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Facing Touch

A work made of cotton and rayon, weaving on digital hand loom.

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  • A work made of cotton and rayon, weaving on digital hand loom.




Lia Cook (American, born 1942)

About this artwork

Lia Cook has long been interested in how the human brain reacts to the desire for touch. In the early 2000s, she began to work with neuroscientists to compare the brain’s response to viewing a woven image of a face versus a photograph of the same face. They discovered that seeing the woven image triggered greater activity in the part of the brain most affected by touch. Facing Touch illustrates this experiment: in it, a girl wearing a cap with sensors attached reaches out to a woven portrait also by Cook, Binary Traces: Young Girl, from 2004.


On View, Gallery 58




Lia Cook


Facing Touch


California (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 2011


Cotton and rayon, weaving on digital hand loom


137.2 × 130.2 cm (54 × 51 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by the Textile Society

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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