Dwelling in Sensation

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We live in an age of mass virtual mediation. This originates in the historical oppression of sensuality. Alongside sexual promiscuity and perversion, sensuality itself is repeatedly condemned in biblical texts.

During the rise of Fordist mass production and the Industrial Revolution in America, a Protestant work ethic prioritized efficient production over experience when the creative act of crafting was replaced by assembly lines. Sensual anesthesia was required for optimal efficiency.

Today we operate in the persistence of these fundamental ideologies, exacerbated by the addition of virtual technology.

As people increasingly experience and define themselves in virtual space, they are increasingly alienated from their bodies. Virtual avatars begin to eclipse human identities, divorcing us from material consequences of the physical world.

In light of these enlarged, mediated gaps in identification with the physical, there is a growing market in outsourced prosthetic self-connection methods.

Intuitive sensual awareness has become a novelty, commodified and sold back to us by the mindfulness industry.

We adjust to virtual overstimulation and find sensual dysphoria.

There is an inverse relationship between the frequency of external stimulation and the sensitivity of the organism: As the frequency of external stimulations increases, the threshold for feeling them increases, and the sensitivity of the organism decreases.   

In creating a set of un-branded instructions for the user’s self-care, not predicated on my own presence as an instructor, this visual essay suggests readily available methods of experiencing daily decolonized physical sensation without the need for commodified mediation.

It posits that physical sensation is a fundamental aspect of arriving in present time and space, and that that sense of arrival contributes to empathy and contentment in the individual.

Kyla Kegler

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