Idle hands

My interest in hand gestures has continued. Borrowing words from Darian Leader’s book Hands: what do we do with them and why? I created the video Idle hands, a composition for two hands inspired by the 1999 film of the same name. The accompanying soundtrack of voice and music was composed in collaboration with sound artist Lucrecia Dalt.

This time, I focus my attention on the hands’ autonomous and unruly agency. Fear of the body can be overwhelming, mostly when an embodied existence is perceived as what can be called the alien hand syndrome: in which hands act at cross purposes, failing to obey their owner’s conscious command. Imagine hands held out in front of our bodies, disobeying, rejoicing in their own insubordination. Or acting out in opposition to the conscious volition of our persona.

This disobedience and exultation is common in zombie and horror films, such as Frankenstein, Idle Hands, The Hands, The Crawling Hand or Evil Death. In these films, the hands become bodily vessels or spirits that emphasise impulsivity and force, the essence that produces movement and feeling. In the course of the video, the gestural language of the hands expresses the psyche’s true intent.

Single channel video, 11 minutes 59 seconds. Voice and music composed by Lucrecia Dalt, 2018. Video editing © Victor Garcés