Revelations in Air
Watch a replay of this event at: https://www.c-span.org/video/?515492-5/revelations-air
An extraordinary, strange, and startlingly beautiful exploration of smell, the least understood of our five senses. Overlapping with taste yet larger in scope, smell is the sense that comes closest to pure perception. Smell can collapse space and time, unlocking memories and transporting us to worlds both new and familiar. Yet as clearly as each of us can recognize different smells–the bright tang of citrus, freshly sharpened pencils, parched earth after rain–few of us understand how and why we smell.
In Revelations in Air, Jude Stewart takes us on a fascinating journey into the weird and wonderful world of smell. Beginning with lessons on the incredible biology and history of how our noses work, Stewart teaches us how to use our noses like experts. Once we’re properly equipped and ready to sniff, Stewart explores a range of smells—from lavender, cut grass and hot chocolate to cannabis and old books—using smell as a lens into art, history, science, and more. With an engaging colorful design and exercises for readers to refine their own skills, Revelations in Air goes beyond science or history or chemistry–it’s a doorway into the surprising, pleasurable, and unfamiliar landscape of smell.
Presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival.
Jude Stewart writes about design and culture for Slate, The Believer, Fast Company, Design Observer and other publications. She is also a contributing editor at PRINT magazine. She is the author of ROY G. BIV and Patternalia. Stewart lives in Chicago.