Lucy McRae's hugging machine is a response to the continuous digitization of culture and the increasingly tech-focused future. Her piece addresses the alienating reality of technology. Although we are more connected now than ever, the act of online communication and interaction omits a very primal and very necessary component of human existence — touch.
The hugging machine is a prototype that tackles the "touch crisis." The Los Angeles-based artist looks for ways to determine whether "mechanical touch, rather than physical contact with other humans, will become the solution."
Lucy McRae's hugging machine has been dubbed 'Compression Carpet.' To experience the device, one must lay in it, while someone else turns the handle. The piece then sandwiches the person between two cushions, simulating a full-body embrace.
Photo Credits: Dezeen