The Treachery of Sanctuary is an installation piece by director Chris Milk, commissioned by the Creators Project. It premiered at the Creators Project in San Francisco in March 2012. It consists of three 24x16 foot white panels suspended from the ceiling on which a digitally captured shadow is reprojected. A shallow pool of water sits in between viewers and the screens, providing a serene reflective surface.

In the first panel, when arms are moved above the head the shadow deteriorates into a flock of birds that fly up and swarm in the sky. In the second panel the swarming flocks will break off and swoop down, attacking a person's shadow. When it comes back up from it's dive bomb, it will have taken a piece of your shadow with it. In the final panel a powerful shake of the arms will reveal a full set of your own wings which can be flapped and flown about.

The technology used to accomplish this was one of the more sophisticated builds I've been a part of. In the background, an openFrameworks application utilized the Microsoft Kinect SDK for Windows. This then talked to a front end running Unity3D in which articulated 3D models of birds interacted with the shadows captured by Kinect. For this installation my role was that of a support coder and aside from much general debugging, my primary responsibility was managing the bird swarms, including flocking and bird behavior.


An interactive artwork for The Creators Project



Chris Milk

Technical Director

James George


Charlie Whitney
James George
Brian Chasalow
Aaron Meyers

Creative Direction

Ben Tricklebank


Fake Love