Philip Worthington. Shadow Monsters. 2004–ongoing. Java, Processing, BlobDetection, SoNIA, and Physics software. Gift of the designer

In this installation, interaction designer Philip Worthington radically enlivens the timeless amusement of creating shadow puppets with the support of a computer, a camera, two projectors, a light box, and original code. The fantasy of monsters materializing from the shadows becomes a reality, thanks to vision-recognition software that augments the gestures of participants with sound and animation.

To activate the installation, step in front of the light box and make shadow shapes with your body: mouths with razor-sharp teeth will surface; tongues, eyes, and fins will appear; and birds will squawk and dinosaurs burp.

The focus of interaction design is the user’s experience of—and with—digital artifacts, including the behaviors, new habits, and other effects that they elicit. It is a field MoMA has been exploring and collecting extensively and one of the most important and oft-discussed expressions of contemporary design creativity.

Licensing of MoMA images and videos is handled by Art Resource (North America) and Scala Archives (all other geographic locations). All requests should be addressed directly to those agencies, which supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.