Touchy makes the person wearing this special helmet blind until another person touches his/her skin 10 seconds long. Then Touchy’s lens apertures open; the person wearing the helmet can see again and the built-in camera takes a photo. The most recently captured image is displayed on the back of the helmet. The snapshots made here are then uploaded to Touchy’s Facebook page, and used there for artistic, non-commercial purposes.
The artist’s purpose in creating this device is to call attention to growing social isolation and the dehumanization of our society in which interpersonal contact is configured in such minimalist terms as a left-click on a Facebook “Like” icon. People could become so unaccustomed to direct interaction and encounters with other people that these events trigger anxieties. Touchy thus constitutes an amusing, playful way to foster social encounters and up-close-and-personal intercourse among human beings. In this way, a person becomes a device in his/her own right, and photographically captures this beautiful, precious moment of physical contact with another person.
Eric Siu, 2012