The idea of a person’s shadow existing separately from its owner is something that has always tantalized the minds of writers and artists. Like Hans Christian Andersen and his tale about a man who loses his shadow, only to find that it ran away because it wants to become his master, marry a princess and have him executed. Not cool, man. Anyway, the idea of a “living shadow” continues to inspire people’s imaginations, and in this artistic lineage Austrian artist Andreas Haider (aka muk) gives us the hyperactive installation Skia.
In this interactive installation, a person’s shadow comes uncannily to life so “visitors’ images are manipulated and projected as artificial shadows”. An infrared camera detects the person, then some ancient witchcraft, combined with openFrameworks software, processes and manipulates the image and projects it as the person’s shadow, mimicking their every motion. But when the person stops, the abomination comes eerily to life… which is fine, as long as it stays put there in the installation and doesn’t run off to plot your demise.