14 Thoughts on “Symmetrical Hand Arrangements

  1. marc, I am truly shocked that you, as someone that claims to embrace this distinctive art form, would so disrespect its dogma as to neglect to remove your ring before capturing your take on “Vertical RWPFF”. If you are going to post such pictures in an open forum, under the guise of SymHand Arrangment, please at least pixellate the ring.

  2. I am of the “verite” school of SHA. Even documenting without any manipulation of the image or the setting, etc., is still a questionable procedure. So you try to be as true to the moment as possible. You who believe in the impossible purity and permanence of the exercise (and that includes the artists who mount gallery showings of doctored photographs, etc) are the same ones who actually offered dictates prohibiting people who have lost fingers or had other visible hand injuries from executing SHA and calling them such.

    Speaking of my verite preferences. I executed an entire series of arrangements of which the above is one. Dale’s “editorial” impulse to offer only a single arrangement is dangerously misleading and a bit condescending. The cumulative energy of the SHA process is discounted. Again.

  3. I take exception to the characterization of my posting of a single SHA image as “editorial” in any way. I merely tested the uploading procedure as the members have requested I do. So far from being an editorial decision, it was quite the reverse: rather than choose from the multitudinous—I would hesitate to characterize Marc’s most recent SHA offerings as “profligate”—I simply uploaded the first one in my possession. I assumed he would be making further decisions about what he wanted to display. I never dreamt he would abdicate his artistic decision-making to the webmaster.

  4. My dear associate, surely you must acknowledge that your so-called “verite” school would consider truth to encompass the facts that 1) HANDS are the palette, canvas, AND paint with which we work, not jewelry (lest our art degenerate to the point that the hands are nothing more than canvas, and the jewelers craft assert prominence), and 2) your arrangement could in no way be rightfully considered SYMMETRICAL with the goldsmith’s product on but a single hand?

  5. Whether an act of carelessness or hubris, I cannot say, but in your awkward representation of “Ovary Top Down”, you have also included the image of your sleeve. What will be the next step down this Oh So Slippery Slope? Perhaps little top hats for your thumbs? Hmmmm?

  6. So I think we could get a coffee table book out of this. You know the kind of book I mean. And that way we wouldn’t have to create the entire field with its history, legacy, schools, controversies, incarnations, etc. The book could be a copiously illustrated survey of the World of SHA. An assortment of articles by various authorities. Very visual, obviously. Photos, sketches, anthropological documentations, etc.

    We need to get the name Symmetrical Hand Arrangements copyrighted.

    I’m thinking we start by assembling a chronology, an SHA timeline with a few major events and significant figures we can all agree on. From that we can build outward and encompass whatever strikes our fancy.

    “Cataloguing controversies” I mean just imagine.

    SHA Workshops transforming corporate culture.

    SHA condemned at Southern Baptist Convention; practice shown to have shadowy “occult” origins.

    I’m serious. The Lichtenbergians could actually get such a thing published.

    SHA in Popular Culture.

    It’s roots in Native American culture disavowed by European historians.

    You name it.

  7. Huge potential for Freudian and Jungian interpretations, of course.

  8. Biology: the nature of symmetry, etc.

  9. Ah, yes. The Vagina Variations. Love that series.

  10. I’m thinking about what happened during the Paris Commune of 1871. A sculpture student at the Ecole des Arts Plastiques named Felix (?) responded to the shortage of marble (quarry workers throughout European went on strike in sympathy with the workers in the city) by undertaking what he would describe in an article years later as a “ridiculous exercise.” He began to spend his studio class time sitting upon a stool in the corner and fashioning a series of formations with his hands that elaborated upon the various “mirroir identites” possible through manipulation… “My professors insisted I must occupy my time well while I waited for my meager eighteen cubic centimeter allotment of stone which I was told must last me for the whole month of June. I undertook a study. I began to explore symmetry. And with material in good supply. And infinitely renewable.”

  11. We do know that Huysmans, before publishing his À Rebours in 1884, excised a rather lengthy passage in which his anit-hero Des Esseintes described sitting for hours engaged in “manipulation des mains heiroglyphique” and leading inevitably to a kind of swoon in which he imagined himself enclosed in a “tombe d’Aegypt,” assailed by smells and visions. Why the last minute edit? Huysmans was certainly acquainted with the circle surrounding Eliphas Levi, the scholar and occultist, and it is claimed by some writers that he learned of the hand work from one of that group. Was he persuaded to eliminate the reference?

  12. Is my talk of undertaking some profit-seeking Enterprise utilizing SHA responsible for any unhappy murmurings among my Lichtenbergian brethren? I apologize for my anxious manic upswing. I, like some poor smuck out of Runyon or–more darkly-Thompson, had convinced myself this was my chance for the Big Score. Time heals all, thankfully. What’s next?

  13. Not at all. I’m thoroughly entertained. Keep it up.

  14. Pingback: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick- Step Up « Time Enough at Last

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