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Sensory Articulation Scale: Verbal Descriptor Scale



Slight sensation (tickle)            Moderately articulated sensation          Clearly articulated sensation

Arm hair springs fine filaments against the tip of the index finger, gently riding them into the elongating span where they catch a nerve,

guiding from soft blue to

red


Tactile Memory (2013) similarly tests the force of tendencies of perception in touch and consists of clay forms that model the sensory memory of what it feels like to perform a variety of mundane physical tasks, including holding an umbrella against the wind, turning a screwdriver, hanging laundry, throwing a dart, and turning handles. The felt resistance of these motions manifests as the weight distribution of the objects and the friction of the objects against the table surface. The areas where the surfaces are intended to be touched or are remembered as contacting the body are burnished (made smooth) and the weight and resistance associated with an action are indicated with rough and textured clay.

The workshop ‘Tactile Drawing’ (2013-14) engages in drawing operations to inscribe the sensation of feeling the length of an everyday surface with the fingertip. Color gradations adapted from 'The Universal Pain Assessment Scale' (blue is least intense, violet and orange are mid-range and red is most intense) are used to differentiate the sensory articulation of a felt surface. The tactile experience of friction, pressure, speed and texture felt against the index finger as well as how sensation is felt differently over the span of a finger as it aligns with the contour of the drawing pencil emerge as dynamic parameters that lend complexity to the way attention unfolds.

Over the course of the exercise one must constantly try to re-calibrate attention, where drawing contours become feeling ones, and visual alignments in drawing operations become a force for feeling tactility. The irreconcilability between the movement of drawing and touching forces a repeated re-sensitization, where vague, previously unnoticed or non-conscious details gain felt contrast. The the directional and condensing force of the rendering contour, the tactile surface, the nerve distribution and topography of the fingertip merge in the movement of feeling—the bulbous contours of a piece of bubble wrap swells and stretches, or the fine hairs on an arm or leg, lengthen in accelerated pace and become coarse as the movement slows.

Tactile Drawing, 2013-14 (performed at several locations)

Tactile Memory Series, 2013