Small Gestures

2017-2019

Small Gestures is a body of work that generates 3D models from the hand movements of common social gestures, and creates small-scale objects that viewers can hold and contemplate.

Smallest Gesture was a performance at the intersection of National Blvd and Washington Blvd on November 11, 2017. Calkin delicately held a miniature plastic hug (created by modeling the hand movements of an actual embrace), and offered visitors a chance to hold it as well, thereby symbolically giving each other hugs. In a cultural moment of receding public kindness, in which the act of an embrace between protesting rivals can go viral, learning a small lesson from a small gesture has great potential.

Small Gestures is also the title of an exhibition of various gesture models printed in multiple sizes, colors, and materials. By presenting multiple versions of each gesture, the exhibition questions the objectivity and truth implicit in data capture and visualization.