Johann Arens / Findings on Palpation 24 June – 22 July 2018 P/////AKT Zeeburgerpad 53 1019 AB Amsterdam Netherlands
Johann Arens uses installation and video to survey the documentary properties of public interiors and their inherent social textures. By deliberately placing artworks atypically he redirects attention to places in the peripheral vision. At P/////AKT he is presenting a new film project, resulting from a shared research with Dr. Alejandro Granados (Research Associate in Biomechanical Engineering at UCL London), along with furniture and educational material from the medical training centre at Amsterdam’s UMC hospital.
The film installation debates the relevance of tactility and contact-based simulation tools and the implications for the plasticity of sculpture as well as human anatomy. The point of departure is the simple observation that both, medical training practice and experientially driven art are conditioned by a shared frustration; the limitation of touch.
The film features two haptic simulation systems; one constructed to allow medics in training to gain experience in patient examination and palpation, the other connecting an historical sculpture to a virtual environment with changed surface resistivity parameters. The increasing relevance of touch-based interfaces for our social environment calls for a critical engagement. The exhibition gauges the significance of computed simulation for cultural artefacts and the intimacy of the audience. What can a heightened awareness of tactility and palpation offer to the principles of contemporary medicine and personalised experience of sculpture?
The exhibition is realised in collaboration with Amsterdam UMC and generously supported by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Mondriaan Funds and Ammodo.
The film project was also supported by SPACE Art+Technology Residency Program, Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science, Imperial College London, EPSRC London Deanery and Health Education North West London.
Photo by Charlott Markus, courtesy of P/////AKT Amsterdam.