Gut Check

An exploration into the emotional influence of touch by means of air.

How often are we aware of our feelings? And if we are, for how long do we pay attention to them? We live in a time that is centered around the individual, where technology is interwoven in our lives. We use tech to set ourselves apart from others, but what if technology could help us to redirect some attention to ourselves?

With its frame ’emotional objects’, Gut Check does just that: facilitating our primordial need for touch. It is made to reconnect ourselves with our core, trying to fight the noise from outside. The experience with the suit is an exercise in valuing our feelings more. The goal is to enhance our emotional awareness, in contrast to our rational self which is already well-developed.

Project made during the minor Research in Immersive Storytelling, st Joost, Breda 2019-2020.

installation storytelling tactile

Touch is our first sense to develop, and the most complex one to understand. We touch a lot of objects on a daily basis, however almost none of these are designed with this in consideration. All of these moments have an impact on our state of being.

The research project Gut does not use conventional media. The project explores the narrative capacity of touch by the use of air. The Gut Check suit is an inflatable object precisely designed for the touch input that it gives the user.

Custom electronics drive the valve system and air blower. Every experience session runs trough a programming that drives the valve system to open and close individual ports, to pressurize specific compartments of the suit.

A photo of the valves without connected hoses shows the servomotors connected to the valves.