Hand Morphology

Team Members: Flora Jiang, Kim Cleroux, Tanha Binte Azam


When we all got together in our group for the first time, our conversation went to many different places. We spent at least 2 hours brainstorming all possibilities of paths we could take for our project. We ended up deciding it would be interesting to deconstruct something that we use often, something that most people have. And that is hands! We thought about the individuality of each person, and how every hand (or lack thereof) tells a story.

“Defamiliarization” is a word which forces us to think outside of the box. It made us work with familiar things in an unfamiliar way. As we wanted to incorporate the situation that humanity is facing at the moment, into the work, we decided on using hands as they are one the prime means of human interaction and bonding, thus we want to deconstruct the parts of hands and imagery. We used a familiar platform which is Instagram, and wanted to play with the ideas and every feature of the media in an unfamiliar way. We planned to use the hands of our own selves and of other people, of varying age, ethnicity and gender to emphasize on the idea of reality, and unity as a species. We have used hands to show culture, movement and language. 

Instagram is one of the most popular platforms in today’s world. People are using it all over the world everyday. However, creating this idea of defamiliarization using it is a challenge. We tried to play with all the features that the platform provides. We tried to play with the scale using the grids as well as the frames. Along with that we plates with the temporal element, through the instagram stories and uploading the images at different times. We also played with colours and tones, as well as sounds.

However, it has not been easy for us even to work with such a popular media. We have had challenges uploading the images, so we decided to use the “tagged photos” feature to showcase our works. So playing even with such a familiar media we felt quite unfamiliar while working for the project. 

In reflection on the final product, we have realized the subconscious effects of social media. The project was to be displayed on social media, and we seemed to get slight carried away in the mainstream aesthetics of Instagram pages, affecting each photo we were to take. In this process, we ended up more so showcasing hands, rather than practicing defamiliarization.

Overall, the process of abstraction posed a greater challenge than expected. The conversations about abstraction itself seems easier than the actual act of it, and that was a lesson learned. Many processes and ways of thinking we’re learned through this journey.