Palm Hand – video/sound installation

Palm Hand –

An experience on voice/ ethnicity/ imagination

DNArchive Project – Work 1 – April/2018, Plymouth, UK.

Palm Hand is the first work of the DNArchive Project. An installation of sound and video that explores the cultural impressions made upon somebody’s accent and appearance, as a carrier of their DNA expressions. For this work, the DNA is considered in a metaphoric meaning of family heritage, cultural, historical and territorial background. Considering that an accent carries a melody itself that translates a person history, what are the deductions/interpretations/assumptions made based on somebody’s voice? What if we add elements of image, like somebody’s face, body, costumes, gestures? And what if we mix all these elements?





According to the millennial Palmistry tradition, in the palm of your hand you have the drawing of your past, present and future life.  Nature draws mutable lines, that represent your ancestors movement in your left hand, also your own past, and in your right hand, the representation of your future and your present choices. I had contact with this and other mystic sciences through my family traditions in Brazil, and they certainly sculpt the way I connect the physical and the metaphysical world in Arts.

The movement of the hand in the film represents the mobility and the fluency of destiny. The lines are in constant change, as the movement of my body.  That’s my hand, my own body.

Voices and different accents start to narrate their stories in different languages, from their present moment, in their common lives, from field recordings in working spaces in NYC in March 2018. Stories from their families, their origins, needs, dreams, etc. I believe they are narrating the story of their left-hand palm – but they probably don’t know it…

The sound of these voices are heard while life dances in the palm of my hand, and suddenly this story gets the form of a person… is there a match between this appearance and the voice you just heard?  Can you imagine connections between these two pieces of information? Now, the watcher is considered as a co-creator of the work. Can your imagination connect these elements?

The music brings a piano far away in the environment, whose tuning shifts, and melts into voices, vocalizations and other instruments also present in the environment. The repetition of a high note insists on the trajectory that sometimes changes, like the change of the note. This melody holds the mystery, the pain, movements and emotions of the stories you hear from the voices… a blend of destinies in NYC, that might or not have a connection.

This work starts the reflections on the DNArchive Project, my Ph.D. research. Exploring musical creations for sound installation and moving image, exploring live instruments and processed sounds, experimenting on form, harmony, melody shapes. This artistic exploration is framed by the DNA theme, the ideas around migration, of past, present, future time, the notion of destiny, the linearity of choices of you and your family that brought you to this place and moment right now.


The first work of the series DNArchive was created during the ARWEI Workshop, which took place in April/18 in Plymouth, South England, as part of the SAR Conference (Society of Artistic Research). Check the website and methodology of this work HERE.

Previous to that, some images and sounds were collected in New York – interviewing people in the streets in the Bronx and in a studio in Manhattan. These people were asked if they wanted to talk about immigrant stories in their family, and also have their voice and image shared with this project.

Research questions:

What is the uniqueness of each voice/accent reading in English, relating to cultural background?

What is the sound of immigrants around the world?

What is the look of immigrants around the world?

What are the major expressions of cultural background in one’s body/ voice/ actitud?

Is the accent an impression of your cultural background?

Why do we immigrate?

Why do we cross boundaries?

Why do we search our DNA archives?



Conception/ Edits/ Music: Cândida Borges

Camera: Raul Barcelona




Space requirement: indoors, dark and quiet room suitable for a projection.

Technical requirements:

Set up 1: TV, Headphones, Media streaming device.

Set up 2: 2 Projector (minimum specifications 5000 lumens), Audio system (active speaker 12″, Subwoofer 18”, Audio interface with 8 analogs outputs, audio cables TS Male 1/4.)