Coerced Confessions
video installations by Erin Anderson

» read essay: Performing the Voice in Coerced Confessions

» view installations below

Project Description: In this video series, I digitally “coerce” dramatic reenactments of real-life public confessions from the bodies of unwitting actors. The videos are produced by, first, rearranging textual source material from real-life confessions into scripted fictional monologues; then, recording actors performing the monologues with no knowledge of their source; and, finally, reverse-engineering those performances back into the original confessional texts.

Each two-channel video was designed for looped, synchronized playback on dual monitors in an installation environment.

Performances by Jamie “Skye” Bianco, Ken Bolden, and Harry J. Hawkins IV

editor's note: the three pairs of videos below were originally designed for looped, synchronized playback on dual monitors in an installation space. Each pair of videos have precisely identical run times. Anderson's extended description of the project and method can be found on pages 3-8 of the above essay.

I. Susan

Coerced Confessions: Susan (1)
[runtime: 6:25]

Coerced Confessions: Susan (2)
[runtime: 6:25]

II. Bill

Coerced Confessions: Bill (1)
[runtime: 6:30]

Coerced Confessions: Bill (2)
Visual material in this video courtesy the William J. Clinton Presidential Library
[runtime: 6:30]

III. Chris

Coerced Confessions: Chris (1)
[runtime: 4:15]

Coerced Confessions: Chris (2)
[runtime: 4:15]

Erin Anderson is an award-winning multimedia storyteller and audio producer. Her work spans across genres and platforms, including narrative audio, multimedia nonfiction, and gallery installations. She is the author/producer of “What Hadn’t Happened,” winner of The Atavist’s Digital Storymakers Award (2013) and Our Time Is Up, winner of a Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Award (2016). Her radio/podcast work has recently appeared on Serendipity and KCRW’s UnFictional. She is an Assistant Professor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she specializes in digital narrative and where she earned her PhD in Critical and Cultural Studies in 2014.

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