The Sum of Hands

TR Flaxton

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


‘The Sum of Hands’ developed from my work on ‘In Other People's Skins’ which was formulated to explore the core research question that was part of the original AHRC bid for my 2007 Creative Research Fellowship: ‘In what ways will High Resolution Imaging change the work produced in the convergence of art and visual technologies and consequently, our experience of that work?’ To answer this question I formulated the idea of ‘Quantum Resolution’ which proposed that audience immersion deepens with quantum as opposed to quantitative increases of resolution – that is the effects of deeper immersion would be felt with larger increases of resolution rather than incremental increases of resolution. Initially I formulated 3 practice as research portfolios as differing strategies to uncover the effects (if any) of increased resolution. These three were a) to examine everyday moving images of the world immediately around oneself, b) examine iconic moving images of the world and c) examine human portraiture and by way of this examine ideas around the human gaze. I argued that each work would be a building block in a developing argument to examine my hypothesis and that all of the works would be presented together in a major exhibition as the overall thesis – this occurred in December 2010 in collaboration with University of Westminster in their London P3 Gallery. In Other Peoples Skins was the first work of the 1st Portfolio which had as its base idea to photograph a table on which 4 dinner parties took place, then re-project the same back on to a same sized table and note whether audience engagement times increased alongside increased amounts of resolution. I decided that because various people had become ‘fascinated’ whilst experiencing IOPS – that is stuck for long periods of time sitting without speaking at the installation, that I should add imagery that interrupted the idea that what people were watching was a dinner party. Consequently I added images that transformed the table with a sheet of fire or water and so on. However, one of the transformations, 'The Sum of Hands', came from a workshop with students where I had the students performing a single act inspired by the virtual guests with simply the evidence of their presence through the image of their arms and hands. I took this to a logical conclusion and filled the table with around 50 pairs of arms and hands. Ironically this became mesmeric and fascinating in itself and performed a discrete moment of immersion which then released the audience at its end. Eventually I added this into IOPS though it does exhibit as an individual piece at various locations, (for instance in Bergen, Norway). Subsequently I have spoken of this in articles and papers at conference. A later development which came from Until I'm Gone was the production of prints from this work on Aluminum board which has shown at various exhibitions, plus I am seeking funds to turn this into an extruded sculptural altar piece in aluminum.
Translated title of the contributionThe Sum of Hands
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVarious
Media of outputInstallation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2008

Bibliographical note

Medium: High Resolution Digital Installation
Event title: Various
Other: Part of the 1st Practice as Research Portfolio from the 2007 - 2010 AHRC Creative Research Fellowship


Dive into the research topics of 'The Sum of Hands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this