The metaphor of touch may aid the eye’s encounter with sculpture (Form) however touch allowed by the hand, beyond the paralleling attempts of metaphor, allows the body a transformative moment with Form as an experience of one’s self. Touch requires our presence; it is the sense of our very skin, our esemplastic perception of body and self.
Neurological investigations of our sensory system strongly suggest reality as percept-dependant, a subjective combination of memory, attention, and patterned expectation dictating the perception of the percept’s known world. This pattern of the known, persisted by sight-dominated encounters, conducts expectation of the percept’s experience without an experience of it. Thus an encounter with little available association or memory, touch enables the percept’s perception of self through the experience of a powerful Unknown, patterning what is known from the Unknown as self.
This synaptic experience and its essential connection with touch are foundations of the PROTOIST SERIES: The Forms before the Known. These human-scaled works are created with steel, iron, concrete to be touched, walked upon as consumptive sensory experiences. Through touch, man’s hand affects the surface areas with temperature change, chemical effects and accumulated pressures as the Form and percept together evolve into their never–ending Other. PROTOIST Forms poise a permissive moment with the experiencer to touch this public skin engendering a new intimate Known and collective Self from the Abstract.