Embodied Rhythm in Space and Time: A Poem and a Sculpture
Journal article, 2017
In this article, we outline the concept of aesthetic rhythm as an embodied lived experience. We investigate the temporal rhythms of a poem by Seamus Heaney and the spatial rhythms of a sculpture by Lena Hopsch, discussing similarities and differences between the two modalities. Previous research on aesthetic rhythm has mostly focused on meter, but here we use a broader concept of rhythm as we refer to - pre-metered forms from classical antiquity. Aesthetic rhythm in an artwork is described as a play with proportions in time and space. Rhythm continuously stages bodily experiences of balance and direction. We develop the embodiment perspective of Maurice Merleau-Ponty as well as Mark Johnson's concept of image schema. The schemas are shown to be premodal as rhythms function the same in temporal and spatial artworks. We also demonstrate a model for interpretation, developed out of the rhythms of the artifact.