Pachikara’s installation work is influenced by a keen curiosity about light and its relationship to space. 

Using theater lighting techniques, Pachikara conceives of the viewer’s "shadow body" as a void waiting to be filled with implicative video and photographic projections. By establishing the observer as a figurative aperture for reaching hidden layers of imagery, Pachikara’s work not only addresses the social contingency of her or his gazing in a space but also visualizes the notion of body-as-screen. The latest of these works occupy public spaces, where they explore pedestrian movement and the concept of viewer as performer.

Pachikara has exhibited internationally in venues that include the Mackintosh Museum of Glasgow, Scotland, the Forum for Contemporary Art in St. Louis, Consolidated Works in Seattle, the Fassbender Gallery in Chicago, SPACES in Cleveland, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, and the Ann Arbor International Film Festival.

Cynthia Pachikara has been teaching video-based sculpture and installation art courses since 1997 institutions including Purdue University, Reed College, the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, and Washington University in St. Louis.  She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan and holds a joint appointment between the Stamps School of Art & Design and the Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning.