‘Hand From Above’ is a public art piece on the ‘BBC Big Screen’ in Liverpool. “It encourages us to question our normal routine when we often find ourselves rushing from one destination to another.”  When pedestrians walk by, they see themselves on the big screen and will be tickled, stretched, flicked or removed by a big hand.
The screen is connected to a CCTV camera, linked to a computer that runs software that can pick walkers-by based on their proportions and how apart they are from other people. When there is too big a crowd it resorts to tickling people, with a random selection.
In a certain way this is an augmented reality, especially made to shake people out of their normal routine. As we can see in the video, people clearly react to it; they mostly have fun with it. But it also makes you think; a higher power (in this case a hand from above) can easily wipe you away. Our lives are all very precious to us, yet they’re also very fragile. Maybe we should stop once in a while and think about our lives and the world that surrounds us. This is in line with David Rokeby’s ideas about interactive technologies. He defines an interactive technology as a mirror which provides us with a self-image and which also provides us “with a sense of the relation between this self and the experienced world. This is analogous to our relationship with the universe” .
‘Hand From Above’ investigates how the use of outdoor screens can be used to enhance the feeling of community in a city. There’s even an entire project with conferences about this phenomena, called Urban Screens. Urban Screens defines its goals as follows: “We want to network and sensitise all engaged parties for the possibilities of using the digital infrastructure for contributing to a lively urban society, binding the screens more to the communal context of the space and therefore creating local identity and engagement”. 
‘Hand From Above’ is an engaging urban screen that playfully transforms its passers-by. It will get people’s attention and temporarily wake them up from their daily routine.
 Chris O’Shea: http://www.chrisoshea.org/projects/hand-from-above/
 Rokeby, David. ‘Transforming Mirrors: Subjectivity and Control in Interactive Media’ (1995). In: Edward Shanken, red. Art and Electronic Media. London: Phaidon, 2009: p. 223.
 Urban Screens: http://www.urbanscreens.org/