Thecla Schiphorst

Bodymaps: Artifacts of Touch/

Thecla Schiphorst /

1995-1997 /

“Bodymaps: Artifacts of Touch Bodymaps: Artifacts of Touch (1995-1997), was the first interactive artwork I created that bridged the tactile aspect of my somatics training with my background in computer design^^ The interaction concept is autobiographical in nature and it has an intensely personal, sensual, sometimes disturbing, experiential quality. At the time of Bodymap’s inception the ‘hand’ in HCI was used primarily as a pointing and clicking device or as a text command-based driver of interaction, remaining conceptually divorced from its tactile nature. I was interested in counterpointing the prevalence of goal-directed interaction, exploring interaction that simply ‘made space’ for the existence of experience for its own sake.”


Thecla Schiphorst is a member of the original design team that developed Life Forms, the computer compositional tool for choreography, and collaborated with Merce Cunningham from 1990 to 2005 supporting his creation of new dance with the computer.

This interdisciplinary background forms the basis for her research in embodied interaction, focusing on movement knowledge representation, tangible and wearable technologies, media and digital art, and the aesthetics of interaction. She applies body-based somatic models as articulated in systems such as Laban Movement Analysis to technology design processes within an HCI context. Her research goal is to expand the practical application of embodied theory within technology design. []


Bodymaps: artifacts of Touch, Interactive Video Art Installation, 1995-1997 Artist, Concept and Video Director: Thecia Schiphorst Funding: Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council Project Dates: 1995 – 1997 Artistic Concept, Systems Design: Thecia Schiphorst Software: Ken Gregory, Norm Jaffe, Grant Gregson, Sound Design: Ken Gregory Hardware Engineering: Infusion Systems Table Design: Hanif Jan Mohammed Table Construction: Ewan McNeil Video Director and Video Editing: Thecia Schiphorst Video Performers: Thecia Schiphorst, Nathan Evans Production Assistant: Bernadette MacGregor Documentation Video Editing: Lorna Boschmann