IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Exhibition opens exploring how digital touch can help people living with dementia

4 June 2018

REMOTE CONTACT is an interactive exhibition that opens at Bloomsbury Gallery today (Monday 4 June).

REMOTE CONTACT exhibition, UCL Festival of Culture

The exhibition seeks to explore how creative uses of technology might enhance feelings of connection between families and their relatives in care and tackle isolation.

Created by interactive arts studio Invisible Flock and co-designed with individuals and their families living with dementia, the exhibition was commissioned by the IN-TOUCH project based at UCL Knowledge Lab, UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

The artworks inform and inspire work the IN-TOUCH project is conducting on how the digital world is reshaping touch and what impact this has on how we communicate for health and well-being, personal relationships, learning, and work.

IN-TOUCH seeks to explore how digital touch can redefine our experience of communication with those close and distant, and how this may change communicative norms and ethics.

Professor Carey Jewitt, Director of the UCL Knowledge Lab and Principal Investigator for the project, says: "Today, touch is at the centre of a re-imagining of digital sensory communication. The exhibition explores how the digital can reconfigure touch and tactile practices in similar ways to how visual technologies (from the telescope to YouTube and Google Glasses) have transformed how and what we see.

"While touch may not be much spoken about, it is the first sense through which we apprehend our environment, it is central to our development, and to how we communicate. The centrality of touch to how we experience and know ourselves, others and the world, underpins the need to better understand the social consequences of how touch is being digitally remediated."

The exhibition is running as part of the UCL Festival of Culture, an annual celebration of the breadth and quality of research and teaching across the arts, humanities and social sciences at UCL.

An interactive touch workshop will also take place as part of the exhibition, providing members of the public to build circuits, write code and design applications.

REMOTE CONTACT is open from Monday 4 June until Saturday 9 June at Bloomsbury Gallery.

REMOTE CONTACT is commissioned by IN-TOUCH: Digital Touch Communication, an ERC research project at UCL, led by Prof Carey Jewitt (UCL). It is supported by FACT and Community Integrated Care, funded by Arts Council England and Leeds City Council, and developed with the support of a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, and in collaboration with Prof Nadia Berthouze (UCL).

Media contact

Rowan Walker, UCL Media Relations
+44 (0)20 3108 8516