The Wave is a tactile sculpture that visitors can sit or lie on. Gentle swells of movement surge through the interior of the soft, bulbous form, giving the visitor a sense of reclining on a living creature or floating at sea.
Research has shown that very young children do not always differentiate between robots and living beings. For example, if a robotic bunny is harmed in front of a child, it can generate the same emotional reactions as if a living creature were being abused. Similarly empathic reactions have been registered in elderly people with dementia, who often become more relaxed after stroking a robotic seal. The question is not whether machines should replace human contact and touch, but rather how we can develop these possibilities into interesting objects and situations. The Wave is an attempt to create a social sculpture that visitors need to physically embrace to experience fully.
"The Wave," 2014
Cloth, foam, airbags, plywood, pneumatic motors, Arduino micro-controllers
540 x 80 x 60 cm