Abram, D., (1996) The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World New York: Vintage Books. Abrams’ research has led him to explore different cultures’ approaches to the senses with a focus on primal peoples who use heightened use of the senses in a world where everything has a life-force which is pertinent to their complete way of living and language.
Adamson, G., (ed.) (2010) The Craft Reader. Oxford: Berg. Selected essays from this book looking at impact of manufacturing, then digital, technology, art as part of culture in Africa, phenomenology of making and the art of encounter. Different viewpoints to help give a wider understanding.
Alfoldy, S., (ed.) (2007), Neocraft: Modernity and the Craft. Halifax Novia Scotia: The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. This book of essays brings the digital into the world of crafts in many different ways. Some useful (to me) essays, especially an anthropological one on the sensory knowledge of a tribe from Colombia imbued within their baskets, but also fairly current thinking on the integration of the digital and virtual within contemporary craft.
Aristotle, ‘De Anima’, The Works of Aristotle, Book II (2), 413b (1931) Specific quote only.
Bachelard, G., (1964) (Trans. Maria Jolas) The Poetics of Space. New York: Orion Press. Introducing the reader to space as an element in architecture, and specifically how our memories and associations are formed through intimate spaces within the home. This book led me to thinking about space in and around installations in a new way and the relationship between the viewer and the work.
Bachmann, I., Scheuing, R., (1998) Material matters: The Art and Culture of Contemporary Textiles. YYZ Books. This book of essays from various contributors is a broad look at the world of textile as a means of communication and method of change both historically, technologically, and conceptually.
Benjamin, W. (First pub 1936) The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Trans J.A. Underwood). London: Penguin Great Ideas series. Writing during the rise of fascism, Benjamin uses the medium of film to expound his ideas on how technology abets the development of new media.
Benthien, C., (2002) Skin: on the cultural border between self and the world New York: Columbia University Press. This book is in effect an update of the Montagu book with referenes to language, anthropology, biological processes, sociology but with an increased attention to the haptic in art history, perception, conceptual art and new media. Not completely relevant to me, but an essential overview of the nature of skin and its many interpretations.
Classen, C., (Ed.) (2005) The Book of Touch Oxford & New York: Berg looks at the social life of touch, looking at tactility from the perspective of the blind and autistic, the different experiences of touch in different cultures.
Classen, C., (2012) The Deepest Sense, A Cultural History of Touch Urbana, Chicago and Springfield: University of Illinois Press gives an account of the tactile foundations of Western culture, including looking at the importance and taboos of touch in social interaction. This is making me think hard about the interface of skin/touch/fabric/context.
Dewey, J., (1934) Art as Experience London and New York: Berkeley Publishing Group. Whilst fairly didactic (perhaps a symptom of the times), Dewey nevertheless puts across a way of looking at architecture, sculpture, painting, music and literature that encapsulates many of the non-verbal aspects of affect and experience in a broad approach, holistic way. An important book which still has great relevance today and helped me to assimilate ideas and understand processes involved in my work and practice.
Dissanayake, E., (1988) What is Art For? Seattle: University of Washington Press. This book puts art firmly into the field of evolutionary biology and shows how art and artistic expression through decoration, ritual and communal activity is hard-wired into our evolution as a successful species. It argues that art is not superfluous to our development but vital for our well-being and success.
Dissanayake, E., (1992) Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes From and Why New York, Toronto: The Free Press.
Dissanayake, E., (2000) Art and Intimacy In this volume, Dissanayake explores the importance of art and tactility in our physical development from foetus to death, through physical, physiological, and psychological approaches, anthropologically and biologically. She investigates the somatic senses in conveying artistic sensibility and their importance to our continuing evolution.
Driscoll, R., (as yet unpublished) By the Light of the Body: The Somatic Senses in the Visual Arts. This book, yet to be published, exists through a few chapters published on Driscoll’s website, and the remaining chapters, emailed to me by the artist in September 2013 after meeting her at her recent exhibition at GVArt in London. It outlines her approach to working with tactile materials specifically to engage art-lovers with impaired or no vision and explains the rationale and philosophy behind her work.
Dunn, W., (2009) Living Sensationally: Understanding Your Senses. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. This book gives an insight into four different ways that people interact with the world of their senses in work, leisure, clothing, living space, general tendencies. With four main categories of Seeker, Avoider, Sensor and Bystander, each person can usually identify with one or more main characteristics of themselves in different situations. Once you are aware of the different aspects of each category, it can help you to understand how people react differently in the same situation and can hopefully lead to deeper understanding of their needs on a daily basis. It has opened my eyes up to how textiles people are more likely to tend towards the Sensor and how touch is important to them.
Gauntlett, D., (2011) Making is Connecting: the social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0 Cambridge, UK: Malden, MA: Polity Press. Gauntlett argues that creativity is live and kicking in both physical and digital media and that making is a way of thinking, connecting and communicating. The book stresses the democratic and social aspects of making as a way of living rather than the more professional making as a means of earning and being relevant to contemporary society. It is the importance of making and doing rather than being passive and accepting that is changing society from the television age to the social networking age.
Gere, C., (2006) Art, Time & Technology Oxford, New York: Berg. Looks at the role and purpose of art in the time of the digital and how the practice of art, in particular avant-garde, keeps our relation to time, history and our humanity open.
Gordon, G., (Ed.) (1978) Active Touch – The Mechanism of Recognition of Objects by Manipulation: A multi-disciplinary approach Oxford, New York, Toronto, Sydney, Paris, Frankfurt: Pergamon Press. A series of articles by leading authorities of the time integrating a multi-disciplinary approach to tactile perception and the use of the hand in exploration and recognition with an introductory chapter to a new approach in tackling the complex sensory capacity for recognizing objects explored by the hands in terms of the nervous mechanisms involved. Reading these articles gave me an insight into how my work might well develop with different layers of weaving relating to different layers of skin, and how the anatomical and geological world collide in terminology of stratum to denote different layers….
Greenhalgh, P., (ed.) (2002) the persistence of craft: the applied arts today London: AC Black. Looking at the function of the crafts within modernist culture with a wide-ranging view of different craft disciplines and their relevance to contemporary culture. Useful for positioning but it doesn’t go into any borderland between objects and consumers.
Gregg, M., Seigworth, G.J., (eds.) (2010) The Affect Theory Reader Durham and London: Duke University Press. This collection of essays, of which I only read those I thought would be pertinent to my current study, covers a wide range of theories and practices under the umbrella of Affect theory. From cybernetics to physical reaction and interaction with others and objects, this wide-ranging overview gives much to think about in a relatively new area of philosophy of Affect theory.
Gumbrecht, H.U., (2004) Production of Presence: What Meaning Cannot Convey Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Gumbrecht’s theories that interpretation alone cannot do justice to the dimension of “presence,” a dimension in which cultural phenomena and events become tangible and have an impact on our senses and our bodies.
Hauser, J. (ed) (2008) Sk-interfaces: exploding borders – creating membranes in art, technology and society. FACT & Liverpool University Press. Whilst this book is looking at cutting edge art on the borders of art and science and technology, there are a few useful approaches to tactility that reflect on my practice. The work being done in the field of skin is varied and fascinating and gives an overview of a much wider approach.
Heller-Roasen, D., (2009) The Inner Touch: archaeology of a sensation New York: Zone. Going through many philosophers and referring also to literature, psychology and health from ancient through to modern culture with many different angles on what touch is through perception, sensation and feeling. Selected quotes, mostly from Aristotle, but also Campanella and Leibniz.
Hemmings, J., (ed.) (2012a) The Textile Reader London, New York: Berg. The essays in the sections on touch and structure give textiles-specific contexts to the two elements that are uppermost in my practice. The lists for further reading highlight a number of books I have already consulted as well as others to follow up.
Hemmings, J., (2012b) Warp and Weft: Woven Textiles in Fashion, Art and Interiors London, Berlin, New York, Sydney: Bloomsbury. This book follows on from the exhibition in 2010 which highlighted mostly UK weavers. The book brings in weavers from around the (mostly) western world, to highlight the diversity of work currently being developed in weave. Very good for an overview of the diversity of weave practice within a specific geographical segment of the weaving world.
Hung, S., Magliaro, J., (eds.) (2007) By Hand: The use of craft in contemporary art Princeton Architectural Press. Artists talking about their practice of hand-making – “in many instances, the work does not ignore technology but embraces it and employs it strategically with the handmade.”
Leach, Edmund (1974) Claude Levi-Strauss Chicago: University of Chicago Press. This book looks at Levi-Strauss’ philosophy of phenomenology, from how we class things, to how we are both a part of the universal (our need for food to function) and our own individuality (whether tribe or individual being). It also looks closely at how we use codes and symbols for communication, through physical, conceptual and verbal means and our ability to think in imaginative and conceptual ways, and also our ability to spot patterns in visual and auditory stimuli (featuring music). It is a guide for exploring my own relationship to my work.
Lupton, E., (2002) Skin: Surface, Substance + Design Princeton Architectural Press. Skin as both substance and metaphor in recent design practice – a multi-layered, multi-purpose organ that shifts from thick to thin, tight to loose, wet to dry, across the landscape of the body.
McCarty, C., McQuaid, M., (1998) Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles The Museum of Modern Art, New York 1998. Using contemporary Japanese textiles, investigating the use of different materials such as newspaper, banana fibre, copper stainless steel, and feather, using printing, weaving… “These often unlikely juxtapositions of materials assembled using an array of construction techniques have resulted in works of astonishing beauty and creativity that reassert the artistic potential of textiles” combining mechanical and industrial techniques with handwork. Very much the way I work but with the Japanese aesthetic. Insightful into my own ways of working.
McCullough, M., (1996) Abstracting Craft: The Practiced Digital Hand Cambridge, Mass; London: The MIT Press. Using many of the traits of traditional crafts practice, McCullough shows how digital technologies are built and becoming more user friendly. Of interest to me is tactility and psychology of touch discussed in terms of physical use and integration into digital technologies. Obviously things have moved on since this book was written, and some ideas discussed, such as the data suits, have not made it into main-stream computing, but elements of interactivity, collaboration and participation including movement and sensitive pressure devices have come to feature in today’s technology.
Merleau-Ponty, M., (1948) (Trans. Oliver Davis, 2004) The World of Perception London, New York: Routledge. Seven short radio broadcasts written and read by Merleau-Ponty in 1948 on the world of perception and science, space, sensory objects, animal life, man seen from the outside, art and the classical world, modern world. While the first and sixth lectures were relevant to my research, it is interesting to see the early thoughts on perception which were later developed through later books.
Merleau-Ponty, M., (1964) (Ed James M Edie) The Primacy of Perception and Other Essays on Phenomenological Psychology, the Philosophy of Art, History and Politics Northwestern University Press. Looking at various texts by Merleau-Ponty on physical perception and the philosophy of art through eye and mind, this is an introduction to Merleau-Ponty’s key thought prior to jumping into the rather larger volume of Phenomenology of Perception.
Merleau-Ponty, M., (1968) The Visible and the Invisible Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Critical examination of Kant, Husserl, Berson and Sartre and his own thinking.
Montagu, A., (1986) Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin 3rd edition New York: Harper and Row. This book gives a deep insight into the physical and physiological affects of touch in many different aspects of sociology and anthropology. Using many examples from mammals and many different societies, touch and tactility is explored from pre-natal to old age in contexts of sociology, culture, biology, physiology. A fascinating look into the varied aspects of touch with some references to touch and painting and sculpture. Areas of interest – development of touch as a primary sense prior to visual, in fact, enabling visual perception and understanding of environment; the necessity of touch as a requirement for social and physical development, health and well-being of mammals and humans.
Neto, E. (2010) The Edges of the World London: Hayward Publishing. An important career survey of Neto’s work published during an exhibition of his multi-sensory environments at the Hayward Gallery, South Bank, London. Investigating how the dynamics in his expanded sculpture create audience experience.
Pajakowsa, C., (2005) ‘On Stuffs and Nonsense: The Complexity of Cloth’, Textile: The Journal of Cloth & Culture, Vol 3, Issue 3, Fall, 2005, p.223
Pallasmaa, J., 2012) The Eyes of the Skin – Architecture and the Senses 3rd edition. Chichester: Wiley. A short book by Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa which talks about architecture which is not just designed for the visual, but more importantly for all the senses, especially the haptic sense of touch. An interesting book which stresses the importance of senses other than sight.
Paterson, M., (2007) The Senses of Touch, Haptics, affects and technologies Oxford & New York: Berg. This looks at the roles of touching and feeling as part of the fabric of the everyday, embodied experience. Drawing on philosophy, psychology, medical writing and representations in art to encompass touch as both sensory and affective experience.
Rose, B., (1994) Magdalena Abakanowicz New York: Harry N Abrams, Inc. A comprehensive overview of the artist, her background, her driving forces, her work up until 1994. Abakanowicz is an important artist from my perspective as I share several of her foci – working in border zones ,coming from a weave background, wanting the audience to interact with the work on a physical level, installations and multiples which are not the same, and working to a large scale.
Scruton, R., (2001) Kant Oxford: Oxford Paperbacks. This pocket-sized book gives an understandable (on the second reading) insight into the main parts of Kant’s philosophy. I have looked mostly at Chapter 6 – Beauty and Design to get an idea of Kant’s thoughts on the sublime. I disagree with the universality of a judgment which Kant talks about, but agree with the first part of his theory of how we respond to beauty.
Simon J., (2002) Ann Hamilton New York: Harry N. Abrams. “Internationally acclaimed artist Ann Hamilton creates sensory environments that combine sound, text, video, photographs, books, and huge quantities of material substances…” Looking into Hamilton’s work to see how she incorporates tactility and other haptic qualities in her installations and interactive work.
Vasselue, C., (1998) Textures of Light: Vision and Touch in Irigaray, Levinas and Merleau-Ponty London & New York: Routledge. As it states in the title, Vasselue is looking specifically at how vision and touch are investigated in the three philosophers’ work. It concentrates mostly on how light is treated in its various ways, as that is the sense that most attention has been paid to historically, but the references to the haptic sense are interesting.
Wilson, F. R., (1998) The Hand – How its use shapes the brain, language, and human culture New York: Vintage Books. This gives information on the hand’s evolution and its intimate communication with the brain to affect areas such as neurology, psychology and linguistics, as well as stimulating human creativity.