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The notion that art history is concerned with visual perception is
limited. A great number of objects art history claims competence for has
been created for a synaesthetic experience, that is, a conflation of
many different sensual perceptions. Seeing goes together with hearing,
smell, taste, and touch. Much of religious art is a case in point. But
the same also applies to contemporary installation and media art. In
fact, the recognition of "media" is foundational to art history. We know
that it makes a difference if a work is made of stone or ivory, acryl or
oil paint. Yet, how do "media" actually work? How do they do their job?
How do we perceive them? What senses are involved? Given these
questions, art history has been enriched by other fields like media
theory, thing theory, phenomenology and a general re-centering of art
history to the human body.
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