Art, Technology and Ideas at Vivid Sydney
I recently had the pleasure of going to Vivid Sydney to attend workshops, and look at the inner workings of this popular 18-day festival that celebrates light, music, ideas and the creative industries.
Vivid Sydney was an extremely interesting and inspiring event; celebrating ideas and creativity with a keen eye on business and entrepreneurship. As well as housing workshops and conferences (some by invitation only), there were many exhibits that were free and open to the public. The outdoor light sculpture walk was incredible, bringing crowds out into the chilly night to enjoy giant chandeliers, coloured cubes, and many quirky light displays. Vivid’s Facebook gallery, gives you an idea of the variety and spectacle on show in the sculpture walk. Projection mapping was a key feature of the festival, with a projection on the Opera House of a girl rolling around on the outside of the structure, and the tiles and geometry of the Opera House forming other shapes. Not to be outdone, was the projection mapping on the Customs House with an animated story playing out over the shape of the building, with extremely vibrant colours, music and sound effects to give the story more life.
Workshops ran throughout the festival as part of the Vivid Ideas component. I went to the Crowdfunding Info Session, with social entrepreneur Tom Dawkins, co-founder of startsomegood.com and Pozible‘s Alan Crabbe. They gave thoughtful advice on the power of crowd-funding and tips on how to get projects off the ground (tip – creating a video for your project is key for getting people’s buy-in). I also went to an interview with the Vice CEO, Shane Smith, and saw the keynote speaker, Cory Dotorow, “hero of the open source and creative commons movement” discuss copyright issues and information sharing in today’s technology-focussed world.
It was interesting to note the intensive inclusion of social media in this festival, both at the professional events and the displays available for the public. Each post by each outdoor sculpture had Vivid’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, and YouTube URLs. The public responded very positively, contributing to these networks, and exhibiting a shining example of social media’s capabilities- successful sharing of timely information and contribution to a wider community. Many of the workshop Q & A’s were questions that audience members had tweeted.
I also went to electronic music artist Amon Tobin’s ISAM, a visual spectacle where his DJ booth was incorporated into a giant cubist structure with 3D projection mapping, creating a kaleidoscope of images morphing in response to bass-heavy electronic music. A short clip of the performance is here. Both of his shows sold out, and he received several standing ovations!
Vivid Sydney really felt like a celebration of creativity, and I was glad to be a part of it. The festival was warmly embraced by the public, local businesses, and industry and I firmly believe we need something like this in New Zealand. It was a great portal for learning and discovery, whilst showcasing new technology and the host city. Any takers for a Vivid Auckland?