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Megan Lewis Velong

Megan Lewis Velong

…we should not feel compelled to supplement embodied states with meaningful thoughts; we should instead put meaning into our bodies, and let perceptions of the heart reveal our situation in the world. —Jesse Prinz

The premise of my investigation is that emotion is a means of perception that complements sensory systems such as vision and touch. Through my thesis and accompanying installation I strive to demonstrate that seeing and touching are not simply and only how we come to perceive the world. Sometimes we feel meaning through the body. Embodied perception alters the reception of art by shifting the focus from a context that is read like text or symbol to the body as locus of meaning.

In our present moment, when we are ever more disconnected from body-to-body social relationships but believe we are connected through the digital realm, an environment constructed by an artist can be a space for social exploration and action. My project pursues a non-gendered emotion that does not guide viewers to feel a particular way but poses questions to a larger social body. In this way, binary oppositions of work-viewer and subject-object are eliminated through participatory action.

Embodied Perception/Embodied Allegiance pries at standing theories of embodiment and emotion in relation to the social body and the psychic body, finding a space for each to exist simultaneously. Offering a contemporary reading of Hegel and Merleau-Ponty, my work investigates the political and social space of contemporary art, social theory, and the world at large. I argue that the body is largely responsible for our experience of the world and should not be underestimated or overlooked as a perceptual system. Using this perceptual body to interrogate notions surrounding the reception of art, I simultaneously pose and expose questions that one feels corporeally and comes to know through the body.

SECTOR C: Art Practice and Technology

ADVISERS: Karen Beckman (ARTH) | Gary Hatfield (PHIL) | Brent Wahl(FNAR)