Embodied Violence in Film

Violence has been present in films for decades. The audience reactions to these violent depictions in film range from pained empathy to complete desensitization. This interactive piece aims to see if an added interaction of mimicking the violence on screen further enhances the audience's empathy towards these fictional victims. Conversely, does it unleash the hidden desires of an individual to further inflict damage on to others? Or perhaps neither.

A film scene depicting a repeated act of violence is projected in front of the user, for example a boxing scene in Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull. Right before the violence is committed, the video pauses. The film only continues if the user enacts the same action that is about to be shown on screen, in the case of the Raging Bull example, a punch. These gestures are read by a Kinect camera, which control the playback of the video.