Kristin Weissenberger, Doris Roth, Günter Seyfried
Seen between May 18th and 24th 2018 at the Ubiquitous Futures exhibition, CATCH, CLICK Festival, Helsingør curated by Majken Overgaard
Ardourino is a pleasure appliance with smart hydrogels activated in a ritual involving devices generating thermal pulses and electromagnetism.
A new kind of pleasure - the body will be covered with warm, slimy, jelly substances - smart hydrogels - that can be actuated by thermal pulses and/or an electromagnetic field, impelling small vibrations and other forms of motion, inciting a tactile feeling.
A hydrogel is a network of polymer chains that are hydrophilic, sometimes found as a colloidal gel in which water is the dispersion medium. Hydrogels are highly absorbent (they can contain over 90% water) natural or synthetic polymeric networks. Hydrogels also possess a degree of flexibility very similar to natural tissue, due to their significant water content. The first appearance of the term ‘hydrogel’ in the literature was in 1894. Common uses for hydrogels include: scaffolds in tissue engineering, glue, breast implants, for for cell cultures, drug delivery and diagnosis, wound healing and many more. For the project we are particularly interested in environmentally sensitive hydrogels (also known as ‘Smart Gels’ or ‘Intelligent Gels’), which are reactive to thermal pulses and electromagnetism.
The stimuli causes mechanical motion of the gels, soliciting an enjoyable and subtle, tactile feeling. The gel is cast on the body during a ritual using ceramic tools and electronic devices especially produced for the ritual.
Many thanks to the Austrian Embassy Copenhagen