Direct Cut
interactive Video installation
screenplay: Anne Van Wichelen, Alexandra Dementieva
photography: Marijke Van Kets, Julie Swennen
editing: Alexandra Dementieva
music: Arnaud Jacobs
cast: Heike Langsdorf, Gaetan Wenders
programing: Siegfried Canto
technical assistants: Sylvain Briend / François
coproduction: Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds -
Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains, France -
with support: Netwerk, contemporary Art Center -

Technologies : Max/Msp/Jitter - SoftVNS - Interface-z 

In interactive installation based on three axes: contemporary cinema, interactive cinema and social psychology. Each of the axes allow the development of a complex and rich environment. Direct Cut is about two people: a woman and a man. Their relationship is difficult and complex. However the spectator has the most important role because he is continuously involved in the process of these evolving characters. Each new step in the play zone changes the heroes' attitudes towards the viewer. But at the same time it also affects their own relationship. The viewer controls different scripts and operates as a film director and an actor, making the triangular relationship an even more complex figure.

Direct Cut, an interactive installation with two video projections and 99 interactive carpets, is based on contemporary cinema and social psychology. It is a story about two persons involved in a difficult and complex relationship. She is a mysterious person that can be situated in a David Lynch film. She mumbles, shouts and cries. She communicates mainly through body language. He, inspired on characters from the oeuvre of Jean-Luc Godard, has an extravert personality, demanding attention and commitment from the audience. He talks all the time, cites different authors, hates the conformist society and calls for action. Depending on changes in the script, he becomes the 'winner' or the 'loser'.
The distance between the spectator and the characters, the number of viewers and the way they move through the space, influence the story line and the behavior of the actors. When the visitors are far away or absent, the characters react on each other with random intervals.

photos: 4,5,6 - Paul Lagring, 8 - Boris Lehman

Technical description:
99 interactive carpets
2 G5 computers with eternet cable
2 video projectors with digital input
2 retroprojection screens
5 speakers + 1 sound amplifier
2 VGA cables (around 15 m)

... 'Her artistic vision reflects the already mentioned Russian tendency of "following in the steps" of contemporary Western art. Ms. Dementieva is different in a way where the "following" part was completed with unbelievable acceleration in almost no time and culminated in a brilliant result.
In her work Ms. Dementieva is an absolute perfectionist, artfully displaying her intimate knowledge of videoart. Her creations are multifocused and multilevel allowing both connoseurs and amateurs to admire them with equal pleasure. Her presentation is centered on interactivity between unspecified characters from movies by David Lynch and Jean Luc Godard. Knowledge of certain cultural undertones intensifies and widens one's perception of this video installation. For practical purposes, though, the unification of the leftist declarative Godard with esoteric Lynch in one project is all but impossible.
On the second less complex level there is pure communication between a spectator and the video. Red dotted line on the floor in front of the screens represents an invisible barrier behind which the movie characters throw things at each other and "carry conversations" with spectators. The final outcome of the interaction is totally unpredictable as it depends only on specific actions each spectator is undertaking and on unpredictable reactions on the part of movie characters.
This video project, thus, creates a uniquely natural and intriguing space out of seemingly unsuitable forms and structures such as movies, spectators and an artist.'

Elena Selina
XL Gallery