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Conferences & lectures

Sensing Machines: How Sensors Shape Our Everyday Life

Part of the Sentience Lecture Series co-sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture

Date/time change

Friday, November 19, 2021
1 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.

Registration is closed


Chris Salter


This event is free


Centre for Sensory Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture



Graphic image created by artist Chris Salter with man running amid green code-like vertical bars.

In the early morning hours of October 22, 1850, Gustav Fechner, a renowned German medical doctor turned professor of physics who had suffered from a mysterious illness, came to a radical realization that there must be a relationship between spiritual and physical energy, a measurable correspondence between the world external to our sense perception and the internal world of our brain processes. This revelation forms the basis of this lecture by Professor in the Department of Design and Computation Arts in the Faculty of Fine Arts Chris Salter. Salter will examine how a forgotten 19th century scientist’s startling revelation would forever change our understanding of the human senses and how they would come to interact with machines.

The Sentience lecture series is organized by David Howes, professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies and co-sponsored by the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC) and two CISSC Working Groups: Colonial, Racial and Indigenous Ecologies (CRIE) and Sensing Atmospheres.

About Chris Salter

Chris Salter is an artist, professor for Design and Computation Arts at Concordia and co-director of the Hexagram network. He studied philosophy, economics, theatre and computer music at Emory and Stanford Universities. His artistic work has been seen internationally at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Barbican Centre, Berliner Festspiele, Wiener Festwochen, ZKM, Musée d’art Contemporain, among many others. He is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance and Alien Agency: Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making (both MIT Press). His new book Sensing Machines will be published by MIT Press in March 2022.

This event is part of:

Sentience Lecture Series

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