The Art of Digital Scent - People, Space and Time

Mei-Kei Lai



The sense of smell is closely related with people across time and space. The aesthetic, affective and evocative aspects of smell are widely portrayed in art practices. Olfactory art has its unique expression that other modalities hardly have. Yet this aesthetic medium seems to be underestimated when it comes to the digital age. Current digital olfaction researches mainly focus on meeting tasks and solving problems. The aesthetic experience and the meaning behind are seldom discussed. This paper proposes a potential area where the people from digital art and digital olfaction can contribute together. This paper firstly gives an overview about the affective and evocative impacts of scent on people across time and space, reviewing how scent is treated as the aesthetic medium in the art form, then examining current usages of olfactory display, and lastly discussing the opportunities lying ahead. It provides the way to appreciate the world aesthetically through this affective and evocative medium.  


Olfactory Art; Digital Olfaction; Olfactory Interface; Digital Art; Interactive Olfactory Art; Experience Design; Aesthetic; Scent; Odor.

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