High Touch

Sunday, Mar 21, 2021 – Mar 13, 2022

608 New York Avenue
Sheboygan, WI 53081

Nearly forty years ago, futurist John Naisbitt coined the term “high touch” in his 1982 book, Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives. He defined it as humankind’s counterbalancing response to the impersonal nature of technology, or high tech.

Naisbitt claimed that the appropriate reaction to more technology is not to stop it, but to accommodate it, respond to it, and shape it. To look at it through a human lens.

High Touch brings together six artists who embrace technology as a medium and tool to research, ideate, and assemble their intensely handcrafted, resolutely analog artworks. Whether sourcing images from the internet’s endless scroll or using digital processes to fabricate components of their works, they create highly tangible objects that transform the virtual into the physical.

The array of works in the exhibition are also unified by their ability to elicit a haptic response in the viewer—a palpable, tactile sense of perception that engages senses beyond the optic. They elicit a range of visceral and psychological responses that are triggered by closeness and proximity, and provide the immediate experience of texture, scale, and mass that is possible only in person. High touch art invokes the body through spatial nearness, asserts its physicality, and evokes emotion. It invites us to recover and hone our senses—to see more, to hear more, to feel more.

In our hyper-mediated, screen-based existence, when true presence is often elusive, real-world encounters with artworks provide an antidote to the flattened experience of digital life. Situated where craft and technology intersect, where materials end and sensation begins, High Touch reminds us of the radical, transformative power of art, and of art’s ability to touch us.

View the Gallery Handout