LI-MA Presents: Can I Touch You Online?

New edition of LI-MA Presents, curated by Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat. Join us for an evening of screenings and talks at LAB111.

15 May 2024 19:30 - 21:30
LI-MA, Arie Biemondstraat 111, 1054 PD Amsterdam

On 15 May, LI-MA's curator Sanneke Huisman teamed up with media artists Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat (Lancel/Maat) and Paul Sermon. They presented their pioneering research into shared presence through the technologically mediated experience of touch.

Since the 1990s, social digital technologies have facilitated audiovisual connections on a large scale. But what does it mean to communicate, connect, touch and be touched via technology? On 15 May, these artists critically shed light on the implications for empathy, intimacy and shared presence. Between 1990 and 2024 their artworks have invited audiences worldwide to play with sensual, haptic connections in symbiosis with technology, in hybrid, tele-present and online performance. With artworks like Lancel/Maat's Saving Face (2012 - ongoing), EEG Kiss/Kissing Data (2014, 2019 - ongoing), Touch My Touch (2022), and Telematic Dreaming (1992 - ongoing) and Pandemic Encounters (2020) by Paul Sermon, they have explored a new sense of co-existence.

LI-MA Presents: Can I Touch You Online?

Paul Sermon, Pandemic Encounters, 2020

Programme Details

During this evening, guest curators Lancel and Maat dived in to the history of social touch in media and performance art (with works from the LI-MA collection, among other things), and looked at the relevant questions of today in close conversation with Paul Sermon. Next to that, Karen Lancel presented HyperTouching, the first performance art platform for 'Digital Interpersonal Touch'. HyperTouching explores historical and future visions on touching in symbiosis with technology; and the potential of neurologically, psychologically and sensory ‘rewiring’ the cyborg body for experience of love, empathy, intimacy and trust. Lancel's PhD Thesis ‘Can I Touch You Online? Embodied, Empathic Intimate Experience of Shared Social Touch in Hybrid Connections’ came out last year. You can read it here.

LI-MA Presents: Can I Touch You Online?

Lancel/Maat, HyperTouching, 2023

About the Artists

Artists and researchers Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat form a duo and work interdisciplinary in art, science, technology and society. They are considered pioneers exploring shared experience of embodiment, empathy and intimacy, identity, privacy and trust, in bio-technical entanglement with (non-)human others, in sustainable ecologies. Lancel/Maat's works have been presented and awarded internationally, and include visual art, media art, (large-scale) participatory performances and spatial installations; theater and internet art. 

Paul Sermon is an interactive media artist and a pioneer for telematic art and telepresence research. His art has received international awards, including the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica, in the category of interactive art. Since 2013, he has been Professor of Visual Communication and Leader of Doctoral Studies in the School of Art and Media at the University of Brighton.

Thumbnail and header image: Lancel/Maat, Saving Face, 2015 (detail)