Action Items is a reverse-engineered retelling of Miloš Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest through the film's hand gestures. Clips with hands present were extracted from the film and discretely shown to Amazon Mechanical Turk workers, who described the action, the immediate function of the gesture, and the emotion or objective of the person performing the action. The story is then reconstructed using these descriptions in the style of a children's story book.
Hands perform the actions that perpetuate plot, externalize emotion and display power dynamics. They also, en masse, create our collective consciousness regarding who does what to whom, on and off screen. If we look at any media as essentially a training set for such a collective consciousness, what underlying biases are embedded in our media and stories that we miss unless a given context is removed?
Hand gestures are the subject of computer vision datasets, human-computer interaction labs, and hundreds of patent applications. Action Items is interested in the complicated role hands play in performing a function and expressing an emotion, and how interconnected the two often are.