The hierarchy of the senses

Sight is commonly said to be the most developed and complex sense in human perception, closely followed by hearing. For many years cognition, knowledge and divinity has been associated with especially vision and light. We are ”insightful” or “illuminated”.

Seeing and hearing represent the so-called remote senses, cut off from the materiality of the world. Some claim this is why eyes and ears are placed in the upper part of the head, closest to the brain - or to God. Further down the ladder the nose, mouth and hand represent the profane and more private senses of smell, taste and touch.

Recent research has unfolded the sensorial system as a much more complex and rhizomatic event sensitive to contextual factors.

Mix and match! Add to perception and map the human senses as a matter of physical, spiritual, social, conventional and geographical intertwining. Challenge the hierarchy of the senses, erode the “point of view”, turn upside down, and then left to travel the detour.

The five senses

I am absolutely sure that it was the taste of the foreign food that made us more open to the new society. When they tore down the beloved, Soviet buildings I remember the sound and smell of demolishing. I remember the sight of how the urban surface crashed. But it was the taste of the food in the new restaurants they built that opened my eyes to the diversity of the world.

The sense of beyond

I am certain that the church space brings me closer to God. I can see the altar illuminated at the end of the aisle and hear the voices of the choir.
All images of profane creatures peeing and pooing are hidden behind the whitened walls.
My body feels light and immaterial.

The sense of value

I am absolutely convinced that my sense of moral is located just below the upper gut, in a specific area of the stomach.
Yesterday’s supper, spinach and goat cheese, is passing through the area of this intelligent, gut feeling as we speak.

Sense no. 9: Proprioception

I can tell for a fact that although I close my eyes and lower my immediate senses, I can still feel the presence and position of my hand when I wave it back and forth in the air.
That’s what I focused on when you approached me on the pier in March. Body functions.

The sense of echolocation

I feel absolutely part of animal behaviour when I navigate through the streets of Copenhagen. Like a dolphin, I understand the echoes caused by the tapping of my blind man’s stick. First, the sound from the tables at the inn, then the stones on the graveyard, and finally the benches in the hospice.
Sounds waving from the eye on my wooden finger.

The sixth sense

I have every right to claim this apparition as a real and bodily presence in space. I feel it as much as I feel your hand on my skin. Cross my heart and hope to die.