Through a series of projects and experiments Lisa May Thomas (MPhil research) has been finding out about the ways in which we experience touch; from her ethnographic studies on everyday touch in a project called ‘The Touch Diaries’ to exploring how touch functions in dance improvisation practices and finally investigating touch in the virtual environment.
The way that we perceive and interact with other physical bodies is influenced by a complex set of rules and conventions that operate across a wide range of social circumstances situated within political, cultural, and environmental frameworks. How does this translate into the virtual space? In Dances with Avatars, Lisa sets out to explore the nature of the different types of human interaction that arise within the spaces which are virtually connected and explore the mechanisms that guide meeting, communicating, sharing, responding, and touching between virtual bodies.
Lisa’s research installation aims to create an experimental space where public participants can come and interact within a virtual landscape using technology that has been developed by Royal Society Research Fellow Dr David Glowacki. The experience is part dance video game, part technological demo, part art installation, and part social experiment.