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“On the embodiment of a discrete volume of empty space”

As I mentioned before [Illusions of Invisible, alien hands, 3 arms, and shrinking bodies…] The Invisible Hand Illusion is a version of the Rubber hand illusion which uses no fake rubber hand at all.  Instead, the participant focuses on an empty space in place of their hand. Sometimes a handless stump, and as a control, a wooden plank. they found that participants could embody a ‘Discrete Volume of Empty Space’.

This interests me as it fits with a number of works which challenge the physicality of the art object, instead, I have presented amorphous forms of bubbling materials or even a plinth which automatically concealed the object. The idea of making an automated system to generate the illusion of an invisible hand seems the next step for my research. So far I have devised an idea for a mechanical device similar in approach to Lin Charleston device [Mechanically Augmented Reality] The difference is this would use a series of tapping leavers.

The aim is to somehow enclose this device into a plinth, into which the hand is placed.  Thereby reinforcing its presentation as an ‘object’ of art, as well as presenting this specific phenomenon of an embodied discrete volume of empty space [ See my post is it art if no one can see it.]


Artist, educator, and researcher working between the fields of science and art.

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