The 2017 Vivid Light Walk is a journey that takes you through streets, byways and secret places, by harbour coves, garden parklands and new parts of the city.
From May to June, Vivid Light has walls that talk, shadows that spring into colour and building facades that reveal a hidden world of magic
There are over 65 works on show, many are thought-provoking, ingenious, magical, witty, hilarious, awe-inspiring and stunningly beautiful
Something spectacular is coming to The Rocks… From 26 May to 17 June, Vivid Sydney will colour the streets and light up the nights with mesmerising illuminations, installations and mind-blowing creations. Prepare to be amazed! bit.ly/rx-vividsydney
Posted by The Rocks on Wednesday, 17 May 2017
The busiest stretch of installations at Vivid Sydney 2017 is the Vivid Light Walk which trails around the foreshore from the expanded Royal Botanic Gardens, past the Sydney Opera House, through Circular Quay passing the Museum of Contemporary Art
Then onto Cadman’s Cottage and the lanes and backstreets of The Rocks, through to Campbell’s Cove and onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
There is so much to experience.
Calling all Explorers. Meet Vivid Sydney 2017 😍😍. This is where your journey begins #VividCanon.Turn your 🔊 on.
Posted by Canon Australia on Saturday, 27 May 2017
A small bay on the eastern shore of Sydney Cove, Campbells Cove is named after Robert Campbell, a Scottish merchant who arrived in Sydney in the late 1790s and established a highly successful import/export business operated out of storehouses and a jetty on its shores.
1 ) Eora – Bennelong
Artist: Bangarra Dance Theatre
EORA – Bennelong honours one of Australia’s most mythologised and celebrated individuals from the days of first contact: Woollarawarre Bennelong.
The name ‘Bennelong’ resonates with in many ways, and is part of the historical iconography of Australia.
Long before the famous Bennelong Point and the Sydney Opera House, there was Bennelong the man.
He was one of the first Aboriginal men to be taken from his clan and introduced to European ways; the first Aboriginal author; the first to travel far overseas; and one of the first Aboriginal people to have their life story recorded and documented by Western writers.
This arresting art installation, projected onto the imposing southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, has been created by Bangarra Dance Theatre.
Artistic Director Stephen Page and Head of Design Jacob Nash delved into history and traditional lore, finding rare stories and historical portraits and bringing them to life with contemporary movement that seeks to unveil the character of this audacious and intrepid Aboriginal man
Bangarra is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance company, acclaimed worldwide for its authentic storytelling, outstanding technique and moving performances.
Led by Stephen Page, the company is in its 28th year, forged from more than 40,000 years of culture and heritage.
2 ) Freedom of Movement
Ford joins the Festival of innovation and creativity that is Vivid Sydney through a spectacular and engaging installation: Freedom of Movement.
Drawing inspiration from Henry Ford’s vision: “to change the way the world moves” — Freedom of Movement comes to life through a set of humble swings that combine the wonder of motion with the freedom to ‘go further’.
This simple pleasure — the sensation of movement and the delight it creates — is what drives Ford to ‘Go Further’: to push beyond the limits of our imagination, to innovate, and to move people in new ways.
The installation is a celebration of innovation that fuses colour, light, sound and motion.
It creates a mesmerising and breathtaking display, where each swing reaches for its limit — before finally pushing through to discover: …. The Freedom of Movement…
3 ) Light Waves
Artist: Indermühle + Indermühle
Light Waves is an electrifying curtain of brilliantly coloured light that illuminates the harbour on cold winter nights.
The rich vibrancy of light reminds us of the ever-present life that exists on, around and under Sydney Harbour.
Fuelled by nature and enhanced by modern technology, Light Waves provides an entertaining spectacle for visitors.
The lights lie partially submerged in the moving water and appear to dance on the waves.
As tides rise and lower, reflections of spectral colour create an ever-changing effect of rhythmic light in the water below.
Programmed through nanocomputing, the LEDs cycle through subtle changes as they move along the colour spectrum
Environmental factors affecting the harbour offer a continually new experience and it is this combination of science, nature and the beauty of light that has inspired Aly and Balthasar Indermühle in creating the work.
4 ) Music Orchard
Artists: Damian Barbeler, Time Jetis and John Taylor
Music Orchard asks the question: ” What would life be like if music and light could grow on trees ?”
This poetic work takes the form of an orchard with just one single special tree, with spheres of various sizes hanging like electric fruit, glowing and emitting a range of musical sounds.
Sophisticated technologies, hidden inside each globe, allow them to behave as if they are alive and aware of their surroundings.
Left untouched, the work performs a beautiful sound and light display, with colours and musical layers flowing back and forth across the sculpture.
However Music Orchard is also interactive; a touch to any individual globe will cause it to animate and perform its very own pre-programed solo in the form of a short melody and light display.
Participants can move around the tree trying out all the different melodies, eventually finding their favourite ‘fruit’.
The different melodies also work together; as more than one participant moves around the light sculpture and touches the fruit, different melodies are triggered and a large-scale and ever-changing musical composition is created.
Printed on each globe is an abstract graphic symbol evoking the character or musical personality of that particular ‘fruit’.
Each globe also displays a unique QR code which can be read by a smart phone so visitors can access a copy of a favourite melody from the orchard of sound and light.
In this way the audience members can actually ‘pick’ the sounds of the fruit from Music Orchard and take the music away with them as a sound file – a unique souvenir of a ‘fruitful’ festival experience.
5 ) Crystallise
CREATE: Yunzhen Zhang (Australia) / Christopher Ho (Australia) / Alison Zhang (Australia) /Randy Tjang (Singapore) / Guoyu Chu (China) / William Weng (Australia)
Crystallise is a sprawling, lighting-mural landscape, comprising multicoloured triangles and diamonds.
Los Angeles-based street artist Colette Miller, whose colourful angelic wings have adorned city walls across the world, is the inspiration behind the Vivid Sydney Crystallise light installation at The Rocks.
The Crystallise wings help represent the changing face of humanity and this student project even contains a hidden truth that encourages self expression.
At first glance, the installation appears to be a mosaic, although randomly generated colours and patterns allow viewers to see different forms within its surface.
However, the installation encourages viewers to approach and construct their own interpretations of what they can see, and the final secret of the work is reserved for those who truly explore. As they come into close proximity with the mural, sections of the canvas fade, leaving behind only a pair of wings.
The idea behind Crystallise started off from a simple concept sketch inspired by Miller but when left in the hands of 20 University of NSW students from across Sydney the piece started to take form.
The students, from the UNSW student-run Create group that promotes engineering and design disciplines, workshopped the final idea before rolling up their sleeves to put the structure together, including large-scale testing with the software and electronics
6 ) Landscape of the Mind
Artists: Black Dog Institute and amigo & amigo
Curator: Natalie Robinson
Landscape of the Mind is a sculpture that explores deeply personal experiences of anxiety – what it feels like and what helps – through body map drawings, charting experiences, emotions and physical sensations that may be difficult to express verbally.
This enables individuals to express their personal experience of anxiety in a way that shows its debilitating effects without stigmatising the condition.
The body maps presented in Landscape of the Mind were drawn by participants in a research study conducted by Professor Katherine Boydell and her team at the Black Dog Institute, an organisation that studies, diagnoses, and helps to moderate mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
To build awareness and empathy for sufferers, curator Natalie Robinson facilitated the creation of a series of life-sized human forms and integrated the body maps by etching them into transparent acrylic panels; these are lit with different colours to highlight how anxiety can impact parts of the body.
She uses the body maps as a way of telling stories whose significance can only be understood in relation to the creator’s overall story and experience.
In Landscape of the Mind each body map artwork can be viewed individually, but by looking through all the assembled transparent panels the viewer can see the layers of collective experience.
7 ) Fractal
Artist: Patrick Girdler
Artist Patrick Girdler uses his work to explore concepts of duality: inward and outward; reflection and refraction; introspective, examining what is within, and ‘extrospective’, seeing what is outside yourself.
Fractal is a light sculpture with mirror-like skin and a crystalline form that re-imagines the relationship between the audience and the urban environment, presenting it in two ways: the concave and the convex.
Fractal is simultaneously about the individual and the city and examines the complex relationship between the two. Through reflection and ‘re-presentation’ it asks the audience to consider this relationship in new and unfamiliar ways.
The convex, or external, side of the sculpture orientates itself towards the built environment. It captures views of the city and reframes them. As the city shines with light the work acts as a mirror, distorting and re-presenting the familiar context.
The concave, or internal, side orientates itself towards and around the individual, providing a fragmented and altered view that creates an unexpected self-image.
Fractal is illuminated from within. Lights run internally along the work’s triangulated structure. As they shine they refract through the mirror-like skin, breaking the reflection and leading the viewer’s eye.
Using a series of two-way mirrors, the lights and skin work in unison to create an infinity mirror effect.
Lights within the sculpture trigger independently and pulse at varying tempos.
Mimicking the city, this creates a pattern that is seemingly chaotic and yet ordered.
Colours similarly ebb and flow through a gradient of hues and are indicative of the changing urban context.
8 ) The Harbour Watchman
Artist: Fergal Hanley
The Harbour Watchman is a giant skull, gazing vigilantly out over the harbour from above a three-metre high pillar, its light glimmering on the crowd below.
The Watchman is a ‘hologram’ made from flowing energy particles, created through a 3D inverted pyramid effect known (appropriately) as ‘Pepper’s Ghost’.
The skull animation is brought to life through 70,000 individually rendered particles flowing over the entire skull and controlled by ‘Vizmap’ custom software, developed by the artist.
This directs changes to the colour, shape and size of the particles as they move along its pathways.
The Harbour Watchman is responsive to both sound and touch. Inside the pillar are four microphones, speakers, a projector and a main computer.
The sounds of the passing crowd are picked up by the microphones and analysed by the animation software, causing instantaneous changes in the appearance of the skull.
As it shimmers and changes colour, viewers literally see sound waves rolling over the skull.
The public can also interact directly with the installation by pushing one of four buttons on each side of the pillar to activate different effects; they can spin the skull around, change the shape and size of the particles that delineate its form or apply a texture.
The Watchman also has a voice and despite his spectral appearance responds to interaction with vocalisations that express his own deeply held emotions.
9 ) Ethereal Columns
Artist Collective: Turner ( Carolina Álvarez Arellano, Claudio Mantovani, Shewanna Mendis, Gabriel Duque, Pablo Codina, Alex Tran, Roberto Rizzo, Dean Van Der Merwe )
Ethereal Columns explores the possibility of a colonnade without solidity, without weight to bear.
The work is architectural: bold and imposing, it appears to carry its burden with grandeur.
However, as the columns of light dance and flicker, the colonnade reveals itself as a structure without mass — and the columns transition into the ethereal.
10 ) Always Coming, Always Going
Artists: deuxmonts (Jared Berghold and Luc Small)
Always Coming, Always Going is an interactive art installation that explores the relationship between humanity’s sense of wonder and scientific discovery.
As participants enter the space, they will look up to see a large honeycomb structure made up of thousands of luminescent hexagons hanging from the ceiling.
The work is designed to induce a sense of awe in the viewer as they watch a mesmerising, animated sequence of images skimming across the surface of the structure.
As participants reach upwards, move around or even jump up and down, the work will respond in kind.
As the collective movements of the group increase, the work will respond by revealing ever more complex and colourful images and movement, rewarding involvement and cooperation.
The images and movement are dynamically generated, and based on the equations and formulae that have been at the heart of scientific discovery over the last century.
Critical scientific datasets, such as data collected from the Human Genome Project and the Large Hadron Collider, form the underlying basis of these abstract and beautiful images.
11 ) Parallax
Artist: Benjamin Jay Shand
Parallax is inspired by the qualities of stalactites cladding the upper limits of a cave ceiling. In nature, these geological formations are created by the precipitation of minerals present in water as they drip through caverns.
Benjamin Jay Shand reinterprets these vertical formations by suspending translucent linear elements from a gridded lattice of engineered steel.
As they hang from the canopy above, a very slight horizontal movement complements the strong vertical elements of the sculpture.
Each ‘stalactite’ also glows with an illuminated pulse.
The diffused glow of the lighting is achieved by custom tooling of the plastic material used to form each extrusion.
Light sources are embedded in channels to mask their appearance and provide a seamless glow that interacts with the refractive and reflective properties of the material.
The work relies upon basic optical distortion technology — resembling a parallax effect — as the form and its density appears to shift constantly according to the unique perspective of the viewer.
A void at the centre of the sculpture contributes to its dynamism by creating opportunities for an immersive, human scale experience: participants interact with the sculpture as programs shift to modulate luminosity in line with audience engagement and interaction and to limit output when pedestrian traffic slows.
12 ) Chromesthesia
Artists: Harry Hock and Jonathon Bolitho
Chromesthesia is an immersive installation that encourages participants to experience the convergence of sound and light, based on a neurological condition called chromesthesia – which causes those affected to involuntarily correlate sounds with an experience of colour.
Although incidence of the condition is extremely rare a remarkable number of artists are or were chromesthesic – among them: Vincent Van Gogh, Wassily Kandinksy and David Hockney as well as musicians Leonard Bernstein and Duke Ellington.
Participants enter a shipping container where they are immersed in bands of colour that correspond to a particular sound frequency emanating from the speakers – as an example, when the viewer is standing in the blue ‘band’ of light, they will hear a ‘C’ note.
This reinforces the idea that colour, light, sound and our perceptions are nuanced and subjective.
The highly directional nature of the speakers lining the container mean that multiple sounds can be heard in isolation within a small space: yet as the viewer journeys from one end to the other they can create melodies as the colours blur into one.
Chromesthesia uses sound and light to draw parallels between seemingly separate phenomena, broadening our understanding of how we perceive and gather information from our senses and move toward a more holistic perceptual experience of the world around us.
Artist: Kit Webster
AXIOM breaks conventions by combining light, music, geometrics, animation and space to blur the distinction between what is ‘illumination’ and what is ‘form’, leading the observer to reconsider their perceptions of virtual and physical space.
Utilising cutting-edge event technologies and construction techniques in abstract and unorthodox ways, this large-scale edifice of light is designed in an abstract archway configuration.
This acts as a canvas for a sequence of custom animations and lighting movements that are specifically designed to follow the contours of the sculptural form.
The work is further enhanced by an evolving synaesthetic rhythmic soundscape – where stimulation of one sense leads to a response in another – that pulses in and out of phase with a hypnotic meditative overtone, paced to the movements of light.
Standing in front of the work, viewers can see the animation interacting with the structure; however, they are also invited to wander through the sculpture to gain alternative perspectives and appreciate the distinction between the exterior aesthetic and the interior sensory experience.
The Rocks Precinct
The Rocks is an urban locality, tourist precinct and historic area of Sydney’s city centre
It is located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, immediately north-west of the Sydney central business district.
The precinct and its immediate surroundings are administered independently of the local government area of the City of Sydney, by Property NSW.
The Rocks area borders on the Bradfield Highway, leading to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with the localities of Dawes Point and Millers Point, to the west.
It is immediately adjacent to Circular Quay on Sydney Cove, the site of Australia’s first European settlement in 1788.
13 ) Portholes
Artist: The Buchan Group
Portholes captures the viewing experience of explorers as they peer through the windows of their ‘capsule’, to marvel at the furthest reaches of the Earth – and beyond…
For centuries humankind has sought to explore the Earth’s environment.
From the ocean depths of the Mariana Trench, to the planetary orbits of NASA’s space program, humans have looked through portholes to marvel at the previously unknown.
This installation creates the illusion of seeing various environments through circular apertures that seem to penetrate a structural façade.
With projected imagery that aligns precisely with clusters of mounted portholes, the observer experiences a view into the immense void ‘behind’ the wall.
At any moment, the porthole structures could reveal an aquatic scene, or a stellar one; a vast landscape, or one viewed from the scale of an insect.
Representations and abstractions of worlds appear, shifting in colour, light, nature and culture.
14 ) MusicBox
Artist: Propaganda Mill
Musicbox transforms historic Cadman’s Cottage into a dynamic visual environment in which participants see their own musical compositions translated into unique displays of colour and fantasy.
Individuals are invited to step into one of four themed 3D spaces, each acting as a ‘stage’ on which an interactive ‘keyboard’ is projected onto the ground
By playing the ‘instrument’, participants access a unique soundscape with every note represented both as an audio and visual element.
Together they combine to produce a constantly changing performance to entertain spectators and engage those passing by.
15 ) Connections
Artist: Indermühle + Indermühle
Connections visualises the transmission and reception of radio waves generated by our mobile devices.
Whether it’s a phone call, a text message, an email, a push, a tag, a pin, or some other kind of Personal Message, they all have one thing in common: they connect us via invisible radio waves.
Connections listens to the signal levels on frequencies tuned to daily communications’ traffic and captures their intensity on a series of light columns.
The more intense the traffic on the radio waves, the brighter the colours appear on the columns.
As time passes these coloured points, representing tiny slices of information being sent and received, slide down the sides of the columns, only to disappear and never return.
For one fleeting moment in time, we can see a representation of the sheer quantity of information that is sent and received, expressed as a beautiful side product of our connected society.
16 ) Synaptic Array
Artist: Lucas Kowe
Synaptic Array celebrates advances in technology, mathematics and science; artist Lucas Kowe’s aim is to impress audiences with the realisation that they are now present in a future that was dreamed of throughout the twentieth century; that they bear witness to the height of the information age.
The vibrant 3D light sculpture incorporates high-speed software and hardware to create diverse arrangements of superfluid luminosity.
This courses around, up and down the sculptural form, intriguing audiences from a distance and captivating them when they move in for closer inspection.
The structure comprises an coaxial array of 16 curved segments, each three metres in length; when viewed together they present a 3D canvas on which animations produce dynamic other-worldly impressions.
Lightning-quick pulses of light and pattern give way to more gradual transitions of colour across the installation.
Changes in the animations switch viewer associations between sci-fi, futuristic technological devices and abstract scientific concepts.
The work reminds us what great philosophers and scientists have always foreseen: that the future is built on a union between high technology and the human condition
17 ) Gulliver’s Swift Travel Service
Artist Collective: Digital Mango Labs ( Jonathan McEwan, Phil Gough, Chris Bell, Julian Wilton, Jay Janus )
In Gulliver’s Swift Travel Service, the bold adventures from Gulliver’s Travels are brought to life through four whimsical, free-floating doorways.
The interactive light installation is a playful celebration of the 350th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift, author of the classic satirical fantasy.
Gulliver’s Swift Travel Service playfully explores themes explored in Swift’s original work: the imprudent pride we have in our fleeting and puny existence; a close-up examination of human nature, distorted but revealed when seen larger-than-life; the discord between theoretical musings and practical application of knowledge.
The strange events in Swift’s novel leave the pages of the book for this visually stunning, interactive installation.
Viewers can see what appears to be a three-dimensional space beyond each doorway, like a window into another world.
They are transported there through light-hearted and unexpected interactions, which echo the satire of the original stories.
The paper-craft style pays tribute to the narrative’s literary origins.
18 ) T-Square and a Dress
Artist: IA Design – Jenny Oxley, Haron Robson
T-Square and a Dress is intended to create familiarity and awareness of the female influence on our built environment.
The installation at the Marriott Hotel on Pitt Street covers a little history in an ingenious and playful way; first drawing on various architectural structures dating from the nineteenth century when Australian women’s contributions to architecture was mostly through background influence or by commissioning buildings.
It then introduces us to some of Australia’s first qualified female architects:
Florence Taylor (1879–1969), Ruth Alsop (1879–1976) and the astounding Marion Mahony Griffin (1871–1961) who, with her husband Walter Burley Griffin, created the vision for Australia’s new capital, Canberra.
From there the display moves through to the mid-twentieth century, when there were many females in practice, often as part of husband-and-wife teams.
It concludes with examples of Australian women architects who currently excel in the field.
The fascinating narrative of this work also highlights the continuing struggle experienced by women in the field and the need to tackle long-ingrained attitudes and stigmas associated with women in construction industries.
19 ) Spectral House
Artist: Mcdermott Baxter
Spectral House reflects the architectural history of The Rocks by creating an imaginary and abstracted ‘house’ complete with old-style rounded windows, a cast-iron balcony, ornate gates, decorative architectural details and traditional masonry.
The spectre of the past is present in every street and building in The Rocks, and its narrow crooked streets and antique buildings have often been likened to those of old London.
Although the ghostly house created by this hi-tech art-work has never existed, its many architectural details are authentic to the place and the period.
A city is made by its layers of history and the artists, Mcdermott Baxter have layered the details together so the ‘house’ is there as a spectral, indistinct presence; the seeming fragility of this soft installation contrasting with the hard textures of the surrounding environments.
20 ) Electric Hopscotch
Artists: Sydney Theatre Company: Jono Perry (Australia) / Padraig Ó Súilleabháin (Afghanistan) / Hon Boey (Australia)
Electric Hopscotch employs the latest LED technology to transport us back in time to an era when children played innocently in the streets and playgrounds of our towns and cities.
Without a hint of chalk on the floor, Electric Hopscotch encourages visitors to play the popular children’s street game on a grid projected onto the ground in a laneway in The Rocks.
Invisible at first, the board is activated by movement and is then projected on to the pavement from above.
If visitors stay and play, the grid remains, surrounded by vibrant pools of coloured light.
When visitors move on, like a mirage the hopscotch playground disappears as if it had never existed.
When a new player happens along, the hopscotch board once again ‘hops to it’ and give more visitors an electric surprise.
Electric Hopscotch surprises and delights everyone who encounters it, no doubt with some kids watching in amazement and amusement as the adults hop, skip and jump their way back in time.
21 ) Under My Umbrella
Artists: Beam Collective: ( Bettina Easton, Colin Shum, Grace Tham, Ales Vasenda )
Under My Umbrella invites you to dream and dance under a glowing canopy as it sways gently in the wind.
The canopy is made up of a mass of magical umbrellas that dim and glow as you dance beneath them.
This whimsical installation also casts a sea of stars on the laneway below, enveloping dancers in light.
22 ) Uncovered World
Artist: The Propaganda Mill
Uncovered World gives audiences a glimpse of the worlds that exist below the pavement on which they walk.
The artists have been inspired by trompe l’œil chalk pavement art, and now take this traditional genre to the next level, through the magic of digital animation and state-of-the-art projection mapping.
Pedestrians promenading the pavement of Sydney see portals opening to a series of new and intriguing worlds — and may want to watch their step.
23 ) The Unnoticed
Artists: (GLEAM Collective) Marsha Levina, Eduardus Andrew, James Sulaiman, Jenny Wong, Kristina Grasiella
Collaborators: Steven Bai, Ivan Chen, Anthony Zeater
The Unnoticed converts a hidden urban setting into an immersive experience of light, colour and texture. It encourages reassessment of the familiar, the overlooked or the unnoticed in order to discover something vibrant and new.
The hidden location of the installation — a dark alleyway in The Rocks — is curious and demands exploration.
On entering the intimate space, visitors may experience heightened awareness or moments of self-reflection. As they walk through the alleyway they become participants, part of the installation; by being present they cause the entire space to be washed with light.
While the alleyway itself is a metaphor for a journey of self-exploration, the interactivity aims to communicate the idea of self-worth and evoke a warm sense of empowerment.
This is achieved as the audience moves and plays, and become immersed in the experience.
The Unnoticed’s dependence on participation represents yet another inspiring concept: that the very presence of an individual can bring light and colour to the world around them.
24 ) Vivid Dreams
Artists: Martin & Kathryn Bevz
Vivid Dreams initially presents as a series of concentric coils mounted above the heads of viewers: the simple white coiled shapes capture the gaze and encourage a moment of contemplation.
However, contemplation quickly moves to a more dynamic response as the work transforms into a vibrantly coloured dreamscape.
The installation is made up of eight interactive coils constructed of neon flex, which is an LED replacement for traditional neon; more than 80 metres of lights coil across the entire installation.
They spring into action when a custom-designed interface detects the presence of beings, as they enter this space where dreams unfold.
Circular Quay & City Surrounds
Circular Quay is a harbour in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on the northern edge of the Sydney central business district on Sydney Cove, between Bennelong Point and The Rocks.
The Circular Quay area is a popular neighbourhood for tourism and consists of walkways, pedestrian malls, parks and restaurants.
It hosts a number of ferry quays, bus stops, and a train station.
Despite its name, the waterfront at the quay is roughly square in shape
25 ) MailboX
Artists: Isabella Bain, James Rotanson, Steven Bai, Christopher Simpson, Anthony Zeater
MailboX starts with the simple joy of posting a letter and asks: “How can we inspire the community to start exchanging written words again?”
Although the slow, intimate practice of sending letters has been replaced by the convenience of emails, we often find ourselves losing touch with the people around us; we still love the thought of receiving a letter from someone close.
To address this loss the artists have re-imagined the communication possibilities of traditional mailboxes.
Using game-design principles they have reinstated the joy by augmenting the boxes with current advances in computing and LED lighting technologies.
Participants can interact with MailboX by tapping at different places, which trigger responses varying in colour combination, light intensity, and content; it might be an emoji today but a smiling koala tomorrow!
By inserting a letter or having many people touch it at the same time the postal installation unleashes a range of delightful visual experiences and unexpected surprises.
26 ) Organis Vibrations – see here
27 ) Never Ends
Artist: Bright illusions (Luigi Console & Valentina Novembre)
Never Ends is an interactive installation whose principal actor is a horse on a spring.
The installation is composed of a platform of about four meters in diameter at the centre of which is a single illuminated horse, standing alone, waiting for a rider.
The horse is blue and white, similar to those found in playgrounds everywhere and is capable of supporting the weight of an adult.
And when you start to ride it, something magical happens – everything changes and the lights on the platform spring into action, creating a fairy-tale setting for horse and rider as they swing into the night.
When the rider dismounts the lights go out and the horse stands and waits once more.
This work invites us to rediscover the pleasure of play and the beauty of being a child; it taps into a sense of continuous discovery that never ends.
28 ) Supernova
Artist Collective: Turner ( Carolina Alvarez Arellano, Claudio Mantovani, Shewanna Mendis, Gabriel Duque, Pablo Codina, Alex Tran, Roberto Rizzo, Dean Van Der Merwe, Aaron Hogan, Nat Ma )
Supernova by-passes the bright lights of the city to create a starry night sky.
An array of cantilevered umbrellas open and close, their material glowing; when fully open, there’s a flash of bright light – the supernova is revealed!
This miniaturised astronomical event, captured in Bulletin Place, represents the sudden and bright birth of a star, which then fades back into a ‘Milky Way’ of shifting canopies.
29 ) Helix
Artists: Steven Isherwood, Sara McClintock and Kim Straatemeier.
Helix demonstrates that in nature, what can sometimes appear random from one angle, seems like organised perfection from another.
Comprised of large, glowing, laser-cut panels that soar from a raised plinth, Helix at first seems nonsensical until you look directly down the main axis.
It’s at this point the perfection becomes apparent and the viewer is transfixed by the gradual ebb and flow of light moving down the spine of the sculpture.
30 ) Light of Thoughts
Artist: Novo-See (Shidi Luo, Tong Jia, Hongji Lin, Joe Peng).
Light of Thoughts is the physical embodiment of bright ideas.
It’s a giant brain that sits waiting for participants to stimulate it and thus discover what happens during different types of thought processes.
The installation’s exterior is a brain-shape casing made from semi-transparent acrylic material; sitting adjacent to the brain is a control stand that is responsive to hand gestures made by participants.
Tapping the control will activate ‘thoughts’ that are transmitted into the brain via lighting cubes, which trigger changes to animations inside the brain
To change the direction of the animations, participants wave right, to reverse them they wave left.
As thoughts multiply the audio and visual effects become faster and stronger.
The intention is to evoke that moment when non-related fields of knowledge and different types of thinking process combine to produce a magical occurrence in the brain: innovative thought.
31 ) Tidal
Artist: Peter Thompson and Reuben Young
Tidal charts Sydney’s evolution from before First Contact to the present day; it creates a narrative of sound and light that weaves above the city streets and captures the tides of change that have so relentlessly transformed the city.
The 3D installation draws on real-time tidal data and sampling audio to present scenarios that range from the hustle and bustle of Circular Quay, to the beauty and nature of Bradley’s Head; woven throughout are stories of the city’s landscape, history and architecture.
Participants are immersed in stories of the Dreamtime, the arrival of the first settlers and the rise of the wool trade and the warehouses and bond stores that used to line the harbour.
As the narrative moves forward in time it tells of the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
Shifting to the present-day the story focuses on the Quay Quarter development which is currently transforming the areas bordering Bridge, Alfred, Young and Loftus Streets, linking Sydney’s harbour to its financial district and bringing new light, energy and experiences to the precinct.
32 ) Cradle
Artist: Ashley Corbett-Smith
Cradle illustrates the transference of kinetic energy (or motion) by hanging five illuminated spheres on a swing frame; participants are encouraged to give the spheres a gentle push so that they swing back and forth – and then watch as the spheres change colour each time they touch.
RGB (Red, Green and Blue) LED lights housed inside each sphere light up and change colour in a variety of ways upon impact, as random colours are generated then transferred from one sphere to another.
33 ) Don’t Step on the Crack
Artists: Martin and Kathryn Bevz
Don’t step on the Crack, inspired by childhood memories of stepping and jumping over cracks, painted lines and other everyday surface ‘obstacles’, challenges our perception of what lies beneath our feet.
The installation features a fracture in the pavement through which light radiates, revealing a vivid iridescence from below and prompting the participant to consider what lies beneath the surface.
As the title of the work suggests, the participant is challenged to walk along the path, to avoid more illuminated cracks and cross through luminous boundaries.
34 ) Interactive Human Light Clock
Artist: Andre Kecskes
Interactive Human Light Clock channels the Ancient Egyptians, who looked to the Sun for their timekeeping methods.
Through acute observation and ingenuity, they created shadow clocks, sundials and the large obelisks that often featured in public spaces to chart the progress of their day.
The Interactive Human Light Clock updates the concept of shadow clocks by using the viewer as a modern day obelisk to cast a shadow that tells the time.
Instead of the sun the installation uses LED lighting as a light source.
Participants stand on a central marked point and their shadow falls on the hours dividing a 12-hour clock face.
Although visitors to Vivid cast their shadow at night, the time and light quality around the installation is calibrated to match daylight hours.
Night becomes day, there are sounds of dawn and dusk and all time in between with the hours marked by the shadow cast by the human obelisk.
35 ) Amicabiliter Interventus
Artist: Veraque – Stuart Aslett
Amicabiliter Interventus comes from how a computer translates “social media” and, by giving us a window into the movements and anonymous interactions of passengers standing on a train platform, this work explores themes of isolation and connectivity.
On an average day on Sydney trains 1,018,240 people come into contact with each other, 41,260 through Circular Quay.
Where are they going ? Where have they been ? What’s their story ?
What would happen if we could inhabit their space, understand their journey?
Through mapping the movements of passengers standing on a platform, artist Stuart Aslett gives the viewer the opportunity to briefly stand in the footsteps of a stranger before the next train comes along.
And, just for a moment, the separate journeys of two strangers is replaced by the concept of two passengers fleetingly on a common journey.
36 ) Between Fine Lines
Artists: Emrah Baki Ulas and Burak Ayanoglu
Between Fine Lines rests on a simple platform: linear, slim reed-like elements that cast shadows throughout the day, and at night generate their own light.
The reeds are flexible and move about, rustling and jostling against each other, creating a dynamic and moving light effect that meanders in the sky at their tips, and return to their original upright position.
The work contrasts as a simple and minimal geometric object within its context and stands out sculpturally from distance, and also engages with the busy atmosphere by inviting people to walk in and experience it from within.
37 ) Hedron Bulb
Artist: Liam Filson
Hedron Bulb is a fully recyclable installation designed to deliver moments of intense beauty and reflection – but constructed with its own end in sight.
Visitors enter the sculpture to see Sydney Harbour framed through twinkling lights and are captivated by reflections of light, people and places bouncing off the mirrored floor.
However, there is more to it than meets the eye.
Hedron Bulb is a sculpture with a mission: to leave no footprint, with no remnant of what was, only that which can become something else.
The artist considered all aspects of its energy usage and materials in designing and constructing the work.
It uses low light to conserve energy and avoid overwhelming photography of the views beyond; almost nothing is glued, drilled or permanently fixed, such that the sculpture can be assembled and dismantled like Lego, using a deceptively simple pattern.
This allows for more portability as well as more environmentally friendly transport options. The construction materials can simply be reassembled.
At the end of the Vivid Sydney, almost all of Hedron Bulb’s materials will be able to be reused. The stormwater pipes and fittings will be found in plumbing around the city; the mirror floor will become a solar reflector; lights will be repurposed for gardens and the ramp will become a giant chessboard.
38 ) Dreamscape – see here
40 ) Audio Creatures @ Sydney Opera House – see here
39 – 50 ) Royal Botanical Gardens – see here
51 ) Sirius
Artist: Thi Nguyen
Sirius is an installation that represents the brightest star in the Earth’s night sky, the sun that sits behind our sun, twice as big and 25 times more luminous.
According to ancient teachings, the star Sirius is associated with love and liberation. It has long been considered a source of our spiritual energy, bringing with it growth and change.
This installation visually depicts Sirius as an incredibly chaotic source of energy with abstract lines of light travelling back and forth.
The mirrored centre represents transition from one state to another – a moment of change.
52 ) Unsui
Artist: JHA Consulting Engineers
Unsui invites participants to suspend, for a moment, their habitual state of being and allow themselves to be transported by a cloud-like mist to a place of tranquillity and stillness.
The practices of Zen Buddhism give us the name of the installation, a term which literally translates as “cloud water”, but as used in ancient Zen poetry, it represents a meditative state : ‘to drift like clouds and flow like water’.
Visitors begin a compelling sensory journey after entering a contained and curated atmosphere.
This initially presents as a simple domed structure: within its walls video projection, sound effects and a host of theatrical effects and luminaires take them through a cloudscape of light and sound.
The atmosphere can initially appear dense and opaque; sometimes it is transparent and wispy; at other times it captures that sense of brilliance that occurs when sunlight is filtered through a cloud.
Unsui was created by JHA Consulting Engineers: in using cutting-edge technology to explore the elusive themes of cloud and water, they have achieved a work that is truly ethereal.
53 ) 100 Ways to Say I Love You
Artist: The Propaganda Mill
100 Ways to Say I Love You is a celebration of language in its written form; but instead of words on a page the reader is immersed in a space where technology and visual expression connect with language and meaning.
Using complex computer-aided design and manufacturing, 100 Ways to Say I Love You creates a physical structure that serves as a 360-degree pinhole light projector.
Its purpose is to communicate in 100 different languages a phrase with universal meaning: ‘I love you’.