Painting & Touch: Interactive "Still Life"

Lately I've been interested in the relationship between artists and their tools. I met with my graduate advisor today, who is a researcher of material culture, and he brought up the notion that paintings are traditionally more "valued" that sculpture, reflected in the understanding that viewers are not supposed to touch a painting. Mimicking this dynamic, sculptors primarily use their hands in the creation of their work while painters are one step removed--their paintbrush links them to the artwork. Children are typically first introduced to art through their hands--manipulating paint with their fingers before learning to hold a brush. And primitive paintings were often created using only natural pigments and one's hands. Children are conditioned upon their first visit to a museum to "not touch the artwork," yet this instruction often elicits a nagging desire to do just the opposite. I wonder, what is the significance of this disconnect between touch and artwork? While "Googling" painting and touch, I came across artist Scott Gardner, who created a clever interactive "still life," which reacts to a viewer's touch. Watch the video below to see Garner's piece in action...