Compression Cradle by Lucy McRae
Compression Cradle by Lucy McRae is a machine that affectionately squeezes the body with a sequence of aerated volumes that hold you tight – in an attempt to prepare the self for a future that assumes a lack of human touch.
Compression Cradle looks like a remnant from a world we have not yet seen but might soon inhabit. One where mechanical touch may be an antidote for today’s ‘forever connectedness’, a behaviour that’s triggered a lonely disconnection with ourselves.
The visual appearance of this artwork, begs the question “is this a device for sleeping, for pleasure or for performance?“. This innovation blurs the boundaries between entertainment and domestic space, presenting an indifferent format of voyeurism.
Through a choreography of touch sensations, this mechanism assists in altering the expression of oxytocin — the hormone released in the brain, responsible for building trust and pair bonding.
Exhibited at Triennale Milano, this immersive artwork explores our current touch-deficit status, which will likely become more extreme in the future. Compression Cradle is co commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut and Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences.