expos essay 1 patology

expos essay 1 patology - Unification of the Senses: An...

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Unification of the Senses: An Attempt To Break The Hierarchy Name: Poojan Patel Class: Expository Writing Instructor: Hilary Haakensen Date: 9/17/11 1
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In modern society, many people believe that vision is the sense that should be the most revered. Juhani Pallasmaa, author of “The Eyes of the Skin,” believes that this way of thinking is incorrect when talking specifically about architecture as well as in the broader sense. This is evidenced when he uses the phrase “pathology of the senses,” (284) to refer to how there is a hierarchy that separates the senses which in turn plagues society. In this hierarchy, vision is the sense that is on top and all the other senses are below vision. Pallasmaa is relating this phrase to architecture, which he believes deteriorates when it is homogenous. In this case, the word homogenous refers to how architecture only appeals to one sense while neglecting the other senses. He believes that this separation of the senses in architecture can lessen the significance of the work itself and the message that it tries to portray. I agree with Pallasmaa when he goes through each of the other senses to show how they are just as important as vision and uses architecture in an effort to end the pathology or separation of the senses but I also criticize him for constantly relying on sight in his efforts despite his antagonism towards ocularcentrism. According to the hierarchy that is established in society, hearing is the sense just below vision. Pallasmaa believes that hearing and sight are forces that need to work together rather than compete with one another. This is evidenced when Pallasmaa says, “We are not normally aware of the significance of hearing in spatial experience, although sound often provides the temporal continuum in which visual impressions are embedded. When the soundtrack is removed from a film, for instance, the scene loses its plasticity and sense of continuity and life” (289). This means that without sound the film would be full of meaningless actions and what we see would serve no purpose. Without sound, the film would be like a silent film that is run through gestures, which you can only make out 2
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with your eyes. This separation of the senses deteriorates the experience that we live through when we watch a film. Pallasmaa’s way of thought in this sense is most agreeable because often times we are better able to understand what we see if we are able to hear it as well. However, I am also very critical of his reliance on sight in this example despite his hate of ocularcentrism. I feel that if Pallasmaa is going to talk about hearing then he should focus more on the significance of hearing itself and less on relating it back to vision. If he does not focus more on what he is trying to convey then it will be very difficult and confusing for anyone to understand exactly what he means. This reliance on sight in his examples creates a major flaw in Pallasmaa’s argument. He decides to
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2012 for the course 355 101 taught by Professor King during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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expos essay 1 patology - Unification of the Senses: An...

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