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Public Artwork Using Pedestrian Shadows Launches in Austin

The City of Austin Cultural Arts Division has announced the launch of a public art initiative that “utilizes city streetlights to capture and project shadows of passersby.” It’s called Shadowing and it kicks off on Feb. 5 and lasts through March 18, or the last day of SXSW. It’s made possible in Austin by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Via Austin’s Cultural Arts Division:

“Created by artists Jonathan Chomko and Matthew Rosier, ‘Shadowing’ gives memory to city street lights, enabling them to record and play back the shadows of those who pass underneath them. As the sun sets, and street lights come on, traces of those who have passed below will be captured and projected on the pavement. As one walks under the lights, the shadow of a previous visitor will walk, hop, or dance beside them, and then their own movements will be captured and displayed to the next passerby.”

The installation’s six locations, in South and East Austin, are along South Congress Avenue, West Monroe Street, Rosewood Avenue, Navasota Street and East 11th Street. The map is here.

Austin is the only city in the country that sports a UNESCO Media Arts designation. The City of Austin Cultural Arts Division is part of Austin’s Economic Development Department.

Also: “The project is part of Playable City Austin. Developed by UK-based Watershed, the Playable City framework encourages citizens to think differently about their city (and how to solve its issues) by generating social dialogue and shared experiences through creative play.”


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