Second visit from Val is coming up today, the Fingers Collars have been located and are ready for action. So I can learn about ergonomics Val will carry out an analysis on me and one of my existing pieces of work – Finger Collars. I made the work while I was studying for my Masters and was investigating labour, dexterity, hand and digital skills and manufacturing: terms of reference and topics that I continue to focus on and expand. Finger Collars is a 14 minute video which was made to explore the question Does being a hand maker inhibit practice? At the time it was made in 2003, digital technologies were new to my practice. Working with moving image allowed me to frame and reframe ideas and activities, documenting process and exploring the role of hand labour in art practice. What was the point of doing anything by hand, I asked myself, when digital processes were so exciting and innovative? However exciting and innovative that they were / are, I wanted to take into consideration and value the enjoyment of hand labour. Finger Collars explores the increasing inhibiting / disablement of movement while carrying out a regular task of threading a needle and tying an end knot. By progressively adding Finger Collars my movements become difficult, uncomfortable, exasperating.
When I re-enact this work today with Val looking on, I will be measured, documented and asked to describe how the activity feels. Val says she is bringing a protocol planned out that we can work with, alter, adapt; and to be honest despite talking about it last week I’m not absolutely sure what the protocol is. I think it’s the order of things; a plan, a checklist, to make sure all the information is recorded so a holistic picture can be collated ready for analysis.