Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik

Zentralinstitut der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Reading and Grasping the World – Hand and Word. Hand and Techné

Horst Wenzel, Jörn Münkner, Moritz Wedell

In the initial funding period, we succeeded in providing an account of the representation of the hand in times of radical media changes, examining the transformation of the conceptual and semantic relationship of counting and telling, and in explaining the linking of hand, text, image and number as an early form of technologically mediated audiovisuality. In the second application for funding, the project aims to focus on a new question. The project leader will examine the connection between hand-writing and hand-work (poiésis and techné), primarily based on hand gestures in secular and religious textual and image evidence from the Middle Ages and early modern period. The focus of our enquiries is now on the actions/handlings/hand-usages manifested in both text and image, whilst the distribution of the word and its technical visualisation (using image, script and number) will be our fundamental research topic. With its two subproject work areas (UP I: »Accessing by Hand and Technical Showing in Illustrated Pamphlets«, Jörn Münkner; UP II: »Religious and Secular Manipulations of Numbers: Speaking – Writing – Counting«, Moritz Wedell), the project aims to contribute to a history of the cultural techniques of reading, telling/counting and showing/pointing out.