Touching Theory (at a distance)

8–10pm, Thursdays

  • Instructors

    Selwa Sweidan and Nina Sarnelle

  • Pricing


  • Dates

    October 27– November 17

What is touch at a distance?
Can we touch each other through scores, instructions, descriptions?

Do sound waves touch at a distance?
Do nations/states touch at a distance?
Can we touch across generations, eras?

In Touching Theory (at a distance) we work with touch as a time-based medium and a form of co-creative knowledge. Pairing creative touch prompts with reading-out-loud and discussion, we will feel/touch our way through short text excerpts from queer theory, racial and disability justice, quantum physics, critical tech, and ecology.

This class will be held virtually.


Selwa Sweidan & Nina Sarnelle are artists based on Tongva/Kizh land often referred to as Los Angeles. While our independent practices have circulated around touch and haptics, we began working together on this collaborative touch praxis at the beginning of the pandemic in Spring 2020. Together we’ve developed a research methodology consisting of workshops, prompts, interviews, reading, discussion and collaborative writing.

Nina Sarnelle is a founding member of the Institute for New Feeling. She recently had a solo video show at the New Museum (NY). Her work has also been shown at Whitechapel Gallery (London), Hammer Museum (LA), Getty Center (LA), Ballroom Marfa (TX), MoMA (NY), Recess (NY), Black Cube (Denver), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Berlin), Fundacion PROA (Buenos Aires), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Mwoods (Beijing) and many others.

Selwa Sweidan is an artist and researcher of emerging technologies. She has been published in the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Journal, the Internet Policy Review Journal; and exhibited at Bevilacqua Gallery, Center Du Pompidou, HomeLA, Monte Vista Project, Spring/Break LA and UC Irvine. Selwa has co-curated exhibitions and symposia including Beyond Embodiment, Performative Computation, STACKED Expo, Super Radiance and Clustering. She is currently an Annenberg PhD Fellow at USC.

General Information