/ Editorial 

On November 30, 1999, photographer Allan Sekula sent a letter to the person who was considered the richest in the world at that time – Bill Gates – indicating his intention to be received at the billionaire’s “dream house” and see Gate’s new purchase, the painting Lost on the Grand Banks by Winslow Homer acquired for $30 million.

An unusual fact described in the letter is Sekula's proximity to the house, reachable by swimming in the lake. However, Sekula was prevented from approaching the house due to the presence of maritime security sensors — which kept him at a considerable distance from the property (and Homer's painting). The scene described in the letter is best visualized into a photographic triptych, thus composing the work Dear Bill Gates.

Sekula's motivation and choice between drifting in the open sea (as well as the fisherman in rough seas portrayed in the painting), and the private property, evidences an investigative process in which the distance raises numerous questions of both geographical and political nature, such as the globalization and the statutes of social classes, as a function of the production of space and capital.

Dear Bill Gates inspires us to think about other scientific and technological areas that could have the concept of distance as an essential factor in research and development practices.

Dear Bill Gates inspires us to think about other scientific and technological areas that could have the concept of distance as an essential factor in research and development practices.

For this Autumn issue of HUB, we present a collection of works that results from the interest in broadening the understanding of DISTANCE after our first open call process for Artists, Designers, and Researchers in Art, Design and Society. We were honored to work with authors who addressed the topic of DISTANCE in the most varied contexts.

For this edition, we shared questions with the authors based on the strategies and ways of visualizing distance in artistic practice. We asked, after all, how we can understand the aesthetics of DISTANCE, including new narrative and visual devices, to reveal something inevitable or ineffable. What are the possibilities of the DISTANCE between the real world and the imagined one? Can the DISTANCE between them be measured?

The four essays in this edition arise from the field of experimentation, from the sensitive perception of everyday life, dissolving distances, often from collective and organized work, giving room for an interpretative arc over the DISTANCE.

Agnese Cebere | Projecting Form, Investigating
We open the HUB Distance edition with an essay in the field of performing arts on touch sensation (haptics science), shape imagery, music, and virtuality. The research led by Agnese Cebere, under a fellowship at the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact at the University of Oregon, focuses on surfaces and the sensoriality that arises in touch and then proceeds into the imagery of movement and scene. Concepts of information and noise, distance and intimacy, affordances, and action dynamics are presented in this multimedia performance essay.

Bruno Moreschi | Distance, transmission, and journey in the collective construction of an Itaaká
In this article, co-produced by Irineu Nje'a Terena and Bruno Moreschi, we get to know the Itaaká instrument through a workshop guided by Terena artist and intellectual Irineu Nje'a Terena on discovering, creating, and practicing this ancestral and ritualistic instrument, an essential object for the Terena community. The shared experience around Itaaká, the performance itself, and the dialogue between the authors produce effects on the understanding of distance recognized from two concepts: transmission and journey. We also observe in this article interesting methodological choices for the production of knowledge based on the ancestral knowledge of the Terena people and authors such as Viveiros de Castro.

Nesli Hazal Oktay | Dissolving distances: Designing close-to-body experiences for remote settings
Focusing on intimacy at a distance, Nesli Hazal Oktay presents us with a bio-rings project as a design for affective mediation to promote intimacy and dialogue between physically distant loved ones. Based on the question, "Could a close-to-the-body experience be designed to support intimacy at a distance?" the aspects of distance are pertinently placed in this essay as a possibility of producing a significant relationship experience. The author uses the experimental approach of producing customizable objects with biodegradable materials to evoke the fundamental bodily relationships for "interaction design" and the different reflections on bodily affections.

Derek Pigrum | Matters of Distance: Walter Benjamin’s dialectical Image, the dynamograms of Aby Warburg’s Atlas Mnemosyne, and William Kentridge’s Drawings and the Arrival of fortuna
In this essay, Derek Pigrum presents the challenging task of establishing the concept of distance between three creators so fundamental to modernity. The author cites the vast number of instructions that Walter Benjamin compiled from the sources available at the National Library in Paris for the Arcades Project, as well as the work that Aby Warburg had in collecting thousands of images for the work Atlas Mnemosyne and the graphic parallels through which William Kentridge based his works on creating. The author shows us organically exposed writing, which assumes a morphology that coincides with the praxis. The visual artifact stands up on the words, and in the way, a montage of citations becomes the context of what the author wants to play with, a very sharp and achieved way of emulating the author's convokes.

Once, Walter Benjamin wrote one of his thirteen theses about the writer’s technique, saying, “Do not write the conclusion of a work in your familiar study. You would not find the necessary courage there”. And here is one of the most beautiful ideas to reflect on distance: the perception in the beating of the heart (heart, cor in Latin > courage) that exists in everyday journeys.

The issue Distance was edited by Orlando Vieira Francisco, Fabrício Fava, Filipa Cruz, Manuela Bronze and Pedro Amado.