AestheSis ≱ AesThetic Workshop 2/ #Artletics

Wei-Chi Su  21st Mar. 2022

Has fashion ever made you feel rejected, alone, ornate fit in?
How does this experience make you feel? How does your body feel and react?

Modern aesthetics have played as a normativity that enabled the rejection of other forms of aesthetic practices, sensing and perceiving. Likewise, the fashion and the aesthetic we have learned and adopted are actually all under the influences of modern/ Western aesthetics. Aesthesis, origin from Greek, means an unelaborated elementary awareness of stimulation and the process of sensory perception. 

Mignolo and Vazquez suggest seeing ‘decolonial aesthesis’ as a critique and artistic practice that aims to decolonize the senses, to liberate them from the regulations of modern aesthetics.

In this workshop, students were led to reconnect to their senses by interacting with nature and exploring their bodies.  By reconnecting and revaluing our original way of sensing and perceiving, they realised everyone has different ways of sensing the world and our aesthetic is personal and incommensurable. Moreover, as aesthesis(sensing) is always personal, when the design intention stems from the position of oneself in the world, it also allows the possibility to deliver a much more meaningful and responsible design.

Through sharing these experiences, students have grown to recognise and respect the differences between each other. We explored the feeling of the ‘other’ (cultural hierarchy) that contemporary aesthetics has created. As a decolonial act, the students were asked to co-create a collective work with the aesthesis (sensing) they just regained.

#Artletics warm up in collaboration with Lianca van der Merwe-

#Artletics is a neologism of art and athletics. It is a creative practice that relies on somatic and performative practices to stimulate affect and expand our awareness beyond rational thinking and the traditional senses.  In workshops with choreographed movements, participants explore within the rituals associated with fashion - like getting dressed, caring for garments, or going shopping. The aim of practicing #artletics is to create access points to the agentic world and the intra-relationality that exist between us and our wardrobe.

#Artletics Warm Up

Reconnect to the senses: Knowing the self and the others

Sensing exercise-

Performing and sharing-

Centring our senses as a decolonial act:
Collective decolonial healing-

© 2022, Wei-Chi Su.