Shadows of Light

Shadows of Light is a contemplative interactive digital video installation exploring the concept of “slow interaction” where the visitor is rewarded for standing still.

Shadows of Light (2011)

Rather than responding to quick movement, it requires viewers to slow down and stand still, when it will slowly take the viewers silhouette and uses it as a digital stencil, ‘spraying’ paint that starts to drip and spread into the silhouettes of others.

The work becomes a record of all the people who have stood in front of it. It is an artwork that is made by being observed.

Shadows of Light at the Tate Modern (2013)

Two instances of Shadows of Light were exhibited side by side in the south tank of Tate Modern in London.


  • Shadows of Light at HCI 2016 – June 17, 2016
    Shadows of Light has been accepted into the gallery for HCI 2016 for its exploration into the properties of “slow interaction”. The 30th British Human Computer Interaction Conference will be held between the 11th and 15th July 2016 at Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus. This years theme is “Fusion! HCI across Disciplines”. We want to challenge research and …
  • University of Calgary – International Visiting Artist – February 26, 2016
    International Visiting Artist: Alex May (UK) Exhibition: Shadows of Light Feb. 29-March 4 in The Little Gallery An interactive digital artwork that explores the concept of ‘slow interaction’ Artist’s Talk: March 1 at 4 p.m. in Art Building 672, with reception to follow Workshop: Video Mapping Friday, March 4 from 1-4:30 p.m. in Art Building 651 Explore the artistic potential of …
  • Four Current Exhibitions – November 8, 2014
    With various exhibitions coinciding, Alex is showing work in four shows simultaneously on November 8th, 2014. “Room 40” is a new video sculpture created for the Networked Bodies event and exhibition at Watermans in London (7th-9th November) “The Institute of Unnecessary Research Meets The Egyptian Bioart Club” is on show at  House 31 in Dubai’s Al Fahidi Cultural Quarter for ISEA …
  • 2014 – A Year of Two Halves – July 6, 2014
    Anyone looking at this news page would surmise that little has been happening here in 2014, but this would be greatly deceiving as much preparation has been taking place behind the scenes. Predominately I’ve been working on new software art tools that I will be using extensively for my practise over the coming years.  They will allow …
  • Shadows of Light at ICT2013 – November 14, 2013
    ICT2013 was held in Vilnius, Lithuania and Alex May was part of the “ICT & Art Connect” team, where he exhibited “Shadows of Light” and co-hosted a “My New Robot Companion” robot head making workshop with Anna Dumitriu. ICT & ART Connect sets out to bring together artists and technologists to explore new ways of working. …

Embodied Encounters – Beall Center for Art and Technology, Irvine (2016/2017)

Shadows of Light was included in the Embodied Encounters exhibition at the Beall Center for Art and Technology, University of Irvine, California.  Curated by David Familian and Simon Penny, the exhibition brings together seven international artists.

Shadows of Light at ICT 2013

Shadows of Light at Kinetica Art Fair (2011)

Format: interactive single-channel video installation, single computer, Microsoft Kinect, single video projector (or monitor)

Size: variable

Available for exhibition: Yes

The original 2009 version of Shadows of Light by Alex May and Martin A. Smith was a dance performance in London.






2 responses to “Shadows of Light”

  1. […] Shadows of Light has been accepted into the gallery for HCI 2016 for its exploration into the properties of “slow interaction”. […]