tactile research lab

Kinetic body sticks

The Kinetic body sticks-project by Naja Ryde Ankarfeldt 2015, started out with one small block of foam, and a piece of double sided tape. I cut the block into a lot of smaller parts, still keeping them together. Hereafter I taped this created structure directly onto my skin, and recognized something very interesting. When moving my fingers the small parts stuck onto my hand would move from the underlying mussels. From even the smallest movements invisible to the eye, the height of the sticks enlarge the tiny movements and move the entire structure like waves. When placed on the neck the sticks are moved synchronized with the voice and action of Adam’s apple. And like that different sections and muscles of the body causes different kinds of effect on the structure. I think it is interesting to research the materiality of the body and how to pay attention to and study the anatomic movements: how do I move my own finger in the first place. The functionality of the anatomical body is so familiar to its owner and taken for granted, that it can be hard to recognize and study the amazing machinery we move around. When having this structure of alienated sticks stuck to your body it suddenly becomes easier to pay attention those moving sticks since they are not an integrated part of you. And it now becomes possible, from an objective point of view to focus on the thrilling anatomic motions. The flexibility of the structure is made possible from the several parts that affect one another and appears to be a connected material or organism. It is the spaces in between the separated parts that allow the movement. I have been experimenting with a broad range of different shapes, sizes, tools and materials. The construction is quite challenging, and I been around different solutions for making the sticks balance, making the structure light enough to remain upright, how to glue them to the material, whiteout gluing them together, how to connect them to the body and so on. The project is still ongoing and will be presented as a part of my graduation project later the year.

01Anajaankarkineticstickscopy04najaankarkineticstickscopy 03najaankarkineticstickscopy 01najaankarkineticstickscopyImage documentation by Alexander Benjamin Vinther, Victoria Douka-Doukopoulou, Cocky Eek, Nanda Milbreta, Ingrid Eel and Naja Ryde Ankarfeldt


Polly Oskam: “Gelatine is weird stuff. When I was a child my mother sometimes made colourful drilpudding (kind of jello) It always tasted a bit weird but it was a huge fun to see it wobble. I rather played with the “dessert” then eat it. I guess that’s why I chose this material.”

“I wanted to make a large sheet of this stuff and I started out experimenting with different ratio’s or recipes. I noticed that the more Glycerine used, the stickier and flexible it is, but it is not strong. Less Glycerine makes it celluloid like. Later on I experienced that the influence of the air humidity, the amount of water added and the time you let it dry has a huge effect on the material…..After at least letting the first sheet dry for a week: It did not break when bended, It felt like plastic, it still smelled a bit like wet dog, it was still pliant, it wasn’t sticky.”


100 ml glycerine
200 gr gelatin
800 ml water


200 ml glycerine
200 gr gelatin
800 ml water

“Also a good mixture, it filled the whole glass plate. After it dried it was a bit sticky, flexible almost like rubber. Every day it got more solid. This was the stuff I wanted!  Inoticed that the longer it dries the better it becomes, that temperature and humidity influence the dry time, the end product and can change the texture. I also found out that that if two different sheets are stacked upon each other they will ‘exchange’ properties. (texture, colour and solidity). The orange sheet is really versatile. it is still a bit sticky and it is really strong. I need to make some objects/clothes with it…”

Black Light

Katarina Jancovicova came with the idea of using tonic as a colouring. It lights up in blacklight.
of water I used tonic and this is the result: That was really a great idea!

SAMSUNG 41366865-tonic

Full research report of Polly Oskam: https://sites.google.com/site/pollyoskam/home

Music Bonbons

Charlotte ’t Hart is working towards a Musical Bonbon  (in collboration with Karin van der Veen)

“As I was interested in listening to the inner sounds of our body I tried to make a stethoscope in the lab.  But I wanted to listed to the smallest sounds in the body like the cracking of the bones so I needed better equipment. Outside of the lab this research resulted in my stethofoon presentation.

Meanwhile there was Karin van der Veen who looked for someone to help her make “MuziekBonbons”. She wanted to listen to music that comes from chocolate. I came up with the idea of putting a piezo element in a chocolate and experimented with this in the lab.”


Charlotte: “This works because the vibrations of the piezo transfer through the bones of your jawbones to the little bones in your ear and you can hear the sound. You have to close your ears though to hear it better. But I don’t mind that, I really like the idea of handing out earplugs before letting people listen to something.

Another thing that came out when I tried it on fellow students is that you start drooling because you have to hold the piezo in between your teeth and there is a wire coming out of your mouth. This is something I still have to solve.

Alse there is the thing of the coverage of the piezo element because you don’t want this metal and christal in your mouth. My first experiment was with isolation tape, then I put heat shrikable tubing around the element an dipped in chocolate for a second version.

But it did not feel very comfortable yet and wasn’t very durable as well. What was very nice is that you did not have to bite through the chocolate to hear the sounds, you could just put your teeth on the chocolate.

Now I am experimenting with smaller piezo’s and planning on using epoxy as a coating. Also we are experimenting with different tastes of chocolate in combination with sounds.

I will present the first version of this work on my end presentation of this year, june 2012 together with Karin.

I really like that I sort of came back to sugar in combination with the human body!!”