(I Want to Hold Your Hand)
Created for 52%25%20Spiritual online exhibition
in collaboration with Kate Davis
4:30" single channel video
'Nothing Happens (I Want to Hold Your Hand)’ is an experimental moving image that looks at the intersection of surveillance and intimacy in the time of Covid-19, using found footage and interview excerpts. The sequence of visuals explores the ways in which the boundaries between public and private domains are implicated and changed by the ‘digital’; whereby a person can be in one place and somewhere else at the same time; physically present, yet simultaneously absent. The deprivation of affective touch during the pandemic led to a reconfiguration of how we can access, experience, and perform intimacy. It was through the screen that awakened an opportunity for individuals to reimagine their intimate lives that extend beyond public space, and to include the private sphere of the home. However, the ‘disembedding’ of interaction from everyday social settings along with prolonged periods of solitary screen time, with ‘non-present’ others, can bring one to discern a difference between an authentic act of intimacy, or what is perhaps, a mere appearance of it.
This work is the product of a dialogue between Kate Davis (MSc Digital Anthropology), whose research focuses on new modernities of intimacy in a post-pandemic society and Ilona Balaga (Slade School of Fine Art), a multidisciplinary artist, whose work across different media, explores the relationship between the human body and its environment, in both private and public spheres.