Cynosuric Bodies

by Susan E. Green-Mateu & Margaret Schedel



Inspired by Merleau-Ponty


-Look at your hands and decide which hand will be the

touched hand Hand 1 (H1) and which will be the touching

hand Hand 2 (H2). Lightly grasp H1 with H2.


-Making sure that H2 thumb is in the palm of H1 while the rest of H2 fingers rest on the other side of H1.

-Now explore what you feel by wiggling H1 fingers, apply pressure from H2.

-Keep hands in position and reverse perception so that the hand being touched is now doing the touching.

Model: Erin Leigh, Photo: Lina Espada

Multi-Dimensional Isolation

Inspiration: who was that timbre I saw you with by The Higgs whatever 







Instructions, Part 1:

-Position Hand 1 (H1) with elbow on table, wrist upright & hand open.  

-Brace wrist with Hand 2 (H2) to isolate wrist, keeping it from turning the hand right or left. 

-Bend H1 wrist as far back as possible with outstretched fingers, palm facing up with hand completely open. 

-Slowly bend H1 wrist forward with fingers outstretched until palm is facing down. 

-With palm in this position bring H1 fingers together as if making the shape of a birds’ beak with fingertips pointed downward. 

-Slowly tuck H1 thumb toward palm and bend fingers into fist. Now perform these motions in reverse order.



Instructions, Part 2:

-Now release H1s' wrist so that your hand can twist right and

left and try the series with the hand facing right and then again

facing left. 

-Imagine that the space occupied is filled with sand & your

hand is clearing a path in 3D space carving out its own


-What shape is the kinesphere for your hand now that you have added more dimensions? Where did you find limitations to your movements?



Instructions, Part 3:

-Exploring individual parts’ relationships:

With H1 elbow on the table as before,

H1 wrist straight, with thumb out for

the duration of the exercise. (Try with thumb tucked into palm as well.)

-Slowly release one finger at a time until all 4 fingers are released and pointing up. 

-One by one bend fingers back into a fist. 

-Try slowly releasing fingers in random order paying attention to ease of motion and what combination of fingers helps or inhibits ease of motion.

-Try Part 3 with thumb tucked into palm.


Which finger combinations felt more fluid? How did your ring and pinky fingers do?  

Would you include full range options in parameters for these fingers if you were  composing, choreographing, or programming a piece and any technological mediation for your hand movements in performance?  

Which parameters would you leave out?  Which parameters would you exploit for more virtuosic action?

*Video here*


What did you feel: skin, muscles, tendons, bone, warmth, intention? What happened when you increased the pressure? How would you describe the difference before it switched? Can you make a gesture that captures this difference? Can you create a sound about the experience of reversing your perception?

*Video here*

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