Described by Aristotle as the most vital of senses, touch contains both the physical and the metaphysical in its ability to express the determination of being. To manifest itself, touch makes a movement outwards, beyond the body, and relies on a specific physical involvement other senses do not require: to touch is already to be active and to activate. This fundamental ontology makes touch the most essential of all senses.
This volume of ‘Law and the Senses’ attempts to illuminate and reconsider the complex and interflowing relations and contradictions between the tactful intrusion of the law and the untactful movement of touch. Compelling contributors from arts, literature and social science disciplines alongside artist presentations explore touch’s boundaries and formal and informal ‘laws’ of the senses. Each contribution unveils a multi-faceted new dimension to the force of touch, its ability to form, deform and reform what it touches. In unique ways, each of the several contributions to this volume recognises the trans-corporeality of touch to traverse the boundaries on the body and entangle other bodies and spaces, thus challenging the very notion of corporeal integrity and human being.Book Details
Taste usually occupies the bottom of the sensorial hierarchy, as the quintessentially hedonistic sense, too close to the animal, the elemental and the corporeal, and for this reason disciplined and moralised. At the same time, taste is indissolubly tied to knowledge. To taste is to discriminate, emit judgement, enter an unstable domain of synaesthetic normativity where the certainty of metaphysical categories begins to crumble. This second title in the ‘Law and the Senses’ series explores law using taste as a conceptual and ontological category able to unsettle legal certainties, and a promising tool whereby to investigate the materiality of law’s relation to the world. For what else is law’s reduction of the world into legal categories, if not law’s ingesting the world by tasting it, and emitting moral and legal judgements accordingly? Through various topics including coffee, wine, craft cider and Japanese knotweed, this volume explores the normativities that shape the way taste is felt and categorised, within and beyond subjective, phenomenological and human dimensions. The result is an original interdisciplinary volume – complete with seven speculative ‘recipes’ – dedicated to a rarely explored intersection, with contributions from artists, legal academics, philosophers, anthropologists and sociologists.Book Details
Vision traditionally occupies the height of the sensorial hierarchy. The sense of clarity and purity conveyed by vision, allows it to be explicitly associated with truth and knowledge. The law has always relied on vision and representation, from eye-witnesses to photography, to imagery and emblems. The law and its normative gaze can be understood as that which decrees what is permitted to be and become visible and what is not. Indeed, even if law’s perspectival view is bound to be betrayed by the realities of perception, it is nonetheless productive of real effects on the world.
This first title in the interdisciplinary series ‘Law and the Senses’ asks how we can develop new theoretical approaches to law and seeing that go beyond a simple critique of the legal pretension to truth. This volume aims to understand how law might see and unsee, and how in its turn is seen and unseen. It explores devices and practices of visibility, the evolution of iconology and iconography, and the relation between the gaze of the law and the blindness of justice. The contributions, all radically interdisciplinary, are drawn from photography, legal theory, philosophy, and poetry.Book Details