Sensorium: A holistic awareness of Nature

16:00, Thursday 6 May 2021 (30 minutes)
Nina Czegledy, OCAD University, Toronto/ KMDI, University of Toronto, Canada

The way that we perceive our environment via our sensory systems has always been a source of deep theoretical questions concerning this very basic characteristic of our existence. The benefits of Nature for our sensorial well-being are well known, however it is important to remember that our attitude to, and representation of, Nature is always closely linked to political, religious, environmental and social considerations. The notion of the constitution of sentient living beings has changed, forcing a revision of knowledge leading to a closer engagement with Indigenous peoples. From time immemorial, Indigenous cultures across the world have focused on building a holistic understanding of Nature. The concepts derived from this understanding form an integral part of Indigenous philosophy including the notions that everything is connected to everything else, everything including sensory experience is in a state of constant change and this change occurs in cycles or patterns. In Maori heritage for example closely linked to and in many ways inseparable from environment: the spirit world of the ancestors is part and parcel of what we see, touch and feel, an integral place in the being of the natural world.

University of Toronto, OCAD University Toronto