The communication networks that have developed over the last decade introduce a particular type of public where social relations are amplified through the instant globalization of exchanges. Strangely, these exchanges are often filtered through anonymity. The broad use of pseudonyms, avatars or even fake identities suggests that electronic promiscuity across networks needs to be counterbalanced by some form of privacy protection. Networked communication is often perceived as an opportunity for free expression with no real physical exposure. Does this just imply some new form of psychological bubble, or are we looking at a whole new scale of human relationship?
E.T. Hall developped the notion of "proxemy" to describe the physical distance we maintain during interpersonal interaction. This is the space required by any living being in order to maintain a balanced relationship with its environment and with other living beings. Hall’s ideas can also be applied to notions of private and public space that, for example, architects routinely work with. And there is no doubt that the culture developing around the use of contemporary communication devices and simulation technologies has created a new proxemic. Do these technologies stretch or shrink the spaces between us?
To explore the poetic and sensual potential of the emerging proxemics between bodies, places and machine, the exhibition Amplified Intimacies looks closely at the interpersonal spaces that are increasingly sculpted by digital technologies. The exhibition brings together a range of different kinds of work, from site-specific installations to interactive pieces with physical interfaces — taken from such varied fields as media arts, experimental architecture, fashion design, and interactive game design.