(Sensorial Revolution)

"For the rationalist culture of the modern movement, « understanding » reality was more important than « perceiving » it, analyzing it through its elementary components, discovering its dynamic mechanisms, and never stopping at the surface. Those who did not know how to lead these in the right direction were “fooled by the senses”; they were inferior, untrustworthy, and substantially obscure perceptive instruments. They provided accessory, intuitive, superficial, and therefore substantially misleading information.

At the end of sixties an immense haste for information and stimuli to determine that which we call the Sensorial Revolution developed, and consisted in an unchecked growth of sensorial information and consequent development of all the perceptive sensitivities of man. This great informational, musical, and behavioral sensitivity is based on a new perceptive hierarchy: the senses are no longer a simple instrument that transmits inert information to reason, which only reason can then transform into organized conscience. The senses have become redefined, vibrating, cognitive instrument of reality and an element of the individual’s political formation.

The reality produced by music, fashion and social behaviors, but also by electronics and new materials, is a reality of surfaces, which imposes a knowledge of surfaces. If modern mans’ sensitivity was analytical and mechanical, that of contemporary man is synthetic, electronic and resonant.

The Sensorial Revolution displaces some of the old codes in order to introduce new Vanguard. It is rather a matter of a series of filters, additional lenses, and sonorous amplifiers that tend to revisit existence, displacing knowledge towards a world of absolute immediacy.
This is not a spontaneous, simple world; quite the contrary, it is an extremely sophisticated universe, where, however, there no longer exists a critical and ideological distance between man and the phenomena that surround him.

The perceptive ability capable of instinctively choosing useful elements of the complex stratification of informational fabric that reaches the individual through space is growing.

This new “auditory ability” that the metropolitan inhabitant is developing consists in the integrated use of all the perceptive abilities of the body: we could paradoxically say that he sees through touch, listens with the eyes, and smells with the ears. In the sense that all messages, real or virtual, that he receives imply a whole, sensorial deciphering.(…)

The eye was the illuminist symbol in the mechanical age, when a glance allowed a deep inquiry into the logic of reality’s movement, similar to that of a large clock.

The hand was Le Corbusier’s symbol that, through “Le Modulor”, gave the modern world a chance to recover a human dimension in the act of making.

The symbol of man in the pos-industrial world now is the ear, that strange, enigmatic organ, perennially open to the outside, and within which simultaneously millions of complex information bits are input, allowing us to perceive within the great soundtrack of the metropolis the light hum of the computer, a bird’s song, or the sound of the jungle.

The ear represent quit well the sensorial revolution, where “understanding” the internal mechanisms of phenomena no longer counts, rather “perceiving” the effects of these mechanisms, choosing the sounds and information, transforming into culture the gray mass of sounds present in space. (…) One single view of the world is no longer enough if there is not any sound information to act as its key: do those images come from a film, or they are real scenes from the Gulf War? Is the chase of those traffickers fiction or a scene from Bolivia?

We listen, and will understand. "

Andrea Branzi, Weak and diffuse Modernity.

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