Haptic visuality


Still my best-known work, synthesizing a theory of embodied, tactile, and multisensory visuality from Henri Bergson, Deleuze and Guattari’s take on Aloïs Riegl, and Islamic aesthetics.

For a useful overview see my
“Haptic Aesthetics,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, ed. Michael Kelly (Oxford University Press, 2014).

The first iteration of was my talk “The haptic critic” at “La
jeune critique aujourd'hui" in Paris in 1993.
The first major article was “Video haptics and erotics,”
Screen 39:4 (Winter 1998): 331-348.
A characterization of haptic media, and the theory that haptic visuality gives rise to embodied sense memory, are further developed in
The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses (2000).
A revised version of "Video Haptics" appears in
Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media (2002)
I offer a revised theory of haptic aesthetics in Images in Motion, from Haptic Vision to Networked Space,” chapter 8 of Hanan al-Cinema (MIT Press, 2015)

Also see "Loving a Disappearing Image" in
Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media (2002)

Recent works:

“I Feel Like an Abstract Line,” in
Thresholds: Mirror-Touch Synaesthesia and the Social Life of Art, ed. Daria Martin with Elinor Cleghorn (Oxford University Press, 2017)

“The Skin and the Screen—A Dialogue,” interview with Dominique Chateau and José Moure, in
Screens: The Key Debates, ed. Dominique Chateau and José Moure (Amsterdam University Press, 2016). 258-263.

Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (2010) follows Riegl back to his sources as a textile curator and identifies haptic space and abstract line at work in Islamic art. I argue that Islamic aesthetics introduced these forms to European art.

On the Islamic origins of abstract line and haptic space and their taming in European art:

“The taming of the haptic space, from Málaga to Valencia to Florence,”
Muqarnas, 32 (2015) special issue, “Gazing Otherwise,” ed. Olga Bush and Avinoam Shalem. 253-278. On Selected Writings page

“From haptic to optical, performance to figuration: A history of representation at the bottom of a bowl," in
Islam and the Politics of Culture in Europe, ed. Frank Peter, Sarah Dornhof, and Elena Arigita (Transcript-Verlag Press, 2013) On Selected Writings page