Oblomov
interactive silent video, 2001

The character is alone and still. As long as the spectator doesn't do anything, he stays indefinitely motionless, thinking or sleeping. When the spectator acts on the film ("clicks"), the character does something. He gets up, answers the phone, smokes a cigarette, etc. As soon as he has finished his task, he goes back to his contemplative mood, until the spectator clicks again.

This project has been realized by using a technical process able to last a brief moment of a video sequence as long as the spectator doesn't act on it. An indefinitely moving foliage, an always spouting fountain, a still sleeping character, etc. Life seems going on. The intervention (the "click") of the spectator is like that of the videogame player who leads his character. The main difference, which is essential, is that here the spectator doesn't act on a artificially multidimensional "reality" but on a reality captured by the photography. That way, he feels that he really acts on the reality : he really wakes up the sleeping character or pressures the inactive man.

This film is freely inspired by the character created by Ivan Goncharov. The viewer has to cope with someone whose natural inclination is to do nothing. His/her only choice is then to respect or not the character’s tranquility. Unaware of the action he/she triggered, the impulse isn’t, as in video games “do this, do that” but only “do something!”. The character then moves, as if moved by guilt or just a simple "why not?". After a while he inevitably finds himself in a meditative or sleepy mood, as is relieved by the inner question: “what’s the point?” The viewer is thus sent back to other questions: “what’s the point to click?” or “what’s the point of my action?” or “what’s the point of interactivity?”

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