CALL FOR FEEDBACK ON THE ELMCIP ELECTRONIC LITERATURE KNOWLEDGE BASE

Ne me touchez pas / Don't touch me

Creative Work
Year: 
2003
Language: 
Platform/Software: 
Record Status: 
Description (in English): 

Don’t touch me displays the photograph of a woman lying on a bed, as a voice - that of Annie Abrahams - starts telling a story. “Don’t touch me tells a dream I had when I was a teenager," says Annie Abrahams. This dream can be interpreted as the sometimes painful transition from teenage to adulthood for a young woman exposed to the gaze and the desire of men. The interactor listens, but can experience at the same time an action with the mouse. Being passive, looking and listening without using the mouse is not always easy for the interactor, often prompted to click compulsively. But if the user rolls the cursor of the mouse over the picture, a text immediately appears on the screen, expressing the woman’s refusal (« don’t touch me ») and she changes positions. The vocal tale stops immediately and restarts from the beginning. On the fourth attempt of caress with the mouse, the window closes up.

The story Don’t touch me has a vocal, visual (the young woman displayed) as well as textual dimension (the three messages of refusal). It also has a gestural dimension: it is through the action of the user that the vocal narrative makes sense. This is an interactive story insofar as it stages interactivity. The piece is indeed based on a play between interactivity and narrativity. Interactivity prevents narrativity insofar as the gesture of the user stops the narrative. The author plays on the apparent incompatibility between narrativity and interactivity to suggest the user to learn to resist his desire to click, but also to apprehend differently the representations - especially online – of the woman body. The vocal narrative can only be interpreted through the gesture of the user: it makes sense because it is interactive.

Reviewed by Serge Bouchardon

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Record posted by: 
Serge Bouchardon