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Public Presentation "How to Confuse Your Senses", a course on olfactory art

* time changed! (from 16:30 instead of 13:00)

Public presentation of
"How to Confuse Your Senses", a course on olfactory art

Students of the course "How to Confuse Your Senses" will invite you to the world of confusions by means of smell with various olfactory games. Please come and play with the smells!

Date & Time: 
Thu, Oct 15 2015, from 16:30-

PB301 (Faculty Art Science)
KABK: Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (NL)
Prinsessegracht 4, 2514 AN Den Haag

DAY 4: perfumery WS

Perfumery WS

Students created 3 bottles of perfume with 3 to 5 ingredients.

And.. trying out the incense from the DAY 3

[Combustible incense]
Mint: disgusting
Paracetamol: disgusting... leaving bitter taste on the tongue
Sugar: caramel like
Cinnamon: spicy and sweet, very fragrant
Licorice: smells burnt

[Non-combustible incense]
Mint and cinnamon: cinnamon does not appear but mint well
Paracetamol: just smells like ume paste
Licorice: sweet, deep, hey-like, and fragrant

DAY 3: incense making WS (combustible & non-combustible)

Incense making WS

Combustible incense

- Roasted peanuts
- Star anis

- Sugar

- Paracetamol
- Mint
- Cinnamon
- Basil
- Lycorice

Non combustible incense

- Paracetamol
- Mint / cinnamon
- Sugar
- Lycorice


DAY 2 : extraction WS, discussions

Exraction workshops:



Dried Oak Leaves

Magic Mushrooms


Aloe Vera


Paracetamol - distillation

Performing for the blindfolded:

some Japanese inspirations:

Japanese red-light district of the past
- incense that measures time
- incense balls that could roll freely in futon
- incense pillow
- incense for the genital area and hair

Contemporary plays
- Wakame-sake, the sake with the fragrance of genital hair infused
- Nyotai-mori

- Panties sold for 50 - 80 EUR with photos
- How to preserve these panties
- An alpinist that makes the final judgement by smelling the can of "geisha"


DAY 1 : Kohdo WS, performing for the blindfolded, a walk in a forest

(1) a small experimentation on pneumatic pressures and scents.  Stuffed scents in  balloons.

(2)  a KODO session - Japanese incense game.

Trial round:
A: Sandalwood
B: Manaban
C: Sumotara

Final round:
1) A
2) D - Kyara
3) C
4) B

1 student scored 2, and others scored 1.

(3) A walk in a forest, finding fragrant materials for extraction workshops.

How to Confuse Your Senses? - an introduction to the artistic use of the smell medium -

Often in olfactory art, the focus is on smell itself.  It is used for evoking memories and feelings, for emphasizing manifestations or making statements. We will take a different approach that focuses more on our perception of smell and less on the meaning of smell.

I think that smell is in itself neutral. It's the audience that attributes meanings such as "this is the smell of apple" or "this is a bad odour" based on their personal experiences and history. My memories and history are different from yours, so how can I assume that what is a "sweet smell" to me will have the same meaning to you?

In the course we will depart from the above perspective and regard smell as something neutral. In the first half of the course we discuss the question "what do we know, and what can we find out, about smelling?" By doing a lot of original and spontaneous researches and experiments you will quickly learn more about your sense of smell. In the second half of the course we will focus on creating a 'simple' artwork, interface, or game all focusing on confusing the senses.

Blog of the previous years: http://smellart.blogspot.com

By: Maki Ueda http://www.ueda.nl
At: Art Science (PB301), an interfactuly of The Royal Art Academy and Royal Conservatory, The Hague, The Nertherlands
Date: 29 Sep, 1, 6, 8, 13, 15 Oct (6 hours each, 36 hours in total) 2015