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Research: Interactive Installations

hamletmachine

Museums & the Web, Boston, 2002.
Fusion 2000, Los Angeles, 2000.

Interactive sound installation by Jeff Burke based on Heiner Muller’s well-known play, a deconstruction of Shakespeare and German history.

The interactive audio installation shattered a recording of Muller’s dialogue into sixteen pieces. In a harshly lit room, the audio fragments played back simultaneously and continuously, but in silence until shadows cast by visitor-performers fell on small sensors that rose or lowered each dialogue fragment’s volume based on the depth of the shadow. Through manipulation of their shadows, the visitor-performers revealed the whole play all at once, a fragment at a time, or any variation in between.

The piece featured an original dialogue recording by Adam Shive and Meg Ferrell. It was programmed in Max/MSP. The version in Boston was updated with projected text fragments that created shadows when no one was in the room, allowing the space (and play) to talk to itself.