In Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, the factory scene where the Tramp transitions from his task of turning knobs to other activities interested me. After such repetitive, mechanical action the Tramp has a difficult time performing new actions. I was interested in the idea of how the Tramp had done one single action for so long that he becomes a single-action automaton. In regards to daily life, I wanted to express how humans have a tendency to repeat the same actions in the same way. Our hands become accustomed to moving in certain ways that we are not usually aware of. In my video, I wanted to expose the automaticity in our movements by removing the hand from its usual context. I also wanted to express the idea of neuroplasticity, or how our behaviors ‘wear grooves’ in our brains that form habits. Therefore I chose to perform these isolated movements on a blank piece of maleable clay. Beginning with a sort of tabula rasa, the end result are imprints on the clay that come from the repeated actions of the hand. The hand has a difficult time transitioning from one action to another, as the Tramp continues to twitch as though turning invisible knobs.

4 Assignment 9    f       

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