology’ of the space. The relationship of sense and place is definitely an important and overlooked inquiry.
These readings definitely open up more doors of exploration for my research. What is it that I am experiencing and what are the other possibilities and perspectives, what agency, what unseen limitations and unconscious determinants are there between the self and place. What are the psychogeographic responses and reactions to a place, what is the orienting factor of the experience?
Posted by Senti Toy at December 4, 2005 2:13 PM