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Texture Matters. The Optical and Haptical in Media

LATEST: The final conference is over! Thanks to all participants for making it a wonderful event. The photo gallery can be found here.

“Going to the Feelies this evening, Henry?” enquired the Assistant Predestinator. “I hear the new one at the Alhambra is first-rate. There’s a love scene on a bearskin rug; they say it’s marvelous. Every hair of the bear reproduced. The most amazing tactual effects.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 1930

“The eye should be put under the control of touch.”
Vladimir Tatlin, 1913

This project tackles the critical question of texture within twentieth century material culture. It takes both a historical and a theoretical approach to this issue, examining the era’s extensive writings on hapticality and opticality, and focusing on several key periods in which texture emerged as a central element of mass culture as well as of art-making, design, fashion, and architecture. Further, the project considers the rise of texture within digital domains, both within screen imagery and as part of interfaces and gadgetry. The project seeks to illuminate our current driven searches for grain and tactility within this terrain. It brings a historical and theoretical sophistication to our intuitive sense of the pressing importance of the pleasure of tactility within our contemporary digital world. Read more...

Project duration: May 2011- July 2014
Project leaders: Klemens Gruber, Antonia Lant
Researchers: Jana Herwig, Alexandra Seibel, Fabian Ziegler

Funding Body: FWF Austrian Science Fonds
Programme: Translational Brainpower/Research Programme

Tile eyes by Maria de Lourdes Castro (* 1934), Moulded paste with white glaze, 1972, National Tile Museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo), Lisbon (MNAz inv. C-472)
Institut für Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft
Universität Wien
1010 Wien

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