Sunday, January 28, 2018

Austin Cultural Arts Division Presents "Shadowing," a Public Art Installation Utilizing City Streetlights

The City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, part of the Economic Development Department, presents Shadowing, a public art installation that utilizes city streetlights to capture and project shadows of passersby. Supported in part by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the installation will catalyze communal interaction and play, and create connections – person to person and person to city. Integrating art and technology, Shadowing underscores Austin’s reputation as a hub for innovation. Launching February 5, the installation will run for six weeks, through the close of the SXSW Festival on March 18.

“As the only U.S. city with a UNESCO Media Arts designation, Austin is a perfect fit for this unique project,” remarked Meghan Wells, Manager of the Cultural Arts Division. “Shadowing embodies our City’s love of quirky and unexpected experiences, and reflects our commitment to fostering innovation.”

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.

Shadowing street lights will be positioned throughout downtown Austin at: South Congress Avenue, West Monroe Street, Rosewood Avenue, Navasota Street and East 11th Street. A map with detailed locations may be viewed here.
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.

the National Endowment for the Arts.

Image: Shadowing by Farrows Creative © Watershed

City of Austin Cultural Arts Division
The Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department provides leadership and management for the City’s cultural arts programs and for the development of arts and cultural industries. The Cultural Arts Division is responsible for the Cultural Arts Funding Programs, Art in Public Places Program, community-based arts development, and programs to assist the development of film and creative industries in Austin.

Watershed (Bristol, UK) is a social enterprise and creator of the Playable Cities concept. They develop cultural engagement, imagination, and talent, in the belief that the route to better futures is open, disruptive and co-produced. As the leading film culture and digital media center in the UK, the group advances education, skills, appreciation and understanding of the arts with a particular focus on film, media and digital technologies.

National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit

Art, Art, and more Art


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