::::: Wednesday, March 15th, 2018 @ SHL, 3pm :::::
Magician and Human-Machine Interactor Stuart Nolan will be giving a workshop in mindreading, followed by talk in the Sussex Humanities Lab. Stuart has a track record in training mindreading skills in an hour, so it is certainly worth coming to this session to learn this art. Join us at the Sussex Humanities Lab (in the Silverstone Building, 2nd floor) - All welcome!
Workshop: One Thousand Mindreaders (3-5pm)
One Thousand Mindreaders is a year-long collaborative artwork during which the artist Stuart Nolan will train one thousand new mindreaders.
Participants will learn the skill of muscle reading, sensing the small subconscious movements of another person’s hands. This will enable them to recreate drawings that another person is merely thinking of. They will also learn how to find objects that another person has hidden in a room or building.
Both the drawings and the found objects will be exhibited in 2019 and trainee mindreaders will be offered the opportunity to demonstrate their new skills for a public audience at a series of performances throughout 2018 and 2019.
In this interactive session, we will also explore the role of touch in interaction, learning to read each other’s minds using techniques based on Victorian mindreading tricks, games, and experiments, and improved with current research into the neuroscience of touch.
Talk: Beyond The Feelies (5pm)
‘Of all our senses, touch is the one considered least deceptive and the most secure.’ - René Descartes
Touch is the most intimate and emotional of the senses. It is no accident that when we speak of affecting someone emotionally we say we have touched them. We feel emotions and we feel each other’s joy and pain. Touch is central when negotiating issues of trust, veracity, falsehood, agency, difference, and connection.
In the essay Silence is Golden, Aldous Huxley wrote of his disgust with the coming of sound to film. He parodied the “talkies” in Brave New World by imagining a future where film would include a sense of touch, “Going to the Feelies this evening, Henry?… There’s a love scene on a bearskin rug; they say it’s marvelous. Every hair of the bear reproduced. The most amazing tactual effects…” This crude idea of touch as something that is separate to film distracts us from the fact that cinema has always been a bodily, visceral experience. This is true of all media but becomes more visible with interaction, VR, haptics, and immersion.
In this interactive session, we will explore the role of touch in interaction, learning to read each other’s minds using techniques based on Victorian mindreading tricks, games, and experiments, and improved with current research into the neuroscience of touch. Stuart will give a brief insight into his recent work on touch in healthcare, theatre, dance, sport, robotics, and 5G and we will explore the potential of technology to capture, measure, and transmit touch data in mediated communication, interaction, art, and storytelling.