Modes of Imagination


Modes of Imagination

17 October, 2021

Led by:

  • Roel Heremans – transdisciplinary artist working with sound, visualization, and neurofeedback.
  • Louis Schreel – department of philosophy and moral science; relation between life and mind, the origins of intentionality in bodily movement and affectivity, and the relation between metabolism, cognition and the emergence of self.
Intended learning outcomes (more on programme level)

Part of Marres’ Workshops ‘Training the Senses’.

Learning objectives (course specific)

Use the phenomenology and neurophysiology of aesthetic experience, to see how the senses, emotion, and imagination together animate the mind.

Objective statement (course description)

Our first step in making the possible real is to imagine it. Our imagination has the peculiar power to constantly create, invent or enable new possibilities. By virtue of this peculiar power, we can all lead a kind of double life: an actual life led by our ego in a real and shared world, and an invented live led by our imaginary ego in our own private, fictive world. How do we invent these new possibilities, questions, and lives? And what in the world is imagination exactly?

For this Training the Senses-workshop, artist Roel Heremans and philosopher Louis Schreel join forces to explore different modalities of imagination. During the event Roel will present some of his interactive imagination compositions and you will explore the blurry borders between the real and the unreal. Together, they will dive into the phenomenology and neurophysiology of aesthetic experience, to see how the senses, emotion, and imagination together animate the mind.

Type of course:

extracurricular course

Target group:

general audience

Teaching method:




An introduction to the leaders and the topic.


  • Main component in the trainings were the headphones. The headphones came in two colours – blue and red. There were different coloured small tapes in X’s on the floor, and people were instructed to pair up and stand on the tapes that were facing each other. Each person in the pair was supposed to have different coloured headphones. Once everyone was in place, the headphones were put on and the recording was turned on.
  • This was repeated three times, each time with a different recording – one had instructions on movements, another told a story, one asked you to imagine a moment in your life that resonated with you most.
  • Between these three separate exercises, there were moments of discussion, as well as long pauses to go over the philosophy behind the exercises.
Assessment of learning:



(witness account, evaluation of the course)

Additional biblio sources (available at Marres)

  • PowerPoint presentation about the philosophy around the topic;
  • Headphones with sound recordings that gave directions;


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