- Jamie Diamond
- Undergraduate Program in Fine Arts and Design, Weitzman School of Design (PennDesign)
Independent Creative Production Grant
Skin Hunger examines the epidemic of loneliness and the service economies that have emerged in response to the growing need surrounding touch, intimacy, and connection.
We live in a new universe where virtually anything we want, we can get. With just a touch of a button, we are connected to a cornucopia of products, classes, foods, and people. Yet research tells us that isolation and loneliness have hit a crisis point. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and years of isolation and uncertainty, we are in a massive mental health crisis and the stakes could not be higher. Neuroscientists and sociologists have proven that touch is vital to the human experience. Touch is an essential human need that starts the moment we leave the womb. Touch is embedded in the social structure of our lives, yet our increasingly automated world has taken away much of the human contact upon which we’ve always relied.
Through Skin Hunger, Jamie Diamond examines a service area that has emerged and exploded in recent years on non-sexual touch, a.k.a., cuddling. When hiring a Professional Touch Practitioner, you pay an hourly fee to be caressed – but you will also learn about consent and boundaries and receive the greatest gift of all: human connection. There is no pedagogy or formal training in our education when it comes to boundaries and consent, and maybe that is why we are having a cultural and societal crisis surrounding acceptable social touch.
Skin Hunger focuses on Cuddlist.com, a company that teaches and empowers people to live a more authentic life, via the framework of connecting and cuddling: spotlighting the phenomenon of paying for platonic touch, and its rapidly growing community which seeks to share the mental and physical restorative benefits of touch with the rest of the world. While cuddling is a niche community, their work of skin-to-skin contact is as universal as the most basic human need we all inherently knew from childbirth.
- Independent Creative Production
- Making Art Grant
- Undergraduate Program in Fine Arts and Design
- Weitzman School of Design (PennDesign)