Project 1.2: Choreographing Movement & Shadow Traces

August 8, 2012


In the first part of this project, we developed and inquired into the emerging relationships that came about in the process of transformation between a line and an invisible boundingvolume. Inthispartoftheprojectwelauncha simultaneous inquiry into the relationship between volume, “site,” and shadow (or trace) through a choreography of movements.
Selecting one of the wire-form volumes created in the previous step of the project, you are now asked to choreograph the movement of the volume within the space of an imaginary bounding volume – a “site.” At one edge of the site is a single light source that projects toward the interior. The challenge is to develop a set of rules that inform a finite series of movements within this given site. In order to support the movements of your volume within the site you will be asked to construct “scaffolding.” The scaffolding serves to stabilize and ensure precision of choreography. Additionally, the scaffolding acts as a cumulative trace of your choreography. At each stage of movement in your choreography, the shadow of the volume and the scaffolding must be registered as line drawn tracings of the shadows. The conceptual and physical relationships between volume, line, and shadow generated by the choreography within this bounded space are investigated through drawing.

Download Project Brief as .pdf file.


To choreograph the movements of one of the wire-form volumes that you developed in the previous step of this project within a bounded site. And explore the relationships between line, volume, and shadow within a fixed three dimensional boundary. This bounded site has the dimensions of 420 mm x 297 mm x 420 mm (see Diagram on page 2). The following steps and questions are critical to the development of the project:

  1. In order to begin your exploration, you will first need to construct three sides of the bounding site using two ply chipboard (“Chan Oy”). See diagram on page 2.
  2. You will need to obtain a light source that will project toward the interior of the bounding site.
  3. A3 sheets of vellum should be mounted on the side marked in the diagram. Tracings will be made on the vertical sheet. See diagram.
  4. What are the relationships between the volume and the site, scaffolding, and simultaneously the volume and the shadow? What do you prioritize in your choreography?
  5. How can your rules of choreography be made explicit without verbal explanation?


  1. You must choreograph a discrete number of movements. In this project you are limited to 6 movements of a single wire-form volume within the “site.”
  2. The starting position of the volume must touch the drawing surface boundary, or the side farthest from the light source.
  3. The sixth and final movement of the volume must touch the imaginary front boundary – closest to the light source – of the site.
  4. The light source must be positioned outside the bounding volume of the site. The light source must not be moved once its position is established.
  5. For each movement of the wire-form volume, you must trace two shadows: [a] The shadow of the wire-form volume on a sheet of A3 vellum. [b] The shadow of the scaffolding on a separate sheet of A3 vellum. That means, in the end, you will have 6 sheets of A3 vellum with drawn traces of the wire-form volume shadows and 6 sheets of A3 vellum with drawn traces of the scaffolding shadows. In total 12 sheets of A3.
  6. The scaffolding must be specific to each choreographed movement, and must be able to be removed from the site without collapse (i.e. self supporting). You should have 6 sections of scaffolding once you have completed your choreography. The scaffolding must hold the wire-form securely.
  7. The scaffolding is to be made from square section balsa wood members. Section size to be determined.


  1. 2 ply chipboard (“Chan Oy”), sufficient to construct the three sides of the “site.”
  2. Adjustable desk lamp with 40 watt bulb maximum – purchase from Home Pro or school supply shop.
  3. Pencils of various weights and thicknesses.
  4. 12 A3 Vellum sheets (minimum), available at the school supply store (“Tong Yang”).
  5. Balsa wood members, square section approx. 2.5 mm available at the school supply store (“Tong Yang”).
  6. White glue.


  1. 6 shadow trace drawings of the wire-form volume. One shadow tracing for each choreographed movement on A3 vellum. These drawings are to be executed freehand using pencil.
  2. 6 shadow trace drawings of the scaffolding. One shadow tracing for each choreographed movement on A3 vellum. These drawings are to be executed freehand using pencil.
  3. 6 sections of scaffolding made from balsa wood and the accompanying “site.”