ISIPCA Lecture

Excerpt of a lecture by Gayil Nalls in October 1998 at ISIPCA (Institut supérieur international du parfum, de la cosmétique et de l'aromatique alimentaire) at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

As the United Nations is an international parliamentary organization of sovereign nations where all members are represented by their vote, World Sensorium is a social sculpture, defined by both its context and function, where each nation is represented by their note, a “note” being an odor perceived to represent an aspect of cultural memory and co-evolution with nature. Each scent is symbolically significant individually and to the guiding vision of the World Sensorium formula—the chemical cross-pollination of the olfactory whole—enabling us to take in the world all at once.

The physicist Dr. David Bohm said, in the ‘80s, that quantum physics shows us that we live in an indivisible universal field, an unbroken flow that is the law of the world. He felt our problems came from our fragmented worldview, “incoherence”. He said that it is “the whole” that creates the ordering of things. When the whole of society moves together in a common pool of information, we can be guided by this movement. Dr. Bohm called this “coherence”.

World Sensorium is a monument, not in the traditional sense of an image of a powerful individual, but the essence of a powerful and grounding ideal on which the next millennium rests. The World Sensorium formula is based on population percentages, where everyone in the world counts.

Plato could have been a particle physicist too. One of his best known dialogues begins with the idea of the “polis”, the city-state, as the expanded version of the person. It continues to expound on the fate of each individual being inextricably bound to that of the other. I think this a very valid claim.

Yet, many of us around the world have come to consider ourselves as outside the order of nature and not part of the impact of our sheer numbers on the earth. So, how to awaken or reawaken our original knowledge of our place in the universe? How do we get ready for the challenges and responsibilities of a new millennium?

Aristotle had a lot to say about what is knowable. He asked if we can actually know the same thing. This is important because the difference in our knowledge will have profound impact on our future.

World Sensorium is meant to be an individual yet collective voyage to inner space. An individual must be willing to feel inside, for a few minutes, an olfactory ideal that might put us down our own path towards a realization to, at some point, obtain a deep understanding of the meaning of life and the deep convictions it will take to sustain it.

World Sensorium installations, spaces or structures will allow for the experience and observation of the inner self, to journey deep within to recover inherent wisdom. Never before has it been more important to understand ourselves and our place on earth in a human cannon of mass scale.

Breathing World Sensorium is an abstract yet authentic opportunity to inwardly immerse and integrate an ideal, to have intimate contact with the natural world, to remember to take care of the earth as our own bodies—to use your own body for this experience with concentration and intensity, to internally give birth to a new way of living our lives that is essential to our very survival in the new millennium.

In many ways World Sensorium is about the art of memory.


World Sensorium

© 1997-2008, by Gayil Nalls

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