Shared Destination beyond the Veracity Gap
Interactive Single-Channel Video maxMSP, Microsoft kinect and appropriated footage, 2012
The project is comprised of a small collection of videos of citizen witnesses capturing their own deaths in their act of documenting the Syrian Revolution.
The image and audio quality of all of the videos is very poor, pixelated, shaky, and grainy. Each video begins with the scene that the citizen witness, the author, is documenting. We, the spectator, then see the physical fall of the citizen witness, from the perspective of the camera, without ever seeing their face. The distance between the spectator and the author-subject (citizen witness) is substantial and palpable. Authored content of death has been so highly mediated in the multitude of accessible platforms, videos of the “death witness” transform into something unreal in the hyper-reality of the virtual. The collision of the author and the subject is undeniable.
Viewing this collection of videos is controlled through an interactive system wherein viewers interacted with the appropriated footage. The footage was produced by citizen witnesses in the Syrian Revolution in which the individuals are documenting their own death.
The collection of video footage is activated on a monitor through the use of a proximity sensor detecting the presence of a viewer based on their physical distance and the duration of their presence. The longer the viewer watches and the closer the viewer is to the monitor, the faster and louder the clips become. When there is no viewer present there is no viewable footage. The protagonist as the citizen witness in their syncretic formation as both author and subject becomes a definitive element in Paul Virilio’s delineation of the dromosphere. The act of viewing activates the death of the author. The project was produced using MaxMSP, the microsoft kinect and appropriated footage.