With the current crisis the world is in, in times of isolation and social distancing the topics that informed Separate Togetherness come to mind: How can we feel close when we are apart? How can virtual interactions feel as profound as physical ones?
- with Isabel Prade -
- exhibited at 'Ad Mensam' Schloss Hollenegg for Design 2019 -
- exhibited at Vienna Design Week 2018 -
Food and technology are both fundamental connectors in human interactions but often cancel each other out. Digital devices are interwoven with our lives, increasingly becoming our opposites in conversations in place of real people. While social media enables us to create virtual relationships over distances, essential elements of physical interaction get lost. It is often a touch, a smell, the presence of the other that make us feel together, even though we are apart. How can we fuse virtual and real worlds, thereby giving technology a chance to become part of our culture? How can intimate moments be shared despite physical distance?
Separate Togetherness is an interactive experience, that creates moments of a tête-à-tête in a coffeehouse atmosphere via webcam and screen. An installative mixture of digital and analogue components of life fusing virtual and real worlds that both bring two participants closer together. A virtual cafe, two places connected via screens, letting two people share a conversation but also giving them the possibility to interact on a more physical layer: turning on the other’s light, sending a signal, giving a kiss on the cheek. Separate Togetherness is a playful exploration of the challenges we face as immensely social, multi sensual beings in an ever more digital world. It is about merging the virtual and physical, about how technology (and a global crisis) can connect us but so often pushes us apart and sometimes sitting together at a table is all we need to feel close.