AIR TOUCH SKIN
Like plants pushing themselves up through the skin of the soil, PUSH is the movement that brings us into this world. With the first breath of air, we come into touching arms. We need AIR and TOUCH to survive.
In the womb, the first sense is the sense of touch. At the beginning of our lives, we cannot survive without touch. Learning to classify different kinds of touches is our first language. And through life, we seek for touch, thrive for it, we long for it, we get confused about it, we dream about it, we are deprived of touch, we are touch addicts. We want it, and when we don’t have it, we want it less.
Like a cell pushing the other cells with its membrane, we touch the environment through the SKIN. The skin is a social organ. “Skin makes somebody/body”. Jean-Luc Nancy. With the body we participate in the world, we engage with the world, we experience the world, we are in the world. The touch permeates through the skin into depths and beyond, reciprocally, from the inside out and the outside back in. Simultaneously, we can touch and be touched, feel and be felt, be a perceiver, and be perceived. Touch incorporates the awareness of the body. The body is always in the present moment.
“Touch is a matter of relatedness between body and world, rather than of experiencing one in isolation from the other. In touch, perception of the body and perception of things outside of it are tied together. There is a feeling of the body as it comes into contact with an object and there is also a tactile perception of the object.
When touching, we often do not distinguish our bodies from the entities we touch. Boundaries become blurred during such activities and it is not wholly clear where the touching ends and the be touched begins”.
Do we need body boundaries to touch and be touched? We set boundaries in relation to the environment and each other. In this ever-present and pervasive sense of touch the clarity and loss of boundaries alternate in us. Time and change affect our sense of boundaries. Every touch changes something in me. Touch changes the tone and directionality of my body or the events of my life. The matter affects matter.
“Touch is often a sense of diffuse or absent boundaries and, where boundaries are perceived, they need not correspond to the physical boundaries of the body”.
In touch, we pour into the touch and go away from the touch, the touch connects and disconnects. There is attraction and repulsion in touch. Through touch we establish distances and intimacies. We have a need to merge and individuate. TOUCH creates communities, relationships, hierarchies, dichotomies, affection, and separation.
Can I meet the other in myself by touching the other and being touched by the other? Can I become part of the other or lose the experience of the other? It is through touch that we experience being in this world together. Being a landscape within a landscape.
“Touch thus serves to illustrate something important about our relationship with the world: It is a matter of belonging and connectedness, rather than of full-scale confrontation between body and object”.
“The body is built to be with others” Jean-Luc Nancy
Air Touch Skin is an artistic research project on haptic sensation. It’s implemented in 2021 with the support of
Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Programm NEUSTART KULTUR, Hilfsprogramm DIS-TANZEN des Dachverband Tanz Deutschland.“