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Get touched - bodycare as a design of media for self-perception

 Eva Kristin Stein 


Mirror, mirror on the wall, why are you just an aesthetic vision at all?

Well, here I am, a modern-day product designer. And besides just me: a part of my work. This is before you in the following, to me somewhat monotonous haptical performance; finished upon this keyboard designed for the purpose of the creation of text. As too often occurs in the creative design of objects, the resulting achievement and the process of creation must be presented in a reproduced form; that is, with text and photographs. Just like a printed rendering, this is a replacement for objects – unprinted, expressionless, a visual manifestation of meaning – printed out, it becomes simply an effigy. It remains problematic that I am unable to convey the subject matter in its comprehensible touchable form, because this is nothing more and nothing less than a pictorial narrative. Thus, I begin in traditional form:
Once upon a time men lived in an era that arose between a digital and a material culture. It was a time of change that occurred after the invention of the steam engine. As always in times of change, men must reorient themselves. Like in earlier centuries, a world of visual and acoustic communication dominates. The difference is that a new standard of interactive presentation has been introduced, and personal contact is being increasingly replaced by digital networking. Yet no platforms for multi-sensory perception and communication exist on this plane. The sensations of touch and smell are excluded. The ‘in between’ of which personal communication are constituted, social and cultural idiosyncrasies, facial expressions and gestures are becoming increasingly irrelevant. The means of communication remain fixed and firmly set within their setting. Notwithstanding this fact, communication on the digital level can happen in an authentic manner – like how I’m brilliantly smiling at you at this moment – but of course, you thought that already. What is new is firstly, that you can admire my smile through a webcam, and secondly, that the settings in which we spatially and physically find ourselves are becoming ever more distanced from the experiences that we obtain in digital spheres.
The monitor functions as a means of manifesting a superficial, arbitrary surface. It is a communicative projection screen. However, a large part of our modern, assumed reality functions no differently – look around!
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