Handling Pieces: The Tactile and the Virtual

My work is textural and tactile. It invites touching and handling. However, oily, dirty hands, accidental damage, are all risks which the work would be subjected to if people were allowed to touch work.

To avoid this problem, I was preparing handling pieces for visitors to experience the material, its surface, density and mass. The pieces would be different shapes and sizes with a common feature: the imprint of my hand. This fossil of my presence would create an identifiably human bridge between the recipient and the work.

In the virtual space, these handling pieces, if included, will certainly acquire a different significance. They cannot be handled, their meaning no longer resides in their tactile quality, the haptic engagement they foster. So what might their role be in an online show? Perhaps, this can only be answered in the doing of it. For now I must remain satified with the notions that these object give rise to.


NB I took this photograph laying the object on the green screen cloth. It made creating the background quick and simple using the ‘colour range’ filter to delete the background and superimpose the object’s layer on a black layer. One thing to note, though, is that where the object and green touch, a dark area is created which could be difficult to separate if the object were closer in tone to the green than the porcelain. This is on account of the colours becoming hard to distinguish. There are ways around this problem such as lighting and keeping the object away from the green screen.

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