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The rest of your senses

We seek to challenge the dominance of vision. We want to smell cities, lick asphalt, construct buildings from snow and ice. We seek to better understand the subtle, sensorial qualities of the built environment. We are studying the transformation of the built environment through climatic control, the bodily experience of sound and ways to navigate using atmospheric conditions. Clearly, our senses shape every aspect of our interactions with our environment. How might a new state of sensorial attention reshape spaces?

Article 5 of 9

Wayfinding by Snow, Wind, and Stars

An informal talk by Claudio Aporta

Anthropologist Claudio Aporta provides ethnographic and historical evidence for the existence, in time and space, of a network of well-established trails connecting most Inuit settlements and significant places across the Canadian Arctic. Aporta uses historical documents, ethnographic research, and new geographic tools to show the geographic extent of the network and its historical continuity. Inuit have made systematic use of the Arctic environment as a whole, and orally transmitted knowledge of landscapes, ecologies, and placenames relate to the trails through many generations. Apora’s work suggests that trails, like many aspects of Inuit culture, are better understood in terms of moving as a way of living.

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We invited Claudio Aporta to present these ideas as part of Expert in the Galleries: Mapping the land with words, a series of events which accompanied the exhibition Journeys: How travelling fruit, ideas and buildings rearrange our environment, in 2011.

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