Washing Hands

Washing Hands is a ritual devised to help re-establish more physical contact in the public space.
A simple installation by design, set up in a (semi) public space.

Passers-by and visitors, who may or may not know each other, are invited to sit opposite one another at a central wash basin. By then proceeding to wash each other’s hands with soap the participants safely establish physical contact.

This unique means of physical contact encourages us to speak to one another in a refreshingly new way and challenges us to think about how the corona pandemic is transforming the way we communicate.
How is social distancing and the lack of physical contact effecting our interpersonal relationships and social skills? Is it causing us to become more detached from society, or is it conversely creating a new kind of social norm with a new way of being connected?

“The effect of self-isolation is causing us to lose our sense of our physical connectedness. Washing Hands wants to help you reconnect with this, where every touch is an encounter, a conversation – or at least the beginning of one.” – Daan ‘t Sas, Building Conversation

Concept and development Daan ‘t Sas in collaboration with Lotte van den Berg
Production Yoka van Zuijlen

No English spoken performances planned at this moment

This seated installation was developed together with the corona team at GGZ First Constantijn Huygensstraat (Amsterdam) and bears a corona proof glass screen which safely divides the two participants, allowing only hand contact directly above the central wash basin. The entire installation is cleaned in between each ritual and repeatedly so throughout the duration of the event.

1 installation
Ritual duration: 10 minutes
Cleaning time: 5 minutes
A new couple can start the ritual every 15 minutes
Per day 60-70 participants