Mouseover - First Draft, 2019
HD Video 7:21 mins

First draft for Mouseovers

Interfaces are so transparent that I haven't even noticed before Mihnea told me last September: «Did you realise the Apple cursor hand is Mickey's glove?» How funny! What were they thinking back in 99? Perhaps they changed the classic HyperCard style just because of… 'mouse'. Or perhaps they figured a glove would be more inclusive, as it can be worn by any hand. You know, three little black stripes on an icon and anybody can own the universal and ubiquitous cartoon limb. Which is a painless and bloodless hand, by the way, unlike the ones Charles Bell studied before his treatise on the hand in 1934, a kind of hand injured by uncountable accidents at the factories. Sure enough, here at the office there is no risk for our hands to be lacerated, caught or crushed inside unstoppable mechanisms. Quite the opposite, we bring them covered in lotions to barely touch increasingly flatter apparatus without innards. Yet we handle things. In fact, did you know that the word 'manager' is rooted in 'manus', the latin word for 'hand'? Only they are hard to see, hidden in ergonomics and other moulds of immediate comfort. In order to see them at all you have to look for the noise in them, their glitches. So I borrowed machines to capture hands shaking after a Café-Grande. And then I made them wear the infamous gloves on a computer, that tremble now with them. I thought of calling this piece 'Mouseover'. How funny! And how ironic you do MOCAP to get captcha. You know what I mean? Whatever is left from our morbid bodies, it survives like a subtle tremor, for as long as it stays second to the eye of the machine. A machine so universal, so ubiquitous.

Rubén Grilo.
Gwangju, year 2019.


Work comissioned by ACC. Thanks to Zara Arshad for proofreading, Daha Kim for technical aid, Wu Chi-Yu for his patience, Adwoa Boakye for future tremors and Robert Ochshorn for showing me the forces of production behind the Valley.