Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

The Hiding Space

Jennifer Thomas

24 August 2007

Max/MSP based interactive projection installation using RFID technology


The Hiding Space will be a small scale interactive projection installation that uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to explore childhood memory. In his phenomenological study The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachellard argues that we organize or memories spatially as opposed to temporally. He suggest that certain spaces, in particular the “spaces of our past moments of solitude, the spaces in which we have suffered from solitude, enjoyed desired and compromised solitude,” and specifically those of childhood solitude, are potent sites for stimulating the recollection of memories because these are the sites of daydreaming. The Hiding Space aims to create, what Bachelard refers to as, a “threshold of oneirism.” It will invite users to revisit past memories by immersing them in the spaces where they might have daydreamed as children.

Visitors to the Future Cinema Lab at York University will be invited to individually enter the hiding space: a 2.5” x 2.5” x 2.5” cube made of five small rear projection screens. Once seated inside, the visitor will find a number of small objects – each of which will be embedded with an RFID tag – that can be arranged on the floor of the cube in relation to a hidden sensor. The various interactions between each individual object and the sensor will trigger the projection of four looped sequences of video on the four side walls of the cube. These video sequences, which can be changed at the will of the user, will surround her or him in familiar settings of childhood solitude. By changing the position of the tagged objects on the floor, the user will be able to meditatively explore multiple configurations of space, and dwell in those spaces that resonate with memories of their past.

Thu, October 18 2007 » Future Cinema, YSAR