- The video interrogation of artist Ignas Krunglevicius could be precisely described as a forgetting device: forgetful of the recording and forgetful of a found document (a real murder interrogation in text).
- It would therefore be wrong to understand interrogation as a quoting-device. The device is the interrogation. It comes in a split screen, as though the viewer’s cerebral hemispheres are being addressed separately. This is the container.
- At the level of contents, there is this really weird conversation – called interrogation – that doesn’t really take place, but is installed inside the viewer’s brain. There is no slippage. The surface is completely clean.
- The structure of the container/content device is simple: the text featuring the interrogator’s meandering questions are to the left on the rectangular screen, while the curt answers of the perpetrator are to the right (always in larger Helvetica type).
- But this is a lure. The exchange featuring in the inter-changing sequence of white type is as much about the darkness behind. The stretched rectangular screen could be a burst generator covering the eyes of a suspect, or a prisoner.
- During the interrogation, the suspect makes herself known (Mary Kovic). The interrogator is Robert John. The interrogation is not conducted in quest of names, but rather homes in on a mental disturbance of sorts, or a psychological condition.
- It is at this exact point at which the interrogation starts working as a device, and eschews the video recording: the music played to intensify the exchange is accurately synchronised. Delays in the suspect’s answers feature in occasional red, white and blue impulses (a tricolour).
- The synchronicity of text and music is the disturbance. In a normal person words are neurologically slower than sense intelligence. Their function – it has been argued – is to censor impulses (Libet). Not so here.
- In the scholarly text that Ignas Krunglevicius has joined to the device, the diagnostic that corresponds to above condition has been censured. Or, alternatively, left vacant (as yet another symptom belonging to the same syndrome).
- But this is a lure: or a placeholder, in the language of computing. Whoever occupies the place – for no other reason that it is vacant – becomes at once available to an endless and extremely destructive manipulative series.
Libet, Benjamin (1985) "Unconscious Cerebral Initiative and the Role of Conscious Will in Voluntary Action". Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8, 529-66. In this article Benjamin Libet relates the procedures and conclusions of an experiment: open brain surgery patients, who have agreed to participate in the experiment, have electrodes placed directly on the cortex; their task is to watch a sequence of symbols and at some point decide to press a handle – it turned out that by the time the subject made a verbalised choice of pressing the handle, the action was already initiated by the sensory-motor system in their brains. What Libet concludes is that language follows action and has typically a censoring function that prevents us from acting in impulsive ways. If they were synchronous there would be no impulse control.
– Video installation with sound (dur. 13 min.)