Archive of Sensation

Oct 31, You can participate in this workshop any time between Sept 11 and Oct 31 - at ARTSPACE

Hello! Welcome to this workshop developed by Aislinn Thomas. Aislinn developed this workshop in response to a new exhibition at Artspace called MAKE/SHIFT, featuring two new bodies of work by emerging artist Alexis Bulman. In particular, Aislinn chose to work with Remodel, a series of sculptures Alexis constructed from drywall. If you haven’t seen the show already, we recommend you visit MAKE/SHIFT, either in person or here on our website at Then come back to this page and help us build an archive of sensation.

Why the Archive of Sensation?

We sense the world in a variety of ways–through touch, smell, taste, sound, sight, and proprioception–in the form and combination unique to our individual bodyminds.  Our sensory experience is a fundamental aspect of our experience of the world.  In this moment, so many of us are experiencing the world in new or different ways, some of us facing barriers to public space and restrictions on our mobility for the first time.  The hope is that the Archive of Sensation might help us think and feel through a multiplicity of experiences and the possibilities for communicating these experiences.

Archive of Sensation asks: 

  • What is this work?
  • What does it do in the world?
  • How do our bodies (our human bodies and the body of work) interact and respond to each other–in proximity and across a distance?
  • How can bodies communicate to other bodies about what bodies feel and do?

The basic invitation:

You are invited to describe what you see or feel when experiencing Remodel or other descriptions of / responses to Remodel.  This can be in text/writing, voice memo, drawing, video, or other format of your choosing.  If you can visit the gallery, you can view and respond to the work in-person. Alternatively, you can view the work on this website by visiting the exhibition online. Click the following link to view the online exhibition:

Below are some prompts you may want to consider:

  • Describe what you see, hear, or feel / touch.
  • If you’re at a distance, can you imagine what it feels like to touch?
  • What is the texture, the temperature, the shape, the weight?
  • What do you notice?  What is surprising?
  • What does Remodel or this response to Remodel remind you of?  What does it make you feel?
  • Touching with your eyes, can you take the work into your body?  Does it translate into a movement or gesture?  A way of holding or being in your body?  A way of interacting with another object or thing?

To submit your response:

We ask that you share your response (anonymously if you wish) through this google form: or via email to If you are sharing via email, please included your name, pronouns, and email, as well as your image(s), video, audio, or text. Please let us know if you’d like to remain anonymous when we share your response or if you want us to tag you with your Instagram handle. Any additional comments or feedback are also welcome.

The archive will be shared and grow on the gallery’s Instagram account and on this webpage. If you have any questions, please contact Hannah Keating at

Thanks to the Trent Centre for Aging and Society for sponsoring this workshop.

Note: Aislinn Thomas uses the term “sensory translation” to describe a range of strategies that create multiple sensorial entry points to artworks, including audio description (and visual description more broadly), captioning, transcription, description of sound, and approaches not yet named or discovered.