High Tec Shadow Play
January 31, 2003 7:45 AM   Subscribe

High Tec Shadow Play 'In Rotterdam, Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer used two 7000 watt lamps to create 1200 square metres of projected images which were overlayed by the shadows of passer-by's. A computer based tracking system monitored the shadows. Once the shadows matched the projected image, a new image (or "scene") was triggered. ' An impressive (if extravagant) bit of public art (QuickTime)
posted by rolo (15 comments total)
This is a very large file looks to be about a 10 to 15min film.
posted by stbalbach at 7:56 AM on January 31, 2003

Warning: This file is 66.8MB. Those of you not on a big, fat pipe may want to avoid a long, long wait.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:19 AM on January 31, 2003

However, those that can stomach it will reap the rewards, this is very cool. Good work rolo!
posted by gi_wrighty at 8:24 AM on January 31, 2003

amazing.. great link rolo. brought a big smile to my face

anyone know if this is still up or if it will still be up in july?
posted by cmicali at 8:41 AM on January 31, 2003

I'm on a dialup so can't view the movie, but there is or will be a smaller scale version of what sounds like a similar thing at Huddersfield Art Gallery. Description: "A dying fall of sound, transformed by the internal circuitry of camera flash systems into a flash of light, freezes any passing shadow onto a sensitized screen, where the image itself slowly fades until obliterated by the succeeding flash. The installation The Origin of Painting by DISINFORMATION (UK) allows visitors to inscribe a huge painting with images created by their own shadows."

Basically it's a wall covered with luminous paint, opposite a bank of flash lights that go off every minute. If you're standing by the wall, your shadow hides part of the wall, but the rest of it glows from the flash light for about half a minute. It's cool. Info here.
posted by carter at 9:13 AM on January 31, 2003

Apologies for not warning about the file size. It streamed in real-time on a 1M cable modem connection and I assumed there were smaller streams on the server for dial-up... clearly a false assumption.
posted by rolo at 9:18 AM on January 31, 2003

Fan-freakin'-tastic. Reason number 54 why the Dutch rock.

Side bar about that plaza in Rotterdam: I was told by an architect during a tour of Rotterdam that the space was designed specifically to be empty. Not just in conception but in practice as well. A space which would resist occupation -- e.g. no open air cafés, no roller skating, no pauses. Interesting how this turns that concept on its head yet still does not violate the idea. An urban design oxymoron of sorts; ephemeral occupation.

Thanks Rolo!
posted by Dick Paris at 9:57 AM on January 31, 2003

rolo, thanks so much! This film is well worth a wait for any who can bear it - what a wonderful project on so many levels. Like cmicali, it made me laugh out loud, and I was totally enchanted by the display of imagination of both the artist and the public participants - it was a delight to see how people enjoyed this. What a superb use of technology and space, and what a terrific way to harness human creativity and foster a spirit of childlike playfulfulness among strangers

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any past or future projects by this artist.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:46 AM on January 31, 2003

Wonderful link. Thank you rolo.
posted by Tacodog at 10:49 AM on January 31, 2003

Now that's art. Awesome stuff. Thanks.
posted by dazed_one at 11:37 AM on January 31, 2003

Great linko rolo.
Good stuff.
posted by Espoo2 at 11:45 AM on January 31, 2003

For those of you WITHOUT the Feed coursing in:
the piece is installed against a building in a public square. Portraits of people are projected onto the side of the building and washed out by two ground-mounted floodlights. When they step between the light and the wall, their shadow reveals the image behind the wash of white light.

A computer monitors all this and provides some audio feedback. When all the portraits projected are revealed, the computer rolls over a new set of images.

Neat to see people walking past and suddenly realize that they were controlling something and they didn't quite know what...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:28 PM on January 31, 2003

Oh, that is truly a lovely link. Thanks.
posted by willnot at 5:24 PM on January 31, 2003

That's probably the most amazing and clever thing I've seen in a long time. Brilliant.
posted by Witty at 6:04 PM on January 31, 2003

In our local downtown district, there is a public park right next to a building that has a huge Trompe l'Oeil mural of the side of a much more ornate building painted onto it. In the park are two floodlights, one on each side of the walkway, that illuminate the mural.

On our first date, my sweetie and I stopped in the park and stood in front of the floodlights and struck monster poses, and my shadow-monster-self fought his shadow-monster-self for possession of the Trompe l'Oeil balcony on the side of the building.

Rolo, thanks for the cool link. These images brought back this wonderful memory that I hadn't had reason to think of in a long time.

The Huddersfield exhibit looks awfully cool, too. Shadows are such wonderful whimsical things.
posted by anastasiav at 9:45 PM on January 31, 2003

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