Boo!

By Keyvane Alinaghi
An Interactive Installation for a Large Group of Viewers, 2010

Technical Direction and Art Direction: Keyvane Alinaghi
3D Infography: Simon Lebon (Meconopsys)
Dedicated software development: Damien Marchal

With support from DICREAM – the Department of Culture and Communication and EnsadLab, as part of the school’s research program on relational set-ups. Additional support from Agence nationale de la recherche, as part of the research program Praticables – Dispositifs artistiques : les mises en œuvre du spectateur, and from la Maison européenne des sciences de l’homme et de la société (MESHS), in Lille.

The unusual component of this scene is the strange behavior of the zombies. When the viewer hides his face or turns his back to the image, the zombie who has been facing him takes a few akward steps forward. When the viewer looks again at the zombie, the latter stops dead in his tracks. It is as if a mere glance from the viewer — whether expressing curiosity, disgust, or fascination — were enough to awaken a feeling of shyness or shame within the blood-thirsty creatures. The aesthetics of the installation are similar to video games currently produced. However, the script goes against the rules of the genre, providing an unusual negative ending. The zombies end up devouring their victims whenever there is a viewer or when the viewer, horrified, hides his face in his hands, peeping at the screen through his fingers instead of looking at it directly. Once the zombies have finished their meal, the frame of the scene expands, revealing a new victim. The only changing aspect of the action is the time it takes to eat the victim, which depends on the attitude of the spectators.