16 February 2016

Maker and Mathematician Jackie Pease having her arm calibrated on the affective touch robot at LJMU SomAffect Lab

I’ve been working with Ticky Lowe from MakingSense to develop Social Touch: Intimate Data

The project will build a series of wearable artworks and art experiences to explore the biomedical research area of affective touch and explore new areas of technology based artistic practice through wearable technology and ‘social’ ‘intimate data’ with diverse audiences in diverse contexts.

We live in a world where many people are intimately connected to a mobile computer, the smartphone; sharing our tiniest thought, shopping habit, heart rate or physical movement. What really is intimacy in this world? Have technology driven networks replaced a supportive human touch?

A collaboration between an interdisciplinary group of artists, makers and technologists using Digital art, interaction and wearable technology from the DoESLiverpool Wearables Maker Community and researchers from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)’s School of Natural Sciences & Psychology lead by Francis McGlone, Professor in Neuroscience at LJMU to explore the research area of affective touch.

The projects core audiences include arts and creative technology/maker audiences from public venue hosts like FACT http://www.fact.co.uk/ and Liverpool MakeFest http://lpoolmakefest.org/ with key selected audiences with autism, learning difficulties and sensory impairments. Audience engagement and the collaboration will be managed by the applying organisation Making Sense supported by industry partners and wider third party supporting organisations like Mencap Liverpool.

Partners involved include Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)’s School of Natural Sciences & Psychology and The Somatosensory & Affective Neuroscience Group at LJMU, Making Sense, DoES Liverpool, Liverpool Central Library and Make Fest, FACT and Mencap Liverpool.