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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 occupied by issues of sensory perception. In addition to visual concerns, she has considered the sense of touch and how our brains react to the desire for tactile contact. Cook worked with scientists to compare the brain’s response to viewing a woven image of a face with the response to viewing a photographic image of the same woven face. She discovered that seeing the woven image triggered greater activity in that part of the brain affected most by touch. Facing Touch illustrates this experiment. The test subject, dressed in a cap trailing the sensors that measure his neural responses, reaches out to touch a woven image, actually an enlarged version of Cook’s own Binary Traces: Young Girl, created in 2004.


Currently Off View




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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