Sarah Michael



Animation & Games




My work explores light and our perceptions of it. While light is seemingly intangible, we experience it on a physical level. 

Light’s formal and material possibilities are endless. Artist James Turrell suggests using light as an artistic medium, as a “material,” enabling it to be felt as well as perceived. Like Turrell, I try to create experiences that allow people to feel and see light.

In my light sculptures and installations, I use light as a material to define and delineate space and allow it to be physically felt. I often employ sensors to detect a participant’s presence and enable them to control the light to create different patterns and behaviors. In other projects, I let light – and only light – elicit a more passive interaction: participants are engaged even if they are only looking at or playing with the light.
I began to think about light in a new way when I experienced Anthony McCall’s video installation Line Describing a Cone, in which a point of light becomes a line, an arc, a half-moon and a full circle over time. While not technically interactive, McCall’s installation generated a heightened sense of engagement as the participants interacted joyfully with the beam of light.

Light has always been fascinating to me. I know now that part of that fascination is derived from intuitively recognizing the connection, and tension, between what I see and what I feel. If I were to define why I work with light, it is because I want others to experience a similar sense of fascination with light through the works I create.