Yuri Akbalkan
Artistic Research Fellow | Promotion zum Dr. sc. mus.
Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg
Harvestehuder Weg 12, 20148 Hamburg

Sensorium: Perceptual Construction as Artistic Process
Winter Semester 2023/24

Type: block seminars
Language: English
Time frame: WS2023/2024, Saturdays 25.11. / 09.12. / 13.01. / 27.01. / 03.02. 14:00–17:00 CET
Location: HfMT Hamburg, ELA 5 (seminar room), Harvestehuder Weg 12, 20148 Hamburg

Overview and the course goals
By this course, the aim is to explore perceptual construction as artistic process in terms of multimedia art. The course is designed to communicate academia and art community. Learning materials are expected to be graspable by artists from different branches of art as well as to be available to the general public and people interested in the cross-section between art and science.
By the end of this course, you will have a much greater understanding of what perceptual construction is, and how it relates to art. We are going to review the most revealing example artworks to show how human perception can be constructed in a deliberate way, as well as to analyse these works by linking them to the corresponding sensory modalities. The information covered in this course will also provide insight into how this knowledge has been and can be applied by artists in order to create art. After all, you will have a rich array of different perceptual-construction techniques to explore.

Perceptual-construction techniques have been exploited by artists and engineers over the centuries. In particular optical, auditory, and space perception constructs were always used by painters, composers, and architects. All these techniques were barely systematically and consistently examined in their entirety. This brings us to the main goal of this course which is to explore perceptual construction as an artistic tool.
In this usage, the term ‘perceptual construct’ refers to the construction of perception through sensory modalities. This concept also includes or can be linked to Gestalt psychology, top-down/bottom-up processing approaches, and other theories that aim to show and describe how human perception can be constructed in a deliberate way. The following species of perceptual constructs are included in the course: optical, auditory, somatosensory (touch, proprioception, kinaesthesia, interoception), olfaction, taste, time, and space perception constructs.

Target groups
The course is designed for both professionals (composers, multimedia artists, art theorists, artists from different branches of art) and the general public (people interested in cross-section between art and science).

Connection to the regular lessons and sustainability
Since this course directly corresponds to my doctoral thesis topic, its content will remain relevantly related to the main field of my interest as an artistic researcher during the next few years. Within a given time frame, I am going to investigate the phenomenon of perception construction through sensory modalities in art and apply these discoveries to my own artistic practice. I developed this particular course to teach a class on sensory modalities in art at higher education institutions.

Structure of the course
The course consists of the following block seminars, each covering the corresponding sensory-modality domains:

Winter Semester 2023/2024

Block seminar 1
Introduction: perceptual construction as artistic process
Vision (Light or Visual Modality)

Block seminar 2
Audition (Sound or Auditory Modality)

Block seminar 3
Time Perception

Block seminar 4
Space Perception

Block seminar 5
Discussion forum: a space to chat, brainstorm,
share your projects, and/or reflect on the relevant topic

Summer Semester 2024

Block seminar 1
Somatosensation (Touch, Proprioception, Kinesthesia, and Interoception)

Block seminar 2
Smell and Taste (Olfactory and Gustatory Modalities)

Block seminar 3
Multi- and Cross-Modal Perception Construction

Block seminar 4
Sensory Deprivation as a tool to highlight the targeted sense(s)

Block seminar 5
Discussion forum: a space to chat, brainstorm,
share your projects, and/or reflect on the relevant topic

ⓘ To be involved in the course, please contact the lecturer either directly via yuri.akbalkan@hfmt-hamburg.de or by filling out the registration form: https://form.jotform.com/232163939249060