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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Semantics....

Haptics refers to the sense of touch (from Greek πτω = "I fasten onto, I touch").
I was asked a question at my recent Derby Museum talk about haptics which I didn't really answer properly - partly because I'm not really sure of how best to use the word in relation to my work. It's been bugging me ever since, which is a sure sign I need to give it some thought.
One of the things I am currently considering is the whole idea of the shared familiarity of drawing - the connection an audience has when viewing a drawing with the knowledge (haptic memory?) of physically making a drawing. e.g. the tactile experience of the pencil making a mark on paper. This is also an area I'm trying to reconcile with my digital drawings. For me, creating one of my digital drawings is very similar in terms of the physical experience to creating a pencil or ballpoint pen on paper. However, there is no guarantee that an audience will have any knowledge or experience of drawing with a digital pen/ tablet (no haptic memory?) so that connection between myself and the audience is lost. One way around this is to include in any exhibition an opportunity for the audience to use a digital pen/ tablet (i.e. giving a haptic experience will result in a haptic memory?).
What I'm wondering at the moment is whether the memory of the physical experience of drawing can be described as a haptic memory? Or maybe an implicit haptic memory?  The memory of a common haptic experience?..........
This is not necessarily terminology I'll use in general statements etc. - but it is something I need to make sense of before I move the work forward.

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