Vivid Sydney is a unique annual event of light, music and ideas, featuring an outdoor ‘gallery’ of extraordinary lighting sculptures, a cutting-edge contemporary music program, some of the world’s most important creative industry forums and, of course, the spectacular illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails.
Billed as the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, the event will run for 23 nights between 26 May and 17 June, filling the city with colour.
Last year, the festival saw a record-breaking 2.31 million visitors.
Cultural empowerment, artificial intelligence, the music biz, the ethics of criticism and the quest for perfection: these are just a few of the topics being explored by Vivid Ideas 2017.
The expanded 2017 Vivid Sydney line-up includes more than 260 Vivid Ideas sessions exploring the creative industries, up from 183 in 2016, featuring 370 speakers from 12 countries across 67 venues.
With over 260 events from 400 speakers, the festival features a wide dialogue across art, design, music, film and social change, as well as insights into creative practices and careers.
As a core component of Vivid Sydney, the ideas festival consists of public talks, professional development opportunities and panel discussions.
One of the festival highlights is the Game Changer Talk Series which features BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti, Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone and American artist Shepard Fairey
Fairey, who’s internationally known for his Barack Obama HOPE imagery, as well as the OBEY GIANT art project, is set to discuss his do-it-yourself approach and his signature blend between art, design and street culture.
He will also create a large-scale public mural live on a wall in Sydney’s central business district, and some of his most famous works to date will be part of a pop-up exhibition at the Darling Quarter.
Vivid Ideas is also marked by an interest in social and political issues and includes the visual art exhibition Cause and Effect, which explores the consequences of war, racism and environmental issues within Australian society.
Other events take a more targeted approach towards arts practitioners, such as the Creatives Get Cooperative workshop, which thinks through the challenges and social opportunities of the sharing economy.
The Vivid Ideas Exchange at the Museum of Contemporary Art also boasts a diverse line-up of talks presented by creative practitioners covering topics from fashion to place making, storytelling, ageism, marketing pitching, health, innovation, big data and mixed reality.
Of course the festival isn’t simply concerned with voicing interesting ideas, but exploring how innovative thoughts can be practically realised.
Consequently Vivid Ideas entails a range of workshops exploring the alternative market of freelance work, start-up culture, the ethics of cultural criticism and professional insights into the film and arts industry.
Also scheduled are frank discussions on the inevitable links between money and art-making and how young people can begin to establish their art career.