In memory of Ricardo Diaz Zeferino
Hands Up, Don't Shoot! is a video piece, where I examine how viewers perceive media based on how they physically interact with it. The video for the piece is taken from police dash camera footage of the shooting of unarmed suspect Ricardo Diaz Zeferino. In the footage, the suspect can be seen attempting to communicate his surrender to police officers by raising his hands in the air. When he lowers his arms, the police immediately open fire on him. This is an instance where the failure of effective verbal communication led to gestures by Ricardo in an attempt to communicate. This move ultimately resulted in his death. To playback the video footage, I have set up a Microsoft Kinect and a software program that scans and uses the viewer's body as input for playing through the video. The user begins the video by initializing their body with the Kinect by raising their arms up in a surrender gesture. This places the video at the beginning of the playback time line. When the participant lowers their arms out of the initialization stance, they will play through the frames of video based on their arm position. The end of the video is reached when the user's arms are down at their sides. This puts the participant in control of the outcome of the video, and the ability to fight to change it. By keeping their arms up in surrender, they can postpone the ending of the video and the fatal shooting of Ricardo Diaz Zeferino.