Ricardo Barreto and Maria Hsu Rocha

Tactila is an art form whose medium is the sense of touch (tact) which is independent from the all the other ones and has its own intelligence, imagination, memory, perception, and sensation. It is well known that vision and sound have hegemony in arts and in other disciplines. Tactila takes place in time and, therefore, can be recorded and have various forms of notation for subsequent executions. That is why its development became possible only now, thanks to mechatronic and robotic systems which are compatible with machine languages.
The creation of tactile works involves a (tact) composition, which can be made through handmade notation and played on a keyboard or directly on the computer of the tactile machine ( robot ).
Tactile machines can present numerous tactile possibilities through points, vectors, and textures with varying rhythms and intensities, and be run in different extensions and locations of our body.


The first tactile machine is called “Martela”. It is a tactile robot comprised of 27 engines subdivided into three squares (3 x 3), i.e., each square has 9 engines. Each engine corresponds to a matrix point, so we have 27 tactile units that allow to touch the user’s body with various intensities.


feel Me tactile interactive bed
File Festival
“feelMe” is a work that for the first time remotely transmits the tactile sensation. Our work provokes the exploration of the sense of touch while promoting the interaction between two people mediated by a machine. The work is constituted of two surfaces, or “beds”: the first one (tactile transmission unit), in which one of the participants, layed down, imprints marks to its surface by pressing it with the weight and movement of the different parts of his/her body; these impressions will be captured and transmitted to the other participant, who lies in the second “bed” (tactile reception unit) and receives them simultaneously in the same positions and in proportional intensities, however, in negative, that is, when the surface in the first bed sinks, it rises in the second one, promoting a touch. The first body touches the second one, and the “beds” may be a few meters or thousands of kilometers apart from each other. Between the bodies, dozens of occult sensors, microcontrollers, engines (lineal actors), computers and a program that orchestrates that tactile communication. We allow the participant to experiment the possibilities of encounter between bodies through the digital world, with a different approach from the one provided by virtual reality. We want to explore the tactile perception separately in its “corporal way”, and only in future works to propose the expansion/extension of multimedia perception with the inclusion of tactile perception.


Upload not complete
The work magnifies the process of virtual and real fusion, which is the process of uploading human consciousness to digital space. When the visual perception has been lost, can people still recognize the body through the touch and sound of wind, sound and vibration everywhere? Experiencers use non-visual senses, experience media art, and cooperate with the Taiwanese Non-Visual Aesthetic Education Association to create a digital space where the computer can fully understand the location of the experiencer in the space, allowing the experiencer to listen, move, touch objects, feel the vibration and come to know the space.


sound cloud
London-based designer kazuhiro yamanaka has created the ‘sound cloud’ a light-emitting quantum glass speaker system installation for saazs ‘a glass house’ program. the structure is composed of five interactive monolithic glass panels, formed with the intention of modelling the integration of innovative glass within architecture and design. the sound and light radiating from ‘sound cloud’ shift in unison, their synchronization may be altered by the viewer as they adjust their aural and visual experience by means of a touch-screen controller.
yamanaka aspired for the visitors to ‘be able to hear the sound move from one to another, jumping back and forth and echoing from the panels.’
a sound module is attached to each panel. as it vibrates,the three layers of glass move at a frequency, which creates optimum sound quality. the sound for the installation was developed by the france-based sound designer, gling-glang. yamanaka and gling-glang devised a soundscape by which ‘sound cloud’ visitors were able to sense the sculptural construction of the music in walking through the installation’s glass-paneled pathway.
the glass is outfitted with a light-emitting system known as ‘LED in glass’, invented by quantum glass. through this technology, the panels become a source of light. the ‘sound cloud’ is illuminated as the LED bars are fitted around the edge of the panel in order to direct beams of light through the edge of the extra clear glass sheet. as a result, light refraction occurs from the front side by means of a white enamel screen print on the opposite side.
yamanaka chose to slightly obscure the brightness of the glass sound system by creating a thin layer from millions of light dots, culminating in a cloud-like shape.

vivian xu


The Electric Skin explores the possibility of creating a wearable that extends the functionality of the skin to sense electromagnetic fields (mostly within the radio spectrum) and translate that information into touch sensation. The wearable consists of two main functional parts: 1) A matrix of omnidirectional antennas that act as sensors and probes and 2) corresponding electrodes that stimulate the skin of the wearer. Through this artificial “skin” or “exoskeleton”, the wearable changes our experience, perception, and understanding of space and movement, and in doing so, our interactions. The project speculates on the possible co-evolution of man and technology and draws attention to the role of environmental influence on our own bodily development and behavior.


Liz Nurenberg: “Cloud” My Sculptural objects act as experience stations where viewers can form relationships both to the work and to other viewers. Interactivity allows me to explore intimacy, personal space,and how the body physically connects with something while confusing the line between viewers and viewed. The handmade nature of my work evokes intimacy, suggesting the presence of human effort or authorship. Sound acts as an inner voice, which can create a subtle sense of awkwardness. These touches come together to build a scene where interactions happen and narrative forms.

Stéphane Thidet

Au Bout Du Souffle
Stéphane Thidet is a French artist who takes regular, everyday objects and transforms them into absurd, fantastical, slightly disorienting installation pieces. Although his work may be slightly off-putting at first, Thidet’s consistently humorous touch lends his installations a sense of accessibility and charm. Thidet is a multimedia contemporary artist, who apart from installations, also works in photography, video and sculpture. Many of his pieces were inspired by toys or games from childhood and play with ideas in popular culture and entertainment.