Tactile Drawing (workshop)

This workshop will engage in ‘Tactile Drawing’, a technique that I developed to recreate processes of describing sensory awareness as an emergent and multi-dimensional experience. Each workshop participant will engage in notating the sensation of an everyday surface when moving over it with the index finger. Color gradations from ‘The Universal Pain Assessment Scale’ will be adapted to differentiate the sensory articulation of a felt surface. Sensory modulations in friction, pressure and the way that a texture is felt differently over the span to the fingertip, or the sensation as it spreads through the finger will be recorded. It will be seen that the details in the way that a surface is felt emerge in and through the perceptive apparatus of the notation experience itself. ‘Tactile Drawing’ thus proposes a dramatically different constraint or form of sensory self-analysis as compared to conventional analytic parameters that measure or deduce sensation according to linear, numerical or pictorial scales of intensity or verbal descriptors. Moreover, Tactile drawing produces a mode of figurative representation that does not reduce the body to an impermeable, visual outline, but instead describes the hybrid, agentive experience of body surfacing in touch. The workshop will include a short introduction and will take three hours. Drawing materials will be provided.
As an artistic researcher, I develop techniques of sensation and movement to modulate everyday habits, manners and positions. I engage mundane, non-conscious and taken-for-granted social, cultural and methodical structures and disciplines via a range of intersecting material and media practices. I aim to locate perceptual emergence within these relational constellations towards further possible techniques for modulating everyday perception. This method can be described as “radical empiricism” or a research strategy wherein the conditions for experimentation are invented via the very process of designing perception systems (Manning 2008; 94).


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