Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Touch

Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media

2002
Author:

Laura U. Marks

Touch

Proposes a revolutionary approach to the interpretation of art, film, and the digital.

In Touch, Laura U. Marks develops a critical approach more tactile than visual, an intensely physical and sensuous engagement with works of media art that enriches our understanding and experience of these works and of art itself.

Laura U. Marks's experimental taste and mentality shape an artistic and artist-friendly critical space in Touch. Her book is about the meeting of texts and senses and Marks shines as our surrogate/mentor.

Chris Straayer, author of Deviant Eyes, Deviant Bodies

In Touch, Laura U. Marks develops a critical approach more tactile than visual, an intensely physical and sensuous engagement with works of media art that enriches our understanding and experience of these works and of art itself.

These critical, theoretical, and personal essays serve as a guide to developments in nonmainstream media art during the past ten years—sexual representation debates, documentary ethics, the shift from analog to digital media, a new social obsession with smell. Marks takes up well-known artists like experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs and mysterious animators the Brothers Quay, and introduces groundbreaking, lesser-known film, video, and digital artists.

From this emerges a materialist theory—an embodied, erotic relationship to art and to the world. Marks’s approach leads to an appreciation of the works’ mortal bodies: film’s volatile emulsion, video’s fragile magnetic base, crash-prone Net art; it also offers a productive alternative to the popular understanding of digital media as "virtual" and immaterial. Weaving a continuous fabric from philosophy, fiction, science, dreams, and intimate experience, Touch opens a new world of art media to readers.


Touch

Laura U. Marks, associate professor of film studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, is a critic and curator of artists’ independent media. She is the author of The Skin of the Film (2000).

Touch

Laura U. Marks's experimental taste and mentality shape an artistic and artist-friendly critical space in Touch. Her book is about the meeting of texts and senses and Marks shines as our surrogate/mentor.

Chris Straayer, author of Deviant Eyes, Deviant Bodies

Touch offers a fresh and much needed approach to art, one that should appeal to scholars and critics.

Leonardo Reviews

What distinguishes Marks’ approach throughout is the originality of her synthesis, the fluidity of her writing, and the unabashed love of each critical object, which exudes from virtually every page. In Touch, Marks is a maverick, primarily because her book is a model of intellectual generosity and liberation rarely found in academic studies.

Canadian Journal of Film Studies

Touch gives homage to the media artists and experimental videographers that pushed forward a technosensual, embodied, interactive relationship between concrete “living” art and observers, the minimalists and kinaesthetic artists of the 1960s onwards.

Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies