chi sch on Fri, 28 Dec 2001 18:59:14 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> art (under attack) - under attack (art)

What happens if  the observer becomes the protagonist?
What happens if the observer’s behaviour determines
the action?
What happens if the action is a terror attack?
And if the terror attack displayed and enacted by the
observer really occurred, and we all witnessed it, and
all of us obsessively assisted to its looped video

An Italian artist has done ad interactive video that
collects the video images of the Twin Towers terror
attack. Whenever a person stands in front of the flat
screen his/her presence is sensed and becomes the
engine of the video: going back and forth makes one of
the amateurial video (randomly chosen) move back and
forth. Nor is the observer freed from the interaction
if he halts, as standing still for a couple of seconds
produces a shift to another (randomly chosen) video.
That is: whatever the observer does, he’s involved. 
This work is primarily  meant for non Americans, I
suppose.  In so far “Remote still” (the interactive
device) and  “Under Attack” (its very first
application) dramatically questions the role of the
observer on a theoretical / philosophical level, of
course, but in a striking and involving way as well.
It questions the illusion of distance and security
that television/video screens usually evoke, the
relationship between game or fiction and reality:  you
can move the airplanes back, you might act like in a
videogame, but you know very well that’s no game at
all and that playing with these images is immoral (in
order to prevent a cynic or instrumental
interpretation of “Under Attack”, the videos have been
retouched: you recognise them, but their colours
differ from the original ones). 

This work is on view in Milan, till January the 6th

I’d like to know your  opinion. There’s been so much
talk about the role of the observer in new interactive
art works, on one side,  so much talk about tv-reality
being more real than the real, on the other side. It’s
time to check these theoretic considerations.


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