The Hands On Project explores what happens when our first contact with someone is through touch. Is it possible to create a connection?
Handshack captures candid, real-time “blind hand dates” between two strangers who get to know each other solely through blind touch. Through this intimate act, the project takes society’s accepted form of first contact between strangers, the handshake, and twists it into a tactile choreography.
In this world of instant communication, our first contact with people is often virtually through the Internet, telephone, texting or e-mails. All day we swipe screens, type at keyboards punching plastic and metal buttons. Our over-usage of electronics minimizes human contact. Have touch screens replaced human touch? “This is a touch-phobic society,” says American touch researcher Matthew Hertenstein. “We’re not used to touching strangers, or even our friends, necessarily.”
The program includes a live improvisational performance. Audience participation encouraged.