Marika Jasmine Grasso South Yorkshire, United Kingdom
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Marika is a skilled artist and a PhD candidate at Sheffield Hallam University. Her PhD project, Beyond Touch-screens, has been exhibited at the CHI Interactive Experience Bolzano and Stanley Gallery. She has also attended several conferences and residencies, including Activism Neuroaesthetics in Cognitive Capitalism by SFSIA. In 2023, she was a Junior Fellow at IWM for Digital Humanism.

What is touched?

Artist Practice Statement: "Touched Screen: Exploring the Frailty and Potential of Everyday Interaction"

My material explorative practice can be synthesised by questioning how tactile encounters have an effect on daily life. My practice evolved from fashion, then textile and now material practice, on investigating how touching, touching, and searching for interactions can be questioned. Currently, I'm working on questioning technological materiality and our relationship with it. We interact with touchscreen surfaces daily without much contemplation, a habitual action ingrained in our routines. Yet, recent events, from the cold touch of winter to the isolation of the COVID-19 lockdowns, have sparked a more profound curiosity about the nature of these ubiquitous interfaces. "Touched Screen" is a material research proposal born from this curiosity, focusing on the touchscreen's aesthetic, interactive, and physical properties.

The research explores the fragility and decay inherent in touchscreens, juxtaposing these qualities against speculative sustainable possibilities. Inspired by Mark Fisher's notion of mobile phones as "electro-libidinal parasites," the project aims to challenge our current relationship with technology by proposing alternative materials that provoke critical reflection.

During the residency, my approach will be rooted in New Materialist philosophy, drawing theoretical inspiration from Karen Barad's concept of intra-action—a dynamic interplay of forces between entities. Through observation and experimentation, I will explore the behaviours and agencies of touchscreen materials, investigating their responses when they cease to function.

The methodology involves processes of unmaking to understand the material's composition and sensory evaluation through workshops and material libraries. By employing a mixed-media approach—combining textiles, metals, wood, and other elements—the aim is to create tactile and visually engaging alternatives to conventional touchscreens.

Central to the project is exploring how these materials respond to human touch, whether on a specific body part or as a holistic sensory experience. Through collaboration and dialogue, the goal is to transition touchscreen matter from its current state as technological waste to something inherently valuable and sustainable.

In conclusion, "Touched Screen" endeavours to form a sustainable, responsive memory material that transcends its origins as disposable technology. By fostering awareness and understanding of our daily interactions, the project aims to redefine our relationship with touchscreens, transforming them into objects of contemplation and connection with the past and future.


Erotic Matter, Gold leaf polyurethane conductive embroidery, 2018


Wet Screen, Touchscreen, glass resin, chiffon, 2022


Projects and exhibitions



15/09/2023 — 23/09/2023

Handy is a contemplation of the rituality of touch and shaping of bodily relationship with touchscreens, considering its materiality.

Handy is the German term for a smartphone, denoting the handheld device that has become an integral part of our daily lives. It remains perpetually accessible, ready to be grasped at any given...

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Yorkshire Art Space, Sheffield Details


11/09/2023 — 16/03/2024

In collaboration with Erika Mondria* the workshop somagrid deals with physical signal percepts, biometric data, and AI-based technologies. Participants will wear a brain-wave device while exploring their own veracity and learn about their “intrinsic interaction”© in relation to the use of biosensor and tactile technology. The output, an...

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Ars Electronica, Link Details
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