Training the Senses: Spring Sessions

Training the Senses
scripted performances of improvised speech and doing

2016 – 2018

Curator and producer

We tend to think of knowledge as school-taught, language-based and to a large extent visually acquired – through reading, viewing and insight. Yet we also know that our bodies are reservoirs of other forms of knowledge acquired through a collaboration of multiple senses: hearing, taste, smell and touch. We use our hands and noses to select fruit at the market. We smell to find a suitable mate, listen to sense danger and intuit to gauge the insecurity of others. The senses also provide information we are not always aware of. We know that a cook uses his sense of smell and taste to determine the freshness and combination of ingredients. Much less obvious is that a physician needs to train her hands to feel her way to a diagnosis or that a ceramics expert needs to hone his hearing to authenticate a porcelain bowl.
This Training the Senses series, consisting of a series of scripted performances of improvised speech and doing. provide insight into these knowledge fields. They explore the ways we recognize and use our senses and, through training, also make sense of the world around us.

Among the guests were: artist Espen Sommer Eide, anthropologist Anna Harris, dramaturg Peggy Olislaegers, anthropologist Tim Ingold, plant sensing expert Natasha Myers, artist team Thought Collider, surgeon and director of performance enhancement institute Roger Kneebone, cook Josef Youssef, dancer Sara Wookey, performer David Helbich and many others.

Training the Senses is a collaborative project with the University of Maastricht.

For a complete list of lectures, presentations, and debates, click here

For more information see the Marres website. Some presentations have been recorded and can be watched on Marres’ Vimeo channel.