Wake up and hear the coffee? TA(s)TE at Tate

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Ever wondered why you like a certain painting or brand of coffee? Can our senses of taste and smell help define who we are?

At a two-day event (27–28 April) at London’s Tate Exchange, come and experience for yourself some of the unexpected strategies our brain uses to make and share matters of taste, from the most sensory ones to our appreciation of art

Called TA{s}TE, it is organised by members of the Institute of Philosophy and The Warburg Institute at the School of Advanced Study, University of London (UoL),and is part of a new Centre for Aesthetics, Technology and Engineering (CREATE) initiative.

Enjoy our unique series of interactive demonstrations and specially designed hands-on experiments. They will help you discover how you identify elusive or novel objects and select the ones you prefer. Learn how you are influenced by others’ preferences and how you communicate your own.

During the Tate Exchange event cognitive scientists and researchers from UK and European universities and the European Research Council will share what is going on in their laboratories. And, by discussing and sharing your experience, you can contribute to advancing their ideas, and help develop new ways to make art and taste more engaging for everyone.

Demonstrations include:

  • Tasting Shapes (Barry C Smith UoL). Can we describe the shape that a wine makes in the mouth? Do all wines have the same shapes? Using your hands you will be able to compare your judgments with one another for different wines.
  • Sensible communication (Laura Schmitz and Cordula Vesper, Central European University – CEU). Kandinsky and other artists thought that they could communicate tastes, smells or sounds using the language of shapes and colours. Did they succeed and would you succeed if you had to do the same?
  • In touch with your senses (Vincent Hayward, UoL). Senses excel in different domains. In this experiment, you will discover that vision excels in a task where touch is quite ineffective and that in another task touch excels but vision can easily be fooled.
  • Natural or artificial? Can you tell? (Lasana Harris – UCL, and Lisa-Marie Harris). Lots of money is spent to produce artificial hair and flavours? Do these fakes fool anyone and, if so, how can you tell real and fake apart?
  • I haven't a clue! How hints work? (Uri Hertz and Chris Frith, UoL). Sensory experience, what we see, hear and smell and taste, are not the sole determinants of our perceptual experience. In this project, we will explore how hints and labels work, and how they can act as perceptual 'short cuts', allowing faster, and more vivid detection.

How do we sound together? Thomas Wolf, Gunther Knoblich and Natalie Sebanz, CEU). How does what you like influence what you create in a joint improvisation? Find out by exploring a walk-in musical instrument for two.


Notes for Editors:

For further information, please contact: Maureen McTaggart, Media and Public Relations Officer, School of Advanced Study, University of London +44 (0)20 7862 8653  / Maureen.mctaggart@sas.ac.uk.