Our sensory expectations of objects and environments are often informed by seeing them online before interacting with them physically (if at all).
How does it make us feel when these initial assumptions are contradicted by our other senses?
In our networked and online world, the digital screen has become a primary means of sharing and processing visual information. Although it allows us to transcend our physical environment and travel in ways that were previously impossible, it also limits our sensory experience to sight, obstructing other senses entirely.
In reaction to this, Together Apart aims to bring together senses that the digital separates. By combining texture and form in unlikely material treatments, each object is designed to contradict what we think we see with what we touch. The perception of each object changes due to the application of hard surfaces where we expect softness, structural material where we expect drape and fluidity, and subtle gradients to imitate and mimic depth.
In a digital space, decisions about colour can be made with a click, reducing the importance of innate emotional responses humans have to certain hues and their combinations. However, when a colour is experienced through a tactile medium, rather than through a screen, it becomes impossible to separate the colours from the forms to which they’re attached, literally lending them weight and importance.
The colour palette utilised has been selected purposefully to be attractive when viewed online, but even more so to engage viewers in a physical space to approach and interact with each object. The saturated hues seem to bounce and move along the edges where they meet, stimulating the visual sense and highlighting their tonal differences when paired with neutral or equally bright colours.
Although the digital experience of these works has strongly influenced their visual appearance, they have been created using analogue techniques such as hand weaving, casting and molding. The reconnection of sight and touch is achieved through unexpected combinations that merge the physical properties of tactile materials – such as weight, texture and form.
Together Apart aims to unite our immaterial and material worlds, creating a sensory experience that challenges our visual assumptions with strong physical impressions.