iHug

Modern technology allows us to communicate and interact with people at great distances, enabling us to maintain complex social networks where distance is no object. When we are aware, however, of our place in the world (point of being) then we can still feel that interval, or space between self and other. Words, without the physical confirmation of the other person, cannot be fully trusted. This project explores the delegation of physical touch to a machine through the use of an internet-enabled, wearable device that delivers hugs. As such it highlights the current delegation of key aspects of our emotional lives to machines (and the companies that control them).

As well as my own experiences of touch being my dominant sense, I was largely influenced by the book The Point of Being by Derrick de Kerckhove and Cristina Miranda de Almeida, which explores how and where we experience the sensation of our place in the world (point of being) and how this proprioceptive, tactile paradigm can bridge the interval of self and other. I explored and experienced this further at a Vipassana meditation course by spending ten days in silence focusing on the physical sensations within my body and becoming truly aware of my point of being. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman has also influenced this project along with attending workshops on platonic intimacy and sensual touch.