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documentation clip of "Box of Men" by Ken Feingold (2007)

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Published on Sep 29, 2011

"Box of Men" is a work for display on a large flat-panel screen or projection. The piece is not pre-recorded. The dialogue is synthesized speech generated in real time by a computer program that assigns a "character" to each of the
puppets. Their conversation goes on infinitely, as long as the program is running.

The narrative circles around an "unknown" crime. Those accused are
anonymous. Those who judge are puppets, controlled by unseen forces, and
assuming an uncanny life of their own. The work explores the idea that
those who decide the guilt or innocence of others may be acting in frighteningly arbitrary and seemingly random ways. The puppets assume the role of a tribunal or jury, talking about others as if from an objective point of view, but clearly objectivity has nothing to do with this picture.

The "story" was inspired by Bob Dylan's "Percy's Song".

example of a conversation:

[in unison] What happened to him could have happened to anyone.
We think that of course he could have done it.
We know precisely what that means.
It is implied that they never could have done it.
[in unison] Let's talk about life and death.
And
And
And
And
And
It is so simple.
How could they have not known?
Obviously, they had to have done it.
[in unison] We think that he knew exactly what they meant.
If you don't want to feel guilty don't do anything wrong.
He knew just where he was going.
We say not guilty.
We say 99 years.
How could she be wrong?
Cruel wind and rain.
It seems that he knew exactly where he was going.
They never could have done it.
Then.
Then.
Then.
Then.
Then.
What were her reasons?
How could he have not known?
She knew just where they were going.
Then
What did they know?
What can she say?
Why would she do that.
We will judge.
What did they try to do?
It seems that she had to have known.
We think that what happened to him could have happened to anyone.
What happened to him could have happened to anyone.
What happened to him could have happened to anyone.
What happened to him could have happened to anyone.
What happened to him could have happened to anyone.
What happened to him could have happened to anyone.
It is so obvious.
So.
So.
So.
So.
So.
So.
He knew exactly where he was going.
We will judge.
If you don't want to feel guilty don't do anything wrong.

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