Intentions and Practice of the Shadow Catcher
Pieces of shadow hold memories of their matter. Fragments of dynamic shadows are mobile among us. Their motion is confined to circuits outlined by echoes of the lived experiences and physicality of the objects and animals who incubated their blueprints before being cracked by light that hatched them. On these circuits and later on the plywood stages onto which the Shadow Catcher confines their kinetic cyclicity, impressions of the essence of shadows’ originating matter is conveyed through their performative dances.
Sylvia catches shadows cast by the mechanics of musical instruments and by the natural motion of animals. To formulate strategies for catching them, she observes their dances. Essences of the kinesthetics of animals and of the workings of mechanical objects are at ease in digital form. The plywood stage sets that the Shadow Catcher creates for digitalized shadows are illusions of the environments in which these shadows were first identified.
Shadows are song of their originating matter; in their digital form they are components of homages to the memories of the essence of expression carried by their material frames. To digitally visualize memories of sound and of motion is to celebrate in bitterness, the creativity for which historical musical instruments were a vessel and the dynamic range through which animals lived their vitality.
Sylvia’s childhood home was inhabited by mobile shadows that walked up and down the flight of stairs as a herd of goats that would synchronously shift over to make way for a slinkey. As an artist, the Shadow Catcher can digitalize the mountain herd’s elliptical-shaped nano-migration and run its climb and descent in a circuit on a plywood stage-set staircase.
More on the current content of the Shadow Catcher’s net is in Speed of Shadow under Installation Art.