As a self-described “in-betweener”, Sissel Tolaas’ practice is a meeting of art and science. Using smell to explore memory, identity, and how we perceive and respond to the world around us, Tolaas has amassed a database of more than 10,000 molecules over twenty-five years.
Her current, site-specific ICA exhibition, RE_________, comprises of 20 works, or “situations” as Tolaas describes them, addressing a range of issues––from climate change and geopolitics to evolution and anthropology––all through smell.
For those more curious about her unique practice, the artist has compiled a list of publications reflecting the themes of the works on display. Titles marked with an asterisk (*) are available to read in the ICA Lobby Reading Lounge.
Sissel Tolaas: RE_________ is on view through December 30, 2022.
Barrett, Lisa. Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain. Mariner Books, 2021.
*Barrett, Louise. Beyond the Brain: How Body and Environment Shape Animal and Human Minds. Princeton University Press, 2015.
*Barwich, A. S. Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind. Harvard University Press, 2020.
Berger, Jonah. Invisible Influence: Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior. Simon & Schuster, 2017.
Bostrom, Nick. Superintelligence: Path, Dangers, Strategies. OUP Oxford, 2014.
Clark, Austen. Sensory Qualities. Clarendon Press, 1996.
*Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.
*Haraway, Donna J. Manifestly Haraway. University of Minnesota Press, 2016.
*Jazz, Edward. Can You Smell Breakfast?: A Five Senses Book For Kids Series. Kids Books Rule!, 2022.
Keller, Andreas. Philosophy of Olfactory Perception. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
*Kettler, Andrew. The Smell of Slavery: Olfactory Racism and the Atlantic World. Cambridge University Press, 2020.
*Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed Editions, 2015.
Komska, Yuliya, Michelle Moyd, and David Gramling. Linguistic Disobedience: Restoring Power to Civic Language. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Latour, Bruno. Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime. Polity, 2018.
*Le Guin, Ursula K. Earthsea Quartet. Viking, 2012.
*Le Guin, Ursula K. Worlds of Exile and Illusion: Rocannon’s World, Planet of Exile, City of Illusions. Gateway, 2020.
*Le Guin, Urusla K. The Word for World is Forest. Tor Books, 2010.
Lemmey, Huw and von Bingen, Hildegard. Unknown Language. Ignota Books, 2020.
Mahfouz, Naguib. Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth. Anchor, 2000.
McLuhan, Marshall. The Gutenberg Galaxy. University of Toronto Press, 2011.
*Moïsi, Dominique. The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World. Anchor, 2010.
*Nettleton, Pamela Hill. Look, Listen, Taste, Touch, and Smell: Learning About Your Five Senses (The Amazing Body). Picture Window Books, 2004.
Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. Wiley, 2012.
*Puig de la Bellacasa, María. Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.
Rand, Ayn. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. NAL, 1990.
Sheldrake, Merlin. Entangled Life: How Fungi Make our worlds, Change our Minds, and Shape our Futures. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2021.
*Sutherland, John. Orwell’s Nose: A Pathological Biography. Reaktion Books, 2016.