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Compression Cradle
Lucy McRae

Fabrication by Machine Histories


Compression Cradle looks like a remnant from a world we have not yet seen but might soon inhabit. One where the digital promise of ‘forever connectedness’ has triggered a lonely disconnection with ourselves.

In an attempt to prepare the self for this future that assumes a lack of touch, a machine affectionately squeezes the body
within a sequence of aerated volumes that holds it tightly. Through a choreography of touch sensations, this mechanism assists in altering the gene expression of oxytocin — the hormone released in the brain, responsible for building trust and pair bonding.

Nevertheless, this physical space, in which the borders between the domestic sphere and entertainment are blurred, is constantly measured and monitored, thus offering a potential form of voyeurism.

Compression Cradle by Lucy McRae was made possible by the financial support of Het Nieuwe Institut / Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (the Netherlands) and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Australia), 2019.