In this blog post, I want to share my ongoing exploration of new working methods that aim to recreate sensations of touch and non-bodily connections, particularly in the context of remote or online experiences. As part of my practice-as-research project, which began during the Covid-19 pandemic and continues to evolve, I have developed two audio recordings that offer online multi-sensory experiences.
The significance of physical touch in interpersonal relationships and emotional well-being has gained recognition in recent years (Heatley et al., 2020). However, events like the #metoo era and the COVID-19 pandemic have limited opportunities for physical touch and non-bodily connections, creating a need for innovative methods to recreate touch experiences across distances or online (Sigurdardottir & Halldorsdottir, 2021). The shift to remote and online practices has presented challenges for fields that traditionally rely on physical touch, such as dance. The inability to engage in direct physical contact has prompted us to explore how we can recreate the intimate and sensorial experiences that touch provides. Moreover, even outside the limitations imposed by a pandemic, there are individuals who cannot or choose not to engage in close physical contact due to various reasons like physical disabilities, sensory sensitivities, or personal boundaries. For these individuals, the ability to experience touch-like sensations remotely offers opportunities for inclusion and participation in activities that may otherwise be inaccessible to them.
To address these limitations, I have created a series of online multi-sensory experiences that aim to explore alternative ways of engaging with and experiencing touch in online spaces. Each experience approaches the concept of touch in a unique manner. It is essential to note that when referring to touch-like sensations, I adopt a comprehensive understanding that goes beyond the physical act. Drawing inspiration from philosopher Erin Manning (Manning, 2006, 2013), I view touch as a transformative and relational process rooted in the concept of prehension. I emphasize the interconnected nature of touch, recognizing that it extends beyond mere physical sensations.
This post introduces two audio files for personal exploration at home or in someone else’s home. The recordings prepare for improvisational tasks, cultivating presence in external and internal states. They invite a sensory journey, focusing on your sense of touch through various approaches. Use them to prepare for remote workshops, classes, or rehearsals.Continue reading