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Concept for an urban intervention
Touching a person is something normal, something natural, something intimate. A strong handshake, a pat on the shoulder or an intense hug. It's a most common thing to embrace our friends and family. We touch other people in many different ways. And by doing that, we create a connection.
The TouchPoint is an art project that investigates how social distancing affects our view of togetherness. What do we actually lose when we can no longer embrace our loved ones? Is it possible to embrace each other without the risk of infection? How would that feel like? With the TouchPoint we want to find answers to these questions by creating a temporary place where two people can embrace each other safely. In public and for as long as they want to.
Our method of choice is a temporary urban art intervention: two people approach each other from two sides. Between them is a textile curtain through which they can feel and embrace their counterpart. The curtain has inserts for hands, arms and for the face which increase the intuitive use and the visual impact of the art installation. There is no risk of getting infected with the corona virus, because the fabric is impermeable to germs. After usage it will be disinfected and replaced by a new curtain. The curtain can be reused after washing.
The TouchPoint is a transparent temporary architecture, which makes the embraces visible from the outside. Depending on how many people participate in the artistic action, they queue up from two sides. Dressed in protective clothing and with disinfectant ready – our team assists the participating people. All participants will bring their individual stories and emotions. In order to make these visible, we are planning to film the intervention.
With the TouchPoint beeing a great and simple idea we could only hope to be the first to come up with it. Surprisingly, we haven't found very much like that so far during our conception period. What differentiates our idea is a sustainable, reusable approach and the realisation within the setting of an art intervention.
Our main goal, by the way, is not a product, but the gain of knowledge and the dialogue that the process will cause. We want to to realise the TouchPoint at different places and adapt the idea to specific situations like public spaces, airports, schools and retirement homes. By that we can find out, where it is needed and how it needs to be adapted.
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Fashion Institute of Technology