Fall 2012, Sensation – Perception – Mediation

There are several important developments in contemporary culture – material technologies, new devices of communication and mediation, artistic tendencies – which embody the appeal of immediacy, presence, actuality, instantaneity, and contact. That is why the sense of touch and the skin understood as a sensorial surface function as conceptual metaphors for new approaches taking the body as their point of departure – conceived as a “sensory envelope, a perceptual membrane and material­mental interface” (as Thomas Elsaesser put it). Older theoretical and aesthetical models – that of the work of art or the textual model – are re-examined under the influence of phenomenological or cognitive investigations. New terms are introduced into the critical discourse: affect, intensity, immersion, sensuality – all which make us rethink again oppositions between presence and absence, distance and nearness, speed and slowness, surface and depth, private and public. In a time when to be available and to be in touch are highly regarded qualities, when information from all over the world flows indiscriminately through multiple channels, and most forms of media target the body, the interrelated categories of sensation, perception and mediation acquire new meanings and functions. One point of convergence in contemporary interdisciplinary approaches is the common interest in mapping out the role of the senses in the experience of the world – viewing the body both as a “site of reception” and a responding agent. Perhaps a new fascination with contact, physical presence, performativity and materiality emerges, reshaping structures of space, and of temporalities. The Fall 2012 issue of Apertúra is a selection from the papers delivered at the conference entitled Sensation – Perception – Mediation, organized by the Department of Visual Culture and Literary Theory (University of Szeged) in June 7-9, 2012.

Sensation – Perception – Mediation

Jens Schröter: The Complexity of Technological Images. The Four Optical Series

Christoph Ernst: The Mediation of Perception in Mythological Thinking – On Diagrammatic Explication, Speculative Reasoning and the Myth of the Martian Civilization

György Fogarasi: Teletrauma: Distance in Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry

Ákos Seress: Playing with Blends. Theatre Studies and Cognitive Science

Early Cinema: Presence, Movement, Experience

Beja Margitházi: “Last night I was in the Kingdom of Shadows…” The Role of Body and Senses in Various “First Contact” Narratives

Izabella Füzi: Mechanical Motion and Body Movements in Early Cinema and in Hungarian Film Theory of the 1920s

Eszter Polónyi: Béla Balázs and the Eye of the Microscope


Miklós Marsovszky: New Art: The Film (1924)

Béla Balázs: Daydreams (192?)

Balázs Béla: Álmodozás (192?)