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

Upcoming: The Feed

This Thursday I’ll be collaborating with David Gunn from Incidental, having my poems remixed and cut up by his ‘Feed’ app. To quote from David’s website,

Feed is a music app for iPad that enables complex, rich manipulation of a “live feed” of sound, drawn from the ipad microphone or an audio file. Users can record, playback, loop and modulate to spontaneously create their own compositions from musical sources, spoken word or ambient sound.

I’ll be reading new material from the Vox Lab residency whilst David mixes, rends and treats it. Documentation of the experiment will be posted here, or come along and see it live:

Thursday 14 June, 6.30-7.30pm
55DSL Store
2-4 Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6GY
Free entry.