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.

Constanza Silva

Silverfish Stream
file festival

The sound generated by the friction of the metallic robots against the floor, like that created by the contact between man and machine, is registered, altered and played in real time by the spheres, each with its own tonality, and amplified in the room. What is generated is a stream of multisensory information (visual, auditive, tactile), natural environment for mechanic creatures.


Compass is a kind of orientation machine to wear around your waist that gives you directions while you are walking through virtual corridors and rooms. These have been programmed to fit the physical exhibition space or any other venue. The machine creates a feeling of attraction or repulsion that can be compared to be being in a magnetic field. You can explore this environment and discover a tactile architecture. The machine is programmed to make you follow an invisible map, but you can choose between resisting to the machine or giving in and letting yourself be guided.

anaisa franco

On Shame
foto: Luiza Ananias

On Shame is part of the series Psychosomatics which was initiated in 2010. In these works Franco makes it possible to tangibly experience such emotions as joy, fear, confusion, happiness or shame by means of digital technologies. Cameras and motion and tactile sensors serve as tools to facilitate the dialogue between humans and machines. more


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.