carinho machine (prototype), 2022
aluminum, stepper motor, Arduino and doll’s hand
26 x 18 x 9 cm [10 1⁄4 x 7 x 3 1⁄2 in.]

“carinho machine (prototype)” is a mechanical arm that caresses the other. The word in Portuguese is used with a specific meaning that combines both the action “to caress” and a special kind of affection. The prototype uses a doll hand that rubs, with no mechanical delicacy, the visitor’s arm (or finger, in this case). This voluntary participant is made available to the contact and proves the possibility of feeling affection with the machine’s caress. Ultimately, the experience will be unique to the individual, but it is most likely to have these mixed feelings of some kind of affection memory of the touch and the uncanny sensation of the rubber hand. Finally, we ask ourselves how the growing mechanisms of substitution and social distancing open up possibilities for extra-human relationships, which implies other conditions of “touch”, which will be increasingly frequent in the development of a possible post-anthropocene.