chi·a·ro·scu·ro (noun. from Italian, chiaro ‘clear, bright’ + oscuro ‘dark, obscure’) What happens in the space between light and dark? In the moment between silence and sound? Between past and future? This piece invites people to explore these questions and reflect on the ephemeral aspects of life by temporarily capturing their shadows and drawings on a UV light activated glow wall.
I co-designed and built this piece for the HEAR event at the 2016 ACTIVATE series, a free summer pop-up art event hosted by the Chicago Loop Alliance. Over 2,000 people came to this event and interacted with our piece. In addition to the UV strobe light mounted on the ceiling that captured the participants’ shadows on the wall, we handed out three UV light pens for people to draw with and to our amazement got all of them back at the end of the 5-hour event. The theme for this event was “HEAR” and we designed the piece to interact with the theme in both form and function. In terms of form, the panels were designed to represent a sound wave. In terms of function, this piece allowed people to explore a visual representation of sound through temporary self-expression. Just like music, the drawings and shadows were impermanent, but in the moment enabled strangers to connect through the creation of images or by teaching each other ways to use the wall.