Chirologia: or the naturall language of the hand

In 1644 John Bulwer published Chirologia: or the naturall language of the hand, one of the first analyses of the rhetorical power of hand gestures.

Using the ‘Alphabet of naturall expressions’ that Bulwer included in his Chirologia, I sourced a series of gestures by feeding Bulwer’s Latin names through a Youtube search. I then tried to explain in words how to perform these new gestures to Sally Davies and recorded the results. The instructional passages are intercut with reflections on these attempts recorded in a domestic setting.

This work was first performed at Mercy’s Electronic Voice Phenomena weekend at the Liverpool Biennial 2012.

Chirologia 1 by jwilkes

Chirologia 2 by jwilkes

Chirologia 3 by jwilkes