Anna Pinkas
Craig Protzel
Lia Martinez
Liza Singer
Martin Bravo

Message in a Bottle

The user moves a bottle across a board to reveal five stories through sound, images and animations.

Introduction to Physical Computing

This interactive installation is inspired by the tradition of the "message in a bottle", wherein, a personal message is sealed inside a glass container and thrown out to sea in the hope of it reaching a reader at the end of its maritime journey.

The viewer is presented with a simple glass bottle and a plank of wood. Five distinct quotes surround five separate areas of the wooden platform. Upon being picked up and moved across the plank, the bottle triggers different sounds. The five auditory signals serve as another form of guidance, each relating to a certain quote. When the container is placed on one of five specific points, an image or animation is projected into it. Each one of the five locations has its own set of imagery evoking a different character's life. Every time the bottle is placed on a point, a new aspect of that person's story is revealed.

User Scenario
The piece is meant to be explored at the user's leisure. Although the projected images gradually disclose certain details about a character's underlying story, the user will never find a definitive narrative and is free to fill in the blanks using his or her imagination. The charm of the piece is akin to that of a real message in a bottle found floating in the sea: the surprise and delight of its discovery as well as the mystery contained within it.