How can we recover and reclaim touch in post-pandemic times? Can technology be an important asset to empower us to be in touch with each other and ourselves? How can technology be applied to sensorial interfaces triggering new experiences taking into account our sensorial system as determinant, within the process of interacting with an artwork? Can we think about our perceptual apparatus as an automatic system — as machine alike or as a “black box”? How can we take advantage from those automatisms as means of realizing aesthetically individual experiences, and, with that, taking interactivity to a greater inner level of sensorimotor immersion? Hacking the body as a “black box” departs from the need to design and create new interfaces that takes into account the intimate and individual experience of participants for the production of innovative artworks. Starting from the belief that we are living through a new crisis of touch, in particular in times when technology is becoming more distant from human understanding, it is urgent to invest in new strategies for touching, hacking and caring to repair our current relationship with machines. This research resorts to human perceptional phenomena resulting from sensory substitution to study the hypothesis of “hacking the body” from within, by situating participants as internal interactors of an artwork. Approaching the body from a holistic and phenomenological point of view, I build upon my previous research, particularly on the concepts of interactive haptic visuality and endosensorial images as paradigms, to propose the concept of the body as an apparatus, or as a black box. This research seeks to contribute to theoretical and practical research on concepts, tools, and methodologies for the creation of interactive works and technologies that focus on the interactor’s intimate haptic experience, in which her sensorial system is at the core of the aesthetic experience. This proposal is situated within the field of arts-based research, in the specific area of media art, informed by theories and practices arising from three major areas of research: Sensory Studies, Human–Computer Interaction, and Feminist Hacking.



Project lead:
Patrícia J. Reis

Digital Arts Department

01.11.2023 - 31.10.2027

Austrian Science Fund (FWF): V 1003 Richter-Programm (inkl. Richter-PEEK)