My Middle Finger Project builds on Heidegger’s concepts of “ready-to-hand” and “present-at-hand” to make evident how we use language as though it were a tool – reaching for it as we would reach for a hammer. The hammer (language) is transparent in the hammering. Once it is broken, it becomes “present at hand”: that is, we notice the sign itself rather than its function  – precisely because it no longer works