Orientational Metaphors are highly embodied. They depend directly on our interaction with the environment and the shape of our body. We acquire these metaphors automatically and unconsciously, simply by interacting with the world. (Prof. Rolf Pfeifer Prof Elmar Holenstein )
Spatial concepts, such as “front”, “back”, “up”, and “down”, provide perhaps the clearest examples in which such embodied experience exists. These concepts are articulated in terms of our body's position in, and movement through, space. Creatures like us that stand upright and move forward, for example, think of things that are “in front of” themselves as located in the line of vision or in terms of the direction they are moving. Creatures that were long and flat and moved backwards, by contrast, might have a very different concept of “in front of”, or perhaps none at all. Likewise for other spatial concepts, such as “up”. The experience of “upness”, depends on the particular kind of body we have, and how that body interacts with its surroundings (Lakoff and Johnson, 1999).
Upward orientation tends to go together with positive evaluation, while downward orientation with a negative one. For example: More is up; Less is down, Healthy is up; Sick is down, Conscious is up; Unconscious is down : Control is up; Lack of control is down: Happy is up and Sad is down.
This video was made for the exhibition Emboodiments: Embodiments was an exhibition that brought together art, philosophy, and cognitive science. The exhibition featured 8 international artists, whose work explored the body, and a day-long workshop with presentations by scholars who study the philosophy, psychology, and history of art. In addition, there will be opportunities for visitors to participate in psychological studies that measure aesthetic experiences while viewing the art on display.