Petunia15 Aug 2011
During the 10th edition of World Mosquito Fair in Berra (FE) in 2011, we showed a video installation developed accordingly to the theme
We took part in the 10th edition of World Mosquito Fair (Ferrara) showing a specifically developed interactive multimedia installation / game including a frog, Petunia, trying to hunt a mosquito (controlled by the user).
The whole experience took place in a dim lit room, decorated as it was a field of reeds. We wanted the experience to be as much realistic and immersive as possible, thus we curated not only the set-up, but gave lot of attention also to the soundscape. As you entered the room you could hear the typical sounds of the country: wind whispering through the reeds, the twittering of birds, cicadas…
In the distance (projected on a wall) you could see a dark spot. Moving closer to the spot the reeds spread revealing a pond. The soundscape reacts to the movement, some sounds became more evident, others fade out while others again may arise. This gave the environment a very realistic and dynamic mood. When you reached the pond you could distinctly hear the frogs croaking, the cicadas and other insects.
In the pond, sleeping on a water lily leaf, there’s a frog. Occasionally the frog, named Petunia, wakes up, coraks and the falls aslepp again.
You can interact with Petunia using a remote control. Pointing it toward the wall and switching it on, a small mosquito appears. The mosquito moves are entirely controlled by the player. The mosquito has its own sound that moves in the soundcape according to the mosquito moves on the wall.
As the mosquito appears, Petunia wakes up and follows its movements with the eyes.
If the mosquito flies too close to Petunia, the frog will eat it and then returns to sleep. By switching the remote control once more, another mosquito will appear and the game start over again.
If there is no mosquito on the wall the user can leave the pond, reaching again the reeds filed.
For the hardware side, we used two laptops, a Logitech webcamera, an Arduino microcontroller, a Devantech SRF04 (an ultrasonic sensor) and a basic circuit (battery + resistor + switch + red LED) performing as a remote control.
By developing the installation we studied some perspective, traditional animation, serial communictaion and rendering modes. We also created every graphic and image.
Every sound is original and created from live recordings and/or electronic sound synthesis.
The Fiera MOndiale della zanzara logo is by Giovanni Ariutti.
Thanks to Associazione Cultura e Spettacolo Berrese for the great opportunity.