The Sum of Hands

The Sum of Hands was created in 2008 on High Definition Video. It is an exploration of empathy. How do you get 50 people to collaborate in a very tight and intimate space? How can they be spontaneous yet entirely connected? How can people stop thinking about what they’re doing and relax and simply let their bodies know?
The sound (given the description below of the process) though important, can be muted, as the images express an important though different truth when viewed alone.
The artist gathered 50 people together who asked them simply to introduce their hands on a table top - then remove them. Various versions were tried but the result was stilted until the artist realised that the performers needed to be distracted, yet involved at the same time. Distracted in much the same way that a cinema audience engages in suspension of disbelief: They know they are in cinema watching a film, yet they engage with the film sufficiently to believe in the narrative. The distraction the artist realised they required was for the performers was to sing or hum so that they were aware of their technical directions, yet free in their expression of those directions.
This work has acted as a small part within ‘In Other People’s Skins’ which was inspired by Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’.

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The Sum of Handsby Terry Flaxton
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The Sum of Hands
Terry Flaxton
Your Name Here
February 20, 2018
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