Kosmorganic aesthetics
in the digital age


What if there were a set of design principles that motivated people to tune out of their social media feeds and nourished the social cohesion necessary to resolve global problems like climate change? Kosmorganic aesthetics is the name I have given to contemporary phenomenological, immersive artistic practices that provoke contemplation, interconnection, and mental and physical balance in the viewer. I argue that the recent surge of ambient, sensory art spaces that reference nature and prompt introspective responses sets a tone that can help us navigate the global digital age fraught with civil strife, information overload, urbanism, and the effects of global warming. With the umbrella term Kosmorganic aesthetics I connect more than 20 art practices and offer a holistic reading that dares to mention spiritual wellness in contemporary art appreciation. Most interpretations of immersive sensorial art of the past eight decades, with the exception of Contemplative arts, have adhered solely to formalist and technical readings, ignoring metaphysical and healing aspects in art.

In my theoretical research of Kosmorganic practices, I describe them in three branches: Kosmorganic ecosophic art, ritualistic performance, and frequency bathing, with a cross-disciplinary analysis. I examine the social context that fostered the rise of these practices with precursors from the 18th century to its onset in the late 1950s.  The theoretical research has culminated in three artifacts: a written manifesto, a website, and an art walk. The website offers media with examples of artists and their practices who represent the three Kosmorganic branches and historical background to common design elements of Kosmorganic art. The website presents the theory in a style targeted for a broad audience outside of academia. I wrote an art manifesto in lieu of a traditional academic paper. My vision of immersive sensorial art draws from nature with spiritual and healing potential. The manifesto will serve as material for a future art book.

As a practice-based Ph.D. researcher, I have been working on my technical skillset to design a multisensory space that focuses on patterns and drone sounds associated with healing and spiritual traditions. Working in collaboration with the constraints of COVID-19, I transformed an interior frequency bathing space into an exterior experience. Although this new variation of an art walk eliminated the sensor technology, the design adheres with a Kosmorganic vision of interconnectivity through immersion in the geometry of nature and sound attunement.  By articulating a holistic interpretation of these sensorial nature-driven practices and demonstrating their design through an art walk, I hope to foster understanding and celebration of healing and spiritual fulfillment from Kosmorganic experiences. Ultimately the power of the arts does not lie in an object sitting dormant in a museum, but rather in the transformative potential of the viewer and their reaction when they step out of the Kosmorganic space and go forth to create in the world.

-Angie Eng, 2021