Laptop, webcam, Max/MSP/Jitter, wireless headphones, sun and shadow. Documentation to left.

Shadow Mix is a site for sonic play, a realtime audio mixer controlled by the movement of one’s shadow through a visually defined space. Its central theme is the magical assumption of a ‘shadow identity’ and the social and sonic exploration this affords. Children and adults alike are invited to activate the soundscape by moving their shadows throughout a projection field (or sunny surface), alone or together. By playing with their shadows, small groups of people can improvise evolving soundscapes. The number of participants is limited only to the size of their shadows on the screen.

Shadow Mix Fairyland was exhibited publicly underneath the Children’s Fairyland sign at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, as part of the wonderful Thingamajigs Festival. Instead of creating a projected field of light in which shadows could activate sound, I let the sun do the work and simply pointed the webcam at the patch of grass underneath the sign. Many passing children and adults danced their way to the sounds of an ice cream truck, bumping bass, and Bobby Seale.

Shadow Mix was previously exhibited as a gallery-based participatory video installation.