Sonya Rapoport & Michael McNabb:
SEXUAL JEALOUSY: The Shadow of Love

SONYA RAPOPORT interactive Macintosh software
MICHAEL MCNABB, composer, sound installation

Artist's Statement:

SEXUAL JEALOUSY: The Shadow of Love, is a computer-assisted interactive installation in which participants investigate the sources of their jealousy and the methods of coping with their feelings. The artwork employs metaphorical illustrations and direct questions to probe the intensely personal and currently highly visible subject of sexual jealousy. The title refers to the observation that the way that you express jealousy towards a person reflects, or "shadows", the reasons which originally attracted you to that person.

Each participant answers a set of questions about his or her priorities in choice of mate, feelings of loss, and methods of coping. Depending on the choices made, the computer screen ultimately displays a particular configuration of footprints. The participant then searches out and places his or her feet on the the same pattern on the installation floor, illuminating a personalized "shadow message". The message is drawn from a movie script which relates to the person's situation. Above each set of footprints floats a human-sized mylar Indonesian puppet, which casts its own shadow, and "dances" to air currents circulating from fans.

Clips of soap operas were captured into the computer by QuickTime and Adobe Premiere software, and appear on contextually related cards in the Hypercard stack. Three groups of illustrations also accompany the text throughout the program: Aubrey Beardsley drawings, Indonesian shadow puppets, and Jungian mythological images.

An interactive multi-channel computer music installation by composer Michael McNabb surrounds the space with a distant, continuous algorithmic composition, evocative of Javanese court gamelan. As participants receive their assigned footprints, the composition changes in musical character accordingly. As they approach their assigned positions, sensors detect their proximity and modify the orchestration and apparent spatial positions of the relevant "shadow instruments".

Dr. Ayala Pines was the consulting psychologist in the development of this work.

Summary Description:

SEXUAL JEALOUSY: The Shadow of Love
SONYA RAPOPORT, installation artist
MICHAEL MCNABB, composer, sound installation

Participants interact with a multimedia Hypercard program to investigate the sources of their jealousy and the methods of coping with their feelings. The results direct them to enter an installation of light, shadow, and sound, where their presence reveals a personalized "shadow message" and affects a real-time spatial musical composition.

Required Space, Equipment, Personnel, and Time

An installation space between 300 and 500 square feet in area.

Mechanism for suspending shadow puppets near perimeter of space.

Mechanism for mounting several spotlights near the center of the space.

Assistant for suspending puppets and erecting lights.

Four loudspeakers and four channels of amplification, at least 50 watts/channel.

Apple Macintosh II (if available locally)

SGI O2 Computer (if available locally)

Two low-speed fans

Electrical power for sound system, two personal computer systems, and lighting.

Time required for installation: 1 day

Time required for strike: 1 day