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Online workshop: ‘Tangible Memories’ by Unbore

Text by Jess McCulloch

Feeding the Heart, Margherita Soldati, Unbore

Do you know when you hear a song that transports you to a nostalgic memory? Or when you catch a smell of delicious food that reminds you of someone you love? Touch is also a sense that can help you recall memories. A unique online workshop, Tangible Memories, hosted by the non-profit Unbore, will occur on Monday, 14 June. 

Artists Margherita Soldati and Alice Héron have designed a series of exercises that will reconnect you with your body through your sense of touch. These tactile movements will boost the happiness hormone oxytocin and induce a feeling of being present, centred and connected with yourself. The concept is to take a sensorial journey across memories of past experiences, feelings and bodily sensations.

The role of memory has been well-explored within the bioart space, as seen in Margherita and Alice’s previous work, Skin Hunger. The skin has many different protective and metabolic functions that help keep your body stabilized but is also the organ that, through touch, makes you remember, and brings back memories, as much as creating new ones, says Margherita Soldati.

Together, they decided to design an experience to create a sensorial breakfast that could fulfil the lack of tactility caused by social distancing throughout the pandemic. By researching materials, gestures, movements, and ingredients and interviewing several professionals working in the perfume, body treatment and culinary fields, they designed a set of props and a menu to bring all these aspects together in a 45-minute tactile sensorial treatment.

Our senses can highly influence human behaviour. In a society that relies mainly on sight, the artists want to make it possible to ‘see’ with other senses by creating intimate, personal and interactive relations between their works and the visitors. Throughout the past year, it’s clear that humans crave social interaction and physical touch, like hugging a friend. This experience gives you a new way to think about touch.

(Media courtesy of Unbore)
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