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Physical Installation Piece for the Chopin Festival

A large physical installation. You open a physical drawer and you'll experience something new and interesting and thought provoking in your ears and eyes.

The user sees a bank of 28 drawers. Whenever a new drawer is opened, the user sees a new video and sound loop playback on a large projected screen and concealed speakers.


The media that is played back always corresponds to the last drawer opened. The content consisted of stills and video and music with themes ranging from religion to society to ethereal imagery.

In designing the user interaction, the most important aspect was crafting something that wasn't intimdating to play with. Most everyone in the course of the day opens and closes a drawer. The technology was kept transparent and away from the users to create a magical feeling to the piece.

The drawers were each wired with a simple aluminum foil switch which could report to two BX-24 microcontrollers if they were open (circuit open) or closed (circuit closed). The BX-24s were programmed to detect which drawer was opened. Upon the opening of a drawer the BX-24 sends out a MIDI "Note On" signal to a MIDI interface connected to a PC running Macromedia Director 8.5. Using the MIDIio Xtra the signals were used to switch between the different movies and sounds.