The Witness Shadow

The Witness Shadow sets out to develop a Mixed Reality framework for the interactive display of handheld video testimonies. As a critical research experiment in interactive design, the project aims to interrogate the practice of witnessing in the contemporary media condition. Using a VR 3D scene, tracking technology, and a custom-made low-tech AR device, the Witness Shadow framework supports the re-enactment of a documented scene in which the user occupies the position of the witness. As such, the framework situates the user in a condition of engaged spectator, turning the process of seeking truth in images into an embodied spatial practice.

The visitors of the installation follow the witness shadow left behind in the documented scene. The question of the content located inside/outside the frame (champ/hors-champ) is central at all times: users must constantly realign their frame of vision so as to make sure not to miss any information. By turning the witnessing act into a choreography, the framework situates the user in a position of an engaged spectator. In so doing, the project enacts a form of relation to images that is specific to the condition of post-truth, which requires the active investment of every viewer to collectively read and interpret images.