being human?

don't touch me / ne me touchez pas (2003) was a work about intimacy and attitudes in front of the computer screen.
I want to tell you a story. Males might think it is about 'desire', females will tell you it's about the painful change from adolescence to being adult. (flash6 sound on)

Since 2020 Flash technology is obsolete, so this piece is now archived:
.html and .swf files are still on this website
4 small images of the photographs used in the work:

.zip with 4 original .fla files FR + ENG
a short recording of a visit made in 2020, when the work was still active .mp4
Active version on Rhizome's Conifer:$br:firefox:68/

Original story PuddingPaard told by Annie Abrahams:

'8th International Festival of New Film, section new media', Split, Croatia, 2003.
Respiro issue 11 2003.
Action DOC(K)S (ed. Akenaton), p 428 and CD Rom. ISSN DOC(K)S 0396/3004, 2003.
Forum des images, festival NEMO, Paris, 2004.
Media Art Festival, Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art, Yerevan, Armenia, curator : Eva Kachatrian, 2005.
III muestra internacional de artes electrónicas, Bogota, Columbia, 2005.
Invited/Invaded, Rhizome member curated exhibition by Jessica Gomula, 2005
“Tout va bien”, solo exhibition of Annie Abrahams, ESCA Gallery 2007, installed on a computer in a wooden module 500 x 160 x 130 cm. Photos.

““Ne me touchez pas / don't touch me” is a minimal yet psychologically loaded piece which I suggest viewing in both English and French, since the nuances of each language makes the project a unique experience -- even if one is not fluent in a foreign language. Click, click, and then click some more. But be warned; you might feel like an intruder, depending on your personal projections.Eduardo Navas, netartreview, 2003.

“'Don’t touch me' by Annie Abrahams, displays the photograph of a woman lying on a bed, as a voice starts telling a story. But if the user rolls the cursor of the mouse over the picture, a text immediately appears on the screen, expressing the woman’s refusal (« don’t touch me ») and she changes positions. The vocal tale stops immediately and restarts from the beginning. On the fourth attempt of caress with the mouse, the window closes up. This way, the user is made to reflect upon what an interactive gesture is and to think twice before interacting with the work (whether by clicking or rolling over). Interacting is thus staged and shown. Annie Abrahams forces us to be passive to become aware of the nature of the interactive gesture. In this work, interacting stops the narrative : narrativity and interactivity are here incompatible. The loss of grasp is characterized by the impossibility of acting.”, Bouchardon, S. (2008). « The rhetoric of interactive art works', actes du colloque international DIMEA 2008, 10 au 12 septembre 2008, Athènes, Grèce, ACM Proceeding Series Vol. 349, 312-318.

The story Don't touch me has a vocal, visual (the woman displayed) and written-textual dimension (the three messages of refusal). It also has a gestural dimension: it is through the action of the user that the vocal narrative makes sense. This is an interactive story that is based on a play between interactivity and narrativity (Ensslin, 2012). Interactivity prevents narrativity insofar as the gesture of the user stops the narrative. The author also plays on the apparent incompatibility between narrativity and interactivity to teach the user to resist his desire to click, but also to apprehend differently the representations - especially online – of the female body. The vocal narrative can only be interpreted through the gesture of the user: it makes sense because it is interactive.
In the piece Don't touch me, we can identify a gap between the expectations of the interactor when he or she moves the mouse cursor and the result obtained with this manipulation (until the final white screen). The caress on the picture of the woman with the mouse cursor only interrupts and then brutally stops the course of the piece, giving rise to a figure of manipulation that could be called a figure of interruption.Serge Bouchardon, Towards Gestural Specificity in Digital Literature, Electronic Book Review, 2018.