[ i miss your touch ] by PluginHUMAN transports two people who are in separate locations into a shared virtual environment. This unique online platform launched in March 2020 as a rapid response to pandemic conditions. This award-winning interactive video artwork helps people maintain meaningful social and physical connections and provides a personalised art experience.
[ i miss your touch ] is a live collaboration between the participants and the PluginHUMAN artists (Justin Dwyer and Betty Sargeant). The artwork responds to people’s movements. PluginHUMAN affect, in real-time, live video streams from participants’ webcams. People can instantly see the creative effects of their movements and interactions. They can also experience virtual touch. [ i miss your touch ] makes people feel as if they are together in one space. It allows friends, who are in separate locations, to dance, to virtually hug and to interact in a shared online environment.
Many people have been without physical contact with others due to pandemic lockdown and physical distancing rules. [ i miss your touch ] provides a way to maintain meaningful human connections and meaningful art engagement.
HOW IT WORKS
Participants book a time and are emailed a unique URL. Each experience is 10-minutes. People can book a solo experience (one of the artists joins them, via webcam), or a double booking (they elect a friend and together, via webcam, they engage with the artwork). Participants need a computer with a built-in webcam and an internet connection.
During their allocated time participants are given access to the [ i miss your touch ] web platform. They will then see their own video stream, the video stream of the other person, and the compiled animated vision of themselves and the other person moving together. Participants hear the same music but cannot talk to each other. This artwork encourages people to communicate via movement.
The aim was to create a unique online interactive artwork that’s accessible to broad audiences. Participants don’t need specialist equipment or skills. This virtual environment allows people to explore and experience virtual touch. It provides the feeling that you are actually physically together in one location. Participants don’t need to download software nor login. [ i miss your touch ] is accessible to anyone with a computer, a webcam and internet connection. Through this work PluginHUMAN democratises access to progressive, real-time, interactive virtual environments.
This artwork is not delivered on a website. [ i miss your touch ] is ephemeral and operates in real-time. Participants access a web platform (a custom-coded cloud hosted Node.js app spot). The artwork is streamed to each participant via a unique URL in real-time. The video stream is compiled in TouchDesigner using Python and it is manually effected in real-time by PluginHUMAN. The outcome is a live collaboration between the participants and the artists.
Justin Dwyer ~ Artist
Betty Sargeant ~ Artist
Andrew Ogburn ~ Music
Peter Walker ~ Creative Coder