Performance | documentation film 2021, 3:09 min

In collaboration with Lucie Jo Knilli at UdK 2021

The year 2020. Memories of separation and an increasing lack of proximity to other bodies. Out of this need, Jens Tiemann and Lucie Jo Knilli developed a concept that explores the unmediated interaction between bodies. The project “unmediated” explores whether opposites can be sensed without a medium, and what a portrayal of this can reveal about and provoke in our present state and being.

Performers are fitted with skin-tight suits equipped with strong magnets that produce invisible magnetic fields. The specific arrangement of their poles creates a dividing force that can be felt with our own tactile sensory system. The resulting visual gap between the magnets – the repulsion – actually becomes a point of connection. Contrary to body capture sensors that detach data from the body, unmediated-suits enable real-time, immediate and unmediated communication with the body: Immediacy as a new perspective.

Our largest organ, our skin, has many sensory receptors that enable direct contact with the world. At the same time, our sense of touch is also closely connected to the awareness of our bodies. Besides the physical sensation, there are also multiple ways that we can be touched. There are nuances of touch and being touched that can happen in proximity and from afar. In times of isolation and loneliness, we might forget touch as a tactile stimulus through the omnipresent use of digital media and communication devices.

In “unmediated”, the body becomes a medium itself and therefore a major point of interaction. The suits serve as apparatuses as well as surfaces to reflect on the origins of interaction. What standing does technology have in this? Could the unmediated-suits be a tool for (re-)learning and (re-)connecting with our bodies?