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For several years, Catch has had a collaboration with Mz* Baltazar’s Laboratory located in Vienna. Mz* Baltazar Laboratory is a feminist run hackerspace, artist studio and gallery that operates in the intersection of art, technology and science.
Through the research project Future Pleasure Objects, Catch and Mz* Baltazar’s Laboratory looked into and proposed a renewal of the sex toy industry and the male/female gaze. The project suggested an artistic approach to traditional techno-scientific innovation in order to develop new prototypes for bodily pleasure. Several workshops and curatorial meetings were held both in Vienna and Denmark and multiple international artists, curators, researchers, physicians and designers participated.
From these early development workshop different thoughts and prototypes were produced. Ultimately, curator and researcher Stefanie Wuschitz, artist Kristin Weissenberger, artist and researcher Patricia Reis (all members of Mz* Balthazar’s Laboratory) and researcher Vanessa Carpenter along with Majken Overgaard from Catch formed the research group.
At Catch in Elsinore, the PhD Workshop Politics of the Machines held in collaboration with the IT University of Copenhagen and Aalborg University picked up on the research topic and amongst others Patricia Reis taught the track Future Pleasure Objects. The workshop took place leading up to Click Festival 2018, with the aim of exhibiting more of the projects at Click in the exhibition Ubiquitous Futures curated by Catch.
As a result a joint research paper was written – find it HERE
Selected Projects, as they were presented at the group exhibition Ubiquitous Futures:
Kristin Weissenberger and Günter Seyfried in collaboration with Pavillon_35 & [KAT]ALAB
Ardourino is a hydrogel, which is a network of polymer chains that are hydrophilic, sometimes found as a colloidal gel in which water is the dispersion medium. Hydrogels possess a degree of flexibility very similar to natural tissue, due to their significant water content, and are commonly used for scaffolds in tissue engineering, glue, breast implants, for cell cultures, drug delivery and diagnosis, wound healing and more.
For Ardourino, the group is particularly interested in environmentally sensitive hydrogels (also known as ‘Smart Gels’ or ‘Intelligent Gels’), which are reactive to electromagnetism, meaning that they have the ability to sense changes of pH, temperature, or the concentration of metabolite and release their load as a result of such a change. This mechanism is utilized, and upon heating the hydrogel goes from hydrophilic to hydrophobic state, which results in an expulsion of water that causes a physical conformational change, creating a mechanical hinge movement. The result is a new gel kit soliciting an enjoyable, subtle, and tactile feeling.
Ardourino is developed in collaboration by artist Kristin Weissenberger & Günter Seyfried and two Austrian organisations: pavillon_35 – Gesellschaft für wissenschaftsbasierte Kunst and [kat]alab – Initiative für offene Wissenschaft, Technologie, Kunst und freie Bildung.
TOUCHING YOU/ME WITH MY BREATH
Patricia Reis plays with technology as a means to expand and stimulate corporeal perceptions in the viewer, as she wants to subvert visuality as the primary mode of experience. Her works represent an alternative to binary pleasure objects; objects that can stimulate pleasure in the human body, which is not gender related. Touching you/me with my breath is an interactive open source non-binary pleasure object that primarily aims at bringing two people together in a digital telematics exchange between breath and touch. A microcontroller translates the rhythm, intensity and humidity of the breath captured by the sensor into different vibration patterns of 10 motors mounted at an adaptive belt made of silicone and coated with textile, which was easy to removed and also washable.