Emily’s Video (2012)

Emily’s Video compiles viewers’ reactions while watching a mysterious, apparently horrible, video. The viewers represent a random selection of volunteers who replied to our online call. Participants were visited in their homes by a girl named Emily (hence the title) who would show them the video and record their reaction with a webcam. We later destroyed the original video, which had been sourced from the darknet, and created a video with the reactions edited in sequence.




Eva & Franco Mattes, Emily's Video

Installed at Fondation Phi pour l’art contemporain




When installed, the work emphasizes the idea of the screen as a mirror for the viewer. The video is displayed on a large vertical monitor leaning on a wall. The monitor is located where visitors can only see the back of it upon entering. The image occupies just a third of the monitor, turning the rest of the screen into a black mirror. Viewers come around the side of the monitor only to realize their own reflection watching themselves watching other people watching.




Online excerpts of Emily’s Video reactions






John Menick, “A report on the City”






Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde