Embracive water, healing pine. Experimenting a hybrid method in touch and affect research

11:30, Thursday 6 May 2021 (30 minutes)
Piritta Nätynki, University of Eastern Finland, Finland

“Water is caressing me, when I don’t care to be caressed by another human being. This counterpart doesn’t require anything from me. The colder the water, the stronger the squeeze“.

The idea is to experiment how touch and affect (Paterson 2007) can be researched by a walking-with method (Springgay & Truman 2018). Here, at the heart is a more-than-human touch with natural elements such as pines, water, and snow. These touches between human skin and natural elements are somehow meaningful for the participants thus opening a way to detect affectivities from these habitual body routines. The importance of skin is accentuated making the psychic skin as important as the physical skin. I will take part in these touches by co-experiencing them. One trial will be carried out in COVID-19 style: my co-researcher will do her walk in a forest in Thunder Bay area, Canada while I will walk beside her here in Finland. Other walks will be realized in Finland.

The aim is to combine sensory memory walking and go-along “interviewing” which will be recorded to capture the sonic impressions of places and voices, such as the pitch, intonation and rhythm. This is valuable, when detecting affects from the oral narratives about touch experiences; the presence of affectivities is possible and essential to bring out by observing the participant’s affective reactions during the discussion. This empirical trial will hopefully provide a new method in recording and analyzing embodied-affective data.

University of Eastern Finland