SENSORY STUDIO // SBMA – The Institute for Art and Olfaction

October 22, 2017
Santa Barbara Museum of Art

In support of Valeska Soares‘ exhibition at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the IAO collaborates with SBMA to present a scent experience that explores personal associations, memories and the process of collaborative creation.



museum-photo-page-bottomUpon arrival at SBMA, guests are invited to smell a selection of fifteen diverse aromatic materials, culled from the IAO’s vast library of natural and synthetic aromamolecules. Guests are then asked to create a mental association, assigning an aroma of their choosing to one of five thematic categories: Childhood, change, triumph, melancholy, joy. They will do this  based on a personal memory, or free association.

Each guest will be encouraged to verbalise the memory/association through a brief written text. Throughout the day, these texts will combine into an installation element, where the public can share one another’s associations with the five categories.

Each guest will also be asked to add five drops of their chosen scent to one of five large flasks, which themselves contain a combination of materials that other people associated with the emotional state. Thus the “childhood” flask will contain the scents that participants associated with childhood, the “Joy” flask will contain the scents members of the public associated with joy, and so on.

At the end of the day, the materials will combine to create five distinct perfumes – authored by the participants through this unique collaborative process.

The Sensory Studio is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, which links a number of exhibitions and events from Santa Barbara to San Diego, led by the Getty.

Date: Sunday, October 22, 2017
Time: 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Event Leader: Kendra Gaeta (IAO Board Member)
Cost: Free to the public

Location: Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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