21 June 2009


Click image to enlarge.

Sequence, Semeion


Julie Heyward said...

All those fingers ... I feel like I'm talking to The Hand from "The Munsters" (or was it to Adams Family?). Also, the left hand looks slightly surprised in all the pictures -- as if it's being assaulted by the right.

I expect you know that American alphabet sign is not the same as British (not that it mattered since I didn't know either -- but I did decode the message with help from online pictures). What, no hats on the vowels? No toe-notes?

Felix Grant said...

To some extent, the difference between ASL and BSL feeds my vague reasons for making the piece. Sequentiality requires, as you suggested recently, agreed conventions – including the left -> right or right -> left conventions of occidental and oriental cultures respectively.

Actually ... BSL seems to be less used even in Britain, now, than Makaton ... but BSL is the one I learned when I was 19/20, and remains still the only one in which I can spell out words without thinking or even looking up reference, so I used it. I hoped that it would be, to some extent, both opaque but penetrable to most viewers (as is the veil which obscures the face behind the hands).

It's not worth much as a creation, but did enable me to explore some aspects of sequentiality and temporality which you'd suggested to me.

Julie Heyward said...

I wish you had explained the veil in the original post. I spent quite a bit of time zooming in on that, trying to decide if the face was intentional to the composition or incidental to the shooting arrangement.

I was interested when looking at the picture, that, because the hands were "talking" to me, I found myself characterizing or person-alizing them. Thus my remark that the right was being pummeled by the left. This had the unintended effect of atomizing the message; rather than taking it as a whole (as language), I was taking it as characters (hand-people, first, with a distant secondary word totality).

If it were possible, it would be interesting to fill out the array so that one could read it in all directions. It would be a mind-bender to make it work every which way. Make a big enough array and it could be fingers-as-neurons.