“Haptic” is a word that refers to the sense of touch, derived from a Greek root meaning to grasp, perceive, or fasten, and it has been used to describe technologies and aesthetics that communicate, or mediate, this tactile sense. We often think of touch as doing things with our hands, but touch affects all parts of the body, playing a role in smell (particles entering the nose), sound (as vibration or a wave), taste (of the tongue touching), and even vision (through synesthesia or haptic visuality). With social interactions becoming increasingly digital, many of us may feel “touch starved,” looking to mediated forms of intimacy and community. How can haptic technologies, haptic aesthetics, and uses of these in video games, virtual reality, digital-physical art installations, and even early moving pictures, communicate the many different aspects of tactility at a distance? How can we communicate felt experiences as forms of unique knowledge? Drawing from video game studies, humor and gimmicks, feminist film theory, and Black feminist thought, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to questions of haptic media. Students will complete three packets of deliverables toward a single unified interactive design using haptic and feeling aesthetics, and present this work in a collaborative final showcase. The final aim of the course is an exhibition of student work presented either virtually or in person, and documented online.
- Professor: Teddy Pozo
- Professor: Erica Ball