This paper will explore the ways in which art may be understood as an ongoing experiment that interacts with the plasticity of the body to prompt change and affect the body-environment relationship. The arts offer an approach to research that recognizes the importance of the affect in studies of perception and action, self-organization and selection. An affective approach to experimentation would connect cognitive activity to the material processes of the environment in a science of our own fiction. This connection becomes the basis of affective experiments, which aim to yield new insights by merging the creative researcher with self-affecting-experimenter. To this end, I will discuss the scientific objectives of the “rubber hand”, and the ‘mirror-box” experiments are contrasted with work by artists-turned-architects Arakawa and Gins and three of my creative projects to suggest how creative research might enact embodied change. Throughout the paper I will argue that cognitive processes such as attention, selection, decision and judgment are ripe for re-entry and experimentation through an embodied approach to acquiring knowledge that is particular to the arts.
This paper was originally presented at the NIEA Experimental Arts Conference, 18-21 Aug. 2011, Sydney, N.S.W.
Field of Research
199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
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