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The Passenger or the search for identity (FW31)

CINEMATIC INTERACTION: FROM KINOAUTOMAT TO CAUSE AND EFFECT

CHRIS HALES
CINEMATIC INTERACTION: FROM KINOAUTOMAT TO CAUSE AND EFFECT

For many years I have focussed my personal artistic practice on experimental interactive film, producing numerous works that have been viewed either on ‘artist CD-Rom’ or as a touch-screen installation (recently touring internationally as part of the ‘Future Cinema’ exhibition organised by ZKM). Both these situations by their nature are suitable for one single viewer at a time to interact with the CD-Rom normally being watched away from the gallery situation altogether. Wishing to have a more direct connection to the response of the audience, I have recently created new films for larger theatrical audiences in a performance called Cause and Effect, developed in equal measure with colleagues in Finland. This change of emphasis has been informed by my greater knowledge about Kinoautomat, the world’s first interactive film, which I have been researching as part of my self-appointed task of authoring an interactive DVD from the original film footage.1 Before explaining the genesis and evolution of Cause and Effect 2 it therefore makes sense to explain more about the phenomenon of Kinoautomat and its relation to the subsequent development of the ‘interactive film’ genre.