people are sent to an RCMP polygraph examiner to be tested about the same
fictional guilt-ridden situation concerning a childhood mishap.”
of a three channel video installation focused on a consideration of truth
and lies through the use of polygraph tests.
I sent 4 individuals to receive a polygraph test. Each person sent was
chosen based on their culturally perceived relationship to truth and the
construction of lies – an actor, a clergy person, a person who has
been trained to detect lies in others, etc. Each was prepared with the
same starting point – a fictional event based on an occurrence in
my own childhood concerning an accident in an abandoned house. Beginning
with this familiar situation, each participant constructed their own version
of this event to present to the polygraph tester.
The polygraph tests were completed by Mike Robinson, RCMP polygraph tester
for the province of Saskatchewan until his retirement. A crucial element
in the process of the polygraph test occurs at the end when the subject
is cajoled to confess, regardless of the actual results provided by the
machine. In this project, a potential confession is made more knotty in
that the original situation is totally constructed by myself, and then
reconstructed through the imaginations of the participants.
The polygraph raises questions concerning the contribution of science
as opposed to our individual perceptions of truth.