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Ambience, an introductory experience of our ordinary environment

Abstract : This chapter considers the notion of urban ambience and attempts to characterise its generative dimension separately from the growing social demand for conditioned atmospheres (supermarkets, subways, etc.). Following the work of Gilles Deleuze, this paper revises the idea of perception as an activity of knowledge and focuses on it as an aesthetic experience. This is a process that utilises the notions of measure and rhythm. Ordinary perception would consist of a process of adjusting our knowledge to our lived environment, a case in which the measure is major and the rhythm is minor – or a classic process of recognition. Perception is also a fruitful field for aesthetic experiences, lived in daily situations in which the rhythm would become major and the measure minor. Our assumption is that Venice’s ambiences, as Proust describes them, can be traced to this outburst of the synthesis of perception: Measure fails to build an object, rhythm falls into a proliferative perceptual experience, and imagination no longer serves the purpose of comprehension but instead produces a very expressive space-time without any concept. The chapter builds on these notions (measure, rhythm) to discuss the idea of ambience as an introductory experience to our ordinary environment.
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Contributor : Olivier Labussiere <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 20, 2020 - 2:47:05 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 4:00:18 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-02902939, version 1




Olivier Labussiere. Ambience, an introductory experience of our ordinary environment. Nathalie Blanc, Patrick Desgeorges, Théa Manola. Forms of Experienced Environments : Questioning Relations between Human, Aesthetics, and Sciences, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020, 978-1527545281. ⟨halshs-02902939⟩



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