Sensing Place workshop 17 June 2016

As part of the Ecologies of Intimacy a series of two workshops with artists and scientists have been planned which will focus on senses and sensations, experiencing memories, emotions, ideas and speculations.  We will sense place and we will sense data by engaging in practical explorations of sensory stimulants in/with natural and artificially generated environments and materials.

If you are artist, scientist, herbalist or interested in place, ecology, sensing and intimacy, please join us for this one day workshop. To book your place send a short paragraph about your practice and how this workshop would benefit you, to:

Ecologies of Intimacy Workshop 1: Sensing Place
17 June, Brighton, 11am-5pm
at Field, Lewis Road, Brighton for map follow this link

During this workshop event two projects will be presented where the focus is on sensing environment as place, and the body as a sensor that connects us with it.

Mapping with the senses  [talk by Judith van der Elst]
Archaeologist/anthropologist/geospatial specialist Judith van der Elst has long been working in collaborations with artists, technologist, bio-semioticians and others to develop digital tools and mobile technologies that enable recognition and navigation through sensory environments, working toward the development of a novel mapping system. Currently, she develops such collaborations within the framework of Forest Bathing (FB), as part of the Machine Wilderness platform (

It is generally accepted that immersion in forest/green environments provides unique and essential benefits for organism health; creative research within FB explores whether ‘seeing green’ is associated, among other things with specific auditory and olfactory qualities, in other words, sensory signals in our ambient sphere we tend to ignore in many knowledge systems and seeks to propose new creative research directions to include these signals. The Periodic Table within this framework are gatherings in the land focused on the physicality of those signals.  The aim is to immerse ourselves in the sensory richness of the land of unique and little known places/ecosystems, specifically including and highlighting the materiality of information and experiences that many of us consider to be ephemeral, intangible, transient…sounds, smells and other sense-able signals in the Earth’s sphere. The methodological outline is rooted in biosemiotics, investigating the myriad of communication between and among living systems.

Judith van der Elst will introduce Forest Bathing and The Periodic Table projects and their connection to the biosemiotics as a new direction in research and design.

Byte in the Land: Mapping Emotional words to fragrances and flavours to sounds [Raewyn Turner and Brian Harris, talk + workshop]
Developed over years by artist Raewyn Turner, Byte in the Land is a multimodal art project that exists as an artwork, a wine tasting performance, and a workshop. The process of mapping emotional words to fragrances and flavours brings together reflection with olfactory ciphers in order to create an art experience that may be felt in the body. This sensing of the land/territory has been mapped onto cyberspace (Tasting the Internet/ Internettraces with Mary Griffiths), and used in physical sensing of the area of Montefeltro in Italy during The Periodic Table, Rural Renaissance, Montefeltro Edition (0), 2016.

In Brighton we will explore the fragrance of contemporary existence, illusion, place and sense-making with a sound to smell apparatus called Accidental Piano developed in collaboration with Brian Harris. Using synthetic and natural smells harvested in Brighton area we will map the smells onto our emotions, stories and memories. We will also use Accidental Piano to expand the olfactory map into aural sensations.

Raewyn Turner and Brian Harris will talk about their practice and then they will run a 2-3 hours workshop.

If you need more details about the workshop and related projects please contact me directly at


11.oo start with introduction and welcome (Magda Tyzlik-Carver)

11.15 periodic table (talk by Judith Van der Elst)

11.45 byte in the land (talk and introduction to the workshop by Raewyn Turner and Brian Harris)

12.45 lunch break

13.30 workshop start

16.00 finish


Judith van der Elst
[] is an anthropologist/archaeologist specialized in humanistic approaches in the geosciences. She received her PhD from the University of New Mexico (USA) for research testing the limitations of spatial information systems for representing and understanding the diversity in human spatial thinking, using the concept of cognitive landscapes. Her work focuses on understanding multimodal perception of the land, through merging embodied learning, sensing technologies, and ubiquitous computing within a biosemiotic framework. Leading a semi-nomadic lifestyle she explores this approach through transdisciplinary collaborations, among others with Urbino University, Aalto University Media Lab: Systems of Representation, and BIoArt society Finland.

Raewyn Turner [] is an interdisciplinary visual artist concerned with cross-sensory perception and the unchartered territories of the senses, creating videos, interactive installations, paintings and theatre performances, and has worked with olfaction since 1999. Her works have been shown in numerous national and international exhibitions and performances, including ISEA 2015, 2013, Congreso International de Sinestesia, Ciencia Y Arte 2015. 2012, 2009, Rencontres Internationales, Museum of Contemporary Art, LA,  Parque de las Ciencias, Granada, Spain, 11th Prague Quadrennial of Scenography and Theatre Architecture 2007, Georges Pompidou Center, Te Papa Museum, and Academy of Fine Arts New Zealand. She has won several awards including the Wallace Trust, Corbans, Kinetica and a Fulbright Grant for an artist residency at Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia. She was the conceptual artist for Four Senses Concerts for the Deaf, twice performed as the aroma jockey for Sencity, and has given numerous presentations and lectures in symposiums and academic institutions.

Brian Harris creates computer controlled and embedded devices for motion picture cameras and other special projects for the local and international film industry. He has a science and electronics background and has been an independent designer for 30 years, creating both small and large scale finely tuned adaptive mechatronics and bespoke equipment. His inventions for motion control, stabilising camera mounts for aerial photography and robotic trajectories have been used in local and international tv, commercial and film productions.

Turner & Harris combine art, engineering, science research and their skills developed over years of practice in theatre, the film industry, robotics, interactive software, video, olfactory, art installations and performances. They engage simple elements with engineering to create experiential art, utilising everyday objects reinterpreted with robotics, electronics and microprocessors which Brian develops for cameras in the film industry, along with Raewyn’s olfactory research, live performance and art practice. They’ve been collaborating since 2010 creating experiments around olfactory perception.

Magda Tyżlik-Carver [] is an independent researcher and curator. Currently as Cultural Engagement Research Fellow with Fabrica/Brighton and University of Sussex she is working on the project Remote Intimacy by investigating Ecologies of Intimacy. Through transdisciplinary research she focuses her investigations on relational arrangements of humans and nonhumans and their biopolitical creations through curating in/as commons, future thinking, affective data and data fictions. Often, working in collaborations, she produces curatorial formats that bring together people, machines, software and data in temporary performative arrangements. Her curatorial and research projects include playing practice (2009), turning language into objects (2009), common practice (2010, 2013), Ghost Machine (2012), Ghost Factory (2013, 2015), University of the Village (2012, 2015), Future Thinking for Social Living (2015).


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