“Touch: The Art of the Mobile App, featuring work by Jason Edward Lewis”
Curatorial Statement by Dene Grigar
Part 1. The Theoretical Underpinning
As you walk into the gallery space you see, wrapping along the wall close to the ceiling, a thin line of text. These words have purposely been positioned above your head where you cannot reach them, cannot TOUCH them. You can only look at them from afar. You may not even take the time to read all of them, so disconnected you are from them––they up there and you down here. From where you are standing, they appear small, perhaps even a bit blurred, but certainly not part of you because they are separated from you in a way that means you cannot physically engage with them. There is nothing wrong with that, with not being able to engage physically with something, but to TOUCH these words and the paper they are inscribed upon can assure us of their presence––their materiality––and connect us to them, allowing us to use our skin as a site for seeing them. It is this form of sensory perception, the haptic, that makes it possible to immerse ourselves fully with it. It means we are combining tactility, movement, and an awareness of our bodies to “experience TOUCH both on the surface of and inside our bodies” (Marks 2). It means that the more directly we can physically interact with something, the more we can take it in and make it part of us. And we want to do this; we want to meld with that which intrigues us, what we love, what we come to want, what we may reach and TOUCH with our hands. That quality of proximity and the desire to fuse with the other propel us to want to TOUCH technology––but now technology so different from what we have come to know that the metaphor reflecting our relationship with it is to tap not to click. Like we tap a table with our fingers, the floor with our feet. An organic, natural, human action. Nothing on an iPad moves when we tap it. The screen takes in the sensation of our finger on its surface, and it responds. Like skin against skin. Clicking a mouse means something moves mechanically, and we feel it, hear it moving. Plastic clicking against plastic. We are aware of ourselves in the synthetic nature of it. And we cannot get lost. TOUCH technology means we can give ourselves over, that we can immerse ourselves and, so, become lost inside, within it. And this brings us pleasure. It brings us pleasure to lose ourselves in TOUCH. In this technology.
Go to the exhibit site for "Touch."
Part 2. Coming: The Exhibit Works