Touch is a reciprocal sense. Differently from the other senses, touching is always mutual: one touches and is touched. In Approximation, players become performers and artwork at once.

Participants sit in front of each other, connecting their hands to an elastic net that constrains their action into a small range of movement, acting like external muscles. With eyes closed, the two participants begin a tactile exploration on each other’s face, copying each move, in a mirrored way.

The piece was first performed at the KABK, Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (2012), together with Roel Heremans. Later joining the ‘Expanded Performance‘ program at Stroom Den Haag, in December, 2012 and TodaysArt Festival 2013.

Approximation was also presented as the opening performance of The Deepest Sense Symposium: On Tactility in the Arts and Sciences from the Early Modern Period to the Present Day at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (June 26th, 2014). Keynote speakers were: Constance Classen, David Howes, Garmt Dijksterhuis and Monika Wagner.

First version of Approximation, as presented at Stroom Den Haag, 2012. Photo by Christian van der Kooy

Approximation was presented in a newer version at ‘Performance, Objects, Bodies’ at Quartair (The Hague, Sep-Oct, 2017) and ‘Performance, Objects, Bodies‘ at TETEM (Enschede, Nov 2017-Jan 2018).

With thanks to Roel Heremans, Matteo Marangoni and Marit Mihklepp.

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December 18, 2015