Shadowing Lighting Project by Chomko & Rosie


Shadowing by Chomko & Rosier is in Austin, Texas, from February 5th – March 19th, 2018. Six lamps are installed in two clusters, one on the south side of Austin and one on the east. A map of these locations can be viewed here.
Winner of Watershed’s Playable City Award, Shadowing gives memory to city street lights, enabling them to record and play back the shadows of those who pass underneath.

First installed across Bristol in 2014, Shadowing was has toured to York in 2015, Tokyo in 2016, London in 2017, and has been exhibited at the Museum of London as part of the 2014 Designs of the Year Award..


Winner of Watershed’s Playable City Award, Shadowing by Jonathan Chomko and Matthew Rosier gave memory to Bristol’s city lights, enabling them to record and play back the shadows of those who passed underneath.

Over six weeks in Autumn 2014, Bristol residents and visitors hunted out the clandestine locations of eight augmented street lights, and were playing, dancing and shaping their shadows in some of the unexpected and lesser-travelled streets and pathways of Bristol.

As the sun set over the city, the Shadowing streetlights would start to capture the movements of pedestrians passing beneath and echo them back as shadows to the next passerby, leaving a glimpse of those who walked the same path moments before. If a visitor stepped out of the light to watch for a while, the lamp would begin to ‘dream’, recalling a procession of shadows from earlier visitors.

Chomko & Rosier explore technology and the built environment, resulting in installations and experiences for public space. Notable works include Shadowing, winner of the 2014 Playable City Award and Lost Palace, commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces.

The studio has been commissioned by organisations such as the UK Space Agency, Historic Royal Palaces, and the National Trust. Works have been exhibited at the V&A, the London Design Museum, and We The Curious, have won awards including the Playable City Award, Museum + Heritage Innovation Award and the Active Public Space Award, and been nominated as a Design of the Year by the London Design Museum.

Technical Details

Each of the nine Shadowing lamps contains a camera, computer and projector. Entering the light, participants are met with the previously recorded shadow, their response captured and echoed back to greet the next visitor.

The lamps are interchangeable with existing streetlamps, allowing for a wide range of installation locations. Installation takes 1-2 hours per lamp, making for a quick installation process. Shadowing lamps operate autonomously, switching on and off at scheduled times to allow for independent operation.

Case Studies

The South Bank, London

In late 2020 Chomko & Rosier partnered with Southwark Council to install a Shadowing lamp in front of the Tate Modern, as a safe way for the public to play and engage with each other during a period otherwise marked by isolation. The lamp was installed December 2020, and will be live throughout 2021.


Three lamps were commissioned by the Theatre du Chalet from November 2019 to January 2020. The Theatre du Chalet commissioned Shadowing as part of their effort to reach beyond the walls of the theatre. Two lamps were installed near the theatre, with one further away near Les Halles. Over the two month install, 182,000 shadows were recorded, of which 100,000 are estimated to be interactions with the work.


Shadowing toured to Tokyo in 2017 as part of Media Ambition Tokyo, supported by British Council Japan. Installed in the Toranomon Hills neighbourhood of Tokyo, three lamps were presented over Two months. The Shadowing lamps were situated in the public spaces between a commercial and residential development, to catalyse interaction between these communities.

City of London

Six lamps were installed in the City of London from October 2017 to January 2018, in the Barbican/Smithfield area. Commissioned by the City of London as part of the inaugural Culture Mile programme, the six lamps served as points of connection along the new culture mile.


Bristol hosted the inaugural edition of Shadowing in 2014, when eight lamps were installed in neighbourhoods across the city for six weeks. Over 100,000 interactions were recorded across the eight locations. One local resident remarked “the light has brought people out to play!”, with another commenting: “I loved it! It added a magical fleeting element to my journey.”


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