The Complexity of Touch

Where: Bermondsey Project Space / Orleans House Stables Gallery

When: 2023

The Complexity of Touch is a tactile immersive installation by my long-term collaborator Madi Boyd incorporating a sound installation alongside her objects and projections. It is designed to be explored through sight, sound, and, most importantly, touch.

The installation probes the role touch and body play in sculpting perception, memory and imagination. It has been informed by original psychological research undertaken at Royal Holloway University as part of a collaboration between artist Madi Boyd and psychologist Professor Polly Dalton.

Participant trials at the laboratory in The Attention Lab at Royal Holloway University investigated the effects of variations in complexity in different sensory modalities on attention and perception.

A combination of made objects, moving image and audio create a space that visitors can explore through all their senses, feeling, rather than merely seeing, the beauty in form, like a composition for the hands in three dimensions. Visuals in the form of projected moving image are integrated into the tactile experience.

The specially commissioned soundscape explores the tactility of sound and vibration through resonant objects in the space. Cymbals and ceramic objects are activated and set to resonate in an algorithmically controlled spatial composition.

Madi writes:
“This is forcing a very new way of working for me. I’m used to working very visually, but here I have to shift the emphasis and disregard the visual side of the work to some extent. I feel like I’m learning a new language and a new way of making and assessing my work. I’m looking more closely than ever at surfaces, textures and form.”