The making of Terrors of the breakfast table
Visual artist and filmmaker Tyler Tekatch worked with Kyle Duffield, interactive programmer to create an interactive video installation called Terrors of the breakfast table, currently on view at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada, until May 25 2014:
The visitor approaches a table and chair in the centre of the space, and blows into a sculptural device on the table, when the device glows orange. Subtle technologies sense the viewer’s breath, triggering thought-provoking interactive elements, such as a dream montage, the pace of a scene, the ambient sound, and the brightness of the visuals. The viewer discovers the interactions at their own pace, and some of the effects are more subtle than others.
They used a combination of cameras to shoot the project, including the Canon C100, the 5d markiii, and the Sony FS700 to achieve some of the super slow motion shots. The film was edited in FCP7, graded in DaVinci Resolve, and effects were done with Cinema 4d and 3ds Max.
For the interactive elements, they used Max 6 for all of the programming, including the Arduino library, AHarker Externals library, Ambisonics Externals from ICST, and externals from Jamoma. They experimented with a number of different approaches to the sensor, including sound analysis, but finally settled on an anemometer designed especially for breath by the company Modern Device.
The sensor was paired with an Arduino Uno, to which they also added LEDs in order to illuminate the sensor housing sculpture, and which were also mapped to the viewer’s breathe.