from full to intensified experience

Job Koelewijn

Job Koelewijn

Wolfgang Laib

Wolfgang Laib

Full experiences are often synonym for events that trigger all senses: image, sound, taste, smell and feeling. If you stage these conditions you influence someones state of mind because the sensual triggers are connected to our memories. Artist like WT Schippers – peanut-butter-floor (Boijmans van Beuningen), Job Koelewijn – baby-powder-wall (de paviljoens), Wolfgang Laib – bee-wax corridor (dePont) make you aware that you can use your nose to enjoy art. Giuseppe Penone takes another approach in his Respirare l’ombra (centre pompidou-metz) he explicitly translates smell and air in laurel leaves. Thus reshaping or reframing my connotations of laurel leaves. An intensified experience is derived when you play with a trigger. Germaine Kruip likes to use daylight to make the ordinary special “Light is like a cloth. You can drape it over something that is already there, it encloses all and it changes everything but it doesn’t exclude anyone. Job Koelewijn likes to use mirrors to create an alternate experience. In his installation Jump, you enter a door and find a vast polder landscape with a small ditch, you can smell the grass and clay soil. Mirrors make it seem as if the landscape continues endlessly.  The result of this playing with our expectations of the perception is: attention. It creates an extra moment of reflection and it can make us aware of unconscious layers in our mind.

The ultimate reflective experience is created by artist and space engineer Bradley Pitt. It’s a strange sphere-shaped mirror called EIO, Ellipsoidal Introspective Optic. He wanted to create a unique visual experience. He designed the mirror so that when you look into it, your right eye sees your left eye and vice versa, whichever direction you look. ‘You are looking at the looking itself’. If you get close enough the images merge in your brain turning your reflection into a Cyclops.

bradley pitts

Bradley Pitts

giuseppe penone

respirare l'ombra

Second loop learning

Looking at the looking is much like learning of the learning. The strange thing about these looped methods is their interdependency. If you start paying attention to the way you are looking, learning, shaping your world, you will no longer look, learn or shape the same as you were doing before. If you know you shape your thoughts through the influence of smell, you will change your perception of that smell and thus alter the pathways in your brain. The same happens if you become aware of the way you create your identity. It’s like a differential response, it is a response optimized by prediction.

QS or Quantified Self is about methods to gain more knowledge about yourself, others and the world around you with result in a growing number of self-tracking tools. According to Gary Wolf these new tools are changing our sense as self in the world. He sees them not only as windows (outward tools), but also as mirrors (inward tools), when they are used for self discovery, self-awareness or self-knowledge. And that improved consciousness can help us to act more effectively in the world.

clay powderSince Pine and Gilmore wrote their book about the experience economy the adagium ‘tell me-show me, involve me’ has become he new mantra of marketing. The theory is about how memory itself becomes the product and that experiences are a distinct offering and economic value from services. They define four domains: entertainment and esthetic experiences can be staged with passive participation, educational and escapism experiences need a more active participation. In 2007 they further explained economic value in their book Authenticity, in which they reveal a next stage after orchestrating experiences: the transformational stage. The word transformation itself is neutral it just means to alter or make it different, nowadays change is often associated with modification and development. People will pay to reshape their situation, preferably if it promises relief. But it takes active participation to know what solution you need. A dear friend of mine does not like to receive gifts – because it always involves extra work on his account – is his explanation: if you give me flowers, i need to buy a vase to put them in. So i made certain to buy flowers and a vase, but then he told me he had to go out to buy a cupboard in order to store the vase. Some people can not be helped. But for others it might help if QS tools were integrated into marketing. It would help to overcome the hurtle of active participation that flattens rich experiences to full experiences instead of intensified ones.

related: understand sound and flavour

One Response to “from full to intensified experience”

  1. 1 the character of facial expression « Agudeza's Blog

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