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Elige tu predador

Francisco Ruiz de Infante
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Elige tu predador simulates a game centered around the act of a cat eating a mouse, an act that is repeatedly altered by the video editing exercise itself. Both acts, the one performed by the cat, as well we that of the editor, constitute clear demonstrations of power. This investigation on the manipulatable relativity of time, of reality and its representation, as well as of the medium of video itself, presents the electronic image as a flexible organism that propagates and moves under the control of specific orders. The capacity to establish absurd interactions with image and sound questions the use of reality when dictated by the politics of these same interactions.

After the impact of Los lobos (the wolves) and his successive Colisiones (collisions), Francisco Ruiz de Infante takes pleasure in turning intimidation, doubt and video equipment instruction manuals into a paradoxical montage. In the first shot we watch a cat who intends to eat a mouse. The latter, already dead, is held in the cat’s claws. A process of commutations that challenges the natural and concrete terms of the act of eating, is imposed on the representation of the animal world. The predator, in its dependent behaviour, is erected as a controllable, malleable and parodiable puppet. (Let’s not forget that every predator is itself the prey of another.) A third presence, the author, accommodates the chewing of the mouse to the rhythm of his whims.

Every gesture is disrupted, thereby acquiring a dynamic character that follows the rules of montage. The same sequence of orders given to the cat, numbered and written in the subtitles, are employed on two different occasions: first they are shown, and then they are applied. Just like in applied biology experiments, redundant instructions enhance dynamic relations of control. Even the most primary instincts are subjected within this electronic context.

This piece is part of the interactive installation “Predator (the game) version 1.0” developed by the artist for the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris in 2000. The game was presented in two screens, “a new prototype of partial interactivity”, and a maximum of six players were instructed in six different languages (Spanish, Euskera, French, Corsican, English and Irish Gaelic). Depending on where they were sitting, they could choose and manipulate the violent effects of a cat in the act of eating a mouse, with its original sound. The game demonstrates the efficacy of visual control mechanisms, their capacity to self-legitimate, and their independence from the laws of nature, as well as the rule of animal instinct and the fascination of food. This is a metaphor about the violence inflicted on small communities by the big nations, their mute dialogue being conducted by a third entity.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Elige tu predador
  • Direction: Francisco Ruiz de Infante
  • Production: Association AUTOUR DE LA TERRE. 2001.
  • Duration: 00:03:05
  • Languages: French - Spanish
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright