Physicalities of a handshake

2013 / haptics brief

An exploration of the physicalites of the handshake.

I started this project with the aim of collecting casts of hands ready for a handshake, to build a wall of hands inviting people to give handshakes. Even if the idea was not great, it lead me to a better direction when one day I prepared too much plaster. I decided to experiment with it instead of simply putting in the bin. I disperse it between two sheets of kitchen plastic and before it settled completely, I placed it in my hand and ask my roommate to give me a handshake. The outcome was an odd object that fascinated me.

Reading about handshakes there is much speculation about the origin of it or the meanings and symbology that it carries; however there was no talk about the actual physical attributes of it (it is generally resume with 3 words: two hands shaking). This negect invited me to further explore the matter.

The work of Rachel Whiteread was a big inspiration: her use of negative space and how she shows an object through its absence.