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May 29, 2007

Valerie Bugmann

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Secret Under My Skin

Secret Under My Skin, by Valerie Bugmann, is a performance that allows us to reflect on our natural necessity/desire to express our emotions, to share our innermost thoughts and to see them extended in the world.

The performance takes place in the room of secrets where a skin-to-skin communication network* is employed. Here, the performer and the space await the opportunity to become alive through the interaction with the participant who comes to intimately confess/convey a secret by touch. A lighted keyboard floating in the darkness invites the participant to type a secret into its glowing keys. Once typed out, by simply touching the keyboard the secret is reintroduced into the participant’s body in the form of its new physicality – an electric wave. The secret, now flowing from the keyboard into the participant’s body is ready to be further transmitted/confessed to the performer by touch.

Once skin-to-skin contact is established with the performer, the participant will be able to see his/her secret revealed on a wearable display on the performer’s body; the participant is then confronted with a very intimate part of him/herself. Despite the secret being displayed on the performer, it remains unread by anyone expect the participant, or has the performer – this almost inert object of inscription, desire and redemption - actually become aware of the secret through the transmission?

Skin-to-skin communication, as a suitable technology to express intimate thoughts, generates an intense effect as we recognize ourselves as part of the other through touch. Secret under my skin brings together different notions and implications of touch in this confession-like context, exploring new behaviors and novel parameters of social interaction that can develop out of this contact.

*a network in which touch permits the transmission of information from one person to the other using the physical conductive characteristics of the body. More >>. Also see Digital Communication with a Human Touch [In-gesture].

Valerie Bugmann finalized her studies in Art and New Media at the University of Los Andes in Bogota in the year of 2002. From 2002 till 2005 she realized a Master in Art and Technology in Goeteborg, Sweden. Since then she has concentrated in the application and analysis of new technologies of communication in her artwork. She is interested in the impact these have in the way we relate to ourselves and to the world. through performative and interactive art she has invited the spectators and participants to take part in a communication structure in which each person has a decisive role. She is currently doing her doctoral studies for a University of Plymouth PhD at the Planetary Collegium's Z-Node, based in the HGKZ (School of Art and Design in Zurich), Switzerland. Keywords: wearable computing, cognition, theater, interaction design.

Posted by jo at May 29, 2007 05:58 PM

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