The Senses at #BloomsburyFest 2013

Patrick Hughes – The Books of Venice

Our senses make the world that we experience come alive.  Artists realised this long ago, so have those who wish to convey a message whether it be personal, political, or religious.  At this year’s Bloomsbury Festival there are various events that attempt to challenge your senses or to convey important issues through sound, movement, or vision.  Let’s take a look at some of these.

Puppets in Surgery

On Friday is The Art of Surgery.  Put on by the Institute of Philosophy this lecture by Roger Kneebone frames surgery as a profession that is also a craft.  What does this mean?  Roger explains that there are parallels between the movements of a surgeon during operations and those that might be found in theatre.  Theatre Director Rachel Warr with puppeteers will demonstrate and discuss elements of Bunraku puppetry techniques to demonstrate.

Sensory perception

What do you see?  What do you smell?  What do you hear?

On Saturday come to Bloomsbury to explore your senses with the Exploratorium: Exploring your Senses event. Science meets philosophy in a series of hands-on experiments which explore sensory perception.  There are two sessions (both on Saturday 19th) in which you will get the chance to encounter a number of visual, auditory and touch illusions.  Uncover the workings of your taste and smell!  Expert guides will be on hand to help out from the Centre for the Study of the Senses.

Bloomsbury inspires!

St. George's Gardens, Bloomsbury
St. George’s Gardens, Bloomsbury

Alternatively spend a delightful hour rediscovering Bloomsbury’s streets as you have never experienced them before.  Local artist Robert Shepherd has offered a chance to learn about his Bloomsbury – how he has drawn and written about it, and how Bloomsbury inspires.  Susan Trangmar will also be getting in on the act by re-imagining Bloomsbury’s literary history through its trees.  This will certainly be a different way to look at what we often consider to be an urban sprawl rather than a place for nature.  Thirdly, Dr Martin Austwick and Stephen Hugel will be discussing how they have created a digital map of graphic novel writer Alan Moore’s From Hell (a graphic novel suggesting conspiracy as well as a motive for Jack the Ripper).

Music, Robots and Parkour

From imagining Bloomsbury’s streets through art, we move on to a unique treat of sound and music.  Sarah Angliss is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, roboticist and sound historian.  When she throws all of these interests together what comes out of it in the end?  To find out you will have to be in Senate House’s McMillan Hall at 1.30pm or 5.30pm on Saturday 19th.

If music is what interests you then don’t miss out on Jayson Gillham’s piano recital.  It takes place in Chancellor’s Hall on Tuesday 15th October (7-9pm).

ParkourOr, for something completely different why don’t you check out the Parkour workshops.  Parkour is an athletic discipline based around free and efficient movement through urban space.  Here’s your chance to learn the basics and see Parkour athletes in training.  This is a series of interactive workshops taking place between 12pm and 4pm on Saturday 19th.

There’s plenty to do and see this year at the festival and it’s running throughout the week. Check out our Festival Highlights post for details of even more events at this year’s Bloomsbury Festival or follow the links below.

15 October

7pm Jayson Gillham piano recital

18 October

4.30pm The Art of Surgery

19 October

12.30pm Imagining Bloomsbury’s streets

3pm Exploratorium: Exploring your Senses

1.30pm/5.30pm  Sarah Angliss: Sound Artist

20 October

12pm Parkour Workshops

The Bloomsbury Festival runs from October 15-20, 2013. The full schedule of events at the School of Advanced Study is available here. We are also running a series of exciting competitions in October. Follow us on @SASNews for festival news and updates.

Finding the Ministry of Communication:

Senate House, Malet Street, London

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