Afer viewing Andy Warhol's famous Brill box exhibit in 1964, the art critic Arthur Danto proclaimed the end of art, meaning that there was no longer anything philosophically interesting for art to say. Similar claims have been made about serious music.

I'm inclined to agree, but as far as the art of touch is concerned, I'm here to say that things are just beginning to get philosophically interesting. Lets start with this question:What would touch practices look like if we divested them of their dependence on therapeutic, healing and spiritualist metaphors,and instead treated them as aesthetic art?

Traditional massage uses metaphors like medical, healing, spiritual(chakras, chi, energy), ritualistic(Kama sutra). Tantric comes closest to my approach, emphasizing sensory stimulation and sensual pleasure. I use an aesthetic metaphor also, but want to bring the art of touch into the world of fully realized, mature artistic expression.

My massage practice integrates the ideas of Eugene Gendlin on experiential intricacy. Inspired by Gendlin, I have developed, along with other bodyworkers, an approach called 'haptic music', which makes use of a wide range of traditional massage techniques{accupressure, shiatsu, swedish) but channels them into a form of 'massage music' with it's own tactile rhythms, tonal vocabulary, chords, harmonies and melodies.

Haptic music , just like auditory music, has a tonal vocabulary, chord sequences, rhythms. Music creates a language of emotion in part through mathematical relationships of symmetry and proportion, consonance and dissonance. Take the proportionate distance between notes of a diatonic scale. As varied as forms of music are across time periods and cultures, certain regularities and structures apply across a wide expanse of Western history. Notice that music doesn't just make you feel, it also makes you THINK.

How does it do this? Notice how your mind wanders during massage. I call this inhabiting places or worlds. The stimulation of nerve endings through various degrees of pressure works in the same way as auditory music to create tonal and chordal relationships.