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Updated: Sep 8, 2021

INTIMAL App© is a mobile phone application developed by Ximena Alarcón that invites people to listen to their “migratory journeys”, by walking in their surroundings, to sense place and sense presence, alone and with others across distant locations. The app senses users’ walking rhythms to be sonified and perceived as breathing. When used collectively, people can hear each others’ walking patterns as “breathing”, feeling embodied emotional telepresence. Within the journey the app reveals excerpts of stories of migration, that might trigger a response from the user, building the path with words and memories, as relations emerge and connect in an exercise of shared memories.

This current artistic and technical implementation was funded by The Studio Recovery Fund, awarded by The Studio, Bath Spa University’s Enterprise and Innovation Hub. This fund helped to ‘unlock’ the possibilities of the App by developing a service for the INTIMAL app and test its usability, within the context of the pandemic lockdown. The service aims to create local and distant connections by sensing rhythms, opening new paths and insights in people’s daily limited walks during and after the pandemic lockdown, and ‘unlock’ contemporary stories of local places, triggered by voices of Colombian migrant women from the INTIMAL Collective. This work was tested and implemented in collaboration with Service Designer Dr Liliana Rodríguez, and programmer Kieran Harte.

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