Tenome ‘ Eyes of the hand’


Tenome ‘Eyes of the Hand’ is a participatory work utilizing wearable home security cameras, a “VR” helmet and the screen to explore altered perception. It invites the user to re-encounter their environment with eyes in their hands. The work achieves this with a modified VR headset that the user wears while holding out of the counter security cameras meant to be held with one’s own hands. Security cameras were chosen to point to the ubiquitous self surveillance that permeates contemporary life.

This creates an effect of disjointed vision that allows the participant to experience what it would be like to sense sight via different means. This dynamic of dislocating perception is inspired by the Japanese monster Tenome, a creature that is seen holding their eyeballs like the users of this project do. The act of inhabiting this figure allows for a disruption into how we sense and decode our surroundings.

It also generates an insight into how media and technology mediates our experience of the world. Indeed, Tenome ‘Eyes of the Hand’ extends the artist’s interest in lens based media and elaborates on core motifs in his practice, such as the hands as conduits of perception and ocular dynamics. Another recurrent symbol in Aaron Christopher Rees’ ouvre is the X target, which is often marked on walls. Often meant to symbolise focusing and negation, in particular the nullification of the image, the X reappears in this exhibition as a tool that enables the user to recalibrate their vision.

Pointing the “eyeballs” on their hands to an X on the wall that becomes legible once the re-purposed security cameras are synchronised. More broadly, the work explores the limitations of technology, phenomenology and affect.


First video, is the first stage, Tenome shown at Testing Grounds

Second video, is the installation which was presented at Firstdraft Gallery in Sydney.


An artist presentation relating to the work also given at Experiemta, AcmiX with is viewable here