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Perhaps, Essences

Supervised by Edwin van der Heide and David Howes

Abstract: Perhaps, Essences is an artistic practice based research exploration on the perception of space under the premise of embodied experiences through visual deprivation. It consists of two parts, a pre-research paradigm and an in-depth investigation. The first part consists of three short essays that explore unconventional views upon embodied experiences through tactile senses, felt time experiences and intermediate states in dreams and the Bardo Thodol (The Tibetan book of the dead). The second part employs these elements in two installation based experiences and seeks to investigate whether spatial perception changes if the dominant sense of sight is deprived or restricted. For decades there has been research on the perception of time in sensory deprivation studies, however this study adds to the discussion through its research on the perception of space. The research method is both auto-ethnographic and analytical, positioning the self in a broader context and taking account of observational reports through a set of experiments. The two projects discussed in the research indicate the possibility of expansion and contraction of closed off physical spaces, in the perception of the spaces, during the experiences. The observations in the experiences seek to understand why said phenomena occurs and which sensory modalities used in the experiences might influence this shift of spatial perception.