‘Looking at the screens in front of us, we wondered how our gazes, extrapolated, were crossing each other at a distance, marking a place somewhere in the world that we were both looking at in that moment. The knowledge that this place existed, and we were together marking it, gave us a tangible sense of connection and respite from our feeling of isolation.’
MetaSensorium responds to the social isolation pervasive to the pandemic by speculating on the ability of wearable technology to create new levels of connection between people at a distance. Emerging from the designers’ autobiographic experiences of separation, disconnect, and the desire to be physically present with others, MetaSensorium started with a question of how a physical and sensorial connection can be constructed through virtual means. The resulting wearable is activated when two wearers face one another at a distance, triggering their devices to deliver a sense of the other’s presence as a spectral embrace.
MetaSensorium draws upon feminist practices and the new materialistic entanglements of Haraway or Barad, as well as the concept of Heterotopias. Adding to the sensorium another sense engenders tuning-into an ‘other space’ as in Foucault’s ‘Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias’. This is the space between, a liminal, shared space forming a foundation for connection through sensorial experience at a distance.