April 11, 1992

Neal Panton
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Note from the artist about this piece:
Lifelines is a response to a world preoccupied with identification through passwords, pins, codes, emojis, number and letter series. We continue to be marginalized, reduced and dehumanized. Should we not be identified as individuals with family, friendships, work, play, creation, joy, wonder and loss? The hand comes to mind and is the departure point for this project. Fingerprints are entirely individual and traditional proof of our identity. However, by including the hand-print and hand gestures the person is more fully exposed. Lifelines can be read, revealing the individual's past and future, while the hand gesture reveals aspects of their nature and personality. This is something our digital identity fails to provide. As project co-creators, participants were able to choose the placement of their hands on a high resolution scanner that revealed an aspect of their identity. While some felt friends and family were necessary to help identify themselves, others chose to go solo. By processing in black and white aspects of race and class become irrelevant. The fine lines in the image have the quality of an etching. What the viewers see is not just a portrait of a hand, but an impression of a life lived, left behind on the glass. The hands are titled by date of birth with no identification by gender, family, race, cultural background or religion. These hands should be seen closely grouped together communicating and interacting like an extended family, a community of hands. In these times of racial, religious and cultural disparity these hand portraits simply talk about us, the human race.

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