Jonathan Bachrach: The Intimacy Machine




 
  • ©2008, Jonathan Bachrach, The Intimacy Machine

Artist(s):


Title:


The Intimacy Machine

Exhibition:


SIGGRAPH 2008: Slow Art

Creation Year:


2008

Category:


Electronic/Robotic Object and Interactive & Monitor-Based

Artist Statement:


We live in a world of increased separation caused by fast-paced, high-technology lifestyles. Looking into another person’s eyes, also known as eye contact, is a powerful means of forming connection, intimacy, and trust. Unfortunately, it is emotionally difficult to achieve. Eye contact arouses strong emotions, so typical eye contact lasts three seconds at a stretch. Breaking eye contact reduces stress levels, but also, sadly, reduces intimacy. The Intimacy Machine mediates intimacy, allowing people to overcome their normal social boundaries. The machine is a reciprocal high-technology peep show where eye contact is routed through a computer. In particular, it provides an indirect mechanism for people standing in close proximity to each other to stare at each other directly in the eyes, a feat that otherwise proves tremendously difficult for humans. Whereas telesex offers a way for people far away to feel close, the intimacy machine makes it possible for people who are close to feel distant.