vivian xu

ELECTRIC SKIN

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.

Ricardo Barreto and Maria Hsu Rocha

Martela
FILE FESTIVAL
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.

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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.

YOKO ISHII AND HIROSHI HOMURA

It´s fire, you can touch it

On the other hand, an example of a work representing a difference in which the viewer is faced with participation in the event, is an installation by Yoko Ishii and Hiroshi Homura It’s fire, you can’t touch it (2007). In this work which appoints the active environment, onto the hands reached out by the participants, miniature light signs are projected—a Japanese tanka poem is running through, glyphs change form, fuse together, move. Here we deal with a poetic spectacle in which the perspective of cognitive interactivity, set off in contact with poetry, is complemented by tactile sensations and poems themselves are as if extracted from the environment by interactive gestures of receivers-readers.

RICARDO BARRETO, MARIA HSU and AMUDI

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.