Cognitive Sensations is a project exploring the impact of the digital age on human behaviour, culture and society. We are interested in raising pertinent questions around our relationship with everyday technologies, reflecting upon its rising embodiment in everyday experience.
Cognitive Sensations explores this societal shift, through the intersection between art, science and digital culture. We publish texts and organise events and exhibitions that question the scale in which technology affects us: psychologically, neurologically, physiologically, geographically, economically and politically.
We are looking for proposals (essays, reviews, online artworks or other experimental interventions that could work well on our website) that answers this question: How has the digital age impacted our perception and sensory experience of the world?
The central focus of this season of Cognitive Sensations is to analyse the impact of our increased digital engagement on the function of perception.
Walter Benjamin discussed in his seminal essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ the idea that perception can change with history:
‘During long periods of history, the mode of human perception changes with humanity’s entire mode of existence. The manner in which human sense perception is organized, the medium in which it is accomplished, is determined not only by nature, but by historical circumstances as well’.
Responding to the rise of mechanical reproduction and its impact on the experience of art, Benjamin was absorbed by the power of technology to manipulate how people see and perceive. How can Benjamin’s views be reinterpreted in a digital era?
From a neuro-biological perspective, we know that due to plasticity, the connections between our cells and neural functional systems are forged by the environment we place ourselves in, and the sensory inputs to our brains. What approaches could be taken to investigate the impact of digital technology on the brain’s ability to adapt to its surroundings?
Proposals and timeline
We welcome proposals from a wide variety of international practitioners at any stage in their career, working in art, science, philosophy, digital culture and multi-disciplinary approaches.
Commissions will be confirmed by September 15th 2019 and work will be published online through Winter 2019.
Cognitive Sensations is funded by Arts Council England. The following commissions are available:
2 x 700 word articles at £90 per commission
1 x 700 word article at £175
1 x 1200 word article at £300
1 x Experimental/Art Fee at £150
How to apply
Please email the following to Cognitive Sensations founder, Gabriella Warren-Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org:
– a short description (50-200 words) of how you would answer the brief and in what form (essay, review, online artwork or other experimental intervention that could work well on our website)
– a short bio (no longer than 100 words please)
– and 1-3 examples of previous work (jpgs/pdfs).
All submissions must be received by midnight, Friday 30th August 2019. Many thanks.