2016 Honorable Mention – Dylan Hancook

The Art of Touch

The somasatosensory system is one of the five traditional senses of the central nervous system which includes the sensations of light touch, pain, pressure, temperature, and tension. They are grouped by three primary sensory modalities of discriminative touch, pain & temperature, and proprioception. Discriminative touch identifies touch, pressure, and vibration perception, which allows us to perceive finite textures like the the grain of log or the hairs of a bur. If you were to close your eyes and attempt to describe an object, discriminative touch is what makes it possible to do so. The others modalities include pain & temperature which detect the sensation of itch, while proprioception comprises of receptors that perceive tension below the body’s surface. The somatosensory system is an aggregate of thermoreceptors, photoreceptors, mechanoreceptors, and chemoreceptors that process essential sensory modalities allowing us to feel the world around us.

For this video I was inspired by the feeling of touch and how we understand it through the diverse textures in the world, not just physically but emotionally. You will move through the world of sensations overlooked, feeling the softness of grass, bite of pine, warmth of fire, and ache of ice. A ripple of sentiment sparked at a fingertip. Ebbing through axons and skipping ­ synapse to synapse. From peripheral to central it swells and peaks. And feeling cascades

Can the nature texture communicate with emotion? How big of an impression can one tactile feeling create? If love were an object what would it feel like? This project is an ode to the tiny but powerful world of touch, and how it rests at the tips of our fingers.