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Title: To look, to hear, to experience anew : Paul Clipson's haptic infinitives
Authors: Han, Kimberly Pei Lin
Keywords: Visual arts and music::Art criticism::Aesthetics
Visual arts and music::Art history
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Han, K. P. L. (2021). To look, to hear, to experience anew : Paul Clipson's haptic infinitives. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Lying within the works of the late San Francisco-based experimental filmmaker Paul Clipson are universes of an indescribable, poignant beauty, in which image and sound are interwoven in a process of “eternal recurrence”. With his multiple exposures, clouds melt away into rippling bodies of water, the sunset floats above a single leaf, and blades of grass cut into the sharp edges of skyscrapers. And yet, these are shots that are never completely whole nor wholly stable — each moment gives rise to another revelation that the cloud may not have been a cloud, or that the leaf was really a blade of grass. There remains a significant difficulty in articulating just how Clipson unravels these universes, especially since his films tend towards the rejection of conventional modes of representation, and resist being dissected and read through such means. It is thus the primary goal of this thesis to offer a more accessible means of working through Clipson’s films. To this end, I argue that the closest way of doing so can be found in studying the direct engagement of our sensorial faculties in his films — both visually and auditorily — and in turn identifying the process of an unmediated multi-sensorial experience within it. Where the unmediated experience emerges from the improvisational approach that Clipson takes towards his films, the multi-sensorial experience is characterized by the interaction between our senses of not only sight and hearing, but that of touch as well. This thesis therefore explores how we may touch through our eyes and through our ears in the unmediated multi-sensorial experiences of Clipson’s films. To do so, I engage with the field of haptic aesthetics — particularly, the branches of haptic visuality and haptic aurality — as a means of articulating how exactly the sense of touch can emerge from what we look at and hear. Though there is no concrete way to “arrive at touch”, as Claire Colebrook writes, especially for the medium of film, the answer, as inspired by Colebrook, lies in thinking about what it means to touch. In this sense, as I echo Colebrook’s own aspirations, I consider how we are placed into a situation, through Clipson’s films, where we are ultimately made to experience what it means to look, to hear, and finally, to touch.
Schools: School of Humanities 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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