Birds of a Shadow


Birds of a Shadow is a Kinect-based work inviting family, friends and strangers to cooperatively work together and discover beautifully crafted bird images on the Digital Art Live (DAL) screen at Auckland Live. It encourages people to step into a physically close space and position themselves together to get creative with how they craft their unique bird shape on the digital screen. Once a person positions their silhouette into the bird shape they are given a short amount of time to create their bird before it is captured and displayed amongst other unique birds.

Birds of a Shadow was reiterated from Shadow Showdown, a previous work by Jenna Gavin, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath and I which also used body silhouettes as a form of interaction. This iteration was inspired by Fale Ula, a site-specific installation by Niki Hastings-McFall during Auckland Arts Festival 2015. The project developed towards a nature and bird theme and focuses on collaborative creation more than competitive completion. The images of the birds were chosen to showcase the uniqueness and the diversity of the New Zealand ecosystem.

The work uses the depth sensor of the Kinect to capture silhouettes of participants in front of the DAL screen. Participants use their silhouette to show parts of the bird image. The silhouette and bird are then captured and displayed as part of a grid of other previously made birds images.

The opening of the installation was on 14 March, 2015 and ran for 3 months.

Thanks to Stefan Marks for taking photos on the opening night.