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ROCK PAPER SCISSORS is a video installation inspired by the childrens' game 'Rock Paper Scissors' that dates back to the Han Dynasty in China (206 BC – 220AD). The game, known as “sansukumi-ken” in Japan, has used fingers and hands to represent a variety of different symbols in addition to rock, paper, and scissors. Played between two people, using only their hands, the game has four possible outcomes which determine the winner and the loser; one person's loss is exactly equal to another person's win.


The game involves observation, mindfulness, manipulation, emotional intelligence, strategy, skill but also randomness.


In this game all oponents have an equal likelyhood of winning, losing or tying by choosing their weapon of choice. Each weapon is an action: rock (symbolised by a fist) being more aggressive, scissors respresenting controlled aggression and confidence, and paper, the most subtle move, symbolized by an open hand which is more passive and peaceful but also it may symbolize weakness.


In this 2 channel video installation, each hand is screened in seperate monitors while they face each other, looped and synchronised in a prison like reality of his/her choice and aggression is the tool for protecting that reality.


In the end, an innocent childrens' game becomes a conversation, a battle between the two, where your opponent's loss (death) is your win (life), criticising the cannibalistic nature of our contemporary capitalistic society.


2 Channel Video Installation


London, UK 2009

Rock Paper Scissors - Film Still - Sylvia Nicolaides web Rock Paper Scissors - Video Installation - Sylvia Nicolaides web