I Love Your Guts

This series of work deals with the loss of touch that has been introduced to us during the pandemic. Our communities have been released from the zoom rooms and we have moved backed into spaces that were vacated for the last two years. Being around each other has taken different forms as we continue to social distance and wear masks in public spaces but as we get closer and more acclimated to one another again what does affection look like in a world without touch?  Our normal greetings with people from handshakes and hugs have become awkward fist bumps or elbow collisions, often awkwardly ending in confusion and uncertainty of connection. How we express comfortability with people or a hand on the shoulder or on the back to comfort them, has turned into air hugs or expressing apologies for a touch that was once usually welcomed by those we are close to. Steve Cole a behavioral Scientist and Psychiatrist from ULCA stated that “Touch is the most powerful safety signal of togetherness.” If this is true how do we feel safe together again, if we cannot feel safe touching each other to send these signals, can we transfer these signals to objects? Can we create spaces that allow us to touch to feel things in rooms with each other to recreate this feeling of togetherness, can our comfort with things compare or help us feel safe with each other again? These innards are brightly colored or paired with objects that are made to be touched, to be carried to be fiddled around with, giving the viewers and participants in touch the feeling of safety, of belonging, of being together in a space where it is safe to touch, to feel, to hug. This transference of feeling and safety is me offering myself to the viewer to invite them to feel safe again in a space with others, and though we may not be able to physically or mentally readied to touch each other just yet, that these objects may be used as a substitution until we are able to without anxiety, repulsion, or fear of touch, once again, embrace feeling physically in a safe and meaningful way as we used too.