Our physical connection to objects and spaces is essential to our being in the world: in the environments we inhabit, in the ways we relate to one another, and in the products we create. From the distinctive craftsmanship of the Waterloo Region's German and Mennonite founders to the region's current role in shaping the technological future we see a consistent understanding of the importance of haptic relationships from the outstanding design and use of materials in early furniture to the engineering prowess and innovation in our high-tech and research sector. This local context gives us a unique perspective from which to investigate the interplay of science, technology and artistic vision in the formation and understanding of our connections to places and things.
For CAFKA.07: Haptic we asked artists to consider actual or metaphorical possibilities enabled by the haptic connection, whether achieved through exceptional handling of traditional materials or of new media. Artists were invited to consider how contemporary art practice, with its emphasis on the new, co-exists with and incorporates the skills, techniques and values of the past: to explore haptic relationships, or how contemporary art practice places into question the Cartesian duality of mind and body.
Image: Stelarc, "Prosthetic Head," interactive animation. Photo: Elizabeth Feryn