Keeping an Eye Open for Scents and Stenches. Reflections on Combining Smelling with Visual Data in Perspective of Anthropology of Waste

Włodzimierz K. Pessel


The text deals with an issue of reading images as a way of perceiving the osmosphere. The author observes that eyesight might enhance other sensory modalities, provided that the eye no longer is isolated from natural interaction with the environment which has olfactory properties, but also audio and haptic. The analysis is related to two possibilities of reasoning about smells based on visual data. In the first case, the photograph appeals to the olfactory memory and serve as a tool to elicit a narration on scents from a person. In the second case, the use of the olfactory imagination seems to be necessary as a sort of subconscious for the hegemonic eye. The image an individual can see evokes internal representations, which should be taken into account when analysing and interpreting the urban space.

Słowa kluczowe: osmosphere, scents, urban space, anthropology of waste

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