This is Not Made by Quddus Mirza

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This is Not Made by Quddus Mirza

John Baldessari, Commissioned Paintings, 1969   From  Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage, 1967  

Biennale Fervor and Fever
The Imperishable Construct
Territorial Re-Arrangements: Attabad Lake, a Potential Border


John Baldessari, Commissioned Paintings, 1969



From  Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage, 1967


“1. If you do know that here is one hand, we’ll grant you all the rest.
When one says that such and such a proposition can’t be proved, of course that does not mean that it can’t be derived from other propositions; any proposition can be derived from other ones. But they may be no more certain than it is itself.”

“3. If e.g. someone says “I don’t know if there’s a hand here” he might be told “Look closer”. – This possibility of satisfying oneself is part of the language-game. Is one of its essential features.”



Marcel Duchamp, Tu M’, 1918


Hand vs hands – animals have no hands, as they have no speech.

“If man’s hand is what it is since speech or the word (das Wort), the most immediate, the most primordial manifestation of this origin will be the hand’s gesture for making the word manifest, to wit, handwriting [l’écriture manuelle], manuscripture (Handschrift) that shows and inscribes the word for the gaze.”


Man Ray, The Hands of Marcel Duchamp, 1920



  • They make: paint, sculpt, cut, mark
  • They point: showing, directing
  • They touch: receiving, sensing (certainty – “Here is a hand”)
  • They touch: impress, indent, damage, inflict
  • Combine some or all of the above (Wittgenstein: I think with my pen)


Reconstructed fingerprint of Leonardo Da Vinci




Marcel Duchamp, still from Anemic Cinema, 1926




Jacques Derrida’s signature, at the end of Signature Event Context (1972)



Stelarc, The Third Hand, 1980 (emphasis mine)


“In a time of Circulating Flesh, Fractal Flesh and Phantom Flesh organs are extracted and exchanged, bodies and bits of bodies remotely generate recurring patterns of interactivity and haptic technologies generate potent physical presences of virtual flesh.”

(Given ‘the Hand’ is no longer needed as signature or guarantee of aura; it doesn’t follow that it is to be cut off, transplanted, mechanized. (It doesn’t follow that technology is history.))


Sadequain, Composition in Kufi, c.1961


“The Hand of God appears as the hand of Man vanishes””
“If I touch with my left hand my right hand while it touches an object, the right hand object is not the right hand touching: the first is an intertwining of bones, muscles and flesh bearing down on a point in space, the second traverses space as a rocket in order to discover an exterior object in its place.”


Gabriel Orozco, My Hands are My Heart, 1991



Adnan Madani, The Idea of Order, 2009
“36. And we do here what we do in a host of similar cases: because we cannot specify any one bodily action which we call pointing to the shape (as opposed, for example, to the colour), we say that a spiritual (mental, intellectual) activity corresponds to these words.

Where our language suggests a body and there is none: there, we should like to say, is a spirit.”