Behind Closed Doors Detail

Why Behind Closed Doors?

The installation consists of five frames hanging on the wall with video portraits of the family being projected from a ceiling-mounted projector. Four of the frames contain individual portraits and one video portrait is of the family together. Below the frames is a nightstand on which a wooden house stands. The door to this house is wired in a way that will switch the videos depending on whether the door is open or closed. If the door is open, a 1 minute loop of video footage will play that shows the family smiling, as you would expect from any family picture hanging on the wall. Once the door is closed, it will trigger another set of videos in which the individuals slowly begin to show bad habits or start arguing with each other. There are several different narratives, so every time the door is closed, something else will happen.

What brought me to this project was the observation that families have the strong urge to keep up appearances in front of others and by that, don’t really let anyone close enough to understand them better. I wanted to create a piece that allows the people interacting with it to explore a family’s secrets and issues, thus giving them an opportunity to reflect on their own experiences.


Special thanks to my amazing actors:

Dana K Brown, Donna Miller, John Crandall & Jorge A Brake

How does it work?

Behind Closed Doors consists of three parts: an Arduino that is installed inside the house and reads if the the door is open or closed. That information is then sent to the computer running Max/Jitter/MSP that switches the videos accordingly. The videos are then output through a program called MadMapper, that allows the exact mapping to the picture frames on the wall, making it appear as though there was no projector involved at all.