Displace (v 1.0)




Diplace (v 1.0) Performative Sensory Environment
Chris Salter | TeZ | David Howes
+ Anke Burger, Shannon Collis, Natalie Doonan, Florencia Marchetti, David Szanto,
Harry Smoak, Matt Tremblay
American Anthroplogical Association annual meeting
Montreal, Canada
November 16-20, 2011

Displace is a performative environment which will be open to the general public and delegates to the American Anthropological Association (AAA) meetings in Montreal from 3:00 to 8:00 pm on Wednesday the 16th through Sunday the 20th of November, 2011. It is officially listed as an AAA ino-vent on the conference program.

Displace intermingles multiple sensory phenomena in order to heighten and transform our habitual modes of perception. Over a 45 minute period, groups of 6 visitors progress through a sequence of sensory-based environments. At first, these environments intermingle gustatory and haptic stimuli and then gradually convoke all the senses inside intense, almost hallucinatory spaces where flickering color, sound and tactile vibrations and fleeting tastes and scents merge to the point of saturation.

Come and have your senses rearranged. Discover worlds of sense!

Displace is one of series of experiments conducted within the context of a larger research project entitled “Mediations of Sensation” developed by artists Chris Salter and TeZ and anthropologist David Howes along with a team of researchers in design and anthropology. The aim of “Mediations” is to create a space between art and anthropology where contemporary art practice can be informed by advanced research in sensory anthropology, and vice versa. Sensory anthropology is dedicated to charting the varieties of sensory experience across cultures. Howes and his team have documented a wide array of ways in which the senses are distinguished, ranked, mixed and deployed and enjoyed in different cultures. Displace derives part of its inspiration from this archive. It mirrors the anthropological experience by offering a sensorially compelling, technologically augmented environment designed to open a crack in the conventional Western sensorium and transport the experiencer into a parallel sensory world.

In addition to the artistic outcomes of the project (of which Displace is the first), “Mediations” involves panel discussions and specific ethnographic research with the public in order to understand participant experiences, and evaluate the potential of performative environments of this kind to communicate anthropological knowledge in ways that are both more encompassing and more immediate than the standard means of transmission – namely, the ethnographic monograph, ethnographic film, and/or ethnographic museum display. Displace is an exhibition, but without any objects, without the mediation of celluloid, and without any words – only sensations.

See Further:

Mediation of Sensation

Displace 2.0: Performative Sensory Environment


A Conversation with Chris Salter, Silvia Bertolotti

“Écoute et goûte, c’est la Redoute” voir.ca

A Play of Senses: Displace (v 1.0) at the Hexagram-Concordia, Montreal QC An audio review by Nicole Labruto