I’ve often pointed out to people that credit me for my Hypertable that in fact there have been many other attempts at interactive tabletops.
Although I’m particularly happy with my configuration (very collective, intuitive, no need for gadgets, etc) there have been many others. My little list of influences went as follows:
- Myron Kruger
- Diller+Scofidio’s Indigestion
- Ping Pong Plus
- Sommerer+Mignonneau’s A-Volve
- Michael Naimark
- Jean-Louis Boissier
- Laboratoire Esthétique de l’interactivté
- Masaki Fujihata
- Knowbotic Research
Over at Pasta and Vinegar they came up with a different list of Interactive tables. Their list is a lot larger, but far from complete. There are even industrial interfaces of this sort for sale, such as the system by Hitatchi that was exhibited at the ZKM exhibit on democracy. Hypertables (interactive or not) are a common fantasme. I’m sure that we’ll be seeing more from them.
One of the stranger things I noticed talking to people using my installation back at the Pompidou Center last year, was that they did not in fact think of the image as projected from above: they often described it as a table lumineuse, in other words the image was emanating from the table itself. Obviously the image was still for them an image, that it acted like objects without being objects was part of the charm. But the familiar nature of the Hypertable surface (perhaps its Unheimlich nature if I got lucky) and its horizontal configuration evoked centuries of table-top culture and just couldn’t be shaken. People like to touch things in front of them, as opposed to the cinematic apparatus which is a pretty frightening apparatus when you get down to it. A lot of my algorithmic cinema work has actually tried to deal with these issues, and I’ve even just finished an article (a few days ago) that will explain some of my positions on these issues. I’ll post more when it is published.