Dr. Hava Aldouby

Mapping haptic tendencies in contemporary moving image art, Ori Gersht and Phil Solomon

Hava Aldouby, PhD, is faculty member at The Open University of Israel, Department of Literature, Language and Art.

Her PhD was approved summa cum laude at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2009), and awarded the Allan Bronfman Prize for an Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in the Humanities.

Her research encompasses various configurations of moving-image art, from popular cinema to art-cinema and its interface with painting, from experimental filmmaking to video art and new media art. Current research interests lie in aspects of haptic visuality in contemporary moving image art. Her current projects address somatic aspects of the encounter between viewers and projected images, opting to provide an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for the study and conceptualization thereof.

In this frame of research interests, Hava Aldouby is involved in a collaborative project in neuro-aesthetics (alternatively tagged experimental aesthetics), with the cognitive neuroscientist Prof. Vittorio Gallese, of the Department of Neuroscience, Università degli studi di Parma. The project was launched in an international symposium at the Hebrew University’s Edmund and Lily Safra Center for Brain Studies (9-10 April 2014).

The project is unique in its involvement of active artists, and has won the Vigevani Research Project Prize for 2014 at the Hebrew University.

Hava Aldouby’s research engages in mapping haptic tendencies in contemporary moving image art, and placing them within historical and cultural contexts.

Her current project as research associate of Da’at Ha-Makom Center focuses on two artists, Ori Gersht and Phil Solomon. Ori Gersht is an Israeli artist, living and practicing in London for the last two decades. Phil Solomon is a third generation American, the grandson of Russian Jewish Immigrants. The two artists’ prevalent concern with textural suggestion is considered, in light of possible interfaces between their desire for enhanced materiality, and the experience of ‘place’ in modern Jewish history and culture. The quest for a renewed ‘haptic continuum’ (Rodowick 2007) between the (digital) artwork and the observer is associated, in the cases under scrutiny, with the history of immigration, interculturality, and the experience of the Jewish body as an Other. The project will be expanded, to examine the place and role of Jewish filmmakers in the American avant-garde.

Selected Publications

“The physical anxiety of the form itself”: A Haptic Reading of Phil Solomon’s Experimental Films,” Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind, 2016 10:1, 86-113

“Courting Absence, Restoring Presence: Ori Gersht and the Moving Image”, in Hava Aldouby, David Chandler, Al Miner and Mae Petra-Wong, Ori Gersht: Memory Reflecting (Boston: MFA Publications, 2014)

Federico Fellini: Painting in Film, Painting on Film (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2013)

In preparation: Ori Gersht: Photography, Video, and the Quest for Presence

selected conference papers

“’Moving Pictures’: A Neurohaptic Investigation of Contemporary Video Art”. Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image, Cornell University, 1-4 June 2016

“Diasporic Skins: A Somatocultural Exploration of the 56th Venice Biennial”. Association of Art Historians 42nd Annual Conference, University of Edinburgh, 7-9 April 2016

“Filmmaking on the Streets of Grand Theft Auto: Phil Solomon”. College Art Association 104th Annual Conference, Washington DC, 3-6 February 2016